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Introduction: Letter from Geoff Thomas

BY CSA STAFF

Microsoft is proud to sponsor

Some of these leaders have launched entirely new ways for consumers to shop, using the Web to respond to customer demands for convenience. Others have tapped into consumers’ unabashed joy at discovering a bargain, delivering high-end merchandise at down-to-earth prices. Still others have honed in on the latest trends—whether to eat locally grown food, be entertained during the buying process or better serve the environment.

Just as the innovators profiled on these pages work so diligently to stay ahead of their customers’ needs, so too does Microsoft. We’ve grown our leadership team with executives who’ve earned their stripes at leading retail chains. Our real-world understanding of the unique challenges that Chain Store Age’s influential leaders face every day makes us all the more impressed with their accomplishments—and all the more committed to helping them support customer-centric operations.

Our technology solutions and development expertise are designed to empower a retail organization’s biggest assets—people—from the corporate office to the point of sale. It’s our goal to help retailers deliver an outstanding customer experience and then make that experience standard across every channel. How? Through real-time, advanced analytics that help the entire retail organization stay in synch with consumer demand. Through integration, communication and collaboration that optimizes supply chain processes for faster time to market. And through easy-to-use store management and operations tools that enable your associates to be more productive, service-driven and informed.

Congratulations to the retail executives profiled on these pages! You inspire us all.

Best regards,

Geoff Thomas, General Manager, U.S. Retail & Hospitality, Microsoft Corp.

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Borders to offer free resolution workshops

BY CSA STAFF

ANN ARBOR, Mich. Borders said Thursday that it is offering customers free in store events throughout the month of January to help them kick start their new year’s resolutions and learn how to keep them through the year. Programs include wellness fairs, yoga classes and diet seminars.

Borders reported that local organizations and community groups will be featured in activities and events at its stores across the country ranging from fitness centers and hospitals to singles groups and retirement centers.

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Schulze sells 440K shares of company stock

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Best Buy chairman and founder Richard Schulze sold 440,000 shares of Best Buy stock last week valued at $22.4 million. Schulze sold the stock at prices ranging from $50.71 to $51.18 per share. Earlier this month, Schulze sold 2.35 million shares valued at more than $120 million.

While Schulze’s stock sales are considerable, they represent just a fraction of his holdings at Best Buy. He’s estimated to still hold more than 68 million shares of stock amassed during 41 years with the company.

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