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Carphone Warehouse to Expand in U.S.

BY CSA STAFF

London, Europe’s largest mobile-phone retailer Carphone Warehouse Group PLC on Thursday reported an 18% increase in first-half revenues and announced a major expansion into the United States, saying it will open 1,000 stores by 2009, according to the Dow Jones newswire.

The company almost doubled earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, as it stepped up its broadband business and acquired AOL’s U.K.’s Internet service-provider business.

“We have made good progress across the group in the first half. The retail business continues to prosper across Europe, and we are announcing today a major rollout of our U.S. venture,” said Carphone Warehouse founder and CEO Charles Dunstone.

“The outlook for continued growth is good. We see considerable scope for further physical expansion, both in Europe and the US, over the coming years,” he said.

Carphone Warehouse said that it would expand further into the United States through its joint venture with Best Buy Co. Inc. The two companies plan to open 1,000 Best Buy Mobile stores by 2009.

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Whole Foods execs barred from online forums

BY CSA STAFF

AUSTIN, Texas Whole Foods has update its code of business conduct, barring senior officers from speaking about the company on online forums that are not sponsored by Whole Foods.

The company said that the change was made to prevent improper use of company information, and to avoid giving the impression that statements made in an internet chat room, message board or blog are on Whole Foods behalf. Whole Foods added that postings can not involve any matter related to the company or its competitors or vendors, nor can they be made under the person’s name, anonymously, under a screen name or through another person.

Whole Foods said that anyone who violates this policy may be dismissed from the company.

Whole Foods policy change comes not so far after ceo John Mackey admitted to posting messages on an online message board under the alias “rahodeb.”

In July, right in the middle of Whole Foods battle with the FTC over its merger with Wild Oats, Mackey confirmed that he submitted postings to a Yahoo! forum regarding Wild Oats from 1999 to 2006, saying that its stock was too high and the company would go bankrupt. He later apologized for his participation, saying that it was an error in judgment.

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Eagles Wal-Mart-only album tops the charts

BY CSA STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. Selling its first new album in 28 years exclusively through Wal-Mart Stores has proven successful for the Eagles, with the band capturing the top spot on the Billboard Top 200 chart, Billboard announced Tuesday.

In a separate announcement, Wal-Mart reported that the Eagles’ “Long Road Out of Eden,” released on Oct. 30 at Wal-Mart, Walmart.com, Sam’s Clubs and Samsclub.com, has sold more than 700,000 units in its first week of release, representing the largest first week sales of any music product at Wal-Mart in the last two years.

Despite the success of the album, at first it was not eligible to appear on the Billboard chart, because it was only sold at Wal-Mart. However, thanks to a policy change announced by Billboard Tuesday, exclusive album titles that are only available through one retailer are now able to appear on The Billboard 200 and other charts, effective with this week’s charts.

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