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Wal-Mart Prepares Small U.S. Stores to Fend Off Tesco

BY CSA STAFF

Bentonville, Ark. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is actively working to open its first small-scale grocery stores in Arizona, according to city planning officials, as the retailer looks to fend off competition from British supermarket rival Tesco.

Tesco entered the U.S marketplace last year, opening Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets stores in California, Arizona and Nevada. The company is seeking to woo U.S. shoppers with smaller convenience stores that emphasize ready-to-eat meals and fresh produce.

Wal-Mart has long been rumored to be planning a new, smaller store concept that would rival Tesco’s stores in the States.

According to planning officials for four different cities in Arizona, Wal-Mart is now refining plans it submitted to launch convenience store-sized markets—some close to recently opened Tesco stores— in former drug stores in four cities southeast of Phoenix.

“What they want to do is make tenant improvements so they can put in this new, smaller version of their grocery stores,” said Lisa Collins, Tempe’s planning director.

The application plans call for the stores to occupy roughly 15,000 sq. ft. That is less than half the average size of Wal-Mart’s Neighborhood Market grocery stores, and a fraction of the size of its Supercenters, which combine grocery stores with general merchandise and can be more than three times the size of a U.S. football field.

Officials said they have been told the new stores will offer similar merchandise to Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets.

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Stage Stores says Peebles evp to retire

BY CSA STAFF

HOUSTON Stage Stores today announced that Dennis Abramczyk, evp and coo of its Peebles Division, will be retiring after approximately nine years with the company. He will continue to serve in his position until a replacement is found.

Jim Scarborough, chairman and ceo, commented, We want to thank Dennis for his contributions and service to our company, and we wish him well as he begins this new phase of his life. We will immediately begin a search for his successor, and we are pleased that Dennis will be staying on until the conclusion of our search process, as this will ensure a smooth and orderly transition.

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Home Depot to cut 500 HQ jobs

BY CSA STAFF

ATLANTA Home Depot is cutting 500 jobs at its headquarters. According to reports the cuts make up 10% of the 5,000 employees who work at the headquarters.

The cuts are partly due to the struggling U.S. economy, which has hurt market conditions, reports said. Employees were notified of the eliminations today, they will be paid through April 4.

Home Depot reported fiscal 2007 third quarter consolidated net earnings of $1.1 billion, or 60 cents per diluted share, compared with $1.5 billion, or 73 cents per diluted share, in the same period in fiscal 2006.

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