FINANCE

Court Dismisses Wal-Mart Disability Case

BY CSA STAFF

Washington, D.C. The Supreme Court announced its decision on Monday to dismiss a case brought against Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores by an employee who alleged that the retailer had discriminated against her after she was disabled in an on-the-job accident.

The court said the case was dismissed under Rule 46.1, which provides for dismissals when both parties agree to settle a dispute. The justices had said they would consider the case Dec. 7, and oral arguments were expected to take place this spring. The Supreme Court did not provide additional details.

At issue in the case was how far employers under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) must go to accommodate disabled employees. This particular employee, Pam Huber, was injured in April 2001 while employed as an order filler in a Wal-Mart distribution center in Clarksville, Ark. She applied for a different position at equivalent pay, but didn’t get the job.

Wal-Mart said in court papers that it hired a more qualified employee. Huber was later given a job at about half the hourly wage she earned as an order filler.

Huber sued in June 2004, arguing that under ADA rules, she only had to be qualified for the equivalent position, not the most qualified, and should have been reassigned to the job with equivalent pay.

A federal court in Arkansas ruled in favor of Huber, but the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in St. Louis, reversed and sided with Wal-Mart.

The ADA “only requires Wal-Mart to allow Huber to compete for the job, but the statute does not require Wal-Mart to turn away a superior applicant,” the appeals court said.

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Books-A-Million holiday sales up 5.3%

BY CSA STAFF

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. Books-A-Million Thursday announced 5.3% increase in sales for the holiday period.

The company reported that sales for the nine weeks ended Jan. 5 were $130.8 million compared with $124.2 million for the same period last year. Comparable-store sales for the period were flat compared with the same period last year. 

 

Commenting on the results, Sandra Cochran, president and ceo, said, The sales environment for the holiday season proved challenging as we confronted softening economic conditions and a value conscious consumer. Nonetheless, we saw good results in a number of our core book categories as well as strong performances in bargain books and the gift department.”

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Macy’s Inc. Nov.-Dec. comps down 1.1%

BY CSA STAFF

CINCINNATI Macy’s Inc. Thursday reported total sales of $4.6 billion for the five weeks ended Jan. 5, a decrease of 7.4 % compared to total sales of $5 billion in the five weeks ended Dec. 30, 2006.

The company reported that on a same-store basis, Macy’s Inc. sales were down 7.9% in December. According to the company, this is below guidance for December same-store sales to be down between 4% and 7%.

For the November-December period combined, Macys Inc.s same-store sales were down 1.1%.

Given the calendar shift between November and December, we noted previously that the two-month holiday selling period needed to be viewed together rather than each month individually, said Terry Lundgren, Macys Inc. chairman, president and ceo. After a strong November, we had hoped that a more positive sales trend would continue through December. But macroeconomic trends led customers to spend cautiously for the holiday. That said, we remain on track to be within our guidance for same-store sales in the fourth quarter, albeit at the low end of the range of down 2% to up 1%. 

The company expects January same-store sales to be down by 4% to 6% compared with last year.

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