Greece resumes talks with its creditors

ATHENS, Greece (AP) – Greece has resumed talks with the so-called troika of creditors – the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund – to review progress in stabilizing the indebted country’s finances.

At stake in Sunday’s talks with Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras is the continuation of the financing of Greece by the creditors, including a €1 billion ($1.35 billion) bailout installment to be paid in October. The discussion is expected to include the fate of Greece’s defense industries, which the European Union wants liquidated; the furloughs for some 12,500 civil servants; and the ongoing privatization program.

Talks later this year are expected to focus on the possibility of securing better terms on Greece’s loans by forgiving part of the debt.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Article source:

Unemployment rates rise in a third of US states


WASHINGTON (AP) — Unemployment rose in 18 U.S. states last month as many reported cutting jobs. Weaker hiring across states could add to worries about the tepid job market.

The Labor Department says unemployment rates fell in 17 state states and were unchanged in 15. Employers added jobs in 29 states, the fewest since March. And 20 states reported job losses, the most since March.

Louisiana added 14,000 jobs, while Nevada’s payrolls increased by 11,200 positions. Still, Nevada’s unemployment rate remained 9.5 percent, the highest in the nation. And Louisiana’s was unchanged at 7 percent.

Illinois had the second-highest rate at 9.2 percent. North Dakota reported the lowest rate, at 3 percent.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Article source:

TJ Maxx bucks trend, sells online

Mary Clare Jalonick, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) – Deal hunters have a new online option: This week, off-price retailer T.J. Maxx has quietly begun letting its customers shop online.

Off-price retailers like T.J. Maxx buy excess clothing and home goods from other merchants and sells them at about 20% to 60% off regular prices.

Few mainstream off-price retailers have full-featured e-commerce sites since the brands that they work with are often reluctant to broadcast the discount prices online. But that view is dissipating, said RBC Capital Markets analyst Howard Tubin, particularly as off-price flash-sale websites Gilt and Rue La La become more popular.

“I think it’s a great move for (T.J. Maxx),” Tubin said, saying it will be a good source of added sales.

The company’s website,, also works on tablets and smartphones, said Doreen Thompson, TJX Cos.’ vice president of corporate communications.

Customers can return most merchandise purchased online at any of the company’s more than 1,000 T.J. Maxx stores or ship it back, she said.

The launch of the website had been expected this fall. An e-commerce website is a way to attract customers that don’t already shop at T.J. Maxx, as well as giving existing customers an ability to shop “24/7,” said TJX CEO Carol Meyrowitz on the company’s most recent earnings conference call in August.

She said then that the company was taking a “deliberate approach” to the web to make sure the site is profitable. TJX first tried a short-lived shopping site in 2004, which closed

Article source:

Online panhandling


Be it the Red Cross or American Cancer Society, sites asking for online donations are commonplace. Also common place are sites where the purpose is purely self-serving.

Social media expert Cristin Grogan likened it to online panhandling, where websites and elaborate sob stories have replaced the traditional street corner and a cup.

“And for really frivolous seeming things like paying off credit card debt and not for any medical expenses or anything like that but because they’ve over-spent or they’ve over-shopped,” Grogan said.

Case in point: a same-sex couple in London engaged to be married and asking for money to help fly one groom’s parents to their wedding from South Africa. Not so bad until you realize they are having not one but four wedding-related events across the globe with apparently no money left for parental airfare. is exactly that: a woman looking for donations to pay for her divorce. was started by Brian who racked up credit card and student loan debt that he wants the public to help pay off.

Grogan and other industry experts acknowledge that some of these sites claim to have more serious reasons for cyber begging, like alleged medical bills or mortgage help.

Just in case the online panhandler isn’t skilled in setting up an online collection cup, there’s even a site to help you do that as well.

“It’s certainly taking advantage of people,” Grogan said. “And I think it really affects the nature of the Internet and

Article source:

Free Super Bowl ad time contest


Just a few seconds of ad time during the Super Bowl can cost millions, a cost most small businesses could never dream of affording. But now there may be a chance to get a few seconds of fame during the big game for free.

The contest is called Small Business Big Game. More than 10,000 are vying for what could be a once in a lifetime chance, including many from the tristate area such as Nikki Cordi. Her Seaside Heights preschool and daycare Ultimate Scholar II was completely flooded out by Superstorm Sandy. Now her community is dealing will the devastation of last week’s boardwalk fire. She said winning a Super Bowl ad would mean more than a boost to her business. She thinks it would be an opportunity to thank everyone that helped rebuild after the storm.

“Everyone that came together after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, it just felt like I could visualize all of us on the screen,” she said.

