REAL ESTATE

Two more 99 Cents Only Stores open

BY Michael Fickes

City Of Commerce, Calif. — 99 Cents Only has announced the opening of two new stores. The retailer will open an 18,960o-sq.-ft. store in McAllen, Texas, and an 11,685-sq.-ft. store in Laveen, Ariz. The grand opening of each store will feature the sale of Westinghouse Flat Screen TVs for only 99 cents each to the first nine customers in line to visit the store.

Both stores will feature a perishable food department, including produce, dairy and frozen foods.

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Is Walmart a leader or follower?

BY CSA STAFF

First it was sustainability, then came hunger and the affordability of quality food, women’s economic empowerment and now support of U.S. manufacturing. Walmart contends it has a responsibility to lead in these areas and others, but whether it is truly doing so is the subject of some debate.

The most recent example involves the company’s commitment made earlier this year to source $50 billion in additional U.S. manufactured good over the next five years. Toward that end, Walmart hosted a first-of-its-kind U.S. manufacturing summit in Orlando last month with 1,500 suppliers, nine governors and other state economic development officials that arguably no other company could have pulled off.

On Friday, the retailer sent an email to customers detailing its commitment and featuring a “Made in the USA” logo that asked recipients if they will, “pledge to buy Made in USA at Walmart and elsewhere?” Those who clicked on the “pledge” link were then asked for their name, email and zip code to receive updates on how we can revitalize the American economy.

The company’s efforts, lauded by some, have also been diminished by others who view its actions as another example of Walmart joining a trend that was already well underway. For example, back in 2005 when Walmart first talked about its responsibility to lead and unveiled several broad sustainability commitments, many major corporations already had similar goals and had been producing corporate social responsibility reports for years.

The same could be said of domestic sourcing. The reshoring trend was already in motion for a variety of reasons, most of which related to the cost of energy and rising wage rates in China. Consequently, Walmart was viewed in some circles as joining a movement already underway and then making a $50 commitment largely reflective of purchases it was likely to have made anyway because of anticipated growth and inclusion of grocery categories in the calculation.

Click here to see what Reuters had to say on the subject.

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PetSmart increases quarterly dividend

BY CSA STAFF

PetSmart’s board of directors has approved a motion to increase the company’s quarterly dividend by 18% from $0.16 to $0.19 per share beginning in the third quarter.

The dividend of $0.195 will be paid Nov. 15 to stockholders of record at the close of business Nov. 1. This is equivalent to an annual rate of $0.78 per share.

The board also authorized a new $535 million share purchase authorization that expires on Jan. 31, 2015. This new share purchase authorization will commence on Oct. 1 this year, and will be in addition to any unused amount remaining under the June 2012 share purchase authorization as of that date.

“We believe the stability and predictability of our cash flow demonstrates the continued strength of our business,” said CEO David Lenhardt, “and today’s announcement reaffirms our commitment to returning excess cash to our shareholders through a combination of dividends and share repurchases.”

PetSmart employs approximately 53,000 workers and operates more than 1,301 pet stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, more than 196 in-store PetSmart PetsHotel dog and cat boarding facilities and is a leading online provider of pet supplies and pet care information. PetSmart provides a broad range of competitively priced pet food and pet products; and offers dog training, pet grooming, pet boarding, PetSmart Doggie Day Camp day care services and pet adoption services.

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