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Retail News Highlights: Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST)’s Expansion, Best Buy Co., Inc. (BBY)’s New Plans, J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (JCP)’s New Investors

Editor’s Note: Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST), Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY), J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP), Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:SHLD)

Costco gets the nod for national expansion (The Australian)
US retail giant Costco has launched an Australia-wide expansion with more than five stores expected to open across the country over the next 18 months. After securing a new location as a tenant anchor of Marsden Park’s mammoth Sydney Business Park development, Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) has set its sights on a 15,800sq m warehouse in Sydney’s south at Caringbah. The retailer’s growth plans had earlier been dismissed by the local council as not permissible under business park zoning rules but Sutherland Shire Council moved to overrule that decision.

Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY)

Best Buy plans PS4, and now Xbox One, midnight launch sales (CNET)
For those eager to get their grubby mitts on Sony or Microsoft’s newest, next-gen consoles the very second they’re available, Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) is opening a little earlier than usual. The retailer on Wednesday announced plans to run a midnight release event for Microsoft’s Xbox One console, which earlier today got a November 22 release date. That sale joins another, announced late last month, for Sony’s PlayStation 4, which goes on sale November 15. It’s not unusual for Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) to run a midnight sale for big game releases, though major, next-generation console runs happen less often.

Adam Levine’s Menswear Collection Launches at Kmart (Broadway World)
Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:SHLD) announced the launch of GRAMMY Award-winning recording artist ADAM Levine’s menswear collection, aptly named ADAM LEVINE, exclusively at Kmart and for Fall 2013. Levine’s eponymous collection is inspired by the simple yet sophisticated style that embodies the star of NBC’s The Voice’s everyday wardrobe. The effortlessly cool line embodies a casual aesthetic infused with an edgy and individualistic design approach featuring premium denim washes, outerwear, wovens, knits and accessories. Quite simply, it offers everything from easy to wear t-shirts to broken in jeans that will become staples in every guy’s wardrobe, until his girlfriend steals the button-front shirts to wear herself.

J.C. Penney attracts new investors after Bill Ackman exits (Dallas Morning News)
A week after activist shareholder Bill Ackman ended his three-year relationship with J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP), other investors disclosed sizable stakes in the Plano-based retailer. Dallas-based hedge fund Hayman Capital said Tuesday it has acquired a 5.2 percent stake in Penney. Hayman Capital, which is run by Kyle Bass, said in a filing that it bought more than 11.4 million shares as a passive investment. After the market closed Tuesday, Glenview Capital Management of New York, a fund founded by Lawrence Robbins, said it acquired more than 20 million shares, or about 9.1 percent, of J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP)’s shares.

An Inside Look at Sears’ Big Data Investment (RIS News)
Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:SHLD) has faced many challenges that are typical to any large enterprise: difficulty meeting production schedules and service level agreements (SLAs), multiple copies of data with no single version of truth, ETL (extract, transform, load) complexity and the cost of the software needed to manage, data latency, enterprise data warehouses unable to handle the load, mainframe over workload capacity, and escalating costs. The retailer wanted to build an agile enterprise that would be nimble, quick and operate at the speed of business. The transformation from legacy and proprietary technologies to a cloud-based, open-source big data platform allows for nimbler systems that enable the business at materially lower costs. To do this, Sears worked with several different solutions before it selected Hadoop.

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