Playthings Staff -- Gifts & Dec, June 25, 2007
Cost Plus Sues Vegas Market
Specialty retailer Cost Plus World Market filed suit in the U.S. District Court in Nevada demanding that the World Market Center (WMC), a showroom and tradeshow venue in Las Vegas, stop using the term "World Market" in its name. The 286-store chain said it has spent some $250 million to promote the brand just in the past two years, and said it first received trademark status for "World Market" in 1993. Cost Plus said some furniture retail stores have sourced products from the WMC and offered them under the World Market name. WMC said it believes it can continue to use the name without infringing on any prior trademark owner.
Family Dollar Expands Buyback
Family Dollar Stores has authorized the repurchase of an additional 5 million shares of common stock. This authorization continues the 6,300-store retailer's share repurchase program that began in October 2002. During the current fiscal year ending September 1, 2007, the company has purchased about 5 million shares at a cost of about $165.0 million, leaving some 1.1 million shares authorized to be purchased under previous authorizations.
Wal-Mart Int'l Openings Outpace U.S.
With more than 4,000 stores and clubs, the U.S. will be Wal-Mart's largest division for years to come — but the 7,000-location goliath will open more international than domestic units in 2008. Wal-Mart vice chairman and chief administrative officer John Menzer said from 230 to 260 new units are planned for the United States next year, while 315 to 325 doors will open in other countries. Menzer noted that international sales volume has attained a 27.4% compound annual growth rate over the past 7 years (excluding the discontinued operations in Germany and Korea). Annual volume for the 2,898 stores in 13 international markets has reached $77 billion.
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