October 11, 2013 in Business

In brief: Facebook ending search privacy feature

From Wire Reports
 

NEW YORK – Facebook is getting rid of a privacy feature that let users limit who can find them on the social network.

Facebook Inc. said Thursday that it is removing a setting that controls whether users could be found when people type their name into the website’s search bar.

Facebook said only a single-digit percentage of the nearly 1.2 billion people on its network were using the setting.

The change comes as Facebook is building out its search feature, which people often use to find people they know – or want to know – on the site.

Facebook, which is based in Menlo Park, Calif., said users can protect their privacy by limiting the audience for each thing they post about themselves.

Retailers report slight September sales gains

NEW YORK – Several retailers reported modest sales gains for September as shoppers who were worried about a partial government shutdown and the overall economy pulled back their spending from the prior month.

The results increase concerns about how shoppers will spend for the crucial holiday season, the largest shopping selling period for retailers.

Revenue at stores opened at least a year – a measure of a retailer’s health – rose 2.0 percent in September, according to a tally of 10 retailers by the International Council of Shopping Centers. That was a slower pace than the 3.5 percent increase posted in August.

L Brands, the parent of Victoria’s Secret, and Costco Wholesale Corp. were among the chains that reported results that missed Wall Street estimates, while Stein Mart Inc. posted results that beat analysts’ expectations. Gap Inc., which operates its namesake chain, Old Navy and Banana Republic, reported a surprise, stalling a momentum it had enjoyed since early last year.

Only a sliver of retail chains report monthly sales figures, and the list doesn’t include Wal-Mart Stores, Macy’s Inc. and many other large chains. But it offers some clues into consumer spending heading into the holiday shopping season.

Platform building chemicals business

A holding company, Platform, says it is buying MacDermid Inc. for $1.8 billion as a means to build a chemicals business.

Platform was created by Martin Franklin, the founder of consumer products company Jarden Corp. Jarden’s brands include Crock-Pot, Sunbeam, Coleman and Mr. Coffee.

Platform’s stock has been suspended from the London Stock Exchange, and it intends to move to the New York Stock Exchange later this year. The company, which is based in the British Virgin Islands, plans to rename itself Platform Specialty Products Corp.

The privately held MacDermid, based in Denver, provides chemicals to the metals, graphic arts and other industries. It has annual revenue of $742 million. It will continue as a standalone business once the sale is complete. The deal is expected to close this month.


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