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Montana court rules against credit-card issuer

BY CSA STAFF

Helena, Mont. The Montana Supreme Court says a credit-card issuer cannot amend a cardholder agreement to add an arbitration clause merely by enclosing a “bill stuffer” notice with the cardholder’s monthly bill.

The court in a five-to-one ruling said the practice “does not provide sufficient notice to the consumer” about a change that would restrict his or her access to the courts.

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Children’s Place sees slight decrease in 4Q sales

BY CSA STAFF

SECAUCUS, N.J. The Children’s Place Retail Stores reported that net sales from continuing operations for the fourth quarter of 2008 were $441.5 million, compared with fourth quarter 2007 net sales of $443.3 million.

Comparable-store sales decreased 5% in the fourth quarter. Income from continuing operations after tax was $23.3 million, or 79 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2008, compared to a loss of $4.2 million, or 15 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Net sales from continuing operations for fiscal year 2008 increased 7% to $1.63 billion, compared to $1.5 billion in 2007.Comparable-store sales increased 2% for fiscal year 2008 on top of a 3% increase the prior year.

Income from continuing operations after tax was $73.9 million, or $2.50 per share, for fiscal year 2008, compared to $10 million, or 34 cents per share, last year.

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New book released on life of Fred Meijer

BY CSA STAFF

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. A new book on the life of grocer Fred Meijer was released this week. “Fred Meijer: Stories of His Life” features a variety of interesting tales about the pioneering retailer from a broad list of contributors ranging from former presidents and ambassadors to clerks at the checkout.

Authors Bill Smith and Larry ten Harmsel spent several years talking with more than a hundred and fifty people to capture anecdotes about Fred, many told for the first time. “I continue to be amazed at how many people Fred has touched in his life,” said Smith, a former Meijer executive who worked with the company for more than four decades. “Every person we talked with recounted a special time or story of Fred, each one contributing to an amazing chronicle of this man.”

Fred Meijer, the 89-year-old grocery entrepreneur, with his father, Hendrik, turned one store in Greenville, Mich., into a chain of nearly 200 supercenters across the Midwest.

The book will be sold at all Meijer locations and online through Meijer.com for $7.99 for the paperback edition and $11.99 for a hardcover edition that is available only in West Michigan.

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