Hudson Bay to buy Saks for $2.4 billion
Luxury retailer Saks is being purchased by the owner of Lord and Taylor for approximately $2.4 billion, according to the Associated Press. Saks will continue to run as a separate company. Saks employs about 15,000 people and its flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City sits on some of the most valuable real estate in the world. At the end of the first quarter, there were 42 Saks Fifth Avenue stores and 66 discount stores. Hudson Bay will pay a 5 percent premium per share over Friday’s closing price of $15.31.
Doctors steer clear of Medicare
Fewer American doctors are treating patients enrolled in the Medicare program for seniors, according to the Wall Street Journal. Doctors are frustrated with the payment rates and the mounting rules for compliance. The number of doctors that opted out of Medicare last year tripled from three years earlier. Other doctors are limiting the number of Medicare patients they treat. Currently 685,000 doctors are enrolled as participating physicians with Medicare. In 2012, 9,539 opted out of the program. Last year the number of family doctors who accepted new Medicare patients was down to 81 percent. In 2010-2011, the journal Health Affairs said that 33 percent of primary care physicians wouldn’t accept new Medicaid patients. Most doctors blame the Medicare payment rates that haven’t kept pace with inflation. Those rates are to be slashed by 25 percent in 2014.
Apple supplier charged with labor violations
According to the Financial Times, a China labor watchdog has accused Pegatron, a large Apple supplier, of employing underage workers and pressuring employees to work overtime in its factories. New York based China Labor Watch indicates that Pegatron violates both Chinese standards and Apple’s own “social responsibility code of conduct.” Pegatron was chosen over market leader Foxconn to make the low cost iPhone that is expected to hit the market later this year.
Credit squeeze in Asia
The Institute of International Finance (IIF) indicates that bank lending conditions in emerging Asian countries fell to 45.7 in the second quarter, below the 50 level that divides easing and tightening and its lowest level since 2009. According to CNBC, there are three critical factors for Asia’s strained credit: deteriorating domestic funding, high non-performing loans and declining loan demand. Experts blame the credit crunch on China and India.
Amazon to fill 7,000 jobs
Amazon.com is adding 7,000 jobs in 13 states, increasing staff at the warehouses that fill orders and increasing customer service representatives. The Associated Press reports the largest online retailer is spending heavily on order fulfillment. Distribution center jobs are available Phoenix; Middletown, Del; 3 locations in California; Indianapolis and Jeffersonville, Ind; Charleston and Spartanburg, NC; 2 locations in Tennessee; 3 locations in Texas; and Chester, VA. Customer service jobs will be available in Kentucky, North Dakota, Washington, Oregon and West Virginia.
Chipotle to announce vegan offering
Chipotle stores across the Pacific Northwest will begin selling Sofritas today. A Sofritas is shredded, organic tofu braised with chipotle chiles and roasted poblanos and served in burritos, tacos or bowls. USA Today reports that Chipotle is the first fast food store to offer a truly vegan entrée. Until now, the vegan dish has only been offered in California locations. If it is a hit, the offering will be rolled out to all of its 1,450 restaurants nationwide. About 2 percent of Americans are “vegan” but the vegan dish accounts for 5 percent of the sales in California. Many order the dish because they are seeking to choose a healthier option. It is anticipated that if the rollout is a success, other fast food competitors will offer similar vegan options.
Catherine S. McBreen is President of Millionaire Corner. McBreen plans and develops content for Millionaire Corner. Catherine balances editorial content to meet the informational needs of both new and seasoned investors. She designs special monthly surveys on topical issues affecting the economic environment.
McBreen has a B.S. in speech communications from Northwestern University and a J.D. from DePail University College of Law. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Association, and the Chicago Bar Association.
Well-known for her expertise in the affluent and retirement arenas, McBreen is a frequent speaker at industry conferences. She has been quoted widely by the financial media, including The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Research, Private Asset Management, On Wall Street, Reuters, Bloomberg News, The Dow Jones Newswires and Worth. Cathy has appeared as a guest on CNBC Closing Bell, First Business Morning News, Neal Cavuto at Fox Business News, ABC and CBS radio.
McBreen is co-author with Spectrem President George H. Walper, Jr. of the book "Get Rich, Stay Rich, Pass It On: The Wealth-Accumulation Secrets of America's Richest Families" (Portfolio, January 2008)
Catherine is the mother of four and is involved in many school and community events.