FINANCE

Wet Seal Cuts 41 Jobs, Eliminates Advertising

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, The Wet Seal Inc. said Friday it will cut 41 staffers and leave 10 other posts vacant in a cost-cutting move amid a difficult retail environment. Forty-nine positions were corporate and two were field positions.

The company expects to save $4.3 million pretax beginning in fiscal 2008. It will take a $400,000 charge in its fiscal 2007 fourth quarter related to the job cuts.

Wet Seal will also save $1.8 million during fiscal 2008 by ending its national print advertising.

The company said earlier that it would review its business functions in an effort to increase profitability. Retailers are facing lackluster sales as consumers cut discretionary spending due to a weak housing market, credit problems and high food and gas prices.

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Home Depot ditches bank plans

BY CSA STAFF

ATLANTA The Home Depot has withdrawn its application to purchase EnerBank USA, a home improvement loan provider based in Utah, according to reports.

Reports indicate that Home Depot decided to withdraw its application for the bank because it did not fit with its plan to focus on retail. The company announced its intention to buy EnerBank in May 2006.

 

 

The company reportedly wanted to buy the bank in order to grow business with contractors by easing the financial burden of home improvement costs.

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Congress approves economic growth plan

BY CSA STAFF

The United States Congress and President George W. Bush Thursday reached a bipartisan agreement designed to boost consumer spending and stimulate the economy.

The economic growth plan will provide approximately $100 billion in temporary relief, according to a White House press release.

The stimulus package will cut taxes from 10% to 0% on the first $6,000 of taxable income for individuals and the first $12,000 of taxable income for couples in 2008. The plan will also provide rebates of up to $600 for individuals and $1,200 for couples. Furthermore, a minimum of $300 per person and $600 per couple would be available to those with earned income of at least $3,000. This relief would be available to everyone with adjusted gross income less than $75,000 for singles and $150,000 for married couples filing jointly.  It will be phased out for taxpayers above those income thresholds. An additional $300 will be provided per child for those who qualify.

The plan was also designed to help spur business investment. According to the White House, the agreement would save businesses approximately $50 billion in near-term taxes through a temporary change to the tax code that will allow American businesses that buy new equipment this year to deduct an additional 50% of the cost of their investment in 2008.

“I am pleased that this agreement meets the criterion that I set forth last week to provide an effective, robust, and temporary set of incentives that will boost our economy and encourage job creation,” President Bush said in a statement. “This package has the right set of policies and is the right size. The incentives in this package will lead to higher consumer spending and increased business investment this year.”

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