Wal-Mart looks to shake winter with sales push

Wal-Mart looks to shake winter with sales push

FILE – In this May 28, 2013, file photo, an outdoors sign for Walmart is seen in Duarte, Calif. After enduring a severe winter that chilled business, Wal-Mart is trying to lure shoppers into its stores with the biggest weapon in its arsenal: a big sale. The world’s largest retailer is offering up to 50 percent on more than 60 outdoor items such as lawn mowers and bags of mulch, starting Friday, March 21, 2014, and ending the following Saturday. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Wal-Mart is hoping the same winter storms that kept shoppers away in the winter, will bring them into stores in the spring.

Starting Friday, Wal-Mart is having a weeklong sale of up to 50 per cent on more than 60 outdoor items, including lawn mowers and bags of mulch.

The world’s largest retailer said the move, which pits it against home-improvement rivals Home Depot and Lowe’s, is aimed at luring shoppers who are looking to restore patios and gardens that were battered by severe winter weather.

Retailers don’t typically discount new spring merchandise so quickly and aggressively, opting instead to slash prices slightly throughout the season. This spring, however, will be more important to many retailers that were hurt by strong winter storms that kept shoppers indoors and forced stores to close hundreds of locations. Industry watchers say other retailers are likely to follow Wal-Mart

Article source: http://money.ca.msn.com/savings-debt/yourmoney/wal-mart-looks-to-shake-winter-with-sales-push-3

The deal boom is back with a vengeance

By Aaron Levitt

The calendar may say 2014, but investors are partying like it’s 1999. That’s because merger and acquisition (MA) activity, along with initial public offering (IPO) issuance, have returned to their former glory days. Firms- flushed with the most cash in history- are spending that cash on other rivals in a big way. The year is only a few months old and we’ve already seen plenty of deal activity.

The best part is, you don’t have to be a private equity insider to cash in on the boom. Regular retail investors have plenty of opportunities to cash in on rising MA. More importantly, jumping in on that activity could lead to some hefty portfolio gains in the year ahead.

Back To Pre-Crisis Levels

While low interest rates have been a pain when it comes to owning a savings account, it’s a huge tailwind propelling the recent deal boom. Companies within the SPDR SP 500 (NYSE: SPY) continue to have a record amount of cash on their balance sheets. Meanwhile, low interest rates have allowed many firms- even those with less than stellar credit- to borrow at ridiculously cheap rates. Both factors are spurring buy-outs to levels not seen since before the recession.

Buy-outs such as generic drug manufacturer Actavis’ (NYSE: ACT) recent $25 billion bid for Forest Laboratories (NYSE: FRX) or Facebook’s (NASDAQ: FB) $19 billion buy of WhatsApp have helped push MA activity up 13%

Article source: http://www.myfoxny.com/story/25027035/the-deal-boom-is-back-with-a-vengeance

Jim’s Shoe Repair faces the boot after 82 years in Midtown


From their storefront on East 59th Street between Park Avenue and Madison Avenue, the Rocco family doles out shiny shoes, new soles and the kind of personalized customer service corporate boots largely stamped out long ago.

“It’s a family-operated business,” said Jim Rocco, 83, “and it’s three generations here.”

Four generations if you include Jim’s late father, who emigrated to New York from Italy and opened Jim’s Shoe Repair in 1932. After the war, his three sons returned to work in his shop, where we still find Jim — the youngest of those three boys — but also Jim’s 55-year-old son, Joseph, and Joseph’s 24-year-old son, Andrew.

“I’ve been coming here since I was a little kid,” Andrew said. “They used to bring me in the summers. I would work the register, ever since I was 5 or 6 years old.”

“We’ve been here since 1932,” Jim said. “And we intend to stay here, but we’ll see.”

Rising rents, a landlord looking to make money and the corporation next door threaten to end the Roccos’ 82 years of sole-healing and hide-polishing from the 59th Street workshop time’s left nearly unchanged since its founder shined his first shoe there during the Hoover administration.

“It’s the old, vintage look,” Joseph said of the store. “It reminds us of the history of New York City. The way it was.”

The way it was when you knew your butcher, your barber and the guy

Article source: http://www.myfoxny.com/story/25010027/jims-shoe-repair-faces-the-boot-after-82-years-in-midtown

Warm weather getaways from New York

The winter has been so long, cold, and snowy that New Yorkers are looking at taking more than just a weekend getaway to a warm place, according to Daria Kaldawy, a travel agent with Protravel International. She says folks are looking at doing long weekend trips.

