<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - Chicago Business News - Money, Financial & Corporate News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/business http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.png NBC Chicago http://www.nbcchicago.comen-usTue, 28 Feb 2017 02:09:48 -0600Tue, 28 Feb 2017 02:09:48 -0600NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[SpaceX to Send 2 Citizens to Moon in 2018: Elon Musk]]> Mon, 27 Feb 2017 18:09:56 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/elonmusk3.jpg

SpaceX said Monday it will fly two people to the moon next year, a feat not attempted since NASA's Apollo heyday close to half a century ago.

Tech billionaire Elon Musk — the company's founder and chief executive officer — announced the surprising news barely a week after launching his first rocket from NASA's legendary moon pad.

Two people who know one another approached the company about sending them on a weeklong flight just beyond the moon, according to Musk. He won't identify the pair or the price tag. They've already paid a "significant" deposit and are "very serious" about it, he noted.

"Fly me to the moon ... Ok," Musk said in a light-hearted tweet following the news conference.

Musk said SpaceX is on track to launch astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA in mid-2018. This moon mission would follow about six months later, by the end of the year under the current schedule, using a Dragon crew capsule and a Falcon heavy rocket launched from NASA's former moon pad in Florida.

If all goes as planned, it could happen close to the 50th anniversary of NASA's first manned flight to the moon, on Apollo 8.

The SpaceX moonshot is designed to be autonomous — unless something goes wrong, Musk said.

"I think they are entering this with their eyes open, knowing that there is some risk here," Musk told reporters in the telephone conference, a day after teasing via Twitter that an announcement of some sort was forthcoming.

"They're certainly not naive, and we'll do everything we can to minimize that risk, but it's not zero. But they're coming into this with their eyes open," said Musk, adding that the pair will receive "extensive" training before the flight.

Musk said he does not have permission to release the passengers' names, and he was hesitant to even say if they were men, women or even pilots. He would only admit, "It's nobody from Hollywood."

The paying passengers would make a long loop around the moon, skimming the lunar surface and then going well beyond, perhaps 300,000 or 400,000 miles distance altogether. It's about 240,000 miles to the moon alone, one way.

The mission would not involve a lunar landing.

"This should be a really exciting mission that hopefully gets the world really excited about sending people into deep space again," Musk said.

NASA will have first dibs on a similar mission if it so chooses, he said. The space agency learned of his plan at the same time as reporters.

In a statement, NASA commended SpaceX "for reaching higher." In all, 24 astronauts flew to the moon and 12 walked its surface from 1969 to 1972.

The California-based SpaceX already has a long list of firsts, with its sights ultimately set on Mars. It became the first private company to launch a spacecraft into orbit and safely return it to Earth in 2010, and the first commercial enterprise to fly to the space station in 2012 on a supply mission.

Just a week ago, SpaceX made its latest delivery from Kennedy Space Center's legendary Launch Complex 39A, where the Apollo astronauts flew to the moon and shuttle crews rocketed into orbit. That will be where the private moon mission will originate as well. 

The crew Dragon capsule — an upgraded version of the cargo Dragon — has yet to fly in space. Neither has a Falcon Heavy rocket, which is essentially a Falcon 9 rocket with two strap-on boosters, according to Musk. A Falcon Heavy test flight is planned this summer, while an empty crew capsule is set to launch to the space station late this year. He said there will be ample time to test both the spacecraft and the rocket, before the moon mission.

NASA last week announced it was studying the possibility of adding crew to the test flight of its megarocket, at the request of the Trump administration. Such a flight to the lunar neighborhood wouldn't happen before 2019 at best — if, indeed, that option is even implemented.

Musk said anything that advances the space exploration cause is good, no matter who goes first.

Retired NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, who will celebrate his homecoming this week from a one-year space mission, was quick to tweet: "It's been almost a year. Send me!"

Musk said he expects to have more moon-mission customers as time goes by.

At the same time, SpaceX is also working on a so-called Red Dragon, meant to fly to Mars around 2020 with experiments, but no people — and actually land. His ultimate goal is to establish a human settlement on Mars.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Amid Speculation, Macy's Says Walnut Room is 'Staying']]> Mon, 27 Feb 2017 11:43:14 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-562490941.jpg

No, the Walnut Room at Chicago’s flagship Macy’s store isn’t going anywhere, a company spokesperson said Monday, but questions surrounding the future of the State Street location remain unanswered.

Despite speculation on what might happen to the iconic restaurant following Macy’s announcement that it plans to downsize its Chicago location, spokesperson Andrea Schwartz said the company has “no thoughts of closing our Walnut Room.”

“That’s part of our history and that’s staying,” Schwartz told NBC Chicago.

Questions on the future of the historic staple first sprouted last week, with reports speculating the restaurant could move amid the planned downsize.

According to Crain’s Chicago Business, Karen Hoguet, the retailer’s CFO, told analysts on an earning calls last week that plans to downsize its store presence are “one of our top priorities of 2017.”

Hoguet also said the downsizing of the Chicago location was “expected to be similar” to a 2015 deal in Seattle. In that deal, Crain's notes, Macy’s sold the top four floors of its downtown store to a private-equity firm that turned the space into offices.

