Wal-Mart Scraps Pittsburgh-Area Store
Bentonville, Ark., Wal-Mart Stores has given up on building a suburban hilltop store near Pittsburgh, the company announced Wednesday. A massive landslide last year closed a busy highway near the construction site for two weeks.
Wal-Mart said in a statement that it will return the hilltop in Kilbuck Township “to a predevelopment, natural sloping condition that includes trees and vegetation.”
Officials from Wal-Mart and the state Department of Environmental Protection met Tuesday to discuss the revised plan. In August, the department said Wal-Mart’s stabilization plan for the site was incomplete. Wal-Mart has been trying to devise a plan that would stabilize the hillside to prevent another landslide.
Part of the site gave way in September 2006, sending some 500,000 cubic yards of dirt and debris onto Route 65 and railway tracks below. One lane of the highway, a major artery to Pittsburgh’s western suburbs, remains closed.
“We’re happy to see that Wal-Mart has chosen to put the safety of the community first and we look forward to receiving the company’s revised stabilization plan,” the state department’s regional director, Kenneth Bowman, said in a statement.
Timberland to close specialty shops
NEW YORK, (Reuters) Bootmaker Timberland said it would close most of its specialty retail shops after the company said they expect their third-quarter earnings to be extremely low.
Most of the store closings will occur early next year, Timberland said, adding that it hopes to raise annual operating profits by $6 million, while lowering annual sales by about $40 million. The company said the closings are part of a transition to smaller, footwear-focused stores in the United States.
“We have decided to begin the closure of most of our specialty retail stores in the United States, as well as stores in Asia and Europe,” ceo Jeffrey Swartz said in a statement.
Sales of Timberland’s trademark work boots, a long-time fashion staple of urban consumers, have been declining recently with footwear trends moving toward sneakers.
The Stratham, N.H.-based company also said it expects third-quarter operating margins to dip 6 percentage points, a drop Timberland partly blamed on a voluntary recall of its Direct Attach Steel Toe Series footwear.
Timberland’s shares have fallen nearly 40% from their 52-week high of $33.45 on November 14. The stock closed Tuesday at $20.22 a share.
Sears Canada to sell head office
TORONTO Sears Canada is making a move by selling its head office and surrounding property in Toronto, according to reports.
The 1,400-plus employees will be relocated to the top four floors of the Sears flagship store at the Toronto Eaton Centre.
Company spokesperson Vincent Power said that the store had been underperforming as consumers have stayed away from the upper floors. He believes that the store will be more productive on four floors rather than eight. The move comes shortly after the retailer sold off its corporate jet earlier this year.
A price for the head office sale has not been disclosed, although analysts estimate that it could be worth in the range of $93.8 million USD.