News in Brief

Disney in talks to buy back stores from Children's Place
May 1, 2008

Disney in talks to buy back stores from Children’s Place

It looks as if the House of Mouse is taking back its eponymous retail chain from the Children’s Place Retail Stores. At the end of March, both companies were in advanced talks over Disney re-acquiring about two-thirds of the 335 stores after selling them to the mall-based kids clothing retailer in November 2004. Disney believes the stores could play a vital role in extending its brand and adding value to its franchises, but will head into the sector concentrating on a more focused store footprint this time around.

Hoop Holdings, a unit of the Children’s Place, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as part of exiting the business. At press time, the transaction was still being completed.

Crocs gets chomped

Rubber footwear phenom Crocs is stepping a little less lightly these days in the wake of Q1 results that failed to meet projections, causing the company to revise its fiscal forecast in mid-April. 2008 revenues are expected to fall short by 15% – hitting between US$195 and US$200 million, as opposed to a hoped-for US$225 million. But the revision still represents a 41% bump over last year’s revenues, and the company is expecting a domestic sales increase of 13%. Crocs also announced the closure of its Canadian manufacturing hub, but will keep its regional sales and marketing office open. President and CEO Ron Snyder says the shut-down was necessary to improve future cost structures and consolidate production, citing the challenging retail market and a delayed spring as key factors affecting sandals and open-toed footwear sales.

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