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Golf Galaxy Acquires The GolfWorks

BY CSA STAFF

Eden Prarie, Minn., Golf Galaxy, Inc. completed its acquisition of club-making tools and supply company The GolfWorks. The acquisition comes two days after competitor Golfsmith International filed plans with the Securities and Exchange Commission to launch an initial public offering worth approximately $115 million. Golf Galaxy paid a combination of $3.7 million in cash and assumed $5.4 million in debt from The GolfWorks, which reported net sales of $24.5 million in fiscal 2005. Golf Galaxy currently operates 52 stores in 23 states along with its e-commerce Web site.

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CVS Reaches Settlement Over Tobacco Sales

BY CSA STAFF

Providence, R.I., CVS Corp. reached a settlement with 42 states and Washington D.C., promising to strengthen practices that keep minors from buying tobacco products. A company spokesman said although the agreement isn’t an admission of wrongdoing, CVS officials signed it to head off legal action threatened by several states for past violations. The pharmacy chain agreed to check the identities of customers who attempt to purchase tobacco products if they look younger than 27. CVS officials also agreed not to use self-service displays or vending machines to sell tobacco products and to train employees on state and local laws regulating tobacco sales. The company also will hire an independent monitor to check its compliance at 5,400 stores nationwide, and prosecutors can still bring legal action if the company fails to adhere to the settlement. Officials did not disclose the cost of the agreement.

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Study Measures Negative Experiences

BY CSA STAFF

Jersey City, N.J., Unhappy customers can mean trouble for retailers. A study by Verde Group and the Baker Retailing Initiative at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania reported that more than 50% of Americans say if a friend or colleague told them about a negative in-store experience, they would avoid the store, too. About 50% of consumers have had a poor shopping experience, and 31% tell an average of four friends, The Star Ledger reported. The survey generated 1,200 responses from U.S. consumers who made purchases worth less than $2,500 during the four weeks leading up to Christmas 2005, with the average purchase price at $163. Typical problems were slow lines, trouble finding products, staff that didn’t know the product or lacked courtesy, and parking difficulties. “This study is unlike anything we’ve seen before because it shows that for every 100 American shoppers, 64 people will be told about a store’s poor products or services, and no matter what the store does to entice shoppers, these people will not set foot in their store,” said Paula Courtney, president of Verde Group.

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