Afternoon Coffee: Neiman Marcus+Target, Alcoa Signs Massive Deal with Airbus, Scranton Wage Slash

Target, Neiman Marcus (and 24 designers) pair up for holidays -- Come the holidays, Target and Neiman Marcus are joining forces, co-launching a special collection with more than 50 products from 24 designers. The first-come, first-serve giftable offerings will be designed by the likes of Carolina Herrera, Marc Jacobs, Oscar de la Renta, Diane Furstenberg and more and made available on both retailers' websites and in stores on Dec. 1. Items will cost anywhere between $7.99 (standard Target pricing) and $499.99 (more Neiman Marcus' speed).

A big deal.
Alcoa signs $1.4 billion supply deals with Airbus -- Alcoa Inc (AA.N) said on Wednesday it signed new multi-year agreements to supply Airbus (EAD.PA) with aluminum sheet and plate and aluminum lithium alloys for aircraft construction. Terms of the agreements, signed this week at the Farnborough Air Show in England, have a value of about $1.4 billion over their life. Alcoa said its aluminum products will be used across virtually all Airbus commercial programs and includes new lower wing skins on the A320 airliner. Also aluminum lithium applications will be used on the A350 and A380. Alcoa's hard alloy extruded products will be supplied from the company's plants in Lafayette, Indiana, Halethorpe in Baltimore and Hannover, Germany.

Desperate times, desperate measures.
Scranton mayor slashes pay for all city workers--including police and firefighters--to minimum wage -- Cash-strapped Scranton, Pa., has slashed pay for all city employees--including police and firefighters--to minimum wage, sparking furor among unions that now say they plan to sue in federal court. A lawyer representing three unions told Scranton's Times-Tribune he will file several motions, including one to hold Mayor Chris Doherty in contempt of court for violating a judge's order to pay full wages.

IT's role in supply chain risk.
Using IT to reduce supply chain risk -- Successful businesses run on clear and timely management information. But, according to a recent survey by KPMG, almost three quarters of companies rate rather poorly in terms of leveraging their supply chain data to inform management decisions and enhance business intelligence. In turn, this tends to leave companies open to supply chain risks that have the potential to disrupt the business and destroy value. Indeed, given the number of high-profile supplier failures recently, coupled with the current state of flux in global markets and continuing political unrest in certain parts of the globe, it seems clear that companies will want to place renewed focus on supplier risk management. The reality is that few companies are in a financial position to absorb a significant drop in revenue caused by a period of major disruption, nor the long-term impact on reputation and customer satisfaction of lack of stock, interrupted service or safety recalls.

- Sheena Moore

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