Wal-Mart service undercuts Amazon Prime
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will test a new unlimited shipping service for online shoppers this summer that will be priced below Amazon's widely popular $99 per year Prime service. Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, said the shipping subscription service will cost customers $50 a year. Products will arrive in three days or less. Wal-Mart offers a grocery delivery and pickup service in five markets. But the unlimited shipping program marks a substantial commitment and underscores how serious the retailer is about accelerating the growth of its online business, which has seen a slowdown.
CEO steps down at Frontier Airlines
The CEO of Frontier Airlines resigned and was replaced by the carrier's chairman and president, who vowed to improve a record of frequent flight delays and customer complaints. Frontier said that Dave Siegel stepped down for personal reasons. Siegel's departure came the same day that consultants J.D. Power ranked Frontier last in a survey of customer satisfaction. On Monday, the federal government said that Frontier had the highest complaint rate among the nation's 14 leading airlines in March. Frontier, based in Denver, said that Chairman Bill Franke will manage strategy and finances and President Barry Biffle will handle daily operations.
Delta ups dividend, to buy back more stock
Delta Air Lines approved a $5 billion stock-repurchase plan, more than double last year's program, and boosted its dividend by 50 percent, as a windfall of savings on fuel enables it to steer more cash back to investors. The buyback will run through December 2017, the company said in a statement. The dividend will rise to 13.5 cents a share from 9 cents currently, the company said. After a $58 billion run of losses last decade, airlines have once again started returning money to shareholders. The major U.S. carriers reported record profits in 2014 as they benefited from falling jet fuel prices.
Toyota, Nissan add cars to air-bag recalls
Toyota and Nissan added 6.56 million vehicles to their global recalls to cover more vehicles fitted with air bags made by Takata Corp. Toyota will recall about 5 million more cars involving 35 models manufactured from March 2003 to November 2007, according to an e-mail from the company. Nissan will call back 1.56 million and begin notifying customers in June, said Dion Corbett, a company spokesman. The latest measure will add to the about 17 million vehicles that 10 automakers have recalled since 2008 for faulty air bags that have resulted in deaths and injuries.
Polo group wins chukker with Ralph Lauren
A federal appeals court says the United States Polo Association cannot be held in contempt for selling sunglasses with a logo that resembles Polo Ralph Lauren's trademark of a horseman whacking a ball. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York issued its written ruling Wednesday. The decision reversed a finding of contempt by a lower court judge. The dispute between the polo sports governing body and Polo Ralph Lauren has gone on for more than three decades.