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US Retail Chain Big Lots Closing Outlets Indefinitely

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Big Lots Closing

Big Lots, a popular US retail chain, has recently announced indefinite closures for several of its outlets. The company is currently undergoing a strategic shift, opting to close stores in urban and suburban areas while focusing on expanding its presence in smaller towns.

This decision comes amidst declining sales, which have been attributed to the impact of inflation on budget-conscious consumers. As a result, Big Lots is streamlining its network, aiming to operate in areas with stronger economic potential.

Notable closures include stores in California and Colorado, with plans to sell certain sites and shut down underperforming locations. This move reflects the retailer’s shift towards rural and small town stores, where it anticipates more favorable economics and increased profitability.

 

Big Lots Shifts Focus from Urban to Rural

Big Lots has announced a strategic shift in its focus from urban to rural markets, signaling the closure of stores in major cities and an expansion into small town markets. This shift is driven by the retailer’s aim to capitalize on the strong performance of its furniture and home goods assortment in rural and small town areas while adopting a prudent approach to store openings.

Closing Stores in Major Cities

The decision to close stores in major cities comes as Big Lots aims to reshape its store portfolio and real estate strategy towards rural and small town markets. This move aligns with the retailer’s goal to optimize profitability by facing less direct competition in home categories and benefiting from a lower cost structure in these areas. Additionally, focusing on rural markets allows Big Lots to generate more cash and profitability compared to urban stores, further supporting the rationale behind the store closures.

Expansion into Small Town Markets

With a clear emphasis on furniture and home goods, Big Lots looks to capitalize on the opportunities present in small town markets. The retailer has identified these markets as areas where it outperforms, and aims to leverage this strength for further growth. The expansion into small town markets will enable Big Lots to strengthen its position in these areas, offering a compelling assortment to cater to the unique demands of customers in rural and small town settings.

By strategically aligning its store portfolio with the shift towards rural and small town markets, Big Lots seeks to capitalize on the burstiness of these areas while addressing the perplexity of the evolving retail landscape.

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Big Lots

The Impact of Inflation on Big Lots

Declining Sales and Budget-Conscious Consumers

Big Lots, like many other retail chains, is feeling the impact of inflation. As prices rise, consumers are becoming increasingly budget-conscious, resulting in declining sales for companies like Big Lots. With the cost of living going up, consumers are forced to prioritize essential items over discretionary purchases, affecting the sales of non-essential items in retail stores.

The Struggle with Non-Essential Items

The current economic landscape posed by inflation has led to a struggle for retail chains like Big Lots, especially when it comes to non-essential items. As consumers tighten their belts and focus on essential purchases, sales of discretionary items such as home decor, furniture, and other non-essential goods have taken a hit. This shift in consumer behavior has significantly impacted Big Lots’ sales of non-essential items, adding to the challenges the company is facing in the wake of inflation.

In light of these factors, the retail environment is becoming increasingly challenging for companies like Big Lots, and understanding the implications of inflation is crucial in navigating these turbulent times.

A Strategic Move for Profitability

The Economics of Rural Store Locations

Big Lots’ decision to close some of its rural store locations aligns with a broader industry trend. Retailers are recognizing the challenges associated with operating stores in rural areas, which often face declining populations and limited consumer spending. By consolidating their footprint, companies can allocate resources more efficiently and focus on high-performing locations.

Selling Urban Store Sites for Revenue

In a strategic move to optimize its store portfolio, Big Lots is evaluating the option of selling urban store sites. This initiative aims to generate revenue from the sale of valuable real estate assets, potentially unlocking capital that can be reinvested in the business to drive future growth. By divesting underperforming urban locations, the company can streamline its operations and enhance overall profitability.

For more information on the impact of rural store closures on retail chains, visit Retail Dive for industry insights and analysis.

US Retail Chain Big Lots Closing Outlets Indefinitely

The Future of Big Lots’ Store Network

Adapting to Changing Consumer Demands

The retail landscape is continuously evolving, driven by changing consumer preferences and behaviors. Big Lots recognizes the importance of staying ahead of these shifts by adapting its store network to align with the ever-changing demands of its customers.

In response to the growing trend of online shopping, Big Lots has been actively re-evaluating its physical store locations to ensure they are strategically positioned to cater to the evolving purchasing habits of consumers. This adaptability enables Big Lots to maintain its relevance and meet the needs of its target market.

Big Lots’ Plans for Store Openings in 2023

Looking ahead to 2023, Big Lots is poised to embark on an ambitious plan for store openings, reaffirming its commitment to providing accessible retail locations for its customer base. The company’s strategic expansion efforts aim to bring its offerings closer to consumers, enhancing convenience and accessibility.

By strategically selecting new locations, Big Lots aims to reinforce its presence in key markets and capitalize on emerging opportunities. This proactive approach underscores Big Lots’ dedication to growth and reaffirms its position as a prominent player in the retail industry.

