Business news briefs: Hill District grocery set to open in two weeks

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Hill District grocery set to open in two weeks

The Hill District's long-awaited grocery store, a Shop 'n Save, is officially set to open Oct. 17. The 29,500-square-foot store on Centre Avenue is being opened in collaboration with the Hill House Economic Development Corp., as part of an effort to bring a supermarket to the neighborhood that has been without easy access to groceries for decades. The store will be independently owned and operated by Jeff Ross, who also has four other Shop 'n Save stores. Development of the store, which is expected to create more than 100 jobs, was funded in part by the Penguins and the city Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Sale development spurs surge of rue21 shares

Shares of Cranberry teen clothing retailer rue21 surged Wednesday following a Bloomberg report that banks committed to financing the $1.1 billion sale of the company may have finally lined up investors. The stock closed at $40.99, up $1.49, or 3.8 percent. The company, which earlier this year accepted an offer of $42 a share from its major investor, has made investors nervous with its ongoing reports of sluggish back-to-school sales. This week, rating agency Moody's downgraded its ratings on the entity created to acquire rue21, reflecting the weaker-than-expected sales results and the large amount of debt being taken on. "Continued declines in sales over time could increase the risk that the proposed capital structure becomes unsustainable," said the Moody's report. "Ratings could be upgraded if the company is able to reverse recent negative sales trends."

U.K. e-commerce retailer acquired by GNC Holdings

Downtown health supplements retailer GNC Holdings Inc. said it has acquired United Kingdom sports nutrition e-commerce retailer A1 Sports Limited, which trades as Discount Supplements and is expected to generate revenue of about 20 million pounds in 2013. The acquisition was paid for with cash on hand and terms were not disclosed in the company's announcement. The companies will continue to operate as separate businesses. GNC estimated the U.K. sports nutrition market as worth about 300 million pounds.

UPMC faces charges of worker violations

The National Labor Relations Board has charged UPMC with multiple violations against workers involved in a union-organizing campaign. The charges include unlawfully "threatening, interrogating, and intimidating employees" for union activities and disciplining employees for testifying before the NLRB on earlier charges. The charges stem from a union organizing campaign for UPMC service workers by SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania and follow a similar set of numerous charges brought in December. UPMC spokeswoman Gloria Kreps said Wednesday the NLRB "has not determined that UPMC has violated any labor laws and any representation that a violation has been found is false. ... We are looking forward to our opportunity to present the facts." A hearing on the most recent charges is scheduled for Dec. 16 in the federal building in Downtown.

Forever Inc. hires former Heinz vice president as COO

Forever Inc., a startup founded by former FreeMarkets CEO Glen Meakem, has hired David Ciesinski to serve as executive vice president and chief commercial officer. Mr. Ciesinski had been vice president, global business development of the H.J. Heinz Co. before the Pittsburgh food company was sold earlier this year.

FTC closes most operations as part of federal shutdown

The Federal Trade Commission has cut off access to its website and closed most other operations as part of the shutdown of the federal government. As a result, consumers cannot file complaints or register their phone numbers with the Do Not Call list. People can file Freedom of Information Act requests, but they won't be processed. "We hope to be open soon," the agency said on its website Wednesday.

Digital invitation pioneer launching paper invites

Evite is going the paper route. The website, which pioneered digital invitations 15 years ago, is launching paper invites for the first time. Customers can now create invitations online, have them printed by Evite and sent directly to party guests. The cards cost $2 each, plus any postage fees. The company is calling its new line of paper cards Evite Ink. The new paper cards are a way for Evite to get customers to pay for its services.

U.S. job gains slightly more than last 2 months

U.S. businesses added just 166,000 jobs in September, only slightly more than the previous two months, payroll company ADP said Wednesday. The figures are taking on greater importance because they may be the only measure of the September job market for some time. The Labor Department will have to delay its September jobs report, scheduled for Friday, because of the government shutdown.

Revlon CEO leaving amid revenue, regulatory issues

Makeup company Revlon Inc. said Wednesday that CEO Alan Ennis is leaving to pursue other interests. The company named former CEO David Kennedy to the post on an interim basis. The company has been dealing with declining revenue and regulatory issues.

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