OPERATIONS

Report: Wal-Mart sets up new India company

BY Dan Berthiaume

Bentonville, Ark. – Wal-Mart Stores has reportedly registered a new company called “Wal-Mart India Private Ltd.” in India, setting the stage for entering the Indian grocery market with a new local partner. According to the Free Press Journal, an Indian publication, Wal-Mart registered the company on Jan. 15, 2014 with the Indian Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

Wal-Mart runs 20 wholesale stores in India. The retailer previously ran them in a joint venture with Indian company Bharti Enterprises, but since that partnership was dissolved in October 2013 the retailer has operated in the country through an entity known as Wal-Mart India. Wal-Mart India, which employs about 1,100 workers, reportedly laid off about 100-150 employees in December 2013. According to multiple media reports, Krish Iyler, who has been a senior VP in Wal-Mart’s international unit since January 2013, will assume the new role of president of Indian operations on Jan. 20. 2014.

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FINANCE

Jos. A. Bank rejects Men’s Wearhouse offer

BY Dan Berthiaume

Hampstead, Md. – The board of directors of Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Inc. has officially rejected an unsolicited buyout offer from The Men’s Wearhouse. The offer, which expires March 28, 2014, is worth $57.50 per share, or about $1.6 billion.

Jos. A. Bank called the offer “inadequate and opportunistic” in announcing its rejection.

"Our board of directors firmly believes that the Men’s Wearhouse offer is inadequate and significantly undervalues Jos. A. Bank and its near- and long-term potential," said Robert N. Wildrick, chairman of Jos. A. Bank. "Our board and the company’s management team are committed to acting in the best interests of all of our stockholders, and continuing to deliver value for them. At this time, the company has a well-developed strategy in place to continue to increase revenue, substantially improve margins and deliver enhanced returns to stockholders. The Jos. A. Bank board strongly urges stockholders to reject the offer and not tender their shares."

Men’s Wearhouse responded to Jos A. Bank’s announcement on its website, and called for the creation of a special committee to review the offer and begin negotiations.

“We remain committed to this transaction and are prepared to immediately engage in good faith negotiations so we can deliver the compelling value of a combination of our companies to our respective shareholders,” the company said.

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OPERATIONS

Hhgregg offers in-store pickup of Apple products

BY Dan Berthiaume

Indianapolis – Hhgregg is now offering online ordering with in-store pickup for Apple products, including iPhone, iPad and iPod models and Apple TV devices. Customers can pay in advance and not have to go through in-store checkout.

“With the addition of ordering Apple products to our site, our mobile phone and tablet product offering is now more expansive than ever on Hhgregg.com, adding more choice and convenience for our customers,” said Jeff Pearson, senior VP of marketing for Hhgregg. “Now, customers can order online and easily and conveniently pick up Apple products in-store without waiting at a checkout.”

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