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H&M 3Q Profit Up 25%

BY CSA STAFF

Stockholm, Sweden, Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) said Wednesday its third-quarter net profit jumped 25%, boosted by high summer sales. Net income for the three months ending Aug. 31 came to 3.17 billion kronor, or $486.47 million.

Third-quarter sales, including value-added tax, rose to 22.03 billion kronor ($3.39 billion) from 19.61 billion kronor a year ago.

The launch of a Web site and catalog sales in Germany and Austria, which began in August, has also begun very well, the company said.

H&M said it still planned to open 170 new stores during this financial year. In the fourth quarter, 83 new stores are planned in the United States, France, Britain, Germany, Spain and Italy.

The launch of the company’s new retail format, H&M Home, however, has been postponed to the second half of 2008 because “more time is needed to develop the concept,” the company said.

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Movie Gallery to close underperforming stores

BY CSA STAFF

DOTHAN, Ala. Movie Gallery Inc. today announced that it plans to close approximately 520 underperforming and unprofitable Movie Gallery and Hollywood Video stores. According to the company, the closings are part of its plan to conserve cash and reduce the company’s cost structure to address the financial and industry challenges it has been experiencing.

Joe Malugen, chairman, president and ceo of Movie Gallery, said, “Closing these stores was a difficult, but necessary decision to help protect the future of this company. These stores are being closed after evaluating a number of factors, including store profits and the terms of the leases at each location. This action will allow us to focus our resources on the approximate 4,000 stores that have a stronger operating performance and prospects for future growth.”

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Martha Stewart to design line for 1-800-FlOWERS

BY CSA STAFF

CARLE PLACE, N.Y. Martha Stewart is creating an exclusive, co-branded line for 1-800-FLOWERS. The new floral, plant and gift basket program will launch this spring and will be available exclusively at 1-800-FLOWERS.com.

 Martha Stewart stated: “I have been cultivating flowers and creating beautiful arrangements all my life. Fresh flowers and gift baskets enhance the beauty of any home and make every occasion special. I am delighted that we will collaborate with 1-800-FLOWERS.com next year to provide consumers with memorable floral gifts, plants and gift baskets that will be greatly appreciated by every recipient.”

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