Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 8, 2011 03:01 PM
Connie’s Pizza, a chain with five Chicago and three suburban locations, may soon get a lot bigger. An insider told the Chicago Tribune that Connie’s, through holding company parent Italian Food Network, has put in a $26 million bid on Giordano’s, a pizzeria chain known for its stuffed pizza (fans include Ellen DeGeneres), which is currently reorganizing under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
That kind of cash can buy a lot of pepperoni but it is unfortunately not enough to clean up the financial mess Giordano’s — which has 45 restaurants in Illinois and Florida, 35 of them owned by franchisees — has on its hands. The chain owes its main lender, Fifth Third Bank, $45.5 million, the Tribune notes.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 7, 2011 04:01 PM
Best Buy has decided to pull a $1.3 billion wad out of its pocket and buy out British partner Carphone Warehouse Group Plc “from a profit share of their Best Buy Mobile venture in the United States and Canada, which has been benefiting from soaring demand for smartphones like Apple's iPhone,” according to Reuters.
With the move, it is shutting down its 11 pilot "big box" Best Buy stores in the U.K. to refocus its European strategy on 2,500 profitable small box stores, according to a press release.
As a result, some 1,100 "blue shirts" or employees are facing the dole, according to the Guardian — the same Brits who spent nine weeks training at Best Buy's UK academy and who were the focus of the company's "We Love What We Do" advertising campaign (starring a happy chap called Jack) in the market.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 4, 2011 05:31 PM
It's nightmarish to consider from a corporate and brand perspective, but the record flooding in Thailand that has endangered lives is also wrenching apart supply chains for both Toyota and Honda, and could become a major disruption to their business. The fear is that the leading Japanese brands do not pass "Go Back to Market" and instead proceed right back to "Supply Chain Jail."
Not even eight months after the March 11 tsunami and earthquake devastated the big Japanese brands' supply lines stretching from Japan and around the world, company executives are confessing that they still don't know quite how badly they'll be nicked by the flooding. The waters didn't reach Toyota's own plants, for example, but they did badly affect suppliers in Thailand that ship electronic components for Toyota vehicles to the automaker's plants around the world.
Already, Toyota has cut back on overtime and Saturday work at its U.S. facilities through at least next week (and is sticking to a plan to open a factory in Indonesia), and Honda has conceded that up to half its North American production ultimately could be affected.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 4, 2011 05:15 PM
The "Ice Cream of the Future" may become a thing of the past — Dippin' Dots, the original "beaded ice-cream," has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The Wall Street Journal details its four-year battle with its biggest lender here.
Posted by Dale Buss on September 30, 2011 03:36 PM
We're all for depending on the incredible power of branding, marketing and advertising. But there are certain business models that require more than a modern-day Don Draper handling the creative in order to reinvent themselves for new times. And the U.S. Postal Service is one of those brands.
Challenged by email and the web, and bleeding money like direct marketers bleed junk mail, the federal government's mail-delivery service is losing billions of dollars a year for American taxpayers.
Fighting for its life, the USPS is implementing severe cost-cutting measures — closing hundreds of post offices and processing facilities, threatening to eliminate Saturday delivery — as it looks to address today and tomorrow's needs.
A new vision isn't a luxury, it's a necessity, as America's postal service is expected to report a loss of $10 billion this fiscal year.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 7, 2011 03:34 PM
When you have a loss of $27 million in a quarter, things need to change. So Coldwater Creek, a women’s clothing and jewelry purveyor based in Idaho, will be closing between 35 and 45 of its stores, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting.
It's so bad that CEO and chairman Dennis Pence, who cofounded the retailer back in 1984 with his wife, Ann, isn’t receiving his annual salary. Not only that, the company is ready to change things up with a strategic overhaul of the business.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on September 1, 2011 10:06 AM
AT&T is not used to not getting its way, as Politico observes today. Having spent millions and employing an army of lobbyists and publicists to make its case for acquiring T-Mobile's US operations, the telecom giant was stunned when the US Department of Justice went to court yesterday to block the deal.
Still, it stands a fighting chance to salvage its proposed merger with T-Mobile USA and convince the DOJ that the merger is not anticompetitive, but in fact offers real merits for consumers.
Whiile the company's chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson is (according to Bloomberg News) gearing up for a court fight and ready to make concessions to save the T-Mobile deal, Hal Singer, managing director of Navigant Economics, told Bloomberg TV that AT&T has a "standing chance" to convince the Department of Justice that the merger will benefit mobile customers.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on August 31, 2011 11:17 AM
AT&T's offer to bring home some 5,000 jobs to the US as part of its proposed $39 billion purchase of T-Mobile USA has failed to win over the Obama administration.
Reuters, the Associated Press, the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg are reporting that the Justice Department has filed suit to block the merger, which was announced in March, between the second biggest wireless carrier in the U.S. (AT&T) and the fourth-biggest carrier.
While AT&T will likely definitely contest the DOJ suit, there's one delighted party at the news: Sprint CEO Dan Hesse, who is vigorously opposed to his rivals' merger, which would dwarf his company. (Read Sprint's official response here.)
The Justice Department just confirmed the move, stating in a press release that it's rejecting the deal on antitrust concerns that it would reduce competition and raise prices for mobile customers in the US — or as the DOJ puts it, “Unless this merger is blocked, competition and innovation will be reduced, and consumers will suffer.”
Fortune reports that AT&T shares fell nearly 4% on the news, while Sprint shares jumped more than 8%, to $3.83 a piece. The FCC review of the deal will continue, although Bloomberg notes that the agency has never approved a proposed merger that the DOJ opposed.