New York (CNN Business)Luxury chocolatier Godiva is getting out of the brick and mortar business.The company is closing or selling all 128 of its brick-and-mortar stores in North America, it announced in a statement. It plans to complete the closures and sales by the end of March.Godiva will keep its stores open across Europe, Middle East and Greater China. The company did not disclose information on how many employees would be let go because of the closures.Less than two years ago, Godiva was planning a massive expansion by getting into the cafe business. The chocolatier opened its first cafe in the United States in New York City in April 2019 and announced that it planned on opening 10 more cafes in New York and more than 400 across the United States. It was part of a plan to open 2,000 new cafes around the world.But that plan never came to fruition. Godiva relied heavily on mall traffic, which has been plummeting even before the pandemic. The chocolatier’s sales are largely driven by online purchases and purchases through Godiva’s grocery, club and retail partners.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette will drop its Friday print editions after Feb. 26 in a move the company described as another step toward becoming a more digitally focused news provider.
The newspaper — which previously eliminated some of its print editions in 2018 and 2019 — will continue to publish print editions on Sundays and Thursdays. The company plans to bolster the Sunday editions with more than 10 pages and new content.
The paper will also continue to produce a Saturday print edition sold in retail outlets.
“We’ve seen over the past year increased demand for digital content,” said Kurt Franck, vice president of newspaper operations for Block Communications Inc., the Toledo, Ohio-based owner of the Post-Gazette.
In addition to its website that publishes news seven days a week, the Post-Gazette publishes a daily electronic edition and NewsSlide, a digital news site accessible on tablets and mobile phones.
“All of our digital delivery products will truly allow us to be a 24/7 news operation,” Mr. Franck said. “You’re going to see more papers that will go digital in the next couple [of] years. We think e-delivery is better, and we make no apologies for doing this.”
In the fourth quarter of 2020, the Post-Gazette said it had 101,747 paid Sunday subscribers, including 71,520 print and 30,227 digital.
Paid subscribers for daily editions totaled 74,444, including 44,371 print and 30,073 digital.
Mr. Franck said there is no timetable for the elimination of the Post-Gazette’s Sunday and Thursday print products.
He declined to comment on whether the changes would impact jobs. The Post-Gazette employs 337 people, including its newsroom staff, drivers, production workers, and advertising and circulation sales representatives.
The nine unions that represent 270 of those employees Wednesday received letters informing them of the decision to drop the Friday print edition. The company wrote it was “prepared to discuss the effects the company’s decision will have on your bargaining unit.”
At least three men have lost their jobs as a result of their involvement in the unrest at the US Capitol Wednesday.Rick Saccone, a former Pennsylvania state representative, shared images on his Facebook page of himself outside the Capitol. Saint Vincent College, where Saccone served as an adjunct professor, immediately began an investigation, according to Michael Hustava, the institution’s Senior Director of Marketing and Communications.“As a result of that investigation, Dr. Saccone has submitted and we have accepted his letter of resignation, effective immediately. He will no longer be associated with Saint Vincent College in any capacity,” Hustava said in a statement provided to CNN.“I decided to resign for the betterment of the school,” Saccone told the Tribune-Review, a news outlet in Western Pennsylvania, about his departure. “I’ve been there 21 years. I didn’t want all this terrible media kerfuffle to tarnish the school. I decided it would be better if I just resigned.”
Boeing will pay more than $2.5 billion to settle criminal charges that it repeatedly concealed and lied about the 737 Max’s engineering problems that led to two catastrophic crashes claiming hundreds of lives.
The company admitted to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States as part of the deferred prosecution agreement announced on Thursday and will face no further charges from the U.S. Department of Justice.
“Boeing’s employees chose the path of profit over candor by concealing material information from the FAA concerning the operation of its 737 Max airplane and engaging in an effort to cover up their deception,” Acting Assistant Attorney General David Burns of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, wrote in a statement.
Boeing, which is the country’s second-biggest defense contractor behind Lockheed Martin, will pay the DOJ a criminal penalty of $243.6 million.
