FedEx Canada set to close ALL retail office locations, HUNDREDS of jobs lost

Shipping giant FedEx has announced they will be closing all 24 FedEx office stores throughout Canada. According to this City News report, hundreds of jobs will be lost.

FedEx is closing its Office stores in Canada after 32 years in the country.

Spokeswoman Stacey Sullivan says FedEx Office will close its 24 stores, a manufacturing plant in Markham, Ont., and its head office in Toronto.

The move will result in the loss of 214 jobs, but will not affect FedEx’s shipping business in Canada, she said, adding the decision was made after assessing current and future business prospects.

Eighteen of the stores are in Ontario, five in B.C. and one in Nova Scotia. The closings are to begin in August.

FedEx Office shops offer a range of business services including copying and printing, sign making, office supplies sales and packaging services.

The stores are also used as pick-up and drop-off sites for FedEx shipping.

Is the ELD Mandate Going to Destroy Small Trucking Businesses

The infamous ELD mandate the government proposed made quite an impact on the trucking industry before it was even implemented. If you are a company trucker or own your own business you are likely already familiar with the term. The industry is experiencing a significant growth with a tendency for improvement (as you can learn here: http://gotruckcapital.com/uncategorized/interesting-facts-us-trucking-industry/). However, truckers fear ELD mandate might change the positive predictions regarding the industry.

The Electronic Logging Device (ELD) is a piece of technology that is supposed to log the truckers’ hours electronically, replacing the log books truckers used up until now. The mandate requires all truckers to switch to ELDs by mid-December.

Many truckers fear how this change might impact the rates, the capacity, service levels and the trucking industry in general. Small trucking business owner particularly fear the ramifications of this new mandate, as this technology means a tighter grip on their working hours. Small truckers were largely independent up till now, but suggest that this mandate might mean the government will have a tighter grip on their operations.

How Do ELDs Work?

Truckers are already familiar with the procedure of logging their working hours and submitting these to the authorities if asked. This system is set to make sure drivers don’t go out on the road for more than 10 hours per day, as it may compromise their safety.

This mandate was completed in early 2016, giving truck owners almost two years to adapt to the changes. The ELDs are linked with the truck’s computer. This allows them to monitor the engine and whether it’s running or at rest. Therefore, the concept of ELDs is aimed towards keeping the drivers safe.

At least, that’s the official version.

Why Are Drivers Opposing This Mandate?

Medium and large companies are already working on implementing the new logging devices into their fleets, and so far the results are positive. However, it’s the small companies and owner-operators that take issue with this system.

The main issues small companies have with the mandate are the cost of adding ELDs to their trucks, as well as numerous privacy concerns. Adding an ELD to a truck costs around $600 and has a monthly subscription fee. This means more monthly expenses for truckers who try to make ends meet after paying for repayment rates, maintenance, and other fees.

The ELD will also limit their hours of operations, which will impact their earnings. Owner-operators tend to work longer hours to deliver a haul, and with ELD that will not be possible.

How Will It Affect the Trucking Industry?

Since the mandate was first presented, a lot of owner-operators threatened to hang their keys before they switch to ELDs. This will definitely make the truck driver deficit that’s plaguing the industry even worse.

However, it is mainly truckers near retirement who are less likely to meet the new mandate. While this is certainly a great loss for the industry, there are still a lot of young truckers willing to embrace the change and make it work for them.

Furthermore, as the number of companies producing ELD increases the price is going to be more affordable for the average driver. The FMCSA also announced that they are working on developing a mobile app that can be used instead of the ELD. Both will significantly reduce the impact the new mandate has on a trucker’s budget.

STAYING ALIVE: Sears To Sell Appliances On Amazon

Sears continues to defy the odds, but for how much longer? According to this Tech Crunch report, the struggling retailer has managed to cut a deal with Amazon allowing them to sell their Alexa based appliances on Amazon’s website.

