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Roundup: Target to open March 10; Olive Garden management shakeup; more

| Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Target to open March 10 at South Hills Village

Target will open at South Hills Village mall on March 10, a spokesman said, and the retailer is seeking applicants this weekend for up to 300 jobs. Contractors expanded and renovated the lower level of the former Boscov's to create the South Hills Target, which will have entrances on the bottom floor of the mall and at the parking lot overlooking Washington Road. A two-story Dick's Sporting Goods opened on the upper levels of the space last fall. Target will hold a job fair at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, across Fort Couch Road from the mall, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Applicants are encouraged to apply for jobs online beforehand so they can schedule interviews at the hotel. Up to 300 workers will be hired.

Morgan Stanley to cut 1,600 jobs

Investment bank Morgan Stanley plans to cut about 1,600 jobs, nearly 3 percent of its workforce, a person familiar with the bank said Wednesday. The cuts will focus on senior ranks at the bank. About half of the cuts will be in Morgan Stanley's investment banking unit, which has been asked to cut about 6 percent of its staff. Back-office functions, including human resources and communications, have also been asked to cut staff. The person familiar with the matter wasn't authorized to speak on the record and insisted on remaining anonymous. Job cuts have become common in the banking industry, which has been shrinking in the years since the financial crisis imploded. In December, Citigroup said it would cut 11,000 jobs, about 4 percent of its total workforce.

Wendy's testing a ‘pretzel burger'

In its latest push to establish itself as a purveyor of premium burgers, Wendy's is testing a pretzel bun. The Dublin, Ohio-based chain has started selling a bacon cheeseburger in select locations made with a slightly heartier, pretzel like bun. A spokesman for Wendy's declined to confirm the tests or provide any details, such as its price or where it's being sold. But the “Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger” was being advertised as a limited-time offer at a Wendy's in Miami with others posting pictures and talking about it on the social media site Twitter. Wendy's executives have already said they plan to use better breads in the year ahead as a relatively low-cost way to raise perceptions about the quality of its food.

Olive Garden parent Darden shakes up management

Darden Restaurants Inc. is replacing the president of its flagship Olive Garden chain after a new marketing campaign failed to reverse slumping sales. Dave George, who most recently headed Darden's LongHorn Steakhouse restaurants, will be the new president of Olive Garden effective next Monday. He takes over for John Caron. Valerie Insignares, Darden's chief restaurant operations officer, will take over for George as president of LongHorn. Darden, based in Orlando, also named Will Setliff as its new chief marketing officer. The management shakeup comes after Darden said a key revenue figure fell in the latest quarter despite major new ad campaigns for its Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains. Darden has about 1,500 Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants.

GM expects sales gains this year

General Motors' CEO said Wednesday that he expects the company to steal sales from rivals this year as its new cars and trucks gain traction with customers. Dan Akerson told reporters that he sees a modest gain in market share, helped by the rollout of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups and two Cadillac sedans. He also expects the company to do well globally during the next two years.

“The sun will be on our backs. These will be good years,” he said.

Redbox Instant seeks 35Musers for service, CEO says

Redbox Instant, an online-video service owned by Verizon Communications Inc. and Coinstar Inc., has signed 10,000 users to its public test and is seeking 35 million customers overall. The service, which combines streaming with Redbox kiosk discs, focuses on movies and intends to draw customers from competitors that don't offer DVD rentals, CEO Shawn Strickland said at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. “We're not the Netflix killer,” Strickland said after a presentation to reporters. “We're focused on movies. DVDs are our core, that's a core differentiator.” Redbox Instant, at $8 to $9 a month, is counting on price and convenience to attract customers. Users will get unlimited streaming plus four DVDs a month from kiosks.

Other business news

• PNC Riverarch Capital, an equity investment unit of PNC Financial Services Group, said Wednesday it acquired a controlling stake in a leading provider of software for law firms, non-profit organizations and other employers. LawLogix Group Inc., based in Phoenix, was founded in 2000. Since its inception in 1982, PNC Riverarch Capital has invested more than $1 billion of equity in privately held, middle-market companies in North America.

• Wabtec Corp., Wilmerding, said Wednesday it signed contracts to supply components for 300 subway cars being supplied to MTA New York City Transit by Bombardier Transportation. Wabtec will provide brakes, couplers, speed indicators and other equipment beginning in late 2014. Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.

— Staff and wire reports

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