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Majority of Consumers Prefer Sears Name Over Kmart

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, Three-quarters of Americans prefer the Sears brand name over that of Kmart, according to a recent survey commissioned by Glen Rock, N.J.-based Rivkin & Associates, Inc. Just 16% of those surveyed said they favor Kmart as the surviving name, with 9% expressing no preference or saying they don’t know. As luck would have it, the new entity formed from the merger of Sears and Kmart is called Sears Holding.

“From a branding standpoint, there is absolutely no question what chairman Ed Lampert should do,” noted Steve Rivkin, founder of Rivkin & Associates. “Our survey shows that consumer perceptions are clear, dramatic and unequivocal. Kmart is a damaged brand name. The Sears name has vastly greater brand equity.”

According to Rivkin & Associates, the Sears brand name is especially strong among males, adults with higher household incomes and college graduates. Conversely, the Kmart name scored marginally higher among older consumers and those with lower household incomes.

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Tweeter Has Tough 4Q, Year

BY CSA STAFF

Canton, Mass., Tweeter Home Entertainment Group narrowed its net loss to $10.3 million from $12.6 million in its fourth quarter ended Sept. 30. Total revenues were down 3.1% to $175.9 million, as comp-store sales sank 3.5%.

For the fiscal year, Tweeter’s net loss widened to $18.2 million from $11.7 million the year before. Sales were up 0.1% to $778.2 million, despite a 1% decline in same-store sales.

The company said its results were impacted by hurricanes, which disrupted store operations across the Southeast, and the discontinuation of the retailer’s Bang & Olufsen stores.

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Wal-Mart Will Allow Unions in China

BY CSA STAFF

Beijing, Under pressure from the Chinese labor federation, Wal-Mart Stores said it would allow workers to set up a trade union in its Chinese stores if employees request it.

“Should associates request formation of a union, Wal-Mart China would respect their wishes and honor its obligations under China’s Trade Union Law,” the retailer said in a statement. “Currently, there are no unions in Wal-Mart China because associates have not requested that one be formed.”

The 123-million member All China Federation of Trade Unions, a state organ that controls virtually every union in the country, had threatened to sue Wal-Mart and other companies based outside China if they don’t set up union branches in their China operations.

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