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J. Crew-Fast Retailing Co. merger talks cease

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Merger talks between J. Crew and Japanese retailer Fast Retailing Co. have reportedly ended, at least for the time being. According to the Wall Street Journal, Fast Retailing, owner of the Uniqlo chain, left the discussions not long after they were made public by the media in late February 2014.

J. Crew’s owners were reportedly seeking as much as $5 billion in a merger deal, and may continue looking for other potential buyers. In addition, Goldman, Sachs & Co. is reportedly in the early stages of preparing an IPO for J. Crew.

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Report: Burger King plans mobile payment app

BY Dan Berthiaume

Miami – Burger King Worldwide Inc. is reportedly planning to introduce a mobile payment app. According to the Wall Street Journal, Burger King will launch the smartphone app in select markets starting in April 2014 and will offer it in all 7,000 U.S. stores within a few months of initial rollout.

The app was reportedly developed by Tillster Inc. and will provide coupons and nutritional information as well as allow customers to pay for purchases via a digital stored value card. Burger King reportedly may add functionality for advance ordering and pickup at a later time.

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Wal-Mart to offer spring ‘Black Friday’ sale on outdoor items

BY Dan Berthiaume

Bentonville, Ark. – Wal-Mart is offering its largest outdoor living, lawn and garden event of the year, featuring Black Friday-like prices. Starting at 8 a.m. on March 21, through March 29, Walmart’s Spring Savings Event will offer its lowest prices of the season on more than 60 outdoor essentials.

Wal-Mart’s Spring Savings Event will include $1.97 per bag red, black or brown mulch as well as brand-name lawn mowers and grills for less.

“Nobody does Black Friday better than Wal-Mart, and we’re bringing that same philosophy to our new outdoor living, lawn and garden event by offering incredibly low prices on the products our customers are looking for,” said Michelle Gloeckler, senior VP of home, Wal-Mart U.S. “Given the extreme winter many of our customers experienced, we know they are preparing to restore their gardens and outdoor living spaces. This event will help them save money while they transition into the new season.”

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