It’s hard to see this move as anything but a temporary reprieve for the once-mighty Sears brand. The mall mainstay has fallen on hard times in recent decades as online retail has taken over — and now, the company is signing on with Amazon to sell its Kenmore brand through one of the key contributors to that on-going downside.

While the move feels a bit defeatist, it’s a smart one, at least in the short term — a fact that Wall Street has rewarded, with shares in the 131-year-old company jumping as much as 25-percent in this morning’s trading. Sears CEO Eddie Lampert was equally hopeful about the move, stating that it would “will significantly expand the distribution and availability of the Kenmore brand in the U.S.” in a statement this morning.

At 651 locations, Sears is still the fifth-largest department store in the U.S. — so it’s not exactly lacking in distribution. Though that number’s a lot less impressive in context given that it was up to 3,500 as recently as 2011.

The move will certainly expand the availability of the appliances, but the move also gives Kenmore fans more reason to avoid brick and mortar locations — and robs Sears of the residual sales of additional products that were long a part of the all-in-one department store shopping model.

Top 10 BIGGEST layoffs in the 21st Century

The 2017 retail apocalypse doesn’t have anything on 2008. According to this Newser report, Citigroup alone laid off 50,000 workers…listed below are the top 10 biggest layoffs in the 21st Century. Just wait until the robots takeover, the numbers will be much bigger.

  1. Citigroup in 2008 (50,000)
  2. US Army in 2011 (50,000)
  3. General Motors in 2009 (47,000)
  4. US Air Force in 2005 (40,000)
  5. US Army in 2015 (40,000)
  6. Kmart in 2003 (35,000)
  7. Circuit City in 2009 (34,000)
  8. Ford in 2002 (34,000)
  9. Boeing in 2001 (31,000)
  10. US Postal Service in 2010 (30,000)

Harley-Davidson announces LAYOFFS after earnings fall from weaker U.S. sales

Add Harley-Davidson to the list of struggling companies. According to this Journal Sentinel report approximately 180 production jobs will be eliminated.

Harley-Davidson Inc. is eliminating about 180 production jobs at its U.S. plants, union officials said Tuesday, with the Menomonee Falls and Kansas City plants expected to be hit the hardest.

The 183 permanent job cuts are coming in the next couple of months as the company throttles back production following weak U.S. motorcycle sales.

Temporary furloughs also are expected this fall at the Menomonee Falls plant that employs about 1,000 production workers.

“It’s not looking too good at this point,” said Ross Winklbauer, a sub-district director for the United Steelworkers union.

“We did not see this coming,” he said.

Earlier Tuesday, Harley said soft U.S. motorcycle sales resulted in a disappointing fiscal quarter ended June 25.

Net income fell 7.7% to $258.9 million, or $1.48 per share, in the three-month period ended June 25, from $280.4 million, or $1.55 per share, a year earlier.

Revenue from motorcycles and related products fell to $1.58 billion from $1.67 billion.

Harley said its U.S. sales were down 9.3% from the same period a year ago.

The company, which previously forecast “flat to down modestly” full-year bike shipments, said it now expects to ship 241,000 to 246,000 motorcycles in 2017 — down 6% to 8% from 2016.

The new projection includes a 10% to 20% decline in third-quarter production.

SLOW DEATH: Sears inks $200 million credit line from CEO Eddie Lampert’s hedge fund

Sears, the company that refuses to die has secured a $200 million dollar lifeline according to this CNBC report.

Sears Holdings has landed a fresh line of credit, valued at $200 million, from its CEO Eddie Lampert’s hedge fund, according to a Monday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

On July 13, Lampert’s ESL Partners entered into a short-term line of credit loans, which carry a maturity date of 151 days and a fixed interest rate of 9.75 percent per year, Sears said.

“This facility is intended to provide the Company with the flexibility to generate additional liquidity on an as-needed basis,” Sears CFO Rob Riecker said in a statement.

