Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Morning Brief: Sears Holdings says it will close 100 to 120 of its Sears, Kmart stores; Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and local Chicago PEs complete newspaper acquisitions

The Christmas holiday has not been kind to Sears Holdings, the company behind Sears and Kmart, as the company announced that same-store sales had fallen 5.2 percent. Because of this, the company said it plans to close 100 to 120 of its 2,200 stores.

"Given our performance and the difficult economic environment, especially for big-ticket items, we intend to implement a series of actions to reduce on-going expenses," CEO Lou D'Ambrosio said in its announcement.

"While our past practice has been to keep marginally performing stores open while we worked to improve their performance, we no longer believe that to be the appropriate action in this environment," the WSJ reported that the company said in its statement.

Both Berkshire Hathaway and Wrapports LLC completed their acquisitions of their local newspapers: Warren Buffett's Berkshire buying the Omaha World-Herald, and Wrapports, made of up of local PE figures, buying the Chicago Sun-Times.

If you are one of those who believe music was never so good as when it was only available on vinyl records, then you will like what BBC Radio 6 is planning of New Year's Day: the Beeb will be playing on 45 RPM records.

"In a world dominated by digital music, vinyl is a format still close to the hearts of many music lovers and increased sales demonstrate its enduring appeal," said station editor Paul Rodgers, according to the Guardian report.

Of course, the ironic part of all of this is that BBC 6 was launched as a digital only station by the BBC in 2002. The station has been threatened with closure of the past few years as the U.K.'s conservative governments have looked to scale back the BBC.