Nathan's Feed
Dec 18, 2014

U.S. holiday sales may recover with help of deep discounts

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Despite a disappointing Thanksgiving weekend, U.S. holiday sales may squeak by expectations if steeper and longer-running discounts lure enough shoppers.

An uptick in last-minute shopping trips on the all-important weekend before Christmas is likely to benefit consumer electronics chains like Best Buy (BBY.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and home improvement retailers like Home Depot (HD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Lowe’s (LOW.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) the most.

Dec 16, 2014

Wal-Mart must pay $188 million in workers’ class action

By Shailaja Sharma and Nathan Layne

(Reuters) – The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered Wal-Mart
Stores Inc to pay $188 million to employees who had sued
the retailer for failing to compensate them for rest breaks and
all hours worked.

Wal-Mart said on Tuesday that it might appeal the decision,
which upheld lower court rulings, to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Dec 9, 2014

Saving Sears: Eddie Lampert’s complicated dance

Dec 9 (Reuters) – Tax rules and concerns about Sears
Holdings Corp’s tenuous financial condition may force
CEO Eddie Lampert to do a complicated dance as he plans to spin
off the retailer’s best real estate into a separate trust.

Last month, the troubled retailer and its chief executive
disclosed plans to form a real estate investment trust (REIT)
that would acquire as many as 300 Sears stores and lease them
back to the retailer. This, CreditSights estimated, could help
Sears raise $2.6 billion, providing a critical cash injection.

Nov 29, 2014

U.S. Black Friday shopping marked by thinner crowds, protests

/CHICAGO (Reuters) – Mall crowds were relatively thin on Black Friday in a sign of what has become the new normal in U.S. holiday shopping: the mad rush is happening the night of Thanksgiving and more consumers are picking up deals online.

Across the United States, shoppers were greeted by protesters at hundreds of stores – some calling for higher wages at Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), others protesting the decision of a grand jury not to indict a white police officer in the August shooting of an 18-year-old unarmed black man in Ferguson, Missouri.

Nov 28, 2014

Black Friday shopping crowds thin after Thanksgiving rush

By Nandita Bose and Nathan Layne

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (Reuters) – Mall crowds were relatively thin early on Black Friday in a sign of what has become the new normal in U.S. holiday shopping: the mad rush is happening the night of Thanksgiving and more consumers are picking up deals online.

Most major retailers now open their doors Thursday evening and offer extended holiday deals rather than limiting them to one day. The result is a quieter experience on what has traditionally been the busiest, and sometimes most chaotic, shopping day of the year.

Nov 14, 2014

Walmart workers plan Black Friday protests over wages

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A group of Walmart employees pushing for higher wages said on Friday they were planning protests at 1,600 Walmart stores nationwide on Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year in the United States.

The labor group, Our Walmart, said it had protested 1,200 to 1,400 Walmart stores last year on Black Friday, the day after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Nov 10, 2014

Food costs eating into consumers’ saving at the pump as holidays near

By Nathan Layne

(Reuters) – Martha Franco says she hadn’t really noticed the sharp drop in gasoline prices, even though the mother of three is always shuttling the kids around in her SUV. She has been paying closer attention to the soaring cost of meat instead.

“Meat and grains. Actually it seems like the price of everything is going up,” Franco, 30, said following a visit to a Kmart discount store on the outskirts of Chicago, with her two youngest children and a bag of groceries in the shopping cart.

Nov 10, 2014

Analysis – Food costs eating into consumers’ saving at the pump as holidays near

By Nathan Layne

(Reuters) – Martha Franco says she hadn’t really noticed the sharp drop in gasoline prices, even though the mother of three is always shuttling the kids around in her SUV. She has been paying closer attention to the soaring cost of meat instead.

“Meat and grains. Actually it seems like the price of everything is going up,” Franco, 30, said following a visit to a Kmart discount store on the outskirts of Chicago, with her two youngest children and a bag of groceries in the shopping cart.

Nov 7, 2014

Sears says may sell stores to REIT in latest move to raise cash

By Nathan Layne and Sruthi Ramakrishnan

(Reuters) – Sears Holdings Corp (SHLD.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said Friday it may sell up to 300 stores to a real estate investment trust in a move that would spin off prized assets to shareholders and could accelerate a breakup of the retailer by billionaire Chief Executive Eddie Lampert.

Shares of the retailer rocketed 34 percent to $43.71 as investors cheered the possible influx of cash at a time when the company, hampered by sluggish sales, is losing about $7 million a day.

Oct 29, 2014

Wal-Mart and allies in face-off with Apple Pay over mobile payments

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Suddenly it’s Apple versus Wal-Mart in the fight for shoppers’ digital wallets.

With the development of a new mobile payment system, a group of retailers led by Wal-Mart Stores (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is aiming to upend the $4.5 trillion credit card market and control the precious transaction data generated at the checkout line.