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Lowe’s, Woolworth form Australian joint venture

BY CSA STAFF

Mooresville, N.C. Lowe’s Cos. said late Monday it is forming a joint venture with Australia’s largest retailer, Woolworths, to develop home-improvement stores.

Under terms of the deal, Lowe’s will own one-third of the new Australia chain, slated to open late in the 2011 fiscal year.

The retail tandem plans to open more than 150 stores over five years. Woolworths has secured entitlement to 12 sites. It is in final negotiations to secure 15 more sites for development.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to enter the A$24 billion ($20 billion USD) and growing home-improvement market in Australia, at a time when the sector is underserved,” explained Robert A. Niblock, Lowe’s chairman and CEO, in a statement.

The locations will be large-format stores, greater than 100,000 sq. ft., and will offer products and services for both the do-it-yourself homeowner and the trade customer. In addition, the joint venture has made a recommended takeover offer for Danks Holdings, Australia’s second-largest hardware distributor.

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GameStop names new CFO

BY CSA STAFF

GRAPEVINE, Texas GameStop announced that Catherine Smith has joined the company as EVP and CFO. The company announced also that David Carlson, GameStop’s founding EVP and CFO, who will retire effective March 1, 2010.

Most recently Smith served as EVP and CFO of Dallas-based Centex Corp. Smith has also served as CFO of Kennametal, a global supplier of tooling, engineering components and advanced materials; Bell Systems, a business segment of Textron; and the Intelligence and Information Systems Business of Raytheon Company.

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Designs on drug business yield sales

BY CSA STAFF

A bunch of new designers are set to hit Target stores this fall with new lines from Anna Sheffield, Jay Hersh, Anna Sui and Carlo Falchi infusing the shopping experience with excitement. But an even more meaningful impact on the business is likely to come from what EVP merchandising Kathy Tesija is calling, “an unprecedented integrated marketing campaign to drive even greater awareness for our pharmacy services and convert more Target guests into Target pharmacy guests.”

Much of the awareness is expected to result from the retailer’s first ever television ads for pharmacy, but there will also be extensive online advertising and an online component that features pharmacists answering common questions.

“These efforts will help contributed to store wide sales growth as loyal pharmacy guest are some of our best guest in terms of frequency and basket size,” Tesija said.

Target has already benefitted from an emphasis on pharmacy and the retail contends it is gaining market share from other channels and seeing big increases in prescription volume as a result of it $4 and $10 generic drug programs.

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