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BY CSA STAFF

NEW SITES: Borders launched a co-branded online store with Sony that offers digital downloads of more than 25,000 e-books. The site was designed for those who bought a Reader Digital Book at a Borders superstore. Using a promotion code and a customized version of the eBook Library software, customers can access the new co-branded site, and immediately purchase e-book downloads.… Wal-Mart launched www.helpaguybuy.com, a service that helps men find gifts for the women in their lives. The Web site takes visitors through a series of questions that determine characteristics of the woman for whom they are shopping. It then displays gift ideas that match the woman’s personality, as well as a link to a store finder that enables visitors to find the nearest Wal-Mart location to make their purchase. The site, which debuted over the holiday season, will be updated throughout the year.

PARTNERSHIPS: Anthropologie has partnered with E4X, Inc. ,a New York City-based provider of cross-border e-commerce solutions and cost-effective international shipping options, to launch its first international shipping service. The solution, called FiftyOne, allows customers across major international markets to browse and purchase products from U.S. retail sites using their preferred currency. It also provides various international payment options and flexible return policies.

INDUSTRY CHATTER: IKEA CEO and president Anders Dahlvig delivered a memo to employees in Sweden revealing that the company plans to focus on the in-store experience as “the only sales channel.” The memo also said the company was putting a halt to “further investments to develop the home shopping or online sales channel(s).” The focus on in-store efforts is the result of a decision from IKEA’s board based on the belief that the company “can give customers the best offer and the lowest price by making the range available only through IKEA stores.”

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Stage Stores says Peebles evp to retire

BY CSA STAFF

HOUSTON Stage Stores today announced that Dennis Abramczyk, evp and coo of its Peebles Division, will be retiring after approximately nine years with the company. He will continue to serve in his position until a replacement is found.

Jim Scarborough, chairman and ceo, commented, We want to thank Dennis for his contributions and service to our company, and we wish him well as he begins this new phase of his life. We will immediately begin a search for his successor, and we are pleased that Dennis will be staying on until the conclusion of our search process, as this will ensure a smooth and orderly transition.

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Home Depot to cut 500 HQ jobs

BY CSA STAFF

ATLANTA Home Depot is cutting 500 jobs at its headquarters. According to reports the cuts make up 10% of the 5,000 employees who work at the headquarters.

The cuts are partly due to the struggling U.S. economy, which has hurt market conditions, reports said. Employees were notified of the eliminations today, they will be paid through April 4.

Home Depot reported fiscal 2007 third quarter consolidated net earnings of $1.1 billion, or 60 cents per diluted share, compared with $1.5 billion, or 73 cents per diluted share, in the same period in fiscal 2006.

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