Good day everyone, and welcome to today's program. At this time, all participants are in a listen only mode. Later, you will have the opportunity to ask questions during the Q and A session. (Operator Instructions) It is now my pleasure to turn the conference over to Jane Singer. Thank you, Lundy. Good morning, everyone and thank you for joining us today for a review of The Children's Place Retails Stores, Inc. second quarter 2009 financial results. Participating on this morning's call are Chuck Crovitz, Interim Chief Executive Officer and Sue Riley, Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration. Dina Sweeney, Group Vice President of Merchandising is on hand to answer questions at the end of Management's remarks, but I must warn you in advance that she has come down with a little bit of laryngitis, so if she has trouble talking later Chuck or Sue may jump in to help her out. Before we begin, I would like to remind participants that any forward looking remarks made today are subject to the Safe Harbor statement found in this morning's press release as well as in our SEC filings. These forward looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly release any revision to these forward looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof. Now I'll turn the call over to Chuck for his opening remarks. Thank you, Jane. Good morning, everyone and thank you for joining us today. We continue to face the challenging retail environment in the second quarter of 2009 and at the same time we are up against the best second quarter in the company's history in 2008. We had a number of headwinds including the difficult economic environment, the negative impact of foreign exchange and lower mall traffic and these headwinds hampered our sales results during the second quarter. Nevertheless, we have made significant headway in our e commerce business, our cost cutting initiatives and the rollout of our new value engineered store format. To briefly highlight the second quarter of 2009 results, our net sales declined 7% compared to the second quarter of 2008 with comparable retail sales down 9%. Our loss from continuing operations, including unusual and one time items was $12.4 million or $0.42 per share, compared to an adjusted loss of $0.03 per share last year. A couple of bright spots during the second quarter include the continued strong growth of our online business, which increased 24% this year on top of more than a 90% increase during the second quarter of last year and our shoe business which delivered a solid increase in sales and margin. To briefly update you on the progress we achieved on our three growth initiatives, I mentioned earlier that our e com business is continuing to thrive, the move to the fulfillment center in Alabama which enhanced our efficiencies as well as increased levels of marketing support. During the second quarter of 2009 e com accounted for 6.5 % of net sales compared with less than 5% last year. Also, we remain on plan to open approximately 35 new stores in 2009, which will increase our fleet by a net of approximately 30 stores for the year. About half the new stores opened year to date are in the new Tech II formats. This new format is easier to shop, it's been engineered to with stand higher traffic and it costs 35% to 40% less to build than the previous prototype and this gives us greater flexibility in the types of locations and markets where we can operate profitably. More than half of the new stores we have built year to date are located in value oriented centers primarily in strip malls. Finally, we are ahead of schedule and realizing the plan $20 million in cost savings that we announced in February, significant progress has been made across the organization to increase efficiencies and lower spending which Sue will review in a few minutes. As we enter the important back to school season we are pleased with early customer response to our fall one line particularly the wear now product. Nevertheless, we are planning conservatively for the fall season due to ongoing weakness in the economic environment, cautious consumer sentiment and significant volatility we continue to experience in our business. During the past year we have observed customers shopping closer to need, shopping less frequently and waiting for great deals before making a purchase, and we have no reason to believe that these behaviors will change significantly during the latter half of 2009. Promotions are very important in this environment and we are testing new ways to offer our customers even greater value. For example, in July we offered a backpack promotion which required a minimum purchase of $30, and in August we offered a free graphic t shirt with the purchase of two pairs of denim. In addition we continue to focus on promoting the tremendous value that we have by highlighting our price points, both in stores and online. Looking ahead, while we manage our business prudently during this difficult period we remain confident that the strategic initiatives that we are pursuing combined with our trend right fashion and great value pricing position us to achieve our longer term growth targets. Before I turn to Sue, for a review of operations I'd like to briefly comment on the agreement with former Chairman and CEO Ezra Dabah. On August 3rd the company purchased 2.45 million shares, which is 50% of the shares owned by Ezra and his family for $28.88 per share. We have also agreed to file our registration statement to facilitate a one time marketed secondary offering of Ezra and his family's remaining shares. In connection with this traction, Ezra and his father in law Stanley