Hearing begins on Wal-Mart’s bid for Massmart
New York City — Massmart Holdings Ltd. promised to add jobs if Wal-Mart Stores is allowed to buy a controlling stake in the South African wholesaler, CEO Grant Pattison. His remarks were made on Monday at a tribunal in Pretoria, South Africa, that will determine whether Wal-Mart will be able to go through with the deal.
“We’ll add about 20 percent more trading space over the next three years,” Pattison said, according to Bloomberg. Growth in floor space will be accompanied by additional jobs, while current posts will also be secure, he said.
Wal-Mart is looking to buy 51% of Massmart. The bid has been opposed by the South African government and labor unions concerned about jobs and protecting local manufacturers and suppliers. At the hearing, South Africa’s government is expected to warn of thousands of possible jobs if Wal-Mart’s bid goes through without conditions.
As many as 4,000 jobs could be lost if Massmart shifts as little as 1% percent of procurement from local to imported sources, Johannesburg-based Business Day reported on Monday, according to the Bloomberg report.
CVS Caremark discloses SEC inquiry
New York City — CVS Caremark Corp. is disclosing another government inquiry into its business, as the company said the Securities and Exchange Commission has requested documents related to its Caremark pharmacy benefits management unit, the Associated Press reported.
The company said it received a subpoena from the SEC on Feb. 28.
The agency asked for corporate records on several issues, including public disclosures in 2009 related to pharmacy benefits management and its Medicare Part D prescription-drug benefit businesses.
The SEC also requested information about ownership and transaction in securities made by some of CVS Caremark’s officers.
The chain disclosed the subpoena on Thursday. CVS Caremark said it is complying with the SEC’s request and providing documents. The company said it does not believe any of the issues will have a significant effect on its results or financial condition.
CVS Caremark expanded its Medicare Part D business on April 29, when it acquired Universal American Corp.’s Medicare Part D business in a deal valued at $1.25 billion.
Crate and Barrel rolls out shopkick app chainwide
Palo Alto, Calif. — Shopkick, a leading location-based shopping app, announced that all Crate and Barrel locations across the United States will offer walk-in rewards and special deals to shoppers simply for visiting. For shoppers, that means shopkick walk-in rewards are now available in 39 states, plus Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, up from three states at launch in August 2010.
The national rollout comes less than five months after Crate and Barrel initially launched its shopkick trial.
The shopkick app, combined with the first walk-in location technology, the shopkick Signal — an inaudible sound emitted from a patent-pending device located in each participating retailer — verifies a user is in-store, and then rewards them for visiting in the form of a currency called kickbucks.
Verifying presence in-store assures retail partners that the marketing dollars input to the shopkick program are being spent to reward customers who are actually inside the store, something not possible with traditional location-based applications because they rely on GPS technology that has an error radius of typically 500 yards on mobile phones when apps are first started.