The Walnut Room sits on the seventh floor of the State Street location, and has been a Chicago tradition since 1907, when it was at then-Marshall Field’s. It marked the first restaurant to ever open in a department store and is known for its extravagant holiday displays.

Though it’s clear the Walnut Room will not be closing, when asked if there was a possibility downsizing plans could result in changes for the restaurant, Schwartz wouldn’t say.

“Until we have news to announce, there’s nothing to announce,” she said.

What exactly the downsizing plan will include has not yet been released, but Schwartz noted the Walnut Room is “a very important piece of our business.”

“We know how many people treasure this,” she said.

Last month, Macy’s announced it was shutting down 65 stores in 2017 and eliminating an estimated 10,000 jobs as it battles slowing sales and growing online competition.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[CVS to Close 11 Stores in Chicago: Report]]> Sun, 26 Feb 2017 21:12:03 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-50803746.png

CVS Health is closing 11 locations in Chicago as part of the company’s previously announced cost-cutting initiative, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The Rhode Island-based company announced in December that it planned to close approximately 70 retail stores in early 2017. The majority of closures were expected to be completed by March 31.

According to the Tribune, the CVS locations scheduled to close in Chicago include:

  • 5360 S. Western Ave. in Gage Park
  • 3411 W. Addison St. in Avondale
  • 4540 N. Pulaski Rd. in Mayfair
  • 2828 N. Clark St. in Lake View
  • 2825 W. Devon Ave. in West Rogers Park
  • 120 S. LaSalle St. in The Loop
  • 2053 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Logan Square
  • 6355 W. Belmont Ave. in Belmont Central
  • 2722 N. Central Ave. in Belmont Central
  • 3146 W. Madison St. in East Garfield Park
  • 3552 W. Grand Ave. in Humboldt Park 

The pharmacy operations of the closing stores will be transferred to other CVS locations in the area, a CVS spokesperson told the Tribune, so patients won't experience service disruptions.

The company is also working with affected employees to transfer them to other Chicago locations, the Tribune reports.

As of Dec. 2016, CVS operated 9,709 locations across the United States and in Brazil, including pharmacies inside Target stores.

According to the company’s website, Illinois has 277 CVS Pharmacy locations, as well as 57 MinuteClinics and 86 pharmacies within Target stores statewide.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Maple Season Kicks Off Early]]> Mon, 20 Feb 2017 22:19:11 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Maple+syrup1.JPG

A mild stretch of temperatures has jumpstarted Vermont’s signature maple sugaring season.

“We’re all about the weather,” said Laura Sorkin of Runamok Maple in Cambridge, Vermont.

The warm weekend sparked big sap flows across Vermont, including from the 81,000 tree taps at Runamok Maple.

That producer has already started boiling the sap collected this weekend, reducing it down into sweet syrup.

While this stretch has made for an earlier-than-typical start to the season, wintertime sap runs are not unheard of, so Runamok has been on standby, ready to capitalize on conditions.

“You get ready as early as you can, and just see how it goes,” Sorkin said.

Maple is a valuable agricultural export for Vermont. The state’s producers generate roughly 40 percent of the nation’s syrup, making Vermont the top maple-producing state in the United States.

Runamok is looking to grow its twist on maple syrup, with barrel-aged and smoked varieties, as well as maple infusions of lime leaf, cardamom, cinnamon, vanilla, or hibiscus.

The company said it is working to convince consumers maple syrup is not just for pancakes any more, and can be excellent in cocktails or cooking.

“With this weather, no one got a break this weekend, everyone's working through this week, and based on the weather forecast, they'll likely be working through next weekend as well,” said Eric Sorkin of Runamok Maple, praising his hard-working staff.

According to meteorologist Michael Page, maple producers ideally need days in the 40s and nights in the 20s to trigger the most productivity from the trees.

“Temperature really is key when it comes to sugaring,” Page said. “Conditions will continue to improve and be more steady going into March.”

Runamok said it plans to continue watching the weather, hoping after an early boost, temperatures will be right for a prolonged, strong season.

“We won't know what kind of season we've had until May,” Eric Sorkin noted.

For suggested recipes featuring Runamok Maple’s products, you can visit their website.

Photo Credit: Runamok Maple]]>
<![CDATA[$martMoney]]> Tue, 08 May 2012 08:08:56 -0600 ]]> <![CDATA[Sears Pushes Back on Claims It Stopped Trump Product Sales]]> Mon, 13 Feb 2017 13:22:15 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/225*120/101308+sears.jpg

Sears is fighting back against headlines claiming the retailer stopped selling Trump products on both Sears and Kmart websites.

In a blog post written Monday, Chris Brathwaite, vice president of communications for Sears Holdings, wrote that while "certain products were removed from our websites that included a very small number of Trump products," hundreds of Ivanka and President Donald Trump products remained available through third-party sellers. 

“This weekend, there were numerous reports in major publications with the headline that Sears and Kmart have removed Trump products from our websites,” Brathwaite wrote. “Buried in several articles is our response that offers a more complete description that explains that we, like all retailers, constantly add and remove products from our offerings. In this case, certain products were removed from our websites that included a very small number of Trump products. But, any fair observer who searches for Trump or Ivanka Trump on Sears.com would find hundreds of products available for purchase.”

