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Report: Lowe’s sees sales upturn in 2010

BY CSA STAFF

New York City Lowe’s Cos. executives said Tuesday that they expect sales to begin rising again in fiscal 2010 as the housing market stabilizes, even as consumers have changed the way they approach home-improvement projects amid the recession, according to the Associated Press.

During a meeting with analysts, CEO Robert A. Niblock said consumers’ approach to home improvement has changed and that they are now spreading out time to complete a project, doing more work themselves and reducing the scope of projects. But the home remains many consumers’ largest asset, and people are still tackling home-improvement projects, he added.

Lowe’s on Tuesday said it is evaluating the cash flow of its stores, and although it did not take any operating store impairment charges during the first half of the fiscal year, it may take up to $100 million in charges related to the declining value of some stores amid the recession. That might include closing stores, but not necessarily, the company said. However, its 2009 outlook excludes the potential charges because they are uncertain.

The chain said it plans to open between 35 stores and 45 stores in fiscal 2010.

Lowe’s plans to open two stores in Mexico during the current fiscal year. It recently entered into a joint venture to open stores in Australia, and its first store there will likely be in 2011, with the potential for 150 large-format stores potential in the market, the company said.

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Borders to party it up at National Book Festival

BY CSA STAFF

ANN ARBOR, Mich. Borders announced that it will be the exclusive book retailer for the 9th annual National Book Festival, which will take place Saturday, Sept. 26 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on the National Mall in Washington D.C.

Borders will have hundreds of titles on hand from many of the bestselling authors who will be at the event including James Patterson, Kate DiCamillo, Judy Blume, Ken Burns, Paula Deen, Jeff Kinney, Rick Riordan, John Grisham, Jodi Picoult, Nicholas Sparks and others.

The Borders store will be located in the Book Sales Pavilion, so attendees can pick up their books before heading over to the Author Signing Pavilions located nearby.

For more information, including a complete list of participating authors and author signing and pavilions schedules, please visit www.loc.gov/bookfest. Festival-goers can also text “BOOK” to 61399 for up-to-the minute text alerts and news. Standard message rates apply.

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Staples, DoSomething raise money for school supply drive

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK, N.Y. and FRAMINGHAM, Mass. Grammy winning singer-songwriter Ciara, Staples and DoSomething.org announced that the 2009 Do Something 101 national school supply drive raised more than $630,000 in customer cash donations. Combined with the company’s $125,000 contribution of school supplies, Staples customers also donated thousands of items such as notebooks, calculators and other supplies for students in need.

At one supply drive in New York, teen volunteers worked with Ciara and Chaske Spencer of Twilight and singer Leah Renee to stuff 5,000 bags with school essentials that were donated to local students. In addition, Staples customers responded to the opportunity to donate one dollar at any Staples store to help local not-for-profit organizations serving disadvantaged students. 100% of donations received in Staples stores will be donated to local youth organizations.

“Teens around the country made a difference this summer by collecting school supplies and dropping them off at Staples stores nationally,” said Demos Parneros, president of U.S. stores at Staples. “Every volunteer and contributor to Do Something 101 played a critical role in helping community youth in need get supplies that are essential to start the school year off right.”

In support of the campaign, Ciara starred in a PSA that aired on more than 9,000 television and radio stations nationwide. Staples also established a Do Something 101 Fan Page on Facebook that continues to raise awareness among the teen audience, as does the “Adopt-A-Pack” Facebook application that encourages teens to recruit their friends to donate to the cause.

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