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Retailers Struggle With Impact of Hurricane Ike

BY CSA STAFF

New York City Retailers in the Houston area scrambled on Sunday to stock shelves and open stores forced to close, as they tried to meet high demand for emergency supplies in the wake of Hurricane Ike, according to a Reuters report.

Ike, which slammed into the Texas coast as a Category 2 hurricane on Saturday, flooded hundreds of miles of U.S. coastline and cut power to millions of people.

While the actual storm itself was not as bad as the worst fears had predicted, analysts said the economic damage could still be quite significant, aiding retailers that sell necessities and hurting those that are more discretionary, the report said.

At a Home Depot in south Houston, several hundred people waited in the rain for the doors to open, so they could look for everything from roof shingles and chainsaws to batteries and generators. The retailer also set up about 300 trucks near affected areas, in order to refresh empty shelves.

In addition, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. saw increased demand for ice, bottled water, flashlights, batteries, tarps, ropes, duct tape, canned foods, gloves and other cleaning supplies.

Damage assessments have barely begun, but early estimates suggest the bill could rise to $18 billion.

Wal-Mart managed to reopen 15 stores in affected areas, but still has 137 stores closed in Texas, Louisiana, Missouri and Arkansas.

Target Corp. closed 40 stores due to evacuations, but as of Sunday morning, all but 12 were reopened. The company planned to open four more that day.

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Tuesday Morning engages AT&T for telecommunications management

BY CSA STAFF

DALLAS Tuesday Morning and AT&T have entered into two three-year contract agreements, under which AT&T will provide long distance and broadband aggregation services for Tuesday Morning’s retail locations.

Through the AT&T BusinessDirect Portal, Tuesday Morning will be able to manage its long distance and broadband services. The portal provides a visual breakdown of each store’s and region’s usage of telecommunications services.

 

“In evaluating our broadband and voice services, we wanted to have better insight into what we were spending, and AT&T offered a solution that enabled us to do that,” said Stephen Heinmiller, senior vp and cio for Tuesday Morning. “By streamlining our telecommunications process across the company, we are now seeing where and how our Information Technology dollars are spent. This type of efficiency will help us analyze and optimize our cost structure.”

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Wal-Mart launches voter registration campaign

BY CSA STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. Wal-Mart has launched a voter registration campaign that will feature public service announcements on its in-store television network later this month to encourage both shoppers and associates to register and vote in the November elections.

The campaign will include two, 15-second PSAs that will encourage viewers to register to vote and cast their ballots in the upcoming election. The PSAs will run in stores through Election Day.

The company has also launched a voter registration portal on its corporate Web site, www.walmartstores.com/vote, and feature posters with voter registration information at nearly 600 Sam’s Club U.S. locations.

 

“Pollsters have found that our core shoppers, Walmart women, are an influential demographic in the upcoming presidential election,” said Leslie Dach, Wal-Mart’s evp of corporate affairs and government relations. “Our voter registration campaign is designed to encourage millions of customers and associates to register and cast their vote.”

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