Brathwaite noted that the products are offered by marketplace sellers and not directly through Sears or Kmart.

“Sears, Kmart and Shop Your Way offer products that our members are seeking to purchase and provide them at prices and experiences that our members value. We constantly monitor products for productivity, adding products that are in demand and removing products with lesser demand. In addition, where we find or are informed that certain products are unsafe or inappropriate, we will remove those products as well,” the post read. 

Several publications had reported over the weekend that both Sears and Kmart would discontinue online sales of Trump Home collection items. 

Other retailers have dropped Ivanka Trump’s line of clothing and accessories this month, including Nordstrom, which announced Thursday that it would stop selling the products based on the sales performance of the first daughter’s brand. 

A Nordstrom spokesperson didn't say whether the decision to stop buying the brand was permanent, only that they make buying decisions each season. Nordstrom also said it offers thousands of brands and cuts about 10 percent each year based performance. 

President Trump has criticized the retailer for their decision, saying on Twitter his daughter “has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom.” He later tweeted, “I am so proud of my daughter Ivanka.” 

“To be abused and treated so badly by the media, and to still hold her head so high, is truly wonderful!” he wrote. 

Ivanka Trump's independent lifestyle brand promotes her image as a successful working mother and partners with companies to make the branded blush pink dresses and trendy booties offered in multiple department stores. 

Sears Holdings said the decision to remove the products was not a political one. 

“I think any fair observer can understand why this confusion was generated and why we prefer to remain focused on serving our members and our marketplace sellers and leave the politics to others,” Brathwaite said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Noodles & Company Closing 55 Restaurants]]> Tue, 14 Feb 2017 10:51:57 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Noodles+and+Company+072616.jpg

Noodles & Company announced plans to close approximately 55 restaurants in the coming months. 

The restaurant chain said the closures will help the company eliminate negative cash flow and improve overall performance. 

Affecting roughly one in 10 of the 510 total company-operated storefronts, the locations being shuttered are ones that “significantly” underperformed compared to the company’s restaurant averages, according to the announcement. The company operates across at least 35 states and Washington, D.C., according to its 2015 annual report. 

Many of restaurants that will be shut down were opened in the last two to three years in newer markets, the company said, although exact locations have yet to be released. 

"We will be disclosing more information about affected restaurants in the coming weeks," a company spokeswoman said.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[Target to Open New Store on Chicago's North Side]]> Wed, 08 Feb 2017 11:46:58 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/target+lakeview.jpg

Target has announced plans to build a new “flexible-format” store expected to open this fall in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood.

The new location, set to be built at 3300 N. Ashland Ave., will be the chain's eighth flexible-format store in the Chicago area. 

Slated to open in October, the store is expected to feature items for families, babies and kids, home décor for apartments and condos, and personal care products.

“We look forward to serving even more guests with the addition of Target’s Chicago Lakeview Ashland store that is projected to open this fall,” Mark Schindele, senior vice president of properties at Target, said in a statement. “We think the community will enjoy the convenience of a quick-trip shopping experience with product assortments that are unique to Target and catered to local guests’ needs."

The flexible-format store design allows Target stores to be built in smaller locations and adapt stores to meet customer’s needs, Target said in a release Tuesday. 

There are already four flexible-format store locations open in the city including Streeterville, Lincoln Park North, Hyde Park and Chicago State Street and two in suburban Skokie and Oak Park. A Rogers Park location is expected to open in fall 2018. 

Photo Credit: Target]]>
<![CDATA[Target Cuts Some of Its Innovation Projects: Report]]> Fri, 03 Feb 2017 13:21:44 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Target-GettyImages-536072219.jpg

Target is reportedly cutting some of its innovation programs amid lower-than-expected holiday sales. 

The Minneapolis-based retailer is dropping plans to launch its secret startup dubbed “goldfish” and postponed plans for a futuristic store featuring robots, the Star Tribune reports, citing multiple sources familiar with the matter.

Target could not immediately confirm the news, but said in a statement it “recently made some changes to the innovation portfolio to refocus our efforts on supporting our core business and delivering against our strategic priorities.”

“Target remains absolutely committed to pursuing what’s next for our business,” the statement read. “We see a tremendous opportunity to drive innovation in areas that will fuel our growth both in the short and long-term in areas such as digital, technology, supply chain and merchandising.”

Last year, Target revealed it was looking to hire 20 team members to work out of the retailer’s tech office in Sunnyvale, California as part of a new franchise called goldfish. Little was released on what exactly the new venture would become, but according to job descriptions, the company planned to bring “innovative project ideas to market via technology.”

According to the company’s 2016 holiday season report, digital sales are up more than 30 percent, a shift in consumer purchasing that has left the company questioning.

“This year, our performance was mixed,” CEO Brian Cornell said in a statement. “While we drove strong sales during those key shopping moments of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the days leading up to Christmas, overall sales for November and December did not meet our expectations. Our November and December traffic was flat, which shows some improvement over last quarter but a more significant shift from stores to digital than we expected.”