She says going to Florida is easy, or even to the Riveria Maya in Mexico, which the destinations New Yorkers are favoring this year. But with everyone escaping the polar vortex in droves, a lot of places that are a direct 3- to 4-hour flight away are getting overrun. Florida’s Palm Beach County expects to hit their highest tourism numbers ever. It is on track for an almost 90 percent occupancy rate for February.

So Kaldawy says you may want to consider some alternatives. You could fly to Scottsdale, Ariz., and take a two-hour ride to Sedona to see the canyons. The weather there is fantastic.

Lee Abbamonte, the youngest person to travel to every country in the world, also has some suggestions: Tortugas National Park (a quick boat trip from Key West), Puerto Rico (fly there direct and then go to the rain forest or the beach or both), and Colombia.

Here are some ways to save money on these last-minute quick getaways, according to Abbamonte. Try looking at all-inclusive resorts that won’t give you any expensive surprises and try staying through a weekend because you’ll often get a lower rate. Check out Kayak and Skyscanner to book flights, or try

Article source: http://www.myfoxny.com/story/25021404/warm-weather-getaways-from-new-york

Starbucks to roll out beer, wine to more cafes


NEW YORK (AP) — Starbucks plans to turn more of its cafes into a destination for beer and wine in the evenings.

The coffee company says it is looking to expand alcohol sales to “thousands of select stores” over the next several years, although it didn’t provide details on an exact timeline.

The chain first offered beer and wine after 4 p.m. at one of its Seattle cafes in 2010. “Starbucks Evenings” is now available in 26 cafes, with plans to reach 40 by the end of the year. The cafes also serve a variety of small dishes ranging in price from $3 to $5, such as bacon-wrapped dates, truffle macaroni and cheese, and flatbreads.

The regular coffee menu is also available during that time.

The expansion of “Starbucks Evenings” is part of the company’s push to boost sales after the morning rush hour when people are getting their caffeine fix. It’s a common concept in the restaurant industry — figuring out ways to maximize sales throughout the day since stores have to pay for rent and labor anyway.

Taco Bell, for instance, recently started highlighting snacks in its ads to drive sales during the slower late afternoon hours. And the fruit shakes and other drinks at McDonald’s are seen as a way to attract people throughout the day.

As for Starbucks Corp., the chain recently introduced new sandwiches and salads to boost sales in the afternoon. It’s also branching out into other areas to as it faces more competition in the coffee market.


Article source: http://www.myfoxny.com/story/25029379/starbucks-to-roll-out-beer-wine-to-more-cafes

Missing money? IRS has $760 million in unclaimed refunds

Don't give Uncle Sam a 0% loan 

The IRS is holding onto scarcely $760 million in unclaimed taxation refunds that will shortly turn a skill of a U.S. supervision if taxpayers don’t collect it.

The income belongs to 918,600 taxpayers who still haven’t filed their 2010 taxation returns, a IRS pronounced Tuesday.

If you’re among this group, we contingency record your 2010 lapse by April 15 in sequence to collect your refund. Otherwise, a IRS gets to keep it.

Related: 7 startling 2014 taxation facts

“The window is fast closing,” IRS commissioner John Koskinen pronounced in a statement. “We inspire students, part-time workers and others who haven’t filed for 2010 to demeanour into this before time runs out on Apr 15.”

People who acquire so small that they aren’t compulsory to record a taxation lapse mostly skip out on large refunds. That’s since refundable taxation credits, like a Earned Income Tax Credit, are designed to assistance low-income filers.

Related: Tax deteriorate unleashes cyberscams

The group estimates that half of a unclaimed refunds sum some-more than $571.

Taxpayers in Alaska, Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming are blank out on a many income — with unclaimed refunds in those states commanding a median of $620. To tip of pageArticle source: http://rss.cnn.com/~r/rss/money_latest/~3/Zaz4XKAwO_I/index.html

Starbucks CEO backs smallest salary raise

starbucks howard schultz

Howard Schultz applauds Obama for holding position on smallest wage.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz supports lifting smallest wage. And he doesn’t design it to lift a cost of your crater of coffee.

“I extol a President for holding a position on lifting a smallest wage,” he told CNN’s Poppy Harlow in an interview.

But Schultz, famous to present to Democratic candidates, stopped brief of observant either or not President Obama’s pull to lift it to $10.10 is a right number. And he warned of “unintended consequences” of a hike.

“Would we have to lift prices? we don’t consider so,” Schultz said. He also wouldn’t contend either or not Starbucks (SBUX, Fortune 500) would cut jobs if a sovereign smallest salary was lifted significantly. “I would wish not,” he said.

