OPERATIONS

Retail industry adds 43,600 jobs in August

BY Marianne Wilson

Washington, D.C. — The National Retail Federation calculated retail industry job gains at 43,600 in August, with marked increases in clothing, general merchandise and electronics stores.

“While the jobs numbers weren’t as strong as anticipated, they indicate a more positive trend,” NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “We are expecting further signs of strengthening in the second half of the year. Retailers are making headway but challenges remain. Slow wage growth and downward jobs revisions continue to indicate a reluctant economy.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics employment situation report showed that the economy added 169,000 jobs in August, which lowered the unemployment rate to 7.3%.

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FINANCE

Gap same-store growth slows in August

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Francisco – Gap reported same-store sales growth in its three global retail brands in August of this year that was significantly lower than in the same month last year. Gap global same-store sales rose 2% compared to 6% last year. At Banana Republic, same-store sales increased 2% compared to 8% last year, and Old Navy same-store sales grew 1% compared to 12% last year.

Net sales for the month were $1.23 billion, up 2.5% from net sales of $1.2 billion for the same month last year.

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OPERATIONS

Walmart responds to NYC protesters

BY Dan Berthiaume

Bentonville, Ark. – Three members of a group of about 20 people protesting working conditions at Walmart were reportedly arrested in Manhattan yesterday. According to the AP, the protestors, which included current and former Walmart employees as well as supporters, gathered outside a New York City building where a member of the chain’s board of directors has an office.

The protestors had a petition demanding that Walmart improve working conditions and rehire employees allegedly fired for labor activities. One man and two women were reportedly arrested for disorderly conduct.

The discounter issued a statement a statement saying the protest was staged by union activists and does not represent the views of most of its employees.

“You see so few current associates participating because they understand the unparalleled opportunity Walmart provides,” stated Davud Tovar, VP, Walmart corporate communications.

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