Court to hear Wal-Mart appeal
The US Supreme Court said on Monday it would decide if the largest sex-discrimination class-action lawsuit in US history against Wal-Mart Stores Inc can proceed, a case involving women workers who seek billions of US dollars in damages. The court agreed to hear an appeal by the world’s largest retailer and the largest private employer arguing the claims of as many as 1.5 million current and former female employees were too diverse to proceed as a single class-action lawsuit. The justices decided to review a ruling by an appeals court in California that upheld the class-action certification in the lawsuit alleging discrimination against every woman employed over the past decade at the company’s 3,400 US stores. The Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments in the case next March, with a ruling likely by the end of June.
Tesco posts Q3 sales rise
Tesco PLC, the world’s No. 3 retailer, said overseas markets drove a 7.2 percent rise in third-quarter sales and it was seeing a pick-up in demand in its main British market heading into peak Christmas trading. Finance director Laurie McIlwee said yesterday that UK trading had been ahead of the supermarket group’s expectations in recent weeks, with sales at UK stores open more than a year rising 1.5 percent, excluding fuel and including VAT sales tax, in the 13 weeks to Nov. 27. Growth had picked up to 3 percent by the end of the third quarter, despite a lower contribution from rising food prices compared with the second quarter, McIlwee said.
‘Post’ to monitor ‘NYT’
The Washington Post is monitoring efforts by the New York Times (NYT) and other newspapers to charge readers online, but has no plans to do the same for now, Post Co chairman Donald Graham said on Monday. “On pay models, obviously what the New York Times is doing is of interest to us,” Graham told financial analysts at the UBS 38th Annual Global Media and Communications Conference in New York. “We’ll be watching it and we wish them well,” he said, adding that his newspaper was also monitoring pay wall efforts by Rupert Murdoch’s the Times.
Store pulls Nazi costumes
A Japanese discount chain said yesterday it would pull a Nazi costume from its shelves after a complaint from a Jewish organization in the US. The costume on sale at retailer Don Quijote Co includes a black jacket with a red swastika armband in a package that has a sketch resembling Adolf Hitler on the cover, along with the phrase “Heil Hitler” in Japanese characters. The outfit was on sale for about ￥5,000 (US$60). Aico, a Japanese party goods maker, has made the costume for seven years and never had a complaint, spokesman Nobuyoshi Nasuzawa said.
FOOD AND BEVERAGE
Bright Food set to buy GNC
Chinese food company Bright Food Group Co (光明食品) is nearing a deal to acquire GNC Holdings Inc for up to US$3 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported late on Monday, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter. The Journal says the deal for the US-based vitamin retail chain is for between US$2.5 billion and US$3 billion. The newspaper said Bright Food had until recently been pursuing a buyout of snack maker United Biscuits. GNC issued a statement saying it does not comment on rumors or market speculation.