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BUSINESS
August 21, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
It's only August, but retailers such as Wal-Mart and Toys R Us are already getting a jump on what is expected to be a difficult holiday season. On Wednesday, discount giant Wal-Mart said it would bring back its layaway program this year after last year's program pulled in 10% more in sales than it did when it debuted in 2011. Layaway, which allows customers to put products on hold while paying for them in installments, will be free from opening fees this year. The chain previously charged a $5 fee to open a layaway account.
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BUSINESS
August 15, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, cut its outlook for the rest of the year after reporting second-quarter earnings that fell below expectations. The disappointing performance, coupled with pessimistic forecasts from Macy's Inc. and Kohl's Corp. this week, seems to indicate that Americans are stuck in an economic holding pattern, analysts said. “The retail environment remains challenging in the U.S. and our international markets, as customers are cautious in their spending,” said Chief Financial Officer Charles Holley in a statement.
BUSINESS
August 14, 2013 | By Richard Verrier
The prospects of finding a distributor for a $220,000 movie, produced mainly by college students at an obscure San Diego Catholic university, could hardly be worse. But about 60 students at John Paul the Great Catholic University who embarked on a quixotic class project two summers ago to make and release their own movie beat the odds. With the help of faculty members who had ties in Hollywood, the students recruited professional actors and crew members to help make their film.
BUSINESS
August 2, 2013 | Bloomberg News
Female Wal-Mart workers in California suing for gender discrimination can't pursue their claims against the retailer as a group because the evidence didn't show they had enough in common, a judge said. U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco said the women's request for class certification suffered from the same deficiencies as an earlier version of the case brought on behalf of a national group of more than 1 million women. That case was thrown out by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2011.
OPINION
July 24, 2013
Re "Wal-Mart may flee D.C. over minimum wage," Business, July 20 I remember when Sam Walton started his chain of stores in the 1960s. They were decorated in red, white and blue and advertised that almost everything was made in America. Walton might be turning over in his grave if he knew what has happened to his company after his children took over: Very little is made in America, pay and benefits for workers are poor, the company is opposed to unionization - and his heirs sit on their billions.
BUSINESS
July 24, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
Trader Joe's came out on top of a list of favorite North American grocery chains, chosen by more than 6,600 consumers surveyed by Market Force Information. The report, released Wednesday, showed Publix Super Markets and Whole Foods Market rounding out the top three favorites. In the West, Safeway ruled the list. Kroger led in the South and the Midwest, and Stop & Shop reigned in the Northeast. In Canada, Loblaws was the preferred brand. Wal-Mart had the lowest satisfaction score of the 30 brands studied -- even though its score was nearly four out of five, with five the best possible score.
BUSINESS
July 24, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
After uninspiring sales in the first half of the year, retailers are hustling to salvage a back-to-school shopping season that has gotten off to a muted start. Parents, worried about the economy and pressed for time, plan to spend less money and do more school-related shopping online, recent surveys show. To chase elusive customers, many retailers are sprucing up their Web portals and offering special Internet deals. For the first time, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is posting school uniforms on its online Classrooms by Wal-Mart database.
BUSINESS
July 24, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez
Thirty workers didn't report for their jobs Wednesday at a warehouse supplying Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other retailers, protesting alleged retaliation from managers after employees complained about poor working conditions, organizers said. The action in Mira Loma is the latest in a string of protests against warehouses and logistics companies in the Inland Empire by Warehouse Workers United, a union-backed advocacy group pushing for better working conditions. The workers, who aren't represented by a union, staged a rally at a warehouse operated by Olivet International Inc., which sells apparel and luggage to various retailers, including Wal-Mart, Target Corp.
BUSINESS
July 19, 2013 | By Marina Villeneuve
WASHINGTON - Empty Budweiser beer cans, Arizona iced tea bottles and other debris litter the ground of a largely vacant strip mall in the Skyland neighborhood, an area federally designated as a "food desert" for its lack of grocery stores. Skyland is part of the District of Columbia's Ward 7, where a majority of residents are low-income African Americans and the unemployment rate is 13.9%. A few miles away, the affluent, mainly white Ward 3 has numerous grocery stores and a 2.1% jobless rate.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 16, 2013 | By Ruben Vives and Kate Mather
Shoppers at a Wal-Mart on Crenshaw Boulevard described a scene of chaos and mayhem Monday night as unruly protesters stormed the store, tossing merchandise and trying to loot jewelry cases. Police estimated about 150 people took part in the violence Monday night after a peaceful vigil at Leimert Park. They were protesting the acquittal Saturday of George  Zimmerman, 29, in Florida on second-degree murder and manslaughter in last year's shooting death of unarmed 17-year-old  Trayvon Martin . The group of roving protesters marched down Crenshaw Boulevard.
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