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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.

Mar 12, 2014

Herbalife says FTC opens inquiry long sought by Ackman

By Diane Bartz and Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – Herbalife Ltd said on Wednesday that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission had opened an inquiry into its operations, news that briefly sent the nutrition and weight loss company’s share price down more than 16 percent.

Billionaire investor William Ackman, who has a $1.16 billion short bet on Herbalife, has for months called on regulators to investigate Herbalife’s distribution model, which he calls a “pyramid scheme,” where a company makes most of its money by recruiting new distributors rather than selling products to real customers.

Mar 10, 2014

McDonald’s U.S. sales continue to struggle in February

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Monday reported a bigger-than-expected drop in comparable global sales for February, hurt again by slow business in the United States.

The world’s biggest restaurant chain by revenue said worldwide sales at restaurants open at least 13 months fell 0.3 percent last month. That was below analysts’ average estimate for a fall of 0.1 percent, according to Consensus Metrix.

Mar 10, 2014

EBay rejects Icahn board nominees, asks investors to do same

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – EBay Inc on Monday rejected activist investor Carl Icahn’s two nominees to its board, saying both were unqualified, and urged shareholders to vote against them at its next annual meeting.

Icahn, who owns just over 2 percent of the e-commerce company, has been pressuring eBay for weeks to spin off its PayPal payments business. He has also repeatedly accused eBay of poor corporate governance.

Mar 6, 2014

Icahn says fight for PayPal spinoff just getting started

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – Activist investor Carl Icahn told eBay Inc shareholders in a letter on Thursday he has “not yet begun to fight” to get the e-commerce company to spin off its PayPal payments unit.

Icahn, who owns just over 2 percent of eBay, also used the letter to lay out new arguments for the split.

Mar 6, 2014

U.S. retailers say business picked up later in February

March 6 (Reuters) – Sales for many U.S. retailers rose in
February, as shoppers ventured out later in the month after a
dismal start when ice, cold and snow kept many of them at home.

Costco Wholesale Corp on Thursday said U.S. sales
at stores open at least a year rose 3 percent, while L Brands
Inc reported a better-than-expected 2 percent rise,
lifted by gains at its Victoria’s Secret lingerie chain.

    • 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."
      Joined Reuters:
      2008
      Languages:
      English, French, Spanish, German and Danish.
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