OPERATIONS

Aeropostale’s co-CEO Mindy Meads to leave company

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Aeropostale announced that, effective immediately, Thomas P. Johnson, co-CEO, has been named CEO. Mindy C. Meads, who has served as co-CEO along with Johnson since February 2010, will leave the company to pursue other interests. She will stay for a short period to ensure a smooth transition.

Julian R. Geiger, chairman, said: "Mindy has made significant contributions to Aeropostale during her tenure with the company. She has helped build a team with considerable depth that has enabled the organization to drive brand recognition and loyalty."

In conjunction with Meads’ departure, Johnson will assume full responsibility for all areas of the business. Michael J. Cunningham will continue to serve as president and CFO.

Additionally, Geiger, will expand his role of advisor to the Aeropostale, to work closely with the management team primarily in the areas of merchandising and design.

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Intuit report: Small business employment edges up in November

BY CSA STAFF

Mountain View, Calif. – A report released Tuesday by Intuit Inc. found that small business employment continued to show growth in November, although wages were down and hours worked remained flat.

According to Intuit’s Small Business Employment Index, small business employment grew by 0.24% in November, equating to an annual rate of about 3%. This translates to approximately 49,000 new jobs created nationwide. The Index is based on figures from the country’s smallest businesses that use Intuit Online Payroll.

“The recovery that began late last summer for small businesses is still underway,” said Susan Woodward, the economist who worked with Intuit to create the Index. “While employment at the national level for all businesses is barely rising, small businesses are showing a more robust increase. This is in line with what we’ve seen with past recessions — small businesses are the first to hire when recovery begins.”

Total compensation per employee fell in November while hours worked were flat, compared to October. Average monthly pay for all small business employees was $2,592 per month in November, a 0.3% decline from the revised October figure of $2,600 per month. This translates to wages of about $31,100 per year, which is part-time work for many small business employees. Small business hourly employees worked an average of 105.9 hours in November, translating to a 24.4-hour work week. Hours worked remained flat for November following a sharp rise in hours worked in October.

Arizona, Massachusetts,New Jersey and Virginia all experienced the strongest increases in employment.

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Survey ranks top 10 retailers for customer service

BY CSA STAFF

Washington – Amazon.com, Nordstrom and J.C. Penney are just a few of the retailers that made the grade on the list of the top 10 retailers for customer service as selected by shoppers in the sixth annual NRF Foundation/American Express Customers’ Choice survey.

The survey, which asked 9,291 shoppers which retailer provides the best customer service, was conducted by BIGresearch. In alphabetical order, the top 10 retailers for customer service are:

  • Amazon.com

  • J.C. Penney

  • Kohl’s Department Stores

  • Lands’ End

  • L.L.Bean

  • Newegg

  • Nordstrom

  • Overstock.com

  • QVC

  • Zappos

The official announcement of the rank of each retailer will be unveiled at NRF’s Annual Retail Industry Luncheon on Jan. 11, 2011, during NRF’s 100th Annual Convention and EXPO. The complete list of 46 retailers that shoppers selected as having the best customer service will also be released at that time.

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