West 49 Makes Two Acquisitions
Burlington, Ontario, Canadian apparel retailer West 49 recently completed the purchase of a retail chain of 24 Quebec-based specialty stores from Modes Freedom. The 24 retailers operate under three banners: Arsenic, Amnesia and D-Tox. The total purchase price was approximately $9.37 million.
In a separate agreement, West 49 also acquired Board Zone Inc., an on-line sports retailer. The purchase of Board Zone will expand the Canadian retailer’s business to include the burgeoning market of on-line sales. Including cash and shares, the second of West 49’s acquisitions is valued at about $1.425 million.
“These acquisitions further support our vision to build the dominant Canadian retailer in action sports apparel through the further expansion of our national presence and the establishment of multi-channel distribution,” said Sam Baio, president and CEO of West 49.
Tesco Heats Up Supermarket Lines
New York City, Tesco has reportedly introduced a new heat sensor technology in several of its stores. In an effort to increase customer satisfaction by decreasing checkout lines, the British retail giant installed heat sensors above checkout lanes. The sensors detect the number of people in line and then display the information in a panel above the lane, allowing shoppers to determine the shortest lines.
Tesco says that the technology has successfully reduced checkout wait times.
N.J. Gas Stations Charged After Violations
Newark, N.J., New Jersey became the first state to take legal action in response to steeply inflated gas prices when state attorney general Peter C. Harvey alleged in court that 20 N.J. gas stations and their oil suppliers violated a state law that forbids multiple price increases in a single day.
Harvey charged that several stations hiked their prices as many as four or five times in one day as Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc on the oil industry. According to the report, some stations even charged credit-card users more than the receipt amounts; others secretly substituted regular gas for premium.
Many of the accused station owners said that they were unaware of the law against price increases, while others defended their actions as necessary in the face of rising wholesale prices.
New Jersey remains the only state with a law against multiple daily increases in gas prices. The New York Times reports that the law was put in place in 1938 to protect small operators from larger companies during price wars.