Daily Developments

3M to Cut 300 Jobs in Restructuring Move

3M is eliminating 300 jobs as it merges its securities systems division with its traffic safety systems division.

Maplewood-based 3M Company is cutting 300 jobs as part of a restructuring process, CEO Inge Thulin told investors on Thursday during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call.

Thulin said that the company is combining its securities systems division with its traffic safety systems business; the divisions have been underperforming due in part to reduced government spending on safety systems. The merger will result in the reduction of 300 positions, he added.

3M spokeswoman Jacqueline Berry told Twin Cities Business on Thursday that the 300 job cuts represent “a global number,” and the company is still determining where geographically the reductions will occur, although they will be made during the first quarter. 3M currently employs about 88,000 worldwide and roughly 15,000 in Minnesota, she added.

The combination of 3M’s securities and traffic safety systems businesses “creates an opportunity to optimize the overall business and increase efficiency,” Thulin said, adding that the restructuring will result in a first-quarter charge of $8 million.

“In a company of our size and breadth, there will always be some businesses under strategic review, and while the specific solutions may differ, the underlying principle is the same,” Thulin said. “They will not stay under strategic review for long. We will take action.”

Thulin described 2012 as a year in which 3M “aligned our organization more closely with our customers and markets.” He said that in 2013, 3M will continue to invest in research and development. It will be a year “of putting our plan into action and truly competing to win,” he added.

The company announced last fall that it planned to restructure its business, consolidating its six major business segments down to five.

3M said Thursday that its fourth-quarter earnings totaled $991 million, or $1.41 per share, up 3 percent from the same period a year ago. Sales, meanwhile, rose 4.2 percent to $7.4 billion, setting an all-time fourth-quarter record.

For all of 2012, 3M reported record sales of $29.9 billion, up 1 percent. Earnings totaled $6.5 billion, or $6.32 per share, representing an increase of 4.9 percent.

3M on Thursday affirmed its 2013 full-year performance expectations. The company anticipates 2013 earnings to be in the range of $6.70 to $6.95 per share.

News of 3M’s financial performance sent the company’s stock soaring to a record highon Thursday.

—Jake Anderson
(janderson@tcbmag.com)

Two MN Execs Make Ad Age’s “40 Under 40” List

Target Corporation’s Dustee Tucker Jenkins and Caribou Coffee Company’s Michele Vig were recognized alongside 38 other young marketing leaders across the nation.

Two Minnesota executives recently received a nod from Advertising Age by being named to the magazine’s annual “40 Under 40” list.

Dustee Tucker Jenkins, vice president of public relations for Target Corporation, and Michele Vig, senior director of retail marketing for Caribou Coffee Company, were recognized on the list, which honors “innovative, young marketing leaders who have made their mark in the client, agency, and media realms—all before their 40th birthdays.”

Jenkins, 34, has an impressive resumé. Past jobs include press secretary for U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson and director of communications for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development—a position to which she was appointed by former President George W. Bush.

Jenkins—who says she wears a Target clothing item or accessory every day—consulted for the Minneapolis-based discount retailer before joining it full time in 2010. According to Ad Age, she helped to cultivate a field team in order to better serve local Target communities, and the company’s online magazine—A Bullseye View—became a go-to resource for consumers and journalists under her watch.

Target is Minnesota’s second-largest public company based on revenue, which totaled $68.5 billion in its fiscal year that ended in January 2012. It operates 1,782 stores across the United States and plans to open 124 stores across Canada beginning in March.

Meanwhile, Vig, 39, joined Caribou in 2007. Since then, she has overseen the introduction of new products such as carbonated beverages, revamped breakfast sandwiches, and fruit and yogurt smoothies.

Prior to joining Brooklyn Center-based Caribou, Vig spent four years as senior director of marketing at another local company—Golden Valley-based Buffalo Wild Wings.

According to Ad Age, Vig has a big job as Caribou works to expand its footprint. She says her greatest challenge in the coming year is ensuring a “steadfast commitment to delivering our customer promise at every single touch point.”

Caribou, which last month agreed to be taken private in a deal valued at $340 million, is now one of Minnesota’s 60-largest public companies based on revenue, which totaled $326.5 million for the fiscal year that ended in January 2012. As of September 30, it had 610 coffeehouses, including 202 franchised locations, in 22 states, Washington, D.C., and 10 international markets.

To see Ad Age’s full “40 Under 40” list, click here.

—Christa Meland
(cmeland@tcbmag.com)

BBB Lists 10 Industries that Got Most Complaints in ’12

Auto dealers, auto-repair companies, and several segments within the construction industry topped the list.

Last year, more complaints were filed against auto dealers, auto-repair companies, and siding contractors than any other types of businesses, the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) announced Thursday.

Those findings were included in a BBB-released list of the 10 industries that received the most complaints in 2012.

Complaints against auto dealers spanned those who sell both used and new cars, the organization said. Complaints against used-car dealers typically involved consumer claims that cars purchased weren’t in the condition promised, while issues with new-car dealers mostly surrounded sales of previously owned vehicles or problems with service or repairs.

