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Wal-Mart announces $10 million fund to support U.S. manufacturing

BY Marianne Wilson

Washington, D.C. — Wal-Mart Stores announced that it has created a $10 million fund to support manufacturing in the United States. In a joint announcement, Kent International, a New Jersey-based bicycle maker and one of the chain’s suppliers, said that it will move its production from overseas to Clarendon, S.C.

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation will fund the five-year program and work in collaboration with the U.S. Conference of Mayors to launch it in March. The fund will provide grants to innovators in the manufacturing sector and seeks to create new processes, ideas, and jobs that support America’s manufacturing footprint.

“If we want to grow manufacturing and help rebuild America’s middle class, we need the brightest minds in our universities, in our think tanks, and in our towns to tackle obstacles to U.S. manufacturing," said Bill Simon, U.S. president, Wal-Mart, at the United States Conference of Mayors’ winter meeting in Washington, D.C. "The $10 million fund will identify and award leaders in manufacturing innovation and help us all work together to create opportunity."

Wal-Mart also announced that it will host its second U.S. manufacturing summit in Denver, in August 2014. One focus of this year’s summit will be connecting manufacturers in need of component parts to factories with excess capacity.

"Many factories aren’t operating at full capacity. By working together, we have an opportunity to repurpose or help add production to some of these communities," said Simon. "This will help rebuild the American supply chain to support U.S. manufacturing and create more jobs."

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FTD names BCG partner to board

BY Dan Berthiaume

Downers Grove, Ill. – The board of directors of FTD Companies, Inc. has appointed Michael Silverstein as a director of the company, effective Jan. 21, 2014. Silverstein will serve as a class I director with a term expiring at the company’s 2014 annual meeting of stockholders.

Silverstein is a senior partner and managing director at The Boston Consulting Group ("BCG"). He has significant experience in the fields of consumer behavior and brand development, and is the author of four books on consumer spending, including the fields of luxury goods, market development and the rising female economy. He joined BCG in 1980 and has served in various positions prior to his current role, including as global practice leader and a member of the firm’s executive committee.

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Target cutting 475 positions, eliminating 700 open ones

BY Staff Writer

New York — Target Corp. is cutting 475 positions globally, and also will not fill 700 positions that are open worldwide.

“We believe these decisions, while difficult, are the right actions as we continue to focus on transforming our business,” Molly Snyder, a Target spokeswoman, said in an e-mailed statement, as reported by Reuters. “We will continue to invest in key business areas to strengthen our ability to compete and thrive well into the future.”

No specific details were given on the job cuts.

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