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Bentonville landmark due to reopen

BY CSA STAFF

The Walmart Visitor Center in downtown Bentonville is set to reopen on May 21 after undergoing extensive renovations, which means the new facility will be able to accommodate the thousands of Walmart employees who will descend on the town for the company’s annual meeting on June 3.

The new and larger center is still located on the downtown Bentonville Square where Sam Walton opened his first five-and-dime store and is still dedicated to the heritage of the founder and history of the company, but aside from the location and mission, the new facility will be a major upgrade with some significant changes.

Additions will include a working five-and-dime store, complete with vintage toys, games and candies, and the Spark Café for casual sidewalk coffees, baked goods and treats. Perhaps most importantly, the center will introduce an expanded gallery where visitors can view a variety of new and restored items significant to Walmart’s history. There will be new interactive digital displays, video and audio clips of the company’s history and a timeline that will highlight the early years of retail in Walton’s personal and professional life while paying tribute to the associates and family members who contributed to the company’s growth and success.

“Preserving this historic landmark and redesigning and archiving one of the greatest stories in business history has been both a humbling and rewarding experience for everyone involved,” said Alan Dranow, director of brand communication for Walmart.

“After listening, planning and sharing information, we believe the next generation of visitors, associates and neighbors to the center will experience a much deeper understanding of Walmart and enjoy a little taste of Americana while they’re here.”

Some things won’t change. Visitors will still see a replica of Walton’s iconic Ford pickup and fully preserved office and desk.

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Michaels alerts customers to potential debit- and credit-card fraud

BY CSA STAFF

Irving, Texas — Michaels Stores has learned that PIN pad tampering may have occurred in its Chicago-area stores and that customer credit- and debit-card information may have been compromised.

The company was contacted this week by banking and law enforcement authorities after some fraudulent debit-card transactions were reported over the weekend. Authorities believe the fraudulent transactions may be linked to legitimate transactions in Chicago-area Michaels stores.

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Dept. stores report April sales growth

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK — Consumers took advantage of Easter promotions and helped drive up sales at leading U.S. department stores.

Macy’s Inc. reported total sales of $1.924 billion forthe four weeks ended April 30, an increase of 10.9%compared with total sales of $1.735 billion in the four weeks ended May1. The company’s same-store sales were up 10.8%, beating Macy’s guidance for comps to be up between 8% and 9%.

"April was another strong month for our company. Macy’s andBloomingdale’s both performed well in stores and online. As a result, wealso exceeded our own aggressive expectations for the combinedMarch-April period and for the first quarter," said Terry Lundgren, chairman, president and CEO of Macy’s Inc.

Kohl’s reported that its sales for the month of April were up 12.1% to $1.3 billion from $1.1 billion last year. The company’s same-store sales increased 10.2%.

Kevin Mansell, Kohl’s chairman, president and CEO, commented, “From a line of business perspective, accessories, home and children’s outperformed the company average for the month. The Southeast and West regions reported the strongest comparable sales for the month.”

Kohl’s said it expects its first quarter earnings to be toward the high end of its previous guidance of 68 cents to 73 cents per diluted share.

JCPenney said its net sales were up 3.4% to $1.3 billion for the month of April from $1.2 billion last year. The company’s same-store sales were up 6.4%.

According to the company, JCPenney’s strongest sales were in women’s and children’s apparel, and the Southeast was the top performing region.

Geographically, the southeast was the top performing region of the country. Throughout the month, sales and traffic in several regions were impacted by unseasonable and adverse weather trends.

JCPenney said it now expects first-quarter earnings to be approximately 24 cents per share. The company had previously expected earnings to be in the range of 18 cents to 23 cents per share.

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