Five separate categories within the construction industry also made the just-released list of the top 10 industries by complaints, which includes those that consumers filed about businesses in both Minnesota and North Dakota. Here’s a look at the list:

1. Auto dealers—used cars
2. Auto dealers—new cars
3. Auto repair and service
4. Siding contractors
5. General contractors
6. Roofing contractors
7. Banks
8. Construction and remodeling services
9. Window installation and service
10. Property management

BBB spokesman Dan Hendrickson said that the 2012 list was similar to the 2011 list, which also included auto dealers, auto-repair companies, and companies within the construction industry, although there were some slight shifts in rankings. For example, new-car dealers topped the 2011 list and banks ranked ninth. Meanwhile, property management is new to the 2012 list and took the place of TV and satellite companies, which appeared on the list in 2011.

The regional BBB handled slightly more than 24,200 complaints in 2012, on par with the previous year, and said that it resolved about 90 percent of them. The organization added that it resolved 92 percent of the complaints for used-car dealers and 98 percent of the complaints received about those selling new cars.

Dana Badgerow, president and CEO of the local BBB, said in a statement that complaint levels have remained steady for the past three years, adding that consumers are encouraged to visit the organization’s website to find reputable companies prior to making purchases.

—Christa Meland
(cmeland@tcbmag.com)

Best Buy Modifies Coupon After Deal Hunters Find Loopholes


BestBuyStore_280

 

A Best Buy store in Richfield

The coupon allowed consumers to use it on gift cards for iTunes, Amazon, or Best Buy, and it didn’t limit the number of gift cards that could be purchased; the company cancelled it and issued a new coupon after discovering the error.

Best Buy Company, Inc., recently cancelled a coupon offer that was set to last a week but that offered loopholes through which bargain shoppers scored some unprecedented deals.

On Monday, the Richfield-based electronics retailer reportedly sent an e-mail to its Reward Zone members who were also MasterCard holders. The e-mail contained a coupon for $50 off a purchase of $100 or more for customers who used their MasterCard—and the expiration date was listed as Sunday.

Although there was a list of excluded items, bargain hunters pounced on the offer after discovering two major loopholes: The coupon allowed consumers to use it on gift cards for iTunes, Amazon, or Best Buy, and it didn’t limit the number of gift cards that could be purchased.

The coupon quickly circulated on deal sites like Slickdeals, and a number of early customers posted about the great deals they received using it.

But later on Monday, Best Buy realized its coupon was incomplete and sent in error—and the company cancelled the offer, company spokeswoman Amy von Walter told the Star Tribune.

Best Buy then issued a new coupon for use on Monday only; it was valid for $50 off a single, regular-priced item totaling at least $100, and it excluded iTunes, Amazon, and other gift cards and limited the coupon to one per household.

Since then, some have criticized Best Buy’s decision to pull the original coupon.

“To circulate an offer and make sure it’s in the public domain and circulated widely and then change the terms and conditions is not sound business sense,” Hal Stinchfield, founder and CEO of consulting firm Promotioninsights.com of Orono, told the Star Tribune.

But others were more forgiving.

Dan Hendrickson of the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota told the Minneapolis newspaper that consumers and businesses need to think about what’s fair and reasonable.

“So long as the offer wasn't used as a hook to get customers in the door to profit unfairly or illicitly, which they weren't, they're allowed to make mistakes,” Hendrickson told the Star Tribune.

—Christa Meland
(cmeland@tcbmag.com)

Manufacturing

News

3M Stock Hits All-Time High; Co. Posts Record Sales

Investors reacted positively to 3M's fourth-quarter and full-year 2012 financial results, sending its stock to a record $99.76 on Thursday.

Maplewood-based 3M Company’s stock reached an all-time high of $99.70 on Wednesday as investors awaited financial results—and then it broke that record Thursday after the company reported increased profits and record sales for both the fourth quarter of 2012 and the full year.

3M shares climbed to $99.76 following news of the results, which included a 3.9 percent increase in fourth-quarter net income to $991 million, or $1.41 per share.

The results mirrored expectations of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Revenue for the quarter rose 4.2 percent to reach $7.4 billion, setting a fourth-quarter record.

Strong sales for the quarter were driven mainly by 3M’s consumer and office business unit, which makes Post-it notes and Scotch tape and posted a 28.8 percent increase in profits. Its health care unit also contributed, with a 10.8 percent increase in quarterly profits. The company said it also saw strong fourth-quarter sales in Latin America, Canada, and the Asia Pacific region.

Meanwhile, profits for the full year totaled $6.5 billion, or $6.32 per share, up 4.9 percent from 2011. Sales for the year reached a record high of $29.9 billion, up 1 percent year-over-year.

“[The fourth quarter] was a good finish to a successful year for 3M,” CEO Inge Thulin said in a statement. “Our people executed well in the face of challenging macroeconomic conditions and we have built good momentum to innovate and move forward in 2013.”

3M in October consolidated six major business segments down to five. The company also announced at the time that it had shifted around some of its senior executives.

The changes came about seven months after Thulin took the helm as CEO, who described the restructuring as “a natural outcome of our strategy to increase relevance to our customers and to broaden our presence in the markets we serve.”

3M is Minnesota’s fifth-largest public company based on revenue. Shares of the company’s stock were trading at $99.59 mid-morning on Thursday, up 0.1 percent.

—Nataleeya Boss
(nboss@tcbmag.com)