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BUSINESS
November 16, 2012 | By Shan Li
Wal-Mart is accusing a labor union of unfairly organizing months of protests outside its stores just as it faces orchestrated demonstrations by workers in the days leading up to Black Friday. On Thursday, the world's largest retailer asked the National Labor Relations Board to stop the United Food and Commercial Workers Union from engaging in what it alleged were unfair labor practices and illegal attempts to disrupt its business. The complaint alleging unfair labor practices is being filed shortly before a group of Wal-Mart workers plans to protest on Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
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BUSINESS
November 14, 2012 | By Shan Li
Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is launching a food subscription service that will mail customers new treats to sample at home. Called Goodies, shoppers will receive one box a month filled with five to eight foods currently not available in Wal-Mart stores, such as organic or international items. The service costs $7 a month. For November, Wal-Mart plans to mail a box with pumpkin pie spice tea, white cheddar popcorn, a flourless chocolate souffle mix and wine biscuits. Wal-Mart, which said this summer that it was planning a subscription food program, began testing the service three months ago. About 3,000 customers have already signed up at www.goodies.co, according to the Associated Press.
BUSINESS
November 8, 2012 | By Shan Li, Los Angeles Times
Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is kicking off its Black Friday deals earlier than ever, as more stores open their doors for holiday deals even before shoppers have polished off turkey dinners. Hoping to curb shopper frustration that has marred some past Black Friday shopping, the world's biggest retailer is also guaranteeing that shoppers in line at a certain time on Thanksgiving will get their hands on three hot deals for the holidays. Although many Wal-Mart stores are open all day on Thanksgiving, special holiday promotions will begin at 8 p.m., two hours earlier than last year.
BUSINESS
October 9, 2012 | By Shan Li, Los Angeles Times
Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and American Express Co. are teaming up to offer low-income shoppers a prepaid card. The companies are touting it as a more affordable alternative to debit cards. Called Bluebird, the card is aimed at "customers who are disillusioned or excluded by the rising cost of banking services," the two companies said in a statement Monday. The card, which has been tested since March, will be available next week online and in Wal-Mart stores. Bluebird, which functions somewhat like a checking account, can be used anywhere that accepts American Express cards.
BUSINESS
October 8, 2012 | By Shan Li
Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and American Express are teaming up to offer low-income shoppers a prepaid card, touting it as a more affordable alternative to debit cards. Called Bluebird, the card is aimed at “customers who are disillusioned or excluded by the rising cost of banking services,” the two companies said in a Monday statement. The card, which has been tested since March, will be available next week online and in Wal-Mart stores. Bluebird, which functions somewhat like a checking account, can be used anywhere that accepts American Express cards.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 29, 2012 | By Catherine Saillant, Los Angeles Times
It wasn't long ago that Liz Lopez watched in dismay as the Vannord Shopping Center in her Panorama City neighborhood went downhill, losing its anchor, Valley Foods Warehouse, among a number of other tenants. So Lopez, 33, and her mother, Delmy Lopez, 65, made it a point to attend Friday's grand opening of the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market. They stood patiently with about 200 other soon-to-be shoppers, waiting for the speeches to end so they could push their carts through the store's sliding doors.
BUSINESS
September 22, 2012 | Bloomberg News
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. lost a bid to dismiss an 11-year-old gender discrimination lawsuit brought on behalf of workers in California after the U.S. Supreme Court barred a lawsuit representing Wal-Mart employees nationwide. U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco said in an order Friday that the plaintiffs have proposed a reduced class size to between one and several hundred thousand members. The reduced class could be certified, Breyer wrote, if it made a showing consistent with the Supreme Court's decision that a nationwide class action isn't appropriate.
BUSINESS
September 20, 2012 | By Andrea Chang
The nation's largest retailer has cut out the nation's largest e-tailer. Wal-Mart has announced it will stop selling Kindles and other Amazon.com-branded products after it sells out of its existing stock. Here's the entirety of Wal-Mart's statement on the change: "Recently, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. made a business decision to not carry current Amazon products beyond our purchase commitments and existing inventory. Our customers trust us to provide a broad assortment of products at everyday low prices, and we approach each merchandising decision through this lens.
BUSINESS
September 6, 2012 | Shan Li and Walter Hamilton
The parent company of the Albertsons supermarket chain is closing 26 stores nationwide, including 18 in Southern California, as it tries to overcome sharp operating losses and stiff price competition from big-box rivals. Supervalu Inc. said late Wednesday that the closings are part of a decision to eliminate about 60 stores nationwide, primarily in its Albertsons and Save-A-Lot chains. Albertsons will have 228 stores in California after the closures. Among the Albertsons locations in Southern California scheduled to be closed by December are stores in Long Beach, Glendale, Northridge and Van Nuys.
BUSINESS
August 20, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is hoping to nab a wider portion of holiday and back-to-school shoppers by widening its layaway program to include more products and stretch the pay-back period. Back for a second year in a row because of customer demand, the service allows customers to put goods on hold and pay for them in increments without worrying about fluctuating prices. But this time, buyers will have 90 days to pay the balance instead of last year's 60-day time frame. In addition to jewelry, toys such as the Furby and electronics including the iPad, customers will be able to layaway small home appliances and sporting goods such as basketball goals, trampolines and exercise equipment.
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