In brief: Coldwater trims quarterly loss
Sandpoint women’s clothing retailer Coldwater Creek on Wednesday reported a fourth quarter loss of $9.7 million, or 11 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $18.6 million, or 20 cents a share.
Sales climbed 12 percent to $318.4 million as same-store sales grew 8.9 percent.
For fiscal 2009 the company reported a loss of $56.1 million, 61 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $26 million, or 29 cents per share for fiscal 2008.
The company opened no new premium retail stores during the fourth quarter, ending with 356 premium retail stores. Company officials said they plan to open approximately 20 new retail stores in fiscal 2010.
Law firm opens Taiwan office
Spokane-based intellectual property law firm Lee & Hayes is opening an office in Taipei, the company announced this week.
The new office is a complement to a recently opened company office in Beijing.
Both locations for now have only one sales representative. The offices will not perform patent-law work for the time being, said firm spokesman Steve Allen.
In addition to more than 60 employees at its downtown Spokane office, Lee & Hayes has offices in Seattle and Austin, Texas.
Co-founder Lewis Lee is currently on a two-week trip to China and the region. The firm’s offices there are part of a growing focus on Asian companies as one of the leading emerging markets for technology innovation.
Service sector shows growth
New York – Growth in the U.S. service sector accelerated in February to its fastest pace in more than two years, but jobs remained hard to find.
Gains in the U.S. economy have so far been led by a rebound in manufacturing.
The service sector, which accounts for the vast majority of U.S. jobs, has seen much slower, bumpier improvement as layoffs and tight credit weigh on consumers.
The Institute for Supply Management said Wednesday its index measuring service industry activity rose to 53 in February from 50.5 in January. Any level above 50 signals growth.
Key GM exec plans to retire
Detroit – Bob Lutz, the longtime auto industry executive who led nearly a complete overhaul of General Motors’ lineup, will retire May 1.
Lutz, 78, GM’s vice chairman, has been responsible for overhauling design at GM and has held senior positions at three other automakers. He has called the Chevrolet Volt, the gas-electric sedan that can go up to 40 miles on battery power alone, his proudest achievement.