Silverstein have resigned from the company's Board. The Board of Directors believed this development will create positive momentum in the CEO search and expects to name a permanent CEO before the end of the year. With that, let me turn the call over to Sue, who will review the financials. Good morning everyone. Most of my discussion today will focused on continuing operations of the Children's Place business since the Disney store business is classified as a discontinued operation. Net sales for the second quarter ended August 1, 2009 were $315.7 million, a 7% decline compared to last year's second quarter net sales of $338 million. dollar negatively impacted net sales by approximately $5.1 million compared to the second quarter of 2008. Comparable retail sales which include online sales declined 9% in the second quarter of 2009 following a 10% increase during the same period last year. The decline in comp sales was the result of a 7% decline in tractions and a 2% decrease in average transaction size. We ended the second quarter with a total of 937 stores this year, compared to 902 stores last year. Gross profit dollars declined 18% to $105.3 million and gross margin decreased 460 basis points to 33.4% compared to 38% in the second quarter of 2008. During our 2008 year end conference call, we mentioned that we expected gross margin for the first half of 2009 to be significantly lower than the first half of last year. Our gross margin was negatively impacted by de leverage during the second quarter of 2009, in addition to more markdowns, higher shrink accrual, a lower IMU and a lower Canadian exchange rate compared to last year. During the second quarter of 2009, IMU will be stronger as merchandise purchases for the 2009 back to school and holiday seasons were made during a time period when the global retail demand was particularly weak, which is benefiting IMU for the back half of the year. In addition, we anniversary the precipitous decline in the Canadian currency toward the end of the third quarter, assuming there was no further change in the Canadian to US dollar exchange rate. Offsetting this, we are continuing to see high levels of promotional activity from children's apparel retailers and we expect we may sell a greater proportion of merchandise on promotion during the third quarter of 2009 than we did last year. Air Jordan 13 Squadron Blue ,Air Jordan 6 Varsity Red Air Jordan 13 Grey Toe 2014 Air Jordan 10 Venom Green Air Jordan 6 Brazil World Cup Air Jordan 7 French Blue 2015 Air Jordan 7 French Blue 2015 Air Jordan 6 Brazil World Cup Air Jordan 6 Championship Cigar Air Jordan 11 Low Concord For a lot of people, skateboarding is merely a sport. This is especially the case to those who never really were into skateboarding, or merely watched competitions on TV. Meanwhile, gearheads, which is a slang term for skateboarding enthusiasts, take skateboarding as a way to strut their stuff, from skateboarding decks, skateboarding wheels and practically every customizable part of a skateboard. However, to those who really understand what skateboarding is, they consider it to be a lifestyle. So, how does one take in the skateboarding lifestyle? There are lots of ways you can do that, but it's actually a combination of several things. Let us list some of them for you now. Ready? Let's begin. 1. The Clothes. Skateboarding and skateboard fashion always go hand in hand. In fact, you can easily tell a skateboarder from the clothes that he wears. It's partly a fashion statement, but there are also practical considerations that have to be made. One major practical consideration is the pair of shoes that a skateboarder wears. Shoes that are designed for skateboarding provide better grip to keep boarders on the deck, or for emergency braking purposes. These shoes also provide more shock protection, especially for those skateboarders who like doing tricks on their boards. 2. The Attitude. Skateboarders have gained quite a bad reputation among many people. Those who don't understand skateboarders consider them rude and unruly. However, this is an unfair depiction of skateboarders. While many skateboarders can be quite edgy, most of them are friendly. They are willing to share their skills and talents to budding boarders, while, at the same time, they can give pretty straightforward criticism of how a particular skateboarder performs. The fact that the skateboarding community is a tightly knit one only goes to show that skateboarders are more than just a rude and rowdy bunch. 3. The Creativity. Skateboarders are also a creative bunch. This creativity covers everything from the clothes that they wear to the tricks that they perform. In the case of tricks, skateboarders should always be extra creative to gain an edge over their peers. Tricks can get old pretty fast, so skateboarders are always looking for ways to make their tricks more complicated, beautiful, and of course, difficult to copy. 4. The Individuality. Just like in creativity, skateboarders also enjoy expressing themselves as individuals. It is even more apparent in their choice of tricks. Skateboarders strive to create new tricks not only to be creative, but also to set them apart from their peers. This expression of individuality is also apparent in the clothes that they wear. Still wondering how you can easily spot a skater from a distance? Just look at their sense of style as it is different and it stands out from the rest of the pack. 5. The Language. Skateboarders also belong to a niche group. That said, they have a set of terms that only they understand. For one, that sort of language keeps them apart from the others. Aside from that, it