“Along with several retail industry peers, we felt the impact of consumers shifting to shopping online at a much more rapid pace,” he added.

But overall, Cornell said the season “simply was not up to our expectations.”

“Moving forward, we will continue to focus on the role our stores play in facilitating ease and convenience within the digital experience, as well as what our physical stores can offer guests in terms of breadth of assortment, newness, inspiration, service and value,” he said.

Photo Credit: Moment Editorial/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook Quarterly Earnings Top Expectations]]> Wed, 01 Feb 2017 15:34:54 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/red-social-facebook-logo.jpg

Facebook reported quarterly earnings that beat analysts' estimates on Wednesday, and revenue that topped expectations, as ad revenue grew 53 percent in a quarter.

Shares rose 3 percent after hours.

Facebook's ad business zoomed higher, as retailers poured money into snagging customers during the busy holiday shopping season. Only Google rivals Facebook when it comes to digital advertising dominance.

Facebook now has 1.146 billion daily mobile active users.

"Our business did well in 2016, but we have a lot of work ahead to help bring people together," Zuckerberg said in a statement.

<![CDATA[Owner of Garrett Popcorn to Buy Macy's Frango Brand]]> Mon, 30 Jan 2017 10:52:25 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/189*120/fraaango.jpg

Macy’s Inc. has sold ownership of its premium chocolate brand, Frango, to Garrett Brands, the owner of Garrett Popcorn Shops.

According to the deal announced Monday, Chicago-based Garrett Brands “will develop, create, sell and distribute Frango products consistent with the brand’s legacy as a superior chocolate and confectionary brand.”

Macy’s Inc. will continue to sell Frango products in its Frango Café at the State Street store in Chicago along with more than 350 other locations in the U.S. and online, the company said.

“Frango is a perfect fit for our company’s portfolio, aligning well with our strategy to preserve and grow iconic brands that have historic franchise value with a unique and storied past,” Lance Chody, owner and CEO of Garrett Brands, said in a statement. “This is an exciting opportunity to expand the reach and offerings of the delicious Frango confections consumers know and love to more people in more places, just as we have done with our other brands.”

The move marks the return of local ownership for the Frango brand, which was made popular by Marshall Field’s after the company acquired Seattle-based Frederick & Nelson.

Macy’s notes that “given Garrett Brands’ history of thoughtfully growing brands, we are confident that this partnership will introduce new customers to premium Frango chocolates.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Chicago Officials Break Ground on $60M Shopping Development]]> Wed, 18 Jan 2017 18:36:20 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/avondale+groundbreaking.png Work is getting started on a big project that could be a boost for a Chicago community -- a $60 million development that will bring more shopping and jobs to the Avondale area. Marion Brooks reports.]]> <![CDATA[Madigan Sues Country's Largest Student Loan Company]]> Wed, 18 Jan 2017 15:36:16 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/student-loan-providers.jpg

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against the nation's largest student loan company over allegations that the company “repeatedly” cheated borrowers, sending students into billions of dollars in debt.

The lawsuit, which alleges “rampant student loan abuses,” names Navient Corporation, its subsidiaries Navient Solutions Inc., Pioneer Credit Recovery Inc. and General Revenue Corporation, along with its lending predecessor Sallie Mae Bank.

“My investigation found Sallie Mae put student borrowers into expensive subprime loans that it knew were going to fail,” Madigan said in a statement. “Navient’s actions have led to student borrowers needlessly carrying billions of dollars in debt and the company must be held accountable.”

Sallie Mae separated Navient -- its loan management, servicing and asset recovery business -- from its consumer banking business in 2014, making Navient an independent company.

Madigan claims that over decades, Navient grew its student loan company into one of the country’s largest by “engaging in practices that repeatedly harmed borrowers.”

The lawsuit alleges Sallie Mae peddled “risky and expensive designed to fail subprime loans to student loan borrowers across the country,” with high interest rates and fees “mostly given to students at the worst schools.” It claims Sallie Mae increased such lending while disregarding evidence the loans would default at “extraordinarily high rates.”

“Sallie Mae’s conduct was similar to what Madigan saw years ago when she investigated our country's largest subprime mortgage lenders for their role in the mortgage crisis,” the Attorney General’s office said in a statement.

The suit says struggling borrowers in Illinois and across the country reported Navient failed to assist them when they called for help, ultimately increasing the overall cost of their loan instead of informing them of federal income-based repayment options.

Once loans were in default, Madigan alleges Navient and its subsidiary debt collection companies “misled” borrowers about their options to get their federal loans current through the federal student loan rehabilitation program and also misrepresented the eligibility requirements for borrowers to have their debt forgiven entirely.

Navient called the lawsuit "politically driven" and said its claims were "unfounded."

"Navient welcomes clear and well-designed guidelines that all parties can follow, and we had hoped our extensive engagement with the regulators would achieve this objective," the company said in a statement. "Instead, the suits improperly seek to impose penalties on Navient based on new servicing standards applied retroactively and applied only against one servicer. The regulator-asserted standards are inconsistent with Department of Education regulations, and will harm student loan borrowers, including through higher defaults."

