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• Wal-Mart said this week that it was adjusting the small business focus of its Sam's Club membership stores so that they also sell "affordable luxuries" such as diamonds and fine wines, which the company feels will allow it to compete more effectively with Costco.

"We don't have as much market share as we believe we should have," said Doug McMillon, Sam's Club president and CEO. "Affordable luxuries present a great opportunity for us, if we deliver on quality."

• The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that "Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s effort to increase the efficiency of its trucking fleet – a key part of the its plans to cut costs and portray itself as more environmentally friendly -- is running ahead of schedule." It was just six months ago that the retailer said that it wanted to make its trucking fleet 25 percent more efficient in three years – but it reportedly is on track to be 18 percent more efficient within the first year alone.

• According to this morning's Wall Street Journal, Wal-Mart plans to "update its trademark computer information system for suppliers to make it easier to use," and will include on the interface "graphics and a summary 'dashboard' to help the vendors, who sell products to Wal-Mart, sort through mountains of data on details of those products, sales and stores."

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