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Sears Revives Wish Book

BY CSA STAFF

Hoffman Estates, Ill., Sears Holdings Corp. is reviving the Sears Wish Book, according to the Associated Press. Sears discontinued the venerable holiday catalog some 14 years ago. It is bringing back the tradition as it struggles to attract new shoppers and reinvigorate its business.

Unlike its 832-page predecessor, the updated Wish Book is a much trimmer 188 pages. Half the catalog will be devoted to toys, while the remainder will focus on other store items ranging from appliance and tools to clothes and jewelry.

The company did not disclose how many copies of the Wish Book it’s printing, only that it’s far fewer than the massive distribution decades ago. An online version of the catalog will also be available on Sears’ Web site, Sears.com.

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Tesco reports strong first half, on track in U.S.

BY CSA STAFF

LONDON Tesco today reported that for the 26-week period ended Aug. 25, group sales (including VAT) were $42.6 billion, a 9.2% growth over the same period last year. The company reported group revenue of $39 billion for the first half, an increase of 9.1% over last year. Diluted earnings per share were $20 for the first half, an increase of 21.2% over last year.

Terry Leahy, chief executive of Tesco, commented, “Tesco has delivered strong first half progress across the group, despite the challenges posed by the start-up investment required to establish our new U.S. and Direct businesses and by the effects of poor summer weather in the UK. We ended the first half strongly with good sales momentum and with the launch of our Fresh & Easy stores on the West Coast of the U.S. now just a few weeks away, I am confident we will make further progress in the second half.”

According to Tesco, the company is on track to open its first Fresh & Easy stores in California next month. Tesco reported that its El Segundo office is staffed by more than 200 people and that store staff recruitment is going well. In addition, the company reported that its Riverside distribution center in Los Angeles is complete and will begin operating shortly.

The company said that it is maintaining its original guidance that the costs of its launch in the United States would be about $112 million for the current financial year. Tesco added that it plans to commit about $431 million of capital per year to the United States going forward.

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ASICS chairman dies at 89

BY CSA STAFF

KOBE, Japan ASICS chairman Kihachiro Onitsuka died on Sept. 29 of heart failure in a hospital in Kobe, Japan, the company announced Monday. He was 89.

In 1949, Onitsuka started Onitsuka Co., the first sports shoe company in Japan. Using many creative ideas, he released epoch-making products. In 1977, ASICS was formed through a merger of Onitsuka Co., G.T.O. Co., an equipment manufacturer, and Jelenk Co., a sports apparel manufacturer. Onitsuka became the president and aimed to diversify the business to be more competitive on the global sporting goods market.

In 1992, he became chairman of ASICS, a position he held until his death. Today ASICS is the fifth largest sports goods manufacturer.

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