FINANCE

Strong holiday prompts Williams-Sonoma to boost forecasts

BY CSA STAFF

San Francisco — Williams-Sonoma’s strong holiday sales performance prompted the home-products retailer to lift its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings and revenue forecasts on Thursday.

Revenue climbed 10.5% to $865 million for the eight-week holiday period ending Dec. 26, 2010. Same-store sales rose 5%.

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New competition comes to Canada

BY CSA STAFF

Walmart Canada has a few years to get ready for the arrival of Target following yesterday’s major announcement that its arch rival would be heading north of the border via an acquisition. That is the same strategy Walmart employed all the way back in 1994 when it bought 122 former Woolco stores. Walmart now operates 323 stores in Canada, and by the time Target gets around to opening its first units in 2013 that figure will probably be closer to 400. Even so, the arrival of between 100 to 150 new Target stores in 2013 and 2014 is sure to place a new type of competitive pressure on Walmart’s Canadian operations even though the retailer is used to butting heads with Target in the U.S. Target already enjoys brand equity in Canada and will be able to create a sense of anticipation around its arrival that is sure to create traffic challenges for Walmart, as those shoppers who haven’t had an opportunity to experience Target’s brand of retail in the United States will be eager to see what all the fuss is about. The fact that Target has placed its top marketing executive, Michael Francis, in charge of the executive committee that will oversee the retailer’s entry into the market is an indication that Target’s arrival will be announced with tremendous fanfare.

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Sam’s pushes membership at open house

BY CSA STAFF

Sam’s Club held an open house Jan. 11 to Jan. 13 to show its support for small businesses nationwide.

During the event, guests could take advantage of deals usually only afforded to members. For example, aHP G72 Notebook with 17.3” HP BrightView LED display, Intel Pentium Dual Core Processor, 4GB Memory, 320 GB hard drive2 was being offered for $499 and agallon ProForce Pine Cleaner and Deodorizer was going for $4.58.

Mike Turner, SVP membership at Sam’s Club, said, “At a time when small business owners are feeling more optimistic about the year ahead, Sam’s Club is committed to their success by providing solutions that will save them both time and money.”

Shoppers who signed up for club membership received a$25 Sam’s Club gift card when they purchased a plus-level membership, or a $10 Sam’s Club gift card when a business membership was purchased.

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