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Walgreens sued over retirement plan; BlackRock takes stake in Authentic Brands

TOP NEWS

* Walgreen Co., a unit of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., is facing a class-action lawsuit for allegedly mismanaging workers' retirement accounts, costing employees more than $300 million in savings. Workers claim that the drug retailer's retirement plan committee allegedly loaded the company's profit-sharing retirement plan "with a suite of poorly performing funds called the Northern Trust Focus Target Retirement Trusts" and refused to move them despite the funds' underperformance.

* The private equity fund of asset manager BlackRock Inc. made a strategic investment in Authentic Brands Group LLC, making it the largest investor in the U.S.-based licensing group, confirming earlier reports. According to a Reuters report, the stake will total up to $875 million, with the fund itself putting in $625 million.

TEXTILES, APPAREL AND LUXURY GOODS

* H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB said its Weekday brand will launch its first two stores in Zurich, Switzerland, in late 2019.

* Foot Locker Inc. partnered with Nike Inc. to launch more than 50 Power stores across the U.S. over the next three years, CNBC reported. Ann Hebert, vice president of Nike's global sales, reportedly said the footwear company will provide its proprietary technology to the Power stores.

* L Brands Inc. declared a quarterly dividend of 30 cents per share, payable on Sept. 6 to shareholders of record on Aug. 23.

* Tapestry Inc.-owned brand Coach apologized for listing Taiwan as a country on its English-language website after receiving backlash from Chinese citizens online, the Financial Times reported, citing the company's statement on Weibo. Capri Holdings Ltd.'s Versace reportedly also stopped selling its T-shirts that labeled Hong Kong and Macao as countries following outrage from Chinese internet users.

* Canada Goose Holdings Inc. named Woody Blackford, who was most recently vice president of global design and innovation at Columbia Sportswear Co., as its executive vice president of design and merchandising, effective in the fall of 2019. Meanwhile, Chief Product Officer Lee Turlington is expected to leave the company at the end of the year.

MULTILINE RETAIL

* Wesfarmers Ltd. completed its acquisition of Australian e-commerce company Catch Group Holdings Ltd. for A$230 million, boosting the conglomerate's omnichannel presence.

E-COMMERCE

* Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. will expand the privileges under its 88VIP loyalty program to include year-round discounts for 388 brands across the company's multiple platforms, such as Tmall, Taobao and AliHealth.

* Brazilian mall operator brMalls partnered with Argentina's MercadoLibre Inc. to launch an e-commerce business where customers can shop from stores found in its malls via MercadoLibre's platform, Reuters reported, citing brMalls CEO Ruy Kameyama.

FOOD AND STAPLES RETAILING

* Tesco PLC is drumming up support for an online sales tax of 2%, which the company expects will make up for a 20% cut on business rates that it is also urging the U.K. government to pass, PA Media reported. A source reportedly said Tesco CEO Dave Lewis is getting CFO Alan Stewart to write a follow-up with retailers and has been receiving "positive feedback" on the matter.

* Rite Aid Corp. appointed Heyward Donigan as CEO and board member, effective immediately, succeeding John Standley in the role. Donigan was CEO and president of healthcare startup Sapphire Digital.

HYPERMARKETS AND SUPERCENTERS

* Walmart Inc. is taking down displays for violent video games and movies from its stores following deadly shootings at its locations in Texas and Mississippi, Bloomberg News reported. The development comes after the retail giant said it will continue with its policy of selling firearms at stores.

* EP Global Commerce VI GmbH said the minimum acceptance threshold of 67.5% for the takeover of Metro AG was not met, reaching only 41.7% of Metro's shares. The failed acquisition comes after Metro shareholders snubbed the takeover offer.

* Aeon Co. Ltd. will launch an online grocery service in China as soon as 2020, in order to collect and analyze customer data for product development, the Nikkei Asian Review reported. It will deliver groceries in about an hour from 70 of its stores in the country to customers within a three-kilometer radius.

HOTELS, RESORTS AND CRUISE LINES

* Thomas Cook Group PLC has made "significant progress" regarding its £750 million rescue deal with Chinese conglomerate Fosun International Ltd. The travel company said an additional capital of £150 million will be provided by noteholders, giving it further liquidity headroom through the 2019-2020 winter cash low period.

EDUCATION SERVICES

* Tribal Group PLC said it is aware of the "unauthorized disclosure and likely access" of personal information of about 9,300 individuals held by its Australian subsidiary, Tribal Campus. The U.K. education services company said it has hired external forensic cybersecurity experts to conduct an investigation and is closely working with the Australian regulator.

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng was down 0.44% to 25,824.72, and the Nikkei 225 gained 0.44% to 20,684.82.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.45% to 7,221.15, and the Euronext 100 fell 0.34% to 1,034.76.

On the macro front

The U.S. Treasury budget is due out today.

Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.

The Daily Dose is updated as of 8 a.m. ET. Some external links may require a subscription. Links are current as of publication time, and we are not responsible if those links are unavailable later.