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Wal-Mart Wins More Affluent Shoppers

BY CSA STAFF

Little Rock, Ark. More affluent customers are shopping at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. during the economic slump and the retailer is in position to keep those shoppers when the economy improves, according to a company executive on Tuesday.

Eduardo Castro-Wright, CEO of Wal-Mart’s U.S. division, told a New York gathering of analysts at a Lehman Bros. retail conference that the company’s emphasis on low prices is keeping lower-income customers loyal and attracting more affluent shoppers who usually spend elsewhere.

“It’s up to us with our store experience to capture their (more affluent customers’) imagination and make sure they shop with us when things turn around,” Castro-Wright said.

Shoppers with a household income of more than $55,000 to $70,000 are categorized by Wal-Mart as more affluent than its core customers. Castro-Wright cited company research that showed the number of more affluent shoppers increased 0.7% in February and was up 2.2% in March.

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Bridgelux names new executives

BY CSA STAFF

SUNNYVALE, Calif. Bridgelux has announced the appointments of Keith Scott as vp of business development, and David Barnby as vp of sales and general manager for EMEA.

Scott joins Bridgelux from Philips Lumileds where he grew a multi-million-dollar, solid-state lighting business while serving in various marketing and product development roles during his six-year tenure.

Barnby was the EMEA vice president of sales and marketing for Pinnacle Systems (the consumer division of Avid Technology) where he was responsible for managing the consumer IT retail and distribution channels across Europe, Central/Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

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Wal-Mart to cash stimulus checks for free

BY CSA STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. With Wal-Mart’s motto of ‘Save Money. Live Better,” it’s no surprise that the retailer has announced new incentives to get shoppers to spend their stimulus checks at its stores. The company announced that it will cash the rebates for free – with no purchase required – and will offer shoppers new rollbacks on items such as shampoo, breakfast juice and cereal.

As an added incentive to get shoppers to spend their checks at Wal-Mart stores, the company said it will refund the purchase fee on its Wal-Mart MoneyCard when any portion of the economic stimulus check is loaded onto the card.

Additionally, Sam’s Club will cash checks for free for its members. It will also offer its own economic stimulus bonus in the form of a $40 gift of membership on select product purchases May 11 through May 31 so new members will save all year long.

“We’re looking at this through the eyes of our customers, who need low prices all the time,” said John Fleming, evp and chief merchandising officer of Wal-Mart Stores, U.S. “And that’s what we’ve always done best,” he added.

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