FINANCE

Bloomberg: Retail sales edge up 0.4% in May

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Initial Bloomberg estimates indicate US retail sales edged up 0.4% last month, with growth in the job market spurring increased consumer willingness to spend money. The projected increase is the largest in three months and follows smaller increases of 0.1% in April.

Bloomberg cited Retail Metrics figures on May same-store increases at 10 U.S. retailers including a 7% gain at Gap Inc., almost double the 3.7% hike expected by economists, and a 3% increase at L Brands. The Commerce Department will release its official retail sales report on June 13.

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FINANCE

Rite Aid forecasts Q1 profit; in debt refinancing move

BY Alaric Dearment

Camp Hill, Pa. — Rite Aid projected that it would turn a profit in the first quarter of fiscal year 2014, results of which it will announce next week. The company has also moved to refinance its debt, announcing that it would buy half a billion dollars in notes using proceeds from a new loan, while also

The retail pharmacy chain said it would buy $500 million worth of 7.5% Senior Secured Notes, due 2017, using the proceeds from a $500 million second lien term loan.

The offer will expire on July 5 unless it’s extended, the company said.

The company estimates that it will post a profit of between $75 million and $90 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2014, which ended on Saturday, compared with a loss of $28.1 million during the same period last year. This would make the quarter the third consecutive one in which the 4,615-store chain has reported a profit.

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OPERATIONS

OfficeMax shareholders to vote on proposed merger July 10

BY Staff Writer

Naperville, Ill. – OfficeMax shareholders will vote on a proposed merger with Office Depot on July 10, in a special meeting to be in Naperville, Ill. Shareholders of record as of May 28, 2013 are eligible to participate.

Shareholders will vote on a merger initially announced by OfficeMax and Office Depot on February 20, 2013. The merger process is ongoing and the transaction is expected to be completed by the end of this year subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.

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