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  • The strategy: grow Wal-Mart’s stores by narrowing their focus. While some communities have resisted Wal-Mart’s entry, the retailer reached out to the Dearborn community to see what products would be appropriate and well-received on their shelves.

  • Kimberly-Clark to Raise Prices By Up to 8% Friday, 23 May 2008 | 9:11 AM ET

    Kimberly-Clark, marker of Kleenex tissues, Huggies diapers and a host of other consumer products, said Friday it would raise prices by 6 percent to 8 percent in the third quarter to offset higher raw material and energy costs.

  • Oil Fever Breaks, Stocks Rise Thursday, 22 May 2008 | 6:10 PM ET

    Crude retreats, giving stocks an opportunity to edge higher, but not without shaking up the market. Find out how to trade the airlines, Ford, consolidation in energy and more.

  • Retail's Dirty Little Secret: Empty Store Space Thursday, 22 May 2008 | 3:18 PM ET
    Store for lease

    Driving around Southern California’s Ventura and Los Angeles counties, we saw many of those boarded up stores or “for lease” signs in small businesses. In Oxnard, California the local retail organization told me that these areas are getting “redeveloped” but store owners were much less optimistic.

  • Sex, Brands, and the City: Mixing Movies And Products Thursday, 22 May 2008 | 3:06 PM ET
    Sex and The the City

    By all measures, this movie, from Time Warner's New Line Cinema, promises to be huge with the female demographic that so loyally watched the HBO series for six seasons. It's that die-hard female fan base that's attracted huge brands to partner with the film, and earned it the nickname usually reserved for the Oscars: the Super Bowl for women.

  • Higher Oil Prices Grounding Airline Merger? Thursday, 22 May 2008 | 9:10 AM ET

    The original bid for Alitalia by Air France-KLM was based on an oil price of $86 a barrel, according to the Deputy CEO of Air France, in an interview on CNBC Europe. Those talks were shelved a month ago, but at $120 to $130, the Deputy CEO said that Air France-KLM would have to come up with a more "difficult and demanding" business plan.

  • TrialPay: Turning Indecisive Customers Into Buyers Wednesday, 21 May 2008 | 9:57 AM ET

    If you're a seller on the Internet, your mission isn't to get more traffic, it's to actually sell your wares. TrialPay.com is a new way to make that happen, as CEO Alex Rampell explains.

  • Retail Picks? Depends on the Growth Wednesday, 21 May 2008 | 8:11 AM ET

    What should investors look for in retail stocks this week?  J. Crew and some niche retailers are offering some growth opportunities, suggests one retail analyst.

  • Steak

    Beef makes up almost half of Roadhouse’s cost of goods. When Hart noticed a spread in the cash and futures prices for beef this past September, he decided to start purchasing 25% of the company’s beef supply from vendors at spot market prices instead of via long-term contracts with vendors.

  • Home Depot's Profit Hurt By Housing Meltdown Tuesday, 20 May 2008 | 9:59 AM ET
    Home Depot Shopper

    Home Depot said quarterly profit fell 66 percent as the U.S. housing meltdown hurt sales and it took a charge to close stores and curb expansion plans.

  • Marks & Spencer Profit in Line, Helped by Bonus Cuts Tuesday, 20 May 2008 | 9:49 AM ET

    Marks and Spencer said its adjusted annual profits before tax rose 4.3 percent to 1 billion pounds ($2 billion), broadly in line with analysts expectations, helped by the company cutting its staff bonus.

  • Sears' Softer Side: Notes From Shareholders' Meeting Friday, 16 May 2008 | 1:50 PM ET
    Sears

    Without further delay, here are the notes from the Sears shareholders' meeting. A number of Retail Detail readers wrote in to ask when I'd make good on my promise to post notes from the Sears meeting. Sorry for the delay! Here goes.

  • Headbands Help Boost NBA's Bottom Line Friday, 16 May 2008 | 12:21 PM ET
    Darren Rovell wearing the shooting sleeve and headband.

    If you are watching the Celtics-Cavaliers game tonight, count how many players on the court are wearing headbands. Given that it’s a voluntary piece of gear, it will be quite an amazing number.

  • Abercrombie & Fitch Profit Beats Estimates Friday, 16 May 2008 | 7:37 AM ET

    Teen apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch reported higher quarterly profit Friday, helped by stronger sales in all its chains and better gross profit.

  • Olympic Sponsors: Are They Getting "Hurt" By The Games? Thursday, 15 May 2008 | 4:32 PM ET
    2008 Olympics Beijing

    Michael Maslansky of Luntz, Maslansky Strategic Research just went on the air with me. His company polled 1,000 people online and asked them various questions about the Olympics. Here is the most important question. How much more or less likely are you to buy a product...

  • Upscale Stores: Stocks To Shop For Wednesday, 14 May 2008 | 2:36 PM ET

    It's not the easiest of times for the consumer, so why do the consumer numbers look so good? More importantly, why should an investor consider consumer discretionary stocks? Citigroup's Kimberly Greenberger has some answers and some recommendations.

  • Keeping My Eye On Consumers Wednesday, 14 May 2008 | 1:18 PM ET

    Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Ventura, CA, New York. For the past week, I’ve been traveling around the country and keeping an eye on consumers across America. Each region faces its own unique challenges with gas prices fluctuating from market to market and housing prices also shifting.

  • Macy's Profit Falls, Hurt by Lower Sales Wednesday, 14 May 2008 | 8:31 AM ET
    Macy's

    Retailer Macy's reported a quarterly loss Wednesday as a difficult retail environment hurt sales and it incurred costs from a restructuring.

  • Yahoo Leads Nasdaq Higher Tuesday, 13 May 2008 | 5:44 PM ET

    Carl Icahn and a possible proxy fight with Yahoo, the CEO of Liz Claiborne on the status of their turnaround and after hours action from Whole Foods, Applied Materials and more.

  • HP Drags on Dow; Yahoo Buoys Nasdaq Tuesday, 13 May 2008 | 5:11 PM ET

    Stocks declined Tuesday as investors expressed their disappointment in Wal-Mart's outlook, HP's deal and a slew of other news. Surprising resilience in retail sales, excluding autos, helped curb losses. The Nasdaq eked out a gain, led by Yahoo.

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