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Wal-Mart Mexico completes installation of photovoltaic complex

BY CSA STAFF

AGUASCALIENTES, Ags. Wal-Mart Stores announced that its Mexico division has successfully concluded the installation of a photovoltaic complex that will generate 20% of the energy used by Bodega Aurrera Aguascalientes. Over 1,056 solar panels that were set up on the roof of the store will transform sun energy into electricity. The project, with 174 kW installed, is the largest photovoltaic complex in Latin America, according to ANES (the Mexican Solar Energy Association), and will eliminate the emission of some 140 tons of CO2.

“This is the first large-scale project to generate energy using photovoltaic panels, not only for Wal-Mart Mexico, but for Wal-Mart International. This puts Mexico at the head of the energy field. The project reinforces our commitment to obtain all the energy the company requires from renewable sources by 2025”, said Raul Arguelles, SVP for corporate affairs and people division at Wal-Mart Mexico.

The 1,056 solar or photovoltaic panels were installed in 2,173.5 square meters, the equivalent of half the roof of Bodega Aurrera Convencion in Aguascalientes.

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Gottschalks receives approval for first day motions

BY CSA STAFF

FRESNO, Calif. Gottschalks announced that it has received approval for all of its first day motions from the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. These motions were submitted Jan. 15 as part of Gottschalks’ voluntary filing for reorganization relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.

Gottschalks received court approval for a $125 million debtor-in- possession (“DIP”) revolving credit facility to supplement its working capital and provide additional liquidity during the reorganization process. This financing, which is being provided by a group of lenders led by GE Capital, enables the Company to pay vendors and other business partners in the ordinary course for goods and services received after the filing.

Among other first day motions, Gottschalks received authority to continue to make wage and salary payments and continue various benefits for employees as well as honor customer programs, such as returns, exchanges and gift cards.

Jim Famalette, chairman and CEO of Gottschalks, stated, “We are pleased to have obtained court approval for our first day motions, a critical first step in Gottschalks’ reorganization process. These approvals will ensure that we are able to operate on a normalized basis as we pursue options to create value for stakeholders, including a potential sale of the business. At the same time, we are confident that we will be able to continue serving our loyal customers without interruption.”

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Sears to offer year-round layaway service

BY CSA STAFF

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. Sears announced that it will offer its layaway program year-round. The retailer offered the program throughout November and December to help shoppers purchase items during the holiday season.

The layaway service enables customers to reserve Sears merchandise, pay in installments and pick up the items within 90 days.

Sears said it got a number of positive responses about its layaway program including this one from a customer from Nyssa, Ore.: “Layaway saved our Christmas this year! It is a wonderful tool for those of us that want to make purchases and do not have the funds to pay for it all up front.”

Sears noted that its 2009 layaway program does not affect the existing Fine Jewelry program. Sears will offer layaway in most full line and hardware stores, and layaway fees do apply.

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