REAL ESTATE

Walmart gets nod on Va. battlefield site

BY CSA STAFF

Orange, Va. Despite active opposition from historians and preservationists, Wal-Mart Stores received approval early Tuesday to open a Walmart Superstore on the site of a central-Va., Civil War battle.

The Orange County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to grant the special permit to Wal-Mart after a majority of more than 100 speakers said they favored bringing the superstore to Locust Grove, near Wilderness Battlefield, where generals Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee first met in battle 145 years ago and where 145,000 Union and Confederate soldiers fought and more than 29,000 were killed or injured.

Historians and Civil War buffs are fearful the Walmart store will draw traffic and more commerce to an area within the historic boundaries of the Wilderness.

But their pleas fell on mostly deaf ears.

“I cannot see how there will be any visual impact to the Wilderness Battlefield,” supervisor chairman Lee Frame said, casting a vote for the special-use permit the retailer needs to build. “I think the current proposal … is the best way to protect the battlefield.”

Wal-Mart said construction could begin in a year.

Nearly 400 people crowded into Orange County High School to attend the board’s hearing. Many residents cited three reasons for supporting the Walmart proposal: jobs, tax revenue and a cheap shopping option for the 32,000 residents of this farming community about 60 miles southwest of Washington.

Speakers who urged the board to reject the special permit said they were not anti-Walmart, but simply worried about the sanctity of the battlefield.

Wal-Mart Stores countered that the site is zoned for commercial use and the store will not be within sight of the battlefield’s 2,700 protected acres. The retailer has also said the store will create hundreds of jobs and generate $800,000 in tax revenue for Orange County.

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GameStop names new CFO

BY CSA STAFF

GRAPEVINE, Texas GameStop announced that Catherine Smith has joined the company as EVP and CFO. The company announced also that David Carlson, GameStop’s founding EVP and CFO, who will retire effective March 1, 2010.

Most recently Smith served as EVP and CFO of Dallas-based Centex Corp. Smith has also served as CFO of Kennametal, a global supplier of tooling, engineering components and advanced materials; Bell Systems, a business segment of Textron; and the Intelligence and Information Systems Business of Raytheon Company.

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Designs on drug business yield sales

BY CSA STAFF

A bunch of new designers are set to hit Target stores this fall with new lines from Anna Sheffield, Jay Hersh, Anna Sui and Carlo Falchi infusing the shopping experience with excitement. But an even more meaningful impact on the business is likely to come from what EVP merchandising Kathy Tesija is calling, “an unprecedented integrated marketing campaign to drive even greater awareness for our pharmacy services and convert more Target guests into Target pharmacy guests.”

Much of the awareness is expected to result from the retailer’s first ever television ads for pharmacy, but there will also be extensive online advertising and an online component that features pharmacists answering common questions.

“These efforts will help contributed to store wide sales growth as loyal pharmacy guest are some of our best guest in terms of frequency and basket size,” Tesija said.

Target has already benefitted from an emphasis on pharmacy and the retail contends it is gaining market share from other channels and seeing big increases in prescription volume as a result of it $4 and $10 generic drug programs.

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