Papa John’s, which has been the subject of some

political protests because of owner John Schnatter’s

statements about the Affordable Care Act, is now being

sued for $250 million for alleged transmission of 500,000

text messages to consumers who claim they did not

consent to receive such texts. Every violation of the act

carries a $500 penalty…….The rise in gas prices seems to

encourage people to buy new cars that have higher mileage,

but the sales of these smaller vehicles means

that automakers make less money per car.

This phenomenon is squeezing profits at

Ford, says the company. “We continue to

see consumers trading down to smaller

vehicles,” Mark Fields, Ford’s president of

the Americas, said this week. “Less trucks,

more small cars and those vehicles have smaller margins.”

……Staples reported a third quarter loss and said it would

accelerate the closing of 15 stores in the U.S. The company

intends to reduce its retail footage in this country by 15%

by the end of 2015. In the quarter revenues were flat and

same store sales fell 1%……Starbucks is acquiring the

300-unit Teavana retail store chain, which sells tea.

Starbucks says it aims to grow the Teavana concept…..One

retail segment that seems recession-proof is the pet

business. Total sales at PetSmart grew 9% in the third

quarter; same store sales were up 6.5% and profits surged

50%…..General Motors will concentrate on electric and

electric hybrids in the future rather than conventional hybrids,

says the company.