More big-box store closings, job losses
J.C. Penny divulged plans Friday to shutter up to 140 of its big-box stores, shaving off roughly 14 percent of its brick-and-mortar footprint, while offering buyouts to 6,000 employees, according to USA Today. It’s the latest in a string of recent closure and layoff announcements in the department store sector, with Macy’s, Sears and Kmart collectively closing about 250 locations amid hopes that their now-leaner operations will better help position them to compete with the proliferation of online commerce, niche retailers and discount fast-fashion shops such as H&M and T.J. Maxx.
FCC to roll back Obama-era internet rules
The Federal Communications Commission signaled Friday that its new chairman, Ajit Pai, has plans in the works to dismantle newly adopted Obama-era rules that would require customer opt-in when cable and wireless companies are marketing their web browsing histories, according to the Wall Street Journal. Cable and wireless companies openly opposed the rules—adopted last fall when Democrats had majority control of the FCC—saying it puts them at a competitive disadvantage to other big internet firms such as Google and Facebook, which operate under less-stringent customer opt-in rules.
Treasury Secretary hints about Trump plans
Social Security and Medicaid will be spared entirely from feared cuts under President Donald Trump’s much-anticipated budget proposal, some details of which he plans to unveil during his policy speech before Congress on Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Sunday during an interview with Fox News. Sparing the nation’s big social welfare programs was a promise Trump made while on the campaign trail last year as well as tax cuts for the middle class and lower corporate tax rates, which Mnuchin said may also be outlined during Trump’s speech this week, according to Reuters.
LivingSocial’s rapid rise and fall
As big players in the tech industry pursue one record-breaking takeover after another—such as Microsoft’s $26 billion acquisition of LinkedIn last year and Dell’s $67 billion purchase of EMC in 2015—Groupon’s recent acquisition of LivingSocial was the bargain of all bargains: $0. The Chicago daily-deals company revealed the zero-price tag transaction last week, ending nearly 10 years of rivalry with LivingSocial, a Washington D.C. startup whose demise that began in 2012 was as fast as its Great Recession-era rise, the Washington Post reported over the weekend.