FINANCE

Ralphs Pleads Not Guilty

BY CSA STAFF

Los Angeles, Supermarket retailer Ralphs pleaded not guilty Monday to allegedly hiring and paying workers under fake names during a Southern California grocery strike and lockout in the fall of 2003.

Ralphs faces federal charges including Social Security number and identity fraud, money laundering and obstruction of justice. The trial is set for March 28.

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News

Chico’s FAS Acquires Fitigues

BY CSA STAFF

Fort Myers, Fla., Chico’s FAS announced Monday that it has acquired 12 of 14 retail locations of the Arizona-based clothing retailer Fitigues for an undisclosed price. The stores will operate as a new branded division of Chico’s.

“By bringing Fitigues under the Chico’s umbrella, we can provide the necessary capital, back office operations assistance, and leverage needed to successfully expand this brand across America over the next several years,” said Scott A. Edmonds, Chico’s president and chief executive.

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OPERATIONS

Walgreens Sued by Pharmacists

BY CSA STAFF

Deerfield, Ill., Alleging they were illegally fired, four Walgreens pharmacists have sued the company. The terminations came after the pharmacists refused to sign a pledge promising to dispense the morning-after birth control pill.

A new Illinois law requires that, for emergency birth control, federally approved contraceptives be filled “without delay” if a pharmacy has the medication in stock. The rule is being challenged in federal court.

An attorney for the plaintiffs said in a statement, “It couldn’t be any clearer. In punishing these pharmacists for asserting a right protected by the Conscience Act, Walgreens broke the law.”

However, Walgreens has countered by saying it is upholding the current statute. “We are required to follow the law,” said company spokesman Michael Polzin. “We don’t have a choice in the matter.”

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