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Sears releases year-end outlook

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Sears Holdings released its year-end outlook for the fiscal year 2010 ending Jan. 29.

For the full year, the company expects a net income of $210 million, with a fourth-quarter income expectation of between $370 million and $450 million, offsetting the company’s past two quarterly losses.

The company also posted up-to-date comparable-store sales for both its Sears Domestic and Kmart stores.

For the quarter-to-date, comparable-store sales for its Sears Domestic stores were down 5.3%, with Kmart stores seeing an increase of 3.4%.

For the year-to-date comparable-store sales, Sears Domestic saw a decline of 3.8%, with Kmart seeing a .8% increase.

Sears Holdings will release its fourth-quarter and year-end financial results Feb. 24.

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Advanced monthly retail sales for December show gains

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The U.S. Census Bureau reported this morning that U.S. retail and food services sales for December were $380.9 billion, up 0.6% from the previous month. 

Even better news came from the comparison to last year — December sales were up 7.9% from December 2009. And Total sales for the October through December 2010 period were up 7.8% from the same period a year ago.

Looking specifically at NAICS classification 444 — Building material & garden equipment & supplies dealers — advanced sales in December were $25.224 billion, up 2.0% from $24.734 billion in November 2010, and up 13.1% from $22.298 billion in December 2009.

All the figures above are adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes.

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Target to enter Canada via Zeller’s deal

BY HBSDEALER Staff

In its first-ever expansion outside of the United States, Target Corp. on Thursday said it would acquire up to 220 Zellers discount department stores in Canada from the Hudson’s Bay Co. for $1.8 billion. The deal will allow Target to open 100 to 150 Target stores throughout Canada in 2013 and 2014.

“This transaction provides an outstanding opportunity for us to extend our Target brand, Target stores and superior shopping experience beyond the United States for the first time in our company’s history," said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and CEO of Target Corp. "We believe our investment in these leases will strengthen the surrounding communities, as well as create strategic and financial value for Target stakeholders."

In a related announcement, Target said that company’s chief marketing officer, Michael Francis, will serve as the executive committee sponsor of Target’s entry into Canada.

Target will not start converting the Zellers locations until 2013. Until the new Target stores begin to open, Hudson’s Bay will sublease the stores back from Target and keep operating them as Zellers.

“This transaction provides attractive long-term value and will allow us to invest substantial capital into our department store and specialty store businesses to continue to drive growth,” said Richard A. Baker, the chief executive of NRDC Equity and the governor of Hudson’s Bay, in a statement. Hudson’s Bay and its Zeller’s subsidiary was acquired NRDC, whose holdings include Lord & Taylor, in 2008.

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