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Retail briefs

Expo Merchandise changes mirror The Home Depot

Home Depot Expo has realigned its merchandising structure, similar to what Home Depot announced several weeks ago. Among the changes, Alan Holland is now a product development merchant, responsible for decor, which includes his previous category of window, as well as fabric, wall covering and specialty furniture, the company said. Lee Nemeth, who previously bought the fabric and wall covering categories, has become an East Coast field merchant and will work with stores to roll out programs within the field.

Big Lots to open big DC in Oklahoma

Big Lots has announced it will build a 1.2-million-square-foot distribution center in Durant, OK, scheduled to open in early 2004. It is expected to create 500 new jobs and service the company's locations in the south central region. The $65 million facility would be Big Lots' fifth DC. The company operates 16 retail stores in Oklahoma.

Lowe's breaks ground in Cheyenne

Lowe's Companies recently broke ground in Cheyenne, WY, for a $60 million state-of-the-art regional distribution center. The one-million-square-foot facility is being built on an approximately 160-acre site and is scheduled to open late next year. It will employ 425 people and service up to 85 stores throughout the western United States.

Williams-Sonoma loses income, gains investors

Williams-Sonoma reported a 73 percent drop in fiscal second-quarter profits, but investors — impressed by its cost-cutting efforts — drove its stock up by nearly 12%. The retailer, whose chains include Williams-Sonoma, Grand Cuisine and Pottery Barn, said its earnings for the three months ended July 29 fell due to a tough market and high advertising costs. It also issued a third-quarter forecast below Wall Street's projections. However, analysts advised against making too much of the forecast since the company had not previously issued estimates for the third quarter. As of last Friday, the stock was up $3.32, or 11.6 percent, in New York Stock Exchange trading.

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