Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 26, 2012 04:04 PM
In a fiery furnace of déjà vu, a garment-factory fire in Bangladesh on Saturday killed 112 people trapped inside the building, or jumping to their deaths in buildings where safety is ignored in a retail rush for products to export.
It was just over a century ago — March 25, 1911 — when the now infamous fire in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory on New York's Washington Square left 146 workers dead because the owner had blocked exits and stairwells to keep employees from leaving or taking a break. The tragedy led to reforms and unionization for U.S. garment workers, but here we are a century later, and it's happening again in Bangladesh.
About this latest firetrap, which has sparked mass protests in Bangladesh, AP writes: “The fire alarm: Waved off by managers. An exit door: Locked. The fire extinguishers: Not working and apparently 'meant just to impress' inspectors and customers. 'Had there been at least one emergency exit through outside the factory, the casualties would have been much lower,' said Maj. Mohammad Mahbub, fire department operations director.
The factory is owned by Tazreen Fashions Ltd., a subsidiary of the Tuba Group, and has produced garments for Walmart, Carrefour, C&A and IKEA, since opening in 2009 and employing about 1,700 people. Walmart's connection to the factory is still "unclear," as Salon notes. A 2011 Walmart ethical sourcing audit gave Tuba Group a yellow rating and requested that it address unacceptable conditions at its factories.
Update: Walmart stated on Monday that the factory in question was indeed producing pieces for the retailer — but without its knowledge, due to a subcontractor arrangement. "Today, we have terminated the relationship with that supplier," America's biggest retailer said in a statement. "The fact that this occurred is extremely troubling to us, and we will continue to work across the apparel industry to improve fire safety education and training in Bangladesh."Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 25, 2012 09:01 PM
K-pop phenom Psy's "Gangam Style" video beats Justin Bieber record to become YouTube's most-viewed video ever, with 805 million views on Friday (knocking on 824 million views now) to Bieber's 803 million for "Baby." Bieber, meanwhile, insults fellow Canadians by wearing overalls to pick up award from Prime Minister.
GM considers Buick logo change and bets it can make the 54-year-old Chevy Impala a head-turner again.
Black Friday in-store sales undercut by Thanksgiving early bird shoppers, mobile and e-commerce shoppers.
GSK and other pharma anger critics by paying for studies.
Hostess Brands eyed by Flower Foods.
Mango replaces Kate Moss with Miranda Kerr.
McDonald's testing Egg White McMuffin and variations on Quarter Pounder.
Mercedes-Benz taps Kate Upton for Super Bowl.
Nintendo's revamped Wii takes aim at a changed game world.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 22, 2012 03:03 PM
This holiday shopping season is all about mobile, and Google wants to help Black Friday shoppers not get lost. Last November, the Google Maps app headed indoors, mapping the interiors of locations such as IKEA, airports and shopping meccas such as Mall of America. This month, it expanded its indoor retail mapping in time for Black Friday sales beyond Android devices, and now offers "over 10,000 detailed floor plans of locations in nine countries," including Macy's New York City flagship. Google is also promoting its voice-activated search app this holiday season.
Posted by Dale Buss on November 20, 2012 09:01 AM
Hostess Brands gets a stay of execution as company and union agrees to mediation today.
Ikea gets green light in India.
GM launches Springo sub-brand in China.
BMW shows off speed with tire-track promotion.
Best Buy posts loss as store sales drop.
Billabong Americas head considers buyout bid for company.
Campbell Soup builds giant Pinterest board out of classic green-bean casserole.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 19, 2012 08:59 AM
Hostess liquidation sees opportunists stock up on Twinkies as future of its brands hangs in balance and unions cling to hope of a buyer.
BP seen as takeover target now, as valuation slides.
GM opens $1.3 billion China plant for Baojun budget brand.
Ben & Jerry's turns fans' Instagram pictures into ads.
CCTV ad haul for Chinese television bodes well for economy.
Cisco to buy networking-hardware company Meraki for $1.2 billion.
Citigroup to cut more jobs.
Dish Network is frustrated in dream of breaking into wireless.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 31, 2012 01:32 PM
Disney acquires Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion, plans to restart Star Wars franchise.
Apple sees executive refuse to apologize for mapping flaw, so he and retail chief are to depart as design head Jony Ive takes on bigger role and Apple shares slip post-shakeup.BP returns to profitability and raises dividend.
BP returns to profitability and raises dividend.
Activision goes big for CoD: Black Ops 2.
Aldi revamps as German consumers reject austerity.
Bayer acquires Schiff for $1.2 billion.
Burger King boosts marketing and makes demographic inroads.
Ford profits reflect North American gains and European woes.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 26, 2012 03:01 PM
IKEA was the poster-brand for banning disposable shopping bags in American retail, and that early commitment keeps growing and getting greener.
The IKEA Group has just announced an ambitious sustainability strategy, People & Planet Positive (as seen above), as a brand striving for energy independence. Their commitment is to produce as much energy as they consume by 2020 through a $1.95 billion investment in solar and wind projects.
In the near term, as outlined in its sustainability microsite and report, the mega-furniture retailer plans to gather 70% of its energy demands from renewable energy sources by 2015, leveraging wind farms in six European countries that generated 152 gigawatt hours of electricity last year, about 12% of the total needed for its stores and distribution centers.
“The People and Planet Positive plan is designed to protect the company from price shocks and tap into customers' desire for a greener lifestyle," the Guardian reports. "Alongside its energy and resource goals, the plan commits the company to helping Ikea's 770 million customers save money through the use of more efficient products, improving sustainability throughout its supply chain, and supporting human rights and education efforts.”Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 22, 2012 09:00 AM
Lance Armstrong is stripped of titles and banned from cycling for life by international body.
Nissan joins hybrid parade.
Virgin's four-star hotels are coming to NYC.
AIG CEO defends company's "free lunch" to New York mag.
American Idol sees ad rates fall.
Ancestry.com agrees to $1.6-billion takeover deal.
Apple creates buzz with plans for smaller iPad as school sales buoy its tablet lead.
BP sells entire Russian stake to Rosneft.
Banana Republic plans to bring back Mad Men collection.Continue reading...