OPERATIONS

Fire hits Bangladesh garment factory

BY Dan Berthiaume

Dhaka, Bangladesh – Another deadly fire has reportedly hit a garment factory in Bangladesh. According to Bloomberg, an Oct. 8 blaze at a garment factory near the Bangladesh capital city of Dhaka killed 10 workers and injured more than 50.

The non-profit group Clean Clothes Campaign said the factory manufactures brands linked to retailers including Asda (owned by Wal-Mart), Loblaw and Hudson’s Bay. A Wal-Mart spokesperson said some of the company’s suppliers source fabric from the factory but it does not have any direct contractual relationship with the factory.

A major fire at another garment factory in Bangladesh killed more than 100 people in November 2012 and a garment factory collapse killed more than 1,000 people six months ago, leading to promises of new, tougher safety standards for factories in the country.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Report: Best Buy plans major iPhone promo

BY Dan Berthiaume

Richfield, Minn. – Best Buy is reportedly planning a major promotion to boost sales of the iPhone 5c and 5s the week of Oct. 13. According to TechnoBuffalo, an internal corporate memo indicates that consumers who trade in select smartphones that week will receive a $100 credit that can be used to cover the down payment on a new iPhone 5c or 5s.

Traded in phones must be undamaged and working properly. In addition, customers must sign up for a two-year plan to use the iPhone credit. Not all stores are participating and the promotion does not apply to Puerto Rico.

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FINANCE

La-Z-Boy to buy two franchise La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries in Ohio

BY Dan Berthiaume

Monroe, Mich. – La-Z-Boy Inc. intends to acquire two La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries stores located in the Youngstown, Ohio, market, with combined revenue of approximately $6.5 million. The stores are located in Boardman and Howland, Ohio, and are owned and operated by independent dealers who are retiring.

The two stores will become part of La-Z-Boy’s retail operation and will bring the total company-owned store count within the retail segment to 98. The deal is expected to close in mid-November, subject to customary closing conditions. Terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.

“We are pleased to acquire the two Youngstown, Ohio, stores,” said Kurt Darrow, chairman, president and CEO of La-Z-Boy. “Given the Youngstown stores’ proximity to the company-owned La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries stores in southern Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, they are a natural extension of our retail footprint in the region. In addition to realizing various synergies with our retail management team, we will service the stores from our Ohio-based, company-operated regional distribution center, which will provide for efficiencies as well as giving the stores access to a greater in-stock position, ultimately enhancing service to the end consumer.”

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