The Week: Most Recent Business Giants recent posts.en-usThu, 14 Feb 2013 16:08:00 -0500http://theweek.com Recent Business Giants from THE WEEKThu, 14 Feb 2013 16:08:00 -0500Warren Buffett buys Heinz: Another big win for the Oracle of Omaha?<img src="" /></P><p>Billionaire investor Warren Buffett is adding "ketchup magnate" to his resume. On Thursday, Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway agreed to buy the H.J. Heinz Company, adding another iconic brand to Buffet's portfolio.&nbsp;</p><p>Berkshire will team up with Brazilian private-equity firm 3G Capital to buy the 144-year-old packaged-foods company. The $23 billion deal will be one of the largest food industry acquisitions ever.&nbsp;</p><p>"This is my kind of deal and my kind of partner," Buffet told CNBC. &nbsp;Buffet, who is known for vetting his investments carefully, praised Heinz's "fantastic brands."</p><p>"The company...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/sergio-hernandez" ><span class="byline">Sergio Hernandez</span></a>Thu, 14 Feb 2013 16:08:00 -0500Why Walmart is freaking out over a Black Friday labor strike<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">Walmart has long been "stridently anti-union," says Hamilton Nolan at <em>Gawker</em>, "fearing that a unionized workforce could be an existential threat to its cut-every-last-penny business model." <strong>The world's largest retailer and employer has assiduously nipped union-making in the bud</strong>, a strategy that has riled unions whose members have been laid off as Walmart's cheap pricing strategy puts other grocers and retailers out of business. Walmart appears to be falling back on its anti-union strategy once again, filing a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board to preemptively ban a planned strike...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 19 Nov 2012 14:14:00 -0500Can Starbucks make it in India?<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">On Friday, Starbucks opened its first outlet in India, a cavernous, two-story building in a swank Mumbai neighborhood. The store is part of the chain's broader push to expand its presence in emerging markets &mdash; seen as the most promising areas for growth, given Starbucks' super-saturation in the States and Europe's entrenched cafe culture. But breaking into new countries requires a little more finesse than simply showing up, as Home Depot recently learned in China. Here, a guide to Starbucks' foray into India:</p><p class="p1"><strong>How does India's Starbucks differ from the company's other stores?</strong> <br />For one thing...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 19 Oct 2012 12:32:00 -0400Is Walmart's same-day delivery service a threat to Amazon?<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">This week, Walmart rolled out Walmart To Go, a same-day delivery service for online orders that will be offered throughout the holiday season. The service, which will tack on $10 per order regardless of size, is already available in Philadelphia and northern Virginia, and will soon spread to Minneapolis, San Jose, and San Francisco. Capitalizing on customers' increased preference for ordering merchandise online, the move is meant to send shivers down the spine of Amazon, which has been almost frighteningly successful in pushing traditional brick-and-mortar retailers toward the brink of failure...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 10 Oct 2012 11:29:00 -0400Walmart stops selling Kindles: Inside the war against Amazon<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">This week, Walmart announced that it would no longer carry Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet and Kindle e-readers, a move that is widely considered a pointed jab at the popular online retailer. Walmart will continue to sell tablets from other companies like Apple, and did not explain why it had singled out Amazon for exclusion. Walmart isn't the first retail chain to ditch the Kindle: Target did the same thing in May, suggesting that the country's largest brick-and-mortar chains are starting to view Amazon as an existential threat to their business. Here, a guide to Walmart's war against Amazon:</p><p class="p1"><strong>What...</strong></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 21 Sep 2012 13:45:00 -0400Starbucks' new one-cup coffee machine: Will customers buy it?<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">"A perfect Starbucks Latte at home. And at the push of a button." That's the promise Starbucks is making with Verismo, a one-cup brewing machine that went on sale this week. The machines, priced at $199 (or $399 for a deluxe version), will allow Starbucks fans to brew coffees, lattes, and espressos using single-serve coffee pods that can be purchased for $1 a pop (the pod for milk is an extra 60 cents). The move is considered a direct attack on Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, whose Keurig machine ($99-$189) is the dominant player in the growing market for one-cup brewers. Can Starbucks'&nbsp;Verismo...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 21 Sep 2012 12:10:00 -0400Can India's government survive Walmart?<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was written off&nbsp;in recent months&nbsp;as an underachieving failure for his inability to pass economic reforms that most Western economists say are necessary if India ever wants to be a major economic power. Plagued by corruption scandals and parliamentary infighting, Singh's government has left foreign investors with serious doubts, and the Indian economy is suffering as a result. So it was with some surprise that Singh this week introduced a raft of reforms intended to further liberalize India's economy, including measures to cut wasteful fuel subsidies...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 20 Sep 2012 07:37:00 -0400Walmart's 'Scan & Go' iPhone app: The future of shopping?<img src="" /></P><p>Walmart is test-driving a system that could dramatically change the way Americans shop. The program, called Scan &amp; Go, lets customers scan their own goods with their smartphones then pass through a self-checkout line, and zip out of the store. The company recently conducted a trial run with employees and their friends and families at a Walmart Supercenter in Rogers, Ark., not far from the retail giant's Bentonville headquarters. If all goes well, the nation's largest retailer could begin rolling out Scan &amp; Go nationwide. Is this the future of shopping? Here, a brief guide:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 04 Sep 2012 11:34:00 -0400Will Starbucks' deal with Square finally make mobile wallets happen?