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Retail briefs

Kmart and Martha renew vows

Kmart and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO) announced a new long-term merchandising agreement that will significantly lengthen the term and expand the scope of the Martha Stewart Everyday (MSE) brand. MSE products will be available exclusively at Kmart stores, bluelight.com and marthastewart.com until 2008, with conditional renewal until 2013. The two companies also intend to expand the number of MSE products and the skus within the five existing categories, as well as add two more categories — holidays and crafts — in 2002. MSLO will continue to develop MSE product designs, as well as the signage, packaging, advertising and other materials, while Kmart will remain responsible for manufacturing, fulfillment, warehousing, marketing and in-store operations. Financial details were undisclosed.

D.I.Y. Home Warehouse to close remaining stores

D.I.Y. Home Warehouse, Cleveland, will close its remaining six stores in Cleveland, Eastlake, Elyria, Warren, Akron and Ashtabula, all in Ohio. Inventory closeout sales at all locations were scheduled to begin last week and were expected to be completed by the end of August. The company made the decision after reviewing updated projections that indicated that it would not be able to operate profitably on a long-term basis given the competitive pressures from national warehouse retailers.

Target to offer smart Visa card

Following a successful three-market test, Target will roll out its Target Visa card nationwide. The result of a partnership with Visa U.S.A., the Target smart Visa cards are powered by microchip technology and have multi-platform capabilities. Target will offer the cards through its Retailers National Bank affiliate later this year, and will install point-of-sale terminals that accept chip payment in all Target stores in 2002.

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