REAL ESTATE

Wal-Mart’s first India wholesale store opening

BY CSA STAFF

New Delhi, India Wal-Mart Stores plans to open next week its first wholesale retail venture with Bharti Enterprises, parent of India’s top private phone company, a spokeswoman for the venture said Wednesday.

Wal-Mart and Bharti agreed in 2007 to launch a 50-50 joint venture for a new chain of wholesale stores in India to serve small retail shops.

“We will open a store next week [in Amritsar in northern India],” said the spokeswoman for Bharti Wal-Mart Private Ltd.

Under India’s foreign investment rules, no foreign direct investment is permitted in the retail sector — except for single-brand stores such as Nokia or Reebok — as part of a bid to protect local retail players. This means foreign groups such as Wal-Mart have to sign franchise deals with local companies to enter the Indian market.

The venture will be the first of 10 to 15 planned wholesale outlets, according to the joint venture deal.

The Bharti Wal-Mart stores are not open to retail shoppers but will serve small shops, fruit and vegetable sellers, restaurants and other business outlets.

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Target 1Q EPS down 6.8%

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Target reported net earnings of $522 million for the first quarter ended May 2, compared with $602 million in the first quarter ended May 3, 2008. Earnings per share in the first quarter decreased 6.8% to 69 cents from 74 cents in the same period a year ago. All earnings per share figures refer to diluted earnings per share.

“Our first quarter earnings per share reflect disciplined execution of our strategy in a difficult environment,” said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and chief executive officer.

Retail sales increased 0.4% in the first quarter to $14.4 billion in 2009 from $14.3 billion in 2008, due to the contribution from new store expansion partially offset by a 3.7% decline in comparable-store sales.

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Sam’s Club offering $15 memberships

BY CSA STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. Sam’s Club has launched a $15 membership program for the summer. The special membership is available for purchase for a limited time between May 20 and June 7, during regular club hours and extends to new Advantage and Business members. Annual membership fees start at $35.

The membership program is part of Sam’s Club’s “100 Days of Summer” campaign promoting savings and tips for enjoying the summer season.

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