Business briefs

The Newspaper Guild has reached a tentative agreement with Hearst Corp. on a two-year contract for 140 employees at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The guild hopes to hold a ratification vote next week. Under the proposal, management would be required to pay six months of benefits for employees if the newspaper stops publication. The deal gives employees a minimum of 13 weeks of severance pay. The P-I is published under a joint operating agreement with The Seattle Times, which wants to end the partnership. A final ruling is expected in May.

WaMu may sell off a group of funds

Washington Mutual Inc., the nation’s largest savings and loan, has hired investment bankers to explore a sale of its WM Group of Funds. Washington Mutual, based in Seattle, is seeking up to $500 million for the fund family, an investment banker said. The unit had about $26.4 billion in assets under management on March 31. Bankers say possible buyers include other asset-management firms or brokerages such as Ameriprise Financial Inc., which has its own fund-management arm.

Retail sales fall as gas prices climb

Consumers continued to curtail their spending last month as rising gasoline prices dampened purchases of other goods, a fresh indication of a cooling economy. The cutback unexpectedly pushed retail sales into negative territory in June, when they dipped 0.1 percent, the Commerce Department reported Friday. Excluding gasoline sales, June retail sales fell 0.2 percent.

No GM takeover, Nissan chief says

Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of Renault SA and Nissan Motor Corp., reassured the Detroit auto world Friday that his companies have no intention of taking over General Motors Corp., the world’s biggest automaker. Billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian has proposed to have GM join Nissan and Renault’s alliance.

Toyota won’t mess with Corolla’s price

Toyota Motor Corp. said Friday that it is keeping U.S. Corolla prices almost flat for the 2007 model year despite rising material and energy costs. Analysts say Japan’s No. 1 automaker may be fearful of yielding market share to low-cost Asian rivals. The $100 sticker-price increases, well below the rate of inflation, come as Toyota’s share of the American market continues to grow. Base prices will range from $14,205 for a Corolla CE with a five-speed manual transmission to $16,215 for the LE with an automatic transmission.

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Left to right, president Bill Peterson, vice president Jamie Gamez, and executive vice president Jeff Cannon pose for a photo at Morris Magnets in Monroe, Washington, on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
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Cash is used for a purchase at Molly Moon's Ice Cream in Edmonds, Washington on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
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Inside the new Boeing 737 simulator at Simulation Flight in Mukilteo, Washington on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
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Dan Bates / The Herald
Funko president, Brian Mariotti is excited about the growth that has led his company to need a 62,000 square foot facility in Lynnwood.
Photo Taken: 102312
Former Funko CEO resigns from the Everett company

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