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Home Depot Offers 2005 Guidance

BY CSA STAFF

Atlanta, The Home Depot announced that it expects that fiscal 2005 sales will grow 9% to 12% and that earnings per share will grow 10% to 14%. Same-store sales for fiscal 2005 are expected to increase 4% to 7%. For fiscal 2004, the retailer expects to report earnings of $2.26 per share on sales of $72.9 billion. Same-store sales are expected to rise by about 5%.

At its annual meeting with investors, the company said it plans to add 175 new stores during 2005 and continue its investment in store modernization and technology through a $3.7 billion capital-spending plan. Same-store sales are expected to increase by 4% to 7%.

On the global front, Home Depot said it plans to add 19 stores in Canada and 10 stores in Mexico, and is positioned to enter the Chinese market in 2005.

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Jo-Ann Stores Builds DC

BY CSA STAFF

Hudson, Ohio, Jo-Ann Stores plans to build a 700,000-sq.-ft. distribution center in Opelika, Ala., to support the company’s growth in southern states, including Florida, Georgia and Texas. The site will mark the company’s third distribution center, with two others located in Visalia, Calif., and Hudson, Ohio. Jo-Ann will break ground for the new site in March 2005 and expects to begin shipping to stores in April 2006.

The company plans to open an additional 40 superstores across the country in 2005. Last year, the company opened 29 superstores as part of a strategic initiative to transition many of its retail outlets from traditional fabric stores to full-service craft and fabric superstores. The larger superstores generate, on average, almost four times the revenue of a traditional store.

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Serious Interest in Toys

BY CSA STAFF

Wayne, N.J., Toys “R” Us generated interest from a small group of bidders – down from about a dozen — who are interested in a buyout of the Wayne, N.J.-based company’s toy business, Reuters reported. Private equity company’s Apollo and Permira are expected to team with the toy chain’s former CEO Michael Goldstein with one bid. Toys “R” Us intends to sell its toy operations and focus on its faster-growing Babies R Us division.

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