FINANCE

Kroger Extends Gas Discounts

BY CSA STAFF

Cincinnati Kroger Co. has expanded its gas discount program across its regions.

Most of the regional fuel-discount programs in the Kroger Co.’s chain give regular shoppers 10? off per gallon at company gas stations for every $100 they spend in a Kroger store. But the programs previously weren’t carried over between regions, so a vacationing shopper at a Kroger-owned Ralphs store in California, for instance, didn’t get the spending credit for the discount back home in Cincinnati.

Kroger said customers have been asking that the program be made chainwide. Its just-announced answer to customer demand is that shoppers using the Kroger-branded credit card can earn 15? per gallon discounts.

The expanded program doesn’t include a handful of markets, such as in Columbus, Ohio, and Michigan where extra discounts are offered for competitive reasons.

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Target donates $500,000 to China earthquake relief

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Target has donated a total of $500,000 (approximately RMB 3.5 million) to support the earthquake recovery efforts in Central China.

Donations of $250,000 were made to both the Red Cross Society of China to aid in basic relief efforts and to Save the Children to provide assistance to affected areas with a focus on providing emergency education and safe spaces for children.

We extend our heartfelt sympathies to all the communities affected by the earthquake and our appreciation to all those who are assisting with relief efforts, said Laysha Ward, vp of community relations for Target.

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BY CSA STAFF

SECAUCUS, N.J. The Children’s Place Retail Stores reported that first quarter net sales increased 12% to $400.2 million, compared to $356 million. The company said comparable-store sales for the quarter increased 5%, on top of last year’s 2% comparable-store sales increase.

Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations were 66 cents compared to diluted earnings per share from continuing operations of 64 cents last year.

Chuck Crovitz, interim ceo of The Children’s Place Retail Stores, commented, “Our first quarter results show progress toward our goal of returning the Company to its historical level of profitability. During the quarter, we exited the Disney Store business at cash costs that are expected to be at the low end of our previously disclosed range of $50 million to $100 million. In addition, we began the reduction of our cost structure, announced lower capital spending for 2008 and expect our inventory position to be below last year’s level at the end of the second quarter. Further, we continue to be encouraged by the customer response to our summer merchandise and believe that The Children’s Place, as a leading value player in the children’s apparel market, is well-positioned in this difficult economic environment.”

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