Walmart (WMT) Declares a 5-Day Black Friday
Black Friday will last longer at Walmart. The world's biggest retailer says its best discounts will be offered on TVs, tablets, toys and other goods over a five day period at the end of this month and into early December. "Black Friday is no longer about waking up at the crack of dawn to stand in long lines and hope for the best," says Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising officer, Walmart U.S.
One reason why Walmart and other major retailers are stretching out the deals beyond Black Friday is that many more shoppers are using their smartphones to compare prices. "It's more prevalent among consumer electronics," says Sheri Petras CEO of CSI Group, a customer research firm. "It's easier to compare versus fashion where you try it on and you are not exactly sure if the dress that's over here might not be the dress that's over there."
A memo from Walmart headquarters to store managers calls on them to improve performance in their meat, dairy and produce departments. The New York Times reports that last month Walmart issued a sensitive "urgent agenda" memo to managers across the country. The order tells managers to make sure that aging meat and baked goods are discounted "to maximize the chance that those items will sell before their expiration dates," says The Times. "The memo also tells stores to be sure to "rotate" dairy products and eggs, which means removing expired items and adding new stock at the bottom and back of display cases."
U.S., British and Swiss regulators fined five global banks more than $3 billion for attempted manipulation of foreign exchange markets. Citibank, JP Morgan Chase Bank, HSBC, UBS, and the Royal Bank of Scotland have been penalized. Clive Adamson, with Britain's Financial Conduct Authority, warned the banks not to reward their executives for profits gained though dishonest practices. "We would expect firms to think hard about this during the current bonus round and we'll be reviewing that very carefully," he said.
A trade deal between the U.S. and China could end tariffs on $1 trillion in global sales of semiconductors and other high tech items. President Obama, now in Beijing, says an understanding has been reached. Apple HP and Microsoft are among the American forms likely to benefit from the deal. Chinese high-tech exporters will also be helped by ending tariffs, which give domestic goods a price advantage for customers over imported ones. The expanded deal would eliminate those costs for multiple high-tech products such as global positioning systems, medical equipment, software and gadgets - leveling the playing field for those items.
Ford is using aluminum almost exclusively in the body of the 2015 version of its best-selling F-150 pickup, which will arrive at dealerships next month. Aluminum is lighter and more expensive than steel but just as tough. The new truck is the company's response to customers' requests for a more fuel-efficient and nimbler pickup. Ford hopes the advantages outweigh customer doubts about the durability of aluminum or potential repair costs for the pricier metal. It's a big risk. So far this year, one out of every three vehicles Ford sold in the U.S. was an F-Series pickup.
Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio abcnews.com Twitter: daviesnow