Wal-Mart, the nation's largest retailer and biggest employer of women, has done something unusual: it's improved its pregnancy policies. The changes took effect in March and were reported by The Washington Post on April 5. This morning, OUR Walmart, the union-backed group calling for higher wages and better working conditions, claimed victory. So did three legal organizations. Wal-Mart says it wasn't responding to outside pressure, it was just looking for ways to help its employees. The timing must be a coincidence.
For any number of reasons, from the upswing in cyberattacks to the need for maximum uptime and access to the web, retailers are eager to create stronger business continuity plans. In the past, to a certain degree, the disciplines of IT security and business continuity were separated. IT professionals handled security and data protection while business continuity was more under the realm of risk managers. Retailers today demand that this divide be narrowed, especially in light of the serious IT breaches at Target, Neiman Marcus and elsewhere that threatened customer loyalty and brand image. On the business continuity front, retailers need a solid response plan in place for customer and compliance reasons.
After a major snafu with its coupon marketing campaign, eBay has apologized and reissued coupons to users who had trouble redeeming them. eBay Spokesperson Ryan Moore told EcommerceBytes on Wednesday, "Some customers may have experienced difficulty redeeming an eBay Coupon that was issued to them in past few days. We have sent an email to these customers to offer them a replacement coupon to be applied toward their next purchase." eBay had sent $10 coupons good for purchases on eBay in late March, but users began reporting they were unable to redeem them.
Neiman Marcus has reorganized its management ranks to reflect the merging of its store and online merchandise and planning operations into a single team. The decision will bring 187 employees to downtown Dallas, where Neiman Marcus already has a corporate staff of 1,120.
Atop the list of highest rated CEOs for 2014 is Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn with a 100 percent approval rating, and then Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg closes out the top 10 with 93 percent approval rating. There's been some movement since last year's, Top 6 Highest Rated Retail CEOs, with quite a few more retailers finding their way into the rankings, including J.Crew, eBay, Costco and Bath & Body Works. Interestingly, a
Macy's announced on Monday that its chief merchandising officer, Jeffrey Gennette, would become the company's new president, a promotion that may put him next in line to become chief executive. Until Monday, Terry J. Lundgren, Macy's chief executive, held the title of president, as well. "I'm O.K. with going down to three titles," Mr. Lundgren said. "As of yesterday, I was chairman, president, CEO and, most importantly, chief customer officer of the company." Gennette, 52, has held several positions at Macy's in different parts of the country. He's been chief merchandising officer since 2009.
Levi Strauss & Co., the San Francisco apparel company best known for its denim clothing, said it will remove 800 jobs as part of an effort to cut $175 million to $200 million in costs. The so-called global productivity initiative will roll out over the next 12 months to 18 months, the company said Wednesday. The first phase is expected to result in $75 million to $100 million in savings, the company said. The job cuts, which will affect 20% of Levi's non-retail and non-manufacturing employee base
Toys"R"Us unveiled its "go forward" strategy Wednesday, but much of its game plan seemed to come from past playbooks. Toys"R"Us CEO Antonio Urcelay and U.S. President Hank Mullany told analysts, investors and the media that they have a "TRU Transformation" plan in the works that they believe will stabilize sales, reduce costs and position the company for future growth. They said they've already made significant cost-reduction moves. Those include cutting about 100 jobs at the Wayne, N.J. headquarters out of 1,600 positions and more than 400 jobs worldwide out of more than 67,000 posts over the past month.
Gordmans Stores’ President and CEO Jeff Gordman has resigned his post. According to the company, he's retiring to spend more time with his family as well as to pursue outside interests. Board Chairman T. Scott King will serve as interim CEO while the company searches for Gordman's successor. King will work closely with the company's current management team and board of directors to oversee the company's ongoing planned initiatives on a full-time basis. He will take an unpaid leave of absence from his position at Sun Capital Partners during his service with Gordmans.
J.C. Penney is going to war against a former employee who outed the department store for its questionable discounting practices. The department store was drastically hiking prices on items, cutting them back and then advertising huge "discounts," the former employee, Bob Blatchford, told the "Today" show last July. In one case, a "rack of $7 shorts became $14, and then they were 50 percent off," a separate J.C. Penney worker told the "Today" show. "I saw a lot of pricing teams going through the store, raising the prices, mostly doubling — towels and clothing," Blatchford told NBC's Jeff Rossen.