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NRF Asks Obama for National Sales-Tax Holidays

BY CSA STAFF

Washington, D.C. The National Retail Federation asked President-elect Barack Obama on Tuesday to incorporate a series of national sales-tax holidays into upcoming economic stimulus legislation as a step toward rebuilding consumer confidence.

NRF said that short-term gains from consumer spending and long-term growth from job creation are both needed to achieve economic recovery.

NRF proposed that tax holidays be held during March, July and October 2009, each lasting 10 days, including two weekends. Tax-free treatment would apply to all tangible goods subject to a state sales tax, ranging from apparel and home furnishings to restaurant dining and automobiles, but would exclude tobacco and alcohol.

The federal government would reimburse the 45 states that have sales taxes for the lost revenue, and would provide the five states without a sales tax (Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon) with revenue approximating the sales-tax reimbursement that would be received by states with similar population.

State sales-tax rates range from 2.9% to 7.25% and add $236 billion a year to the amount U.S. consumers pay for goods and services, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

By temporarily lifting the sales tax for the three 10-day periods, NRF estimated that consumers could save nearly $20 billion. Based on the 112.4 million households in the United States, the figure would amount to almost $175 for the average family.

In addition to saving consumers money, the sales-tax holidays would help support the 25 million jobs in the U.S. retail industry, or one out of every five U.S. workers, and millions of jobs in industries that supply retailers with merchandise and services, according to NRF.

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Jeffries to continue on as A&F ceo

BY CSA STAFF

NEW ALBANY Abercrombie & Fitch announced that it had entered into a new employment agreement with Michael Jeffries, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer.

Jeffries’ prior employment agreement was scheduled to expire on Dec. 31. The new employment agreement, which is being filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission today as an exhibit to a Form 8-K, is scheduled to expire on Feb. 1, 2014.

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CVS confirms FY earnings guidance

BY CSA STAFF

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark has issued a confirmation of its 2008 earnings guidance range, previously given during the company’s third quarter conference call on Oct. 30.

CVS Caremark expects diluted, adjusted earnings per share of $2.42 to $2.47 for FY 2008, including the impact of the Longs Drugs transaction.

“There is no question that the economy continues to be difficult and consumers are reacting with increasing caution,” said Tom Ryan, chairman, president and ceo of CVS Caremark. “Our total same-store sales for October grew 4.3%, and in November were up 6.1%. It appears that December’s comps will be well short of those levels. Nevertheless, through careful margin and cost management, we expect to be able to deliver results within our previously announced earnings range for 2008.”

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