Costco Wholesale has tentatively agreed to pay $8 million and change its promotion procedures to settle a long-running lawsuit that alleges it failed to give female employees an equal shot at management jobs. In the proposed settlement, the Issaquah, Wash.-based retailer agreed to establish an $8 million fund to compensate women in the lawsuit, which received class-action status in 2007. It also will overhaul its promotion procedures and tools. The company will also create a posting process for assistant general manager promotions, and a system to register interest in promotions to general manager roles.

Costco may expand its operations to Europe soon, and is mulling opening stores in Germany, Italy, France and Spain. Bloomberg reports James Murphy, international executive vice president for the Issaquah,Wash.-based retailing giant, said the company hasn't decided which European country will be first for its expansion there, and the first European store won't open for the "next couple of years."

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