FINANCE

Neiman Marcus Group Credit Ratings Downgraded

BY CSA STAFF

New York City Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said it lowered its ratings on The Neiman Marcus Group Inc., including the corporate-credit rating to ‘B+’ from ‘BB-‘. The outlook is negative.

“The rating change reflects our belief that the company will be more challenged than previously expected by the current weak economic environment in the United States and the turmoil in the financial markets,” said Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Diane Shand.

In addition, credit measures will likely deteriorate more than originally projected as a result of a deepening spending pullback by consumers, according to Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services.

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Dollar General installs blind-friendly POS equipment

BY CSA STAFF

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. Dollar General announced that it has begun installing new point of sale equipment that will protect the privacy of Dollar General shoppers with visual impairments.

The new devices have tactile keys arranged like a standard telephone keypad. They will allow Dollar General shoppers who have difficulty reading information on a touch screen to privately and independently enter their PIN and other confidential information.

Dollar General has installed the first tactile devices at several stores in Texas. The new equipment will be installed in all of Dollar General’s 8,300 stores in the United States in less than eighteen months.

Lela Behee, a blind Dollar General shopper from Texas, was excited about the company’s announcement: “I really enjoy shopping at Dollar General, and now feel confident that I can enter my PIN myself, even though I cannot see the touch screen. I wish more retailers would follow Dollar General’s example.”

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John Deere dealer adds Ace Hardware to Auburn store

BY CSA STAFF

Agrishop, an Auburn, Wash.-based John Deere dealer for 38 years, reopened Nov. 28 after adding an Ace Hardware department, owner Darren Jones said.

Agrishop Ace Hardware store also specializes in Honda power equipment and has a full garden center. The store is 15,000 square feet, 10,000 square feet of which is devoted to hardware.

Agrishop also has John Deere stores in Redmond and Tacoma, and will add an Ace Hardware department to the Tacoma store in April, Jones said. The official Grand Opening of the Auburn store will be held the weekend of Feb. 27.

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