Under Armour responds to new WSJ report on how it met 'aggressive' sales targets

Under Armour borrowed business from future quarters in order to meet aggressive sales targets and cover up slowed demand for its products, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. The article, which cited anonymous former Under Armour executives, said the Baltimore sportswear maker urged retailers to take products early and sent goods meant for its factory stores to off-price chains instead in order to book sales in the final days of the quarter. These practices allowed Under Armour (NYSE:UAA) to put together a streak of 26 quarters with at least 20% year-over-year sales growth from 2011 to 2016, the report says. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Convenience, cost drive popularity of urgent care clinics

For most Americans seeking immediate medical attention, even for a minor issue, a primary care doctor or an emergency room was for many years the only options. Over the last few decades, however, the way people seek and receive medical care has undergone a drastic change with the growing popularity of urgent care clinics, which are now an $18 billion industry. As of November 2018, there were nearly 9,000 of these clinics in the United States, according to the Urgent Care Association. (Daily Record)

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Vape retailers in Montgomery say federal, local proposals are choking business

Two employees have been let go. Sales are down 35 percent. And atop the display cabinet packed with metallic vaping devices and flavored e-liquids rests a whiteboard with a hastily scribbled offer: “Buy 3, get 4th one free.” It has been a rough few months at Vapor Worldwide in Gaithersburg, Md., a suburb of about 69,000 people that sits 22 miles north of Washington. Like 21 other vape shops in Montgomery County and hundreds more across the country, the store has seen business plummet amid widespread panic over vaping, fueled in part by a rash of illnesses that has sickened more than 2,000 individuals and killed 39. (Wash. Post)

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Google scales back its culture of transparency, as all-hands meetings become monthly

Google CEO Sundar Pichai, in a companywide email Friday, said Google is making its weekly all-hands meetings, known as TGIF, a monthly event, scaling back what has been the hallmark of Google’s claim to a transparent work culture. The weekly meetings will be narrower in scope, in addition to being less frequent, according to a copy of the email viewed by The Washington Post. TGIF will now be “focused on product and business strategy,” Pichai wrote. (Wash. Post)

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Applied Biomimetic opens Gaithersburg production facility

Applied Biomimetic, a biotech company working with the convergence of polymer and protein membrane technologies, hosted a grand opening of its new production facility Nov. 6 in Gaithersburg. Dignitaries at the event included the Danish Ambassador Lone Dencker Wisborg, Biometric Chairman Mads Clausen and governmental leaders from Maryland, Montgomery County and Gaithersburg. (Daily Record)

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WeWork's future looks murky, but coworking is here to stay

Coworking definitely held some perks for Kelly Speakes-Backman. Her nonprofit, the Energy Storage Association, spent nearly a year at WeWork’s Metropolitan Square location, a block east of the White House. The space was certainly easy enough for her 10 staffers to move into while the association searched for a more permanent home. A slew of office amenities were at hand, and the food and beverage options didn’t hurt. (Wash. Bus.)

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Fourth Dimension Fun Center to open by next summer

Fourth Dimension Fun Center will bring laser tag, bowling, an arcade, two escape rooms and a restaurant — all under one roof — to Frederick as soon as this summer. (News-Post)

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Gannett, GateHouse approve merger, creating nation’s largest newspaper publisher

Shareholders of Gannett and GateHouse Media approved a deal Thursday to combine the companies, after management promised to find $300 million in annual savings that some critics warned would further squeeze already shrunken newsrooms but that some investors warned may not go far enough. (Wash. Post)

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