<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - Chicago Business News - Money, Financial & Corporate News]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/business http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.png NBC Chicago http://www.nbcchicago.comen-usFri, 09 Dec 2016 05:49:02 -0600Fri, 09 Dec 2016 05:49:02 -0600NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[US Stock Indexes Close at Record Highs ]]> Thu, 08 Dec 2016 15:56:14 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-628522000.jpg

Major U.S. stock indexes are closing at record highs for the second day in a row, as a post-election rally continued following a key monetary policy announcement from the European Central Bank, CNBC reported.

The Dow Jones industrial average briefly rose more than 100 points before closing 65 points higher, with Goldman Sachs contributing the most gains.

The S&P 500 closed 0.2 percent higher while the Nasdaq composite rose 0.4 percent.

"This really is the Trump trade," said Phil Blancato, CEO of Ladenburg Thalmann Asset Management. "This trade is about the potential for a more pro-business economy."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Chicago-Area Stores Set to See New Shipments of Hatchimals]]> Thu, 08 Dec 2016 11:07:03 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/625154754-Hatchimals.jpg

One of the hottest toys of this holiday season is about to return to store shelves in the Chicago area just in time for the holidays. 

New shipments of Hatchimals will be hitting store shelves at several big box stores across Chicago and some suburbs.

Shoppers searching for coveted wishlist item, a cuddly creature inside an egg that hatches, have reported difficulties getting their hands on the highly-desired children’s toy.

Walmart said new shipments will begin hitting store shelves at some point between Thursday and Dec. 19 for $48.88 at the following locations:

  • Walmart store #1933, 137 W North Ave, Northlake
  • Walmart store #1938, 7050 S Cicero Ave, Bedford Park
  • Walmart store #1401, 2552 W 75th St, Naperville
  • Walmart store #1892, 9450 Joliet Rd, Hodgkins
  • Walmart store #1556, 9265 159th St, Orland Hills
  • Walmart store #1228, 2680 N Illinois 83, Round Lake Beach
  • Walmart store #1413, 1205 S Illinois Rte 31, Crystal Lake
  • Walmart store #1377, 3801 Running Brook Farm Blvd, Johnsburg
  • Walmart store #1211, 21101 McGuire Rd, Harvard
  • Walmart store #3004, 3320 S Cicero Ave, Cicero

Walmart said it is scheduled to receive dozens per store. The local shipments are part of a larger national shipment set to bring tens of thousands of the toy to stores across the country.

Hatchimals were ranked as one of Walmart’s Chosen by Kids top 25 list earlier this season.

Target announced Tuesday that it expects more Hatchimals will hit store shelves beginning Sunday. That’s when Target stores across the country will begin receiving dozens of the hot toy, priced at $59.99, with inventory popping up throughout the week, the company said.

“You’ll need to be quick to scoop these up (limit two per guest) while supplies last, so be sure to check your local store,” the company said on its website.

A Toys R Us store in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, located at 3300 N. Western Ave., reported a shipment of over a dozen Thursday morning.

“For Chicago area customers looking for Hatchimals they should just check in with local stores in the area regularly,” said the company’s Midwest spokesperson Jessica Offerjost. “Stores are getting shipments over the next several weeks.”

Hatchimals typically cost between $60 and $70—but on eBay they’re going for much more.

A message posted on the Hatchimals website says more of the cutesy toys are on the way.

“While additional product will hit retail shelves in December, we anticipate this inventory will also sell out quickly,” the company said on its website. “We have increased production and a whole new batch of Hatchimals will be ready to hatch in early 2017. “

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images
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<![CDATA[New Suburban Krispy Kreme Gets Opening Date]]> Mon, 05 Dec 2016 15:01:17 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Krispy_Kreme-453817261+%281%29.jpg

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts is making its return to Chicago.

The doughnut chain announced its newest storefront at 17815 S. Halsted Street in Homewood, is slated to open Jan. 10, 2017.

The doughnut shop will be celebrating its grand opening by giving the first 100 customers in line free doughnuts. The first dozen customers will receive a free dozen Original Glazed doughnuts every week for a year, while customers 13 through 100 will receive a free dozen Original Glazed doughnuts every month for a year.

