Nation & World
UPS mulls holiday strategy
UPS might levy surcharges or even turn away some holiday shipments this year if retailers surprise the delivery giant by dropping off more packages than they had planned. UPS executives discussed the possibilities Friday as they detailed plans for improving on last holiday season, when many consumers didn’t get their packages by Christmas as promised. Online shopping is growing faster than the store-based kind. That’s good for United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp., and on Friday, UPS predicted that December shipments will rise 11 percent over the same month last year.
Shakira launches baby toy line
Shakira is partnering with Fisher-Price to launch a line of baby toys as well as a Web series for moms. The Mattel, Inc.-owned company announced Friday that the First Steps collection of toys and baby gear would be available in November. Shakira co-developed six products, including a bouncer that plays music, alphabet blocks and a musical soccer ball, an ode to her soccer-playing boyfriend Gerard Pique, who plays for FC Barcelona.
Chiquita rejects Fyffes deal
Shareholders of Chiquita Brands International have rejected the banana producer’s proposed acquisition of Fyffes, an Irish rival. Announcing the results of the vote, Chiquita said it was entering into talks with a group of Brazilian bidders offering $14.50 a share. That deal, in which the Cutrale Group and the Safra Group will take Chiquita private for about $680 million, is expected to be agreed on by Monday.
Primanti Bros. shipping sandwiches
The Pittsburgh restaurant that stuffs its sandwiches with French fries and coleslaw will be stuffing those fixins in the mail. Primanti Bros. is teaming up with Goldbely.com, an online firm that delivers food to homes, to make $109 sandwich packs available anywhere in the United States. The kits contain enough lunch meat, cheese, fries, coleslaw and Italian bread to make four of the sandwiches. The kits come with instructions on how to store and heat the food and a T-shirt.
Queen Elizabeth tweets
Queen Elizabeth II has sent her first tweet – though she kept things traditional, signing off with “Elizabeth R,” how she signs official documents. The 88-year-old monarch tried her hand at Twitter as she opened a new gallery in central London’s Science Museum Friday, taking off a glove to press an iPad screen as some 600 guests looked on. The message, “I hope people will enjoy visiting” the exhibition, was sent instantly through the official British monarchy account on the social media website.
Stock market fears ease
Sometimes a little fear is healthy for stock investors. Nine days ago, after a series of sharp sell-offs, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index was down 7.4 percent from its September record as fears of a global economic slowdown intensified. Stocks have surged back this week, thanks to strong corporate earnings, and on Friday the S&P 500 had its best gain in nearly two years.
• International travelers have spent $150 billion visiting the U.S. in the first eight months of the year, a 5 percent increase over the same period last year, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported Friday.
• Procter & Gamble is removing the batteries and making Duracell a stand-alone company.
• Transportation officials are reviewing the “safety culture” of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which oversees auto recalls, a senior Obama administration official said Friday.
The Associated Press, New York Times and Los Angeles Times contributed.