Author Topic: The Economic Downturn..  (Read 116644 times)

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Offline MSTJedi

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Re: The Economic Downturn..
« Reply #795 on: February 19, 2014, 05:21:48 PM »
Maybe people should just not fail to pay their credit card bills..............

Easy to do now, since I don't have any, but my 20s self was not so wise.



Offline RVR II

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Re: The Economic Downturn..
« Reply #796 on: February 28, 2014, 05:18:10 AM »
Never really been a fan of Quiznos..
Quote
Denver-based Quiznos preparing to file for bankruptcy protection
The Denver Post
Posted:   02/27/2014 01:07:04 PM MST

Denver-based Quiznos is headed for its second major financial restructuring in two years as the sub-sandwich chain struggles with debt and an epidemic of store closures.

A debt restructuring or bankruptcy filing "has been expected, and it's inevitable," said Jonathan Maze, editor of Restaurant Finance Monitor. "The business model just does not work. Sales are falling and franchisees are struggling mightily."

The chain reportedly has defaulted on its loan covenants and has been negotiating for weeks with creditors.

The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, said Quiznos and a consortium of creditors are in the process of creating a so-called prepackaged bankruptcy that would restructure Quiznos' debt of $570 million.

"They need to stop the bleeding," Maze said. "They need to find a way to stop the unit closures and keep the franchisees from continuing to shut down their stores."

Quiznos did not respond Thursday to a request for comment.

The once-high-flying sandwich chain has been under heavy financial pressure as sharpened competition, waning sales and debt woes led to a string of store closings and financial losses.

Quiznos operated about 5,000 restaurants at its peak in 2008, but the count has since dropped to an estimated 2,100 worldwide, including 1,400 in the U.S.

New York hedge fund Avenue Capital Group acquired majority control of the chain in 2012 after a debt restructuring in which Quiznos' founder, Denver-based Consumer Capital Partners, forfeited its equity stake. In that deal, creditors agreed to write down about $300 million of Quiznos' $875 million debt, in exchange for equity in the firm.

Analysts say Quiznos has been hit hard by competition from Subway and other sandwich chains, and by legal challenges from franchisees who claim that Quiznos forces them to pay above-market prices for food and supplies.

In 2012, Quiznos attempted to stem the sales slide by dropping its focus on value and instead promoting a new line of menu items and higher-quality ingredients.

The chain agreed in 2009 to a $95 million settlement with 6,900 class-action franchisees who said the company overcharged them for supplies and failed to provide adequate marketing support.

A new round of lawsuits with similar claims by franchise owners were filed last year.



Online MartyS (Gromit)

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Re: The Economic Downturn..
« Reply #797 on: February 28, 2014, 07:58:49 AM »
Never really been a fan of Quiznos..
Quote
The chain agreed in 2009 to a $95 million settlement with 6,900 class-action franchisees who said the company overcharged them for supplies and failed to provide adequate marketing support.

A new round of lawsuits with similar claims by franchise owners were filed last year.


So they were scamming their own franchisees?  Brilliant way to run a chain...  ::)

It's a shame, I really liked some of their food.  The chicken carbonara on the parmesan bread was awesome.  There was one other sub I used to get there but can't remember the name, they all closed up around here 2 years ago.


Offline Bob

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Re: The Economic Downturn..
« Reply #798 on: February 28, 2014, 11:08:49 AM »
I really liked their subs......... oh well.


Offline RVR II

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Re: The Economic Downturn..
« Reply #799 on: February 28, 2014, 12:21:41 PM »
Their mascot kinda didn't help either I don't think..


Offline RVR II

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Re: The Economic Downturn..
« Reply #800 on: July 29, 2014, 01:54:56 PM »
5 Years Later..
Quote
'Cash for clunkers opened up the floodgates'
Program provided a lifeline for the industry
Nearly 700,000 vehicles were traded in through the cash for clunkers program.

Automotive News
July 27, 2014 - 12:01 am ET


WASHINGTON -- It's hard to imagine that words like "U.S. sales bonanza" were ever used to describe anything that happened in 2009. But they were.

The Car Allowance Rebate System, also known as cash for clunkers, was a lifeline at a desperate time in the U.S. auto industry. Consider this: When U.S. vehicle sales fell 28 percent in June of that year, the drop wasn't seen as being so bad. Every other month that year had been worse.

"We were getting our teeth kicked in," recalled Paul Lunsford, a Toyota dealer in Orange County, Calif.

Cash for clunkers changed that, if only for a couple of months. Nearly 700,000 vehicles were traded in through the $2.85 billion program, which provided consumers as much as $4,500 each to trade in an old gas guzzler for a more fuel efficient new model. Cash for clunkers turned July and August 2009 into bright spots during what was otherwise a year that most in the industry would rather forget.

