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Wednesday P.M. Report

Ragstock to open new stores in Mankato, Ann Arbor; Wal-Mart renovating Maple Grove store; Polaroid photos fetch $12.5M at auction; and Image Sensing Systems buys UK-based firm for $8M.

Ragstock to open new stores in Mankato, Ann Arbor: Ragstock, the Minneapolis-based new and used clothing store, will open a new store in Mankato next month and another in downtown Ann Arbor, Mich. in September 2010, bringing the total number of locations to 15. In Mankato, Ragstock will enter the River Hills Mall, which also features four department stores, a cinema and more than 100 shops and restaurants including Charlotte Russe, American Eagle and Wet Seal. Read full story

Wal-Mart renovating Maple Grove store: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. recently began an extensive renovation of its Maple Grove store. The remodeled Walmart Supercenter, located at 9451 N. Dunkirk Lane, will feature the retail giant’s latest store design, including wider aisles, low-profile shelving and easier-to-read signage. The store also will feature a new layout designed to make it faster and easier for shoppers to find everyday items by aligning the products customers purchase the most. Work on the project started on June 13 and is scheduled to be completed in August. Most of the construction and moving will take place during the overnight hours. Read full story

Polaroid photos fetch $12.5M at auction: An auction of more than 1,200 Polaroid photographs taken by well-known artists brought in about $12.5 million, beating pre-sale estimates of between $6.9 million and $10.7 million. New York-based Sotheby’s auctioned off the photos as part of bankruptcy proceedings of the former Polaroid company owned by Minnetonka-based Petters Group Worldwide. (The current Polaroid Corp., which acquired the operating business of the old Polaroid, is still based in Minnetonka and unrelated to both the bankruptcy and the auction). Notable photographs auctioned off included an Ansel Adams shot of Yellowstone National Park, which sold for $722,500. An Andy Warhol self portrait sold for $254,400. Read full story

Image Sensing Systems buys UK-based firm for $8M: Image Sensing Systems Inc. has acquired CitySync Ltd., a privately-held British developer and marketer of automatic license plate recognition technology. St. Paul-based Image Sensing Systems paid $7.9 million in cash and 57,000 restricted shares of Image Sensing Systems’ common stock, valued at $727,000 for the company. Image Sensing provides software-based detection solutions for transportation, security, police and parking markets. Read full story