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July 4th store traffic cut in half from 2019

Traditionally, Independence Day weekend provides retailers a boost as shoppers hit the stores to find themed outfits and backyard decoration, as well as spend extra cash eating and drinking out.

But data compiled by Zenreach, a wak-through marketing company, said daily national walk-in average during the July 4th weekend was only about 400,000, down from 1 million a year ago.

On the 4th itself, Zenreach said traffic across all industries was only 52.8% of its 2019 normal.

Restaurants, bars, and cafes were gravely impacted, as traffic was down roughly 60% for the weekend compared to last year.

 

SiriusXM may buy Sticher podcasting

New York-based SiriusXM is close to buying Stitcher, a major podcasting network, as the fast-growing industry continues to draw bigger players, sources said.

The satellite radio powerhouse is in advanced talks to buy Stitcher from E.W. Scripps Co. for about $300 million, although the amount could change because the deal has not closed, according to two people familiar with the matter who were not authorized to comment.

If the $300-million price tag is reached, it would be considered the largest deal to date in the podcast industry and a sign of how rapidly the internet radio business has taken off in recent years.

SiriusXM is looking to bolster its presence as rivals such as Spotify and iHeartRadio have beefed up their investments in the space. In 2018, iHeartRadio acquired Atlanta-based podcast publisher Stuff Media LLC for $55 million, and last year, Spotify bought several podcast-related companies including New York-based Gimlet Media for around $230 million.

 

Stocks pull back after Monday rally

Wall Street's recent string of big gains came to an abrupt stop Tuesday as stocks closed broadly lower following a pullback in markets overseas. The S&P 500 fell 1.1%, snapping a five-day winning streak. Technology stocks, banks and companies that rely on consumer spending accounted for a big slice of the slide, which accelerated toward the end of the day.

Bond yields fell and the price of gold rose, another sign of caution in the market. Stocks sank more across the Atlantic after the European Union said this year's recession will be deeper than earlier forecast.

 

May hiring up as layoffs drop

The job market took a big step toward healing in May, though plenty of damage remains, as a record level of hiring that month followed record layoffs in March and April.

The Labor Department also said Tuesday that the number of available jobs rose sharply but remained far below pre-pandemic levels. The figures, from the government's Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey, or JOLTS, illustrate the whiplash the economy has experienced since the pandemic intensified in mid-March.

 

Levi's cuts 700 jobs as sales drop 80%

Levi's said Tuesday that it will cut 700 office jobs, or about 15% of its worldwide corporate workforce, as it deals with a sharp drop in sales due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The San Francisco-based jeans maker said the layoffs will save it about $100 million a year and won't affect workers at its stores or factories.

Like other clothing companies, Levi's had to temporarily close its stores due to the virus. Many of the department stores that sell its jeans were also shut.

Levi Strauss & Co. said its second quarter revenue sank 62% to $497.5 million. It reported a loss of $363.5 million, after reporting a profit a year ago. Adjusted losses came to 48 cents per share, beating Wall Street expectations, according to Zacks Investment Research.

The company said most of its stores are now open and seeing sales at about 80% of where they were a year ago.

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