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Jembro variety stores make way to Chicago from Northeast

Jembro Inc., a family-owned chain of variety stores from the Northeast, is entering the Chicago market.

The Brooklyn, N.Y.-based retailer unveiled an 8,400 square-foot store at Bricktown Square in Chicago in late March. A second store– almost twice the size at 15,200 square feet — is slated to open this summer at the Hillcrest Shopping Center in Crest Hill. Get the full story »

Walgreens to install charging stations for electric cars

Walgreen Co. announced today it will install charging stations for electric vehicles as part of a Chicago-area public charging infrastructure rollout led by California-based 350Green LLC.

Already, more than 150 private charging stations have been installed throughout the city, and an additional 280 public charging stations have been announced for the Chicago area. Walgreens is the first company is the first retail partner to formally announce their participation in the $8.9 million project. Get the full story »

Wal-Mart CEO receives $18.7M pay package

The CEO of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. received a pay package in 2010 worth $18.7 million, a 4 percent dip from the year before, according to an Associated Press calculation, as the world’s largest retailer struggled to reverse a decline in a key revenue figure. Get the full story »

Target giving away 1M reusable bags Sunday

On Sunday, Target will give away 1 million reusable bags in celebration of Earth Day. The 100 percent recyclable Tyvek totes will be in Target stores nationwide while supplies last, which is not expected to be very long. Get the full story »

Chicago sales tax receipts show rebound

From Crain’s Chicago Business | Sales tax receipts throughout the metropolitan area increased in 2010, according to the Illinois Department of Revenue, signaling the first rise in retail spending since 2008. Overall, sales tax revenue in the six-county area advanced 3.4 percent to $7.46 billion last year. Get the full story>>

Best Buys plans smaller stores, more online sales

A Best Buy store in Alexandria, Va. (Reuters)

Best Buy Co. Inc. plans to boost its Web presence and open a greater number of small stores in the United States targeting mobile customers in an effort to win back market share from the likes of Inc and Wal-Mart Stores Inc .

The news came after many investors had raised concerns about the retailer’s huge overhead costs and oversized stores at a time when many shoppers go online to buy gadgets. Get the full story »

Sears sues to keep DieHard name off sex spray

Sears Roebuck and Co. and one of its companies have filed suit in U.S. District Court in Chicago against a Georgia online company for selling a sexual enhancement product marketed under the “DieHard” brand name.

Sears and KCD IP LLC, an affiliate of Sears which owns trademark rights to “DieHard,” charge that RockHard Laboratories LLC and RockHard Laboratories Holdings LLC infringed on its trademark and caused its reputation to suffer from the online marketing of RockHard’s topical desensitizing spray. Get the full story », Walgreens talked for a year before deal rejected a pair of lower offers from Walgreen Co. during a yearlong courtship before accepting a third proposal worth about $429 million, the Bellevue, Wash.-based Internet retailer disclosed in a regulatory filing Wednesday. agreed March 23 to be bought by Walgreens, the nation’s largest drugstore chain, for $3.80 a share in cash, a 111 percent premium over the stock’s closing price a week earlier. The planned purchase, which is subject to approval by shareholders, is expected to be final by the end of June. Get the full story »

Speedway, Circle K could take over Gas City stores

TribLocal | It appears the Gas City stations in the area could become Speedway or Circle K stations.

According to multiple reports citing bankruptcy court records, Speedway LLC and Canada’s Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., the owner of Circle K, will purchase 32 of the 50 stations owned by Frankfort-based Gas City Ltd.

Wal-Mart planning small store in River North

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is in talks to open a Walmart Express convenience store in River North, according to real estate sources.

The world’s largest retailer is eyeing a location at 225 W. Chicago Ave. at the corner of Franklin Avenue, which formerly housed Pearl, the discount art supply store. Get the full story »

Wal-Mart shrinks electronics space, adds items

Wal-Mart is cutting the size of its electronics department as popular gadgets shrink and making room to add back dropped items like fishing poles, fabric and full-figure fashions. Get the full story »

Prices of cotton goods could jump 10%

Cotton prices have soared to record highs following a global supply shortage. (Reuters/Stringer/Files)

This summer, shoppers will be paying 10 percent to 15 percent more on all cotton products, according to a new industry survey.

“I can’t recall a time when we’ve seen this type of retail price [ increase ] on cotton products,“ said Andrew Tananbaum, CEO of Capital Business Credit, which provides financing to clothing and home furnishing suppliers. Get the full story »

American Girl cuts jobs in Wis., Calif.

American Girl is cutting staff. Eleven jobs were eliminated Tuesday in Wisconsin, 13 in Los Angeles, and more positions could end this summer, spokeswoman Julie Parks said. There were no layoffs in Chicago, the company said. Get the full story »

Gap CEO’s pay package rises 18% in 2010

Gap CEO Glenn Murphy received compensation worth nearly $6 million in 2010, an 18 percent increase from the year before, according to an analysis by The Associated Press. Get the full story »

Wal-Mart closes on land for Chatham supercenter

A vacant lot on the 50-acre Chatham Market, a shopping center at 83rd Street near the Dan Ryan Expressway, where Wal-Mart wants to build its second city store. (Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune)

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. closed on the sale of a piece of land on Chicago’s South Side where it plans to build a long-anticipated 155,000-square-foot supercenter.

The world’s largest retailer paid about $10 million for the 13.5 acre parcel at the Chatham Market shopping center at the corner of 83rd Street and South Holland Road, according to a person close to the deal. The store is slated to open next year. Get the full story »