FINANCE

Elephant Pharm Closes Stores, to Liquidate

BY CSA STAFF

Berkeley, Calif. Health-and-wellness retailer Elephant Pharm announced Tuesday that it has closed its stores and will seek liquidation under Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

The company, which combined traditional pharmacy services with holistic remedies, had three stores (in Berkeley, San Rafael and Walnut Creek, Calif.), and employed about 190 people.

In a statement, Elephant Pharm CEO Kathi Lentzsch said, “The company has been burdened with obligations that were quite difficult for a company of our size to carry. The current management team and board of directors worked diligently to grow the company to a size that could bear these obligations, but due to the current economic conditions and the tightening of the credit market, it has not been possible to raise the capital required to continue the business.”

During the past year, Elephant Pharm closed a Los Altos, Calif., location and downsized its corporate staff.

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Target applauded for inclusiveness efforts

BY CSA STAFF

The Human Rights Campaign is out with its 2009 list of top businesses that support equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees, and Target is among a group of 260 companies that received a top rating.

Other retailers recognized by the group included Abercrombie & Fitch, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Borders, Carmax, GameStop, Gap, JCPenney, Macy’s, Nordstrom, REI and Sears Holdings.

The Human Rights Campaign was founded in 1980 to promote fairness for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. The organization claims to have 750,000 members and annually publishes a Corporate Equality Index that rates corporate America’s treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.

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Stock gains are short lived

BY CSA STAFF

Last week’s cost-cutting move to eliminate jobs at Target headquarters and close a distribution center gave the company’s share price a quick boost, but the upward movement didn’t last long.

Target announced the elimination of more than 1,000 jobs after the market closed on Jan. 27, and its share price stood at $33.34. The next morning, Target shares opened sharply higher at $34.42 and closed that day at $34.92. However, by the end of the week, the market took back the gain, and shares closed Friday at $31.20. The downward trend continued on Monday, as shares opened at $30.25, their lowest level of the year, before ending the day at $30.20.

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