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Lowes Foods Adopts Biometric Payment

BY CSA STAFF

Winston-Salem, N.C., Lowes Food Stores in North Carolina will go biometric in the spring. Through a deal with Herndon, Va.-based BioPay, the grocery chain will install a fingerprint-scanning system that allows customers to pay for merchandise with a touch of a finger. The chain also uses BioPay’s Paycheck Secure system to cash payroll checks.

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Dollar Tree 4Q Same-Store Sales Edge Up

BY CSA STAFF

Chesapeake, Va., Dollar Tree Stores Inc. said total sales in the fourth quarter rose 10.6% to $987.5 million, missing analysts’ estimates for sales of $995.4 million. The company said business accelerated in December but fell in January due to severe winter weather. Same-store sales for the period rose 0.5%.

Dollar Tree said that based on fourth-quarter sales volume, it expects to report earnings of 78? to 79? a share, up from 70? posted a year ago.

For fiscal 2004, sales rose 11.6% to $3.13 billion, which was in line with analysts’ estimates. Same-store sales increased 0.5%.

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Party City Corp. 2Q Profit Falls

BY CSA STAFF

Rockaway, N.J., Party City Corp.’ second-quarter profit fell on lower sales and higher costs for investments in merchandising and logistics, sharply missing Wall Street estimates.

For the three months ended Jan. 1, net income fell to $14.7 million, or 74? a share, down from $19.3 million, of 98? a share, a year ago. Revenue fell to $174.3 million from $182.6 million. General and administrative expenses rose to $10.7 million from $7.5 million. The company said it expects to benefit from its investments beginning in the fourth quarter.

Same-store sales at company-owned stores dropped 5.6% during the quarter, while franchise stores posted a 2.8% decline. Total chain net sales fell 3% to $356.8 million.

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