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Costco’s sales jump in Q3

BY Alaric DeArment

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Sales at mass-merchandise retailer Costco rose by 16% in third quarter 2011, according to an earnings statement released Wednesday.

The Issaquah, Wash.-based retailer said sales for the quarter were $20.2 billion, compared with $17.4 billion in third quarter 2010. For the first three quarters of fiscal year 2011, sales were $59.5 billion, a 13% increase over $52.7 billion during the same period in 2010. The figures include sales from a joint venture in Mexico, of which Costco owns 50%.

Profits for the quarter were $324 million, compared with $306 million in third quarter 2010, while profits for the first three quarters were $984 million, compared with $871 million during the first three quarters of 2010. The company, which operates 581 stores worldwide, including 425 in the United States, said it plans to open 11 more locations before fiscal year 2011 ends on Aug. 28.

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GMA names EVP global strategies

BY Gail Hoffer

WASHINGTON — The Grocery Manufacturers Association has appointed Sean Darragh as EVP global strategies, a newly created position within the association, the organization’s president and CEO announced.

The EVP global strategies is responsible for expanding GMA’s international program by defining and effectively executing a global policy and advocacy strategy that is fully integrated into the GMA strategic plan, the association reported.

Darragh most recently served as EVP international affairs at the Biotechnology Industry Organization, where he led BIO’s international regulatory and policy advocacy operations and oversaw BIO’s efforts to build its international presence, membership and global reach. Prior to taking on that role, he served as EVP for BIO’s food and agriculture division, where he directed the diplomatic, legislative, regulatory and communications strategy for the food and agriculture section.

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Target donates to tornado relief in Midwest

BY Allison Cerra

MINNEAPOLIS — Target announced its donation of funds and product to support tornado relief efforts.

The company donated $50,000 in funds to Minnesota to help the efforts of the American Red Cross and Salvation Army. Target donated $150,000 in funds and product to benefit those in Joplin, Mo., and areas impacted by the Mississippi River flooding. Target said it will give $95,000 directly to the American Red Cross to support relief efforts in Joplin and the Mississippi River area. The rest of the donation will be in product, including relief kits being delivered to the Target store in Joplin.

“We take seriously our responsibility as a retailer, employer and community member to aid in times of need,” Target chairman, president and CEO Gregg Steinhafel said. “Before and after a crisis, communities can count on Target.”

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