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UBS upgrades Whole Foods on signs of stability

BY CSA STAFF

Portland, Ore. UBS Investment Research upgraded shares of Whole Foods Market on Monday with profits growing for the organic and natural grocer.

UBS analyst Neil Currie upgraded shares to “neutral” from “sell,” saying in a research note that Whole Foods looks “solid.” However, he said he remains cautious on further improvements as the company will soon lap comparison to quarters hit hard by the recession.

Whole Foods reported last month that strong sales sent its first-quarter profit up nearly 79% and it raised its outlook for the year.

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Best Buy opens Magnolia concept in Orange County, Calif.

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS and ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. Best Buy announced that it has expanded its Magnolia Home Theater concept in the Orange County area. The retailer will open a new Magnolia Design Center in the Costa Mesa Best Buy store.

According to the company, the new design center is the first-of-its-kind within a Best Buy store in Southern California and one of only eight Magnolia Design Centers the nation. The new store will offer high-performance audio and video solutions with a broad assortment of premium brands, such as McIntosh, MartinLogan, Pioneer Elite, Sonus faber and Control4. The design center will also offer state-of-the-art services like solar solutions, whole home automation and outdoor electronics.

 

“Magnolia Designs Centers provide a unique shopping environment for the home theater enthusiast,” said Steve Delp, COO of Magnolia Audio Video. “We believe our customers in the Orange County area will benefit from not only having exclusive brands, services and selection but also unparalleled experts to help create customized entertainment and home automation systems to fit their lifestyle.”

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Lowe’s announces promotions

BY CSA STAFF

MOORESVILLE, N.C. Lowe’s has announced two promotions in its human resources and store planning areas.

Cedric Coco was recently promoted to SVP, learning and organizational development, having served as VP in that role since joining the company in 2008 from Microsoft. He is responsible for enterprise-wide leadership development, talent acquisition, talent management and learning strategies as well as the company’s diversity efforts.

 

Ronnie Damron has been promoted to SVP store planning and environment. Damron has served since 2006 as VP, new store set-up and remerchandising. He joined Lowe’s in 1979 in the Pikeville, Ky. store and has served as store manager, district manager and regional vice president.

 

Damron replaces long-time merchandising and store planning executive Vaughn Hayes, who announced his retirement, effective March 5, after nearly 39 years with the company.

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