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Competition and Consolidation Leading Risk Factors

BY CSA STAFF

The vast majority of major retailers are concerned that adverse community reactions and market saturation are impeding their ability to expand in the United States, according to a recent report by BDO Seidman LLP. The study, The 2007 BDO Seidman RiskFactor Report for Retail Business, examined the risk factors listed in the most recent Securities and Exchange Commission filings of the largest 100 publicly traded U.S. retailers. The factors were analyzed and ranked by order of frequency cited.

“This initial study shows that market saturation and the ‘not-in-my-backyard’ reaction from various communities has resulted in a major impediment to U.S. market expansion for large retailers,” said Doug Hart, a partner in BDO Seidman’s retail and consumer-products practices.

Strong competition and general economic conditions were the most common risk factors, followed by impediments to further U.S. expansion; U.S. and foreign supplier/vendor concerns; and labor.

Other findings in the report:

Concerns with unions and the increasing pressure to provide health insurance were among the most frequently cited labor risks. Pension risks and high turnover were also cited;

Half of the top 100 retailers declared that changes in federal, state and local regulations may impact their bottom lines;

The easy access to capital over the past few years has created debt issues for businesses; and

The highly competitive retail environment has led to high turnover among C-level executives and put high-performing execs at a premium.

Top 10 Risk Factors

Source: 2007 BDO Seidman RiskFactor Report for Retail Business
Competition and consolidation in retail sector 91%
General economic conditions 86%
Impediments to further U.S. expansion 84%
U.S. and foreign supplier/vendor concerns 81%
Labor (health coverage, union concerns 56%
Changes to federal, state or local regulations 51%
Implementation of IT systems 50%
Dependency on consumer trends 49%
Indebtedness 44%
Natural disasters/terrorism 44%

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Coca-Cola names chief marketer

BY CSA STAFF

ATLANTA The Coca-Cola Company has appointed Joseph Tripodi to the position of chief marketing and commercial officer, reporting to president and coo Muhtar Kent. Most recently, Tripodi was the senior vp and chief marketing officer for Allstate Insurance Co., where he was responsible for the structure, strategy and execution of all of their marketing efforts.

In his role, Tripodi will lead a new function consisting of the combination of the company’s global marketing and commercial organizations. In addition to overseeing all aspects of marketing, he will be responsible for coordinating and leading the company’s strategic direction in commercial leadership.

Prior to joining Allstate in 2003, Tripodi was chief marketing officer for The Bank of New York. He served as chief marketing officer for Seagram Spirits & Wine Group from 1999 to 2002. From 1989 to 1998, he was the evp for global marketing, products and services for MasterCard International, where among other achievements he was a chief architect of the acclaimed “Priceless” campaign. Previously, he spent seven years with the Mobil Oil Corp., where he gained considerable international experience in roles of increasing responsibility in planning, marketing, business development and operations in New York, Paris, Hong Kong and Guam.

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Whole Foods takes top spot on EPA list

BY CSA STAFF

WASHINGTON Whole Foods Market took the top spot this quarter on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Top 10 Retail Partners in its Green Power Partnership program. Other major retailers on the list include Kohl’s (2), Staples (4), Lowe’s (6) and Office Depot.

According to its profile on the EPA Web site, currently, Whole Foods Market is purchasing or generating 100% of its total national power load from green power sources.

The Top 10 Retail Partners in the Green Power Partnership is released quarterly and represents the largest completed annual green power purchases of all Retail Partners within the Green Power Partnership. According to the EPA, the combined green power purchases of these organizations amounts to an estimated 1.4 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually, which is the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power more than 140,000 average American homes each year.

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