FINANCE

Wal-Mart to cut grocery prices by $1 billion

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Bentonville, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Thursday it will reduce prices on groceries by $1 billion in 2012, in hopes to draw customers in and encourage them to cross-shop in other areas of the store.

Wal-Mart had $145 billion in grocery sales last year in the United States, making it the largest player in terms of domestic grocery sales. It says the price reductions in food and consumables are an investment and won’t impact margins especially if shoppers respond as planned with additional traffic and loyalty.

Chief merchandising officer Duncan Mac Naughton described the program at an industry conference, and said that some key momentum is building inside Wal-Mart U.S., referring to the recent sales turnaround trends.

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OPERATIONS

Stage Stores CEO resigns

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Houston — Stage Stores said Thursday that its president and CEO Andy Hall has resigned to pursue other interests, and will be replaced in the interim by Michael Glazer, a member of the company’s board since 2001.

Glazer is currently the president and CEO at Mattress Giant Corp., based in Addison, Texas. He previously served as managing director of Team Neu, a private equity firm, and he was also president and CEO of KB Toys Inc.

Stage Stores said it has already begun the search for a permanent CEO and the candidates will include Glazer.

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FINANCE

J.C. Penney’s Johnson paid $53 million last year

BY Staff Writer

Plano, Texas — Former Apple executive Ron Johnson, who became CEO of J.C. Penney in November, received $53.3 million in total compensation from the department store retailer last year.

Johnson received a base salary of $375,000 and $52.7 million in stock awards, according to a regulatory filing. His performance-based bonus was $236,000, which the company said was pro-rated based on his period of service during the fiscal year. He also received compensation valued at $13,000 for personal use of the company’s aircraft.

Predecessor Mike Ullman received $34.6 million in compensation.

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