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Wal-Mart Raises Stake in Seiyu to 95%

BY CSA STAFF

Tokyo Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has raised its stake in money-losing Japanese retailer Seiyu to 95.1%, the retailers said Wednesday. This move gives Wal-Mart managerial control of the chain and solidifies its foothold in an intensely competitive market.

Wal-Mart, which already owned 50.9% in Seiyu Ltd., offered to buy outstanding shares to gain full ownership. Wal-Mart hoped this move would speed management decisions for Seiyu’s turnaround.

Since entering the Japanese market in 2002, Wal-Mart has been gradually raising its stake in Seiyu, which has about 400 stores nationwide. However, Wal-Mart has struggled to make money in this market. While mall-style shopping is gaining popularity in this marketplace, shoppers tend to go to smaller neighborhood stores for food and other daily needs.

Still, the move puts to rest questions about whether Wal-Mart will exit Japan. This rumor surfaced after the retailer sold its operations in Germany and South Korea last year.

Wal-Mart said it aims to acquire all remaining Seiyu shares, which will result in Seiyu’s delisting from the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

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Macy’s to sell exclusive MSLO, Wedgwood line

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and Wedgwood announced today that they are bringing an exclusive line of tableware to Macy’s next year.

Beginning in January 2008, the Martha Stewart Collection, featuring china, crystal stemware and stainless steel flatware, will be available at Macy’s, macys.com and macysweddingchannel.com.

The china is five-piece place settings, ranging in price from $99 to $159; tea and coffee services and a full complement of serveware are also available, the companies reported. The stemware range from $30 to $37 per stem, while the flatware retails from $45 to $60 for a 5-piece place setting, according to the companies.

“I have always been an avid collector of fine china, crystal and silver, and my personal collection includes many Wedgwood pieces I am very proud to own. Our new line with Wedgwood offers a range of beautiful and timeless pieces that can be collected and enjoyed for years to come just like my antique pieces,” said Martha Stewart, founder of MSLO.

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Newell Rubbermaid names new executives

BY CSA STAFF

ATLANTA Newell Rubbermaid has announced key senior management changes designed to further drive growth and innovation, while speeding the company’s transformation into a marketer of consumer-driven brands.

James Roberts has been appointed executive group president of office products and cleaning, organization and decor. William Burke III will succeed Roberts as group president of tools and hardware. He will also retain responsibility for the company’s Lenox Industrial Products and Services business in North America until a successor is named at a later date. Steven Marton has been named president  of special assignments.

All executives will report directly to Newell Rubbermaid president and ceo Mark Ketchum.

“These business segment leaders have proven their ability to grow revenue and profit in challenging categories, while building brands, partnering with customers and suppliers, and building organizational capability,” Ketchum said.

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