FINANCE

September Same-Store Sales Grow 4.0%

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, September chain-store sales posted a moderate 4.0% increase compared with the same month of the prior year, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) monthly sales. That growth is higher than the average monthly percentage change year-to-date, which is 3.8%.

“Although the September sales performance was relatively consistent with its year-to-date trend, consumers continue to worry about high fuel expenditures reducing non-fuel spending,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC’s chief economist and director of research. The ICSC expects year-over-year comps to increase by about 3.0% next month. Membership clubs posted strong statistics, led by Costco’s 11.0% comp-store gain. Other sectors that performed well in September include luxury stores and teen-apparel retailers.

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Wal-Mart Sues Former Employee for Breach of Contract

BY CSA STAFF

Bentonville, Ark., Asuit filed yesterday in Benton County Circuit Court alleges that former Wal-Mart business analyst David F. Smith, who resigned last Monday, e-mailed RFID data confidential to the retailer.

Included in the e-mails, allegedly transmitted between July 27 and Sept. 7, were pricing and cost information, future planning and strategy considerations and budget information, the complaint states. Wal-Mart is requesting a temporary restraining order to prevent the information from being used.

Wal-Mart is seeking unspecified monetary damages from Smith.

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Parent Wegmans to Close All Chase-Pitkin Stores

BY CSA STAFF

Rochester, N.Y., Unable to keep up in face of battering competition from The Home Depot and Lowe’s, all 14 Chase-Pitkin Home and Garden Centers, owned by Wegmans Food Markets and located throughout New York State, will be shuttered between March 2006 and sometime later in the year.

“Chase-Pitkin is simply not big enough to compete successfully and grow the business,” said chairman Robert B. Wegman.

Some of the 395 full-time and 1,253 part-time employees in the Rochester area will be employed by Wegmans, the company said.

Wegmans purchased Chase-Pitkin in 1974.

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