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• In the Netherlands, an appeals court has reduced the sentences of three former Ahold executives who were convicted in the accounting fraud scandal that roiled the company six years ago.

According to Reuters, “Chief Executive Cees van der Hoeven was sentenced by an Amsterdam appeals court to pay a fine of 30,000 euros, while former Chief Financial Officer Michiel Meurs was given 240 hours of community labour, a fine of 100,000 euros and a six-month suspended sentence.

“Former management board member Jan Andreae was given a three-month suspended sentence and a fine of 50,000 euros. Former supervisory board member Roland Fahlin was acquitted, a confirmation of the lower court's ruling.”

Van der Hoeven and Meurs had been sentenced to suspended jail terms of nine months and fines of 225,000 euros, while Andreae had been given a four-month suspended sentence and a fine of 120,000 euros.

• The Financial Times reports that Kmart and Sears have begun an experiment that uses drive-up windows to allow shoppers to order online and then pick up their purchases without leaving their cars.

In addition, FT writes, “Kmart is testing a new web service,, that will allow customers to order a wider range of items for in-store pick-up than are currently available on its regular website, including milk, eggs, fresh food basics, and low cost items such as detergent, mascara and toothpaste. Orders placed before noon can be picked up at a local store on the same day, allowing shoppers to collect goods on their way home from work.”

Promo reports that Walmart’s Sam’s Club division is offering new members who sign up by February 1 a $10 gift card that at least partially offsets the $40 membership fee.

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