OPERATIONS

Minimum wage bill filed in Mass.

BY Dan Berthiaume

Boston — A joint committee of the Massachusetts state House of Representatives and Senate has filed a bill to gradually raise the state’s minimum wage from its current hourly rate of $8 to $11. The increase would occur in stages until reaching $11 in 2017.

The House of Representatives previously filed a bill that would raise Massachusetts’ minimum wage to $10.50 by 2016. The Senate previously approved a different bill that would raise the minimum wage to $11 by 2017 and also tie future increases to inflation. The current compromise bill does not include inflationary adjustments.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Lands’ End launches omnichannel sweepstakes

BY Dan Berthiaume

Dodgeville, Wis. — Lands’ End is launching its "Set Sail" omnichannel sweepstakes. The contest allows customers to play a virtual tic-tac-toe game on Lands’ End’s e-commerce and Facebook pages, with the chance to win gift cards.

One random winner will receive then grand prize getaway, which includes round-trip airfare for four people to Miami and five nights’ accommodations. The contest runs June 12-July 12.

"The start of summer is such an exciting time and allows for family and friends to come together to enjoy the outdoors," said Michele Donnan-Martin, executive VP, merchandising & design, Lands’ End. "We know everyone is busy trying to take full advantage of the warm and sunny weather. Whether it’s backyard BBQs, planning and packing for family vacations, getting the kids to camp or just spending an afternoon at the local pool, Lands’ End has great outfits for the entire family."

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FINANCE

Panera secures $100 million loan

BY Dan Berthiaume

St. Louis — Panera Bread Company has secured a five-year $100 million term loan from Bank of America, Wells Fargo and TD Bank. Proceeds from the loan will be used for general corporate purposes, including a range of growth initiatives such as the rollout of the Panera 2.0 in-store technology initiative.

"This modest amount of debt is the next logical step in the evolution of our thinking around capital structure," said Roger Matthews, Panera Bread’s CFO. "As we continue to grow our store base, invest in expanded growth opportunities and return capital to shareholders through consistent share repurchase, we expect this debt should allow us to achieve a range of objectives for shareholders. However, nothing has changed in our commitment to maintain modest leverage on the balance sheet as well as significant financial capacity to be opportunistic."

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