Posted tagged ‘Job Loss’

Starbucks to Close 300 Stores, Cut Up To 6,700 Jobs

January 28, 2009

Starbucks gets hit again. The company today announced that they will be closing 300 stores and could eliminate up to 6,700 jobs.

From the Seattle Post Intelligencer:

Starbucks confirmed Wednesday that it would cut up to 6,700 jobs this year to downsize in accordance with falling consumer demand.

Starbucks will reduce Seattle headquarters employees by about 10 percent, or between 300 and 350 employees, effective in mid-February. Globally, including Seattle, Starbucks will lay off 700 non-store employees.

The Seattle-based coffee company will close an additional 300 underperforming stores, with 200 of them in the U.S. That’s in addition to the 600 previously announced closures last year.

In the worst case, Starbucks would cut up to 6,000 store positions by the end of fiscal 2009, globally. Some of those jobs may be cut by not filling positions, and some affected employees could be redeployed to other stores.

In 2009, Starbucks hopes to increase its cost savings from a previously announced $400 million to $500 million. Same-store sales at Starbucks were down 9 percent for the first quarter of 2009.

Chief Executive Howard Schultz has asked the compensation committee to reduce his base salary to less than $10,000 per year. Starbucks will also sell one of its corporate jets, leaving it with one.

“We are working hard to navigate both a deteriorating global economy and the restructuring of our business,” Schultz said in an e-mail to employees Wednesday.

Starbucks had at least four rounds of layoffs in 2008, including 220 in February, 100 in June, 550 in July and 135 between November and January.

The company also lost an undetermined number of employees through the planned closure of 616 underperforming U.S. stores.

From CNNMoney:

Starbucks Corp. said Wednesday its fiscal first-quarter profit and sales fell short of Wall Street’s forecast. The high-end coffee chain also announced 6,700 new job cuts as a weak economy weighed on sales.

For the three months ended Dec. 28, Seattle-based Starbucks reported net income of $64.3 million, or 9 cents per share, compared with $208 million, or 28 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding certain charges, including a $75.5 million pre-tax charge related to store closures, the company said it earned 15 cents per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting 17 cents. Sales in the quarter fell 6% to $2.6 billion from $2.8 billion a year ago. Analysts expected $2.69 billion.

Same-store sales, or sales at locations open more than a year, dropped 9% worldwide and 10% in the U.S.

Starbucks said store closures and reduced operations would result in a loss of up to 6,000 retail and 700 non-store jobs. The company expects to close 300 underperforming stores.

Target Announces Layoffs

January 28, 2009

It seems that no one is safe anymore as Target has announced that they will eliminate more than 1,000 jobs.

From BizJournals.com:

Target Corp. announced Tuesday that it will slash 1,000 jobs at its downtown Minneapolis headquarters, laying off 600 workers and eliminating 400 open positions. The cuts represent about 9 percent of its downtown work force.

Affected employees will continue to receive their full pay and benefits through April 1, at which time they will receive severance packages based on how long they have been with the company. As part of those packages, Target will provide 12 months of continued Target health care benefits, in addition to 12 months COBRA benefits, and outplacement support to assist them in transitioning to their next position.

Target also will close its Little Rock, Ark., distribution center later this year. The facility employs about 500 workers. They will be offered positions at other Target distribution centers or will receive severance packages similar to those received by the headquarters employees.

Casey Anthony: People Magazine To Discuss Anthony Family Secrets

January 28, 2009

Why do I have the feeling that lots of people are going to rush out and buy this issue, even though most of us already know the information that will be in the publication. The issue will hit newsstands this Friday, January 30.

People Magazine

Credit: People Magazine

It’s interesting. There are so many other stories that could be on the cover. There was the tragedy in Los Angeles yesterday where a man lost his job and killed his family. There have been massive job cuts at US companies this week. Kay Yow, NC State women’s basketball coach died of breast cancer and the DTV switch has been delayed.

Yet, People Magazine has more information about this case on the cover. I’ll admit, I’ve been interested in this case from the beginning but sometimes there are other stories that should be covered.

Has people’s obsession with this case gone too far? Why do so many people follow this case? Do you feel that you are obsessed?

From People:

Long before the remains of missing 2-year-old Caylee Anthony were discovered in December, deep fractures in the troubled Anthony family had already emerged, PEOPLE reports in its new cover story, on sale Friday.