also serves a practical purpose. Just like in other groups, having terms that are particular to their group makes talking about skateboarding related topics easier to discuss. So you see, skateboarding is more than just a sport, and is not only about the gear. It's also a lifestyle that's lived by every true blue skateboarder out there. And the skateboarding lifestyle is a combination of various things that range from the attitude, clothing, creativity, individuality, and the language skate speak. Air Jordan 13 Squadron Blue,Nike Designer Tim Hatfield recently announced that self tightening power laces, like the ones seen on Marty McFly's Air Mag shoes in "Back To The Future Part II," could be arriving as soon as next year. The revelation sent sneaker aficionados into a frenzy, but it also hinted that a radical shift in shoe design is just around the corner. D'Wayne Edwards, a former shoe design director for Nike's Jordan Brand and founder of Pensole, a footwear design academy for youth, told DNews he expects big innovations in the coming years. While some shoe companies may capitalize on the "cool factor" of emerging technologies to create gimmicky products, he said "if technology is used in it's pure form to make the human body better or to make the person more in tune with their body, feet or footwear then it will only be an enhancement." While there's no shortage of fitness tracking applications for shoes, Edwards foresees even greater advancements coming down the design pipeline from 3D printed shoes and sneakers that tell runners if they over pronate, to soles that stimulate muscles and alert wearers if their back needs adjusting. But tomorrow's shoe innovations are already starting to appear in today's high tech footwear. So click through, try on a pair and see if any are a good fit. These Rocky S2V Substratum boots are a must have for Jack London survivalists, or James Bond for that matter. Built into the inside of each sole is a small compartment specially designed to fit a fire starting kit. One boot includes an Ultimate Survival Technologies Sparkie fire starter and the other contains two UST WetFire tinder cubes. The one ounce fire starter is designed to be used with one hand and comes with a retractable flint bar. The boots also come with a Survival Grenade, which includes a small knife blade, a needle, 10 feet of paracord and fishing provisions, such as hooks swivels and weights. The bundle doesn't fit in the boot, but it could help cold, hungry and lost hikers enjoy a trout by a warm fire. Top 10 Survival Tips Every Hiker Should Know Nike has been using 3 D printers to prototype and test shoe designs ever since it produced the Vapor Laser Talon cleat just over a year ago. The proof of concept shoe eventually inspired the Vapor Carbon 2014 Elite cleat, which was worn by football players in this year's Super Bowl. Nike's latest edition from this 3D printing initiative is the Vapor HyperAgility, featuring a tri star cleat design that designers believe will enhance football players' speed and grip while playing on artificial turf. Perhaps most striking is Nike's Flywire cabling that's woven under the arch and through the shoe itself. Connected to the laces, these cables provide an ultra snug fit meant to prevent slippage. 8 NFL Facts That Will Piss You Off For shoe design purists and sneaker connoisseurs, finding the right color scheme is often the end all be all of footwear majesty. Long limited to simply mixing and matching shoes to clothing, now consumers have a chance to match their shoes to their favorite photo. Nike's PHOTOid project is simple. Users send in an Instagram photo and choose a shoe style. Designers then match the photo's color palate to the shoe design. Therefore, one could own a pair of shoes inspired by a sunset, a plate of Pad Thai or a wall of graffiti. The possibilities are endless. University of Wisconsin Madison engineering researchers developed an in shoe system that harvests the energy produced from walking. The insert converts mechanical energy to electricity via a microfluidic device where thousands tiny droplets of liquid interact with a nanostructured substrate. The device reportedly has a power density of up to one kilowatt per 10.76 square feet, with a capacity of 20 watts that could be generated and stored in a rechargeable battery. Attached to the "Instep Nanopower" insert is an adapter that wearers can plug their phones or other mobile devices into, though researchers say the power could also be transmitted wirelessly. For the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Nash Money design teamed up with Adidas to create the Social Media Barricade shoe. The guts of a phone and a basic two line LCD screen were implanted into the shoe, allowing the sneaker to receive Twitter updates. The idea was that fans could Tweet athletes while they competed in events. 