Last Updated Aug 14, 2007 3:49 PM EDT
- Wal-Mart reported a higher quarterly profit, but cut its outlook for the rest of the year, blaming inflated gas prices, rising mortgage defaults, and the housing funk for decreased consumer spending. Earlier this year, the retailer renewed its focus on low prices after unsuccessful efforts in apparel and home decor, but this approach has not yet turned into increased sales. The Commerce Department reported that U.S. retail sales rose more than forecast in July, and if the trend continues, it may help Wal-Mart rebound.
- Mattel Inc. recalled 9 million more Chinese-made toys -- some with lead paint and some with magnets that children can swallow -- in two separate recalls after discovering the faulty products during its China-vendor investigation. The toy maker, already known for its commitment to safety, is also engaging in an aggressive campaign to advise consumers of the recall, placing full-page ads in major newspapers and announcing an even-more-thorough safety process, which includes checking every batch of paint used in its toys for lead.
- Kmart will soon be selling multicultural dolls in every store, possibly to help retain Hispanic customers who are increasingly shopping at discount competitor, Wal-Mart, according to a study released in 2006. Although other retailers, including Wal-Mart, already sell multicultural dolls in select stores, Kmart's line will be available in all its stores to capitalize on the growing spending power of minorities and the recent popularity of similar toys, including Dora the Explorer.
- Frontier Airlines Holdings Inc. named former COO Sean Menke as replacement for CEO Jeff Potter whose resignation takes effect September 6. Speculation is that Menke originally left because he wasn't appointed CEO. Menke played a large role in Air Canada's financial reorganization -- a performance board members hope he repeats with Frontier, which has been facing increased competition at its Denver hub from Southwest and United. Menke hopes to bring some of Air Canada's successful techniques, including a la carte pricing (where passengers pay more for additional services, such as checking baggage and in-flight meals), to help Frontier stay competitive.