OPERATIONS

Hot Topic names CEO as chairwoman

BY Staff Writer

City of Industry, Calif. — Hot Topic Inc. said that its CEO, Lisa Harper, 52, has also been named its board chairwoman.

Former chairman Bruce Quinnell will stay on as chairman of the audit committee, but he will not seek re-election to the board when his term ends in June, the company said.

The company also said Matthew Drapkin was named lead director.

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OPERATIONS

Target’s gift cards makes for interesting viewing

BY Staff Writer

New York City — Target Corp. is in a class by itself when it comes to gift cards, offering a broad selection to suit all ages. In fact, the cards are so unusual that the retailer patents them, according to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Journal.

Click here to read the full story and see a slide show of some of Target’s most unusual gift cards.

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FINANCE

Carphone Warehouse to sell U.S. joint-mobile stake to Best Buy, and close U.K. Best Buy stores

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — Best Buy Co. said Monday it is buying out its joint venture partner, Carphone Warehouse Group PLC, in its fast-growing North American mobile business for $1.34 billion. As part of the reorganization of its relationship with the U.S. consumer electronics giant, Carphone Warehouse will shutter the 11 pilot big-box Best Buy stores it opened last year in the United Kingdom.

Best Buy Europe, in which Carphone Warehouse holds a half interest, will now focus on selling Internet and mobile phone connections through 2,500 Carphone Warehouse and Phone House stores in Europe. The two companies are also launching a joint venture, Global Connect, to develop markets outside North America and Western Europe.

"Each of these actions represents an exciting growth opportunity for Best Buy and near and long-term value for our shareholders. We are aggressively ramping up our growing connections capability to support consumers’ increasingly connected lives across the entire range of devices entering the marketplace," said Brian J. Dunn, CEO of Best Buy.

Best Buy said it expected to book pretax restructuring charges of $140 million to $150 million due to the closure of the U.K. stores.

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