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Wal-Mart to Take Full Ownership of Seiyu

BY CSA STAFF

Tokyo, Wal-Mart Stores will spend up to 100 billion yen ($878 million) to buy out minority shareholders in Japanese supermarket unit Seiyu Ltd. in an effort to turn around the chain.

“Today’s announcement is a reaffirmation of our commitment to Japan, the second largest economy in the world,” said Mike Duke, vice chairman of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. “The Japanese retail market is of major strategic importance to Wal-Mart, and our goal is to achieve long-term success and growth in Japan.”

Wal-Mart has invested more than $1 billion in Seiyu since 2002, but has yet to see anything more than temporary upswings in sales amid tough competition with rivals such as Aeon Co.

Seiyu is headed for its sixth straight annual loss in 2007, which had led to speculation that Wal-Mart would either need to invest more in the unit or that it would pull out of Japan, as it did from South Korea and Germany last year.

The buyout will put an end to rumors Wal-Mart may abandon the Japanese market, making it easier to do business with local suppliers and lenders.

Wal-Mart currently owns 50.9% of Seiyu.

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Report: Baugur in buyout talks with Saks

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK Saks’ second-largest shareholder, the Icelandic Baugur Group, reportedly is in talks with the company over a potential buyout deal.

According to reports, Baugur his been discussing a possible acquistion with Saks executives, however, it is not yet known if anything will come from these talks.

The move may be part of Baugur’s attempt to enter the U.S. market, reports indicate. The company already owns British retailers House of Fraser and Karen Millen.

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Penneys hires former Best Buy marketing exec

BY CSA STAFF

PLANO, Texas Former Best Buy marketing executive, Ruby Anik, has joined JCPenney as senior vp and director of brand marketing, effective Nov. 26, the company announced today. In her new position, Anik will oversee the development and execution of the company’s brand marketing strategy.

As senior vp of marketing communications and business operations for Best Buy, Anik directed all marketing communications disciplines for the Best Buy enterprise including brand public relations, internal communications, and event marketing as well as advertising strategy, advertising spending, and creative development and execution throughout North America. She also led Best Buy’s in-house agency, Best Buy Advertising (BBA). Anik joined Best Buy in 2000 as vice president of media and assumed full advertising responsibilities in 2002.

Before joining Best Buy, Anik served as director of advertising and media for The Pillsbury Company, where she had strategic control over the media budget and responsibility for all media research, strategy, planning and execution for three years.

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