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Retail Briefs

Home Depot Centralizing Divisions

The Home Depot will centralize its three U.S. divisional offices into the company's headquarters located in Atlanta.

Over the next several months, The Home Depot's Southern, Northern and Western division presidents will relocate to Atlanta. These changes are intended to help Home Depot execute merchandising and operational initiatives with greater consistency, efficiency and speed.

Home Depot plans to maintain its three U.S. divisional offices as regional facilities to house regional vice presidents and other critical support positions, but will reduce its current square footage requirements in connection with this centralization.

Wal-Mart Sees Growth; Launching Card

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said for March, U.S. stores open at least a year should see results similar to the 4.1 percent sales growth experienced in February.

Also, in conjunction with GE Consumer Finance, Wal-Mart is launching two credit cards on the Discover Network — one for business members of Sam's Club and one for consumers. The Sam's Club Discover will be available in April.

Stein Mart Has 65 percent 4Q Increase

Stein Mart, Inc. reported for the fourth quarter of 2004, the company earned $22.8 million, a 65 percent increase over net income of $13.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2003.

Net sales for the fourth quarter were $444.9 million, an 8.8 percent increase over the $408.9 million in sales for the fourth quarter of 2003. Comparable-store sales increased 8 percent from the fourth quarter of 2003 to the fourth quarter of 2004.

Same-Store Sales Down at Cost Plus

Cost Plus, Inc. reported unaudited fourth quarter net income was $23.5 million compared with a restated $26.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2003.

Net income for fiscal 2004 was $30.2 million compared with restated net income of $32.7 million for 2003. During the fourth quarter, net sales increased 9.7 percent to $342.9 million from $312.6 million last year. Same-store sales for the quarter decreased 1.3 percent compared with a 3.1 percent increase in the prior year.

Dollar General Ups 4Q Net

Dollar General Corporation reported unaudited net income for the 2004 fourth quarter ended Jan. 28 increased 31 percent to $133.9 million. Full-year 2004 net income increased 15 percent to $344.2 million.

The 2003 amounts include a $10 million non-tax deductible civil penalty to be paid to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Excluding the impact of the penalty, net income for the 2004 fourth quarter and fiscal year increased 19 percent and 11 percent, respectively.

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