FINANCE

Wild Oats Rating Revised to Positive Due to Improved Credit Metrics

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said it revised its viewpoint of supermarket chain Wild Oats Markets Inc. by upping its rating from negative to positive. “The outlook change reflects expectations that ratings could be revised in the next six months if the company’s positive operating trends continue,” Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Stella Kapur said. The revision reflects the improved operating results and credit metrics. Standard & Poor also reportedly affirmed its ‘CCC+’ corporate credit and other ratings on the grocery chain. Wild Oats has currently accumulated $172 million in debt.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Best Buy Plans to Focus More on Small Businesses

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, The VP of Best Buy Co. Inc.’s business division said that it plans to focus on small business customers as a source of growth. “We think that right now there doesn’t exist anyone that can be a single point of contact for small businesses to obtain—or to even be aware of— technology solutions that can improve their business,” Tom Healy said. Healy said Best Buy will use its so-called “Geek Squad agents” to sell technology to small businesses. Best Buy’s 12,000 “Geek Squad” employees offer technology assistance, such as making house calls, to help customers set up new computers. The retailer plans to hire roughly 600 new Geek employees this year.

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FINANCE

Nationwide Chain Store Sales Slow in First Week of March

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, The Johnson Redbook Index said U.S. chain stores reported slow sales in the first week of March as heavy rain hindered shopping. Sales at major retailers were up 2.4% on a year-over-year basis for the week ended March 4, following a 3.0% rise in the prior week, the independent company said. Sales at U.S. retailers so far in March were down 2.5% when compared with the same period in February.

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