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Designer Todd Oldham Joins Old Navy

BY CSA STAFF

San Francisco, Gap. Inc. has hired Todd Oldham, who has experience in both interior design and fashion, as Old Navy’s new design creative director, effective Oct. 1. In addition to his merchandise-design duties, Oldham will also create a new line under his own name to be sold exclusively at Old Navy.

Oldham began his career in the fashion industry, but in recent years has shifted more to interior design. In 2002 and 2003, he designed a line of dorm-room furniture for Target Inc. Currently, he hosts an interior-design show on the Bravo network.

Old Navy has been the biggest drag on Gap during a downturn that is now entering its fourth year. Through the first half of this year, Old Navy’s comparable-store sales had fallen by 7% compared to last year.

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Home Depot ceo: No job cuts or store closings

BY CSA STAFF

ATLANTA Home Depot Inc. will not be making any job cuts or close any of its core retail stores despite the housing decline, the company’s ceo told the Associated Press in an interview.

“We’re making investments, notwithstanding the downturn,” ceo Frank Blake said. “I think that’s absolutely the right thing to do for the business. It’s going to lead to long-term success.”

Home Depot had announced earlier this week that it was closing its 11 Landscape Supply stores (and previously shut down a number of its Expo design centers), but Blake said there are no plans to close any of the company’s more than 2,000 main retail stores.

“We’re not going to shut stores to save costs,” Blake said. “We don’t need to.”

The United States has experienced what has been called the worst housing decline in 40 years, since mortgage rates have increased at a rapid pace, and many seemingly cheap homes have gone unsold.

The company reported second quarter 2007consolidated net earnings of $1.6 billion, or 81 cents per diluted share, compared with $1.9 billion, or 90 cents per diluted share, in the same period in fiscal 2006. Sales for the second quarter totaled $22.2 billion, a 1.8% decrease from the second quarter of fiscal 2006, reflecting negative comparable-store sales of 5.2%.

During midday trading, Home Depot stocks were selling at $34.90 per share.

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Home and apparel gets revisited at Wal-Mart

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK Wal-Mart Stores is working to further develop their categories of home furnishings and clothing, their cfo said at a press conference Tuesday.

Although Wal-Mart cfo Thomas Schoewe said the retailer is in “very good shape” now when it comes to its apparel and home inventory, he also stated that the company is “still struggling with negative traffic in these categories and have lots of room for improvement.”

Since its original attempts to transform its home area did not achieve the expected results, the cfo said the company is experimenting with a different home section layout in one of its New Jersey stores.

Last year, the company’s push to enhance their image with high-end electronics and stylish clothes ended up a bust, as many of Wal-Mart’s low-income customers could not afford to purchase apparel and home goods out of their price range, according to Reuters. Now, Wal-Mart has been working to clear its stores of poor sales by cutting prices.

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