FINANCE

Home Depot Ending Olympic Sponsorship

BY CSA STAFF

Atlanta The Home Depot has announced it is ending its multimillion-dollar sponsorship deal with the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) and discontinuing a program that offered jobs and benefits to American athletes.

The partnership began in 1992 and was worth between $15 million and $20 million during the four-year period ending in 2008.

The 86 athletes currently in the program — who worked flexible schedules depending on their Olympic training — will be offered traditional jobs at the Home Depot stores they now work in. After March 2, however, they will no longer receive full-time pay and benefits for part-time work.

“It’s been an outstanding relationship and we greatly appreciate everything Home Depot has done,” USOC spokesman Darryl Seibel told the Associated Press. “We’re sorry to see them go. At the same time, we appreciate their continued support of America’s athletes.”

At the height of the program, Home Depot employed more than 200 athletes. To make up for the financial loss, the USOC plans to provide stipends to winter athletes in the program through January 2010 and a one-time, $5,000 stipend to summer athletes. It will also provide health insurance that these athletes might lose if they scale back or quit their Home Depot jobs.

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Wal-Mart, Netflix accused of monopoly building

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK Wal-Mart Stores and Netflix have been accused of trying to build a monopoly for online DVD rentals in a consumer lawsuit filed Jan. 2 in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California, according to reports.

The plaintiffs claim that in 2005, Wal-Mart agreed to end its online rental business and refer customersto Netflix, which in turn agreed to promote Wal-Mart’s DVD movie sales.

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Family Dollar posts 1Q earnings growth

BY CSA STAFF

MATTHEWS, N.C. Family Dollar Stores reported that net income per diluted share for the first quarter of fiscal 2009 increased 13.5% to 42 cents compared with 37 cents for the first quarter of fiscal 2008. Net income for the quarter increased 14.1% to $59.3 million compared with net income of $51.9 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2008.

As previously reported, sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2009 were approximately $1.754 billion, or 4.2% above sales of approximately $1.683 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2008. Comparable-store sales increased 2.1%.

For the fiscal year ending August 29, 2009, the company expects net sales will increase 4% to 6% and expects comparable-store sales will increase 2% to 4%. Anticipating continued strong sales of consumable merchandise, the company expects earnings per share will be between $1.63 and $1.81 in fiscal 2009.

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