Is the Stock Market Closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 2020?
The New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq closed at 1 p.m. Eastern time on Christmas Eve. Both will be shut on Friday for Christmas Day. U.S. bond markets and U.S. over-the-counter markets will also close at 2 p.m. on Dec. 24, and all day on Dec. 25.
Are Foreign Stock Exchanges Open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 2020?
The Shanghai Stock Exchange and Tokyo Stock Exchange will be open both days. The Hong Kong Stock Exchange closes at noon local time on Christmas Eve, and all day on Christmas Day.
The Toronto Stock Exchange ended its session at 1 p.m. ET on Christmas Eve. It will be closed on Christmas Day. The London Stock Exchange will close at 12:30 p.m. GMT on Thursday, and all day on Friday.
Can I Take Christmas Eve Off Anyway?
You wouldn’t be alone. Christmas Eve typically sees far lower volume than an average day. Going back to 2007—excluding years when Christmas Day fell on a weekend—the average Christmas Eve volume on the NYSE Composite and Nasdaq Composite was 36.8% of a normal day during that period, according to data from FactSet compiled by Dow Jones Market Data.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — Governor Tom Wolf announced Wednesday that he has initiated a transfer of $145 million in funds from the Workers’ Compensation Security Fund at the Pennsylvania Insurance Department to be appropriated by the state legislature into grants for businesses adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Business owners and employees have worked hard to protect their customers and their communities during this pandemic, and I thank all of those who have prioritized health and safety despite the hardship of the past several months,” Gov Wolf said. “Our business owners and workers have been forced to make sacrifices because of COVID-19 and they need and deserve our support.
“Today, I am pleased to announce that my administration will make funds available to help businesses whose operations and revenue were significantly adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The $145 million transfer from the fund into the state’s general fund requires legislative authorization to expend the loaned money for the purpose of making grants to businesses. The legislature has the authority to establish grant agreements for purposes it deems appropriate, in this case, to support businesses adversely affected by the pandemic.
Gov. Wolf urged the legislature to follow his lead and allocate this funding as quickly as possible to businesses affected by the pandemic, among them restaurants and bars, gyms and entertainment venues.
Ford Motor Company is recalling certain 2020 Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator SUVs to fix a potentially faulty engine mount that could lead to a loss of power to the wheels, the automaker said.
The action only affects 1,405 vehicles that were built from July 28-30 and sold in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, and no accidents have been linked to the issue.
The recall is the 10th for the Explorer and sixth for the Aviator since they went on sale last year as all-new models sharing a common platform. The recalls have included problems with driveshaft weld seams, seat belts, airbags and other components, often affecting very small numbers of vehicles.
Somerset, Pa. (WJAC) — Despite the state’s restrictions on indoor dining until January 4th, one diner in Somerset County has been letting customers dine-in anyway. The new, limited-time mitigation orders took effect at 12:01 a.m. on December 12, and remain in effect until 8 a.m. on January 4, 2021.
Cars filled the parking lot of the Summit Diner in Somerset Saturday morning as customers flowed in and out of the dining room.
The diner shut down the weekend after those restrictions were announced, but then made the decision to stay open for indoor dining.
Manager Chloe Foy says their customers have been supportive of their decision.“They want to make sure that we’re here, and that even after the holidays and the New Year that we’re going to stay open and be open, and have all of our employees be able to pay their bills and feed their families,” Foy said.
Following a comprehensive review of the JCPenney retail footprint, we announced several phases of store closures in 2020, part of our store optimization strategy that began in June and included plans to close up to 200 stores throughout our financial restructuring.
While store closure decisions are never easy, our store optimization strategy is intended to better position JCPenney to drive sustainable, profitable growth. We will continue to operate the majority of our stores and our flagship store, jcp.com, to ensure our valued customers continue to have access to the products and brands they need and want. Please check for helpful FAQ and an updated list of closing locations.