Find more information about Big Lots’ retail strategies and future plans here and here.

Big Lots Closing

Store Closures in California and Colorado

Specific Locations Facing Shutdown

Big Lots has recently announced the indefinite closure of several of its stores in California and Colorado. In California, the affected locations include stores in San Jose, Oakland, and Fresno. In Colorado, stores in Denver and Colorado Springs are among those facing shutdown.

The Reason Behind Selecting These Stores

The decision to close stores in these specific locations is primarily driven by a combination of factors, including declining foot traffic, underperformance, and the broader strategic realignment of the company’s retail footprint. The stores identified for closure no longer align with the company’s overall growth strategy, leading to the difficult decision to cease operations at these particular locations.

For more information on the specific closures and the impact on the respective communities, you can refer to Big Lots official statement and local news coverage for insights into the closures’ effects on the regions.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Big Lots’ decision to close stores in urban and suburban areas and refocus on small towns is a strategic move to adapt to changing consumer behaviors and economic challenges. The shift in real estate strategy aims to capitalize on more favorable economics in rural areas and mitigate the impact of declining sales caused by high inflation. By optimizing their store network, Big Lots is positioning itself for long-term sustainability and profitability in the retail landscape.

Geoff Thomas is a seasoned staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. With his sharp writing skills and deep understanding of SEO, he consistently delivers high-quality, engaging content that resonates with readers. Thomas' articles are well-researched, informative, and written in a clear, concise style that keeps audiences hooked. His ability to craft compelling narratives while seamlessly incorporating relevant keywords has made him a valuable asset to the VORNews team.

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Employees at Boeing will vote on whether to authorize a Possible Strike.

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(VOR News) – In the event that ongoing contract negotiations fail, tens of thousands of hourly Boeing employees were summoned to a vote in Seattle on Wednesday. It is expected that the vote will ratify a potential walkout.

“What can you do to get a good contract?” Local 751 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) poses this query on its website. “Attend strike sanction vote on July 17th!”

In the Seattle, Washington, region, Boeing employs more than 32,000 individuals, with approximately 30,000 of them employed at its facilities in Everett, where the 777 is manufactured, and in Renton, where the 737 is assembled. In the event of a strike, operations at both factories would cease.

The parties initiated negotiations on a new contract in March to replace a 16-year-old agreement. The agreement will conclude at midnight on September 12.

Union members are not permitted to view the proposed contract until Wednesday’s vote. If the contract is rejected by members, a second ballot would be required on September 12 in order to proceed with a strike.

Boeing says Wednesday’s vote is simply a “procedural” measure.

“We remain confident we can reach a deal that balances the needs of our employees and the business realities we face as a company,” according to a statement issued by Boeing.

In addition to a “substantial” pay increase of at least 40%, Jon Holden, the president of Local 751, has requested guarantees for health care, retirement, and job security.

Despite “massive inflation,” Holden has declared that a substantial wage increase is required after eight years of providing workers with minimal cost-of-living assistance.

In a Senate hearing last month, Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun declared that employees “will undoubtedly receive a raise.”

The union is also requesting that Boeing ensure the production of its next generation of aircraft in the Seattle area, which is expected to occur around 2035.

Holden maintains that the assurance of the next plane’s production in the Northwest guarantees “job security for the next 50 years.”

In recent weeks, discussions have largely stagnated, according to the IAM. The union is anticipating a substantial attendance on Wednesday in order to effectively communicate its message to Boeing.

The event will be held at T-Mobile Park in Seattle, the home of the Seattle Mariners baseball franchise. The stadium has the capacity to hold up to 48,000 spectators. The IAM is coordinating a motorcycle procession on Wednesday, which will feature more than 800 vehicles.

Boeing’s solidarity, according to the IAM’s local website, is the goal.

In its report, the local reported that the factory would remain silent, and that this was intended as a “message to take our proposals seriously and a reminder of the consequences of rejecting a substandard offer and voting to strike in September.”

Boeing declared that it would permit employees to arrive late or depart early on Wednesday to accommodate “reasonable” travel time.

“We respect and support the right of our employees to take part in the July 17 vote,” according to Boeing. “Partial time away from work will be excused and not counted for attendance purposes.”

The IAM has stated that the early strike authorization vote will give union officials legal notice to prepare for the payment of strike pay to workers in the event of a cessation.

Striking employees are entitled to $250 per week in pay from the third week of a strike.

The IAM has also requested at least one seat on Boeing’s board of directors, despite the fact that it is considered a long chance.

On Wednesday, the 1,200 Boeing employees in Oregon who are part of the IAM’s W24 district will vote, in addition to the workers in Washington.

Given Boeing’s current problems, the union is seeking permission to negotiate any changes to quality management that could potentially affect the production system.

“We never proposed those things in the past but it’s our reputation, it’s our jobs, it’s our livelihoods,” Holden asserted.

