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IBM to acquire Emptoris

BY Staff Writer

ARMONK, N.Y. –IBM announced a definitive agreement to acquire Emptoris Inc., a leading provider of cloud and on-premise analytics software that brings more intelligence to procurement and supply chain operations with spend, supplier and contract management for “smarter commerce.” Financial terms were not disclosed.

With more than 350 customers in 75 countries, Emptoris is based in Burlington, Mass. with offices in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Australia, India, Brazil and China. Emptoris’ global clients spans multiple industries including consumer products, financial services, healthcare, telecommunications, chemical/oil/gas, utilities, construction and industrial manufacturing.

The acquisition is the latest addition to IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative, launched in March 2011, which is aimed at helping companies respond to shifting customer buying patterns. Emptoris brings to IBM Smarter Commerce a set of new, flexible and integrated solutions that orchestrate and manage the sourcing and procurement of goods and materials as part of supply chain management. Supply chain intelligence using these solutions enables better inventory management and can create large savings opportunities.

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Pier 1 continues comps streak

BY CSA STAFF

FORT WORTH, Texas — Pier 1 Imports continued its streak of strong same-store sales for the third quarter, reporting that same-store for the quarter ended Nov. 26 sales increased 7% versus last year’s increase of 10.2%.Net income for the quarter was$23 million, or 21 cents per share, which included an income tax provision of $12.4 million. Net income for the third quarter last year was $21 million, or 18 cents per share, which included an income tax provision of $0.5 million due to the company’s federal net operating loss tax carry-forward position.

Alex Smith, president and CEO, commented, “We are very pleased with the results of our third quarter. Our strong product assortments, the right balance of regular and promotional pricing and a great store experience are driving robust sales and merchandise margin growth. December sales so far are strong and we expect this trend to continue for the final 10 days leading up to Christmas. Our growth plan is on track as we execute our business model with increasing finesse. Operating margins and sales per retail square foot continue to grow. Pier 1 To-Go, which allows customers to order online and pick-up and pay in-store, is positively impacting top line sales and our new e-commerce enabled site will launch next summer. We look forward to discussing our third quarter results in more detail and providing updates to the balance of the year and our three-year growth plan initiatives later this morning on our conference call.”

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NRF boosts holiday forecast

BY CSA STAFF

WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation is putting its faith in the holidays by upgrading its spending forecast for the season.

After initially anticipating sales growth of 2.8%, the NRF said it now expects holiday sales to rise 3.8% to $469.1 billion. The projection may be lower than the 5.2% increase the retail industry saw last year, but the group said a number of factors, such as strong year-over-year sales and the fact that not all consumers have completed their holiday shopping lists, could provide the industry with a great gift after all.

“After strong sales reports in October and November, along with a successful Black Friday weekend, retailers are cautiously optimistic that this season will turn out better than initially expected, bringing added stability to our recovering economy at a time when America needs it most,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. “However, a number of factors, including the debt crisis in Europe and continued political wrangling in Washington, could impact consumer spending this holiday season and into 2012.”

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