J.Crew Group, Inc and Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc Faces Lawsuits for Discriminating its Blind Customers
Aug 19 15
J.Crew Group, Inc. and Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. were sued in separate class action lawsuits last week in the Southern District of New York (Case No. 15-cv-06337) and the District of Colorado, (Case No. 15-cv-01724), respectively, alleging the companies discriminate against their blind customers. The lawsuits, brought by the Martinez Law Group, P.C., on behalf of the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition, the National Federation of the Blind, and seven individual named paintiffs who reside in New York, Colorado, Texas, and California, allege violations of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as well as various state laws, based on the merchants' failure to provide accessible point-of-sale devices (POS Devices) that enable blind customers to securely enter their private PIN codes when making a purchase. Both merchants have been sued repeatedly by blind customers over the last two years for their failure to provide accessible POS Devices. Despite numerous prior lawsuits, the merchants continued, for years, to delay making the necessary changes required to make their POS Devices accessible to the blind. As alleged in each Complaint, the unnecessary and avoidable delay by both merchants in complying with the law is surprising given that the retailers operate extensively in California, which has since 2010 required that every merchant operating in California provide tactile keypads at every POS terminal. In addition, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a statement in a Florida court more than a year ago that made clear the DOJ's position that merchants are required under the ADA to provide blind customers an accessible auxiliary aid to input their debit or credit card PINs. In addition to seeking declaratory and injunctive relief, the class action lawsuits seek statutory damages on a classwide basis for blind customers in New York, Colorado, Texas, and California. Each of the state laws at issue provide for minimum statutory damages for violations of their respective statutes that closely follow the ADA.
Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc. Announces Opening of New Stores
Aug 6 15
Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc. plans to add another six outlet stores in North America and Europe in the second half of the year. The company also plans to add at least six "shop-in-shops" for the holidays as part of its ongoing partnership with Macy's.
Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. Reports Unaudited Consolidated Earnings Results for the Second Quarter and Twenty-Six Weeks Ended July 4, 2015; Provides Financial Guidance for 2015
Aug 6 15
Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc. reported unaudited consolidated earnings results for the second quarter and twenty-six weeks ended July 4, 2015. Total revenues increased to $81.0 million compared to $76.2 million in the 2014 second quarter, driven by improved comparable stores sales, partially offset by a $1.6 million negative impact of foreign exchange. Adjusted net loss was $0.9 million or $0.05 per share, an improvement from an adjusted net loss of $4.1 million, or $0.24 per share in the 2014 second quarter. Consolidated net retail sales increased to $80.3 million compared to $75.4 million in the 2014 second quarter driven by improved comparable stores sales, partially offset by a $1.6 million negative impact of foreign exchange. Consolidated comparable store sales increased 8.7% and included a 6.5% increase in North America and an 18.2% increase in Europe. Second quarter 2015 comparable store sales are compared to the thirteen-week period ended July 5, 2014. Pre-tax loss was $438,000, a $3.5 million improvement from the 2014 second quarter; and net loss was $628,000, or $0.04 per share, a $3.7 million improvement from a net loss of $4.3 million, or $0.25 per share in the 2014 second quarter. Capital expenditures, net were $3.202 million against $2.066 million a year ago.
For the six months, total revenues were $174.4 million compared to $174.2 million in the first six months of 2014. Consolidated net retail sales were $171.9 million, compared to $172.2 million in the first six months of 2014, as improved comparable stores sales were offset by the negative impact of the one-week calendar shift due to the 53rd week in fiscal 2014 and a $3.5 million negative foreign exchange impact. Excluding the impact of foreign exchange, net retail sales increased 1.9% compared to the first six months of 2014. Consolidated comparable store sales increased 5.0% and included a 2.7% increase in North America and a 15.7% increase in Europe. Comparable store sales for the first six months of 2015 are compared to the twenty-six week period ended July 5, 2014. Pre-tax income was $6.6 million, an improvement from $1.3 million in the first six months of 2014. Net income was $6.2 million or $0.35 per diluted share, an improvement from $722,000, or $0.04 per diluted share in the first six months of 2014; and adjusted net income was $7.1 million or $0.41 per diluted share, an improvement from $1.0 million, or $0.06 per diluted share in the first six months of 2014. Capital expenditures, net were $6.080 million against $3.171 million a year ago.
In 2015, the Company continues to expect capital expenditures to be between $20 million and $25 million to support the refresh and opening of stores, as well as investment in infrastructure. Depreciation and amortization is expected to be between $16 million and $18 million.