retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Bloomberg reports this morning that more than 200 factories in Bangladesh have suspended production after some 10,000 employees went on strike to demand a raise - they'd like to make a monthly minimum of $104, as opposed to the less than half they make now.

According to the story, "Relatively low production costs in Bangladesh, which last raised the minimum wage in 2010, have spawned a $19 billion manufacturing industry that supplies global retailers with cheap clothes." And Bangladesh factories have been under pressure because of substandard conditions that have proven to be lethal in some cases.


• The Austin American-Statesman reports that TraderJoe's has opened its first store in in Austin, Texas, and that "the specialty grocer’s arrival comes at a time when its competitors have been spending millions to remodel existing stores and add new ones, potentially laying the groundwork for a food fight the likes of which Central Texans have never seen before." One store has been opened, with two more scheduled to open next year.


CNN reports that while Target is planning to hire 70,000 temporary employees for the upcoming end-of-year holiday shopping season, that is 18,000 fewer than it hired a year ago. The company says that it "planned to offer more holiday hours to full-time staff members -- 'as much as five to 10 percent more for the busiest periods around Black Friday and the week before Christmas'."
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