CIRCUIT CITY SALES 'DISAPPOINTING': Electronics retailer Circuit City Stores Inc. on Monday said same-store sales fell 11.4 percent in December, as strength in the final two weeks of the month failed to offset declining sales of tube televisions, camcorders and other devices earlier in December. "Our sales performance, while disappointing, was in line with our expectations," Chief Executive Philip J. Schoonover said in a news release. Schoonover said the company will pay attention to giving sales associates the "necessary knowledge and tools needed to improve both sales and margin." The company had laid off 3,400 high-paid workers and replaced them with lower-paid new hires in March. Attention also will be paid to expanding sales of Firedog, the company's PC services and home-installation business, Schoonover said.
KRISPY KREME CHAIRMAN FILLS HOLE: After years of trying to get its recipe right to run a profitable company, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. on Monday added yet another ingredient: a new CEO. The Winston-Salem, N.C.-based doughnut chain announced that Chief Executive Daryl Brewster has resigned and will be replaced by the company's chairman, James H. Morgan. Brewster's departure comes amid a sputtering turnaround effort, after years of mismanagement and stronger competition from larger rival Dunkin' Donuts.
AUTO EXECS SAY THE ROAD IS CLEAR: Auto executives worldwide are more optimistic about their business than in past years because their mission has become clear -- produce quality, fuel efficient vehicles -- according to an annual poll conducted by the accounting and advisory firm KPMG LLP. Eighty-six percent of the executives said quality would be the leading factor influencing consumers' vehicle purchases during the next five years, followed by fuel efficiency at 84 percent. Other top criteria, according to the executives, are safety (70 percent) and affordability (69 percent). The leaders said they also believe they must develop alternative fuel technology and produce low-cost cars and hybrid technology.
PLAYSTATION SALES LIFT BLU-RAY: Sales of Sony's PlayStation 3 game machine sales totaled 1.2 million in North America during the key holiday season, the electronics and entertainment company said Monday. The performance gave a lift to its Blu-ray video format because the console also works as a Blu-ray player. Competition is intense among the latest video game machines, pitting Sony Corp. against Nintendo Co.'s popular Wii and Microsoft Corp.'s XBox 360. Despite the strong holiday sales for the PS3, more Wiis have sold than PS3s since the consoles debuted in late 2006.
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$10 billion: If all Medicaid beneficiaries who smoke would quit, the estimated savings to the federal Medicaid system within five years, according a study released by the American Legacy Foundation.
5.6: Percentage of costs to Medicaid that could be cut by effective smoking prevention and cessation programs.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7: Rank of the Caribbean, Hawaii, Paris, New York City, the Maldives, Las Vegas and Tahiti on the list of the top holiday escapes, according to a TripAdvisor survey.
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