The much-maligned suit worn by the U.S. speedskating team should never have been victimized, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank says in an exclusive interview. "It was a bit of a witch hunt that began to build," he says, in his first extensive interview since the Under Armour suit became a scapegoat for the failure of U.S. speedskaters to win Olympic medals. "The suit became the witch." Plank is so certain that the "Mach 39" suit is a winner that Under Armour will continue to invest in it and tweak it until the 2018 Olympic Games in South Korea.
In a surprising move, Gap informed its employees on Wednesday that it would set $9 as the minimum hourly rate for its U.S. workforce this year and then establish a minimum of $10 next year. Gap said this move would ultimately raise pay for 65,000 of its 90,000 American employees, including those at Banana Republic, Old Navy and other stores. Gap is making this move as many states consider raising their minimum wage, and as Republicans and Democrats debate a bill that includes a proposed increase in the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2016.
Lowe's said Wednesday it plans to hire about 25,000 seasonal employees at its U.S. stores during its spring busy season, down from 45,000 workers last year. Lowe's and peer Home Depot have been rare bright spots in the retail sector as they continue to benefit from the U.S. housing recovery. Rising home prices and improvements in home construction and new home sales have led homeowners to open their wallets for remodeling projects or big-ticket items. Last week, Home Depot said it will hire 80,000 workers in the U.S. in preparation for spring, matching last year's hiring level.
Three days after Valentine's Day, 1-800-Flowers.com is still apologizing to customers whose flowers and candy never showed up. 1-800-Flowers.com sent nearly 1,000 individual apologies on Twitter, plus more on Facebook, but many customers still weren't satisfied. It wasn't the only flower delivery service with upset customers, though the number of 1-800-Flowers.com complaints appeared to outpace those for FTD Flowers and ProFlowers. Some frustrated customers complained that the phone lines for 1-800-Flowers.com were jammed over the weekend. They also sent emails and filled out online forms, only to receive automated replies.
Richard Cabela, co-founder of the Cabela's retail chain that caters to outdoor enthusiasts and a prominent supporter of the National Rifle Association, has died. He was 77. Cabela started the company in 1961 as a catalog business with his wife, Mary, at their kitchen table in Chappell, Neb. His brother, James Cabela, soon joined the company and together they developed large stores in the U.S. and Canada featuring elaborate taxidermy displays of animals. Through its stores and eventually the internet, Cabela's became one of the nation's major gun retailers.
Home Depot and Lowe's are under fire for selling pesticides that some believe are partly to blame for killing billions of the nation's honeybees. Petitions with thousands of signatures are being delivered to the home-improvement retailers demanding they stop selling the pesticides along with any plants that have been treated with them. "There's a growing body of science indicating that the pesticides are a key factor in recent global bee deaths," said Lisa Archer, director of the food and technology program at the environmental group Friends of the Earth.
Bud Konheim has a message for all of the 99 percenters: You're luckier than you think. Konheim, CEO and co-founder of luxury-fashion company Nicole Miller, said on CNBC's " Squawk Box " on Wednesday that Americans not in the top 1 percent would be considered wealthy in most of the world. He said the
In light of the leaked internal strategy for squashing unions at Wal-Mart as well as other firsthand accounts of shady management policies, an unidentified Wal-Mart employee of five years emailed Gawker this week with a list of answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). He or she seeks to explain why the big-box store's customer service is abominable. It's really thorough, so we've snagged a few choice quotes.
The president of PayPal has had it with employees who don't enthusiastically use the company's products. David Marcus sent a memo to employees working at PayPal's San Jose, Calif., headquarters yesterday, scolding them for not installing the company's app and forgetting their PayPal passwords. "It's been brought to my attention that when testing paying with mobile at Cafe 17 last week, some of you refused to install the PayPal app (!!?!?!!), and others didn't even remember their PayPal password. That's unacceptable to
Amazon.com says it's hiring more than 2,500 full-time workers at its order fulfillment centers around the U.S. Amazon plans to announce Wednesday that the jobs are available in Chester, Va., and Petersburg, Va.; Coffeyville, Kan.; Columbia, S.C.; Dupont, Wash.; and Murfreesboro, Tenn. The world's largest online retailer says last year it hired more than 20,000 people at its fulfillment centers, with more than half starting out as seasonal workers. Amazon says the median income for people working at its order fulfillment facilities is higher than at traditional retailers.