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BY CSA STAFF

Mexico City Wal-Mart de Mexico SAB said Tuesday it plans to open 205 new stores and restaurants this year, expanding its total installed capacity by 12.6%.

The expansion plans include developing the “Mi Bodega Express” format, chief executive Eduardo Solorzano told analysts gathered at the company’s Mexico City headquarters.

He described the format as more of a neighborhood store than a convenience store and said the results of two such existing stores have been encouraging.

The 2008 expansion plan also includes 17 Wal-Mart Supercenters, 79 Bodega Aurrera stores and 30 VIPs restaurants.

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CBS Consumer Products reports exec hires

BY CSA STAFF

LOS ANGELES Keith Lowenadler and PJ Pierce have joined CBS Consumer Products, as vp of creative and director of licensing, respectively.

Lowenadler had previously been creative director, packaging and advertising of packaged foods and theme parks at Sesame Workshop. Before that, he held various positions at ABC Cable Networks Group, Fox Family Worldwide and Disney Consumer Products.

Previously, Pierce oversaw the growth of the global licensing division for the JLO by Jennifer Lopez brand at Sweetface Fashion Company. He also spent several years working in public relations at Edelman and Hill and Knowlton.

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CEA debuts new wireless training program

BY CSA STAFF

ARLINGTON, Va. The Consumer Electronics Association today introduced a new wireless certification program for wireless retail stores.

According to CEA, the new training program, available at www.CEknowhow.com, teaches consumer electronics sales associates the latest wireless technologies, as well as key product features, accessories, plans, subscriptions and any extras the consumer might need to complete their solution. CEA added that the training module uses an interactive format that is more conducive for delivery on the retail sales floor.

With more choices than ever in wireless handsets, subscriptions and data services, shopping for a new device can be an overwhelming experience for the average consumer, said Kara Dickerson, CEAs director of strategic relationships. When retail sales professionals know and understand the features that theyre selling, customer satisfaction increases and product returns are reduced. CEAs Wireless Certification Program provides a solid foundation of knowledge that will benefit all wireless retailers and their teams. 

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