Retail Ventures Still Ponders Value City Spinoff
April 9, 2007,
Multi-format off-price retailer Retail Ventures (RVI) has made no decision on the fate of its general merchandise Value City division, the company said last week in its fourth-quarter and year-end earnings call.
The company also did not discuss the first quarter or an outlook for 2007. Results for 2006, while less than stellar, showed incremental improvement: RVI reported a year-end net loss of $150.9 million, compared to $183.4 for the prior year. For the quarter, the loss was $35.9 million, compared to a loss of $71.1 million one year ago.
Sales for the year rose 5.3% to $3.07 billion and for the quarter rose 6.5% to $874.0 million. Comparable-store sales were up 0.8% for the year but fell 2.8% in the final quarter. The biggest problem was the 113-store Value City division, which saw a comp drop of 5.6% in the fourth quarter and a drop of 1.3% for the year. The 31-store Filene's Basement unit also edged into the negative zone with a comp drop of 1.3% for the quarter, but finished the year with comps up 3.1%.
RVI's footwear division, DSW (which operates 223 stores and supplies departments in 330 non-related retailer locations) continued to gain in importance, with comps up 1.0% in the quarter and 2.5% for the year. DSW has been the only profitable division for two years running.