October 5, 2013

Briefcase

From staff and news reports

Mexicali Blues honored as Maine’s ‘Retailer of the Year’

Mexicali Blues has been named “Retailer of the Year” by the Retail Association of Maine.

The Portland-based store has six locations in the state, including two on Moulton Street in the Old Port. It also has stores in Newcastle, Freeport, Raymond and Bangor and a warehouse and distribution center in Newcastle.

The award is based on employee or sales growth, commitment to the community and creation of a positive work environment for employees.

“Mexicali Blues surpassed the criteria on all counts,” the association said in announcing the award. “While a great number of qualified retailers was considered, Mexicali Blues was chosen because of exceptional local and global commitment and sustainability.”

The company was founded in 1988 and sells clothing, jewelry, home decor and gifts. It also works closely with Safe Passage, a charity founded in Maine that helps poor children in Guatemala.

The award will be presented at the association’s annual meeting in Portland on Nov. 8.

Tesla CEO blames fire on car hitting metal object on road

SEATTLE — The CEO of electric car company Tesla says a battery in a Model S that caught fire this week was apparently impaled by a metal object.

Elon Musk gave more detail Friday about the fire that unsettled Tesla investors. He also defended the car’s battery technology.

Musk wrote in a blog post that fires are more common in conventional gas-powered vehicles.

The CEO said a curved metal object on the road led to a powerful hit on the underside of the vehicle, punching a 3-inch hole through an armor plate that protects the battery under the passenger compartment.

The car properly contained the blaze in one section of the battery, the company said.

Potbelly more than doubles in debut on the Nasdaq

Shares of sandwich maker Potbelly more than doubled in their Nasdaq trading debut Friday.

Potbelly extends the winning streak for foodies going public. In August natural and organic food store chain Sprouts Farmers Market Inc. more than doubled on its launch. Restaurant chain Noodles & Co.’s stock also more than doubled in its June debut.

Potbelly’s stock soared $18.90 to $32.90 in morning trading.

The Chicago company priced its initial public offering of 7.5 million shares at $14 per share, above the projected range of $12 to $13 each.

Potbelly Corp. raised $105 million in the offering, which is targeted to close Wednesday.

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