OPERATIONS

Macy’s, J.C. Penney back to court over Martha Stewart dispute

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York — Macy’s and J.C. Penney are slated to be back in New York state court on Monday unless a last-minute settlement regarding Macy’s right – or not – to sell certain Martha Stewart products is reached.

The two retailers are coming out of a month-long mediation stint, but so far no settlement has been reached.

According to a Monday report by Reuters, witness are scheduled to be on the stand Monday and Tuesday, including J.C. Penney marketing executives.

"We’re all reconvening Monday morning," Jim Sluzewski, a spokesman for Macy’s, told Reuters. "The trial is scheduled to resume at ten o’clock."

Macy’s sued Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia last year after it signed an agreement to sell Martha Stewart-branded products at J.C. Penney. Macy’s claims the agreement breaches its contract to sell certain products exclusively at Macy’s. Macy’s also sued J.C. Penney over the deal, which includes plans to create Martha Stewart boutiques in J.C. Penney stores.

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OPERATIONS

Wal-Mart continues college campus growth plan

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Bentonville, Ark. — Wal-Mart said it will open two additional college campus locations, nearly two years after make its university debut at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.

According to a Monday report by the Wall Street Journal, which cited Inside Higher Ed, the retailer will open a 5,000-sq.-ft. store at Arizona State University in Phoenix next month, and will open in Atlanta on the Georgia Tech campus later this year.

Wal-Mart spokeswoman Delia Garcia told WSJ that its university stores would be “tailored to the on-campus customer, providing general merchandise, convenience items [and] pharmacy services.” Garcia said that the company is still testing this business model, and that no new locations are scheduled beyond Georgia Tech.

No text books will be sold at the campus stores, according to Wal-Mart, so as not to compete directly with college bookstores.

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Report: Retail employment slumps most in a year

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Washington, D.C. — A report on Friday by the Labor Department showed that retail employment declined by 24,000 in March, the biggest slide since February 2012. The largest hiring slump occurred among clothing and accessories stores, which dropped 15,000, followed by a 10,000 decrease among building-material and garden suppliers.

Retailers have been slow to hire largely because of the concern over the 2% increase in payroll taxes and how the bump is impacting consumer spending.

The National Retail Federation previously forecasted that U.S. retail sales will increase 3.4% this year, compared to a 4.2% gain in 2012.

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