Archive for the ‘National’ Category
Office products superstore Staples is closing 225 of its North American locations by the end of 2015, the company said today.
Staples has two stores in Mississippi – Tupel0 and Pascagoula.
…. the largest U.S. office-supplies chain, will close as many as 12 percent of its North American stores and cut as much as $500 million in costs as online competition continues to hurt sales. The shares fell.
The annual pretax savings, which the company expects to achieve by the end of 2015, will come from areas including the supply chain, sales force, marketing and information-technology services, in addition to the store closings, the Framingham, Massachusetts-based company said in a statement today.
The retailer is facing increased threats from Internet-based rivals such as Amazon.com Inc., a challenge that spurred Office Depot Inc. to merge with OfficeMax Inc. last year. Staples said sales in its fiscal first quarter will fall from a year earlier, the fifth straight quarterly decline, and profit will be as much as 22 cents a share, trailing analysts’ 27-cent average estimate.
The shares fell 15 percent to $11.35 at the close in New York for the biggest one-day decline since May 18, 2011. The stock has slid 29 percent this year, compared with a 1.6 percent gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.
From Mississippi Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley’s office:
National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners President Colette D. Honorable of Arkansas today named Commissioner Brandon Presley of Mississippi as Chair of the Association’s Committee on Consumer Affairs.
Commissioner Presley is replacing outgoing Committee Chair Betsy Wergin of Minnesota, whose three-year term expired. Commissioner Jack Betkoski of Connecticut will remain as Vice Chair of the committee.
The Consumer Affairs Committee is chartered to analyze the important role State utility regulators play in protecting consumer interests. It also is one of the only NARUC committees that cut across all utility disciplines, with a particular focus on the energy and telecommunications industries. With the onset of restructured markets, the committee addresses related challenges such as slamming, information protection, and consumer education. Read the rest of this entry »
Ashley Furniture HomeStore, the largest furniture retailer in the U.S., celebrated the opening of its 500th store in Longview, Texas, on Feb. 21. It is the chain’s 48th store in the Lone Star state.
The company, whose sales exceeded $3 billion in 2013, has 50 additional HomeStore openings on tap in 2014.
“When the first HomeStore opened in 1997 (in Anchorage, Alaska), we were confident that this business model would be capable of providing complete home furniture solutions that would meet or exceed consumer expectations in price, delivery and service,” said Todd Wanek, president and CEO of Ashley and Ashley Furniture HomeStore.
“It is with a tenacity to never stop innovating that our teams – from the local level to our corporate headquarters – have propelled our growth throughout the last two decades, and with the latest improvements to our operations and customer fulfillment systems, I’m confident that this trend will continue into the future.”
Ashley Furniture Industries employs about 3,000 workers at its facilities in Northeast Mississippi: Ecru, Ripley and Verona.
When’s the last time you’ve been in a RadioShack? Yeah, me either.
And apparently that’s the case with the chain, which announced today it’s closing 1,100 of its stores, leaving about 4,000 locations, including about 900 dealer-franchise locations. The company hasn’t announced which stores it’s closing.
You may remember the company’s Super Bowl ad ( “The 80′s called – they want their store back), which gave the struggling chain a bump in exposure. It needs it.
According to Reuters, RadioShack’s net loss widened to $191.4 million, or $1.90 a share, in the fourth quarter, from $63.3 million, or 63 cents, a year earlier. Sales fell to $935.4 million in the quarter covering the all-important holiday season, from $1.17 billion in the year-ago period.
Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. is seeking $20 million in state money, plus another $18 million from Tupelo and Lee County to upgrade its plant in Tupelo.
As reported today by the Daily Journal’s Bobby Harrison, Cooper promises to keep at least 1,300 jobs for 10 years.
The company, which has been in Tupelo since 1984, currently employs 1,600 with an annual payroll of $80 million.
An excerpt from the story:
David Rumbarger, CEO of the Lee County-based Community Development Foundation, said the hope is to lure Cooper to spend those modernization funds at the Tupelo plant. Rumbarger and Cooper officials met with Gov. Phil Bryant and legislative leaders about the possibility of passing legislation during the ongoing session to commit the funds to the Cooper project.
Cooper CEO Roy Armes said the goal is “to modernize our facility to make it more globally competitive.” Cooper also has plants in Mexico and China that Tupelo is in competition with for the company’s planned $140 million investment.
Read more of Bobby’s story by clicking here.
Just in time for spring break – as of Sunday, prices to get into Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., got more expensive. Just last summer, Disney raised prices, with the Magic Kingdom fee going up $6 to $95. Now it costs another four bucks to get in. But hey, at least it’s still under $100 – for now.
Visitors ages 10 and up will pay $99 for one-day tickets to the Magic Kingdom, a $4 increase. Prices for one-day tickets at Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios also increased $4, from $90 to $94. Many visitors to the Disney parks purchase multi-day passes, which can decrease the daily cost of visiting the parks.
“Our pricing reflects the high quality and breadth of experiences we offer and our ongoing commitment to investing in our parks,” said Kim Prunty, Walt Disney World spokeswoman, via e-mail. “We offer a variety of ticket options that provide a great value, and find that most guests select multi-day tickets that offer additional savings.”
The Walt Disney Co. reported $12.3 billion for the quarter ending Dec. 28, 2013, a 9 percent increase from the same quarter in 2012. Of that $12.3 billion in revenues, $3.6 billion came from its parks and resorts. Parks and resorts revenues saw a 6% increase from the same quarter in 2012.
If you missed the story in Sunday’s Journal, it seems the proposed $100 million ethanol plant in Pontotoc is still on the drawing board, five years after being announced.
An excerpt from the story:
Five years have passed, and a planned $100 million ethanol plant is no closer to being built.
Little has changed from a year ago, when company officials said they were committed to the project and were working to “move the project forward.”
For now, though, Enerkem Mississippi Biofuels is stuck in park.
Enerkem Inc., EMB’s Canadian-based company, said last March said it expected construction to begin in the second half of 2013.
That hasn’t happened. Read the rest of this entry »