The idea was seen as a way to encourage consumer spending and reduce carbon emissions -- a priority for the new Obama administration.

The U.S. Senate introduced a bill in January 2009. After months of wrangling in Congress, the CARS program was signed into law in June with an official start date of July 1 and $1 billion in funding.

Once it took effect, customers flocked to showrooms.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales jumped to 11.4 million in July. That was the first time the SAAR topped 10 million that year.

August was even better: an unfathomable 14.6 million SAAR.

Demand was so high that the program ran out of money in less than a month. That prompted Congress to approve another $2 billion to keep the metal moving. The additional funds were exhausted by Aug. 24, two months earlier than the government expected.

"Cash for clunkers opened up the floodgates," said Toyota dealer Lunsford. He said sales at his store more than doubled from 149 new vehicles in June to 311 in August. "It was crazy."

The program also slashed industrywide inventories more than 35 percent, from about 2.2 million vehicles on the ground on July 1 to just 1.4 million two months later.
Krafcik: "Some good news"

"What we had at this particular moment was really high dealer inventories and a general skittishness amongst our dealers and in the industry as a whole," said TrueCar.com President John Krafcik, who was CEO of Hyundai Motor America at the time. Clunkers "gave the industry some good news and let the industry put some points on the board."

There were also glitches.

An overwhelmed National Highway Traffic Safety Administration couldn't handle the reimbursement requests quickly.

When the program ended in late August, NHTSA still had nearly 650,000 pending dealer payments and had to pull about 7,000 federal employees from other government agencies and private contractors to process the requests, according to a Brookings Institute report.

That left some dealers holding hundreds of thousands of dollars -- sometimes millions -- worth of reimbursement requests for months before finally being paid.

Whether the program was a net gain for the U.S. economy is a matter of debate as well.

A September 2009 analysis from the President's Council of Economic Advisers found that the program added about 490,000 incremental new-vehicle sales to normal replacement rates of about 100,000 vehicles per month.

The Brookings Institute's analysis, released in October, was less generous. It said the program created just 380,000 sales, and those sales were simply pulled ahead from the next 10 months and would've happened without the stimulus. Gross domestic product growth was "negligible" and employment increases were "minimal," according to the analysis.

Clunkers did cut carbon dioxide emissions by replacing gas-guzzling SUVs and pickups with small, fuel efficient compact cars or mid-sized sedans. But, according to the Brookings Institute's analysis, doing so was expensive and less cost-effective than some other environmental policies, such as the cap-and-trade bill passed by the House in 2009.

In short, cash for clunkers moved the metal and cleaned up the fleet a bit -- but at a high cost. If it were up to Brookings, 2009 would be the last time such a policy is taken up.

Said the report's authors: "In the event of a future economic recession, we would not recommend repeating the CARS program."

Many in the industry would respectfully disagree.


Offline RVR II

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Re: The Economic Downturn..
« Reply #801 on: September 11, 2014, 07:55:22 AM »
I'm kinda surprised they've lasted this long :o
Quote
RadioShack Says It May Need to File for Bankruptcy

The retailer whose name was once synonymous with electronics says it may be headed for bankruptcy or even liquidation. RadioShack said Thursday it may need to file for Chapter 11 if its cash situation worsens, after reporting its tenth straight quarterly loss. The company is also exploring other options, including a sale or an investment, to overhaul its balance sheet, it said in a regulatory filing. RadioShack, whose sales have been in a free-fall since 2010, said it was working with its lenders and landlords to restructure its debt and cut costs.

The company raised doubts about its ability to continue as a going concern and said it may have to liquidate as a last resort. RadioShack stores, which have been around for more than 90 years, were once the go-to shops for budding innovators and engineers for products that ranged from vacuum tube speakers to the first mass-produced PC. The retailer, however, has done little to transform itself into a destination for mobile phone buyers, losing out to rivals such as Best Buy Co Inc , Amazon.com Inc and Wal-Mart Stores Inc .


Offline RVR II

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Re: The Economic Downturn..
« Reply #802 on: November 10, 2014, 11:43:46 AM »
Quote
RadioShack to Open 8 a.m. Thanksgiving Day
NBC News
Struggling electronics chain RadioShack on Monday added its name to the growing list of retailers that will be open on Thanksgiving Day.

