FINANCE

Zale in talks with Citibank to extend card deal

BY CSA STAFF

Dallas Zale Corp. said it has entered into exclusive talks with Citibank to renew the jeweler’s private-label credit-card arrangement after it expires next year.

Zale also said it has been granted an extra month from Citibank to pay a penalty for low sales made on the cards.

Citibank, which issues the cards used for 40% of Zale’s U.S. sales, told the retailer in December that it would not renew that agreement when it expires in March 2011.

Citibank has also agreed to give Zale until May 31, while they negotiate, to decide whether to pay a $6 million penalty designed to compensate Citibank for a sales shortfall, Zale CFO Matt Appel told Reuters on Friday.

In March, Citibank, a unit of Citigroup, warned Zale that its private-label, credit-card arrangement would end in September, six months early, if Zale failed to pay.

Under the current agreement, Zale guarantees Citibank a certain amount of return on the credit cards based on sales. Any shortfall must be made up for in penalties.

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Toys’R’Us raises $4.5 million for children’s charity

BY CSA STAFF

WAYNE, N.J. On April 29, Toys”R”Us was joined by leaders from the toy and baby products industries to celebrate the silver anniversary of the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund Gala in New York City. According to the company, the event raised nearly $4.5 million for the charity. The Gala’s 25th anniversary milestone event was hosted by Emmy and Tony Award-winning comedian Martin Short, and featured a performance by five-time GRAMMY award-winner Faith Hill.

Additionally, Gala attendees pledged nearly $140,000 to support the Special Olympics Young Athletes program.

“In 1985, our company first gathered friends from the toy and baby products industries with a simple goal of giving back to children who need help most.  Last night’s Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund Gala marked the 25th anniversary of what has become a beloved tradition in our industry and a celebration of how much we love kids,” said Jerry Storch, chairman and CEO of Toys“R”Us. “Thanks, in part, to the generosity of our business partners throughout the years, the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund donates millions of dollars each year to programs that keep children safe and help them in times of need.” 

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Kohl’s gets more green accolades

BY CSA STAFF

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. Kohl’s Department Stores announced that it has received the inaugural Gold Edison Green Award at the annual Edison Awards Gala held on April 29 in New York City. The Edison Awards, associated with the Thomas Edison Papers at Rutgers University, symbolize the persistence and excellence personified by Thomas Alva Edison. Kohl’s receipt of the Edison Green Award recognizes the company’s commitment to developing sustainable solutions and green business models in an effort to reduce the community’s carbon footprint.

“Kohl’s is honored to be recognized by its peers for our ongoing efforts to improve our shared environment,” said Ken Bonning, Kohl’s EVP store planning and logistics. “By engaging associates, partners and members of the community, Kohl’s continues to operate our business with a commitment to environmental responsibility. From partnering in green building pilot programs to supporting renewable energy initiatives, we’re focused on long-term solutions that help protect the Earth’s resources.”

The Edison Awards, a peer-review honor, are voted on by roughly 2,000 members of the not-for-profit Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG), America’s top executives and academics. Edison Awards are judged on marketplace innovation, marketplace success, technological innovation, market structure innovation, societal impact and design innovation.

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