Closing Stores Link: https://companyblog.jcpnewsroom.com/storeclosings/#closingstores
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the restaurant industry, a student at Pitt is looking to help them out. He created an app called Bar Spy to help get people to patronize a business.
Computer information science major Gabriel Thrower is trying to give restaurants a fighting chance during another round of COVID-19 restrictions.
“If you were to start a restaurant within the past five years, this whole coronavirus thing would probably put you under,” Thrower said.
He’s seen his father’s restaurant get hit hard in the last 9 months.
“It’s just crazy the amount of business that isn’t happening now,” the Pitt senior said.
He had been thinking about it when he lived in the city.
“I thought to myself it would be great if there was a platform where all these people could advertise on it and let people know what they’re doing,” he said.
Then once the pandemic began, the Pitt Senior knew it was time.
After six months of work, the app was published this week.
Four companies in Allegheny County have been named among the Best Places to Work in Pennsylvania.
Ryan LLC, a consulting firm in Downtown Pittsburgh; Total Quality Logistics, a logistics firm located in Kennedy Township; Maher Duessel, an accounting firm on Pittsburgh’s North Shore; and KU Resources, Inc., an environmental consultant in Duquesne all made the list, which is made up of companies from across the state.
By Mark Belko:
Target is hoping to hit the bullseye with the look of its new Downtown store.
The Minneapolis retailer and its landlord will brief the Pittsburgh planning commission Tuesday on the buildout for the mini Target on the first floor of the former Kaufmann’s/Macy’s department store at the corner of Smithfield Street and Fifth Avenue.
The store occupies a 20,034-square-foot space and will be situated mainly on the Fifth Avenue side of the building, running from Smithfield to Cherry Way, according to materials presented to the commission.
Mark Belko: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1262.
A Texas waitress says she was thrilled to receive a $2,000 tip on a bill — only to find out from the restaurant that she won’t take home a single cent.
Emily Bauer had only been a server for about two weeks when she was scheduled for a busy Sunday shift at Red Hook Seafood and Bar in San Antonio, news station KVUE reported.
While working all the tables, she kept apologizing to a man seated in her section for “being slow.”
“He was just like, ‘I understand.’ He also mentioned he owned restaurants, so he knew how hard it was to be a server,” Bauer said.
“He was like, ‘Just cancel everything. Cancel everything and give me the ticket.’ So, I said okay. I gave him the ticket.”
Bauer said she didn’t notice until he left that he had given her a $2,000 tip and wrote a note that said, “Merry Christmas! Keep working hard!”
“I was like, wait. I just opened it and started crying. I was like, ‘Oh my God! My kids! I’m going to spend it all on my kids,’” said Bauer, who has two sons, a 2-year-old and a 5-month-old.
“I was like, ‘Oh my God. I’ve never had a Christmas where I’ve been able to like splurge on them.’”
But she said her excitement was quickly dashed when the restaurant told her it can’t process a tip larger than $500.
Other servers suggested that the restaurant give her four separate tips of $500, but the seafood joint refused, KVUE reported.
It is unclear why the restaurant couldn’t process $500 of the $2,000 tip to give to Bauer, in line with its limits.
The Ace Hardware in Greensburg has closed after a decade on East Pittsburgh Street.
“We’ve just seen our customer base drop, and our business drop, and we found it difficult economically to succeed,” he said.
Competing with big-box stores and online shopping was already difficult, and the pandemic was the final blow, McCullough said.
Monday was the store’s last day in business.
“It was Cyber Monday,” McCullough said. “Appropriate, right?”
The store’s seven employees — four full-time and three part-time — were laid off.
Thrift Supply, which was founded in 1963, joined Ace Hardware in 1997. It has three locations in the region: Delmont, New Kensington and Kittanning. McCullough encourages Greensburg customers to visit the Delmont store.
There were fewer Black Friday shoppers early in the morning and less lines, though some did venture out in search of deals.
Malls and stores made changes to their hours this year, opening later or staying closed on Thanksgiving.
Many are also offering more sales online to encourage consumers to do shopping from home.
