FINANCE

iTunes Now Top U.S. Music Retailer

BY CSA STAFF

San Francisco Apple Inc. said on Thursday its iTunes online music store has surpassed Wal-Mart Stores to become the largest music retailer in the United States.

Apple’s statement, citing industry data, came on the same day that iTunes faced a new challenge as News Corp.’s MySpace social-networking site said it had formed an online-music venture with three record labels.

The company said its announcement was based on consumer data collected in January and February by market-research firm NPD that counted 12 songs being equal to one CD.

In February, NPD said iTunes overtook Best Buy Co. and Target Corp. in 2007 to become the No. 2 U.S. music seller.

Apple said iTunes had 50 million customers who had bought more than 4 billion songs since the store opened five years ago.

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Charming Shoppes: Directors should be re-elected

BY CSA STAFF

BENSALEM, Pa. Charming Shoppes announced that it has mailed proxy materials to its shareholders calling for the re-election of its chairman, president and ceo, Dorrit Bern, Alan Rosskamm and Jeannine Strandjord.

Charming Shoppes’ annual meeting of shareholders will take place on Thursday, May 8.

 

Charming Shoppes also urged shareholders to reject the three individuals nominated by a dissident shareholder group led by the Crescendo Partners and Myca Partners hedge funds in opposition to Charming Shoppes’ incumbent directors.

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Rite Aid March comps up 2.6%

BY CSA STAFF

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid reported that total drug store sales for the four weeks ended March 29 increased 50.7% to $2.04 billion as compared to $1.3 billion for the same period last year. Prescription revenue accounted for 67.6% of drug store sales, and third party prescription revenue represented 96.2% of pharmacy sales.

Same-store sales for the month of March increased 2.6 % over the prior-year period. Pharmacy same-store sales increased 1%, which included an approximate 493 basis points negative impact from new generic introductions. Front-end same-store sales were up 5.7%. March same-store sales were positively affected by a shift to a March Easter this year from an April Easter last year, the company reported.

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