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Retail Briefs

American Living: Polo for JCPenney

JCPenney plans the spring 2008 launch of American Living, a new brand exclusive from Polo Ralph Lauren, to be "the largest in JCPenney's history," the retailer said. Categories will include apparel, accessories and home. The formula will yield "inspiring style and great quality at smart prices," said JCP chairman and ceo Mike Ullman. Polo also has an exclusive with JCP rival Kohl's, marketed under the Chaps brand in sportswear, with home potentially to come.

Wal-Mart: Cut Packaging by 5%

As the keynote speaker at the Business and the Environment Programme hosted in London by the Prince of Wales, Wal-Mart Stores president and ceo Lee Scott covered a range of eco-friendly activities in the Sustainability 360 project, including its "initiative to work with suppliers to reduce packaging by 5% by 2013."

Scott added, "Just think about this: What if we worked with our suppliers to take non-renewable energy off our shelves and out of the lives of our customers? We could create metrics and share best practices so our suppliers could make products that rely less and less on carbon-based energy."

TJX in $1Billion Share Buyback

The TJX Companies plans to repurchase up to $1 billion in stock, amounting to about 7.5% of the outstanding common shares. Carol Meyrowitz, president and ceo of the $17.4 billion off-price retailer, said, "This new authorization reflects continued confidence in our business and our ability to deliver profitable sales growth." The company's share price reached a 52-week high in early January, but broke sharply downward after TJX said it would incur a fourth-quarter charge in the wake of a computer security breach.

Gallagher Tops Ops for BJ's

BJ's Wholesale Club has promoted Thomas Gallagher to executive vp of store operations, reporting directly to chairman of the board and interim ceo Herb Zarkin. He succeeds Ed Giles, who has left the company. Gallagher has more than 30 years of experience in retail operations, and came to BJ's in 1991 as a regional manager. Most recently, he was senior vp of operations at 172-store BJ's.

Bon-Ton Plans Furniture Gallery

The Bon-Ton Stores is converting its Elder-Beerman department store in Green Bay, Wis., into a furniture gallery. The 55,000-square-foot gallery will operate under the Younkers nameplate. Bud Bergren, president and ceo, noted: "Our Elder-Beerman customers will find a greater merchandise selection at our Younkers department store in Bay Park Mall." The company operates 283 stores,including eight furniture galleries.

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