British tabletop company Steelite International has purchased foodservice units Homer Laughlin China and Hall China Co. The Fiesta dinnerware line, which was not part of the deal, has been spun off from the Homer Laughlin China Co. and renamed the Fiesta Tableware Co.
The Pottery Barn arm of luxury kitchenware company Williams-Sonoma will no longer claim that its Goldtouch Bakeware, Rejuvenation products and other items are made entirely in the US. The items contained many imported parts or were made in other countries, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
The coronavirus pandemic has interrupted Pier 1 Imports' plans for a bankruptcy auction today after no bids were received before the deadline. The company is continuing talks with creditors and may try an auction again later.
Toyota has refined its manufacturing for the fourth edition of its Highlander crossover SUV at its plant in Princeton, Ind. Changes for the 2020 model include a thermoplastic resin hatchback and redesigned scuff plates, and the automaker also made changes to the plant floor.
The pandemic-induced recession means leaders need to think about how they can control costs without losing the clients and employees they'll need to emerge from this crisis, writes James daSilva. "They need to hear from leaders -- especially CEOs and division heads -- what is happening, what they can do and what they shouldn't worry about," he writes.
An "idea market," which collects and rewards ideas from employees, can be a helpful way to circulate ideas, while having an employee buddy system can offer other forms of support during this time, writes Alex "Sandy" Pentland. "Strong evidence shows that such sharing between people bolsters mental health and that having a specific person to turn to in a time of need or crisis is especially helpful," Pentland writes.
Mid-market retailers face more fallout from the pandemic and will need more help from Congress to survive, L.L. Bean CEO Stephen Smith said. Employees at his company devised a way to make protective masks out of L.L. Bean dog bed liners, and by the end of the week will be making about 10,000 per day.
Retailers are touting online deals to keep consumers shopping during the pandemic, when some might feel it's frivolous to get excited about sales and spend on non-essential items. "If you've had your eye on something and it's on sale, you're actually helping a retailer manage its cash flow in the meantime. I don't think that's at all a bad thing," Forrester retail analyst Sucharita Kodali said.
Loungewear had replaced swimwear as Lively's hot apparel category this spring, as people adjust to staying inside and working from home, founder Michelle Cordeiro Grant said. The brand and others in the apparel segment are changing their manufacturing plans and marketing to meet the changing demand and drive online sales.
Portland, Ore., retailer Powell's Books has rehired more than 100 employees who were laid off when the company's five stores closed on March 15. Soaring online book orders during the pandemic led Powell's to bring back the staffers, who will work full time and receive benefits, the company said.
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