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Robust Holiday E-Retail Sales Reported

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, The newest eSpending Report from Goldman, Sachs & Co., Harris Interactive and Nielsen//NetRatings indicates that U.S. consumers spent $23.2 billion on line, excluding travel, during the holiday season. The figure is 25% higher than last year’s report.

Merchandise areas seeing particularly high jumps in on-line sales during the holiday season were jewelry (up 113% to $1.9 billion), flowers (up 59% to $530 million), and computer hardware and peripherals (up 30% to $2.1 billion).

The report is based on weekly surveys of more than 1,000 consumers.

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Dollar General Posts Lower Q3 Earnings

BY CSA STAFF

Goodlettsville, Tenn., Dollar General Corp. reported net income for the third quarter of $71.1 million, down from $77.9 million in the third quarter a year ago.

The discount chain previously reported that net sales during the third quarter increased 11.5% to $1.88 billion. The increase resulted primarily from new-store growth and a same-store sales increase of 3.4%.

Gross profit during the quarter was $554 million, or 29.5% of sales, vs. $516.9 million, or 30.7% of sales, in the prior year. Sales of highly consumable items, which generally have lower gross profit rates than the chain’s other merchandise categories, increased as a percentage of total sales mix.

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Whitehall Jewellers Hires COO

BY CSA STAFF

Chicago, Whitehall Jewellers hired former Sears executive Lucinda Baier as COO. Baier has been a senior VP and general manager at Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Sears. She has more than 20 years of financial, accounting and management experience having served in senior positions at major retail corporations, including Sears and U.S. Office Products, the company said.

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