FINANCE

Illinois Governor signs tax breaks for Sears, cementing home in Chicago

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Springfield, Ill. — Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Friday that grants hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks and incentives aimed at keeping Sears Holdings Corp., along with CME Group Inc., which operates the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, headquartered in Illinois.

Lawmakers approved the business tax breaks earlier this month, but Quinn had not yet signed the bill. Both companies had openly threatened to leave the state without some kind of significant aid package.

The bill renews a credit Sears has been getting for years. It guarantees the retailer a $15 million break on its taxes over the next decade and extends a property-tax cut. "We applaud the governor for his leadership and recognition of Sears’ contributions to our state — thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of tax dollars," Sears spokesman Chris Brathwaite said. "We look forward to remaining in Illinois and building on our long and rich history here."

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CVS/pharmacy reaches out to last-minute holiday shoppers

BY CSA STAFF

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — With Christmas less than a week away, CVS Caremark is reminding shoppers that they can find gifts and deals at their local CVS/pharmacy.

With a larger-than-ever selection of gifts in more than 7,300 stores nationwide, customers will find everything from gift wrap and decorations for the home, to gifts that fit every budget and personality. This year’s options range from such classics as bath-and-body products and stocking stuffers to items like speaker towers for iPhone and iPod users, handheld video camcorders, small appliances and many of the hottest children’s toys, which many shoppers might not realize they can find easily at their local CVS/pharmacy.

"Last-minute shoppers can head to CVS/pharmacy this week to find great deals on a variety of gift options," stated Judy Sansone, SVP merchandising for CVS/pharmacy. "With extended holiday hours at nearly all of our 7,300 stores, CVS/pharmacy is the perfect place to find gifts and holiday necessities without the hassle."

Many CVS/pharmacy locations are offering extended holiday hours this week, and most 24-hour stores will remain open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

In addition, shoppers heading to CVS/pharmacy now through Christmas for gifts and other essentials also can earn up to $50 in free gift cards. Through Dec. 25, members of CVS/pharmacy’s ExtraCare Rewards program can earn free $10 gift cards to Macy’s, Gap, Applebee’s, Shell Stations, American Express, Barnes & Noble or CVS/pharmacy by spending $30 on specially marked items found in the weekly CVS/pharmacy circular.

CVS/pharmacy also is reminding customers to check out the company’s Facebook and Twitter pages for exclusive social media offers and contests. Facebook community members can take the "Holiday Shopping Quiz" to earn a 20% off shopping pass before they head to the store. Additionally, shoppers can follow CVS/pharmacy ExtraCare on Twitter to learn about deals and get last-minute gift suggestions.

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OPERATIONS

Family Dollar names chief merchandising officer

BY Staff Writer

Matthews, N.C. — Family Dollar Stores said Monday that it has named Paul White as executive VP, chief merchandising officer. He will report to Michael Bloom, president and COO.

White joined Family Dollar in 2011 as senior VP, apparel, home and seasonal. Before joining the company, he served as the past president, CEO, and director of Goody’s, where he refocused the merchandising and marketing strategies on the core customer while leading the company’s exit from bankruptcy.

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