Latest on Retail: Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST) on GMO Initiative, Best Buy Co., Inc. (BBY)’s Petition, J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (JCP) Board’s Exit

Editor’s Note: Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST), Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY), J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP), Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON), Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE:VNO)

Monsanto goes all Costco in fight against GMO initiative (Bellingham Herald)
The eight candidates for Whatcom County Council all have five-figure war chests and, for now, none of that unlimited “independent expenditure” money the national media told us to look for. As reported by John Ryan at KUOW, Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) is the biggest contributor on either side by far, having just given nearly $4.6 million to the “No” on I-522 campaign. That brings the anti-522 campaign’s donation total to $7.9 million, compared to $4.4 million for the “yes” side. Shades of Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) in the 2011 campaign to privatize liquor sales, as Ryan pointed out in his story. Except Costco contributed quite a bit more than Monsanto has so far, according to Ryan: $20.8 million.

Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST)

Best Buy petitions U.S. District Court to take jurisdiction over injury claim by Phila. couple (The Pennsylvania Record)
A Bucks County lawyer representing Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) in a personal injury case filed last month by a Philadelphia couple has filed a petition to transfer the civil action from state court to federal court. Attorney Francis W. Worthington, of the Jamison, Pa. firm Worthington & Worthington, filed a notice of removal on Sept. 12 at the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia seeking to move a lawsuit initiated by husband and wife Kevin and Donna Jackson from the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Steven Roth Resigns from J.C. Penney Board (Wall Street Journal)
Steven Roth, chief executive of Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE:VNO), stepped down from J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP)’s board Friday, becoming the second big investor to leave the struggling department-store operator’s board in recent weeks. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Vornado said it intends to review its investments in Penney, noting at a recent conference Vornado Chief Administrative Officer Joseph Macnow said his company expects to exit its investment “in the not-too-distant future.” Vornado said it has a 6.1% stake in J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP).

Costco granted permission to build Stonefield big box (Charlottesville Tomorrow)
The pathway for Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) to open a 155,000-square-foot store in the Stonefield development became clearer Wednesday when Albemarle County supervisors approved requests to alter plans for the property. “I think Albemarle County can use the tax revenue,” said Supervisor Rodney S. Thomas, one of four supervisors who backed the requests. Supervisors Kenneth C. Boyd and William “ Petie ” Craddock voted against the plan. Edens, Stonefield’s South Carolina-based builder, asked to realign proposed buildings and a street to accommodate the planned store in the 65-acre development.

Police investigating Best Buy robbery (Burlington Times News)
Police are investigating after two people stole thousands of dollars’ worth of electronics from the Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) store in Burlington early Friday morning. Burlington police and a Burlington Police Department K9 unit were dispatched to the Best Buy location at 1465 University Drive at 5:49 a.m. in response to a burglar alarm, where officers found an unsecured rear door entering the business. The investigation has shown that two unknown people entered Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) and stole 44 iPod MP3 players, with a total value of $11,449.56. Police are unsure how the robbers left the property after exiting the building.

Dispute with J.C. Penney delays, could derail Westdale plans (The Gazette: Eastern Iowa Breaking News and Headlines)
A dispute between an anchor tenant of Westdale Mall and the Colorado company planning a $90 million redevelopment of the shopping center is delaying construction, which in turn could derail the project. J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP), under provisions of its original lease with Westdale, has the right to approve or reject any physical changes at the mall. The Plano, Texas, retailer is negotiating details of its future at Westdale, on the city’s southwest side, with Frew Development Group of Denver, which is managing the mall and planning major changes to the property.

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