FINANCE

NRF: Shutdown deal avoids issues

BY Dan Berthiaume

Washington, D.C. – Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the National Retail Federation released a statement on the decision to reopen the federal government through Jan. 15 and raise the debt ceiling until Feb. 7. Shay said that while the agreement provides some satisfaction, it essentially continues debate and postpones difficult economic decisions that must be made.

“As we head into the holiday shopping season, retailers and consumers need stability and certainty from policymakers in Washington and assurance that the economy will not implode due to their actions or more important, lack thereof,” said Shay. “This new norm of legislating from crisis to crisis is no way to govern.”

Shay also said that the economic recovery is retail-led and consumer-driven, and that cuts in consumer spending hurt retailers as well as the economy as a whole and U.S. taxpayers.

“Today’s decision will provide some breathing room for legislators to negotiate and compromise, but it is not a solution to our long-term economic or fiscal challenges,” concluded Shay.

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FINANCE

Report: Jos. A. Bank may consider hostile bid for Men’s Wearhouse

BY Dan Berthiaume

Hampstead, Md. – Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. reportedly may consider a hostile takeover bid for Men’s Wearhouse. According to Bloomberg, Jos. A. Bank chairman Robet Wildrick said he would prefer a friendly acquisition but his company is not ruling any options out.

On Oct. 9, Jos. A. Bank made a $2.3 billion offer that was 36% higher than Men’s Wearhouse’s closing stock value on Oct. 8. However, Men’s Wearhouse publicly rejected the bid, saying it undervalued the company and was not in the best interests of shareholders.

Wildrick said Jos. A. Bank would not make another bid without looking at Men’s Wearhouse’s books, which it so far has not had access to, and would not close stores. Men’s Wearhouse has adopted a “poison pill” that prevents any stockholder from purchasing more than 10% of the company’s shares, but has said it would not necessarily refuse future offers. Men’s Wearhouse declined to comment in the Bloomberg article.

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OPERATIONS

Report: Wal-Mart to shut 20 China stores

BY Dan Berthiaume

Bentonville, Ark. – Wal-Mart Stores will reportedly close 20 underperforming stores in China next year as part of an overhaul of its Chinese operations. According to Bloomberg, Wal-Mart is restructuring its business in China, including a new management structure and more efficient purchasing operations.

However, Wal-Mart still plans to open 100 stores in China during the next three years. A Wal-Mart executive said the stores being closed there do not have ideal locations or layouts.

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