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Lowe's rarely grows through acquisition, but the retailer made an exception with its recent purchase of ATG Stores, an online retailer that offers 3.5 million SKUs through 500-plus websites. In contrast, Lowe's e-commerce site currently offers approximately 220,000 SKUs. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed. Allied Trade Group (ATG Stores) began as an online retailer in 1999 with the launch of its first website, LightingUniverse.com. Today, the retailer's 18 category divisions include appliances, home furnishings, cooking and dining, pet products, sporting goods, apparel, party supplies, luggage and automotive. In addition to its online sites, ATG operates two brick-and-mortar

(MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Costco Wholesale Corporation ("Costco" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: COST) announced today its operating results for the first quarter (twelve weeks) of fiscal 2012, ended November 20, 2011. Net sales for the quarter increased thirteen percent to $21.18 billion from $18.82 billion during the first quarter of fiscal 2011. Comparable sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 were as follows: Inflation in gasoline prices and strengthening foreign currencies had a positive impact on comparable sales. Excluding these effects, comparable sales for the twelve-week period were as follows: Net income for the quarter was $320 million,

Brooklyn, N.Y. -- Williams Sonoma-owned home-furnishings retailer West Elm said Tuesday that it will make its Washington State debut with a new store in Seattle, slated to open Oct. 6. The 15,000-sq.-ft. store will feature a number of unique design details, according to West Elm, including a living wall and an art installation designed specifically for the location. Like other West Elm stores, the Seattle location is designed using green materials and includes low-energy lighting, low-VOC paints and reclaimed hardwood floors.

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