Nathan's Feed
Apr 2, 2015

Wal-Mart support of gay rights turns on business

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The chief executive of Wal-Mart Stores has emerged as an unlikely voice for gay rights after the Arkansas state governor heeded his call on Wednesday to reject a much-criticized bill.

But the decision by Doug McMillon to speak out against the “religious freedom” bill reflects more than a decade of evolving policy by the retailer on the issue of gay and lesbian rights, and follows a pattern of taking stands on some social issues when it makes business sense to do so.

Mar 30, 2015

SEC says Wal-Mart can omit shareholder proposal on staff ‘engagement’

By Nathan Layne

(Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc said it would omit a
shareholder proposal that sought to link executive pay to a
measure of staff motivation from a vote at its annual meeting in
June after the U.S. securities regulator ruled in the retailer’s
favor.

The proposal was submitted by Connecticut Treasurer Denise
Nappier in December. It called for a measure of “employee
engagement” to be used in tandem with financial metrics in
determining the pay of senior executives.

Mar 21, 2015

SEC to allow shareholder vote on Wal-Mart independent chairman

By Nathan Layne

(Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) shareholders will vote in June at the company’s annual meeting on electing an independent board chairman, after U.S. regulators rejected a request by the retailer to block the proposal.

Efforts the past two years were unsuccessful to unseat current board Chairman Rob Walton, scion of the billionaire family that founded the world’s largest retailer.

Mar 19, 2015

Exclusive: Japan tax agency, Hong Kong join FBI in reviewing Universal casino payments – sources

TOKYO/BILOXI, Mississippi (Reuters) – Japan’s tax authorities have begun a review of how slot machine maker and casino developer Universal Entertainment (6425.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) accounted for $40 million in payments made in 2010 to an associate of the Philippines’ top gambling regulator at that time, people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Separately, the payments are also a focus of a previously undisclosed criminal investigation by Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption, sources said. The ICAC has become involved because the transfers under review passed through bank accounts based in Hong Kong, those people said.

Mar 19, 2015

Mississippi gaming regulator renews Okada’s license amid FBI probe

, March 19 (Reuters) – Mississippi’s gaming
regulator on Thursday renewed the license of gaming magnate
Kazuo Okada to operate in the state, saying it based the
decision on its own investigation and not on press reports about
allegations of bribery in the Philippines.

The Mississippi Gaming Commission voted to approve the
“suitability” status of Okada, which had come up for a nine-year
review. The commission also approved the license of Aruze Gaming
America, Okada’s slot machine subsidiary.

Mar 18, 2015

Target to lift minimum wage to $9 an hour, matching rivals

By Nathan Layne

(Reuters) – Target Corp (TGT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) next month will raise the minimum wage for all of its workers to $9 an hour, matching moves made by rivals including Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and TJX Cos (TJX.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), a source familiar with the matter said.

The move comes in the face of pressure from labor groups and allies calling for a “living wage” at retailers and fast-food companies across the country, as well as the lowest unemployment rate in more than six years.

Mar 12, 2015

Target pressured on wages by group with focus but little to spend

March 12 (Reuters) – With shallow pockets but a deep
commitment to promote “living wages”, women’s advocacy group
UltraViolet has peppered Target Corp with cheap
location-focused online ads, challenging it to match Wal-Mart
Stores Inc’s promise of $10-an-hour base pay.

The non-profit advocacy group launched its campaign on
Tuesday. With a budget of just $5,000 it purchased online ads
that appear on the browsers of people surfing the Web within a
300-metre (yard) radius of three stores in Minnesota,
Pennsylvania and Nebraska.

Mar 6, 2015

Costco working to end use of human antibiotics in chicken

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Costco Wholesale Corp is
working toward eliminating the sale of chicken and meat from
other animals raised with antibiotics that are vital to fighting
human infections, senior executives at the third-largest U.S.
retailer told Reuters on Thursday.

The ongoing push by Costco, which sells 80 million
rotisserie chickens a year, highlights growing pressure on the
supply chain in the wake of this week’s announcement by
fast-food giant McDonald’s Corp that it would stop
buying chicken raised with so-called “shared-use” antibiotics
within two years.

Mar 6, 2015

Exclusive: Costco working to end use of human antibiotics in chicken

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Costco Wholesale Corp is working toward eliminating the sale of chicken and meat from other animals raised with antibiotics that are vital to fighting human infections, senior executives at the third-largest U.S. retailer told Reuters on Thursday.

The ongoing push by Costco, which sells 80 million rotisserie chickens a year, highlights growing pressure on the supply chain in the wake of this week’s announcement by fast-food giant McDonald’s Corp that it would stop buying chicken raised with so-called “shared-use” antibiotics within two years.

Feb 26, 2015

With cash tight, Sears REIT deal takes on new importance

By Nathan Layne

(Reuters) – Weak sales and tight cash levels at Sears Holdings Corp (SHLD.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) have added urgency to Chief Executive Eddie Lampert’s plan to generate cash by spinning off stores into a trust.

The retailer announced on Thursday that it would go ahead with the plan to sell 200 to 300 stores to a real estate investment trust in May or June, raising at least $2 billion. It was the first time it put a figure or timetable on the move.