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Wal-Mart Opens First ‘Hispanic Community’ Store

BY CSA STAFF

Garland, Texas Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s original Hypermart USA, the precursor to its Supercenter concept, closed on Tuesday, according to the Dallas Morning News. Wal-Mart is replacing the historic store on Garland Avenue with a new location it’s calling its first “Hispanic community” store, the report said.

With an estimated 14% of its U.S. shoppers being Latino, Wal-Mart in recent years has been tailoring stores, such as its I-30 and Cockrell Hill location in Dallas, to meet the needs of Hispanic families, the report said. It has added specialty bakery items, expanded varieties of chile peppers, and printed store signs and advertising circulars in Spanish.

But the new Garland store at 1801 Marketplace Drive is the first designed from the ground up to meet the needs of Hispanic shoppers, said Daniel Morales, regional spokesman for Wal-Mart.

As with the old store, the new store’s customer base is more than 50% Hispanic, the report said. Wal-Mart said that more than 1,000 of its stores are in predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods.

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Report: Sears prepares for challenging future

BY CSA STAFF

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. Sears Holdings chairman Edward Lampert reportedly said his company is preparing itself to face further economic challenges.

Lampert said that despite his company’s recent difficulties, such as reporting a near 50% drop in its 4Q net income, it is reducing its own debt and trying not overextend itself.

Lampert added that Sears is targeting its efforts on improving the shopping experience for its customers.

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Bon-Ton signs licensing deal with Victor Alfaro

BY CSA STAFF

YORK, Pa. Bon-Ton Stores has signed a license and design agreement with Victor Alfaro, an international designer, for an exclusive private brand collection, Victor by Victor Alfaro, which includes misses’, petite’s and women’s apparel, as well as shoes, accessories, jewelry and handbags.

Under the agreement, which was structured by ACI Licensing as the licensing agency on behalf of Victor Alfaro, the collection will be designed by Victor Alfaro. Bon-Ton will manage the sourcing, manufacturing, distribution and marketing of the collection.

Bud Bergren, president and ceo of Bon-Ton, commented, We are very excited about our new partnership with the acclaimed designer Victor Alfaro. The distinctive styling, quality and the value of this exclusive line strengthens Bon-Ton stores position as a destination for fashionable, exclusive apparel and accessories. The collection will have a broad appeal as it crosses a wide range of age groups and demographics. Victor by Victor Alfaro is a compelling addition to our portfolio of exclusive private and national brand offerings which makes Bon-Ton the right place for our customers. 

The Victor by Victor Alfaro line will launch in September 2008 complete with a media and marketing program, fashion shows and personal appearances by Victor Alfaro. The collection addresses the wardrobe needs of the modern and confident woman, with a nod to the classics, and will include luxurious fabrics such as Italian merino wool and cashmere. The shoe collection is made of the finest quality leather. Jewelry and handbags will add the finishing touch with unique beading, designs and leathers. The new line will be sold in 153 stores initially and expand to all stores in spring 2009.

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