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TJX cut its workforce within the last year

Elise Amendola/Associated Press


TJX cut its workforce within the last year

Retail giant TJX Companies has modestly pared back its workforce in the past year, based on the latest annual report it filed this week with federal regulators. The Framingham-based company — which owns the T.J.Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods chains — reported 329,000 employees worldwide as of Jan. 28, compared to 340,000 a year earlier, a 3 percent decline. This decline took place even as TJX’s store count grew. The company had 4,835 stores as of the end of January, compared with 4,689 in early 2022. About 86 percent of the employees work in the stores, and many of them work part-time. The company recently reported $50 billion in revenue for the fiscal year that ended in January, a 3 percent increase from the previous year. A TJX spokesperson said the company hired more employees than usual as it reopened its stores and warehouses after the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, TJX opted not to refill positions of many part-time workers as they left the company, and reverted its headcount closer to pre-pandemic levels. — JON CHESTO



Mullen joins Advent International

Boston private equity firm Advent International has landed one of the region’s most prominent biotech executives, James Mullen, as an operating partner. At Advent, Mullen will help the firm identify investment opportunities in the life sciences industry and advise the life science companies in the firm’s portfolio. Mullen’s extensive career includes tenures as CEO of Biogen, the Cambridge-based biotech giant, and as CEO of Patheon, a contract manufacturer that Thermo Fisher Scientific acquired in 2017. Currently, Mullen is executive chairman of Editas Medicine, a genome editing company in Cambridge, but on March 8 he told the board of that firm that he will not seek to be reelected when his term ends on June 1; Mullen had been CEO of Editas until last June, when Gilmore O’Neill took over. — JON CHESTO



Indian court upholds Google fine

An appeals court in India upheld a fine of about $160 million slapped on Google by the country’s antitrust regulator, amid growing scrutiny over the company’s ambition to expand its mobile operating system’s global reach. The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal on Wednesday gave some respite to Google though, as it set aside certain conditions the Competition Commission of India had imposed on the company. Google had appealed to the tribunal after it received the fine late last year. The CCI in October fined Google for what it said was abuse of its dominant position in the Android device ecosystem. Days later, the commission imposed another fine on the US tech company for restricting app developers from using third-party billing and payment-processing services. In both cases, the regulator ordered Google to take corrective measures, which the company began to do this year. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


CrowdStrike invests in startup that targets compromised e-mails

CrowdStrike is investing $10 million in Abnormal Security Corp., a startup that helps businesses cope with compromised e-mails, after highlighting the attack method as a fast-growing threat. It’s the largest amount of cash the cybersecurity firm has ever funded through its venture arm, the CrowdStrike Falcon Fund. The two companies also will work together as part of the partnership. E-mail compromise scams, which typically involve a hacker posing as someone the recipient may know, are an old but still pernicious form of cybersecurity attack. They’ve become a “huge issue” in threat reports over the past year, Crowdstrike president Michael Sentonas said in an interview. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Shoppers enter a Lululemon store in Manhattan on Feb. 2, 2023. CASEY STEFFENS/NYT


Lululemon on the upswing

Lululemon shares jumped after the company gave an annual outlook that surpassed analysts’ expectations, driven by high demand for activewear, even as it deals with nagging inventory issues that ate into margins. The stock rose 12.55 percent Wednesday. The retailer expects full-year sales to grow about 15 percent to a range of $9.3 billion to $9.41 billion, ahead of the $9.1 billion analyst estimate compiled by Bloomberg. Global sales rose 30 percent in the fiscal fourth quarter, spurred by strong sales in both North America and abroad. Profit also exceeded expectations. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Glossier to expand to Sephora stores

Glossier, the Gen Z-focused beauty brand trying to rebound from a tumultuous period, has revamped its executive ranks and is moving further beyond its direct-to-consumer roots. The New York-based company is making several pushes to strengthen its business: announcing product launches every four to six weeks, expanding its physical brick-and-mortar footprint to 600 Sephora stores, and positioning itself for a global expansion. The company is emerging from a shaky 2022. It cut more than a third of its workforce and founder Emily Weiss stepped down as chief executive. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Companies say Uganda’s anti-LGBTQ legislation would hurt its economy

A business group in Uganda including corporate giants such as Google says it opposes the country’s anti-LGBTQ legislation, calling it “a concern for global businesses and investors operating or planning to invest” in the East African country. The legislation, which prescribes the death penalty or life imprisonment for some homosexual offenses, would hurt Uganda’s economy, the Open For Business coalition said in a statement Wednesday. “Diversity and inclusion are core principles of our coalition partners in the conduct of their businesses,” the statement said. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


US Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at a meeting with Ghanaian women entrepreneurs at The Mix Design Hub in Accra, Ghana, on March 29, 2023.NIPAH DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images


Harris unveils plan to reduce gender inequality in digital economy

Vice President Kamala Harris unveiled a package of efforts — valued at more than $1 billion — designed to mitigate gender inequality in the global digital economy that includes contributions from Microsoft, Pfizer, and other major corporate entities. The package — released Wednesday while Harris was in Ghana — contains $528 million in private-sector and philanthropic commitments aimed at advancing women’s economic well-being in Africa. An additional $400 million will be dedicated to furthering women’s participation in the industry. Among the contributors to the overall initiative are the Visa Foundation, MasterCard, HP, Procter & Gamble, Microsoft Corp, and the Pfizer Foundation. The Tony Elumelu Foundation, an African entrepreneurship nonprofit which alone contributed $500 million, as well as Kuramo Capital Management, Vista Bank Group, and the African Women Impact Fund Initiative are also participating. The effort also includes $60 million — $10 million of which will come from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation — to support programs that provide skills training and access to technology. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Johnson & Johnson abandons development of RSV vaccine

Johnson & Johnson halted development of a vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus infections in adults, leaving a $10 billion market to competitors who are ahead in their efforts. J&J decided to discontinue its program after assessing the RSV vaccine landscape, the company said. RSV is a common virus that causes lung infections, and it can be especially dangerous for infants and older adults. Vaccines made by Pfizer and GSK recently won support from a key panel of advisers to the US Food and Drug Administration, setting up a race to approval. Moderna has completed phase 3 studies of its adult RSV candidate. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Macy’s CEO to retire

Macy’s is shuffling its leadership team, announcing Wednesday that Jeff Gennette, the CEO since 2017, will retire in February after four decades with the department store chain. He will be succeeded by Tony Spring, who runs the company’s luxury Bloomingdale’s chain. Macy’s, the largest department store chain in the United States, is still rebounding from the pandemic and dealing with inflation’simpact on how its core customers shop. — NEW YORK TIMES