Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: More bad news for books and drug stores

January 5, 2009

Check Out some weakness in book and drug stores sales.

Borders dumped Chief Executive George Jones less than threejones2 years after he joined the No. 2 U.S. specialty bookseller, replacing him with a private equity executive with experience turning around ailing companies. The company, which reported a sales decline of almost 12 percent during the holiday shopping season, also named a new chief financial officer as well as replacing its executive vice president for merchandising and marketing.

In November, Borders said it was no longer pursuing a possible sale of the company even as it posted a larger-than-expected operating loss.

Meanwhile, same-store sales at drug stores were not what those retailers were hoping for. Walgreen, which saw sales at store open at least a year rise 4.9 percent in December, said shoppers focused on basic necessities, while staying away from seasonal items. Rite Aid‘s same-store sales in the same period slipped 0.2 percent.

President-elect Barack Obama plans to propose up to $310 billion in tax cuts as part of his massive economic stimulus package in an effort to help the U.S. economy escape its recession.

Also in the basket:

LG, Netflix to launch TVs with instant movie viewing

China’s young generation gets thrifty in gloomy economy

China maker Waterford Wedgwood calls in receivers

Consumers to Pare High-Tech Purchases (Wall Street Journal)

The Coming Fallout: Who’s Vulnerable? (WWD)

(Photo/Reuters)

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