“This adjustment to our capital structure demonstrates that Sears Holdings will continue to take actions to generate liquidity and manage our business while meeting all of our financial obligations.”

Sears’ stock surged 9 percent higher Monday morning following this news. Shares are now up more than 32 percent from one month ago. This, compared with a loss of nearly 40 percent over the past 12 months.

In 2017, Sears has been trimming its real-estate portfolio — shuttering unprofitable stores — and making moves, such as opening smaller locations that only sell mattresses and appliances, to stay afloat.

Dwindling foot traffic across American malls is dragging many department stores down with it.

Earlier this year, media shy CEO Lampert sat down for an interview with the Chicago Tribune in which he said the retailer is “fighting like hell” to battle negative headlines and pessimism regarding Sears’ ability to continue.

Average FICO score hits an all-time high

When it comes to credit, Americans are faring better than ever.

For the first time, the average national credit score has reached 700, according to FICO, developer of one of the most commonly used scores by lenders. FICO scores range from 300 to 850.

Your credit score plays a big role in daily life. It can determine the interest rate a consumer is going to pay for credit cards, car loans and mortgages — or whether they will get a loan at all.

Average credit scores most recently bottomed out at 686, during the housing crisis when there was a sharp increase in foreclosures. They have steadily ticked higher since then, according to Ethan Dornhelm, vice president for scores and analytics at FICO. Now scores are at an all-time high.

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Sears to close 43 more stores

Sears is closing another 43 struggling stores.

Sears Holdings — the parent company of Sears and Kmart — announced on Friday that it will shutter eight of its namesake Sears department stores and 35 Kmart locations, adding to the list of 236 stores Sears has announced plans to shut down in 2017.

With the newest round of closings, Sears Holdings is poised to close down about 20% of its locations.

The company said in a blog post that the store closures are part of an ongoing effort to “focus on our best stores and return to profitability.”

“This is part of a strategy both to address losses from unprofitable stores and to reduce the square footage of other stores because many of them are simply too big for our current needs,” Chief Executive Officer Eddie Lampert said in the post.

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As Amazon sales soar and retail bankruptcies rise, industry execs remain ‘bullish’

While the retail industry has largely shifted to online in recent years, Tom McGee, CEO of the International Council of Shopping Centers, believes there is room for different kinds of product consumption.

“I think in a couple years we’ll stop talking about online vs. physical and we’ll talk about retail and retail will be you know multiple channels but they’ll really operate in a really synergistic way,” McGee said during an appearance on the FOX Business Network Monday.

At the forefront of the industry is Amazon (AMZN), which is launching its third annual Prime Day from 9 p.m. Monday to 3 a.m. Wednesday – a 25% longer window than it was last year.

Despite Amazon’s success, McGee says it does not completely dictate the industry’s future.

“Amazon has had incredible success but you know Amazon’s an $80 billion retailer in North America…$80 billion compared to almost $5 trillion of retail sales, I mean there’s a huge amount of sales that happen in this country that don’t happen because of Amazon but Amazon is clearly influencing the industry and driving it to change.”

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Here’s How Far Sears Holdings Has Fallen in 5 Years

When Sears Holdings (NASDAQ:SHLD) reported its first-quarter 2012 results, it saw a drop in overall sales, a decline in same-store sales, and negative earnings. The company reported that revenue decreased $270 million to $9.3 billion while same-store sales declined by 1.3% — 1% at Sears and 1.6% at the company’s Kmart locations. The company lost $0.31 per share from continuing operations, but offset that by selling $233 million in assets, producing $189 million in profits.

Selling off assets to make up for sales and revenue shortfalls would become standard operating procedure for the chain over the next five years, but in 2012, then-CEO Lou D’Ambrosio probably had no idea that the worst was yet to come. In fact, in the Q1 2012 earnings release he made comments that sound a lot like what current CEO Eddie Lampert says about each quarter now.

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