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Wal-Mart 2Q Profit Up 17%

BY CSA STAFF

New York City Wal-Mart Stores Inc. posted a 17% increase in its second-quarter profit Thursday, helped by cost cuts and a renewed focus on low prices to lure penny-pinching consumers.

However, Wal-Mart predicted slower sales growth at its established stores for the current quarter, saying it is seeing some volatility as customers find it difficult to stretch their paycheck to the next payday.

Wal-Mart said it earned $3.45 billion in the quarter ended July 31, up from $2.95 billion a year earlier.

Profit from continuing operations came to $3.39 billion, up 9.3% from $3.09 billion last year. Net sales rose 10% to $101.6 billion in the second quarter from $92 billion in the year-ago period.

For the quarter, Wal-Mart posted a solid same-store sales gain of 4.5%, compared to a 1.9% increase a year earlier. The results exclude fuel sales.

“We have improved customer traffic and ticket and overall sales growth in our markets,” president and CEO Lee Scott said in a statement. “While inflation and higher fuel costs are pressuring suppliers, retailers and customers worldwide, we’re confident that Wal-Mart is well-positioned for this economy.”

The company said second-quarter sales were driven by the international business, which is seeing more customers as U.S. economic woes spread to other areas of the world. Its international sales rose 19.3% to $25.3 billion, helped by such countries as Canada, China, and Brazil.

At Wal-Mart’s U.S. stores, sales rose almost 8% to $64.1 billion, while the Sam’s Club warehouse store division posted a 7.8% sales gain to $12.28 billion.

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ODP in alliance with Singapore office supplier

BY CSA STAFF

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. Office Depot has entered into a strategic alliance with Netbizz Office Supplies, a leading office supplies provider in Singapore, to provide office products and services to corporate customers in Singapore. Through this alliance, Netbizz Office Supplies will become Office Depot’s dedicated partner in Singapore, enabling clients to use the Office Depot international network for their multi-country supply needs.

Singapore is a key market for many global companies and the new relationship between Office Depot and Netbizz Office Supplies will provide a complete procurement solution for both new and existing customers, said Teddy Chung, managing director for Office Depot Asia. Netbizz is a great fit for our alliance in Singapore because they share our relentless focus on taking care of business for customers, offering superior products, time-savings and value. 

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JCPenney launches solar, wind power projects

BY CSA STAFF

PLANO, Texas JCPenney announced that it will supply electricity to 10 stores and on distribution center through the use of solar and wind power. According to the company, the effort is part of pilot projects to test new energy initiatives. In conjunction with these initiatives, JCPenney also announced plans to obtain ENERGY STAR certification for at least 200 stores.

JCPenney has engaged SunPower to install solar power systems on 10 JCPenney stores in California and New Jersey. According to the comoany,yhe solar systems will be financed, owned and operated by a third-party financier, from which JCPenney will purchase the solar-generated electricity under a SunPower Access power purchase agreement. The rooftop installations are expected to be complete in November.

JCPenney has also reached an agreement with Broadstar Wind Systems on a pilot program to install wind turbines at JCPenney’s 1.6 million-square-foot distribution center in Reno, Nev. After installation is completed in November, JCPenney will purchase electricity generated by the system from Broadstar.

“Hosting these solar and wind projects will add to our knowledge of the benefits and potential applications of renewable energy programs at our facilities,” said Myron Ullman, III, chairman and ceo. “Together with the energy-saving initiatives we already have in place in our stores and distribution centers, this is another significant step toward achieving our environmental objectives. With enthusiastic support from JCPenney associates nationwide, we are constantly looking for opportunities to contribute to a cleaner environment and run our business more cost effectively.”

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