Silicon Valley

Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail. Joe has more than 10 years experience covering the retail industry, and enjoys profiling innovative companies and people in the space.

The opening of innovation labs and technology centers has been a trend in the retail industry for a few years now. Leading brands such as Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Nordstrom, CVS and others have all opened digital innovation labs within the last few years — most of them in Silicon Valley to take advantage of the abundant tech talent in that area. Kohl’s is no exception, having opened its digital center in Milpitas, Calif., in April 2013. All of these retailers are trying to be at the forefront of digital technology so they can better engage today’s tech-savvy consumers. In that quest, Kohl’s is turning to an unlikely source to find inspiration: interns.

Multiple sources have confirmed that Fab is in talks to sell to PCH International for $15 million, and possibly as much as $50 million, in a half cash and half stock deal. Contractual agreements are in the very early stages between the two companies. If it does happen, we've been told that some assets will be rolled into Fab founder Jason Goldberg's new furniture design company Hem and the rest will be taken over by PCH. Fab was once a Silicon Valley darling, raising $165 million (at a $1 billion valuation) just over a year ago. 

With all the acclaim that receives for being an innovative, bleeding-edge technology company/online retailer, it may come as somewhat of a surprise that its workforce is primarily composed of white men. Without knowing any better, I would have thought that the online retail giant had a more diversified workforce.

A U.S. judge on Tuesday approved a settlement between federal antitrust authorities and eBay over allegations that eBay agreed to refrain from soliciting a rival company's employees. Under the deal, announced earlier this year, eBay said it wouldn't make deals with other technology companies about poaching each others' employees. U.S. District Judge Edward Davila approved eBay's agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice in a brief order. Hiring in Silicon Valley has been increasingly scrutinized. Six companies, including Apple and Google, settled with federal authorities in 2010 over nonsolicitation deals, without paying money. 

Target announced today that its second quarter earnings will include a $148 million charge related to losses stemming from a data breach that occurred during last year's holiday shopping season. It also warned that its profit for that period would be softer than expected. During the fourth quarter of 2013, Target experienced a data breach in which an intruder gained unauthorized access to its network and stole payment card and other guest information. More than 110 million consumers were affected.

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