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FTC Grants Whole Foods’ Request to Suspend Action

BY CSA STAFF

Washington, D.C. The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday agreed to suspend part of its challenge against Whole Foods Markets Inc. to discuss possible settlements over its acquisition of Wild Oats.

The federal regulators have vigorously challenged the natural grocer’s 2007 acquisition of Wild Oats Markets, leaving the two sides mired in legal and regulatory challenges since then.

In an order posted Thursday, the FTC said it would suspend its regulatory challenge until Feb. 5 so the parties could discuss the matter.

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Best Buy to reduce headquarters staff

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Best Buy will lay off an unspecified number of headquarters employees on Feb. 19. The move is on top of the 500 voluntary layoff workers agreed upon earlier this month. The move reduces the corporate headcount to 3,500.

According to reports, average non-managerial employees will receive six months of severance pay.

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Tractor Supply posts 1.3% comps gain in Q4

BY CSA STAFF

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. Tractor Supply Company announced that net sales for the fourth quarter increased 10.5% to $799.5 million from $723.3 million in the prior year’s fourth quarter. Same-store sales increased 1.3% compared with a 3.8% gain in the prior year’s fourth quarter.

Net income for the quarter was $24.7 million, or 67 cents per diluted share, compared to net income of $30 million, or 77 cents per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of the prior year.

For fiscal 2008, net sales increased 11.3% to $3.01 billion from $2.70 billion and same-store sales increased 1.4% compared to 3.4% for fiscal 2007.

Net income for fiscal 2008 was $81.9 million, or $2.19 per diluted share, compared to net income of $96.2 million, or $2.40 per diluted share, for fiscal 2007.

During fiscal 2008, the company opened 91 new stores and relocated one store. This compares to 89 new store openings, 12 relocations, and selling its only Del’s store located in Canada in fiscal 2007.

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