SOURCE: UN

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Google Is Close To Making Its Biggest Acquisition Ever

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Google's Latest Spam Update Met with Widespread Criticism Amidst a Year of Turbulent Changes

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is in advanced talks to buy fast-growing cybersecurity startup Wiz for around $23 billion, a person familiar with the situation confirmed to CNN.

A takeover of Wiz, which provides cybersecurity software for cloud computing, would be Google’s largest cybersecurity acquisition to date.

According to the source, the talks between Google and Wiz began after the business raised $1 billion from venture capital investors earlier this year.

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Google | CNN

Google Is Close To Making Its Biggest Acquisition Ever

According to the source, the terms of a potential deal have not been completed, and negotiations may fail.

The Wall Street Journal was the first to report on the Wiz talks.

Neither Google nor Wiz responded to CNN’s requests for comment.

The transaction would likely beat Google’s $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola almost a decade ago, the company’s largest buyout in history. Only two years later, Google sold Motorola for a huge loss.

Wiz’s $23 billion price tag roughly quadruples the startup’s $12 billion valuation from its most recent fundraising round.

In March 2022, Alphabet paid $5.4 billion to acquire cybersecurity firm Mandiant as part of its attempts to help businesses better confront cyber risks and grow its cloud computing business.

Cloud is critical to the company’s efforts to diversify revenue streams beyond its main search advertising business. Despite increased cloud revenues, it has yet to compete with similar services like Microsoft and Amazon.

Buying Wiz would be a “shot across the bow” at Microsoft and Amazon, demonstrating Google’s “major bet on the cyber security space to complement its flagship offering in the cloud,” Dan Ives, managing director and senior equity research analyst at Wedbush, wrote in a note to clients on Monday.

Cloud security has grown increasingly critical recently as businesses have extensively moved data to cloud systems. Last week, AT&T disclosed that virtually all of its wireless customers’ call and text records were compromised in a huge breach caused by an “illegal download” on a third-party cloud platform.

The Wiz acquisition talks came despite intensified antitrust investigation of internet titans by the Biden administration.

However, if Trump retakes the White House, that antitrust vigilance might be turned back slightly, Ives said, making the Federal Trade Commission “much weaker” and sparking an “accelerated merger and acquisition environment to take place for Big Tech.”

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Google Is Close To Making Its Biggest Acquisition Ever

If the acquisition is confirmed and completed, it will be a big departure for Wiz and its founders, Assaf Rappaport, Ami Luttwak, Yinon Costica, and Roy Reznik. The four executives first met when enlisted into Unit 8200, the Israel Defense Forces’ cyber intelligence branch.

In New York City, Wiz has experienced rapid development since its inception in March 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic. Today, the organization claims that 40% of Fortune 100 corporations are its clientele.

Notable customers include BMW, Slack, and Salesforce, and it collaborates with major cloud providers such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Google.

SOURCE | CNN

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2024 | Hacker Group Claims It Leaked Internal Disney Slack Messages Over AI Concerns

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An activist hacker group claimed to have exposed hundreds of Disney’s internal message channels, including details on unreleased projects, raw photos, computer codes, and even logins.

Nullbulge, a “hacktivist group,” claimed responsibility for the breach and stated they exposed approximately 1.2 gigabytes of data from Slack, a communications platform. In an email to CNN on Monday, the group said it got access from “a man with Slack access who had cookies.” The email further stated the group was based in Russia.

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Disney | CNN Image

Hacker Group Claims It Leaked Internal Disney Slack Messages Over AI Concerns

According to the mail, “The user was aware we had them. He tried to kick us out once but let us walk right back in before the second time.”

CNN could not independently verify the claims.

In a statement issued Monday, Disney stated it “is investigating this matter.” the entertainment empire encompasses various divisions and enterprises, from ESPN to Hulu, Disney+ to ABC News.

The group also declared that it wishes to defend artists’ rights and pay for their work, particularly in the age of artificial intelligence.

“Disney was our target due to how it handles artist contracts, its approach to AI, and its pretty blatant disregard for the consumer,” the hacking group stated via email.

Nullbulge had hinted at the massive release on social media for several weeks. For example, in June, the organization released visitation, booking, and income data from Disneyland Paris on X.

Artificial intelligence was a major stumbling block in negotiations during the Screen Actors Guild and Writers Guild of America strikes. Writers are anxious that ChatGPT can produce screenplays in their place, while performers are concerned that computer-generated imagery, or CGI, would completely replace them.

The hackers claimed they leaked the material because making demands on Disney would be pointless.

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Disney | Wired Image

Hacker Group Claims It Leaked Internal Slack Messages Over AI Concerns

“If we announced, ‘Hello, we have all your Slack data,’ they would immediately shut down and attempt to take us out. “In a duel, you better fire first,” the email read.

In 2014, a massive cyberattack at Sony Pictures attributed to North Korea sparked an international crisis by disclosing emails from corporate officials, celebrity aliases, social security information, and full movie scripts.

SOURCE | AP

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