On Jan. 22, George Anthony – whose daughter Casey, 22, is scheduled to go on trial in March for the murder of her daughter Caylee – was found by authorities in a Daytona Beach, Fla., motel room after sending suicidal text messages.

George, 57, and his wife Cindy, 50, “are both suffering beyond what you can imagine,” says the family’s attorney Brad Conway.

In an interview with the FBI last year, George said that he and his wife had separated for more than six months starting at the end of 2005. They reconciled, but there was no mistaking the rift between them.

“I’ve watched Cindy berate George over the littlest thing, just nasty, mean stuff,” a source tells PEOPLE. “She’ll say, ‘George, you’re so stupid,’ in front of his friends.”

Strained Relationships

Meanwhile, the relationship between Cindy and Casey – well before Caylee’s murder – was even more strained. “They were always at each other’s throats about something,” says the source.

“Cindy would tell Casey she was immature, and Casey would tell Cindy she was ruining her life. They couldn’t communicate if it wasn’t for their fighting and bickering.”

In emails dated August, after Caylee’s disappearance, bitter tensions emerged between Cindy and her brother Rick Pleasea. “Casey is the only person that really knows where Caylee is and what really happened to her,” Rick wrote to Cindy on Aug. 11, 2008.

“She is playing you, George and Lee like a base [sic] fiddle and has for years. You need to wake up.”

Massive Job Cuts at Major US Companies

January 26, 2009

As a sign of an ever increasing downed economy, Caterpillar, Pfizer, Sprint Nextel, Home Depot and General Motors all announced thousands of job cuts early this morning.

From MSNBC:

Caterpillar had by far the worst news of the group. The world’s largest heavy equipment maker announced Monday it was slashing up to 5,000 jobs on top of several earlier actions. The latest cuts of support and management employees will be made globally by the end of March. An additional 2,500 workers already have accepted buyout offers, and ties have been severed with about 8,000 contract workers worldwide. In addition, about 4,000 full-time factory workers already have been let go.

In all, the job losses equal about 18 percent of the company’s work force.

Ailing automaker General Motors Corp. also said it would slash 2,000 jobs at plants in Michigan and Ohio as the recession slams sales of its vehicles.

Sprint Nextel Corp. said it would be eliminating about 8,000 positions in the first quarter as it seeks to cut annual costs by $1.2 billion. Home Depot said it would reduce about two percent of its associates, or about 7,000 jobs. And Pfizer, fresh from agreeing to buy rival Wyeth for $68 billion, announced cost cuts that will include slashing about 8,000 jobs.

The Year of the Ox, year 4706 in the Chinese lunar calendar, is supposed to represent prosperity through perseverance and hard work. But the hope for a better year in 2009 was being dashed by the job losses and the growing concern that many more would join the ranks of the 2.6 million who became unemployed in 2008.

The latest outlook from forecasters in a survey released Monday by the National Association for Business Economics showed 39 percent predicted job reductions through attrition or “significant” layoffs over the next six months, up from 32 percent in the previous survey in October. Around 45 percent in the current survey anticipated no change in hiring plans, while roughly 17 percent thought hiring would increase.

Microsoft to Cut 5,000 Jobs

January 22, 2009

Microsoft shocked its investors this morning as the company announced its first broad layoffs in its history and offered a bleak forecast for the second half of its fiscal year.

From the New York Times:

Rather than issuing its second-quarter results in the customary fashion after the market closed, Microsoft rushed out the news Thursday morning that it will lay off up to 5,000 of its 94,000 employees over the next 18 months, including 1,400 people Thursday. The layoffs span across research, sales, finance and technology roles, the company said.

“We will continue to manage expenses and invest in long-term opportunities to deliver value to customers and shareholders, and we will emerge an even stronger industry leader than we are today,” said Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive.

Microsoft’s shares dropped $1.50, or 8 percent, to $17.88 in early trading.

For its second quarter, Microsoft posted net income of $4.17 billion – a figure 11 percent lower the $4.71 billion reported in the comparable period last year. Microsoft’s revenue for the quarter rose 2 percent year-over-year to $16.63 billion.

Microsoft’s earnings of 47 cents during the quarter missed the forecast from Thomson Reuters by 2 cents.

The direct impact of falling personal-computer sales, which roiled Intel last week, were evident in Microsoft’s results, as sales of its PC operating-system software dove 8 percent to $3.98 billion from $4.33 billion last year.

