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VOL. 117 | NO. 141 | Friday, August 8, 2003

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FedEx, trade group

FedEx, trade group

create shipping program

The National Association of Manufacturers and FedEx Corp. have signed an agreement that will make an array of FedEx air, ground and international shipping services available to thousands of association members.
The addition of FedEx to NAMs Freight Alliance Program gives NAM members discounts on FedEx Express and FedEx Ground services.

The formation of this alliance with the National Association of Manufacturers gives FedEx access to a very desirable and very loyal membership, said Brian Philips, vice president of U.S. marketing at FedEx.

Freds Inc. reports

July sales increase

Memphis-based Freds Inc. Thursday reported an increase in sales for the fiscal month, quarter and six-month period ended Aug. 2.
Retail sales by company stores rose 22 percent in the four-week July reporting period. Freds total sales for the month increased 21 percent to $92.7 million from $76.5 million in July last year.

Retail sales by company stores increased 19 percent for the 13-week quarter. Total sales increased 18 percent to $302.1 million versus $256.5 million in the same period last year. Retail sales for the first half of fiscal 2003 rose 20 percent. Freds total sales for the year-to-date period increased 19 percent to $612.8 million, compared with $514.9 million in the first six months last year.

Operations at Freds home office, distribution center and seven area stores were disrupted for three days during the recent power outage.

Medtronic unit distributes

Vision-Sciences products

Medtronic Inc.s ear, nose and throat unit agreed to distribute Vision-Sciences Inc.s EndoSheath products for examination of the esophagus.

Prior to the arrangement, the medical device maker had relied on a network of independent salespeople to sell the devices, which first hit the market in 1996.

EndoSheath products provide removable coverings for endoscopes, which are used in a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic throat procedures. The removable sheaths enable quicker turnover of equipment between patients.


Roche offers free drugs

for Memphis customers

Pharmaceutical company Hoffman-La Roche Inc. announced it is offering samples of hepatitis C medication Pegasys to physicians in the Memphis area to replenish vials that might have been lost as a result of recent power outages.

The drug is a pre-mixed solution administered by injection that must be kept refrigerated. Patients undergoing treatment for hepatitis C who lost one or more vials of Pegasys should contact their physicians, who can request samples.


Retailers hopes rise

for profitable summer

Warm weather and clearance sales helped major U.S. retailers post better-than-expected July sales Thursday, prompting Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and others to raise quarterly earnings forecasts.

Wal-Mart, electronics retailer Best Buy Co. Inc., department store operator Federated Department Stores Inc. parent company of Goldsmiths-Macys and clothing stores Gap, Ann Taylor Stores Corp. and Abercrombie & Fitch Co. all raised quarterly earnings forecasts.

Retailers hope the $400 per child tax credits being sent to more than 25 million U.S. families will help drive back-to-school sales. Retailers including Wal-Mart allowed shoppers to either cash tax credit checks at stores or use them to pay for purchases.


PROPERTY SALES 56 289 2,908
MORTGAGES 55 226 2,009
BUILDING PERMITS 108 1,002 6,703
BANKRUPTCIES 42 248 1,225