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• The Seattle Times reports that the three unions representing 20,000 employees reached a tentative agreement with four chains - Safeway, QFC, Albertsons and Fred Meyer - just two hours before a strike deadline. Details of the agreement were not disclosed.


• The New York Times this morning reports that JC Penney and Martha Stewart Omnimedia have "scaled back" a merchandising agreement that was at the center of a court battle between Penney and Macy's, which said the deal violated the exclusivity terms of an arrangement that it had with Martha Stewart.

The move by JC Penney was termed "a complete surrender" by Macy's. The two companies had been urged by the judge in the case to negotiate a settlement before he had to issue a ruling.

According to the story, "Under the revised agreement, J. C. Penney will not sell kitchen, bed and bath products designed by Martha Stewart that were sold under the label 'JCP Everyday.'

"But it will continue to market other Martha Stewart merchandise, including window treatments, lighting and rugs under the label 'MarthaHome.' J. C. Penney will also return 11 million common shares that it acquired in the initial agreement and it will give up its two seats on the Martha Stewart board, according to the terms announced on Monday."


• Dollar General announced the introduction of its first fuel station, as part of a test pilot project. The new fuel pumps are located at the Dollar General Market in Hanceville, Alabama. This pilot project is part of an agreement with Mansfield Oil, and the two companies will evaluate the results of the pilot project over the next year and jointly assess expansion opportunities.
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