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BUSINESS
June 22, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Darden Restaurants Inc.'s efforts to spruce up Olive Garden's lagging sales, including national promotions and cost cuts, were “less effective than anticipated,” the company said while announcing its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings Friday. Similar tactics were also uninspiring at Darden's seafood chain, Red Lobster. After a brief respite during the spring, Italian brand Olive Garden returned to its pattern of poor same-store sales, which tumbled 1.8% over the quarter ended May 27 compared with a year earlier, while customer traffic fell 7.5% in May. Red Lobster's same-store sales slid 3.9% over the quarter and customer traffic in May slumped 7.8% With sales of $904 million, Olive Garden is Darden's largest chain.
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BUSINESS
September 19, 2012 | Bloomberg News
Intuit Inc. Chief Executive Brad Smith said the company didn't bring its "A game" last year and will speed up development of mobile software and undertake other initiatives to turn more online shoppers into paying customers. Refining products such as TurboTax and QuickBooks can bring Intuit more paying customers and translate into at least 5 percentage points of sales growth, Smith said at a meeting with financial analysts Tuesday at Intuit headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. "It was a solid year — it was not our best year," Smith said of fiscal 2012, which ended in July.
BUSINESS
April 25, 2013 | By Chad Terhune
Altria Group Inc., the largest U.S. tobacco company, said Thursday it will introduce an electronic cigarette this year amid a continuing slump in sales of its top-selling Marlboro brand. Some of Altria's competitors -- including Lorillard Inc., with its blue eCigs brand, as well as smaller rivals such as NJOY -- have been quicker to seize on the rising popularity of e-cigarettes. E- cigarettes are battery-powered devices that heat liquid nicotine in a disposable cartridge and produce a vapor that's inhaled.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 23, 2009 | Associated Press
Dan Brown's new novel has passed the 2 million mark and bested Bill Clinton's "My Life" in the record books. Doubleday announced Tuesday that hardcover, audio and e-book sales for "The Lost Symbol" topped 2 million copies for its first week of release in the United States, Britain and Canada. The total is "well over" 2 million for English-language editions worldwide, according to Doubleday spokeswoman Suzanne Herz, who declined to offer a specific number. Herz did say that around 5%, or 100,000 copies, of "The Lost Symbol" were sold as e-books.
BUSINESS
August 10, 2011 | By Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times
American Apparel Inc. had a narrower loss and improved sales in its second quarter, the Los Angeles clothing maker and retailer said in an updated earnings filing. For the three months that ended June 30, the company reported a loss of $213,000, or flat earnings per share, compared with a loss of $14.7 million, or 21 cents, in the year-earlier period. Sales were flat overall and at stores open at least a year. The latter measure, known as same-store sales, is considered an important gauge of a retailer's health because it excludes store openings and closings.
NATIONAL
August 2, 2012 | By Rene Lynch
Chick-fil-A appears to have set a company record in sales on Wednesday, a day on which Americans were encouraged to show their support for the fast-food restaurant whose leadership has drawn both criticism and praise in recent weeks for its opposition to same-sex marriage. The privately held company declined to give specific sales figures but released a statement to the Los Angeles Times confirming that frenzied sales of chicken sandwiches and cross-cut waffle fries had made for a record-setting day. "We are very grateful and humbled by the incredible turnout of loyal Chick-fil-A customers on August 1 at Chick-fil-A restaurants around the country," said Steve Robinson, executive vice president of marketing, in the statement.
BUSINESS
July 22, 2010 | Reuters
U.S. existing home sales fell less sharply than expected to a three-month low in June, though the supply of unsold homes rose to the highest in almost a year, an industry group said Thursday. Sales fell 5.1 percent to an annual unit rate of 5.37 million units, the National Association of Realtors said. Economists polled by Reuters had expected an 8.1 percent decline to a 5.18 million pace in June. There were about 3.99 million homes for sale at the end of June, a level that would take about 8.9 months to deplete at the current sales pace.
BUSINESS
October 11, 2011 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
The Fresh & Easy grocery chain has to fix what it calls a nonexistent problem, now that Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill banning the sale of alcoholic beverages at self-service checkout stands. Brown, just before midnight Sunday, approved a proposal that forces the British-owned chain, with more than 125 stores in California, to shift from an all-automated format to one that has at least one clerk on hand to check a purchaser's age before ringing up sales of beer and wine. The bill was one of 466 signed by the governor since the Legislature recessed for the year Sept.
IMAGE
December 19, 2010
Sabrina Azadi's article ["May I Help You?" Dec. 12] took me back to when I was a struggling college student in Philadelphia and I took a part-time salesclerk job at what was the revered John Wanamaker's department store. As part of the de rigueur "orientation," the sales manager of the salon presented her tips for closing a sale, and one that remained with me for all these years is to tell a customer that "you look like a million bucks in that dress. " Translation: "Who's ever seen a million bucks?
BUSINESS
March 12, 2014 | By Andrew Khouri
Southern California home prices held steady last month while sales tumbled to a six-year low, further evidence that the market has stalled after a torrid rebound. The median home sale price in the six-county Southland inched up 0.8% from January to $383,000, research firm DataQuick said Wednesday. Prices shot up in the first half of 2013, but the region's median has been about the same since June. Still, the February median price was 19.7% higher than the same month in 2013 because of rapid price gains early last year.
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