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The Art of Shaving teams up with Movember

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — The Art of Shaving, a Procter & Gamble brand, has teamed up with Movember to support the men’s health charity’s U.S. fundraising campaign.

Movember, which was founded in 2004, encourages men to grow a mustache to raise awareness and funds for men’s health and cancers affecting men. To support the cause, The Art of Shaving said that it will make an initial donation of $10,000 to Movember. Additionally, the brand will encourage its team members to join the movement, as well as match team donations made via The Art of Shaving’s Movember team at MoBro.co/theartofshaving, up to an additional $25,000.

In addition to its donations, the Art of Shaving also will offer a $10 ‘"Keep It Neat" Movember hot towel shave throughout the month. All proceeds from the "Keep It Neat" shave will be donated to Movember, the company noted.

"The Art of Shaving brand aficionados are united by an appreciation of the artistry of a traditional barber shave experience and committed to achieving the perfect shave," The Art of Shaving spokesman Damon Jones said. "We believe that this brotherhood of like-minded men can unite to help support this important cause, raising funds and awareness for men’s health issues while engaging in the ritual of the shave."

Added Movember cofounder and CEO Adam Garone, "Last year Movember became a truly global movement. Through the power of the moustache almost half a million Movember participants raised $174 million making it the largest nongovernment funder of prostate cancer research in the world. Nearly 65,000 American MoBros raised $7.5 million."

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Costco raises profits, membership fees

BY Gail Hoffer

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Costco membership seems to defy current consumer trends as the warehouse club announced Wednesday that it would raise its annual membership fees as it reported increases in fourth-quarter sales and earnings.

The company announced that effective Nov. 1, it will increase annual membership fees by $5 for U.S. goldstar (individual), business, business add-on and Canada business members. With this increase, all U.S. and Canada goldstar, business and business add-on members will pay an annual fee of $55. Also effective Nov. 1, U.S. and Canada executive membership annual fees will increase from $100 to $110, and the maximum 2% reward associated with executive membership will increase from $500 to $750. The fee increases will impact a little over 22 million members, roughly half of which are executive members.

For the fourth quarter, Costco reported net sales were $27.6 billion, an increase of 17% from $23.6 billion in the 16-week fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 ended Aug. 29, 2010. This year’s 16-week period included sales from the company’s Mexico joint venture; otherwise, the increase would have been 14%, the company said.

Total U.S. same-store sales for the fourth quarter were up 10%. Excluding fuel, U.S. comps rose 6%. Internationally, same-store sales were up 19%, 10% excluding fuel. Total same-store sales rose 12%, 7% excluding fuel.

Net income for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 was $478 million, or $1.08 per diluted share, compared with $432 million, or 97 cents per diluted share, during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010.

Costco currently operates 592 warehouses, including 429 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 82 in Canada, 32 in Mexico, 22 in the United Kingdom, nine in Japan, eight in Taiwan, seven in Korea, and three in Australia.

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Motley Fool: Building charging stations at the drug store? ‘Brilliant’

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — The Motley Fool on Tuesday published an article heralding Walgreens’ foresight in building charging stations for electric vehicles at its stores.

"Admittedly, the thought of charging a car at Walgreens sounds ridiculous to me," Motley Fool analyst Aimee Duffy said. "[But] when the 800 stations are completed at the end of the year, Walgreens will own 40% of the charging stations in the country. That puts the company in an excellent position to not only dominate market share but to establish itself as the go-to brand for electric charging."

Duffy added, "Once you look at the numbers, though, ridiculous suddenly seems brilliant."

According to the report, the National Academies predicted that 13 million to 40 million electric vehicles will be on the road by 2030.

For the full story, click here.

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