FINANCE

Report: FTC May Drop Administrative Whole Foods Case

BY CSA STAFF

Washington D.C., The U.S. administrative proceeding looking into the merger of organic grocers Wild Oats and Whole Foods Markets has not been stopped despite a loss in district court. However, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Deborah Majoras said on Tuesday the FTC rarely presses on after losing a court fight, according to a Reuters report.

Last month, the FTC failed to win a temporary injunction in federal court to stop the merger while the agency’s administrative examination of the deal unfolded. A federal-appeals court upheld the decision on Aug. 23, and the two companies merged within days.

Asked about the case at a U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee hearing, Majoras said the agency’s administrative process against Whole Foods had not been stopped but added: “It’s been a very rare case when we’ve (pursued administrative action) when we’ve lost in district court.”

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Movie Gallery to close underperforming stores

BY CSA STAFF

DOTHAN, Ala. Movie Gallery Inc. today announced that it plans to close approximately 520 underperforming and unprofitable Movie Gallery and Hollywood Video stores. According to the company, the closings are part of its plan to conserve cash and reduce the company’s cost structure to address the financial and industry challenges it has been experiencing.

Joe Malugen, chairman, president and ceo of Movie Gallery, said, “Closing these stores was a difficult, but necessary decision to help protect the future of this company. These stores are being closed after evaluating a number of factors, including store profits and the terms of the leases at each location. This action will allow us to focus our resources on the approximate 4,000 stores that have a stronger operating performance and prospects for future growth.”

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Martha Stewart to design line for 1-800-FlOWERS

BY CSA STAFF

CARLE PLACE, N.Y. Martha Stewart is creating an exclusive, co-branded line for 1-800-FLOWERS. The new floral, plant and gift basket program will launch this spring and will be available exclusively at 1-800-FLOWERS.com.

 Martha Stewart stated: “I have been cultivating flowers and creating beautiful arrangements all my life. Fresh flowers and gift baskets enhance the beauty of any home and make every occasion special. I am delighted that we will collaborate with 1-800-FLOWERS.com next year to provide consumers with memorable floral gifts, plants and gift baskets that will be greatly appreciated by every recipient.”

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