FINANCE

ShopKo Posts Q3 Loss

BY CSA STAFF

Green Bay, Wis., ShopKo Stores posted a quarterly loss, largely due to merger-related costs. The company posted a loss of $14.1 million in the third quarter ended Oct. 29, compared to a profit of $2 million in the same quarter last year. The merger cost $16.3 million—including a $13.5 million payout to Badger Retail Holding, which had agreed to buy Shopko before Sun Capital Partners stepped in with the winning bid.

Consolidated sales decreased 5.6% to $704.8 million in the third quarter of 2005 compared with $746.4 million for the comparable period last year. Consolidated comparable-store sales decreased 5.8%.

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Whole Foods Reviews Lobster Treatment

BY CSA STAFF

Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market Inc. says it will stop selling lobsters if a more humane way isn’t found to buy and sell them. The natural and organic foods grocer set a June 15 deadline for carrying out a new process for buying and selling live lobsters, to be led by an internal task force.

“Our commitment to animal compassionate standards means eliminating unnecessary and avoidable suffering when it is possible,” said John Mackey, co-founder and CEO, Whole Foods Market. “We are viewing the lobster as a live creature rather than a commodity that deserves no concern.”

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FINANCE

Charming Shoppes Quarterly Profit Climbs

BY CSA STAFF

Bensalem, Pa., Charming Shoppes Inc. said Wednesday that profit jumped nearly 70% in the fiscal third quarter as its newly acquired catalog business added to sales.

For the three months ended Oct. 29, the company earned $10.8 million, or 9? per share, up from $6.4 million, or 5? a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 22% to $663.3 million from $541.8 million, helped by a boost from the Crosstown Traders catalog business acquired in June. Same-store sales rose 3%.

Charming Shoppes noted that it had unusual gains in the third quarter from insurance reimbursements and a lawsuit settlement, but said these were offset by a charge related to its decision to repatriate foreign earnings to take advantage of a government tax break.

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