Hurricane Update: Rita Shifts West
New York City, As monster hurricane Rita made a slight left-hand turn last night, shifting its center westward toward Louisiana. Galveston, Texas, residents became hopeful that their town might not take the brunt of the storm. Yet, the shift spells potential doom for people on the Texas/Louisiana line.
At local Wal-Mart stores yesterday, people stocked up on survival supplies. “There’s not a single person that’s come in here that’s not buying something to survive with,” said Betty Pfeifer, an assistant manager at an Austin, Texas Wal-Mart store. “They’re buying air mattresses, flashlights, candles, batteries—everything.”
Even stores as well-stocked as Wal-Mart and Costco are being tested, as one hurricane so quickly on the heels of another has drained inventories. San Antonio, Texas-based HEB grocery chain implemented a disaster-response plan yesterday, ordering significant increases of bread, crackers, canned meat and batteries. Those supplies are stacked in warehouses, awaiting shipment to affected areas.
Rita, downgraded to a Category 3 hurricane, is expected to make landfall late tonight or early tomorrow morning somewhere between Beaumont, Texas, and Lake Charles, La.
7-Eleven Spurns Japanese Offer
New York City, 7-Eleven, the world’s largest convenience store chain, rejected an “inadequate” tender offer from its parent company Seven-Eleven Japan. The Japanese bid of $32.50 per share was deemed too low, and consequently not in the best interests of shareholders. 7-Eleven added that its advisors are in conversation about an increased offer, though a higher bid is not assured.
Rite Aid Posts Q2 Loss
Camp Hill, Pa., Rite Aid lost $1.6 million in the second quarter, compared to net income of $9.9 million in the same quarter last year. Same store sales increased 0.5%—consisting of a 0.8% decline in pharmacy and a 3.0% gain in front-end same-store sales.
Revenues for the quarter were $4.13 billion, up from $4.12 billion in the prior-year quarter.
The company remains on track to make its target of 80 new and relocated stores by the end of fiscal 2006.