REAL ESTATE

From Supercenter to ‘Express’ in Storm-Damaged Area

BY CSA STAFF

Bentonville, Ark., Wal-Mart Stores is opening a new “Wal-Mart Express” on the site of its hurricane-damaged Wal-Mart Supercenter in Waveland, Miss. This new store format will offer a merchandise mix focused on the needs of the community, which still is recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the company said. Operating more recently as a “tent store” to provide basic needs for residents, the new store will open its doors on Saturday.

The Wal-Mart Express is a new store concept that differs from the footprint of a typical Wal-Mart store. According to Pam Kohn, the division’s senior VP, “The new prototype store will allow us to respond to this community’s immediate needs.” Wal-Mart eventually plans to return the Waveland store to a Wal-Mart Supercenter.

The new 57,000-sq.-ft. store can be entered through the original front entrance and is enclosed within the original 205,800-sq.-ft. building by dust-proof, insulated walls. The merchandise mix will differ from a typical Wal-Mart store, focusing on essential items, in the quantities and sizes needed for the community, as it continues to rebuild from the storm.

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News

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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