Microsoft sets pop-up shops
Microsoft said on Monday it is launching more than 30 pop-up holiday shops in the US and Canada as it gears up to sell its new Surface tablet computer. The company released a list of 32 locations for the shops — known as pop-ups because they have short or seasonal commercial leases — including in New York, San Francisco, Vancouver and Toronto. The US tech giant on Monday had job listings seeking retail store managers and other personnel. The company offered no specifics on how long these shops would be operational or what they would sell.
Sharp mulls more pay cuts
Sharp Corp is in talks with its labor union to deepen salary cuts as it projects a second straight annual loss. It is also reducing managers’ salaries by 10 percent starting next month and will cut bonuses in half to save a total of ￥14 billion (US$179 million) in fixed costs, the Osaka-based company said in a statement yesterday. Japan’s biggest maker of LCD panels last week put up its Osaka headquarters and some factories as debt collateral after its credit ratings were cut to junk.
Burberry warns on profit
Luxury goods maker Burberry PLC said that full-year pretax profit would be at the lower end of market expectations following a flat retail performance in the past 10 weeks. Burberry said yesterday that retail sales in the period ending Saturday were 6 percent higher than a year ago, but all of the growth was due to new stores. Comparing stores open for at least a year, retail sales were unchanged and the company noted “a deceleration in recent weeks.” Retail accounted for about two-thirds of the company’s sales in the year ending March 31.
Chinese bank loans surge
China ramped up bank lending last month, according to central bank figures released yesterday, as the government seeks to give a boost to the slowing economy. Chinese banks granted 703.9 billion yuan (US$112 billion) in new loans last month, up from 540.1 billion yuan in July, the People’s Bank of China said in a statement. Last month’s figure is higher than market expectations of 600 billion yuan, according to a forecast of 13 economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires.
Another Zynga officer quits
Jeff Karp, the chief marketing and chief revenue officer at Zynga, has become the latest executive to leave the struggling online company behind FarmVille and other games. Last month, chief operating officer John Schappert left the company after less than a year and a half on the job. Schappert’s exit was followed by that of Mike Verdu, the company’s chief creative officer. San Francisco-based Zynga’s stock has dropped 72 percent from its December initial public offering price of US$10 to US$2.82 on Monday.
Lion to set up budget carrier
Indonesia’s Lion Air yesterday said it would set up a low-cost airline in Malaysia that would take off in May next year as part of an aggressive regional expansion. The move will see Lion Air, which controls nearly half the air travel market in Indonesia, playing catch-up to the region’s top budget carrier AirAsia. Lion Air will own 49 percent of the new airline, Malindo Airways, and Malaysia’s National Aerospace and Defence Industries the remaining 51 percent.