1. Obama Administration Jumps Into Port Talks
The Obama Administration looks to be losing patience over the West Coast ports contract dispute between port operators and the union. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez and Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker landed in California this week to help speed up the negotiations. After talks stalled again late Thursday night, Perez told the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore & Warehouse Union that if a deal wasn’t reached on Friday, the talks would be moved to Washington, D.C.
2. Nordstrom Sets $20B Goal
Nordstrom Inc. reported mixed fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday, just missing on profit expectations but still reaching $4.04 billion in revenue during the quarter. The company also reported significant comparable-store sale growth. For the year, comparable sales were up 3.6 percent, with cosmetics, accessories and men’s apparel among the top-performing categories. The Seattle-based retailer anticipates sales to top $13.1 billion in 2016, and by 2020, the company expects to reach $20 billion in sales.
3. Kenneth Cole Names New CEO
Marc Schneider was named CEO of Kenneth Cole Productions, a post that had been open since 2012 when Paul Blum left the role. Schneider served in executive positions at Macy’s, Timberland and most recently as president of Heritage Brands at PVH Corp., which owns Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein.
4. Running Specialty Group Acquires Striders
Finish Line Inc.-owned Running Specialty Group announced the acquisition of Utah-based Striders for an undisclosed amount. The two-store chain was founded in 2004 by John and Kristin Wojciechowski .