FINANCE

CVS reaches $20M settlement with SEC

BY Dan Berthiaume

Woonsocket, R.I. – CVS Caremark Corporation has reached an agreement in principle to pay a fine of $20 million to resolve an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) into certain public disclosures, securities transactions and aspects of the purchase accounting adjustment related to the October 2008 Longs Drug Stores acquisition the company made during the third and fourth quarters of 2009.

"We are pleased to be taking this important step to close the chapter on these matters from 2009 and look forward to resolving the SEC investigation in the near future," said Thomas M. Moriarty, executive VP and general counsel of CVS Caremark. "CVS Caremark remains committed to complying with all applicable laws and regulations. We will continue to focus on driving value for our customers and shareholders through our distinctive integrated pharmacy model."

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News

Retail hiring drives unemployment rate lower

BY CSA STAFF

WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation has issued statements from president and CEO Matthew Shay and chief economist Jack Kleinhenz on the July employment numbers.

NRF pegged retail job gains at 37,000 in July, with increases in general merchandise, food and beverage and building and garden supply stores.

“In spite of continued rancor and uncertainty from policymakers in Washington, the private sector economy continues to add jobs,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. “While unemployment remains stubbornly high, with millions of Americans jobless or underemployed, retailers are adding to their ranks and payrolls.”

“Contrary to the record increases on Wall Street, employment continues to be a lagging indicator of the recovering economy,” NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “Despite the underwhelming and discouraging job gains in July, NRF expects the economy to pick up in the third and fourth quarters. The employment trend is positive, yet lackluster.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics report showed that the economy added 162,000 jobs in July, which lowered the unemployment rate to 7.4 percent.

The NRF represents retailers of all types and sizes, including chain restaurants and industry partners, from the United States and more than 45 countries abroad. Retailers operate more than 3.6 million U.S. establishments that support 1-in-4 U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.5 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s "This is Retail" campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for lifelong careers, how retailers strengthen communities and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation.

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FINANCE

Report: India eases investment for foreign retailers

BY Dan Berthiaume

New Delhi, India – The Indian government has eased its notoriously difficult restrictions on how foreign retailers must invest and source when doing business in the country. As reported by Reuters, foreign retailers will still have to source 30% of the products they sell locally, but now have five years to initially reach that goal and then have to meet it annually.

In addition, retailers will only have to put 50% of a mandatory initial $100 million investment into back-end infrastructure. Previously, foreign retailers had to put 50% of all money they invested in the country into back end infrastructure. Other rule changes make it easier for foreign retailers to select locations to do business and local suppliers.

The rule changes are primarily designed to attract foreign supermarket chains, who have been allowed to invest in India since September 2012 under strict and sometimes vague regulations. A Wal-Mart spokesperson told Reuters the company will study the new regulations. The report also indicates that national elections in May 2014 could elect a new government that would reverse the relaxed retail restrictions.

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