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BY CSA STAFF

WHAT’S NEW

Office Depot has launched an online version of its Green Book catalog, a purchasing vehicle for business customers who want to buy green. The chain also has updated its Web site with a special green section (www.officedepot.com/buygreen) for consumers that features more than 4,000 environmentally preferable products and a “Buying Green Guide” to help customers make more educated decisions. The site includes the most frequently asked questions on environmental purchasing.… Neiman Marcus Group marked its 100th birthday last month by discussing the company in six four-minute clips airing on popular Web-video site, YouTube .Neiman’s former CEO Richard Marcus and designers such as Georgio Armani were featured in clips. The Neiman deal is part of an effort by YouTube to expand advertising sales.

PARTNERSHIPS

J.C. Penney Co. and David’s Bridal have entered into an exclusive partnership to support a variety of cross-promotional wedding-marketing initiatives. As part of the partnership, all of David’s Bridal’s registered brides will be invited, via e-mail, direct mail or by David’s Bridal consultants, to create a gift registry at J.C. Penney. David’s Bridal stores will also carry J.C. Penney’s wedding-registry brochure, highlighting the company’s wedding-registry items and services.

NEWS BRIEFS

Toys “R” Us launched a toy safety Web site that includes information about its safety procedures and specific recall information. The company expanded its efforts to inform shoppers of the latest toy recalls after various Chinese-made toys were recalled this summer due to unsafe levels of lead paint. Toys “R” Us also said it is introducing an e-mail notification system for recalls and adding bilingual recall notices.… Spanish retail giant Inditex will begin selling Zara Home products online in 13 European countries this month. The company has been slow to join the online world, but industry experts believe it could add substantial sales if it moves online with its clothes.

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Winn-Dixie team honored for turnaround

BY CSA STAFF

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. The team that lead Winn-Dixie Stores’ successful turnaround initiative is being honored by the Turnaround Management Association for the best ‘Mega Company Turnaround’ for 2007. Comprised of financial experts from The Blackstone Group, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Smith Hulsey & Busey, the team helped Winn-Dixie regain the market share and profits it started to lose in the mid 1990s and early 2000s to competitors Publix and Wal-Mart.

Winn-Dixie filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in early 2005 after reporting  year-to-date losses of $552.8 million or $3.93 per share of common stock and a decline of 4.9% in identical-store sales in its second fiscal quarter over the same period in 2004.

 

Despite the difficulty of achieving a succesful turnaround, Winn-Dixie began its reorganization effort, while still continuing to operate its core business and preserving jobs. According to the Turnaround Management Association, it created new common stock for five classes of unsecured creditors, with recoveries ranging from about 96% to 53%. The company emerged from bankruptcy on Nov. 21, 2006.

For its fiscal year ended June 27, Winn-Dixie reported adjusted EBITDA of  $85.9 million compared to a loss of $27.8 million last year and an identical-store sales increase of 1.6% 

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Sears ends deal with maternity retailer

BY CSA STAFF

PHILADELPHIA Sears and Mothers Work, the world’s leading maternity apparel retailer, will not be renewing their agreement, Mothers Work announced today. Under their current agreement, Mothers Works operates the maternity apparel department in 502 Sears stores through the sale of its Two Hearts Maternity branded merchandise.

Mothers Work said it expects its partnership with Sears to end on June 20, 2008, when it current deal with the company is expected to expire.

Rebecca Matthias, president and ceo of Mothers Work, noted, “While we are disappointed about the end of our relationship with Sears, we feel the decision not to proceed with a renewal is in the best interest of our stockholders since we were unable to reach terms on a renewal which would be favorable for Mothers Work and our stockholders. “

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