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    Wal-Mart Sales on Track

    CHICAGO - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on Monday said that its June sales remained on track as consumers stocked up on soup and hot chocolate instead of fans and air conditioners, prompted by cooler-than-normal U.S. weather, reports Reuters.

    CHICAGO - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on Monday said that its June sales remained on track as consumers stocked up on soup and hot chocolate instead of fans and air conditioners, prompted by cooler-than-normal U.S. weather, reports Reuters.

    The world's largest retailer said sales at stores open at least a year are expected to rise 2 percent to 4 percent in the five-week monthly period.

    Total sales for the week ended Friday were almost $5 billion, according to the company, which said sales of air conditioners and fans were $20 million less than it expected.

    Total sales at Wal-Mart stores were $1.2 billion, with $2.2 billion at "super-centers," $700 million at Sam's Club warehouse stores and $900 million at its international stores. At the company's urban neighborhood stores, sales were more than $500 million, with an 11.2 percent increase compared with a year ago at nine stores open at least a year.

    In other Wal-Mart news:

    -- The Associated Press reports that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has begun a probe into its compliance with some Clear Air Act laws relating to the sale of refrigerant products. The EPA claims that Wal-Mart made 22 sales of refrigerant products to non-licensed persons, entities, or both. Wal-Mart Stores says that it has an opportunity to settle the allegations without admitting any wrongdoing or violations by paying a $400,000 civil penalty and entering a consent decree with the government.

    -- Reuters reports that the State of California Department of Labor Standards Enforcement has launched an investigation into allegations that Wal-Mart failed to comply with the state's wage laws.

    -- The chain is also embarking on new plans for DVD rentals and its George clothing line. In an effort to make its online rental service more affordable, Wal-Mart is unveiling a plan to charge customers $15.54 per month for unlimited rentals. Customers can sign up for Wal-Mart DVD Rentals at Walmart.com, choose from one of three monthly subscription plans, and never be charged for late fees or postage. Meanwhile, Wal-Mart-owned Asda in the U.K. will open two stand-alone George clothing stores in September as the supermarket group looks to bolster its clothing sales, reports Dow Jones Business News.

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