FINANCE

Citi Trends narrows loss; tops estimates

BY Marianne Wilson

Savannah, Ga. — Citi Trends Inc. lost $5.5 million for the period ended Aug. 3, compared to a loss of $7.9 million in the same quarter a year earlier.

Revenue rose 4%, to $137.8 million from $132.3 million, nearly matching Wall Street’s prediction of $138.1 million. Same-store sales were up 1.7%.

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FINANCE

Walmart to offer free layaway for the holidays

BY Marianne Wilson

Bentonville, Ark. — Walmart will offer customers free layaway with no opening fee for the holidays. The program will run Sept. 13 through Dec. 13, but the chain’s Facebook fans will have a two-day head start this year with access to layaway on Sept. 11 and Sept. 12.

Eligible layaway items include electronics, toys, jewelry, small appliances and select sporting goods. And new in 2013 are infant toys and automotive electronics such as speakers and stereos.

For added convenience in purchasing select large items, including ride-on vehicles, basketball goals and trampolines, Walmart is introducing new "tear pad" slips that customers can bring to the Walmart.com Services Desk – alleviating the need to carry select bulky items to the counter

Walmart will match the price of any local competitor’s printed ad for an identical item at the Walmart.com Services Desk. This includes layaway items throughout the holiday season.

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OPERATIONS

Fairway Market installs hearing loop to help deaf customers

BY Staff Writer

New York — Fairway Group Holdings Corp., parent company of Fairway Market, is the first supermarket in New York City to install technology to help customers who are deaf place their shopping orders.

The company said it has installed a hearing loop at its Broadway store’s deli counter which works with an individual’s telecoil-equipped hearing instrument or cochlear implant.

The person behind the deli counter will speak into a microphone that is connected to the hearing loop, which transmits the signal (speech) wirelessly to the T coil. The system blocks out ambient background noise and amplifies the clerk’s voice, making everything clearer.

"We are very pleased to incorporate this new technology into our flagship store," said Herb Ruetsch, CEO, Fairway Market. "The deli can be a very noisy environment, and our customers living with hearing loss will greatly benefit from the hearing loop and enjoy a much better shopping experience."

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