Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Tuesday, August 3, 1999

Call center employs 40 in Honolulu

Metro One Telecommunications Inc., a national provider of enhanced directory assistance to the telecommunications industry, has opened a call center in Honolulu. The Hawaii call center employs 40 people and provides wireless directory assistance and specialty services, including assisted telephone connections, movie listings, restaurant reservations, and categorical searches, the company said today. Beaverton, Ore.-based Metro One operates a network of call centers. Last year it handled about 71 million requests for directory assistance with revenues of $45.1 million, the company said.

Sales by check rise 3.6% in isle stores

Retail sales by check in Hawaii increased 3.6 percent last month compared with July 1998, according to TeleCheck Services Inc., a leading check-acceptance company. Nationally, retail sales by check were 4.1 percent higher last month, Houston-based TeleCheck said today. The company tracks sales of check, which it says account for more than a third of retail sales.

HTA contract to cost $38 million a year

The Hawaii Tourism Authority has set a budget of $38 million a year for its global strategic marketing effort. The HTA is seeking proposals for a three-year independent contract to do the work, now being done by the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau. Details are on the HTA Web site,

Nine West's owner to close plants

BRISTOL, Pa. -- Jones Apparel Group Inc., a maker of women's clothing, said it will close the factories and a back office of its recently acquired Nine West shoe unit, and eliminate 1,910 jobs, as it switches to contract manufacturers for shoes at lower cost. Jones New York said it will close a Nine West factory in the Dominican Republic, employing 1,170, two plants in Kentucky and Indiana employing 550, and Nine West's administrative office in St. Louis, which employs 190. The closings will take place by year's end.

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