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Retail Briefs

LNT Opens Online Wine Boutique

Linens 'n Things has added an on-line wine boutique through a program designed by Napa Valley-based Legacy Clubs and New Vine Logistics, a wine distribution, logistics and marketing company.

Wines are available through LNT's home page at www.lnt.com and directly at www.lntwine.com. The assortment includes wine-related products and gift baskets that retail for $60 to $300, an “LNT international wine cellar,” a “Wine 101” basic educational program (with seasonal wine suggestions, service tips and entertaining ideas) and a wine-by-mail club available in 28 states, featuring boutique Napa Valley and other hard-to-find California and foreign wines.

Wines on the site are available by the bottle or the case. Offerings range in price from $11 per bottle for a 2005 Dry Creek Chenin Blanc to $75 per bottle for a Crichton Hall 2000 Reflexion Bordeaux blend.

Overstock.com Teams with Chase for Rewards Visa

Overstock.com has teamed with JP Morgan Chase Bank to launch a co-branded Visa card.

Card members will earn three points for every dollar spent at Overstock.com and one point for every dollar spent elsewhere. Every time a card accumulates 2,500 points, the holder will automatically receive a $25 reward certificate to use toward Overstock.com purchases.

Holders of the Overstock.com Rewards Visa also receive a free, one-year membership in Club O, which entitles them a 5-percent discount on purchases and a one-dollar shipping rate on all orders. Existing Club O members, who paid $29.95 for their annual membership, will receive $30 off their first card purchase at Overstock.com.

Wal-Mart Buys Brazilian Chain

A decade after entering the Brazilian retailing market, Wal-Mart Stores has purchased 140 hypermarkets, supermarkets and wholesale units from the Sonae retail chain in Porto Alegre, Brazil for approximately $757 million.

Formerly owned by Portuguese group Modelo Continente, Sonae has operations in the capital, Sao Paulo, and in the southern Brazilian states Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina and Parana, with 20,000 employees.

According to Craig Herkert, president and CEO of Wal-Mart in the Americas, this purchase significantly strengthens Wal-Mart's stake in Latin America by building on the September acquisition of a one-third interest in Central American Retail Holding Co., the region's leading retailer. Wal-Mart Brazil will now comprise 295 units in 17 Brazilian states.

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