3 D Printed Bio Shoes Would Repair Themselves While the shoe was more of a proof of concept, its designers believe such connected and customized footwear could be more of a reality by the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. "Shoes are going to become a lot more digital, similar to the old school equalizers," Edwards said. "It's not going to be such a mass market, it's going to be more specific to the wearer." Worn by hip hop pioneers Run DMC, Adidas footwear has a legendary connection with rap history and breakdancing. So it makes sense that the company would create a shoe that allows breakdancers to make beats and music as they move their feet. Part of Adidas' promotional MEGA series, the "Megalizer" shoes featured pressure sensors in the toe and heel, along with a wireless transmitter that relays signals to a computer program. The system even allows wearers to control the volume and sound effects while dancing. Edwards said pressure sensitive technologies like these off a lot of opportunities for shoe designers."There are temperature changing opportunities, muscle and nerve stimulation opportunities," he said. "From a consumer point of view, it would look cool if your shoe lights up because of the stimulation your foot's providing when you walk." Check out French hip hop dancers Les Twins test the Megalizers in the following video. Engineered for the attacking striker, Nike's Hypervenom soccer cleat features a split toe plate and redesigned cleat patterns to maximize agility and responsiveness. The cleat shapes also are designed for sudden changes in direction, with a forefront groove that helps players generate toe off speed for faster sprints. The upper portion of the shoe is a one piece NikeSkin that provides a barefoot like touch on the ball. "The NikeSkin Technology upper fits closer to your foot for more natural touch," Nike explains. "The one piece design eliminates unnecessary layers using only thin PU film and performance mesh to reduce weight and bring your foot closers to the ball." Life Saving Smart Shoes Track Firefighters In 2011, Nike released a limited edition series of 1,500 pairs that were auctioned off on eBay with all net proceeds going to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's disease research. Although the shoes did stay true to the original's spacey design, including LED light up features on the outer side sole and ankle strap, they were missing the signature innovation laces that automatically tightened. But now that Nike designer Tim Hatfield confirmed that power laces will become a reality in 2015, have all our shoe wishes been granted? What footwear innovations would your like to see in the coming years? Feel free to submit your ideas in the comments below.
Buy Online Air Jordan 13 Squadron Blue,Air Jordan 13 Grey Toe 2014 "I said I was amazing / Not that I'm a Mason / It's amazing that I made it though the maze that I was in / Lord forgive me I never would've made it without sin" Jay Z on "Free Mason" Still, many MCs who claim the cross take issue with Jay Z's recent imagery and hints at a dark side. Overnight, the previously unknown Bizzle found himself in the middle of a firestorm. "I'm really trying not to get stuck on the Jay Z stuff and just want to focus on telling people about the Lord and his Good News," Bizzle said. But obviously, the kid known for calling out Jay has an opinion about his "Free Mason" verse. "I think he only cleared up things for 'blind' people who want to remain 'blind.' They didn't want to hear a real explanation, they just want to hear him say it's not true," Bizzle said. "And no, I don't think it was a response to my song. If that's the case he would have addressed the specific points I raised. To me, the logic should be that if I brought up 20 signs that point to him being a Mason and having Satanic ties then he should have to bring up 21 things that say the opposite." Other Christian rappers aren't so convinced. Dre' Murray (a Houston native) has shared songs with Bizzle but thinks that Jay Z's verse adequately addressed the issue. "Make no mistake, Jay'z imagery in the past, especially in the 'On to the Next One' video, was blatant. But I think he was just trying to push people's buttons," Murray said. "I think there was some clarity in 'Free Mason' where he owned up to some stuff and denied other parts. "Could he be lying? Sure, but for me to devote all my time trying to figure out what he is or isn't really defeats my purpose as a Christian MC. Good should be out fighting evil, not sitting around talking about it." Still, there's no clear consensus about Jay Z's lyrics and actions in the holy hip hop community. Here's what outspoken New York rapper Lavoisier told me when he was in town for The Houston Project last week. What a stupid story full of inaccuracies. If Jay Z is indeed a Mason, who has anything negative to say about that? It means he realized that he was a sinner and pledged to live a life of servitude by doing good in the world. I would say that this is pretty much what Christianity is based upon. Being a Mason doesn mean living in secret about it. Usually the negativity of another drives from the misunderstanding and ignorance of what it really is and about. Coming from a Masonic family, I can assure you that none of us are satanists. haha! I pretty sure Bizzle is just using Jay Z name to get some attention. LOL! Playing into the same game that other talentless resort to meanwhile not realizing that guys like Jay Z practically paved the way for their inspiration. Hey 50 Cent, I mean Bizzle, who cares what the Hova believes? What, do you think he is actually going to reply to you personally or your name on his next album? Get real and draw some actual inspiration from what affects you or have you tapped that resource dry? Oh, and if you want some attention, you gonna need a beter name. I Googled, and Binged you got a lot of web junk to sort through before you come up. You do have to believe in God to join, but you can be Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, or Muslim. We do not discriminate against any religion. We do not discriminate against race. Maybe you should look up the word in the dictionary. Last I checked atheism is not a religion. If atheist claim that atheism is a religion, then that would be hypocritical. I have never seen a Masonic lodge with its windows boarded up or with brick over its windows. Usually, a Masonic lodge will have