The suit is asking a court to “provide restitution to all borrowers affected by Navient’s unlawful practices, disgorge unlawfully gained profits, impose civil penalties, and rescind or reform all contracts or loan agreements between Navient and any Illinois consumers affected by the company’s unlawful practices.”

"Navient has a responsibility to its customers, shareholders, and employees to defend itself—publicly and in court—against this unsubstantiated, unjustified and politically driven action," Navient's statement read. "We cannot and will not accept agenda-driven ultimatums designed to get headlines rather than help for student borrowers. We will vigorously defend against these false allegations and continue to help our customers achieve financial success."

Sallie Mae said in a statement that Navient "has accepted responsibility for all costs, expenses, losses and remediation arising from this matter."

The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed a separate lawsuit Wednesday, alleging Navient made it harder to repay loans by giving bad information, processing payments incorrectly and failing to address complaints.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[IHOP: Our Twitter Was Hacked]]> Sun, 15 Jan 2017 22:30:16 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/ihop-deleted-tweet-new.jpg

IHOP said that sometime Sunday morning, the company’s Twitter account was hacked when a politically charged retweet appeared that caused some customers to pledge to never eat their golden fluffy pancakes again.

The International House of Pancakes confirmed to NBC4 the retweet in question involved a statement that Hillary Clinton ran a "major garbage campaign."

As soon as the IHOP team saw the retweet, it was deleted and IHOP took necessary precautions to make sure the company wouldn’t be hacked again.

IHOP released the following statement:

"At the core of the IHOP brand is a desire to bring people together and a commitment to creating a warm and welcoming environment for guests and fans everywhere, both in our restaurants and online. After a thorough investigation, we have confirmed that the IHOP Twitter account was hacked this morning. The retweeted post in question was immediately removed, and we have taken the necessary steps to ensure the security and integrity of our social media accounts. We appreciate our fans bringing this to our attention and recognizing that this is not normal content shared by IHOP."

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<![CDATA[SD Companies Won't Move Chargers]]> Mon, 16 Jan 2017 19:23:55 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/176*120/Dean+Spanos+vs+Jacksonville.JPG

So the Chargers said they are going to move to Los Angeles. Now they actually have to move to Los Angeles.

Anyone who has ever moved before understands what an undertaking this is. You have to pack up the boxes, prepare the furniture, finally address all the junk that’s been accumulating in the garage … it’s not a small endeavor, and that’s just for a house.

The Chargers are moving offices and a practice facility. That means they have to pack up and transport all the tackling sleds, all the computers, all the files … basically 55 years-worth of stuff. For that they will have to hire a moving company.

Finding one, however, has proven to be a problem.

“We were just sitting there thinking about the physical move of the Chargers,” said Ryan Charles, head of sales and marketing for www.HireAHelper.com. “We were thinking we would not want to be a part of that, having been born and raised here and being a lifelong Chargers fan.”

Charles asked the companies within the Hire A Helper network if they would refuse to help the Chargers move and they all said yes. But the movement did not stop there.

“Other moving companies, our peers, might not want to, either,” said Charles, “and wouldn’t it be cool if we all banded together to say that we wouldn’t?”

So Charles started cold-calling his fellow moving companies to float the idea by them. The response was a bit surprising … in a good way.

“The feedback was immediately positive,” said Charles. “I got chuckles, people were laughing, there were guys saying ‘I wouldn’t move them for X amount of dollars.’”

That variable is likely in excess of $100,000, by the way. With all the offices and training equipment, plus the likelihood of having staff and players jump on board, this is a monster payday these companies are turning down to stick to their principles.

As of Sunday night 22 movers based in San Diego had vowed not to move the Chargers north and more are expected to sign on in the coming days. An email is being sent to as many movers as Charles can think of.

“It’s almost like the last line of defense. We were making this last statement of loyalty to the SAN DIEGO Chargers,” said Charles.


But it is not simply the San Diego moving companies that have pledged their resistence. Movers in the Los Angeles area are also joining the cause.

“Once we started hearing the sentiment from L.A., you know, the ‘We don’t want you,’ we thought maybe there are Los Angeles companies who wouldn’t want to move them in to their city. We reached out to them and we have five L.A. moving companies on board that have agreed [to not move the Chargers to Los Angeles].”

Not every moving company in San Diego will take part in this movement but enough will to let the Spanos family know just how disappointed Chargers fans are. Plus, this kind of camaraderie might be the proverbial silver lining.

“It’s an awesome statement of loyalty, that’s for sure," Charles added.

To see all the companies dedicated to not move the Chargers just visit www.wewontmoveyouchargers.com and see the list continue to grow.

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<![CDATA[Adidas Rereleases 'OG' NMD Sneaker]]> Sat, 14 Jan 2017 18:40:10 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AdidasNMDLine.jpg

It's well-known that New Yorkers are crazy for fashion. NYPD officers witnessed the chaos first hand as officers responded to calls for crowd control at Adidas' Fifth Avenue location Saturday morning.

A line of eager sneakerheads snaked along 46th Street from Fifth Avenue toward Madison Avenue on Saturday morning for their chance to purchase the highly coveted Adidas "OG" NMD, a sneaker that the athletic wear brand originally released in December 2015 to much fanfare.

