Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Tuesday, December 7, 1999

Purchases by check up 6.4% in Hawaii

Retail sales in Hawaii to customers who paid by check were up 6.4 percent in the 10 days after Thanksgiving, compared with sales in the same stores through the equivalent 1998 period, according to a national check-authorization firm, TeleCheck Services Inc. That was the largest gain among the 26 states and the District of Columbia included in the TeleCheck survey.

New York was next with a 6.3 percent gain. The national average for the period Nov. 6 through Dec. 5 was a gain of 4.9 percent. TeleCheck says check purchases account for about a third of all retail buying.

Big Isle resident wins Web contest

HILO -- A Big Island man has been named the first Hawaii winner of a daily $10,000 giveaway conducted by a national Internet search engine.

Donald Kramer of Mountain View was the 62nd winner recently of the giveaway conducted by, a search portal similar to Yahoo!, Excite, Lycos and others. is backed by CBS. Users of qualify for the contest each time they click on an item while visiting the portal, a company announcement said. Participation is free.

Besides the daily awards, also gives away $1 million each month and will award $10 million on April 17, the announcement said.

Hasbro cutbacks to cost 2,200 jobs

PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- Hasbro Inc., the world's second-largest toymaker, said it will cut 2,200 jobs, or 19 percent of its work force, and take pretax charges of $141 million in the fourth quarter as it closes two plants and discontinues some product lines.

The maker of Tonka, Kenner and Playskool toys also said it expects to buy back an additional $500 million in stock over the next few years. The job cuts include 1,850 of its worldwide manufacturing positions.

The restructuring moves are expected to generate pretax savings of about $16 million next year and $23 million each year thereafter.

Hasbro said it will close a plant in Mexico and one in England.

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