The Commerce Department reported retail sales in January rose 1.0 percent. That ended a string of six straight months when sales declined. Wall Street analysts had expected sales to drop 0.8 percent so the increase was a pleasant surprise.
Microsoft Corp. revealed plans to open its own line of stores.
RadioShack Corp. has quietly opened a new concept store in the Dallas area. It's called Point Mobl and it sells portable devices in an upscale decor of white fixtures and glass.
Swedish clothing store chain H&M said in February that it will create between 6,000 and 7,000 new jobs during the year by opening 225 new stores around the world. It beat Wall Street's fourth-quarter expectations, reporting a 14 percent rise in pre-tax profits.
Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based Dollar General Corp. has also been benefiting from the downturn in the economy since it offers its goods at discounted prices. The company said that it would open 450 new stores during this fiscal year. That's more than double the company's new store openings in 2008.
Wal-Mart de Mexico SA said it will invest 11.8 billion pesos ($805 million) and open 252 new stores in 2009 despite the slowing Mexican economy. The investment represents a 4 percent increase compared to last year and will create 14,500 new jobs.
GameStop Corp., the world's largest video game retailer, raised the low end of its fourth-quarter earnings estimate by 2 cents and said sales should top Wall Street forecasts. The company now expects earnings of $1.33 to $1.34 per share on sales of $3.5 billion, 22 percent higher than a year ago.