Brands frequently rerelease popular colorways of classic sneakers, notably Jordan Brand, whose Air Jordan retros typically sell like hotcakes within an hour or two after they drop. In Adidas case, the shoe was so hot that cops had to shut down the store by 11 a.m.

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Online shoppers sat at their computer at the crack of dawn, some up at 7 a.m., trying their luck at coveting the 2017's hottest release so far. A couple of fanatics were sucessful at getting through checkout, though the website allegedly crashed and froze several times in the process.

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One wife with "lucky hands" purchased a pair for her husband, who was ecstatic.

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Other sneakerheads weren't so lucky and took to social media to express their frustrations about the missed opportunity.

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Even those who aren't sneaker aficionados wanted in on the NMD madness.

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If you tried to get your hands on a pair but weren't able to, don't fret, as several resellers posted links on social media within hours after the release ended.

Looking good will cost a pretty penny — one Facebook user says the sneakers resold as high as $1,000, but have now dropped within the $400 to $600 range. That's at least 3.5 times the original price point of $170. A pair of original release OG NMD's allegedly sold for $1,200 before the announcement of a rerelease last September.

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Your wallet might be hurting, but beauty is pain, right?

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<![CDATA[Yahoo CEO to Resign After Verizon Takeover, Company Says]]> Tue, 10 Jan 2017 02:19:55 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/YAHOO_AP_16254012507905.jpg

Yahoo Inc. announced Monday that CEO Marissa Mayer, one of the highest-profile women in the predominantly male tech world, will resign once the company's merger with Verizon Communications Inc. closes, NBC News reported.

When Verizon announced the $4.8 billion deal in July, Mayer said she intended to continue as CEO.

But in a brief filing Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Yahoo said Mayer and company co-founder David Filo will leave once Verizon takes control of its operating business. Four other board members are leaving with Mayer and Filo, according to document.

However, the Verizon deal has been jeopardized by Yahoo's recent discovery of two separate hacking attacks that stole personal information from more than 1 billion user accounts.

Photo Credit: AP ]]>
<![CDATA[Alibaba CEO Talks Jobs With Trump]]> Mon, 09 Jan 2017 13:14:41 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/trump-jack-ma.jpg

Jack Ma, the CEO of China-based tech giant Alibaba, met with President-elect Donald Trump in New York City Monday and vowed to focus on small businesses as the company plans its expansion to the U.S.

"Jack and I are going to do some great things," Trump said while standing next to Ma at Trump Tower.

The e-commerce company has said it plans to create 1 million U.S. jobs by helping businesses sell to China. Ma did not confirm a specific number of jobs to reporters after the meeting but said he planned to focus on agricultural products, CNBC reported.

The meeting comes amid tensions between China and the incoming Trump administration. "We also think that the China and USA relationship should be strengthened — should be more friendly," Ma said. "The door is open for discussing the relationship and trade issues. I think the president-elect is very smart, he's very open-minded to listen."

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Macy's to Close 65 Stores in 2017, Cut 10K Jobs]]> Thu, 05 Jan 2017 09:23:49 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/197*120/GettyImages-2025683.jpg

Macy's announced Wednesday it is shutting down 65 stores in 2017 and eliminating an estimated 10,000 jobs as it battles slowing sales and growing online competition.

The closures are part of a previously planned shutdown of about 100 stores, out of its 730, that the company announced in August 2016. Macy’s already shuttered three stores in the middle of 2016. On Wednesday, Macy’s said it will close 63 more locations in early spring 2017 and another two mid-year, part of 68 total store closures announced on Wednesday

The company says about 3,900 employees will be affected by the closures. It also will eliminate about 6,200 other positions as part of an effort to streamline operations and reduce expenses so it can invest more in its digital operations.

“As we’ve noted, it is essential that we maintain a healthy portfolio of the right stores in the right places. Our plan to close approximately 100 stores over the next few years is an important part of our strategy to help us right-size our physical footprint as we expand our digital reach,” the company said in statement.

Macy’s shares fell more more than 9 percent Wednesday after it posted disappointing holiday sales and announced which stores will be closing, CNBC reported.

Final clearance sales at Macy’s stores closing in early 2017 will begin on Monday, January 9, and run for approximately eight to 12 weeks.

Here's a list of the closures:

