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Tide’s Loads of Hope makes its way to Joplin, Mo.

BY Allison Cerra

CINCINNATI — Procter & Gamble’s Tide brand is bringing its mobile laundry program to Missouri to provide free laundry services to victims of the recent tornadoes in the area.

Tide’s Loads of Hope will arrive in Joplin, Mo., on Thursday and is encouraging residents and workers to drop off their laundry to be washed, dried and folded, free of charge.

The program includes the Tide Loads of Hope truck outfitted with 32 energy-efficient Frigidaire Affinity washers and dryers. Collectively, Tide has washed more than 44,000 loads of laundry for more than 35,000 families impacted by disasters since the program launched in 2005.

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Bartell to host third annual Stock the Pantry food drive

BY Alaric DeArment

SEATTLE — Bartell Drugs will kick off its annual food drive at the end of the month, the regional retail pharmacy chain said.

Bartell’s will launch the third annual Stock the Pantry food drive on Monday to benefit Northwest Harvest. The drive lasts through June 12 and is designed to replenish food bank, meal program and school food stocks in Washington’s Puget Sound area, the metropolitan area around Seattle.

“Year-round hunger is an unfortunate reality for many children and their families,” Bartell’s chairman and CEO George Bartell said. “Through the generous contributions by our customers, we’re proud to support Northwest Harvest with this effort.”

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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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