FINANCE

At Lowe’s investor’s conference, the focus is growth

BY Ken Clark

Mooresville, N.C. — At its annual conference in Mooresville, N.C., held Tuesday, Lowe’s executives are prepared to talk growth and the transformation from retailer to a "home improvement company."

“We are in the process of transforming Lowe’s from a home improvement retailer to a home improvement company — a company committed to delivering better customer experiences across the entire home improvement spectrum, by pulling together the best combination of possibilities, support and value for customers wherever and whenever they choose to engage," said CEO Robert Niblock in a prepared statement. "By enhancing our customer experience, we will drive long-term sales growth, increase profitability and enhance shareholder value."

During the investor conference, senior Lowe’s executives will focus on the strategic investments and critical decisions made in 2011, according to the company.

Lowe’s also revealed its fiscal year 2011 guidance, which includes:

  • Total sales expected to increase 2% to 3%, including the 53rd week of the year;
  • Comparable-store sales decline about 1%; and
  • Store openings totaling about 25 stores in 2011.
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News

Dollar General donates $100K for Toys for Tots

BY CSA STAFF

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. — Dollar General announced that it is giving $100,000 to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Foundation to support its efforts to provide toys to underprivileged children.

"Dollar General is proud to support Toys for Tots this holiday season," said Rick Dreiling, Dollar General’s chairman and CEO. "Our stores are happy to be a part of Toys for Tots’ mission of bringing joy and excitement to children who might not otherwise have a gift to open on Christmas."

Dollar General stores across the country are currently hosting toy drives to benefit children in their local communities. To find the Dollar General store nearest you, use the store locator on www.dollargeneral.com.

The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is a not for profit organization authorized by the U.S. Marine Corps and the Department of Defense to provide fundraising and other necessary support for the annual Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. Now in its 64th year, Toys for Tots provides joy and a message of hope to less fortunate children through the gift of a new toy or book during the holiday season.

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OPERATIONS

J.C. Penney acquires stake in Martha Stewart

BY Staff Writer

New York City — J.C. Penney launched a strategic alliance with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia to create a comprehensive retail experience featuring Martha Stewart products, know-how and advice.

The partnership goes beyond just featuring Martha Stewart brands. Beginning in February 2013, customers will be able to visit distinct Martha Stewart retail stores inside the majority of J.C. Penney department stores, the company said. In addition, these stores will be staffed by trained associates that can offer customers advice on how to best use the products.

The agreement also includes the launch of an e-commerce site in 2013 that will offer Martha Stewart expertise and enable consumers to purchase a wide range of home and lifestyle products, including those sold in the Martha Stewart stores inside J.C. Penney, and other merchandise designed or selected by Martha Stewart. MSLO is expected to receive in excess of $200 million from J.C. Penney over the initial 10-year contract period.

J.C. Penney now holds a 16.6% stake in MSLO and will have representation on MSLO’s board of directors.

Ron Johnson, CEO of J.C. Penney, said, "I have long admired Martha Stewart’s extraordinary influence on the way American families live and enjoy their lives. For nearly two decades she has been the primary person we turn to for advice regarding food, entertaining, decorating, and celebrating life’s memorable moments. The opportunity to work with Martha and create an entirely new shopping experience, both in-store and online, is a once in a lifetime opportunity."

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