Greenwood, Bowling Green, KY (124,000 square feet; opened in 1980; 63 associates);
Carolina Place, Pineville, NC (151,000 square feet; opened in 1993; 69 associates)
Douglaston, Douglaston, NY (158,000 square feet; opened in 1981; 144 associates)
Downtown Portland, Portland, OR (246,000 square feet; opened in 2007; 85 associates)
*Lancaster Mall, Salem, OR (67,000 square feet; opened in 1980; 53 associates)
Oakwood Mall, Eau Claire, WI (104,000 square feet; opened in 1991; 55 associates)
Mission Valley Apparel, San Diego, CA (385,000 square feet; opened in 1961; 140 associates)
Paseo Nuevo, Santa Barbara, CA (141,000 square feet; opened in 1990; 77 associates)
Lakeland Square, Lakeland, FL (101,000 square feet; opened in 1995; 68 associates)
Oviedo Marketplace, Oviedo, FL (195,000 square feet; opened in 2000; 83 associates)
Sarasota Square, Sarasota, FL (143,000 square feet; opened in 1977; 86 associates)
University Square, Tampa, FL (140,000 square feet; opened in 1974; 73 associates);
CityPlace, West Palm Beach, FL (108,000 square feet; opened in 2000; 72 associates)
Georgia Square, Athens, GA (121,000 square feet; opened in 1981; 69 associates)
Nampa Gateway Center, Nampa, ID (104,000, square feet; opened in 2009; 57 associates)
Alton Square, Alton, IL (180,000 square feet; opened in 1978; 54 associates)
Stratford Square, Bloomingdale, IL (149,000 square feet; opened in 1981; 87 associates)
Eastland, Bloomington, IL (154,000 square feet; opened in 1999; 55 associates)
Jefferson, Louisville, KY (157,000 square feet; opened in 1979; 52 associates)
Esplanade, Kenner, LA (188,000 square feet; opened in 2008; 101 associates)
Bangor, Bangor, ME (143,000 square feet; opened in 1998; 65 associates)
Westgate, Brockton, MA (144,000 square feet; opened in 2003; 79 associates)
Silver City Galleria, Taunton, MA (152,000 square feet; opened in 1992; 82 associates)
Lakeview Square Mall, Battle Creek, MI (102,000 square feet: opened 1983; 51 associates)
Eastland Center, Harper Woods, MI (433,000 square feet; opened in 1957; 121 associates)
Lansing, Lansing, MI (103,000 square feet; opened in 1979; 57 associates)
Westland, Westland, MI (334,000 square feet; opened in 1965; 106 associates)
Minneapolis Downtown, Minneapolis, MN (1,276,000 square feet; opened in 1902; 280 associates)
Northgate, Durham, NC (187,000 square feet; opened in 1994; 72 associates);
Columbia, Grand Forks, ND (99,000 square feet; opened in 1978; 53 associates)
Moorestown, Moorestown, NJ (200,000 square feet; opened in 1999; 107 associates)
Voorhees Town Center, Voorhees, NJ (224,000 square feet; opened in 1970; 77 associates)
Preakness, Wayne, NJ (81,000 square feet; opened in 1963; 72 associates);
Cottonwood, Albuquerque, NM (173,000 square feet; opened in 1996; 56 associates)
Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas, NV (178,000 square feet; opened in 1966; 84 associates)
Great Northern, Clay, NY (88,000 square feet; opened in 1989; 55 associates)
Oakdale Mall, Johnson City, NY (140,000 square feet; opened in 2000; 58 associates)
The Marketplace, Rochester, NY (149,000 square feet; opened in 1982; 77 associates)
Eastland, Columbus, OH (121,000 square feet; opened in 2006; 73 associates)
Sandusky, Sandusky, OH (133,000 square feet; opened in 1979; 61 associates)
Fort Steuben, Steubenville, OH (132,000 square feet; opened in 1974; 59 associates)
Promenade, Tulsa, OK (180,000 square feet; opened in 1996; 58 associates)
Neshaminy, Bensalem, PA (211,000 square feet; opened in 1968; 89 associates)
Shenango Valley, Hermitage, PA (106,000 square feet; opened in 1976; 69 associates)
Beaver Valley, Monaca, PA (203,000 square feet; opened in 1987; 78 associates)
Lycoming, Muncy, PA (120,000 square feet; opened in 1995; 61 associates)
Plymouth Meeting, Plymouth Meeting, PA (214,000 square feet; opened in 1966; 74 associates);
Washington Crown Center, Washington, PA (148,000 square feet; opened in 1999; 67 associates)
Parkdale, Beaumont, TX (171,000 square feet; opened in 2002; 67 associates)
Southwest Center, Dallas, TX (148,000 square feet; opened in 1975; 68 associates)
Sunland Park, El Paso, TX (105,000 square feet; opened in 2004; 71 associates)
Greenspoint, Houston, TX (314,000 square feet; opened in 1976; 70 associates)
West Oaks Mall, Houston, TX (244,000 square feet; opened in 1982; 135 associates)
Pasadena Town Square, Pasadena, TX (209,000 square feet; opened in 1962; 78 associates)
Collin Creek, Plano, TX (199,000 square feet; opened in 1980; 103 associates)
Broadway Square, Tyler, TX (100,000 square feet; opened in 1981; 65 associates)
Layton Hills, Layton, UT (162,000 square feet; opened in 1980; 72 associates)
Cottonwood, Salt Lake City, UT (200,000 square feet; opened in 1962; 88 associates)
Landmark, Alexandria, VA (201,000 square feet; opened in 1965; 119 associates)
River Ridge, Lynchburg, VA (144,000 square feet; opened in 1980; 60 associates)
Everett, Everett, WA (133,000 square feet; opened in 1977; 109 associates)
Three Rivers, Kelso, WA (51,000 square feet; opened in 1987; 57 associates)
Valley View, La Crosse, WI (101,000 square feet; opened in 1980; 57 associates)
Simi Valley Town Center (men’s/home/kids), Simi Valley, CA (190,000 square feet; opened in 2006; 105 associates)
Mall at Tuttle Crossing (furniture/home/kids/men's), Dublin, OH (227,000 square feet; opened in 2003; 52 associates)

<![CDATA[Ford Cancels Mexico Plant, Will Reinvest in Michigan]]> Tue, 03 Jan 2017 11:27:01 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/FORD+THUMB.jpg Ford announced the cancellation of a new $1.6 billion plant in Mexico and will instead reinvest in Michigan.

