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Commerical Repairs & Sales

PRSM Weekly
March 13, 2009  
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Retail Sales Show Some Stabilization
from The Wall Street Journal
U.S. retail sales fell slightly in February but performed much better than expected, with increases in an array of businesses from furniture to clothing and electronics suggesting consumer resilience to a recession throwing droves of people out of work. Meanwhile, new U.S. claims for state unemployment benefits rebounded last week while total claims hit a record high, a government report showed, suggesting no relief to the severe erosion in labor markets. More

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B&N Buys Fictionwise; Will Start e-Bookstore
from The New York Times
Barnes & Noble acquired Fictionwise, the online electronic book retailer, for $15.7 million in cash. The move positions Barnes & Noble to enter the e-book market and compete with as a distributor of digital content. Barnes & Noble also said in a statement that Fictionwise would remain a separate business, but would play a role when it opens its own e-book store this year. More

Retail Winners, Retail Losers
from Commercial Property News
As the recession grinds on, the retail world seems to be dividing more clearly than ever into winners and losers. Or maybe that should be a three-part division: über-winner Wal-Mart, relative winners and serious losers. As reported previously by CPN, Circuit City closed its doors forever last weekend, and thus became an example of a major loser. But does that make its rival and one-time electronics upstart Best Buy a winner? Wall Street, at least for the moment, thinks so. More

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Malls Fight Bankruptcy-Code Changes at U.S. Hearing
from Bloomberg
U.S. shopping centers and malls are fighting a proposal that would give retailers in bankruptcy more time to decide which stores they will keep. The International Council of Shopping Centers, a New York- based trade group, wants to retain a 210-day deadline for retailers in bankruptcy to decide which stores to shut, saying it gives landlords flexibility in filling vacancies. More

Green Lights Save Green
from STORES Magazine
Most of us take power for granted, but retailers are keenly aware that energy is becoming more expensive. One strategy for reducing consumption that makes good environmental – and, increasingly, financial – sense is quite simple: change light bulbs. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, lighting consumes 22 percent of the country’s electricity and “represents a great opportunity for energy efficiency,” says Greg Merritt, director of corporate marketing for Cree, a manufacturer of semiconductors and devices that enhance the value of solid-state lighting, power and communications products by significantly increasing their energy performance and efficiency. More

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Wal-Mart Taps Michael's CEO Brian Cornell to Lead Sam's Club
from CNN Money
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. named Michael's Stores Inc. Chief Executive Brian Cornell to be chief executive of Sam's Club, the company's members-only warehouse operating segment. He replaces Doug McMillon, who became chief executive of Wal-Mart International on Feb. 1. Meanwhile, Michael's said Cornell would be replaced by Wal-Mart Chief Administrative Officer John B. Menzer. More

Fed Chief Calls for More Financial Oversight, Overhaul of Rules
from The Washington Post
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke yesterday laid out his most comprehensive vision yet for how to overhaul the rules governing the nation's financial system, and advocated changing accounting methods that he said have exacerbated the financial crisis. More

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AutoZone Reports 2Q Profit Rose 8.6 Percent
from The Associated Press
AutoZone Inc. reported a second-quarter profit increase of 8.6 percent Tuesday, as car owners and mechanics increased spending on automotive parts and supplies for used vehicles. Memphis, Tenn.-based AutoZone earned $115.9 million, or $2.03 per share, compared with $106.7 million, or $1.67 per share, in the same quarter a year ago. Sales rose 8.1 percent to $1.45 billion, while domestic same-store sales — or sales for stores open at least one year — jumped 6 percent. More

Fighting Fakes
from Shopping Centers Today
When the world's retail brands went to war against merchandise counterfeiters, they naturally expected to face one pitched battle after another, and one heated skirmish upon another. They never anticipated a game of whack-a-mole; as soon as one seller of fakes got shut down over here, another would pop up over there. More

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Executives Have No Idea What Customers Want
from Forbes
Consumers say that companies not only don't know their needs, they also don't care. Where executives would give their companies' customer service "B" grades, consumers give them "D" grades. What's even worse is that executives have no idea how this disconnect is affecting their companies' futures. More

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Supervalu to Provide Bonus with Gift Cards
from the Star Tribune
It's not exactly a free lunch, but close. Supervalu told customersthat it would give them $20 or $30 of free groceries, provided they buy a $250 or $300 grocery gift card. Its so-called "refund rewards" program starts Sunday. The program comes amid tough times for traditional grocers such as Supervalu, which have lost market share to Wal-Mart and Costco as consumers trade down during the toughest economy in decades. More

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Fast Retailing to Open More Low-price Brand Stores
from Reuters
Japan's Fast Retailing, operator of the Uniqlo casual clothing chain, said it will more than triple the number of its low-price g.u. clothing stores over the next four and a half years. CEO Tadashi Yanai said the recession − which some analysts say may be Japan's longest in modern history − would be a boost for the cut-rate chain, which sells items for half the price or less of what is charged at its Uniqlo stores. More

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