FINANCE

Shareholders Approve Name Change to Macy’s

BY CSA STAFF

Cincinnati, Federated Department Stores said Friday that its shareholders approved its corporate name change to Macy’s Inc., effective June 1, 2007.

On that date, the company’s shares will begin trading under the New York Stock Exchange ticker symbol M, which Federated proposed in late March. Federated has traded on the NYSE under the ticker symbol FD since 1992.

“Today represents a milestone in the history of our company,” Terry Lundgren, Federated’s chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement. “By changing our corporate name to Macy’s Inc., we are demonstrating that we are a consumer-driven company focused on growing the Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s brands. In particular, this move will increase awareness of Macy’s, which represents about 90% of the revenue of our corporation.”

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News

Hybrid Trucks Join Wal-Mart Fleet

BY CSA STAFF

Bentonville, Ark., Wal-Mart has introduced a new line of hybrid trucks to its fleet as part of its “sustainability 360” effort to increase conscientiousness throughout its organization.

The trucks, manufactured by The Pete Store, are just another factor in Wal-Mart’s commitment to environmental innovation. “Wal-Mart is careful to consider the civic and environmental impact its operations have in the communities it serves around the world. We are continually looking for new, innovative ways to improve the fuel economy and reduce the emissions of our fleet,” said senior VP of transportation Tim Yatsko.

“We currently operate the Peterbilt Model 386, and we anticipate that the hybrid version will help us move toward our goal to increase our fleet efficiency by 25% over the next few years,” he said.

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FINANCE

Consumers Expect Further Gas Price Hikes, Confidence Drops

BY CSA STAFF

Columbus, Ohio, Consumers expect gas prices to jump up to $3.32 a gallon by Father’s Day (June 17th), according to BIGresearch’s May Consumer Intentions Actions Survey (CIA), a study based on responses from more than 8,300 consumers.

“The expectation of ever-increasing gas prices has seeped into consumer attitudes toward the economy as consumer confidence declined to 44.6% in May, vs. 46.5% in April,” said Gary Drenik, president and CEO of BIGresearch. Based on this analysis, it is not surprising that the consumer trend of spending more than they earn may have hit a wall. In fact, 33.3% said they are worse off financially than they were a year ago.

“With expectations for even higher gas prices, consumers continue to look for ways to stretch their paychecks,” Drenik said.

For example, 22% of those polled said they would be buying more store brand/generic products, while 16.8% said they would be doing more comparative shopping online. About 37.9% said they would be shop closer to home, while 30.7% said they would shop for sales more often. Meanwhile, 13.3% said they would shop more online and 40.2% said they would take fewer shopping trips. Additionally, 23.5% said they would shop with coupons more.

In addition, pricing sensitivity for apparel purchases increased in May. Eighteen percent of consumers said they only buy on sale. This number is up from April’s 16.8%.

According to the poll, shoppers in the Midwest are more pessimistic in their responses to gas price impacts and financial well-being.

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