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Zale Loss Widens

BY CSA STAFF

Dallas Zale Corp. said Tuesday it lost $45.3 million in its fiscal first quarter compared to a loss of $28.4 million a year ago. Revenue fell 3% to $364.1 million, falling short of a consensus expectation from Wall Street. Same-store sales fell 3.7%.

The company withdrew its profit guidance for the full year, saying it cannot reliably gauge how the all-important holiday shopping season will go.

“In view of the uncertainties surrounding the national economy and consumer spending in these extraordinary times, the company does not believe it can reliably gauge likely holiday performance or sales in the balance of fiscal 2009 with any precision,” the chain said in a statement read.

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Dillard’s to lay off 500 associates

BY CSA STAFF

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. Dillard’s announced a strategic staff reduction of approximately 500 associates as part of its ongoing efforts to reduce operating expenses.

The work force reduction includes approximately 60 associates in Little Rock, Arkansas. Dillard’s employs approximately 60,000 associates nationwide and approximately 2,400 in the Little Rock area.

Dillard’s third-quarter sales for the 13 weeks ended Nov. 1, were $1.48, a 10% decrease from $1.63 billion in 2007. Comparable-store sales decreased 9%.

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Best Buy launches holiday microsite

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Best Buy has announced the launch of it’s new holiday microsite at www.AskABlueShirt.com. The site features interactive applications such as a Digital Note to Santa to “Hot Gift” and “Holiday Traditions” blog posts.

Best Buy BlueShirt technology Pros and Geek Squad agents are contributing posts based on consumer questions they are hearing in the stores – with topics ranging from new trends in photo sharing and accessorizing your iPhone to staying virtually connected to friends and family. In addition, a Holiday Wiki was developed as a portal to collect consumers’ favorite holiday traditions. BlueShirt bloggers will add tips on incorporating the latest in consumer electronics to those holiday rituals.

“We know consumers are looking for holiday gift giving advice and ways to engage with others across the country”, said Greg Johnson, senior vp of marketing for Best Buy. “The new holiday microsite is a fun way to not only share our knowledge and perspective, but to also learn what unique holiday traditions our customers engage in to make the holiday season even more enjoyable.”

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