FINANCE

Wal-Mart completes Massmart deal

BY Staff Writer

Bentonville, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores, announced Monday that the company has completed its investment for a 51% stake in South African-based Massmart Holdings Limited.

Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Walmart International, said, “With the closing of our investment in Massmart, we are very excited about our entry into South Africa as well as the broader African continent. As we do in all of our other markets, we will work to serve underserved customers, to help people save money to live better. Just as important, we will grow in this part of the world, and as we do, we expect to create many jobs and support local suppliers. We have a global track record of working directly with small farmers, boosting their income and helping them become more sustainable, and we look forward to bringing those practices to South Africa.”

In terms of the transaction agreement, Walmart is entitled to nominate the chairman and three non-executive directors to the Massmart board. Walmart has asked current Massmart chairman Mark Lamberti to remain as chairman, while the board will be further strengthened by Walmart executives Doug McMillon, Jeff Davis, Wal-Mart Stores, Isenior VP finance & treasury, and JP Suarez, senior VP Walmart International business development.

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OPERATIONS

Dillard’s taps Kiva to fill online orders

BY Staff Writer

San Diego — Dillard’s has selected Kiva Systems for order fulfillment at its new, 850-sq.-ft. e-commerce fulfillment center in Maumelle, Ark.

"The enhancement of the online shopping experience at Dillards.com is a major focus of our efforts in 2011," says Alex Dillard, president of Dillard’s, which operates 294 locations and 14 clearance centers across 29 states. "We are developing a fulfillment center that can expand with increased sales and support the wide variety of merchandise we offer online. We chose Kiva because we want our customers to have the same gratifying experience with our online store as they do when making an in-store purchase. Kiva is ideal for us because it can easily expand and adapt to changing merchandise as we introduce new products to our online store."

Kiva is a complete order fulfillment solution that encompasses inventory control, forward replenishment, picking, packing, shipping sortation, finishing and quality assurance to simultaneously improve fulfillment center productivity, speed, accuracy and flexibility. It uses hundreds of robotic drive units that bring inventory on mobile shelves directly to workers, allowing easy access to all items and eliminating time spent walking the warehouse floor.

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FINANCE

Macy’s signs bank credit agreement

BY Staff Writer

Cincinnati — Macy’s has entered into a $1.5 billion bank credit agreement that will mature on June 20, 2015. It replaces a previous $2 billion facility, which was set to mature on August 30, 2012. Joint lead arrangers for the new agreement are J. P. Morgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo.

"Because of our strong cash flow and improved balance sheet, we were able to enter into a bank agreement with more favorable terms and pricing. We were also able to reduce the size of our credit facility given our current and anticipated needs,” said Karen M. Hoguet, CFO of Macy’s.

The company now expects its interest expense in 2011 will be approximately $442 million, which compares with previous guidance of approximately $450 million.

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