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Lowe’s Q2 income rises

BY Marianne Wilson

Mooresville, N.C. — Lowe’s second-quarter net income rose 26%, boosted by strong demand for its product.

For the period ended Aug. 2, Lowe’s earned $941 million, up from $747 million a year ago.

“Home improvement demand was strong during the quarter,” said Lowe’s CEO Robert Niblock. “We drove a healthy balance of ticket and transaction growth, and delivered solid performance across all product categories.”

Lowe’s Cos. reported second-quarter sales of $15.7 billion, up 10.3% from $14.2 billion in the same quarter last year.

Same-store sales rose 9.6%.

Lowe’s said it expects full year total sales to increase about 5%. It also expects to open 10 stores in fiscal 2013.

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Citi Trends narrows loss; tops estimates

BY Marianne Wilson

Savannah, Ga. — Citi Trends Inc. lost $5.5 million for the period ended Aug. 3, compared to a loss of $7.9 million in the same quarter a year earlier.

Revenue rose 4%, to $137.8 million from $132.3 million, nearly matching Wall Street’s prediction of $138.1 million. Same-store sales were up 1.7%.

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Walmart to offer free layaway for the holidays

BY Marianne Wilson

Bentonville, Ark. — Walmart will offer customers free layaway with no opening fee for the holidays. The program will run Sept. 13 through Dec. 13, but the chain’s Facebook fans will have a two-day head start this year with access to layaway on Sept. 11 and Sept. 12.

Eligible layaway items include electronics, toys, jewelry, small appliances and select sporting goods. And new in 2013 are infant toys and automotive electronics such as speakers and stereos.

For added convenience in purchasing select large items, including ride-on vehicles, basketball goals and trampolines, Walmart is introducing new "tear pad" slips that customers can bring to the Walmart.com Services Desk – alleviating the need to carry select bulky items to the counter

Walmart will match the price of any local competitor’s printed ad for an identical item at the Walmart.com Services Desk. This includes layaway items throughout the holiday season.

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