REAL ESTATE

Attorney wants to get Walmart in court over proposed store near Civil War battlefield

BY CSA STAFF

New York City An attorney seeking to block a Walmart Supercenter near a Civil War battlefield wants to get the retailer into a courtroom, the Associated Press reported.

The 138,000-sq.-ft. store would be built in Locust Grove, near Civil War battlegrounds where 180,000 soldiers fought and 26,000 were killed.

A judge ruled last week that a preservation group and residents who live near the Wilderness Battlefield in northern Virginia can challenge Orange County’s approval of the store last August.

While Wal-Mart Stores was not a party to that legal challenge, an attorney representing the plaintiffs wants to add the retailer as a defendant in the trial. Robert Rosenbaum filed a motion with Orange County Circuit Court on Thursday. He also wants to add the developer and property owner as defendants.

On April 30, Circuit Court Judge Daniel R. Bouton rejected a bid by Orange County to dismiss the challenge, sending it to trial. His decision revived the effort to protect the battlefield. More than 250 historians, Civil War preservationists and celebrities have taken a stand against the store.

Walmart and its supporters have said the store would be in a commercial zone that’s already crowded with small retail outlets, and it would provide tax revenues and jobs in this rural county of approximately 15,000.

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Big Lots quarterly comps up 6%

BY CSA STAFF

COLUMBUS, Ohio Big Lots reported first-quarter retail sales increased 8.1% to $1.22 billion, compared with $1.13 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2009. Comparable-store sales increased 6% for the first quarter of fiscal 2010.

Commenting on sales for the quarter, Steve Fishman, chairman, CEO, and president stated, “I am very pleased with our first quarter comp of 6% and the continued momentum we are seeing in our business.  We delivered better quality merchandise at extreme values and the improvement in consumer discretionary spending trends, first recognized in the fall of 2009, continued through the first quarter of 2010.  By offering a merchandising assortment that is highly discretionary in nature, we believe our business is uniquely positioned to benefit from an improving economy.”

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A&P quarterly loss widens

BY CSA STAFF

MONTVALE, N.J. The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. reported that sales for the fourth quarter were $2 billion versus $2.3 billion in last year’s fourth quarter. Comparable-store sales decreased 4.8% during the comparable 12-week period.

A&P reported a net loss from continuing operations of $158 million which includes charges of $65 million for goodwill, trademark and long-lived asset impairment and income of $16 million for mark to market adjustments related to financial liabilities. Loss from continuing operations in last year’s fourth quarter totaled $84 million, and included income of $3 million for mark to market adjustments related to financial liabilities.

Ron Marshall, president and CEO, The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., said, “The past year was certainly a challenge, as the economy continued its sluggish pace. The good news is that we have identified several critical issues within our organization that will lead us back to market prominence. We are committing our undivided attention to clarifying our brand identity in our principal banners, completing the integration of the Pathmark acquisition and maximizing supply chain cost improvement opportunities.”

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