retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Los Angeles Times reports that "a temporary ban on big-box retail stores in Chinatown fell short Tuesday, when Los Angeles City Councilman Ed Reyes failed to get enough colleagues to add their support. The measure needed at least 12 votes, but got 10, with four members opposed.

"The council is expected to reconsider the issue again at its meeting Wednesday, but could delay a re-vote until next week.

"The proposed law was drafted to target efforts by Wal-Mart Inc. to open a 33,000-square-foot grocery store in the area. The project has been the subject of months of protests from community groups and labor unions, who say the project would endanger the cultural history of the neighborhood."

Reuters reports that Walmart is reorganizing its its compliance, ethics, investigations and legal units into one organization that will report to Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary Jeff Gearhart, a move that comes as Walmart continues to deal with a variety of investigations into charges of widespread bribery of public officials by its Mexico operations.

According to the story, "Wal-Mart also said on Wednesday that it has already spent more than $30 million on updating its global foreign corrupt practices act and anti-corruption compliance program. Jay Jorgensen will become Wal-Mart's senior vice president and global chief compliance officer, reporting to Gearhart.

"Jorgensen is joining Wal-Mart from Washington, D.C. law firm Sidley Austin. Prior to his work at Sidley Austin, where he was a partner and litigator, Jorgensen was a law clerk for former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist and for then Judge Samuel Alito at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit."
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