OPERATIONS

Report: Wal-Mart files unfair U.S. labor practice charge against union

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Bentonville, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on Thursday filed an unfair labor practice charge against the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, requesting that the National Labor Relations Board halt alleged unlawful attempts to disrupt Wal-Mart’s business.

Wal-Mart spokesman David Tovar told Reuters that the retailer cannot allow the UFCW to “continue to intentionally seek to create an environment that could directly and adversely impact our customers and associates. If they do, they will be held accountable,” he said.

The move comes week before what is projected to be the largest organized action against Wal-Mart, as a small group of Walmart workers prepare to strike on Black Friday. Numerous other protests and rallies have taken place outside Walmart stores around the country, as workers push for better wages, increased benefits and improved working conditions.

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FINANCE

Hibbett profit, sales rise in Q3; to open 60 stores in 2013

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Birmingham, Ala. — Hibbett Sports reported Friday that net income for the quarter ended Oct. 27 climbed 18.8% to $19 million, compared with $16 million in the year-ago period.

Sales rose 9.6% to $202.9 million, and same-store sales increased 6.4%.

The sporting goods retailer said it is on track to open 57 to 60 new stores in fiscal 2013, expand approximately 17 high-performing stores, and close up to 18 stores.

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FINANCE

Apax Funds to acquire Cole Haan from Nike for $570 million

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York — Private equity firm Apax Partners said Friday that it will acquire Cole Haan from Nike for $570 million in cash.

Cole Haan sells through 108 domestic stores, 68 international stores, online and through department stores. It has been a part of Nike since 1988.

To effect the acquisition, Apax is partnering with Jack Boys, who led the revitalization of Converse.

The transaction is expected to close in early 2013.

"The decision to divest of Cole Haan allows us to sharpen our focus on opportunities with the highest potential for strong returns, and to make sure the brands within the Nike portfolio are the most complementary to the Nike brand," said Nike president and CEO Mark Parker.

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