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Retail Briefs

ShopKo Deal Sweetened … Again

ShopKo Stores, Inc., Badger Retail Holding, Inc., and Badger Acquisition Corp. (affiliates of Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison, Incorporated, a Minneapolis-based private equity firm) have once again sweetened the merger agreement entered into on April 7, which provides for the acquisition of ShopKo by Badger Retail in an all-cash transaction.

Under the terms of the merger agreement as amended, each outstanding share of ShopKo's common stock will be converted into the right to receive $25.50 in cash, an increase of 50 cents per share over the price previously agreed to, and $1.50 over the original proposal.

With the additional 50 cents, Goldner Hawn has indicated that John A. Levin & Co. and several of its affiliates (Levco Affiliates) have now agreed to vote all of their shares of ShopKo stock in favor of the amended merger agreement.

Levco Affiliates own 1,818,400 shares of ShopKo, representing approximately 6 percent of the issued and outstanding ShopKo shares. The Levco Affiliates had previously indicated their opposition to the merger agreement. A vote is scheduled for Oct. 17.

Williams-Sonoma Opens Home Store

Williams-Sonoma, Inc. has opened the first Williams-Sonoma Home store in West Hollywood.

The new store, like the catalog, will sell custom-upholstered furniture in an expanded selection of 111 fabrics available on a choice of 28 frames. There will also be a broader selection of merchandise than what is currently offered in the catalog, including more handcrafted wood furniture, lighting, tableware, imported bedding and decorative accessories.

According to the company, customers will have their custom upholstery purchase arrive in 45 days from time of order. The store also features a design-consultation space for customers to meet with complimentary Williams-Sonoma Home design consultants.

Wal-Mart Makes Changes

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has promoted John Menzer, president and CEO of Wal-Mart International, and Mike Duke, president and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, U.S.A., to vice chairman positions.

Eduardo Castro-Wright, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Wal-Mart Stores, U.S.A., has been named president and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, U.S.A., reporting to Menzer. Pat Curran, senior vice president and a divisional manager for Wal-Mart Stores, U.S.A., has been promoted to executive vice president for store operations, reporting to Castro-Wright.

Greg Spragg, executive vice president for Sam's Club operations, has been named executive vice president for the Sam's Club merchandising and replenishment division, reporting to Doug McMillon, president and CEO for Sam's Club. Additionally, Greg Johnston, regional vice president for Sam's Club, has been promoted to executive vice president for Sam's Club operations, reporting to McMillon.

Mark Goodman has joined Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. as executive vice president of marketing and membership of Sam's Club, effective Oct. 1.

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