Seattle mayor unveils plan to raise minimum wage to $15
New York — Seattle Mayor Ed Murray on Thursday unveiled a plan to increase the city’s minimum wage to $15. Although Murray said the hike has broad support across local government, business and labor communities, the City Council still has to vote on the proposal.
Under Murray’s plan, businesses with fewer than 500 employees would have seven years to comply and larger businesses would have three years. Further increases would be tied to inflation.
The state of Washington already has the nation’s highest state minimum wage, at $9.32 an hour.
“Throughout this process, I’ve had two goals: to get Seattle’s low-wage workers to $15-per-hour while also supporting our employers, and to avoid a costly battle at the ballot box between competing initiatives,” Murray said in a statement. “We have a deal that I believe accomplishes both goals.”
In California, lawmakers are debating a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $13 an hour by 2017.
GPShopper taps Vaysman to enable solutions
Mobile solutions provider GPShopper named Yana Vaysman to a new role overseeing a wide range of client facing implementation functions.
GPShopper bills itself as the leading developer of mobile solutions for retailers, and in her role as vp of solutions enablement Vaysman will be based in the company’s Chicago office. She will oversee project management as well as implementation process for all clients, enhancing customer service and facilitating collaboration between GPShopper’s account management and product development teams.
“Yana’s mobile, e-commerce and deep retail expertise will enrich GPShopper’s strategic approach to solving our clients’ business challenges,” said Alex Muller, CEO of GPShopper. “As we continue to add high-profile retailers and brands to our client roster, our ability to deliver superior customer support is increasingly important.”
According to the company, Vaysman brings an extensive knowledge and deep understanding of mobile and e-commerce as well as improving the omni-channel experience to her new role. She previously held roles as Cognizant Technology Solutions, W.W. Grainger and United Airlines.
“I am thrilled to join GPShopper’s team,” said Vaysman. “There is no better place to be now than the digital and mobile space.”
GPShopper develops mobile solutions for retailers and brands to drive mobile commerce, increase in-store engagement and promote brand loyalty. Some of the company’s clients include Express, Estee Lauder, Best Buy, Bebe and The North Face.
The pen proves mighty for Newell Rubbermaid
Sales at four of Newell Rubbermaid’s five operating divisions declined during the company’s first quarter, but overall profitability suffered as a result of baby products recall and expenses related to a transformation strategy.
Sales of leading writing instrument brands such as Sharpie, Paper Mate, Parker and Waterman grew 6.1% to $361.3 million. Operating margin at the company’s largest division also expanded to 21.3% from 18.6%. Growth in the writing segment wasn’t enough to offset declines elsewhere and Newell Rubbermaid’s total sales declined 0.7% to $1.23 billion. The company’s second largest division, home solutions, saw sales decline 5.2% to $321.2 million. Sales in the tool division declined 0.4% to $187.8 and sales of commercial products fell 0.3% to $182.6. The company’s smallest division, baby and parenting, had the biggest impact on results. Sales fell 5.4% to $179 million, but a car seat product recall hurt profitability and prompted the company to take an $11 million, or two cent a share, charge against earnings.
The company also took a $19.7 million, or five cent a share, charge related to implementation of a strategy called Project Renewal. As a result, net income was down slightly to $52.9 million, compared with $54.2 million in the prior year or a reported basis.
"We delivered solid first quarter results in the context of two previously communicated events,” said Newell Rubbermaid CEO Michael Polk. “Our team did a good job overcoming the adverse impacts of the harness buckle recall on select car seats in our U.S. Baby business and the weather-related slow down on our U.S.-centric Home Solutions business. Strong core sales growth in Writing offset declines in Home Solutions and Baby, yielding normalized earnings per share of $0.35, flat with last year’s results.”
Polk said the company is confident in its full year financial guidance and expect the company’s core sales and earnings per share growth to accelerate through the balance of the year as it significantly increase advertising and promotion investment levels in support of brands and innovation.