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Aldi goes into high growth mode; will open 650 U.S. stores by end of 2018

BY Marianne Wilson

BATAVIA, Ill. –Deep-discount grocer Aldi is ramping up its U.S. expansion. The company plans to open 650 new stores across the country, including expanding to Southern California, bringing its total number of U.S. stores to nearly 2,000 by the end of 2018.

To support its accelerated growth, Aldi announced a structural adjustment to its senior leadership organization. Jason Hart, who currently serves as president for Aldi US, has been promoted to CEO, Aldi U.S., effective April 1, 2015.

Hart will be supported by Chuck Youngstrom and David Behm, who will continue in their roles of co-presidents for Aldi U.S.

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Abercrombie & Fitch to enter Mexico in 2015

BY Dan Berthiaume

New Albany, Ohio – Abercrombie & Fitch Co. has entered into a franchise agreement with Grupo AXO to establish a retail store presence in Mexico. The franchise arrangement, the first in the company`s history, will encompass both the Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister brands.

The first Hollister store is set to open in late spring 2015 and the first Abercrombie & Fitch store is expected to open in late summer 2015. The company anticipates a continuing rollout that will include stores in cities like Mexico City, Guadalajara, Cancun and Playa Del Carmen.

"This partnership is an important step for our company,” said Gillian Ferguson, group VP of strategic planning for Abercrombie & Fitch. “We already have a customer base in Mexico and we are excited for them to experience our unique brands firsthand. Grupo AXO has established a great reputation for developing brands in the Mexican market, and we are delighted to be partnering with them.”

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NRF calls for comprehensive immigration reform

BY Dan Berthiaume

Washington, D.C. – The National Retail Federation (NRF) supports immigration reform, but does not think President Obama’s executive action on immigration regulations is the right approach.

The NRF has issued a statement from president and CEO Matthew Shay on the announcement that President Obama will issue a series of executive actions on immigration:

“The nation’s retailers support common-sense and comprehensive immigration reform that addresses the needs of employers and employees, and is flexible enough to enforce and implement,” Shay said in the statement. “We believe the current immigration system is broken and in serious need of reform.

“While it is regrettable the president felt it necessary to issue this executive order in an effort to alleviate the problem, we are disappointed that the administration and Congress could not work together toward a more comprehensive solution,” Shay continued.

“This executive action only provides a temporary and incomplete fix to the immigration problem and may jeopardize the chance to achieve a more complete and permanent resolution.”

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