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Holiday Deals Arriving Early at Wal-Mart

BY CSA STAFF

Bentonville, Ark., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on Wednesday said it would start its Black Friday holiday pricing early on some items, in a move to drive sales during the upcoming holiday shopping season.

Wal-Mart said it will offer Black Friday prices three weeks early by unveiling “secret” in-store specials. The retailer plans to reveal discounts on five popular items on its Web site on Thursday, with the goods available in stores beginning Friday morning, Nov. 2.

Although Wal-Mart initiated its first round of deep discounts on holiday toys at the beginning of October, the most anticipated deals are still the Black Friday “doorbusters.”

In another effort to fuel holiday sales, Wal-Mart is going all out to create a festive in-store experience, creating special in-store “Christmas shops” to showcase holiday products (the retailer has been criticized in previous years for a lack of holiday spirit in its stores).

And in another first, all Wal-Mart supercenter and discount stores will be visited by Santa on Thanksgiving weekend and Dec. 1, 2, 8 and 9. The chain also plans to literally wrap several stores across the nation in festive holiday style including 10-ft.-by-3.5-ft. bows to brighten the buildings.

Wal-Mart is expected to unveil its complete Black Friday circular the week of Nov. 19.

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Toys ‘R’ Us names ceo for Japanese division

BY CSA STAFF

WAYNE, N.J. Toys “R” Us announced today that Monika Merz has been promoted to ceo for Toys “R” Us, Japan, effective Nov. 15. Merz currently serves as president of Toys “R” Us, Canada. In her new role, she will be responsible for all aspects of the company’s owned and franchised operations in Japan. She will report to Kei Kodera, representative director, chairman and president of Toys “R” Us, Japan, and will be based in Tokyo.

In discussing her new position, Merz said, “I am extremely excited about the opportunity to contribute to our global business, and I look forward to working with the leadership team in Japan to identify new business opportunities and bring best practices from across the company to strengthen our position in this important global marketplace.”

Merz joined Toys “R” Us in October 1996 as vp and general merchandise manager for Toys “R” Us, Canada.  In this capacity, she oversaw all aspects of merchandising and marketing for the company’s Canadian operations.  In 2000, she was promoted to president of Toys “R” Us, Canada, where she helped expand the Canadian business to 67 locations. 

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Washington JCPenneys earn new Energy Star

BY CSA STAFF

PLANO, Texas JCPenney today announced that four of its department stores in Washington state have become the first buildings to earn the new retail ENERGY STAR rating for superior energy performance and environmental protection.

According to JCPenney, the company, using tools from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, analyzed the environmental performance of the Washington stores located in Bellevue, Burlington, Puyallup and Vancouver. JCPenney found that these stores use about 35% less energy than average retail stores, reducing carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation by 3 million pounds a savings equal to the greenhouse gas emissions associated with electricity use of nearly 200 homes. Based on the new ENERGY STAR retail benchmark implemented Oct. 1, the four JCPenney stores collectively save almost $250,000 per year on energy, compared with average stores.

We are honored to be the first retailer to display the ENERGY STAR on our buildings, as it signifies our commitment to energy management and efficiency across our business, said Michael Dastugue, senior vp and director of property development for JCPenney. Through these four stores, we have demonstrated that a focus on sound facility operations and maintenance is effective for increasing the efficiency of both new and existing stores. In addition to better controlling utility costs and reducing the environmental impact of our operations, our energy management practices reflect our Every Day Matters philosophy and commitment to the communities in which we operate.

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