FINANCE

Chain Store Sales Up 2.7%

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, U.S. chain stores sales increased, but were still weak in the fifth and final week of June, as storms and rising floodwaters in the northeast caused temporary store closings, according to a Redbook Research report released Wednesday. Sales at big-box retailers rose 2.7% on a year-over-year basis for the week ended July 1, following a 3.4% rise the prior week. Sales at U.S. retailers in the last week of June rose 1.8% compared to the same time period in May.

Flooding caused by the heavy rain prevented some customers from shopping in malls, Redbook said.

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BY CSA STAFF

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REAL ESTATE

Lowe’s to Build $60 Million Data Center

BY CSA STAFF

Mooresville, N.C., Lowe’s Cos. Inc. announced it plans to spend around $60 million to build a new data center in San Antonio, Texas. The center will serve as the core of the company’s information-technology systems, including data storage and computer processing. The price tag includes land, building costs and equipment.

Lowe’s plans to open the center by the middle of 2007. The center, which will employ between 20 and 25 people, with room for future expansion, is part of the company’s larger expansion plans. By the end of 2006, Lowe’s said, it will have opened an additional 155 new stores with plans to open about as many in 2007.

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