FINANCE

Final OK Given to $110M CVS Settlement

BY CSA STAFF

Boston, Afederal judge gave final approval to the $110 million settlement of a shareholders’ lawsuit accusing CVS Corp. of making misleading statements to artificially raise its stock price.

The lawsuit, which also accused the retailer of delayed accounting for merchandise discounts, was filed in 2001 in U.S. District Court in Boston.

Shareholders also alleged that CVS chief executive Thomas Ryan delayed reporting the company’s plans to close 200 underperforming stores and sold more than 95,000 shares of CVS stock before telling investors that the company’s second quarter and full-year earnings would fall below projections in 2001.

CVS had no immediate comment on the settlement. When CVS filed the proposed settlement in June, it said the shareholders’ allegations were unfounded and that it agreed to the settlement “purely as a business decision” to avoid diverting resources for a trial.

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News

Feds Approve GameStop, Electronics Boutique Merger

BY CSA STAFF

Grapevine, Texas, The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved the proposed $1.4 billion merger of video-game retailers GameStop Corp. and Electronics Boutique Holdings Corp. The two companies will seek shareholder approval of the merger on Oct. 6.

The merger would give the combined company more than 3,200 stores in the United States and 600 internationally.

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REAL ESTATE

Retailers Step Up Hurricane Relief Efforts

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, Retailers continued their efforts to lend aid to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Target Stores announced it would waive fees, payments and finance charges for Target Visa card and Target Red cardholders from the affected areas for the months of September and October. In addition, during those two months, no finance charges or will be assessed and no late charges will be charged.

Target is also reaching out to its employees in the impacted areas. Similar to Wal-Mart Stores, Target is offering positions for employees in the affected areas at any Target store nationwide.

In other developments:

•Rite Aid has sent three mobile pharmacy units to affected areas to provide prescription and pharmacy services. The chain is setting up shelters for its associates in the affected areas. The shelters are equipped with running water, cots for sleeping, cooking areas, portable showers and toilets. The chain is offering transportation to and from the shelters as needed. Thirty-four Rite Aid stores are closed due to the hurricane, the majority in the greater New Orleans area.

•CVS/pharmacy is setting up emergency pharmacy units in impacted areas along the Gulf Coast.

•Federated Department Stores has begun an internal fundraising drive among its more than 240,000 associates nationwide. All employee contributions made to the designated relief organizations will be matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis. The company is also matching customer donations. Federated is offering food, water and other transitional assistance to its 500 employees in the affected areas. It is responding to requests from employees for immediate assistance, based on need.

•From Sept. 11-14, Kohl’s stores nationwide will collect gently used clothes and shoes for Kids in Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.), a national charity that delivers apparel to disadvantaged children. All of the clothing contributions will be used to assist in hurricane relief efforts. As an added incentive, every donor will receive a coupon worth 15% off their next purchase at Kohl’s.

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