aNb Media News, March 4, 2013

Brand Central Signs Cupcakes and Cashmere Blog for Licensing

Cupcakes and Cashmere, a daily blog written by Emily Schuman about fashion, food, interior design, travel, and beauty, has signed with Brand Central to act as the blog’s exclusive licensing agency. Cupcakes and Cashmere is the latest addition to Brand Central’s focus on digital properties, blogs, and social media experts joining home blog Apartment Therapy.

Since its launch more than four years ago, Cupcakes and Cashmere has experienced explosive growth (more than five million page views per month) and has gained a very loyal following (more than three million unique visitors).

Cupcakes and Cashmere has collaborated with several leading fashion and beauty brands including Forever 21, Juicy Couture, Style Mint, Coach, (in which Schuman designed a bag) and she is currently the exclusive guest blogger for Estee Lauder.

Ross Misher, CEO of Brand Central, said in a statement, “We are confident there will be pent up demand for Cupcakes and Cashmere branded products that deliver Emily’s point of view in a variety of categories. We see Emily as ‘Martha Stewart meets Carrie Bradshaw for the Millennial Generation.’ Emily reflects a paradigm shift in how this generation consumes media and lifestyle advice, tips, and guidance versus TV and magazines in the past. Brand Central is and will continue to be the leaders in this exciting new media space.”

Sears Reports Q4, 2012 Results

Sears Holdings Corporation reported its fourth quarter and full year 2012 results. Sears offered the following snapshot:

• Adjusted EBITDA of $429 million for the fourth quarter of 2012 and $626 million for the year, which were both in line with the company’s guidance provided on January 7, 2013. Adjusted EBITDA for the prior year fourth quarter and year were $351 million and $277 million, respectively

• Gross margin rate increased 130 basis points for the fourth quarter of 2012 and 90 basis points for the year from the comparable prior year periods

• Continued discipline of the company’s investment in inventory with domestic inventory declining $895 million from the prior year. Excluding the inventory related to the Sears Hometown and Outlet businesses, domestic inventory declined $501 million

• Sears Domestic’s comparable store sales improved 0.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 and declined 1.4 percent for the year. Kmart’s comparable store sales declined 3.7 percent in the fourth quarter and for the year. Sears Canada’s comparable store sales declined 3.8 percent in the fourth quarter and 5.6 percent for the year

• The company’s integrated online business grew more than 25 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 and 17 percent for the full year

• Shop Your Way Members drove more than 50 percent of the company’s revenues at Sears Domestic and Kmart for the 2012 fourth quarter and year

• Net loss from continuing operations attributable to Holdings’ shareholders of $489 million and $930 million, ($4.61 and $8.78 loss per diluted share from continuing operations), respectively, for the fourth quarter and full year 2012. Prior year fourth quarter and year net losses were $2.4 billion and $3.1 billion ($22.47 and $29.15 per diluted share from continuing operations), respectively; and adjusted earnings per diluted share from continuing operations for the fourth quarter of $1.12 in 2012 and $0.54 in 2011 and adjusted loss per diluted share from continuing operations for the year of $2.03 in 2012 and $4.52 in 2011.

“Sears Holdings made progress in 2012 improving the profitability of our business, but we know there’s more work to be done in 2013,” said Edward Lampert, Sears Holdings’ Chairman and CEO. “Our focus continues to be on our core customers, our Members, and finding ways to provide them value and convenience through Integrated Retail and our Shop Your Way Membership platform. We have invested significantly in our online e-commerce platforms, our Membership rewards program, and the technology needed to support these initiatives.”

Sprout Launches CafePress Store

Preschool channel Sprout announced the launch of an all-new online consumer retail site,, operated by CafePress, Inc. showcases designs featured in a range of Sprout-branded products, including tote bags, T-shirts, water bottles, and iPad and iPhone accessories. Also available are products including apparel, plush, puzzles, and DVDs based on Sprout’s original series including, Noodle and Doodle and Pajanimals, as well its newest series, The Chica Show.