Business Briefs: Sears to cut another $1 billion in expenses

Business Briefs: Sears to cut another $1 billion in expenses

February 11th, 2017 by Dave Flessner in Business Around the Region

(AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File) In this Monday, May 14, 2012, file photo, shoppers walk into Sears in Peabody, Mass. Chattanooga's CBL & Associates Properties Inc. paid $72.5 million for a purchase and lease-back deal for seven Sears facilities.

(AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File) In this Monday, May...

Photo by Elise Amendola

Sears to cut another $1 billion in expenses

Sears Holdings Corp. on Friday said it would slash costs by at least $1 billion this year in a restructuring that could mean more job cuts and store closings.

The retailer also said it was writing down the value of the Sears name by $350 million to $400 million.

Sears previously announced plans to close 150 stores nationally by spring but the company said in a news release Friday that it would "actively manage our real estate portfolio to identify additional opportunities for reconfiguration and reduction of capital operations."

In Chattanooga, Sears recently sold its Hamilton Place mall store and its auto center store at Northgate Mall to mall owners CBL & Associates Properties.

Sears also plans to consolidate the corporate and support operations of Sears and Kmart into a new organizational model, which may include job cuts, Sears spokesman Howard Riefs said.

"These decisions are never taken lightly, but they are a necessary part of our efforts to become a more competitive retailer and to return our company to profitability," he said.

Riefs said Sears also intends to identify unprofitable product categories that could be cut to allow the company to focus on categories where it wants to grow, including home appliances and home services.

CCA offers jail space for immigrant order

The United States' largest private prison operator said it can provide the additional detention facilities that will likely be needed under President Donald Trump's executive orders on immigration.

In an earnings call this week, CoreCivic President/CEO Damon Hininger identified the possible opportunity to grow its detention business with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

CoreCivic's statement further indicates that private prison firms think they could profit from a Trump presidency, who has already issued executive orders aimed at detaining and deporting immigrants who are in the country illegally.

Trump is offering a starkly different outlook for the industry than that of President Barack Obama, whose administration aimed to wind down some private prison use.

Additionally, a high population of immigrants detained in ICE-contracted facilities helped fuel CoreCivic's fourth-quarter financial gains, Hininger said. That was before Trump took office.

Tarullo to resign from Federal Reserve

Federal Reserve board member Daniel Tarullo, a key official guiding bank regulation efforts, will resign this spring, the Fed said Friday.

Tarullo's decision will clear the way for President Donald Trump to select a candidate for the bank supervision position. Trump is likely to choose someone more in line with his desires to roll back the regulations put in place by the Dodd-Frank Act, which overhauled bank supervision in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

Tarullo said in a short resignation letter to Trump that he planned to step down "on or around April 5, 2017." He did not provide a reason for his decision.

There are currently two vacancies on the Fed board because Congress refused to confirm two nominees of former President Barack Obama. Tarullo's departure will mean that Trump will have the chance to fill three Fed vacancies in his first months in office.

The Dodd-Frank Act created a position of vice chairman for bank supervision. But the Obama administration never filled the post, reflecting in part the sharp disagreements between Democrats and Republicans in Congress over how the financial system should be regulated. Instead, Tarullo has effectively served as the Fed's point person on bank regulation since 2009.

Goodyear pays fine after factory deaths

Goodyear will pay $1.75 million to settle workplace health and safety violations at its Danville, Va., tire plant where four workers died on the job over the course of a year, officials announced Friday.

Goodyear, the United Steelworkers and the state Department of Labor and Industry reached a settlement agreement calling for the penalty and laying out a process to fix workplace hazards, the department said in a statement.

Between August 2015 and August 2016, four workers died at the plant near the North Carolina border that manufactures aviation and specialty tires. State inspectors conducted 11 inspections that resulted in more than 100 violations.