May 23, 2013 |
The day after Wal-Mart Stores Inc. named a former advisor to President George W. Bush to head its corporate and government affairs division, two activist groups filed complaints accusing the retail behemoth and its suppliers of poor labor practices. In more than 30 allegations of unfair labor practices filed with the National Labor Relations Board on Wednesday and Thursday, the Our Walmart advocacy organization accused the chain of trying to silence protesting workers. The complaints claim that the company retaliated against, disciplined, intimidated, surveilled and sometimes terminated employees in six states, including California, after the workers voiced opposition to various Wal-Mart activities.
May 17, 2013 |
Another tragedy at a Bangladesh clothing factory, another announcement by Wal-Mart about additional steps it will take to beef up worker safety, this time by inspecting all of its suppliers' facilities itself. Not that the retailing giant hasn't made real efforts already to improve employee safety in notoriously bad factories overseas, but the deaths of more than 1,100 people at the Rana Plaza factory last month should signal that a piecemeal, go-it-alone approach is insufficient, even for the biggest retailer in the world.
May 17, 2013 |
If the horrific garment factory collapse last month in Bangladesh has any silver lining, it is the response from more than 30 of the world's leading apparel companies - including Benetton, PVH, Abercrombie & Fitch, H&M, Inditex (Zara), Marks & Spencer and Tesco - to sign an agreement to protect the safety and lives of that nation's workers, who make the companies' products. The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh is a historic advance over the voluntary private factory monitoring that has tragically failed to prevent the recent disasters in Bangladesh and in places around the world where clothes are stitched for the global market.
May 16, 2013 |
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. reported slight upticks in revenue and profit in its first quarter, but the retail behemoth still missed Wall Street's expectations and watched its stock suffer in morning trading. The Bentonville, Ark., mega-chain blamed higher payroll taxes, delayed income tax refunds and bitter weather for less-than-stellar performance in the quarter ended April 30. Wal-Mart customer tend to be especially sensitive to such changes -- which Wal-Mart Chief Executive Mike Duke in a statement called “considerable headwinds to top-line sales.” While on a conference call with analysts, he even mentioned that the company had experienced the “latest snowfall in the history of Arkansas reporting” at its headquarters during the period.
April 25, 2013 |
NEW DELHI - A clothing factory in an emerging country collapses or catches fire with horrific loss of life. Famous Western brands are found in the wreckage. An investigation reveals substandard practices in the local and global clothing trade. There was a distinct feeling of deja vu Thursday as rescuers worked desperately through the night at the site of a collapsed building in Bangladesh, crafting makeshift escape chutes from bolts of fabric. The hand-wringing, finger-pointing and promises of reform started hours after the nine-story Rana Plaza building pancaked Wednesday morning just outside the nation's capital, Dhaka, killing at least 238 people, most of them apparel workers, and injuring more than 1,000.
April 24, 2013 |
After the coffee. Before starting a Morning Fix Kickstarter campaign. The Skinny: When do I have to start caring about the NBA playoffs. I'm trying but I'm just not feeling it yet. In the news today is Warner Bros. plan to sell tickets to "Man of Steel" at Wal-Mart. Also, did "American Idol" try to dump Mariah Carey and bring back Jennifer Lopez. Daily Dose: Jim Rome is missing in action in Los Angeles. Rome, whose popular radio show used to be on KLAC-AM (570)
April 23, 2013 |
The nation's leading seller of DVDs and Blu-ray discs will offer customers access to an advance screening of the new Superman movie, "Man of Steel. " Wal-Mart, in partnership with Warner Bros. Pictures, will begin selling tickets at 8 a.m. on May 18 to the special showing of the film. Customers can purchase as many as four tickets each for the 7 p.m. June 13 screening of the movie at one of 2,379 local theaters. "Man of Steel," starring Henry Cavill in the role of Clark Kent/Superman, officially opens at midnight on June 14. "We know that our customers love movies -- they've told us that time and again," said Brent Duwe, Wal-Mart's director of entertainment merchandising in the U.S. "We started working with Warner Bros.
April 20, 2013 |
They call him Mr. Wonderful. But Kevin O'Leary was recently engaged in one of his less-than-wonderful rants, the kind familiar to anyone who loves to hate him on ABC's "Shark Tank. " "If I were the president of the United States, I would make unions illegal," O'Leary declared, between sips of Cabernet during a Sunday brunch at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills. "They no longer serve a functional purpose in democracy, in my view. "My problem with unions is they breed mediocrity," the 58-year-old former educational software mogul turned investor added, warming to his topic.
April 5, 2013 |
Specialty sporting goods store Sport Chalet Inc. is now offering same-day delivery service, hopping on a crowded bandwagon that includes Amazon, Wal-Mart, Google and EBay. “Sometimes there just is not enough time for a customer to visit our stores, and this new service solves that problem,” Craig Levra, chief executive of the 53-store chain, said in a statement. The La Cañada Flintridge-based company also does brisk business renting sports equipment to customers. And for those reluctant to haul the goods back to a Sport Chalet store themselves, the company said it will “drive to their home or office and retrieve the gear for them.” The new program is in place in most of California as well as in the Phoenix, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City areas.
April 5, 2013 |
Portrait studios at Sears and some Wal-Mart stores - the scenes of innumerable family photos - have unexpectedly closed as their operator, CPI Corp., goes out of business. The portrait provider said in a statement on its website that all of its U.S. locations have shut down “after many years of providing family portrait photography.” The St. Louis company has been making photo keepsakes for more than 60 years and offered its services at more than 3,000 North American locations, mostly in Sears and Wal-Mart stores.