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Kohl’s to Plan Inventory Conservatively, Open Fewer Stores

BY CSA STAFF

Menomonee Falls, Wisc. Kohl’s Inc. on Wednesday said it is planning inventory levels and expenses cautiously for 2008, according to the Associated Press.

The company has cut back on spending amid a weakening economy.

“We are planning inventory levels and expenses based upon very conservative sales estimates,” said Larry Montgomery, Kohl’s chairman and chief executive.

The company also plans to open fewer stores this year. It will open 70 to 75 stores in fiscal 2008—including its 1,000th store—compared with 112 in fiscal 2007.

Kohl’s also plans to remodel 36 stores by July, with features including glass storefront entrances, new cashwraps and fitting rooms.

In related news, Kohl’s board of directors elected two new members, Peter Boneparth and Dale E. Jones. Boneparth served as president and CEO of Jones Apparel Group from March 2002 to July 2007. Jones is executive VP for Leadership Development of Revolution, a consumer-centric corporate-development company.

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OfficeMax 1Q sales fall on weak economy

BY CSA STAFF

NAPERVILLE, Ill. OfficeMax announced that for its first quarter ended March 29, total sales decreased 5.5% to $2.3 billion compared to the first quarter of 2007. Net income increased in the first quarter of 2008 to $63.3 million, or 81 cents per diluted share, from $58.5 million, or 76 cents per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2007.

OfficeMax Retail segment sales decreased 5.5% to $1.11 billion in the first quarter of 2008 compared to the first quarter of 2007, reflecting a same-store sales decrease of 8.7% partially offset by sales from new stores. Retail same-store sales for the first quarter of 2008 declined across all major product categories due to weaker U.S. consumer and small business spending and the negative impact of the Easter holiday occurring in the first quarter of 2008.

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IKEA to open first U.S. manufacturing facility

BY CSA STAFF

DANVILLE, Va. IKEA, through its subsidiary Swedwood, announced that it will open its first U.S. furniture manufacturing facility on May 21 in Danville, Va. The 930,000 square-foot Swedwood factory will produce a variety of wood-based IKEA products, the company reported.

We made excellent progress on construction last year and our installation of equipment and machinery has gone very smoothly, said Bengt Danielsson, North American president of Swedwood. Now our primary objective is to complete appropriate operational training for 175 coworkers as well as to ensure a seamless production and packaging process. 

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