OPERATIONS

Wal-Mart slashes holiday layaway fee in response to customer complaints

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Bentonville, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores said Tuesday it has lowered its holiday layaway fee from $15 to $5, saying that the move is in response to customer feedback.

Customers may begin to open layaway accounts under the new fee arrangement on Sept. 15, and it runs through Dec. 14.

According to Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising and marketing officer, Walmart U.S., “this is a direct response to feedback we received since announcing this year’s Holiday Layaway program. [It] makes Walmart more competitive in the marketplace.”

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STORE SPACES

Nordstrom to open two full-line stores

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Seattle — Nordstrom said Tuesday it will open two new full-line stores – one in Jacksonville, Fla., and the other in Woodlands, Texas.

The Florida store will open at St. Johns Town Center, a Simon Property and Ben Carter-owned shopping center. The 124,000-sq.-ft. store will be two levels and is expected to open in fall 2014.

"We’ve had our eye on Jacksonville for a long time, so it’s gratifying for us to now have this opportunity to open our doors at St. Johns Town Center," said Erik Nordstrom, president of stores for Nordstrom.

The department store retailer will open its new Texas store at The Woodlands Mall, owned by General Growth Properties and located in The Woodlands.

The two-level, 138,000-sq.-ft. store is slated to open in fall 2014 and will be the company’s fourth store serving the greater Houston area.

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FINANCE

Fashion Bug inventory being liquidated in preparation for obsolescence

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Bensalem, Pa. — SB Capital Group, Tiger Capital Group and Great American Group jointly announced Tuesday that, in tandem, they will begin to sell off all of the inventory in the 568 Fashion Bug stores in the United States.

The Charming Shoppes unit will be divested and fully closed.

As part of the process, Fashion Bug has retained more than 5,900 store and district personnel to assist in operating the stores through the completion of the sale process.

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