Buy.com Appoints New CEO
Aliso Viejo, Calif., Buy.com appointed Neel Grover CEO, effective May 19, 2006. Grover served as a member of the Buy.com board of directors since November 2001, as its president since September 2003 and as its COO since October 2004. Buy.com’s founder Scott Blum will remain chairman of the board and will continue to be involved in the company’s strategic initiatives.
Wal-Mart to Exit South Korea
New York City, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said South Korea’s Shinsegae Co. agreed to buy Wal-Mart’s South Korean retail business for 825 billion won, or $882 million. Shinsegae said plans to operate Wal-Mart Korea as a separate subsidiary and the stores will be renamed E-Mart, the name of its discount chain that accounts for about 30% of the local discount store market. “As we continue to focus our efforts where we can have the greatest impact on our growth strategy, it became increasingly clear that in South Korea’s current environment it would be difficult for us to reach the scale we desired,” Mike Duke, VP of Wal-Mart, said in a statement.
Survey: Fluctuating Gas Prices Increasingly Impact Consumer Spending
Washington, D.C., The National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2006 Gas Prices Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey from BIGresearch reported 76.0% of consumers believe fluctuating gas prices impacted their spending habits, up from 67.2% in 2005 and 56.8% in 2004. While consumers seemed resilient in the face of higher energy costs, a tipping point may soon be in sight. This could reduce flexible spending and cause the economy to lose much of the steam built up over the last two years.