FINANCE

Sam’s Club to Test Business Club Concept

BY CSA STAFF

Fayetteville, Ark. Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Club will test a concept that focuses solely on its small-business customers.

The concept, called Sam’s Club Business Center, will focus on bulk items such as office supplies and food needed by restaurants, convenience stores, offices and other enterprises. It will debut in July, in Houston.

The store will not carry apparel, certain consumer items and recreational merchandise.

“This building will help teach us something,” said Doug McMillon, chief executive of Sam’s Club, as he addressed a media gathering Thursday in advance of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s annual shareholder’s meeting on Friday.

McMillon said “if we like the financials” then the company will convert Sam’s Clubs to the new concept in certain locations that cater heavily to small-business owners.

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Target May sales rise 5.5%

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Target reported that its net retail sales for May increased 5.5% to $4.6 billion from $4.3 billion for the same period last year. On this same basis, May comparable-store sales decreased 0.7%.

Our comparable store sales performance in May was in line with our planned range, said Gregg Steinhafel, president and ceo of Target.

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Talbots to cut corporate staff by 9%

BY CSA STAFF

HINGHAM, Mass. Talbots said it is reducing its corporate staff by about 9% as part of its efforts to streamline operations and rationalize its cost structure. The company expects this action to result in estimated annualized cost savings of approximately $14 million, which contributes to the company’s goal to reduce its cost structure by a minimum of $100 million by the end of fiscal 2009 (as announced on Feb. 6).

Trudy Sullivan, president and ceo of Talbots, said, A key finding of our strategic review completed in the first quarter of 2008 was the need to realign and streamline internal company functions to enable the successful execution of our long-range plan. We therefore are examining all areas of our business to maximize efficiency and drive overall improved productivity. We are making excellent progress in achieving all of the objectives laid out in our strategic long-range plan and are firmly on track to restore profitability from our ongoing core operations and deliver enhanced shareholder value beginning in 2008. 

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