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Survey: Costco tops popular chain store list

BY DSN STAFF

YONKERS, N.Y. A report released Tuesday by Consumer Reports said that more than 30,000 shoppers found Costco to be top notch among 11 of America’s most popular chain stores.

Fifty percent of Consumer Reports readers who shopped at Costco rated the value as “Excellent,” outscoring both Walmart and Kmart.

Costco was the only store judged much better than average for value.

In the survey, Walmart was the only chain to receive below-average quality scores in more than half of the product categories. Only about 10% of Walmart shoppers thought the store’s children’s clothing was excellent, for example. By contrast, 46% of Dillard’s shoppers thought the kids’ apparel was top-notch.

Surveyed shoppers said the prices at 10 other retailers, including J.C. Penney, Sears, Dillard’s and Meijer, were at least as good. Nearly three quarters of respondents who shopped at Walmart found at least one problem to complain about, and half had two or more complaints about the store or its staff.

Other key findings included: Costco, Dillard’s, Macy’s and Sears earned outstanding scores for merchandise quality.

In addition to a lack of sales help, the most prevalent problems according to respondents were that desired items were out of stock and that checkouts were jammed. Other problems cited in the report were difficult store layout, hidden price tags and lengthy returns.

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BioScrip to present at two upcoming conferences

BY Alaric DeArment

ELMSFORD, N.Y. Specialty pharmacy company BioScrip will present at two conferences next month, BioScrip said Wednesday.

On June 7, chairman and CEO Richard Friedman and CFO and EVP Stanley Rosenbaum will present at the Noble Financial Sixth Annual Equity Conference at the Hard Rock Hotel in Hollywood, Fla. The next day, Friedman, Rosenbaum and president and COO Richard Smith will present at the Jefferies 2010 Global Life Sciences Conference at the Grand Hyatt in New York.

A live audio Webcast of the Florida event will be available at www.ontrack10.com and www.nobleresearch.com, while one of the New York event will be at www.wsw.com/webcast/jeff46/bios. Replays of the presentations will be available through BioScrip’s Web site, at www.bioscrip.com.

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Costco’s profit soars in Q3

BY Allison Cerra

Wholesaler Costco saw a surge in its third-quarter profit, the retailer reported Thursday.

Net income in the quarter ended May 9 rose to $306 million, up nearly 46% from $210 million in the year-earlier third quarter. Sales rose 12% to $17.39 billion. Same-store sales rose 4%.

Costco said its dramatic profit increase was attributed to continued overseas demand from Canada to Taiwan and by better sales of nonessential products such as apparel and home furnishings.

At the end of the quarter, Costco ran 568 warehouse clubs, with locations in the United States; Canada; Mexico; the United Kingdom; Korea; Taiwan; Japan and Australia. The company said it plans to open five more locations by Aug. 29, the end of its fiscal year.

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