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Starbucks to hire 10,000 refugees

BY Marianne Wilson

Starbucks Corp. is living up to its reputation as one of the nation’s most socially progressive retailers.

On the heels of President Donald Trump's indefinite suspension of Syrian refugees and temporary travel bans that apply to seven predominantly Muslim countries, the coffee giant pledged to hire 10,000 refugees to work at its stores around the world during the next five years.

In a letter to employees on Sunday, Starbucks chairman and CEO Howard Schultz said the hiring would apply to Starbucks stores in the 75 countries it operates, and the effort would start in the United States where the focus would be on hiring immigrants who have served with U.S. troops as interpreters and support personnel.

“I write to you today with deep concern, a heavy heart and a resolute promise," Schultz wrote. “We are living in an unprecedented time, one in which we are witness to the conscience of our country, and the promise of the American Dream, being called into question.”

The letter said that Starbucks would continue to invest and help support coffee growers in Mexico, and provide health insurance to eligible workers if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.

“In the face of recent events around the world, let me assure you that we will stay true to our values and do everything we can possibly do to support and invest in every partner’s well-being while taking the actions that are squarely within our ability to control,” Schultz wrote. “This is our focus: providing a Third Place of respite for those around the world who seek it, daily.”

To read Schultz’s letter, click here.

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L.Stahl says:
Jan-31-2017 03:23 pm

Mr. Schultz, I commend your heroism and pursuit of America's dream and what we were built on by those before us who came from so many other countries to begin a new life.

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Walgreens, Rite Aid extend end date for merger

BY Michael Johnsen

Walgreens Boots Alliance and Rite Aid on Monday morning extended their previously announced definitive merger agreement under which Walgreens Boots Alliance will acquire all outstanding shares of Rite Aid.

The retail pharmacy operations also restructured a new deal that would value Rite Aid at between about $6.8 billion and $7.4 billion, depending on required store divestitures, down from an initial acquisition cost of $9.4 billion.

Under the terms of the amendment, the parties have agreed to reduce the price for each share of Rite Aid common stock to be paid by Walgreens Boots Alliance. The revised price will be a maximum of $7 per share and a minimum of $6.50 per share. In addition, Walgreens Boots Alliance will be required to divest up to 1,200 Rite Aid stores and certain additional related assets if required to obtain regulatory approval.

The exact price per share will be determined based on the number of required store divestitures, with the price set at $7 per share if 1,000 stores or fewer are required for divestiture and at $6.50 per share if 1,200 stores are required for divestiture. If the required divestitures fall between 1,000 and 1,200 stores, then there will be a pro-rata adjustment of the price per share. Walgreens Boots Alliance agreement to divest up to 1,200 Rite Aid stores represents an increase of up to 200 stores over the 1,000 stores that Walgreens Boots Alliance had agreed to divest under the terms of the original agreement.

Additionally, Walgreens Boots Alliance and Rite Aid agreed to extend the end date under the previously announced agreement from Jan. 27 to July 31, 2017 in order to allow the parties additional time to obtain regulatory approval.

The transaction is subject to approval by the holders of Rite Aid’s common stock, the expiration or termination of applicable waiting periods under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended and other customary closing conditions.

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Tractor Supply Company hits store milestone

BY HBSDealer Staff

Tractor Supply Company is celebrating the opening of its 1,600th store, which opened in Brentwood, Calif.

The new store will hold its grand opening on Saturday, Feb. 4th.

"We are extremely proud to be opening our 1,600th store in Brentwood, CA, and to have reached another significant milestone, as we continue to deliver on our long-term growth strategy and strategic expansion across the country, including the Western region," CEO Greg Sandfort said. "We have seen strong regional performance in the West and look forward to building long-lasting relationships with new customers, as we continue to expand our store base and bring Tractor Supply closer to more customers who live the rural lifestyle."

Tractor Supply has been in business for 79 years, today standing 24,000 team members strong, and with retail stores in every state (minus Alaska).

The retailer opened 113 new stores in 2016 and is still going strong in 2017.

"We continue to be encouraged by the strong comparable sales we have seen from new store openings, which gives us great confidence as we continue to grow our footprint, enhance our merchandise product offering, and meet the evolving needs of our customers," Sandfort added. "We are thrilled to open the doors of our Brentwood, CA, store and look forward to serving this great community, as we get one step closer to our goal of opening 2,500 domestic Tractor Supply locations."

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