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Wal-Mart turns attention to neighborhood stores

BY CSA STAFF

New York City Wal-Mart Stores is focusing on its smaller-format Neighborhood Markets, as evidenced by the retailer’s recent recruiting efforts geared toward hiring a new team of managers and buyers devoted exclusively on the smaller supermarket-style stores.

According to a Sunday report in the Financial Times, Wal-Mart is strengthening the management of the Neighborhood Markets because the concept represents a potential avenue for future growth as the expansion of its huge Supercenters slows.

Wal-Mart is also recruiting managers to develop staff training and store planning and performance systems, according to the Times. The smaller stores were previously served by buyers and merchandisers focused primarily on the large stores. (Wal-Mart currently has more than 2,700 Supercenters.)

With just more than 150 locations, the average 42,000-sq.-ft. stores have generally displayed grocery products in much the same way as the larger hypermarket-style stores, rather than seeking approaches that might be more profitable or more suited to the smaller format.

Smaller stores could help Wal-Mart penetrate markets such as Chicago, New York and California, according to the report, where political opposition and land constraints make it harder to open Supercenters. The retailer will announce its capital expenditure plans for its next fiscal year at an analysts meeting later this week.

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Best Buy wants to see your ‘scariest’ technology

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Best Buy has launched a new Web site, inviting customers to submit photos of their “scariest” old technology for the chance to win a number of prizes.

Through Oct. 26, visitors to the Web site www.ScaryTechnology.com are encouraged to enter photos of their “scary” technology, from a VCR thats eat tapes to a screeching dial-up modem, along with a caption to bring the photo to life.

 

One grand prize winner will receive a home theater makeover from Insignia and Rocketfish, with complete Geek Squad installation (a total value up to $3,500). In addition one first runner up will receive a $1,500 Best Buy gift card, and one second runner up will receive a $1,000 Best Buy gift card.

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Destination Maternity re-launches Two Hearts line at Sears, Kmart

BY CSA STAFF

PHILADELPHIA Destination Maternity annonced that it is re-launching its Two Hearts Maternity by Destination Maternity collection exclusively at Sears and Kmart stores. The rollout of the Two Hearts collection began in early October and will reach approximately 523 Sears locations and approximately 100 Kmart locations by the end of the month.

The Two Hearts Maternity collection features dresses, swimwear, lingerie and sleepwear. Most items are priced under $25, according to the company.

 

The Two Hearts Maternity collection was previously offered in Sears stores from April 2004 through June 2008. The re-birth of the line, renamed to include the Destination Maternity byline, represents an opportunity to offer great fashion and value to Sears and Kmart Moms-to-be.

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