For the first time, the company will open the majority of its stores at 8 a.m. Thursday, and they will remain open until midnight. Last year, most of its doors were closed on Thanksgiving.The company joins the likes of Toys R Us and J.C. Penney, which will open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving, while Sears, Kohl's, Macy's, Belk and Staples will open at 6 p.m. "Given the customer demand for store hours on Thanksgiving last year, we made the decision to open on Thanksgiving," RadioShack spokeswoman Andrea McCauley said. "It gives us the opportunity to stay competitive." "Given the customer demand for store hours on Thanksgiving last year, we made the decision to open on Thanksgiving," RadioShack spokeswoman Andrea McCauley said. "It gives us the opportunity to stay competitive."
I say we boycott these places and just buy online :o


Online MartyS (Gromit)

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Re: The Economic Downturn..
« Reply #803 on: November 10, 2014, 12:49:26 PM »
  So a store no one is going to is going to be open on a holiday.

  The old "if we are the only store open people have to come to us" strategy.

  Brilliant!

 


Offline RVR II

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Re: The Economic Downturn..
« Reply #804 on: November 10, 2014, 12:52:51 PM »
  So a store no one is going to is going to be open on a holiday.

  The old "if we are the only store open people have to come to us" strategy.

  Brilliant!
Yeah really ..
I'm sure the power bill for that day(s) plus paying your employees for holiday pay will make it worth the 'profits' ::)


Offline goflyblind

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Re: The Economic Downturn..
« Reply #805 on: November 10, 2014, 12:52:59 PM »
all those stupid gadgets they sell, one of 'em's gotta roast a turkey!
dF = 0
d*F = J


Offline RVR II

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Re: The Economic Downturn..
« Reply #806 on: November 13, 2014, 11:48:11 AM »
Quote
Buffalo-Area Mall Threatens To Fine Stores That Don't Open On Thanksgiving
Huffington Post
Posted: 11/13/2014 10:39 am EST Updated: 43 minutes ago


An upstate New York shopping mall is threatening to fine retailers about $200 an hour if they fail to open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

Walden Galleria, a suburban Buffalo retail complex with more than 200 stores, told store managers in a meeting last week that they must open their doors when the shopping center opens on the holiday, or pay penalties specified in leases, 10 managers told The Huffington Post on Tuesday. Waiting until midnight to open may cost stores $1,200 or more.

Struggling to compete with big-box stores and online retailers, shopping malls around the country plan to kick off Black Friday early by opening on Thanksgiving. The malls are trying to keep up with stores like Kmart, Target and Walmart, which have all pushed holiday shopping's start date to turkey day.

It’s not uncommon for mall property managers to penalize stores for time spent closed when the rest of the mall is open. Though the practice still can ignite controversy. InAlbany, New York this year when a shopping mall refused to close despite a snowstorm, stores stayed open to avoid fines and many workers complained.

Malls are keenly interested in keeping its shops open. Part of the rent the mall collects from each store is based on its sales. If a store is closed during mall hours -- particularly busy holiday shopping hours -- it theoretically would make less money and would pay less rent, said Steven Gursky, an attorney who handles retail leasing for the New York-based law firm Olshan Frome Wolosky.

This year is the first that Walden Galleria -- along with many other malls -- is inviting customers to shop doorbuster sales in the middle of Thanksgiving. Rival malls that open on the holiday said they will not punish stores that refuse to participate in the early Black Friday shopping bonanza.

“The store must be open,” said Chuck Sinclair, manager of the sporting goods store Sports Obsession in the Walden Galleria. Reluctant to work on the holiday, he added with a laugh: “But that doesn’t mean I’m going to let shoppers in.”

The fines vary by lease, according to the store managers. And some service-based outlets in the mall, such as hair salons and certain boutiques, can get exemptions, they said.

Matthew Bader, the galleria’s general manager, did not respond to repeated requests by phone and email for comment. A spokeswoman at Pyramid Management Group, the Syracuse-based developer and property manager that operates Walden Galleria, directed questions to Bader.

The mall joins major retailers that have come under fire this year for kicking off holiday shoppingon Thanksgiving.

“It’s a family day, it’s a holiday and frankly it’s really getting out of hand with how stores are opening so early,” said Brian McKnight, manager of Walden Galleria's Art of Shaving boutique, which will absorb the store's $250-an-hour fines and remain closed until 5 a.m. on Black Friday. “It’s about having that comfortable work-life balance and respecting my employees’ holiday time with their families.”

Not every store has such generous corporate offices. At Pacific Sunwear, the California surf fashion chain, manager Melanie Garrido told HuffPost her outlet’s parent company wouldn't pay fines to remain closed, so she had to schedule workers on Thanksgiving evening.

A spokeswoman for PacSun said the company's policy is simply: "When the mall is open, our PacSun store is open."

