Williams-Sonoma authorizes $125 million stock buyback
San Francisco — Williams-Sonoma said Tuesday that its board has approved a $125 million stock repurchase program.
The retailer said the new program will likely be completed by January 2012. It does not have an expiration date. The company said it had completed a $65 million stock repurchase program approved in September 2010.
Williams-Sonoma, which runs Pottery Barn, West Elm, its namesake stores and other brands, had about 105.1 million outstanding shares as of Nov. 28, 2010.
Report: New Yorkers spending more at Walmart
New York City — New York City residents spent nearly $200 million at about a dozen Walmart stores in the New York metropolitan area in 2010, up about 20% from the amount reported in a previous 12-month period, the company said Monday, according to Crain’s New York.
Although Wal-Mart does have any stores in New York City proper, the chain is determined to break into the market and is working to overcome opposition from labor, community and small business groups.
An ad campaign being launched Tuesday in three dozen community newspapers blames “special interests” for keeping Walmart out of the city, according to the report, while opponents continue to argue that Walmart will harm low-income New Yorkers and small businesses.
On Monday, the heads of three City Council committees sent a letter to Walmart asking it to reconsider its decision not to appear at a hearing Thursday examining the retail giant’s potential impact on the city, Crain’s reported.
Hughes to provide Carter’s with major network upgrade and in-store wireless connectivity
Germantown, Md. — Children’s apparel brand Carter’s will undergo a major network upgrade to deliver stronger security, better performance, and in-store wireless connectivity to be provided by Hughes Network Systems, a global provider of broadband satellite networks and services, and managed network and application services.
The upgrade, which involves all of Carter’s nearly 500 retail sites, will provide the retailer with significant new functionality. It delivers improved store productivity with Hughes Enterprise Wi-Fi services, enhanced segmentation and security provided by a managed LAN switch and rogue wireless intrusion protection, and improved application performance with increased bandwidth and optimization technology, all fully managed by Hughes.
“We have been a customer of Hughes for over three years and have been satisfied with the network solution and services they have provided us,” said Janet Sherlock, CIO, Carter’s CIO. “When looking to expand our network and applications, Hughes demonstrated that they understood our business and could respond to our needs, allowing us to focus on the bigger picture. We’re gaining more bandwidth, and meeting tougher security and compliance requirements with the network applications and infrastructure, which Hughes manages for us.”
Hughes Enterprise Wi-Fi services will enable Carter’s employees to stay connected, productive, and more responsive within the store. Hughes provides a secure, private wireless connection which protects confidential corporate communications. The supplier’s rogue scanning functionality is a managed wireless scanning and reporting service that will help Carter’s protect against rogue devices from accessing sensitive corporate traffic.
Hughes is also increasing access bandwidth to all store locations which are securely networked via Hughes Optimized VPN services using a variety of technologies, including DSL, cable, 3G, and T1.
In addition, Carter’s is leveraging Hughes optimization technology, integral to the Hughes access router, to increase the virtual bandwidth at each store. The additional bandwidth is needed to support inventory management, human resources and back-office applications, along with point-of-sale (POS) system functions for its Carter’s and OshKosh B’gosh stores.