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Seattle voters turn back paper and plastic bags tax

BY CSA STAFF

Seattle Voters in Seattle rejected a tax on paper and plastic shopping bags at a local election yesterday by voting against Referendum 1, which would have imposed at a 20-cent-per-bag tax in the city.

According to published reports, the 20-cent bag tax was passed by the Seattle City Council about one year ago.

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BJ’s 2Q merch comps up 2.9%

BY CSA STAFF

NATICK, Mass. BJ’s Wholesale Club reported net income for the second quarter ended Aug. 1 of $35.1 million, or 64 cents per diluted share. For the second quarter of 2008, the company reported net income of $36.5 million, or 61 cents per diluted share. Results for the second quarter of 2008 included income of $2.0 million post-tax, or 3 cents per diluted share, related to favorable state income tax audit settlements.

Total sales for the second quarter decreased by 5.2% to $2.5 billion, and comparable-club sales decreased by 7.7%, including a negative impact from sales of gasoline of 10.6%. Excluding the impact of gasoline, merchandise comparable-club sales for the second quarter of 2009 increased by 2.9%.

For the year ending Jan. 30, 2010, the company now expects to report an increase in net sales of 0.5% to 1.5% and a decrease in comparable-club sales of 1% to 3%, including a negative impact from gasoline sales of 6% to 8%. Merchandise comparable-club sales excluding gasoline are expected to increase 4% to 6%. Previous sales guidance was for an increase in net sales of 0.6% to 2.6%, and a decrease in comparable-club sales of 2.5% to 0.5%, including a negative impact from gasoline sales of 6.5% to 8.5%. Merchandise comparable-club sales excluding gasoline were expected to increase 5% to 7%.

For the full year, the company now expects to report net income in the range of $134 to $140 million, and diluted earnings per share in the range of $2.46 to $2.56. Previous guidance was for net income in the range of $132.7 million to $138.2 million, and diluted earnings per share in the range of $2.44 to $2.54.

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Men’s Wearhouse suits up for the unemployed

BY CSA STAFF

HOUSTON For the seond year in a row, Men’s Wearhouse will provide unemployed men with professional attire through its National Suit Drive, Sept. 1 to Sept. 30, the retailer announced.

Men’s Wearhouse said that it is working with more than 200 local non-profit organizations throughout the country to collect thousands of articles of professional attire to be used by individuals looking to re-enter the work force. In addition, Men’s Wearhouse will donate one tie for every suit donated to help complete the outfit.

All 1,065 Men’s Wearhouse and Men’s Wearhouse & Tux locations will serve as drop-off sites for gently used suits, dress shirts, sport coats, slacks, ties, belts and shoes that will be used to benefit men in need of these items to transition into the work force.

“It became apparent many years ago that there was a long-standing need to help men who are striving for self-sufficiency,” said George Zimmer, CEO and chairman of Men’s Wearhouse. “We started a Merchandise Donation Program to provide professional clothing to nonprofit organizations serving these men. However, our program could not meet the demand, so we implemented the National Suit Drive to assist us in our efforts to help less fortunate men by giving them a renewed sense of dignity and respect. Philanthropy is a major part of our corporate fabric and given the economic-climate, this year’s National Suit Drive is more important than ever.”

Last year, the inaugural suit drive garnered 125,000 professional items over a two-month period, Men’s Wearhouse reported. This year, the company has set a goal of 150,000 items despite the economic downturn and its shortened duration this year.

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