• NORDSTROM PRODUCT CASE: Nordstrom Inc. will pay a $60,000 settlement related to allegations by the Consumer Product Safety Commission that it knowingly sold boys’ hooded sweatshirts and jackets that violated product safety codes. According to a Federal Register notice posted Tuesday, the jackets and sweaters, which were distributed nationwide, had drawstrings that the CPSC has ruled pose a strangulation risk. Children’s tops or outerwear with drawstrings at the hood or neck area are considered defective. Nordstrom sold about 2,400 of the jackets and sweaters between November and December 2007. The merchandise was subject to two recalls in February and March of this year. As part of the settlement, Nordstrom did not admit guilt, but will pay the civil penalty. The CPSC did not make an official determination. A Nordstrom spokeswoman said, “It was a mistake that [the sweatshirts and sweaters] made it to the floor. To prevent this from happening again, we’re redoubling our training about the drawstring hazard.”


• CASUAL MALE POISON PILL:
Big and tall men’s wear retailer Casual Male Retail Group Inc. instituted a shareholders’ rights plan Tuesday to discourage takeover attempts. The so-called poison pill entitles stockholders to purchase more shares in the event of a move to acquire the company — increasing the cost for the bidder. The plan calls for a dividend distribution of one preferred stock purchase right for each outstanding share of the Canton, Mass.-based firm’s stock on or after Dec. 19 to shareholders of record on that date. The rights are only exercisable if an entity becomes or launches an offer to become the beneficial owner of 15 percent or more of Casual Male’s outstanding common shares. Stockholders would then be entitled to buy 1/1,000 of a share of a new series of junior participating preferred stock at a purchase price of $5, subject to adjustment. The plan is similar to one put in place by Saks Inc. last month, after Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helú boosted his stake in the retailer to 18.3 percent.

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