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Study: Consumers Loyal to Costco

BY CSA STAFF

New York City U.S. consumers are most loyal to Costco in the grocery, personal care and mass-merchandise categories, according to Colloquy, a marketing research and consulting firm.

According to Colloquy’s new Retail Loyalty Index, across five geographical regions, Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest and Northwest, Costco was the national winner in the grocery category. The warehouse club was the first choice of consumers in two regions, the Southwest and Southeast. Publix was a close runner up and H-E-B followed.

Costco also was consumers’ loyalty favorite among personal-care retailers, winning three regions and placing in the top three in the other two. Wal-Mart was the runner-up in this category. The highest-rated stand-alone pharmacist in this category was Rite-Aid.

In the mass-merchant category, Costco garnered most loyalty from bargain hunters nationwide. Target placed second, followed by Wal-Mart.

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Ex-Home Depot merchant charged in kickback scheme

BY CSA STAFF

ATLANTA James Robinson of Atlanta has been charged with two counts of income tax evasion and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud against Home Depot, relating to a kickback scheme involving overseas vendors.

According to U.S. Attorney David Nahmias, Robinson, a former divisional merchandise manager for flooring for Home Depot, is the second person to be charged for taking secret payoffs from the retailer’s foreign suppliers and then not reporting or paying taxes on the income.

 

“Vendor kickbacks to corporate employees corrupt the honest operations of American businesses, and those who pay, receive, or solicit such payoffs may face federal prosecution,” said Nahmias.

Robinson’s alleged role in the kickback scheme involved him arranging for Home Depot to purchase items for resale on less than the best terms to the company, according to Nahmias. Robinson left Home Depot in July 2007.

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Restoration Hardware approves deal with Catterton Partners

BY CSA STAFF

CORTE MADERA, Calif. Restoration Hardware reported that its shareholders have accepted the amended merger agreement between Restoration Hardware and certain affiliates of Catterton Partners. The amended merger agreement was adopted on June 12 at a special meeting of shareholders of Restoration Hardware’s outstanding shares of common stock, with more than 99% of the votes cast in favor of the amended merger agreement.

“We are pleased with the outcome of today’s vote and appreciate the strong support demonstrated by our shareholders,” said Gary Friedman, Restoration Hardware’s chairman, president and ceo.

Restoration Hardware said it expects the transaction to be completed next week.

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