News

Wal-Mart announces departure of @WalmartLabs co-heads

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Bentonville, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said in a Friday emailed statement that the co-heads of its technology unit @WalmartLabs are leaving the company.

Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman, who ran the 200- person unit in San Bruno, Calif., are taking some time off from the industry, according to the statement. The pair took the helm of @WalmartLabs when Wal-Mart bought their company Kosmix last year.

Wal-Mart said the rest of the technology team will remain intact.

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News

Macy’s Lundgren to be deposed in Martha Stewart suit

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York — A Thursday report by Bloomberg said that Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren is slated to give his deposition next month over a contract dispute with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc.

Citing documents filed Thursday in New York state court, Bloomberg said that Lundgren is scheduled for a half-day of questioning on July 3 in advance of a July 13 hearing on his company’s request for a preliminary injunction.

In January, Macy’s sued Martha Stewart Living to prevent a partnership with J.C. Penney Co. to sell Martha Stewart-branded products. According to Macy’s, it has the exclusive right to sell Martha Stewart Living products in certain categories.

J.C. Penney acquired 17% of Martha Stewart Living for $38.5 million.

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FINANCE

Edible Arrangements announces private-equity investment; poised for growth

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Wallingford, Conn. — Edible Arrangements announced on Friday a strategic partnership with private equity firm Catterton Partners, which includes a capital investment toward expanding the Edible Arrangements brand globally.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

In addition, Edible Arrangements founder and CEO Tariq Farid said that Catterton Partners brings significant resources in areas from strategy to customer relations to supply chain management, which will accelerate the company’s ability to reach new levels of growth.

"Our ability to leverage the deep background and extensive resources of Catterton will enable us to grow the Edible Arrangements brand and build upon the great success that our franchise partners and talented employees have allowed us to achieve already. This literally will take us to the next level in terms of business development,” said Farid.

Edible Arrangements currently has more than 1,100 franchise locations open or under development worldwide. In 2011, the company opened 86 new stores, including 10 locations internationally, and said it expects to open more than 100 new domestic and international units in 2012.

Catterton’s current retail investments include: Restoration Hardware, Outback Steakhouse, Cheddar’s, Noodles & Co., and Mid-Atlantic Convenience Stores.

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