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Retail Roundup: Costco E-Commerce Booms, Linens 'n Things to Liquidate, and More

Costco's Web sales increase 42 percent -- Costco Wholesale Corp., one of the few retailers who appears to be affected minimally by the down economy, reported another year of solid sales-- especially in its e-commerce sector. The retailer generated fiscal 2008 Web sales of $1.7 billion, nearly a 42 percent increase from last year's Internet sales of $1.2 billion. Costco's total revenue grew by 12.6 percent, while warehouse sales increased by 8 percent. [Source: internetretailer.com]

Linens 'n Things forced to liquidate -- Linens 'n Things' already-tough year hit rock bottom Oct. 15 when the company, which filed for bankruptcy protection in May, canceled its auction and began gearing for liquidation sales. The going-out-of-business sales will be put into motion as early as Oct. 16 and are expected to take about 11 weeks. The investors buying the company, which comprises a network of 371 stores, include Gordon Brothers Retail Partners, Great American Group, Hilco Merchant Resources, Hudson Capital Partners, SB Capital Group, and Tiger Capital Group. [Source: newsday.com]

Bad news continues for retailers -- The dire economy plaguing retailers last month has already spilled into October and is likely to continue through the month, according to ShopperTrak RCT's latest reports, which were released Oct. 15. Retail sales for the week that ended on Oct. 11 were down from the same time period last year. September U.S. mall traffic decreased 9.3 percent from last year, and the U.S. Commerce Department reported on Oct. 15 that September retail sales decreased 1.2 percent, the biggest dip in three years. [Source: Heard on the Runway]

Wal-Mart enters auto market -- Wal-Mart patrons accustomed to buying nearly everything at the retail chain can now add another big item to their Sunday shopping lists: a new car. Although the auto industry is caught in a rough patch, Live X Auto Exchange launched its pilot operations in Arizona Wal-Mart Supercenters. "Our Wal-Mart-based trading floors are essentially marketing centers for both new and used vehicles, auto-related products and services, as well as for the all-new Live X brand," said Patrick Dial, founder of the Exchange. [Source: Minyanville]

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