OPERATIONS

Report: Mexico’s federal watchdog to investigate Wal-Mart Mexico permits

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Mexico City — A Wall Street Journal report on Thursday said that the Mexico’s Ministry of Public Functions – the country’s public-sector watchdog – will investigate new-store permits secured by Wal-Mart’s Mexico division, Wal-Mart de Mexico.

The agency is looking for misconduct on the part of federal government employees in granting construction and other permits, according to WSJ.

Parent company Wal-Mart Stores is conducting its own investigation into allegations that Walmex paid bribes to public officials in Mexico to speed new-store openings.

Should the Ministry of Public Functions find that irregular conduct occurred, the federal government will take action, said the report. If the ministry finds evidence that public employees at the local level accepted bribes or otherwise engaged in illicit activity, then it will turn that evidence over to the corresponding local authorities, the ministry said.

The ministry also said it plans to request information from U.S. authorities so as to better investigate the allegations.


Read more about the alleged Wal-Mart bribery scandal.

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Double-digit comps boost Tractor Supply in Q1

BY CSA STAFF

The Brentwood, Tenn.-based farm and ranch retailer saw same-store sales increase 11.5% in the first quarter ended March 31. Net sales increased 22% to $1.02 billion.

Net income for the quarter was $40.3 million, compared to net income of $18.3 million in the same quarter last year.

"We are delighted to have reached another milestone, achieving record first quarter sales in excess of one billion dollars for the first time in Tractor Supply’s history,” said Jim Wright, chairman and CEO. “Customers responded favorably to our spring products and the continual enhancements we have been making to our merchandise assortments. Our proactive planning allowed us to capture the earlier spring selling season in Southern markets and we reacted quickly to capitalize on the early spring weather seen in March. We continue to evolve our assortments and the in-store experience to ensure we have the right product and marketing programs in place to keep customers highly engaged throughout the spring and summer selling seasons."

The company opened 33 new stores and closed one store in the first three months of the year, bringing the total to 1,117 stores in 44 states.

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Babies’R’Us delivers baby line from Heidi Klum

BY CSA STAFF

WAYNE, N.J. — Babies“R”Us is partnering with mom and fashion icon, Heidi Klum, for an exclusive collection of affordable luxuries for little ones, adding to its growing assortment of differentiated product offerings. This new collection, Truly Scrumptious by Heidi Klum, will be available at Babies“R”Us stores across North America and online at Babiesrus.com beginning this fall.

The collection is designed for newborns, infants, toddlers and growing kids and will include apparel and accessories, furniture, bedding, room décor and gear featuring fun, colorful patterns, as well as optimal functionality.

“Over the years, I’ve made countless shopping trips to Babies“R”Us looking for the coolest gear, trying out the newest toys and shopping for fun clothes. Babies“R”Us is the ultimate authority in baby products,” said Klum. “I’m so excited to partner with them to create a fun, magical and unexpected collection that is also affordable. I know how important it is for moms to make smart purchases when it comes to shopping for their ever-growing children. My friends always joke that I’m the go-to person for advice on gifts and gear. Now, I get to bring my ideas to moms everywhere that offer function with a fashionable flair. My designs for Truly Scrumptious have really been inspired by all the adorable children who are just that – truly scrumptious – and deserve to have nothing but the best!”

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