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Home Depot Profit Falls on Housing Weakness

BY CSA STAFF

Atlanta The Home Depot said on Tuesday that quarterly profit fell 66% as the U.S. housing meltdown hurt sales and it took a charge to close stores and curb expansion plans.

Net income fell to $356 million in the first quarter ended May 4, from $1.05 billion a year earlier. Results included a charge of $543 million to close 15 underperforming U.S. stores and scrap plans to open 50 stores that had been in the company’s pipeline.

Sales fell 3.4% to $17.9 billion, exceeding analysts’ estimates of $17.63 billion. Same-store sales fell 6.5%.

“The housing and home improvement markets remained difficult in the first quarter; in fact, conditions worsened in many areas of the country,” Home Depot chairman Frank Blake said in a statement.

The disappointing performance could have been worse, but was offset to some extent by a seasonal shift that added approximately $536 million to Home Depot’s first-quarter results.

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Kroger reminds families about food safety

BY CSA STAFF

CINCINNATI As the summer grilling season approaches, The Kroger Co.’s family of stores is reminding customers about the four keys to safe grilling: chill, clean, separate and cook.

“Grilling out with family and friends is a terrific summer pastime we can all enjoy. At Kroger, we are partnering with our customers to remind them to follow these easy food safety tips so that every cookout is a success,” said Joe Grieshaber, group VP Kroger’s meat, seafood, deli and produce departments.

For more information about fresh meat and food safety, Kroger invites customers to visit: www.kroger.com/safefood.

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Retail pharmacies partner with Google for new health tool

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK Retail pharmacies such as CVS Caremark and Walgreens have partnered with Google to help consumers manage their health care information online through Google’s latest product, Google Health.

Using the Google Health tool, consumers can access vital health information, such as their prescription history. In addition, Google is working with the retailers to better integrate its product with their pharmacies. For example, patients who receive treatment at CVS’s MinuteClinic will be able to securely import their visit summaries into their Google Health Accounts. For its part, Walgreens is offering customers the chance to have their prescription history updated to Google Health on a daily basis.

Google Health is available on the Web at www.google.com/health.

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