Photo Credit: Stock Footage]]>
<![CDATA[Maywood's Only Grocery Store to Close Permanently This Month]]> Thu, 15 Dec 2016 17:58:59 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/ALDI+supermarket+sign.jpg

A Chicago suburb's only grocery store is slated to close on Christmas Eve, and city officials are pleading with the popular grocery store chain to keep it open.

Aldi announced plans to close its Maywood location, at 215 W. Madison St., citing numerous other locations in surrounding suburbs.

“We take the closing of any ALDI store very seriously,” Aldi said in a statement. “In this case, we made a decision to close this store because there are several ALDI locations in the Bellwood, Broadview and Melrose Park areas that will continue to provide our customers with the highest quality products at the lowest possible prices. All of these stores are within a few miles of the Maywood location. We are pleased to share that all employees are able to transfer to surrounding ALDI stores.” 

But area officials, including Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin and Congressman Danny Davis, are calling on Aldi to keep the location open, saying it is the only grocery store in the entire suburb. 

“The community depends on this location as its sole source of healthy, nutritious food,” a statement from the elected officials read. “Many Maywood citizens simply do not have the means to travel to other stores in nearby communities.” 

Boykin said he and his fellow politicians may offer tax incentives to Aldi to keep it from leaving. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[CEOs of Tesla, Uber and Pepsi Join Trump's Business Council]]> Thu, 15 Dec 2016 05:30:41 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/elonmusk3.jpg

The real-life Iron Man has agreed to help Donald Trump.

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX joined the president-elect’s business council on Wednesday, NBC News reported. Two other CEOs, Travis Kalanick of Uber and Indra Nooyi of Pepsi have also joined the council.

Musk, who was critical of Trump during the presidential race, was seen at the president-elect's private meeting with tech titans on Wednesday.

Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum includes CEOs of some of the country’s largest companies, such as Walt Disney, General Electric, JP Morgan Chase and Wal-Mart. Its purpose is to advise the president-elect on how to create news jobs, according to a press release from Trump’s transition team.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hawaii's Last Sugar Mill Closes]]> Tue, 13 Dec 2016 13:48:24 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/TEST_SugarHarvest1213_MP4_1200x675_831916611858.jpg Workers delivered the final truckload of cane to Hawaii's last remaining sugar mill Monday, bringing an era that helped define the state to a close. KHNL's Lisa Kubota reports.]]> <![CDATA[Walmart Pulls 'Offensive' Mugs From Website]]> Wed, 14 Dec 2016 06:07:59 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/walmart+sign+generic+2.jpg

Walmart has removed a mug from its website after numerous shoppers reported it as “appalling” and “offensive.”

The black and white coffee mug was posted to the retail giant’s site with the message “Got Retard?” on it.

After numerous complaints, and a Change.org petition asking the company to stop selling the mug, Walmart said it had the item from a third-party seller “removed from the site as soon as we were informed.” 

“This item violated our policy and we quickly removed it,” Walmart said in a statement on Twitter. “It’s unacceptable a seller put it on our Marketplace.” 

A similar version of the mug also appeared on Amazon.com, but has since been removed from the site as well. Amazon said in a statement Tuesday the item is "not listed for sale on Amazon."

The National Down Syndrome Society thanked the retailers for “discontinuing sales immediately.”

“Upon learning of the offensive language used in products sold by Walmart and Amazon, NDSS reached out to both retailers to discuss the offensive items being sold on their websites and asked that they immediately disconitnue the sale of those products, which they both have done,” the group said in a statement. “NDSS strongly condemns the use of the ‘r word.’ As the leading human rights organization for all people with Down syndrome, we maintain a zero tolerance policy for this type of mockery and offense.”

GiGi’s Playhouse Inc. in suburban Chicago, a group dedicated to increasing “positive awareness of Down syndrome,” also thanked the companies for removing the product.

“Walmart, we would like to thank you for taking down your product, the despicable, offensive mug with the R-word prominently displayed on it, but not before many people were hurt,” the group wrote on Facebook.

Still, the group has asked both Walmart and Amazon.com “What can we do to ensure this doesn’t happen again?”

Walmart describes its Marketplace program on its website as a way for "strategic business partners" to sell products alongside Walmart products.

"Our sellers are selected based on reputation, sales projections and alignment with Walmart's values," Walmart's website says.

A request for comment on how the mug made it onto the company's marketplace was not immediately answered.

Amazon also did not respond to a request for comment about how the mug was listed on the site. According to the company's website, registered sellers can list their products to the Amazon Marketplace catalog.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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