REAL ESTATE

Toys ‘R’ Us to debut in Poland

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Wayne, N.J. — Toys “R” Us said Wednesday it will make its debut in Poland at the end of November, opening a store in Warsaw.

The company, which currently operates 300+ stores in Europe, said it will add several additional locations in major cities throughout Poland in 2012.

Toys “R” Us opened a corporate headquarters for its Poland operation in Warsaw in August, employing approximately 25 people who function in merchandising, marketing, human resources, store operations and finance roles. The new 25,000-sq.-ft. store in Warsaw will be located in the Blue City Shopping Center and will create approximately 30 additional local jobs. To stock the new store, the company will utilize its existing European distribution channels.

The debut Warsaw store will also feature a small Babies “R” Us section in order to create a one-stop shopping experience the company says is consistent with its integrated strategy across the globe.

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FINANCE

Brown Shoe finalizes sale of And 1

BY Katherine Boccaccio

St. Louis — Brown Shoe Co. said Wednesday it has finalized the sale of its And 1 men’s performance and lifestyle brand to Galaxy International for $55 million.

The And 1 brand was part of the $145 million American Sporting Goods acquisition that Brown completed last February in a move to expand its reach into the fitness category.

Brown Shoe said it plans to use the proceeds from the sale of And 1 to pay down debt.

“Our work to align our organization for success is still underway, as we continue to evaluate our remaining businesses,” said Diane Sullivan, president and CEO of Brown Shoe Co.

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OPERATIONS

Michelle Obama visits Chicago Walgreens to promote health

BY Staff Writer

Deerfield, Ill. — First Lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday toured a Walgreens store on Chicago’s South Side to view the company’s efforts to fight the childhood obesity epidemic and provide better food options and accessible health care to under-served communities.

The event was part of a mayoral summit hosted by the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Mrs. Obama visited the same Walgreens store that earlier this year expanded its food offering to include produce and other basic grocery staples. Prior to the store’s expansion, there wasn’t a convenient location in the community to access these types of healthy food options. The store is one of a dozen Walgreens locations in Chicago neighborhoods identified as food deserts that act as food oasis stores. These stores increased their food selection by up to 60%.

As part of her Let’s Move! initiative, Mrs. Obama has focused on the issue of access to healthy, affordable food as a key pillar of her fight to end childhood obesity within a generation.

“Imagine what we could achieve if mayors across the country started taking on this issue,” said Mrs. Obama. “Think about all the jobs we could create, all the neighborhoods we could begin to transform and what it means when our children finally get the nutrition they need to grow up healthy.”

“Walgreens is in a great position to be a true community resource as a retail health and daily living destination,” said Walgreens CEO Greg Wasson. “In communities like this, we are the healthcare hub with access to prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, expanded health care services such as medication counseling, clinic services and health testing, and daily living needs that include healthy food choices.”

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