OPERATIONS

Hhgregg offers in-store pickup of Apple products

BY Dan Berthiaume

Indianapolis – Hhgregg is now offering online ordering with in-store pickup for Apple products, including iPhone, iPad and iPod models and Apple TV devices. Customers can pay in advance and not have to go through in-store checkout.

“With the addition of ordering Apple products to our site, our mobile phone and tablet product offering is now more expansive than ever on Hhgregg.com, adding more choice and convenience for our customers,” said Jeff Pearson, senior VP of marketing for Hhgregg. “Now, customers can order online and easily and conveniently pick up Apple products in-store without waiting at a checkout.”

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FINANCE

FTC removes obstacle to Kroger-Harris-Teeter merger

BY Dan Berthiaume

Cincinnati – The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has granted early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (HSR) with respect to the pending merger transaction between The Kroger Co. and Harris-Teeter Supermarkets, Inc. The early termination of the HSR waiting period satisfies one of the conditions to the closing of the pending merger, which remains subject to other customary closing conditions.

Both companies expect the transaction to be completed before the end of January. On July 9, 2013, Kroger and Harris Teeter announced a definitive merger agreement, which was approved by the boards of directors of both companies. On Oct. 3, 2013, Harris Teeter shareholders approved of the merger agreement. At the closing of the merger, Harris Teeter shareholders will receive $49.38 in cash for each share of Harris Teeter common stock they own.

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OPERATIONS

Report: Postal unions threaten protests over Staples retail centers

BY Dan Berthiaume

Framingham, Mass. – Unions representing employees of the U.S. Postal Service are reportedly threatening protests in response to the opening of new Postal Service retail centers in dozens of Staples stores. The unions say that the centers, which are staffed by Staples employees, unfairly replace unionized workers with lower-paid, non-union Staples workers and may lead to expansion of the centers to more Staples stores, affecting union jobs at nearby post offices.

Union leaders reportedly do not want to close the centers, but have them staffed with unionized postal employees. So far Staples CEO Ronald Sargent has not met union requests for a meeting, and reportedly there will be protests at Staples stores in the San Francisco and San Jose, Calif., markets.

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