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Retail briefs

Wal-Mart's German branch improving

At last week's UBS Warburg's Global Consumer Conference in New York, Wal-Mart discussed its international division, its "best performing division this year," said Jay Fitzsimmons, senior vp and treasurer. Regarding its operations in Germany, which Wal-Mart entered in 1998 with the purchase of Wertkauf, Fitzsimmons said, "This was a fixer-upper." He continued, "We said it was going to take three years to be profitable." The problems Wal-Mart faced there were not consumer issues, he said, but issues that the company caused. Now, however, the company is seeing improvements in its German stores, which have been accomplishing some of the higher comps internationally for the company, he said. "We're executing better in that market, and we will be profitable in the near term."

The Home Co. opens in Atlanta market

The Home Co., a Dallas-based furniture retailer that also offers rugs and decorative accessories, opened its third store last week, a 90,000-square-foot location in Atlanta's Discover Mills mall. With two locations in the Austin/San Antonio and Washington/Baltimore markets, the company plans to open Chicago and Denver locations next year.

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