GREENSBURG, Pa. —A Greensburg restaurant owner is continuing her mission to adapt to changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.Lisa Hegedus has owned Caffe Barista for 23 years. This year, she was forced to adapt quickly when the coronavirus pandemic hit in March.
“We developed a box meal program, we delivered to all essential workers and offered curbside pickup,” Hegedus said.
The business is located across the street from the Westmoreland County Courthouse and has always relied on foot traffic. With her catering business taking a hit, Hegedus focused more on getting individual meals to customers.
“You have to pivot your business,” Hegedus said. “If you don’t look at the way things are happening around you and adapt to them, you’re not going to stay open.”
Now, Hegedus is planning to pivot again with an indoor farmers market in her store, starting early next year. The goal is for customers to be able to pick up fresh produce and dairy products, while still offering the food and beverages customers are used to.
“We’re just adding a new dimension to what we already offer. It brings more people into town shopping at all the other businesses,” Hegedus said. “We’re very thankful for everything, for all of our customers the 23 years we’ve been here, and hopefully another 23 more.”
Hegedus said work on the new setup is set to get underway soon, with the goal of having the farmers market open in the early months of 2021.
Source: Caffe Barista
HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — After months of construction and planning, Live! Casino Pittsburgh at Westmoreland Mall will open to the public today.That project has brought a lot of jobs to the area and opening in the middle of a pandemic is no easy feat.The casino will hold its grand opening on Tuesday morning, not too much longer before those doors open and people get to press their luck.
With the casino opening during the Coronavirus pandemic, safety measures will be in place.There will be mask requirements, temperature checks, physical distancing, and repeated cleaning of high-traffic areas, slot machines, and table games.
In a devastating blow to Los Angeles’ struggling restaurant industry, L.A. County public health officials on Sunday announced they will suspend outdoor dining at restaurants amid a surge of new coronavirus cases.
Few segments of the L.A. retail economy have been hit harder by the pandemic than the once-booming dining world, with many landmark names closing in recent months and many more on the brink. After they were forced to close indoor dining rooms in the spring, many eateries got a lifeline when officials allowed them to serve outdoors, often in patios and makeshift dining halls built in parking lots and streets.
The new rule takes effect at 10 p.m. Wednesday and restricts restaurants — along with breweries, wineries and bars — to takeout and delivery only for the first time since May. It will remain in place for at least three weeks, officials said.
Wineries and breweries can continue retail operations.
“The persistent high number of cases requires additional safety measures that limit mixing in settings where people are not wearing masks,” Barbara Ferrer, the L.A. County health director, said in a statement.
Officials had warned earlier in the week that the new rule would be imposed if the five-day average of new cases reached 4,000, or if hospitalizations topped 1,750 per day.
PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh-based BLD Marketing on Thursday said it has created and launched a recruitment marketing program for 84 Lumber Co.
The nation’s largest privately held building materials supplier, 84 Lumber operates about 250 stores, plants, custom millwork and door shops and engineered wood product centers in more than 30 states. It is hiring for various positions due to increased residential construction and, as of Thursday, listed 478 open positions from labor to management on its website.
The Business Times recently reported that 84 Lumber said it topped $4 billion in annual sales for the first time in its history with projections to reach more than $4.5 billion by year-end. Expansion is underway into Detroit; Stockton, California; and Boise, Idaho, with new stores scheduled to open in early 2021.
Stocks were set to continue their big post-election rally as futures rose in overnight trading on Sunday. The gains came as Democrat Joe Biden defeated incumbent Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential race to become president elect, according to NBC projections.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 319 points, implying an opening gain of about 300 points on Monday. S&P 500 futures climbed 1.1% and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 1.4%.
The former vice president won after his projected victory in Pennsylvania as well as Nevada, according to NBC News projections on Saturday. The call came four days after Election Day and amid close counts in several battleground states.
Wall Street hoped the call would reduce the odds of a drawn-out election fight, even as Trump refused to concede. Many traders had put on bets for market volatility in November and were unwinding those positions, helping fuel a rally.