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Amazon to open clothing store in California mall

The Boston Globe logo The Boston Globe 1/20/2022
This image provided by Amazon, shows how clothing could be displayed at the company's new Amazon Style store concept. Amazon is set to open its first-ever physical clothing store later this year at the Americana at Brand mall in Glendale, Calif. © Greg Montijo This image provided by Amazon, shows how clothing could be displayed at the company's new Amazon Style store concept. Amazon is set to open its first-ever physical clothing store later this year at the Americana at Brand mall in Glendale, Calif.


Amazon to open clothing store in California mall

Amazon says it plans to open a clothing store in a Southern California mall later this year, a first for the online behemoth and a fresh challenge for already struggling traditional retailers. Amazon said Thursday that the store, which will sell women’s and men’s clothing as well as shoes and other accessories, will open at the Americana at Brand mall in Glendale, Calif. Shoppers will get personalized recommendations pushed to their phones as they browse the new Amazon Style store stocked mostly with non-Amazon fashion labels, the Seattle based company said. Amazon declined to offer any more details on the labels. The store will be about 30,000 square feet, similar in size to a Kohl’s but about one-third the size of other department stores, like Macy’s. But it will offer more than double the number of styles as traditional stores do because it will show one of each style on display while keeping the rest in the back room. The selection is chosen by Amazon curators who also use feedback provided by millions of customers shopping on — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Red Cross says hack exposed data of more than 500,000 people

The International Committee of the Red Cross said that personal data of 515,000 vulnerable people were compromised in a “sophisticated” hack. The cyberattack targeted a contractor in Switzerland that stores Red Cross data. There’s no indication yet that the data was leaked or shared publicly. The hack wasn’t a ransomware attack, in which attackers encrypt files and demand payment. The Red Cross doesn’t know who the hackers are or what their motives may be. The Red Cross hasn’t been contacted by the hackers. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Rates hit a nearly two-year high

You have to go back to the start of the coronavirus pandemic to find mortgage rates as high as they are this week. According to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate average climbed for the fourth week in a row to 3.56 percent. It was 3.45 percent a week ago and 2.77 percent a year ago. The 30-year fixed average is at its highest level since March 2020, when it was 3.65 percent. The 15-year fixed-rate average jumped to 2.79 percent. It was 2.62 percent a week ago and 2.21 percent a year ago. — WASHINGTON POST


Union Pacific’s profit up despite supply chain issues

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Union Pacific’s profit topped analysts’ estimates after the railroad boosted prices and kept costs in check while it worked to untangle supply-chain knots that have hurt carload volume and service. Earnings were $2.66 a share in the fourth quarter, up from $2.05 a year earlier, Union Pacific said Thursday in a statement. Analysts has expected $2.62, according to the average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Operating revenue rose 12 percent on strong pricing to $5.73 billion from a year earlier, while analysts had predicted $5.59 billion. The results marked Union Pacific’s most-profitable year ever “despite ongoing global supply-chain challenges that impacted volumes,” chief executive Lance Fritz said in the statement. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Kay, Zales, and Jared had a sparkling holiday

The owner of Kay Jewelers, Zales, and Jared stores raised its sales forecast after a record holiday season and demand that has extended into January. Signet Jewelers Ltd. now expects sales of about $7.78 billion for the fiscal year ending later this month, nearly $300 million more than the high end of its prior outlook. Same-store sales are projected to rise about 48 percent, up from a prior range of 41 percent to 43 percent. The company also announced a $500 million expansion to its share-repurchase program. It’s the sixth time Signet has raised revenue projections since April as Americans emerge from the depths of the pandemic to treat themselves and loved ones to diamonds and gemstones. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


France to cull flocks to stop bird flu

French poultry farmers face a mass cull of their flocks for a second straight year as a bird flu crisis deepens across Europe. The government on Thursday ordered poultry and waterfowl in parts of the southwest — home to France’s famed foie-gras industry — to be killed to stop the disease spreading. That follows a severe outbreak that claimed about 3.5 million poultry, mainly ducks, between autumn 2020 and spring 2021. Bird flu, whose highly pathogenic varieties can be deadly to poultry, often spreads through migrating birds and cases typically peak in winter. Europe has been facing a grim season with outbreaks in more than two dozen countries since October, risking higher chicken prices and fewer-free range eggs. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Toyota halts production due to COVID

Toyota has expanded automobile production halts as rising COVID-19 cases impact its suppliers and operations in Japan, adding to disruptions in China where a key factory has been shut for more than a week to comply with the country’s mass testing efforts. All combined, production halts will reduce the automaker’s output for January by around 47,000 vehicles, a spokeswoman said in a statement Thursday. The latest suspensions — caused by COVID-impacted suppliers and semiconductor shortages — will hit as many as 21 assembly lines at 11 factories over a span of three days this month, according to the company. The factory suspensions are the latest of several setbacks the world’s top-selling automaker has faced as the highly contagious omicron coronavirus variant takes hold in Asia. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Asian companies giving big bonuses amid business boom

Asian shipping companies are offering mega bonuses to employees amid a boom in freight rates, with China’s state-owned giant Cosco Shipping Holdings Co. doling out as much as 30 times a worker’s monthly salary, according to Caixin Global. Cosco is doling out the huge year-end bonuses to employees including its sales and marketing staff, Caixin said, citing employees at the company. Other shippers are also giving out generous rewards. A worker at Taiwan’s Evergreen Marine Corp. received a year-end bonus that was nearly 40 times their monthly salary, according to the daily. Asian shipping lines have seen revenues soar on record freight rates, as the pandemic created major disruptions to the global supply chain. Surging demand for consumer goods coupled with lockdowns and border closures have created a worldwide shortage of shipping capacity and port delays. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Fidelity, Citigroup, and Goldman Sachs want people to come back to their London offices

Fidelity International is inviting its UK staff to return to the City of London now the government has dropped work-from-home guidance, chief executive Anne Richards said. Prime Minister Boris Johnson lifted guidance to work from home Wednesday, just over a month after the recommendation was made in an attempt to slow the spread of the new COVID-19 variant. Other measures, including wearing face masks in public spaces, will be abandoned next week. Fidelity offices have been open for skeleton staff throughout the pandemic. Goldman Sachs and Citigroup also said Thursday they were asking London staff to return to their desks for at least some of the working week. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


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