Ahead of annual meeting, Sears predicts Q1 income growth
Ahead of its annual shareholders’ meeting, Sears Holdings has provided first-quarter guidance calling for net income of $155 million to $195 million (between $1.46 and $1.84 per diluted share from continuing operations) versus a net loss from continuing operations of $165 million ($1.53 loss per diluted share from continuing operations) for the first quarter in 2011. The above range includes approximately $235 million, after tax and minority interest, of gains from the sale of certain U.S. and Canadian stores. These transactions generated $440 million of cash proceeds.
For the first quarter, Sears Holdings reported a total same-store sales decline of 1.3%. Comps were down 1% and 1.6% at its domestic and Kmart units, respectively.
The sales decline at Sears’ domestic unit was offset by double-digit increases in its apparel and footwear categories. These increases were offset by declines in the appliances and consumer electronics categories. Kmart’s comparable-store sales decrease reflects increases in the apparel and footwear categories, offset by declines in the consumer electronics category.
Sears Canada expects to report a comparable-store sales decline of 6.2% for the quarter. The decline is primarily due to sales decreases in electronics, home decor, hardware and apparel, partially offset by increases in major appliances and mattresses.
Money Pit crosses 300-market milestone in first quarter
The syndicated home improvement talk radio show “The Money Pit” crossed the 300-affiliate mark. The show’s newest markets include El Paso Texas; Huntington W.Va.; Savannah, Ga.; and Reno, Nev.
The Money Pit, heard in many of the country’s top markets including New York, Atlanta, Orlando and Providence, R.I., added more than 20 new stations in the first quarter of 2012, breaking past the 300 affiliate station threshold.
Show co-host Tom Kraeutler, who is also the president of parent company Money Pit Media, said, "I am so grateful to our team for the hard work that got us to this point, to our loyal affiliate stations for making our content available to millions of people across the country and to our always growing list of top sponsors that have made this possible."
Distributors tour each other’s DCs
An event organized by the PRO Group from April 24 to 26 brought together 25 distributors from around the country to tour two warehouse facilities and share new developments in distribution operations.
The tours took place at Reiss Wholesale Hardware Co., Inc. in Brooklyn, N.Y., and R3 Redistribution – Metro South in Perth Amboy, N.J. Both distributors are affiliated with PRO Group, Inc.
Paul Reiss, who is president of Reiss Wholesale Hardware Co., led the group through his 66,000-sq.-ft. distribution center, which features a narrow aisle system in order to maximize space. The warehouse uses Raymond Narrow Aisle equipment, which is made in the United States.
Reiss noted that past DC workshops at other facilities convinced him to adopt a number of efficiency changes, including radio frequency technology and an upgrade to energy-efficient T5 lighting, which operates on a motion sensor system.
The April 26 tour was scheduled for the R3 warehouse in New Jersey — a 132,000-sq.-ft. distribution center with more than 20 doors and 5,000 SKUs. "Everyone does something better than you do, so that’s always interesting to see,” Reiss said. “You can’t always implement new ideas right away, but seeing it in operation is a lot more beneficial for us than reading about it.”
In addition to the tours, the PRO Group’s Distribution Center Workshop gives attendees an opportunity to network during hosted dinners while learning about the latest developments in warehouse operations and sharing best practices. Roundtable discussions during the workshop included topics such as quarterly operations benchmark reports, how to utilize cube and weight with the warehouse management system, incentive pay/programs for individuals in the warehouse, and other operations related processes.
Shari Kalbach, managing director for PRO Group, said the DC Workshop gives distributor personnel who do not often get out of their distributor centers a chance to interact with others in their industry. "Our distributors don’t always have the opportunity to see the changes others are making to improve operations," Kalbach said. “The Distribution Center Workshop offers a window into these other businesses, and an open invitation to discuss changes, challenges and personal victories.”