Lowe’s reports solid results in Q4
Lowe’s reported net earnings of $322 million for the quarter ended Feb. 3, a 13.0% increase over the same period a year ago.
Sales for the fourth quarter increased 11.0% to $11.6 billion, up from $10.5 billion in the same period a year ago.
“We delivered solid results for the quarter, including earnings per share that exceeded our guidance,” commented Robert Niblock, Lowe’s chairman, president and CEO. “I am encouraged by the progress we made in 2011 toward delivering better customer experiences and transforming our business to drive long-term sales growth, increased profitability and shareholder value. I would like to thank our hard-working employees for their ongoing dedication and customer focus.
“In 2012, we will capitalize on refinements we have made to our operating strategies as well as our efforts to improve the customer experience,” Niblock added. “The team is well positioned to drive stronger comparable store sales growth and expanded operating margins.”
For the fiscal year ended Feb. 3, sales were $50.2 billion, a 2.9% increase over the prior fiscal year. Full year net earnings decreased 8.5% to $1.8 billion from the prior fiscal year.
Comparable-store sales for the fourth quarter increased 3.4% versus a comparable 14-week period, while comparable-store sales for the U.S. business increased 3.5%. Comparable-store sales for the fiscal year were essentially flat.
As of Feb. 3, Lowe’s operated 1,745 stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico, representing 196.5 million sq. ft. of retail selling space.
Innovation on tap in Las Vegas
For the first time, this year’s National Hardware Show will feature more than 1,000 new products and inventions in a special Innovation Station display area located off the main show floors.
"We know that retail and wholesale buyers are very interested in the latest products and line introductions, so we wanted to make it as easy as possible for buyers to see these products in one easy-to-shop location," said Sonya Ruff Jarvis, VP attendee programs with the National Hardware Show, slated for Las Vegas May 1 to 3.
The Innovation Station area will house:
• The New Product World display, which spotlights hundreds of new products from the industry’s leading manufacturers.
• The Inventor’s Spotlight, where attendees can get an inside look at what may be the next big product or service in the industry. This year, the Inventor’s Spotlight section at the National Hardware Show will also be co-located with Pitch Tank, which will give inventors the opportunity to pitch their breakthrough business concepts and products to Kevin Harrington, Investor Shark on ABC’s "Shark Tank" and chairman of TVGoods, and Steve Rogai, CEO and co-founder of TVGoods.
• Green Product World, which allows retailers to keep up with the growing demand for environmentally friendly products and gather information on the latest in green, eco-friendly and sustainable products that today’s consumers are looking for. Along with these exciting highlighted areas within the Innovation Station, the National Hardware Show will feature its New Product Launch Spotlight area in the central concourse adjacent to the NRHA Village and Stage.
• The New Product Launch Spotlight area features a host of items that are truly brand new to the industry, have not yet hit the market and have no pre-negotiations, pre-sales and no distribution exclusivity.
"By providing areas that are designated to spotlight new products, we hope it will make it even easier for show attendees to see the latest and greatest innovations that manufacturers have brought to the show and provide exhibitors with an even more productive way to launch and showcase their newest offerings," Jarvis said.
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It’s official: Menards plans megastore for Kentucky
Menards, the third largest chain of home improvement stores in the U.S., will open a 200,000-sq.-ft.-plus store in Owensboro, Ky., this spring, according to an article in the Messenger Inquirer. It will be the Eau Claire, Wis.-based retailer’s first store in the state of Kentucky.
A spokesman for the company could not give an exact opening date, but the concrete for the parking lot has already been poured, according to the article. The store will be part of Heartland Crossing, a 67-acre shopping center that includes 16 lots for restaurants, banks, offices and a hotel.
After concerns were expressed over the project from neighbors and local businesses, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet agreed on a new plan that includes major improvements to a nearby highway and access ramps.
Menards now has four distribution centers and operates 263 stores in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
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