OPERATIONS

Target provides digital holiday help

BY Dan Berthiaume

Minneapolis – Target Corp. is enlisting Jonna Mendez, a former CIA officer and mom who will serve as a “Kids’ Gift Detective.” Inspired by her years of CIA experience, Mendez will offer online tips and techniques via a video series at ABullseyeView.com where she works with popular mom bloggers.

In addition, Target will offer a dedicated kids’ gifts page on its website and will launch a digital gift catalog in early November.

“Before parents can start shopping for holiday gifts, they need to solve the puzzle of what their kids want most, which often extends beyond the toy aisles,” said Scott Nygaard, senior VP, merchandising, hardlines, Target. “Target offers guests tools to build their lists, including a dedicated online portal, our annual kids’ gifts catalog and the Kids’ Gift Detective, who brings some lighthearted fun to list building.”

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FINANCE

Report: Bangladesh factories plan minimum wage hike

BY Dan Berthiaume

Dhaka, Bangladesh – Owners of garment factories in Bangladesh are reportedly prepared to raise the minimum wage they pay workers from 50%-80% and ask retailers to pay at least some of the extra cost.

According to Reuters, factory owners have offered a minimum wage of about $46 per month. Workers have requested a minimum wage of about $102 per month, and the government is expected to order an increase in a middle range of $54-$66 per month. Current minimum wage is about $39 a month.

Whatever amount the minimum wage is increased, factory owners are expected to ask retailers to pay about 5%-15% more than they do now for garments manufactured in Bangladesh. The higher wages come as an attempt to end a series of strikes that have been occurring in Bangladesh since September 2013 and also as several recent disasters in Bangladeshi factories have increased public scrutiny of working conditions there.

Spokespeople for Wal-Mart and H&M said they are working with Bangladesh to review and increase minimum wages at garment factories while a J.C. Penney spokesperson declined comment. Bangladesh is the second-largest garment exporter in the world.

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OPERATIONS

Wal-Mart names two China execs

BY Dan Berthiaume

Bentonville, Ark. – Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has reportedly named two new managers for its China business. According to Bloomberg, an internal corporate memo indicates Wal-Mart is naming Adrian Blake as senior VP of business development in China and Rob Bray as senior VP of real estate in China.

Bray currently serves as senior VP of real estate design, construction and floor planning for Wal-Mart’s U.S, operation. These appointments come on the heels of Wal-Mart announcing it will close 20 underperforming stores in China and also plans to open 100 new stores there in the next three years.

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