The Consumer Product Safety Commission said this week that a leading discount department store had agreed to pay a $3.9 million fine for failing to report that it continued to sell defective children's clothing after the agency warned that the clothes could cause injuries or deaths. According to the settlement, Ross Stores, with headquarters in Pleasanton, Calif., knowingly failed to report to the commission within 24 hours that it had sold or kept in its stores from January 2009 to February 2012 about 23,000 children's jackets and sweatshirts that had drawstrings at the neck or around the waist. The company had previously paid a $500,000 fine for not reporting that it was selling the defective clothing. The agency said there were no reported injuries or deaths from the Ross clothing sales.
Darden to stress affordability
Darden Restaurants Inc., which has been struggling to hold onto customers in recent years, said deal offers like “2 for $25” dinner special helped drive up customer traffic at its flagship Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains in the latest quarter. The company said it will keep stressing the affordability of its food in the year ahead to attract more diners. For the quarter, Darden said net income fell 12 percent on rising costs and expenses. It earned $133.2 million, or $1.01 per share, compared with $151.2 million, or $1.15 per share, a year ago.
Dell defends his offer
Michael Dell on Friday defended his $24.4 billion bid to buy control of Dell Inc., arguing that an alternative proposal by Carl Icahn would severely weaken the computer company. In a presentation to investors disclosed Friday, Dell reiterated his argument that taking Dell private would give the computer maker cover to increase its enterprise software and services business. Keeping the company public while adding on more debt, as Icahn has demanded, would only hurt that effort.