The 20 businesses that get the most votes online will advance to the next round. Software company Intuit is behind the contest. In addition to picking up the tab for the ad time the company will pay for the spot’s production.

“At Intuit, we are passionate about small business. That is what our business is all about: making small businesses successful,” said Heather McLellan, director of Intuit Small Business. “And so we came together and said what better way to shine a light on the impact

Article source:

NJ businesses gear up for Super Bowl


Even though Super Bowl 48 is months away businesses throughout New Jersey are already gearing up for all of the people who will show up.

Caryn Luberto with the Tri County Chamber of Commerce is working with businesses in Wayne to help them take advantage of what could be a huge financial windfall. The chamber has asked local hotels to distribute football-themed goodie bags containing promos for local businesses.

One of the hotels that will be distributing the goodie bags is the Fair Bridge Inn and Suites on Route 46.

About 15 minutes away, the Positano Restaurant and Pizzeria will be ready on game day for large crowds inside the restaurant. On top of that, owner Steve Catalano said that calls for catering and booking are already coming in.

At the Wayne Hills High School football game the NFL host committee has brought in the Huddle Shuttle so they can be involved with local communities to promote the Super Bowl. One of the drills that people can participate in is the snowflake throw. I tried it and failed on the first one but nailed it on the second.


Article source:

Bloomingdale’s tightens return policy


Department store chain Bloomingdale’s has introduced three-inch plastic tags that attach to visible spots on a dress that cost  $150 or more in an effort to crack down on return fraud.

Once the so-called b-tag is removed, the dress is non-returnable.

The move is in a effort to stop ‘wardrobing,’ a term used to refer to shoppers who return worn items.

Retailers lost an estimated $8.8 billion last year to ‘wardrobing,’ and other return fraud, according to the National Retail Federation.

According to a 2012 survey, wardrobing – the return of used, non-defective merchandise like special occasion apparel and certain electronics – is a huge issue, with nearly two-thirds (64.9%) saying they have been victims of this activity within the last year.

On its site, Bloomindale’s writes: “Certain dresses will be delivered with a Bloomingdale’s b-tag attached. Once the b-tag is removed, merchandise cannot be returned. To determine whether a dress you would like to purchase will be tagged, go to the product page and review the details tab below the image. If an item is going to be tagged, we will alert you there.”

The upscale retailer says it will not accept return of merchandise that has been worn, washed, damage, used or altered.

Article source:

Poker to be a big part of NJ Internet gambling

Associated Press

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) – Ever since New Jersey legalized Internet gambling in February, poker was expected to be a big part of it.

Now an Internet gambling company that runs a nationally known play-in-person poker tournament is bringing its championship to Atlantic City. It will create 1 of the many hoped-for marriages between online gambling firms and brick mortar casinos.

The World Poker Tour’s season-ending championship will be held at the Borgata Hotel Casino Spa in April. The tour’s parent company,, is the firm the Borgata is partnering with to offer Internet gambling once it starts, perhaps as soon as late November.

Adam Pliska, the World Poker Tour president, says New Jersey’s online market shows great potential, and already has a poker scene primed for further growth.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Article source:

Wells Fargo to lay off 1,800 mortgage employees

NEW YORK (AP) — Wells Fargo Co. says it plans to lay off an additional 1,800 employees from its mortgage department. The plans come after the bank cut about 2,300 jobs from the same unit in August.

Wells Fargo spokesman Alfredo Padillo said that the bank is cutting jobs in the mortgage department because fewer people than it expected are refinancing their mortgages. The jobs are in locations across the country.

The affected employees were given 60 days’ notice. The bank says that is looking for other positions for those people within the company.

The San Francisco-based company is the nation’s second-largest bank by deposits and is the largest originator of residential mortgages in the U.S.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Article source:

Mobile men’s tailor truck comes to you


If you need a tailor-made suit you don’t have to go all the way to Midtown or Wall Street. That is because Carlos Solorio of Arden Reed Custom Suiting will come to you. Inside his tailor truck, they can custom fit a man for a fine men’s suit in just 15 minutes.

Men select their material from 200 wool fabric swatches. There are a few shirt examples on hand or swatches of those as well.

So it works just like any fine men’s clothier — almost. The difference being the tailor truck uses a 3D body scanner to take a man’s measurements. To get the best accuracy, men have to be in their skivvies.

14 sensors at 6 different angles and at 7 varying heights transmit the readings to the computer.

The measurements are sent to shanghai, where the suits are put together and sent back in 4 to 6 weeks to eagerly waiting customers.

Article source: