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American Greetings introduces new cards from Pastor Joel Osteen

BY Allison Cerra

CLEVELAND American Greetings Corp. has introduced a new collection of cards from pastor, New York Times best-selling author and inspirational speaker Joel Osteen.

The cards feature the powerful words and inspirational messages that have made Osteen so popular. These new cards come at the perfect time for shoppers hoping to send a particularly meaningful Easter greeting, and can be found at your local Walmart store. Additional cards featuring Joel Osteen will be available for everyday sending occasions and holidays throughout the year.

“People around the world embrace Joel Osteen’s guidance as they experience the joys and challenges of every day life,” said Charlotte Bean, manager, business development at American Greetings.  “His optimistic spirit, deep faith and inspirational messages resonate particularly well today, as consumers look for ways to encourage one another, and share appreciation for the relationships that help sustain them through good times and bad.”

Osteen has committed to give 100% of his proceeds from the greeting card series to Nashville, Tenn.-based Mercy Ministries of America. Mercy Ministries is a Christian-based residential counselling program that has been serving young women in crisis for more than 26 years.

“This support from the Osteens means so much,” said Mercy Ministries’ founder and president Nancy Alcorn. “We rely on the generosity of our supporters to make our work possible, and thanks to Joel and Victoria Osteen, Mercy Ministries will be able to reach many more young women who are struggling with life controlling issues.”

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Staedtler announces merger of U.S., Canada operations

BY Allison Cerra

CHATSWORTH, Calif. A new, consolidated organization of Staedtler will emerge by the end of this year, the company’s division presidents and CEOs announced.

By merging the United States and Canada operations, Staedtler Inc. will have a combined division called Staedtler North America.

The company manufactures writing instruments, including highlighters, mechanical drawing instruments and more.

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Costco halts home furnishing store experiment

BY Alaric DeArment

ISSAQUAH, Wash. Costco Wholesale Corp. will close its two Costco Home stores, the retailer announced Thursday.

The company will close the stores, in Kirkland, Wash., and Tempe, Ariz., on July 3.

“Costco Home has been a valuable experiment for us,” CEO Jim Sinegal stated. “We provided a competitive home furnishings alternative to our members in two locations and learned a great deal about home furnishings in the process. The current economic slowdown and resulting weakness in the home furnishings business inparticular have led us to conclude that the single-format Costco Home concept does not fit into our long-term expansion plans.”

Employees at the two stores will be offered opportunities to work at Costco warehouses, the company said.

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