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Dollar Tree reports Q4, 2012 fiscal year results

BY DSN STAFF

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Dollar Tree reported consolidated net sales for the fourth-quarter jumped 15.4% to $2.25 billion compared with $1.95 billion reported for the quarter ended Jan. 28, 2012. Comparable-store sales increased 2.4%, on top of a 7.3% increase for the fourth quarter 2011.

Earnings per diluted share for the fourth quarter were $1.01, an increase of 26.3% compared with the 80 cents earnings per diluted share reported for the fourth quarter 2011.

“I am pleased with the growth of Dollar Tree’s sales and earnings in the fourth quarter and for the year of 2012,” said president and CEO Bob Sasser. “On top of a very strong fourth quarter performance in 2011, average basket size increased and customers responded this year in record numbers. These results were achieved through the efforts of thousands of Dollar Tree associates across North America, working every day to provide a unique assortment of merchandise at great values in stores that are clean, bright, and fun to shop.”

During the fourth quarter, Dollar Tree opened 47 stores, expanded or relocated 6 stores, and closed 6 stores. Retail selling square footage increased 7.7% compared to a year ago, to 40.5 million square feet.

The company estimates sales for the first quarter of 2013 to be in the range of $1.84 billion to $1.89 billion, based on low single-digit positive comparable-store sales and 6.8% square footage growth. Diluted earnings per share are expected to be in the range of 53 cents to 58 cents.


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Sun Products launches new All detergent

BY Jason Owen

WILTON, Conn. — Sun Products, makers of such laundry brands as Wisk and Snuggle, has launched a new All detergent: All Fresh and Sensitive.

All Fresh and Sensitive was developed with a hypoallergenic scent formula after the company cited consumer demand for a detergent gentle to sensitive skin, but also retained a long-lasting, fresh laundry scent and was still tough on clothing stains. The Fresh and Sensitive formula addresses those concerns.

This article originally stated the new All detergent was recommended by doctors for sensitive, which is not correct. We apologize for the error.


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Target Canada rollout to be bigger than any annual U.S. rollout to date

BY Alaric DeArment

MINNEAPOLIS — Target is planning a rollout in Canada that will be bigger than any single year’s worth of its store openings in the United States ever, executives of the company said Wednesday morning in a call with Wall Street analysts to discuss the mass merchandise retailer’s fourth-quarter and full-year 2012 results.

The company plans to open its first 24 Canadian stores in April and have a total of 124 stores in Canada opened this year. A smaller but still significant rollout also is planned for the United States, with plans to open 15 to 20 new stores, including three new City Target stores, for a total of 10 to 15 net new stores when accounting for closings, as well as remodeling more than 100 stores. Chairman, president and CEO Gregg Steinhafel said the five existing City Target stores already had experienced "robust" traffic.

"We expect to open many more new stores this year than in any year in our history," Steinhafel said in the call.

Significant investment also is planned for multichannel retail, as EVP and CFO John Mulligan said the company would invest $2.3 billion in the company’s U.S. retail segment in 2013, with investments in supply chain and technology — including multichannel — set to equal investments in stores.

Currently, mobile purchases constitute more than 7% of sales, with mobile traffic constituting more than 25% of overall digital traffic, as visits to Target’s website accounted for most among mobile users taking advantage of in-store wireless internet. The company also is testing pilot programs in such cities as San Francisco that allow customers to pay online and pick up at the store, or pay at one store and pick up at another.

Another driver of loyalty has been the company’s REDcard and Pharmacy Rewards programs, as REDcard members shopped almost two times more per month than nonmembers and spent two and a half times more. Meanwhile, Pharmacy Rewards members were even more valuable, the executives said, shopping 50% more than nonmembers. Customers participating in the REDcard and Pharmacy Rewards programs shopped more often than those participating in just one of those programs, and the company is planning to extend them and find new ways to drive engagement and sales. The REDcard offers 5% savings on purchases made at Target stores and on the company’s website, while the Pharmacy Rewards program offers 5% off a day of Target shopping after customers fill five eligible prescriptions.

Overall, the company had sales of $22.4 billion, a 6.8% increase over fourth quarter 2011’s $20.9 billion. Sales for fiscal year 2012 were $72 billion, compared with $68.5 billion in 2011. Profits were $961 million for the quarter and nearly $3 billion for the year, with same-store sales of 0.4% for the quarter and 2.7% for the year. The company expects total sales in 2013 to grow 2% and comps to grow 2.7%. The company currently operates 1,778 stores.

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