FINANCE

Home Depot Profit Down 3% in 3Q

BY CSA STAFF

Atlanta, The Home Depot reported earnings fell 3% to $1.49 billion for the third quarter ended Oct. 29, from $1.54 billion a year earlier. It was Home Depot’s first decline in quarterly profit since the fourth quarter of 2002. Comp-store sales fell 5.1%, while total sales rose 11.3% to $23.1 billion, falling short of analysts’ average estimate of $23.3 billion.

The retailer said weakness would likely continue into 2007. “I don’t think we’ve seen the bottom yet,” Home Depot chairman Robert Nardelli said during a conference call. “I don’t see anything that suggests it’s going to get significantly better in ’07.”

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FAO Schwarz to Expand

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, Toy retailer FAO Schwarz plans to open two more locations in New York City, according to a report in Monday’s Crain’s New York Business. The company currently operates one location, on Fifth Avenue.

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Survey: Wal-Mart Top Holiday Destination

BY CSA STAFF

Chicago, Wal-Mart Stores is expected to be the top-shopping destination, according to a survey conducted for Reuters. The first in a series of polls by America’s Research Group found that a surprisingly high 89% of respondents planned to shop at Wal-Mart this year, suggesting that the chain’s aggressive price cuts will succeed in attracting more customers.

Brit Beemer, head of America’s Research Group, said he was “a little flabbergasted” by the high number of people who said they planned to shop at Wal-Mart, adding that he had expected the figure to be closer to 70%. The survey found that some 72% respondents planned to shop for electronics at the chain.

“As they’ve added more name brands, it gives them credibility for electronics,” Beemer said.

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