Target packing suitcases for Hawaii, Northwest bidding ‘au revoir’ to Paris; also: Are execs losing sleep at Select Comfort?

The Pacific Business News reports Target is opening its third store in Hawaii and its first on the Big Island. The exotic image is spoiled some after reading the store will be part of the “Kona Commons Shopping Center.”

Meanwhile, Northwest is suspending its nonstop Minneapolis-to-Paris service until spring, citing high fuel costs and decreased demand.

The unions for Delta and Northwest pilots have tentatively agreed to let binding arbitration sort out seniority list issues if “good-faith discussions” can’t do the job by the time the airlines merge, the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press report. A labor deal being considered by pilot leaders this week would also bump Northwest pilots’ pay up to match Delta’s wages. Delta’s pilot union executive council unanimously approved the deal Wednesday, and Northwest’s council considers the arrangement today.

Also: If the Delta-Northwest merger goes through, you’ll likely be able to buy Leinie’s Sunset Wheat on your next flight out of MSP. Delta and Leinenkugels announced Thursday that this month it’ll start serving the Chippewa Falls, Wis., brewed beer on all its flights. I bet it will taste even sweeter when it costs $12 and comes in one of those plastic beverage-cart cups.

UnitedHealth Racket? Two New York hospitals have filed a lawsuit against Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group accusing it of racketeering, writes the New York Times’ Paul Krugman. The hospitals accuse UnitedHealth of operating under a “rogue business plan” designed to deny paying clients’ medical bills. Krugman concludes that the problems aren’t with individual health insurers, but with the system as a whole.

Are the execs at Select Comfort starting to lose sleep? The week started with a big investor demanding a change in strategy and leadership. On Thursday, the company’s stock hit a six-year low, prompting the mattress maker to issue a statement saying that it’s working on a turnaround plan. Meanwhile, customers are flipping their mattresses over instead of buying new ones to offset the rising cost of living and declining home values.

Do you have an inside scoop or news tip about a Minnesota company? Spotted something interesting in your RSS reader? Drop Business Agenda a note at dhaugen [at] minnpost [dot] com.

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