All of Starbucks’ 200,000 employees make some-more than $7.25, a stream sovereign smallest wage. Many accept health caring and retirement benefits.

Related: Oprah Chai Tea comes to Starbucks

“We might not be means to means to yield all a advantages if we had to go to $10 an hour,” he said.

Obama has sealed an sequence mandating that any businesses with sovereign contracts compensate workers during slightest $10.10 an hour starting in 2015 and has urged Congress to do a same for all workers. Many states and cities have taken matters

Article source: http://rss.cnn.com/~r/rss/money_latest/~3/AjEWb5Lm89o/index.html

Sony orders initial strange TV array for PlayStation

sony tv

Joining streaming radio services like Netflix and Amazon, Sony’s PlayStation Network has consecrated a initial strange TV series.

The association pronounced Wednesday that it had systematic 10 one-hour episodes of “Powers,” a play formed on a comic book array of a same name. It will be constructed by one of Sony PlayStation’s corporate sisters, a Sony Pictures Television studio.

Sony (SNE) initial signaled final summer that it would pursue strange TV programming for a PlayStation Network. The plan mirrors that of a biggest video diversion console rival, Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500), that started to examination with TV-style programming for Xbox Live subscribers years ago and has increasing a investment in a space lately. One of a shows that Microsoft is building is formed on a Xbox diversion authorization “Halo.”

Both Sony and Microsoft wish their consoles to be famous for delivering video as good as games. Apart from a plan like “Powers,” Sony is exploring a origination of a cablelike radio service that would be distributed around a PlayStation Network and could plea existent TV providers like Comcast (CMCSA, Fortune 500) and DirecTV (DTV, Fortune 500). A series of other companies are also posterior supposed “over a tip TV” ideas.

Related: Get prepared for ‘over-the-top’ TV

Article source: http://rss.cnn.com/~r/rss/money_latest/~3/qhW1bEJHmUA/index.html

Yuan hits one-year low opposite U.S. dollar

chart rmb

China’s yuan has tumbled to a lowest turn in a year, only days after a country’s executive bank doubled a trade operation opposite a dollar.

The Chinese banking enervated 0.5% Thursday to 6.23 yuan per dollar. So distant this year, a yuan has depressed 2.6% opposite a dollar, a trend analysts consider could continue for several months.

For years, investors had noticed a continued strengthening of a Chinese banking as a really protected bet. Indeed, it’s gained about 9% given a center of 2010.

But a days of steady, compelled appreciation are now over.

The yuan has been authorised to pierce within a wider rope this week, following a preference by China’s executive bank to double a trade operation for a yuan to 2% in possibly instruction of a rate set daily by a government. The new process lets a yuan, also called a renminbi, pierce adult and down in value some-more than it had before.

Experts have applauded a executive bank’s pierce as a required step for a supervision to grasp financial reforms.

The Chinese supervision has historically confirmed a parsimonious hold on a yuan. Doing so has authorised Beijing to quell income flows in and out of a country, and auspicious sell rates have helped to boost exports and manufacturing.

Some investors were held off ensure by a bank’s preference to deliver debasement and concede more

Article source: http://rss.cnn.com/~r/rss/money_latest/~3/wZF9lBXEAiw/index.html

Western banks lend billions to Russia

lending russia

Russian oligarchs, banks and companies have been borrowing heavily from a West, underscoring a risks for both sides in sharpening a Ukraine crisis.

According to Russia’s executive bank, sum unfamiliar debt stood during $732 billion during a finish of 2013, adult by scarcely $200 billion over dual years — and $160 billion of that was new borrowing by Russian businesses and banks.

Just this week, mining hulk Metalloinvest pronounced it had organised an trade financing trickery value $1.15 billion with a organisation of banks including a 3 biggest names in France, Deutsche Bank (DB), UniCredit (UNCFF) of Italy, ING (IDG) of a Netherlands, as good as Credit Suisse (CS) and Japan’s Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi.

Metalloinvest is tranquil by Alisher Usmanov, who is reported to be Russia’s richest male and tighten to Putin.

Related: Russia’s U.S. debt not a threat

EU leaders will cruise Thursday how to boost a vigour on Putin over Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s southern segment of Crimea. And they’ll accommodate President Obama subsequent week to continue those discussions.

The U.S. and Europe contend Russia has disregarded Ukrainian sovereignty, and they’ve expelled a list of 28 officials, including some comparison Russian politicians, who are now theme to transport bans and item freezes.

But EU leaders are expected to tread

Article source: http://rss.cnn.com/~r/rss/money_latest/~3/u9gqIkIFYK8/index.html