FINANCE

Wal-Mart ordered to provide investors bribery files

BY Dan Berthiaume

Bentonville, Ark. – Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has lost its bid to keep files regarding an internal probe of possible bribes paid to Mexican officials to aid real estate deals out of the hands of investors. The Delaware Supreme Court has upheld a 2013 ruling by a lower Delaware state court mandating that Wal-Mart provide the files to several investors.

In 2005, executives in Wal-Mart’s Mexican operation told senior management that at least $24 million in bribes had been paid to Mexican government officials in order to ease the process of building warehouses and stores. The payments were not disclosed in regulatory filings until 2011 and U.S. and Mexican officials are investigating whether the payments can be considered criminal.

Wal-Mart investors including the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, the New York City Employees’ Retirement System and the Indiana Electrical Workers Pension Trust Fund are seeking access to the files. Wal-Mart had appealed the previous ruling to the state’s highest court.

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OPERATIONS

Corner Bakery Café improves human resources, accounting with Altametrics

BY Dan Berthiaume

Dallas — Corner Bakery Café has implemented Altametrics’ E-Restaurant and E-SmartClock solutions to improve labor, food, human resources and administrative costs at all of its cafes, with full launch beginning in August. After a three-month test in 10 company-owned stores, Corner Bakery Cafe implemented ESmartClock technology, which features an easy-to-use touch-screen and provides real-time visibility, monitoring and alerting of critical labor elements such as proactive notification of an employee approaching overtime.

Corner Bakery Café also sought a new time-keeping platform that would fully integrate the time-keeping and scheduling functionalities, and to change the way it projects labor needs and expedite basic accounting and human resources functions. The company looked for a precise model that could forecast labor based on tasks required, and could pull invoices and pay partners more easily.

After exploring several platforms, Corner Bakery Cafe chose to adopt Altametrics’ ERestaurant technology. In addition to leveraging the forecasting engine to deliver a more accurate and efficient crew schedule, ERestaurant is fully integrated with ESmartClock. The two elements work in concert to help managers ensure crew schedules are properly executed and ultimately provide improvements in labor costs. Similarly, ERestaurant allows for simplified product ordering and inventory management resulting in improvements in food costs

"Our ability to adopt forward-thinking technology has put us in the position to more than double our national footprint by 2017,” said Gary Price, president of Corner Bakery Cafe. “For that reason, we knew there was room for growth in the way we handle a number of our staffing, scheduling, human resources and administrative functions. Through a lengthy research phase, and due diligence of a number of different cloud-based solutions, we knew Altametrics’ technology platforms would meet and exceed our needs."

To maintain its rapid ascent atop the nation’s list of fastest growing fast-casual brands, Corner Bakery Cafe needed help to strengthen its economic model as well as create operational enhancements for its general managers.

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OPERATIONS

Report: Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 golf pros

BY Dan Berthiaume

Pittsburgh – Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. has reportedly laid off 478 PGA golf pros who were providing in-store services such as golf lessons and club repairs. According to Fox Business, Dick’s made the cuts as golf sales and participation rates decline.

In the first quarter of fiscal 2014, golf sales at Dick’s came in at $34 million below expectations, and same-store sales at the retailer’s Golf Galaxy banner fell 10%. In addition, average price for men’s golf drivers fell 16%. Dick’s employed 593 PGA golf instructors as of Feb. 1, 2014, meaning some instructors likely remain. The company declined to comment.

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