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Walmart to offer free layaway for the holidays

BY Marianne Wilson

Bentonville, Ark. — Walmart will offer customers free layaway with no opening fee for the holidays. The program will run Sept. 13 through Dec. 13, but the chain’s Facebook fans will have a two-day head start this year with access to layaway on Sept. 11 and Sept. 12.

Eligible layaway items include electronics, toys, jewelry, small appliances and select sporting goods. And new in 2013 are infant toys and automotive electronics such as speakers and stereos.

For added convenience in purchasing select large items, including ride-on vehicles, basketball goals and trampolines, Walmart is introducing new "tear pad" slips that customers can bring to the Walmart.com Services Desk – alleviating the need to carry select bulky items to the counter

Walmart will match the price of any local competitor’s printed ad for an identical item at the Walmart.com Services Desk. This includes layaway items throughout the holiday season.

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Lumber Liquidators announces new DCs

BY Marianne Wilson

Toano, Va. — Lumber Liquidators announced the next phase in its multi-year supply chain optimization initiative with the planned construction of a new distribution center in Henrico County, Va., and the leasing of a new West Coast distribution center in Pomona, Calif.

Lumber Liquidators plans to construct a 1.0 million-sq.-ft. distribution center in suburban Richmond to consolidate and enhance its current East Coast operations. It is expected to be completed in the third quarter 2014 at a cost of between $46 million and $50 million for the facility and equipment.

Upon full implementation of the facility, the company expects that significant increases in operational efficiency and unit flow, together with lower transportation and occupancy costs, will benefit operating margin and further strengthen the availability of product to its stores.

The company will lease a 500,000-sq.-ft. facility in Pomona, Calif., that it expects to be operational in November. It said it will record costs of between $1.3 million and $2 million in the second half of 2013 in the move.

“The consolidation of our East Coast distribution facilities into a new, larger location and the opening of a West Coast distribution center will ensure we can support the tremendous growth of our business and improve service to our expanding customer base,” said Robert M. Lynch, president and CEO, Lumber Liquidators. “These new facilities will provide a more efficient supply chain structure, allowing us to improve the availability component of our industry-leading value proposition, as well as increase our labor productivity and lower our transportation costs.”

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JustFab and ShoeDazzle join forces

BY CSA STAFF

LOS ANGELES — JustFab and ShoeDazzle have entered into a definitive agreement to merge and form one fashion subscription e-commerce business.

With the merger, the two brands will be able to expand their customer base in the United States and further accelerate international and category expansion plans. The combined company is expected to be profitable in 2014.

"Today we are creating one of the world’s largest and fastest growing fashion e-commerce companies, with a clear path to creating a multi-billion dollar fashion company here in Los Angeles," said Adam Goldenberg, co-CEO of JustFab. "By maintaining the distinct JustFab and ShoeDazzle brands, we will be able to significantly broaden our reach in the United States, and continue to take substantial market share from traditional footwear brands, retail players and e-commerce competitors."

"Both of our brands have seen high growth and success over the last three and a half years, and with the synergies between our complementary businesses, it made sense for us to combine our strengths," said Brian Lee, ShoeDazzle CEO. "This merger gives us the scale to create a truly global, multi-brand lifestyle fashion company."

"Together, we have the opportunity to accelerate growth plans for both brands under the umbrella of a single organization," said Don Ressler, co-CEO of JustFab. "With the combined reach of more than 33 million members, and the ability to provide a wide array of products and styling services to women all over the world, we are poised to generate more than $400 million in total sales in 2014."

Goldenberg and Ressler will serve as co-CEOs of JustFab Inc., which will operate a portfolio of lifestyle fashion brands, including JustFab, ShoeDazzle, FabKids and Fabletics. ShoeDazzle president and co-founder MJ Eng will continue running ShoeDazzle, while Lee will join JustFab’s board of directors. As part of the merger, the two brands will be moving in early 2014 to share a new campus in El Segundo, Calif.

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