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Staying Focused

BY Robert Gordman

I make it a practice not to attempt to interpret the comp-store sales in February and July. This is due to the lack of reasons for the consumer to buy in these months and the effect of clearance liquidation on sales. The observations I will make about current trends reflects my observations from a tour of stores I made last week.

There is little doubt that current economic factors are affecting some consumers. However, the results of many retailers are being influenced to a greater degree by the content of their inventory. A number of very prominent retailers have simply forgotten who their core customers are and what those customers expect from them. They are aggressively attempting to imitate another retailer or trying to change their customers’ taste level. In all the years I have been in retail, I have never seen this strategy work, and I doubt it will now.

Those retailers that have stayed “in-focus,” featured in the chart, are prospering and appear to have elected not to participate in the economic downturn. My expectations for August are that these in-focus retailers will continue to produce excellent results. Other retailers will talk about how the faltering economy is affecting their sales.

To view the complete Trending Report, go to www.gordmangroup.com .

Robert Gordman is the president of The Gordman Group, Breckinridge, Colo., and is the author of “Secrets of the Super Sweet Spot.” 

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Former Delhaize cfo joins Campbell

BY CSA STAFF

CAMDEN, N.J. Former Delhaize Group cfo, Craig Owens, has been named senior vp, cfo and chief administrative officer at Campbell Soup Company, effective Oct. 6.

Owens served as evp and cfo of Delhaize since 2001. Prior to Delhaize, Owens held several general management and senior financial positions with The Coca-Cola Company and various Coca-Cola bottlers from 1981 to 2001.

Owens said, “I am thrilled to be joining Campbell. I was attracted to the company by its portfolio of leading brands, excellent management team and strong culture of employee engagement. I look forward to working with a team of dedicated professionals and contributing to Campbell’s continued success.”

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Sears Holdings renews Bank of America credit agreement

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK Sears Holdings has renewed a credit agreement with Bank of America for $5 million, according to a Reuters report. Bank of America had previously told Sears Holdings it would not renew the $1 billion pact under existing terms.

In an SEC filing Sears Holdings said that as of Aug. 2, $2 million in letters of credit were outstanding under the facility.

 

In the same filing the company said it also has a $4 billion credit agreement that expires in March 2010.

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