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Retail Briefs

Home Depot Predicts 2005 Numbers

The Home Depot expects its fiscal year 2005 sales will grow between 9 and 12 percent and that earnings per share will grow between 10 and 14 percent, stated Bob Nardelli, chairman, president and CEO, at the company's annual meeting with the investment community.

The company plans to add 175 new stores and continue its investment in store modernization and technology through a capital spending plan of $3.7 billion.

Jo-Ann to Build DC for Southern States

Jo-Ann Stores, Inc. plans to build a 700,000-square-foot distribution center in Opelika, Ala., to support the company's growth in southern states, like Florida, Georgia and Texas. The site will mark the company's third distribution center, with two others located in Visalia, Calif., and Hudson, Ohio. Jo-Ann will break ground for the new site in March of 2005 and expects to begin shipping to stores in April of 2006.

Penney Opens Phoenix Store

JCPenney opened a store at Foothills Park Place in Phoenix on Jan. 14. The store covers 104,204 square feet with a new format designed for greater shopping convenience. Featured brands will include: Arizona Jean Co., Chris Madden for JCPenney Home Collection, SouthPole, Worthington, Stafford, Mudd, Bisou-Bisou, Oshkosh, St. John's Bay, and the Colin Cowie for JCPenney Home Collection.

Kmart-Sears Merger Wins Credit

Eight financial institutions have committed $3.5 billion of a $4 billion senior secured revolving credit facility currently in syndication to be used in connection with the Kmart-Sears merger. The remaining $500 million is ostensibly still under development.

The combined retail operations, under the auspices of the newly created Sears Holdings Corporation, would create the nation's third largest retailer with an estimated $55 billion in sales and initially 2,350 full-line stores and 1,100 specialty stores. The funds for the $11 billion merger will be available for five years.

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