The push to open earlier than ever underscores the difficulties faced by malls as shoppers, made cost-conscious by the Great Recession, have migrated to discount retailers and e-commerce sites. Luxury malls -- ones anchored by such ritzy department stores as Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Saks -- have rebounded as wealthier clientele quickly regained disposable income in recent years. But malls anchored by mid-market department stores, such as Macy’s, J.C. Penney and Sears, continue to struggle.

“Mr. and Mrs. Average America are squeezed and retailers are trying to respond to that in any way they can to drive footsteps into their stores,” Howard Davidowitz, a retail analyst and consultant, told HuffPost. “And the mall is not known for the greatest deals.”

Davidowitz said malls command higher rents than the spaces outside malls occupied by such stores as Target, T.J. Maxx or Family Dollar, making it difficult for mall-based retailers to offer better deals. And, of course, many online stores don’t pay anything for retail space.

“Unfortunately it’s come to this,” Hitha Prabhakar Herzog, a retail analyst and chief research officer at AitchPe Retail Advisory, said of the earlier Black Friday hours. “Malls are losing money by the minute.”

McKnight, the Art of Shaving manager, said Walden Galleria’s management pushed for earlier hours after Macy’s, one of the mall’s big anchor stores, announced it would begin Black Friday sales at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving. For the last two years, the mall has opened at midnight, McKnight said. He complained that the mall's management waited until Halloween to tell tenants, and "it put a lot of managers in a scramble to get staffing.”

Still, some of the mall's store managers welcomed the holiday hours.

Alyssa Newell, who manages the family fashion retailer Buckle, said she opted to open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving because she expects to make a lot of sales.

“We just had the availability,” she said of her employees, some of whom work as personal shoppers for the store’s customers. “For us, it just made sense.”


Offline Bob

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Re: The Economic Downturn..
« Reply #807 on: November 13, 2014, 04:47:38 PM »
So some people like the policy and some don't like it.

Seems about normal


Offline RVR II

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Re: The Economic Downturn..
« Reply #808 on: November 14, 2014, 08:15:24 AM »
Quote
Walmart Workers Promise Biggest Black Friday Strike Ever

Posted on November 14, 2014 at 10:56 am Updated: November 14, 2014

Associated Press

Walmart employees who are organizing as part of OUR Walmart are promising the biggest strikes ever on Black Friday, saying more employees will participate than the previous two years.

Barbara Gertz, an employee from Denver, Colorado, said organizers are expecting to see protests in 1,600 stores. While they don’t yet have a headcount of how many workers will strike or in how many cities, she said they’ve gotten calls “every day” from employees who want to join in. Protests will hit Los Angeles and a number of other major metropolitan areas. Employees at more than 2,100 Walmart stores across the country have signed an online petition asking for higher wages and better working conditions.

Gertz explained why she’s planning to take part. “There have been many times my family can’t even afford the gas to get me back and forth to work, so my husband had to wait in the car to take me home after work,” she said on a call with the press. “Every time one of us speaks out for change, we take the risk that Walmart will fire us. That’s not right and that’s not legal. That’s why we’re going on strike.” The National Labor Relations Board has backed up some of the claims of retaliation against organizing workers.

She noted that while the company has made some changes — it has announced an increase in the wage for its lowest-paid employees above the federal floor of $7.25 an hour, overhauled its scheduling program, and made some changes for pregnant employees — “associates are still struggling and our stores are still understaffed.” Striking Walmart workers have been calling for $15 an hour, more full-time work, and an end to retaliation to those trying to form a union over the past two years, and those demands were repeated on Thursday as they staged the first-ever sit-in strike.

Workers have gone on strike and protested for the past two Black Fridays. This time, they will also be joined by “tens of thousands” of community members, according to Stephanie Ly, AFT New Mexico president and a teacher, the “largest mobilizing of working families we’ve seen in recent history.” Teachers, elected officials, members of the clergy, and others will participate in protests at stores, flash mobs, marches, and prayer vigils.

“As a teacher, this tears me apart,” Ly said. “The constant struggle Walmart has created for families is not acceptable. It’s also holding back the next generation from the opportunities and fair shake they deserve.” They’ll join in the call for $15 an hour and full time work on behalf of “students who are coming to school hungry.”

While Walmart some workers will go on strike, others will be asked to report to work the day beforehand: Thanksgiving. Nearly 1 million workers will be asked to report to work on the national holiday to keep the store open all day, with Black Friday shopping deals starting at 6 p.m.

The company has admitted that less than half of its workforce makes more than $25,000. But it could easily raise pay by ending stock buybacks or raising the cost of an item like a DVD by a penny.


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Re: The Economic Downturn..
« Reply #809 on: November 16, 2014, 05:48:02 AM »