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Retail Briefs

Kmart, Sears finalize deal

Kmart will sell 45 stores for $524.5 million in cash to Sears, Roebuck and Co., finalizing the exact terms of a deal that was inked in June.

The original deal allowed for the sale of up to 54 stores for $621 million in cash. The sale of up to another six stores remains subject to unannounced conditions that must be met within the next 15 days, stated the companies. The cash proceeds from these six additional stores would total up to $65.3 million.

Kmart will continue to operate the stores that will be sold to Sears until March or April 2005. Sears has agreed to consider offering employment to any Kmart employee who desires a position at the converted stores, stated the companies. Specific locations of the stores affected will be available once the transaction is finalized in the coming weeks.

Kmart expects to receive 30 percent of the final sales proceeds from Sears by Sept. 30. The remaining 70 percent of the final sales proceeds will be received by Kmart when Sears has taken occupancy of the properties, which is expected by April 15, 2005.

Target: Mervyn's sale completed

Target Corporation has completed the sale of its Mervyn's retail subsidiary to an investment consortium including Sun Capital Partners, Inc., Cerberus Capital Management, L.P., Lubert-Adler and Klaff Partners, L.P., and completed the sale of Mervyn's credit card receivables to GE Consumer Finance, a unit of General Electric Company. The value of the transactions was approximately $1.65 billion in cash.

Mervyn's is a promotional, middle-market department store with 257 stores in 13 states, primarily in the West and South. In 2003, it generated $3.6 billion in revenue and $160 million in pretax profit. Mervyn's will continue to operate from its headquarters in Hayward, Calif.

Overstock.com selects Oracle

Overstock.com is standardizing on Oracle technology as the foundation of its data-management infrastructure in an effort to ensure customers can access the company's Web sites.

Following extensive reviews and tests of database software from Oracle and others, Overstock.com decided to expand its relationship with Oracle based on product performance, reliability and scalability, stated the company.

Overstock.com uses Oracle's database clustering technology on Red Hat Linux to manage daily Web site visitors and transactions. Currently, the company operates five Oracle clusters to power its Web sites.

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