Blaming market uncertainty, Microsoft declined to issue a revenue or earnings forecast for the rest of its fiscal year.

Circuit City To Liquidate All Stores

January 16, 2009

Circuit City, the nation’s second-biggest consumer electronics retailer, said this morning that it had run out of options and will be forced to liquidate all of their 567 U.S. stores. The closures could put more than 30,000 people out of a job.

From CNNMoney:

Bankrupt electronics retailer Circuit City Inc. said Friday it has asked for court approval to close its remaining 567 U.S. stores and sell all its merchandise.

The company said it has 30,000 employees.

“We are extremely disappointed by this outcome,” James Marcum, acting CEO for Circuit City, said in a statement. “We were unable to reach an agreement with our creditors and lenders to structure a going-concern transaction in the limited timeframe available, and so this is the only possible path for our company.”

In a filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Circuit City – the No. 2 electronics retailer after Best Buy (BBY, Fortune 500) – said it had reached an agreement with four companies to start the liquidation process.

The company said the sale would begin Saturday and run until March 31, pending court approval.

“This is very significant. It shows you how bad things are for the the retail industry,” said George Whalin, president and CEO of Retail Management Consultants.

Whalin said management mistakes over the past few years combined with the recession brought down Circuit City.

“This company made massive mistakes,” he said, citing a decision to get rid of sales people and other mismanagement.

What’s more, given the credit market freeze, Whalin added that no manufacturer wants to sell to any retailer who doesn’t have money to pay for the merchandise.

From the New York Times:

Circuit City, based in Richmond, Va., has become the latest in a growing line of retailers to shutter completely, as the recession weighs down on consumers’ appetite for everything from clothes to pricey flat-screen TV’s. The tight credit markets have also put pressure on highly indebted companies, squeezing many of them beyond their ability to pay off their obligations.

The retailer, which filed for bankruptcy in November, said last week that it was in negotiations with two potential buyers, with bids due on Saturday. In a court filing on Friday, the company struck an agreement with a group of liquidation firms to begin a gradual wind-down.

“We are extremely disappointed by this outcome,” James A. Marcum, Circuit City’s acting chief executive, said in a statement. “Regrettably for the more than 30,000 employees of Circuit City and our loyal customers, we were unable to reach an agreement with our creditors and lenders to structure a going-concern transaction in the limited timeframe available, and so this is the only possible path for our company.”

The group of liquidators — Great American Group, Hudson Capital, SB Capital Group and Tiger Capital — will sell off the merchandise in the company’s 567 stores. Circuit City has about 30,000 employees, the company said in its statement.

The news was in some ways not unexpected. Circuit City has long struggled with declining sales, a problem exacerbated by the general economic slowdown. Even its bigger competitor, Best Buy, disclosed a decline in sales during the all-important holiday season.

Big-box competitors like Wal-Mart and online retailers like Amazon.com have also stolen market share away from Circuit City.

By the time it filed for bankruptcy, Circuit City had already announced that it would close 155 stores and lay off 17 percent of its workforce, then amounting to about 1,300 employees. Earlier in the year, Circuit City entertained an unusual merger offer from Blockbuster Entertainment, as it faced pressure to lift its fortunes.

Microsoft Exploring Possibility of Job Cuts

January 15, 2009

Rumors of massive job cuts at Microsoft, totaling up to 15,000 positions, appear to be untrue.

However, the company is reportedly considering some job cuts that could be announced as early as next week.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Microsoft Corp. is seriously exploring significant work force reductions that could be announced as early as next week, in a sign that the weak economy is prompting tough decisions even at one of the steadiest ships in the technology industry.

According to people familiar with its plans, the Redmond, Wash., giant is considering layoffs across its various divisions, a rare occurrence for the world’s largest software company. However, plans for the cutbacks are still in flux and Microsoft could end up finding alternative methods of reining in costs, one of these people said.

Although the number of potential job cuts couldn’t be learned, people familiar with the matter said they are likely to be far less than the 15,000 positions that have been rumored in recent weeks, a figure that would amount to more than 16% of Microsoft’s global work force.

In an interview last week, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer declined to say whether the company was planning layoffs, though he said the economy is forcing Microsoft to think seriously about cost cutting measures.

“We’re finding our right balance,” Mr. Ballmer said. “When we find it, I’m sure we’ll communicate that publicly.”