several rooms inside. The only room that should not have windows is our meeting room. We have both public and private meetings. The private meetings are not for public viewing. lodge finances, charity works, scholarships for disadvantaged youths, fund raisers and lodge utility bills). Just like your personal finances should remain private, so should a lodge finances. The other type of private meeting is where we initiate a new person into Freemasonry. Now all of our secrets about initiation have already been posted on the internet, but it is still a very special ceremony for us. We prefer to perform the initiation ceremonies in private, if only for the sense of unity that it provides . Brandon, I hope that I have answered your question. If not, then just find the nearest Masonic lodge by searching online and schedule a tour. Say he did sell his soul to the Devil, in return for his artistic talent. Who got the better of that deal? It sort of like when the Rockets traded Kelvin Cato to the Magic for Reece Gaines: everybody lost. The executives of banks receiving federal bailout money took home performance bonuses averaging $10 million, and you worried about SECRET conspiracies? Come on, now. The Urban music scene is controlled by wealthy white men leading multi national corporations, who have a vested interest in selling a completely abased lifestyle to African American youth, and Jay Z is a front man for those people, and you upset because he might also exchange the occasional secret handshake with some of them? Who cars about what being done in secret, when the stuff happening in public is so completely horrible? Wow. People actually posting about this? I stumbled upon this, figures only in texas, and look at what we find. Wierdo people posting about Jay Z. Like another poster had said, go read a book. It entertainment. not a form of religious following. Music. that like syaing that Kenny Chesney is a secret Mexican official trying to get people to visit Mexico everytime he sings his songs or that Shakira is a spy making her music in english. Wow. And Soccer must be a religious following of the English faith as well right? Oh, wait, donut shop operators and gas station clerks all are terrorists and they are secretly living the life of people making lots of money too right? I think people need to be looking closely at the order of our amendments and why freedom of speech comes before the right to bear arms. There is a reason for the articulated order. Air Jordan 13 Squadron Blue Cowboy boots today are part of a long trend of fashionable footwear and can be found in all shapes and sizes, chosen based on a personal sense of style. The design of cowboy boots descended from other styles of riding boots, and each came out of a particular need for work or fancy dress occasions. Most cowboy boots were created specifically for riding, but variations also came out of rodeos, roping and other parts of cowboy life. As time went on and cowboys began earning higher wages, boots became fancier and more expensive, with more decorative stitching and detailed pictures. Cowboys could afford more luxury in specialized boots and saddles. In the beginning cowboys wore any style boot they could find. After large scale cattle drives from Texas to Kansas began in the 1860s, cowboys saw what they might need in a boot. Inspiration came from the Mexican vaqueros and charros, ranch hands and owners in the south, who wore detailed leather boots and clothing. At the end of the trail in Kansas shoe makers started to create styles specifically for cowboys. They were stiff, tightly fitted and made for riding. Large mule ear bootstraps were added to the rounded tops for pulling them on. Texas was busy making custom boots around the same time, starting with "Big Daddy" Joe Justin at Spanish Fort, Texas. He began the tradition for Anglo style boots and became very successful, so that the company name Justin became a synonym for boots. As cowboys began earning more money, they saved up for a custom made pair of boots, although in the 1880s, ready made boots were available by mail order. In bad times a cowboy might have to wear second hand boots, but that was a humiliation and often caused blisters. Most cowboy boot styles have rounded tops with stitched decorations, such as the cattlemen style and the shorter "roper" design. The rounded tops also had mule ears, the pieces of leather attached to help get the boots on. Straight or square top boots were called stovepipes, or drovers in a shorter version. The design was influenced by the Civil War military boots and the English riding style boot, both of which were close fitting and made of soft leather. Some had bootstraps on the outside because the extra leather piece would not fit inside. All cowboy boots have a stacked heel, ensuring that the rider's feet stay firmly in the stirrups. Slipping out at the wrong time could be fatal. The boots are smooth underneath and the toe shape is smaller in the front to give the cowboy greater control when mounting and dismounting the horse. Square toes allow the foot more space, but the narrow pointed shape lets the foot into the stirrup more quickly. The rounded top helps the cowboy put on the heavy leather boots, while the square top fits closely all the way up, protecting the legs. How to Make Pirate Boot Tops Pirate boots are a stylish addition to your wardrobe and not just for costume parties. Pirate boots differ from any other pair. How to Clean Cowboy Boots Finding a good pair of leather cowboy boots that you can afford, that fits perfectly and looks good is an achievement. Once. 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