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99 Cents Only has big store plans, Q2 comps up 6.7%

BY Gail Hoffer

CITY OF COMMERCE, Calif. — A strong earnings and sales performance during its fiscal second quarter gave 99 Cents Only Stores the confidence to raise its full-year guidance and become more aggressive with store growth. The company reported that total retail sales increased 9% to $352.2 million and same-store sales increased 6.7% for the second quarter. Consolidated net income increased by $2.2 million to $15.1 million or 21 cents per diluted share, versus $12.9 million in the prior year, or 18 cents per diluted share

Eric Schiffer, CEO of 99 Cents Only Stores, stated, "We are pleased with our financial results for the second quarter of fiscal 2012. Our long-term operational improvement initiatives have continued to meet our expectations, resulting in earnings per share of 21 cents for the second quarter of fiscal 2012."

For fiscal 2012, as previously announced, the company has raised its same-store-sales percentage increase expectations for the full year to mid-single digits and plans to open 12 stores in the second half of the year. Of these 12 new stores, the company said it has already opened one store in the third quarter and plans to open two more stores in the third quarter and approximately nine stores in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012. The majority of these new store openings in fiscal 2012 will be in California. The company said it plans to accelerate its store growth rate to approximately 10% in fiscal 2013, with the majority of new stores expected to be in California.

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Walgreens to offer vets 15% to 20% off purchases on Veterans Day

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Thursday announced it is offering a discount to all veterans and active duty military on Veterans Day, in recognition of their service and commitment to the country.

On Nov. 11, veterans will receive 15% off eligible store items and 20% off Walgreens and W brand products with a valid military ID or proof of service at any Walgreens and Duane Reade drug store nationwide.

"We want to thank our employees who are veterans and veterans everywhere for their courage, sacrifice and service," Walgreens president of community management and operations Mark Wagner said. "We are grateful for their contributions and to all who have served."

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Walmart officially unveils Black Friday circular online

BY Allison Cerra

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart on Thursday officially released its Black Friday circular on its website and Facebook page to help families save money this holiday season, and will host shopping events as early as 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

"Our customers told us they would rather stay up late to shop than get up early, so we’re going to hold special events on Thanksgiving and Black Friday," Walmart U.S. chief merchandising officer Duncan Mac Naughton said. "We’ll have this season’s hottest gifts at prices only Walmart can provide. And by sharing our Black Friday specials earlier than ever, we hope to make buying decisions easier for parents working hard to give their families the Christmas they deserve."

The retailer is hosting three special-shopping events in its stores. The special sales events include: toys, home and apparel at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day; electronics at midnight on Black Friday; and gifts for the whole family, in addition to electronics and more, at 8 a.m. on Black Friday and throughout the weekend. Customers are encouraged to contact their local store for details. Similarly, Walmart.com also will host all-day savings on Thanksgiving, where shoppers can get online-only specials and save with free "fast, faster, fastest" shipping options.

As part of the Black Friday savings events, Walmart also is helping shoppers plan ahead by posting store-specific maps on Facebook. To access the map, shoppers simply need to find their favorite store by clicking on the "My Local Walmart" application on Walmart’s Facebook page.

Click here for more information.

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