May 23, 2013

Briefcase

From staff and news services

(Continued from page 1)

 

Judge may order companies to improve disability access

A federal judge in Denver is considering an injunction after ruling that nearly 250 Abercrombie & Fitch Co. and J.M. Hollister LLC clothing stores are unfriendly to the disabled.

The judge agreed in March with the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition that the retailers that cater to a hip, young clientele limited access for customers in wheelchairs.

He said the only remedy under the Americans With Disabilities Act is an order to fix the problems, and individuals can't be compensated.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of several Colorado customers who say they had trouble getting into stores and that the sales countertops are too high.

The companies say they complied with all construction standards in effect at the time.

New Albany, Ohio-based Abercrombie & Fitch is the parent company of Hollister.

 

Lowe's quarterly income up 3%, but below expectations

Lowe's said Wednesday that its first-quarter net income rose nearly 3 percent, but results fell short of expectations as rainy weather hurt spring gardening sales.

The No. 2 home improvement retailer's results stood in contrast to those reported a day earlier by Home Depot. Lowe's larger rival reported an 18 percent rise in net income, bolstered by the improving housing market. Lowe's was hurt more by the rainy and cool spring.

 

Target's first-quarter profit drops with the temperatures

Target Corp. reported a 29 percent drop in first-quarter profit as unusually cool spring weather and financial pressures chilled customers' appetite for spending.

The company, based in Minneapolis, also on Wednesday cut its annual profit outlook, sending its stock down.

Target is the latest in a string of companies, including rival Walmart Stores Inc., that say bad weather and financial pressures like the higher payroll tax have squeezed business in the first couple months of the year.

 

Evian redesigning its bottle to revive sales and image

Evian is giving itself a facelift to keep up with its sleek, young competitors on store shelves.

The water, which is owned by French food and beverage company Danone, is unveiling a new bottle for the first time in 14 years as it looks to reinvigorate its image and win back market share in the premium water category. Instead of the contoured bottle that has long defined the brand, the new look has cleaner lines, reminiscent of the cylinder-like shape of the Smartwater bottle.

Evian's makeover comes at a critical time, given the brand's languishing sales performance in an industry where looks play such a big role.

 

Profitable Tesla Motors pays off $465 million loan early

Electric car maker Tesla Motors says it has repaid a loan from the U.S. government nine years early.

The Detroit company says it wired a $451.8 million payment to the government on Wednesday to retire a loan it received from the Department of Energy. The agency loaned Tesla $465 million in 2010 to make advanced-technology vehicles.

The company used money from a $968 million sale of stock and notes to pay off the debt. The sale took place last week and closed on Wednesday.

Tesla sells only one car, the $70,000 Model S. Earlier this month the company reported its first quarterly profit. Its stock price has more than doubled since the first of the year and closed Wednesday at $87.24.

 

Boeing 787 program healthy, commercial planes chief says

Boeing Co.'s commercial airplanes chief Ray Conner declared Wednesday that the 787 has "turned the corner," with the fix for its recent battery problem all but completely implemented and production on track to rise to 10 jets a month by year end.

At Boeing's annual investor conference, Conner confidently predicted that the 787 and the forthcoming 777X will dominate Airbus in the widebody jet market.

 

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