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Build-A-Bear Workshop Swings to 2Q Loss

BY CSA STAFF

St. Louis Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc. said Thursday it swung to a fiscal second-quarter loss, hurt by weaker demand in the United States.

Quarterly loss totaled $4.8 million, compared with a profit of $1.6 million last year.

Revenue fell 5% to $94.7 million from $100 million last year.

The company said results were hurt by a slowdown in consumer spending, mainly in the United States.

Same-store sales fell 17.9%, including a 20.5% drop in the United States and a 2.2% rise in Europe.

The St. Louis-based company said it should meet analysts’ earnings expectations of 68? per share in 2008 and will slow new-store growth and lower capital spending in fiscal 2009 to improve results.

“The slowdown in consumer spending is having a significant impact on our current business,” said Maxine Clark, chairman and CEO, Build-A-Bear Workshop. “In response to this environment, we are carefully allocating capital and managing cash, while aggressively reducing expenses.” In 2009, Clark said, the company will open six U.S. stores compared to 25 this year.

“This lower store opening plan and the associated lower capital-spending position us to maintain our strong balance sheet and financial flexibility, while continuing to make long-term investments in our brand and returning value to shareholders through the repurchase of our stock,” Clark concluded.

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Hannah Montana wake up offered by Wal-Mart

BY CSA STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. Continuing to capitalize on the popularity of the Hannah Montana brand, Wal-Mart is now offering children the chance to get a wake-up call from the popular Disney Channel character.

Parents can log on to http://www.hannahmontanacalls.com and set the date, time and theme of their child’s wake-up call. The calls are available anytime through Sept. 15. The calls are free for land lines, but the company noted mobile phone charges may apply.

“Disney’s Hannah Montana series continues to be a top hit among kids and tweens ages nine to 14,” said Ron Johnson, vp of retail sales development for Disney Consumer Products. “Through this promotion, Wal-Mart is adding some extra fun and excitement to the back to school season for all Hannah Montana fans across the country to enjoy.”

Wal-Mart has long established itself as the “Hannah Montana Retail Headquarters” and announced that along with the wake-up calls it would be offering a number of Hannah Montana merchandise for back-to-school including clothing, accessories and school supplies.

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Wal-Mart selects Oracle for data analysis

BY CSA STAFF

REDWOOD SHORES, Calif. Wal-Mart has selected Oracle’s Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition Plus to provide data analysis for its operations, Oracle reported.

According to Oracle, Wal-Mart plans to use the system to administer its logistics, transportation, category management, finance, human resources, real estate, merchandising, store and club operations and other business resources, within Wal-Mart and Sam’s Clubs.

“Technology and analytics are essential to help us be more responsive and effective in serving Wal-Mart customers and Sam’s Club members,” said Rollin Ford, evp and cio of Wal-Mart. “The Oracle solution is very robust and it integrates well with our other applications, particularly as our business continues to grow in scale and complexity.”

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