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Investor Eyes Hudson’s Bay Co.

BY CSA STAFF

Toronto, Hudson’s Bay Co., North America’s oldest corporation, has received an unsolicited offer from Maple Leaf Heritage Investments to purchase the outstanding shares in Hbc. Maple Leaf, led by U.S. financier Jerry Zucker, already Hudson’s Bay’s largest shareholder with a take of 18.8%. The board will access the $850 million (C$1 billion) offer from the group. “The board, in consultation with retained advisors and management, is assessing the bid,” the company said in a release. “The board will make a recommendation to shareholders and advise the market accordingly.” Hudson’s Bay Company, established in 1670, is Canada’s largest department store retailer and oldest corporation. What began as a fur-trading firm today is best known as the operator of the Bay department stores and Zellers discount chain. The company has had falling sales for nine straight quarters.

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Sears Brings Card to Kmart

BY CSA STAFF

Hoffman Estates, Ill., Attention Kmart shoppers: you can now apply for a Sears Card. Sears Holdings Corp. announced that starting Oct. 27, customers shopping at Kmart stores will be able to apply for the Sears Card. “The Sears Card is a tremendously powerful brand which has been part of millions of our customers’ lives for more than 50 years,” said Aylwin B. Lewis, chief executive officer and president of Sears Holdings. “We believe expanding the reach of the Sears Card and making it available through Kmart stores will provide our customers with greater shopping flexibility and choices.”

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Visa Economist Adds to Holiday Optimism

BY CSA STAFF

San Francisco, Visa USA, the world’s leading payment brand and largest payment system, today announced retail predictions for the 2005 holiday season. Despite recent natural disasters and increasing energy costs, Visa USA’s economist, Wayne Best, predicts that the 2005 holiday season in the United States will be moderate to strong, particularly as wage and income growth is expected to continue through the end of the year.

“Currently, our economy is on good footing and should remain steady in the coming months. As consumers continue to feel good about their financial situations, bolstered by sustained wage and income growth, it should translate into a good holiday season for retailers,” said Wayne Best, senior VP of business and economic analysis for Visa USA. “Much will depend on whether Americans will see fuel and oil prices start to level off—or even decrease—giving consumers access to more disposable income, in time for the holidays.”

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