Journalist, New York
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Mar 17, 2014

U.S. attorneys general urge retailers to drop tobacco

March 17 (Reuters) – A group of 28 U.S. attorneys general
has urged Walmart and four other big retailers to stop selling
tobacco products, saying they should not be available in stores
that provide health care services.

The group sent a letter on Sunday to chief executive
officers of Wal-Mart Stores Inc, supermarket operators
Kroger Co, Safeway Inc, which operate pharmacies,
and drugstore chains Walgreen Co and Rite Aid Corp.

Mar 14, 2014

Target warns data breach could be worse than reported so far

BOSTON/NEW YORK, March 14 (Reuters) – Target Corp
warned that last year’s massive security breach could have been
more extensive than reported so far, leading to further losses
at the No. 3 U.S. retailer.

“Our investigation of the matter is ongoing and it is
possible that we will identify additional information that was
accessed or stolen, which could materially worsen the losses and
reputational damage we have experienced,” the company said in
its 10-K annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange
Commission on Friday.

Mar 14, 2014

Target says unsure how long sales impact of data breach will last

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – Target Corp (TGT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Friday acknowledged that a massive data breach last year has damaged its reputation and business, and said that it does not yet know how long the fallout will last.

Some 40 million payment card records were stolen from the discount retailer, along with 70 million other records with customer information such as addresses and telephone numbers, during the 2013 holiday shopping season.

Mar 14, 2014

Starbucks gives up exclusive license to high-end Keurig pods

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will get a wider selection of Keurig Green Mountain Inc’s (GMCR.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) single-serve K-Cup coffee packs, in exchange for giving up the exclusive license for Keurig’s highest-end coffee pods, the companies said on Friday.

Keurig Green Mountain shares rose 8 percent on Friday to $114.71 on speculation changes to the agreement will open the door for it to secure licenses with other leading coffee brands with which it does not already have such arrangements.

Mar 14, 2014

Amazon plans Prime fee hike by $20, risks consumer wrath

By Phil Wahba and Deepa Seetharaman

(Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc plans to hike the annual fee for its popular Prime service by 25 percent to $99 starting next week, a move announced on Thursday that risks losing customers for a feature that has helped drive its business.

The increase comes about six weeks after Amazon warned that it may raise prices by as much as $40 to offset rising fuel and shipping costs. Prime, which offers unlimited two-day shipping among other perks, had cost $79 since its introduction in 2005.

Mar 13, 2014

Penny-pinching shoppers weigh on Dollar General sales

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – Retailer Dollar General Corp (DG.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) reported lower-than-expected sales for the holiday quarter on Thursday, blaming weak consumer confidence among its low-income shoppers, cold weather and aggressive competition.

Its forecast for the new fiscal year also disappointed, and shares fell 3.4 percent to $57.30 in afternoon trading.

Mar 13, 2014

McDonald’s hit by worker lawsuits claiming it steals wages

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp workers in three U.S. states filed lawsuits this week against the fast-food chain, alleging it is stealing wages by forcing them to work off the clock, by cheating them out of overtime and by denying them rest breaks.

The seven suits were announced on Thursday by the employees’ lawyers and were filed Wednesday and Thursday in New York, California and Michigan.

Mar 13, 2014

Amazon raises Prime fee by $20, risks consumer wrath

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc said it is hiking the annual fee for its popular Prime service by $20 to $99 starting next week to offset rising costs, but the move could spark a customer revolt that undermines a feature that has helped boost its business.

Amazon, which warned of an increase of as much as $40 in January, considers Prime instrumental in driving purchases of both goods and digital media. Prime offers free unlimited two-day shipping and streaming of movies and television shows as well as book downloads, which have helped expand its presence on mobile devices.

Mar 13, 2014

Analysis – J.C. Penney turnaround faces big test with home goods relaunch

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – J.C. Penney Co Inc (JCP.N: Quote, Profile, Research) is about to undo the centerpiece of former Chief Executive Officer Ron Johnson’s failed vision to take the retailer upmarket.

On Thursday, the department store chain is relaunching its home goods sections. It has brought back many of the more affordable, no-frills brands the former Apple executive ditched and reduced the space given to trendier brands he thought would bring in new shoppers.

Mar 13, 2014

J.C. Penney turnaround faces big test with home goods relaunch

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – J.C. Penney Co Inc (JCP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is about to undo the centerpiece of former Chief Executive Officer Ron Johnson’s failed vision to take the retailer upmarket.

On Thursday, the department store chain is relaunching its home goods sections. It has brought back many of the more affordable, no-frills brands the former Apple executive ditched and reduced the space given to trendier brands he thought would bring in new shoppers.

    • About Phil

      "Phil Wahba joined Reuters in 2008 and has covered the exchanges, equity capital markets (IPOs), corporate bankruptcies and now covers retailers such as department stores and booksellers."
      Hometown:
      Montreal
      Joined Reuters:
      2008
      Languages:
      English, French, Spanish, German and Danish.
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