<img src="" /></P><p>Would you like a dose of cutting-edge with your latte? Starting this fall, Starbucks is partnering with Square, the mobile payment start-up, to have the new company process all of the coffee purveyor's debit and credit card transactions. The team-up marks a monumental victory for the two-year-old mobile wallet business, and some say the deal could ring the death knell for cold-hard cash &mdash; and the old way of paying with cards &mdash; as more retailers go digital. Here's what you should know before buying your next Venti:</p><p><strong>What is Square?</strong><br />The company, which is headquartered in San Francisco...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 10 Aug 2012 07:54:00 -0400Is Walmart a better deal than Amazon?<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">Brick-and-mortar retailers have long feared Amazon's cost-cutting abilities. The online retail behemoth does not have to pay for sales staff or maintain vast, warehouse-like stores. With its ability to reach into your personal computer without physically crossing state borders, the company even avoids adding local sales taxes to its products. Lower costs usually mean cheaper prices, and big-box stores like Best Buy are shutting down stores as erstwhile customers flock to Amazon. However, a new study conducted by research group Kantar Retail shows that Amazon's prices aren't as cheap as everyone...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 26 Jun 2012 07:12:00 -0400Walmart's strange online cash payment system: A guide<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">Walmart may be in the midst of a huge bribery scandal surrounding its Mexican operations, but business must go on. As such, the retail behemoth is rolling out an odd new program in the U.S. that will allow customers to use cash to buy products online. The only hitch is that customers will have to go to the store to pay up. It "may seem silly to some," but the program actually makes a lot of sense, says Laura Heller at <em>Forbes</em>. And it represents a "hopeful push" by Walmart to catch up with Amazon, which is leaps and bounds ahead of Walmart in the field of online retailing, says Sarah Perez at <em>TechCrunch...</em></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 27 Apr 2012 16:35:00 -0400Walmart's Mexican bribery scandal: What's next for the retail giant?<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">Walmart is reeling from a <em>New York Times</em> report that outlines a massive bribery scheme that allegedly allowed the company to grease its way to the top spot in Mexico's retail industry. Worse still, the report alleges that top executives in the U.S. covered up the bribes when a whistleblower brought them to light in 2005, instead of coming clean to U.S. and Mexican authorities. Some of the executives involved have since risen to the top of the Walmart ladder, including CEO Michael Duke, who in 2005 was named the head of Walmart's international divisions. Here, a look at what Walmart faces in the...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 24 Apr 2012 12:10:00 -0400Walmart's explosive Mexican bribery scandal: A concise guide<img src="" /></P><p>Walmart isn't just the largest retailer in the U.S. It's also a commercial powerhouse and the largest private employer in Mexico, the jewel of its global business empire. However, Walmart didn't come to dominate the Mexican market without spreading around a little shady cash, almost certainly in violation of U.S. and Mexican law, according to a lengthy, blockbuster report in <em>The New York Times</em>. After Walmart learned about <em>The Times</em>' inquiries in December, it informed the Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission that it was opening an independent investigation into foreign bribery...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 23 Apr 2012 09:25:00 -0400Walmart vs. Amazon: Can brick-and-mortar stores hang onto shoppers?<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">"A mobile shopping revolution is under way, and brick-and-mortar retailers are worried," says Steve Henn at <em>NPR</em>. The phenomenon of "showrooming" &mdash; in which customers go to stores to eyeball and test products before buying them online at a cheaper price, often at Amazon &mdash; is taking its toll on Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and other giants in the retail industry. Can Walmart fight the trend and cling to its customers?</p><p class="p1"><strong>Walmart can't compete with Amazon's prices:</strong>&nbsp;These days, "half of shoppers who buy products online first checked them out in a traditional store," says Ann Zimmerman...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 12 Apr 2012 13:33:00 -0400Goldman Sachs' 'muppet' probe: A serious effort to reform?<img src="" /></P><p>Goldman Sachs is scouring internal emails for the word "muppet" and other slurs its employees may have used to deride the blue-chip firm's clients, according to <em>Reuters</em>. The probe is a response to an op-ed in <em>The New York Times </em>in which former employee Greg Smith accused Goldman employees of "ripping their clients off" and contemptuously labeling them "muppets." The high-profile scandal is a stinging black eye for Goldman, which has long portrayed itself as a haven for wealthy clients' money. Will the "'muppet' hunt" convince Wall Street that Goldman is serious about reforming its "toxic" culture...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 23 Mar 2012 12:01:00 -0400'Evolution Fresh': Can Starbucks rule the juice market?<img src="" /></P><p>The opening of yet another Starbucks store usually isn't cause for excitement, but the coffee giant's&nbsp;latest shop, Evolution Fresh in Bellevue, Wash., is turning heads. You won't find any "baristas" or "venti" cups here &mdash; instead, customers will be treated to fresh-squeezed fruit-and-veggie concoctions made by "juice partners." The store, possibly the first in a chain, will also carry bottled juices and healthy foods, part of an attempt to tap into a growing craze for stuff that's good for you. And with drinks like "Field of Greens" and "Coconut Zen," neither of which carries a molecule...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 20 Mar 2012 13:05:00 -0400