retail

Indianapolis-based shopping mall developer Simon Property Group is suing Starbucks over the coffee chain’s plans to close Teavana stores in malls nationwide.

The lawsuit argues Starbucks doesn’t have grounds to break its leases on 78 Teavana stores at Simon-owned malls, including five stores in Indiana.

Four years after buying the mostly mall-based tea brand, Starbucks said in July it would close down its 379 Teavana stores.

Most of the stores in Simon malls have years left on their leases, according to the lawsuit filed Aug. 21 in Marion County Superior Court.

The Indiana-based Marsh grocery store chain filed for bankruptcy Thursday, triggering a process where it could be bought out, preserve more profitable locations, or close entirely.

The 44 remaining Marsh stores in Indiana and Ohio could close in 60 days if the company can’t find a solution. Marsh already closed 21 other low-earning locations and sold its pharmacy business this year.

Sarah Fentem / WBAA

Last week, electronics and appliance retailer HHGregg announced it was shutting down all its stores, including one in Lafayette. It’s one of several large retailers leaving the area, and experts say filling those spaces could be difficult in a rapidly-changing retail climate.

M Sullivan / https://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelsullivan/406152

The final changes to federal overtime pay law are out this week.

Businesses in Indiana and nationwide now have until December to figure out which of their workers can start earning OT -- and how to pay for it.

 

Under the final version of the rules, salaried employees making less than $47,476 a year will earn time and a half for working overtime.

It's twice the old threshold -- and it could cost the most for Indiana trades like retail, manufacturing and education, says Indianapolis-based compensation consultant Julie Bingham.

Noah Coffey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/noahwesley/

Restaurant and retail workers would have to get their work schedules at least two weeks in advance under a bill proposed in the state Senate.

Sen. Karen Tallian (D-Portage) says it's increasingly common for stores and restaurants to wait till the last minute to tell employees whether they're working, or to send them home after they show up for work.

Tallian says that’s unfair...

“They’ve scheduled their lives around having to be at work: daycare, moving, taking care of children or people at home,” Tallian says.

Purdue Analyst: 2015 Holiday Sales Top Last Year's

Dec 29, 2015
Eric M. Martin / https://www.flickr.com/photos/ericmmartin/

The crucial after-Christmas sales period is in full swing, and one Purdue retail expert says 2015 holiday sales should top last year’s by anywhere from 3 to 7 percent.

Retail analyst Richard Feinberg notes this year, lots of that shopping is driven by gift cards, the season’s most popular holiday gift item. He says for retailers, the cards are the gift that keeps on giving:

“Gift cards are not usually redeemed until after Christmas,” he says. “If the individual goes in with a $100 gift card, they’ll spend about $120, $125 dollars.”

TheUglySweaterShop.com / https://www.flickr.com/photos/54115831@N07/

Back in Billy Brand’s early days in the restaurant business, he and his coworkers would take bets on how many Christmas sweaters they’d see in a given night. Now, he’s throwing his own ugly sweater parties. He says it’s a way for young people far from home to create a corny family tradition of their own.

"Friendship groups want to have a sense of family within themselves," he says, "So this become an odd, not quite mockery of that, but an acceptance and inclusion of it."

Purdue Expert Predicts Improved Holiday Sales

Oct 15, 2014
Kevin Lau / https://www.flickr.com/photos/mischiru/

It‘s only the middle of October, but stores are already thinking about how much they‘d like to sell over the coming holiday season.

2013 holiday retail sales outlook

Oct 3, 2013

A Purdue expert says holiday sales this year likely will be flat. Consumer Science Professor Richard Feinberg says several indicators point to the lackluster outlook.

He's forecasting overall retail sales will be 0-2% lower than last year.

"At the overly optimistic end, I might see an 0-2% overall increase," Feinberg says. "Last year, $590 billion was spent during the holiday retail season."

2012 holiday shopping outlook

Nov 18, 2012

A Purdue expert says you don’t have to wait for Black Friday to get a good deal on your holiday shopping.

Richard Feinberg, professor of Consumer Science and Retailing, says there already are sales online comparable to what you’ll see the day after Thanksgiving.

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