Customers can begin lining up for their shot at a free dozen on Jan. 9, when the store will set up a heated tent and give customers a line placement number. Customers must wait in line until doors open on Jan. 10 at 6 a.m.

“We are excited to join the Homewood community with our first Krispy Kreme Chicagoland location,” said Carlos Larcada, President of Chicagoland Restaurants, LLC. “We’re ready to turn on our Hot Light and serve up hot, fresh Krispy Kreme favorites.”

The store's opening will also mark the Midwest premiere of Krispy Kreme's new premium coffee, along with a 24-hour drive-thru.

“I am beyond delighted that Krispy Kreme Doughnuts will soon open here in Homewood,” said Rich Hofeld, Homewood Village President. “Their location in our Halsted Street commercial district is a great addition to the community and I look forward to stopping by whenever I am in need of something sweet.”

The Homewood Krispy Kreme will be open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Judge Rules in Favor of City in Chicago Food Truck Suit]]> Mon, 05 Dec 2016 11:18:42 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/cupcakes+for+courage.jpg

A Cook County judge on Monday ruled in favor of the city in a years-long lawsuit regarding two provisions of Chicago's food truck laws.

Judge Anna Helen Demacopoulos announced the Chicago food truck ordinance will remain as is, meaning the city’s ban on operating a food truck within 200 feet of a brick-and-mortar restaurant and its requirement that food trucks install GPS tracking devices that broadcast their every move stands. 

"We are pleased with the ruling, which reaffirms that the ordinance strikes the right balance between the interests of food trucks and those of restaurants," Bill McCaffrey, Chicago's law department spokesman, said in a statement.

Cupcakes for Courage owner Laura Pekarik, who filed the lawsuit aiming to loosen restrictions on mobile food trucks, and attorneys from The Institute for Justice said they plan to appeal the judge's decision. 

"I think the evidence is in our favor," Pekarik said.

"More trucks have been going out of business because they can't compete and succeed... and it's all because of these rules," said attorney Robert Frommer with The Institute for Justice.

The lawsuit was filed in 2012 in an effort to remove the city's ban on the operation of a food truck within 200 feet of a brick-and-mortar restaurant and a requirement to install GPS devices so their whereabouts can be tracked.

"If food trucks could park anywhere they wanted to, just like a car, it would be a lot easier," Pekarik said at the time.

Some traditional restaurant owners oppose the food trucks because they're competing with businesses that don't have to pay property taxes.

<![CDATA[$2 Gets You a Free Wendy's Frosty With Each Visit in 2017]]> Sun, 04 Dec 2016 18:52:09 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-52821036.jpg

Next year just got a whole lot sweeter.

Wendy's is providing customers with key chains that will get them a free frosty with their purchases until the year's end

For just $2, customers that are participating Wendy's National Frosty Key Tag Program can flash their key chain to cashiers and get a free Jr. Frosty next year with our purchases.

Last week, Wendy's tweeted that for just $2, customers can enroll in the program for 2017.

Wendy's charity affiliate, Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption was selling the tags on its website but have sold out. 

"Due to overwhelming popularity, the 2017 Frosty Key Tags are sold out!" the site reads.

However, Wendy's tweet last week encourages customers to still come and buy a $2 tag at their nearest location.

Anyone interested in purchasing a key tag by the end of 2016 can do so at their local Wendy's. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Oil Tumbles Amid OPEC Uncertainty]]> Tue, 29 Nov 2016 16:30:47 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/gasolina-16.jpg

Stocks closed slightly higher on Tuesday, boosted by health-care companies like UnitedHealth Group, as investors digested falling oil prices ahead of a key OPEC meeting.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed about 25 points higher. CNBC reported. The S&P 500 gained 0.1 percent while the Nasdaq composite outperformed, closing 0.2 percent higher and hitting a new intraday high of 5,403.86.

In energy, oil prices fell sharply after it seemed like a deal to reduce oil production among OPEC nations was starting to fall apart ahead of their meeting Wednesday in Vienna.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.85, or 3.9 percent, to close at $45.23 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, tumbled $1.86, or 3.9 percent, to close at $46.38 a barrel in London, The Associated Press reported.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[$martMoney]]> Tue, 08 May 2012 08:08:56 -0600 ]]> <![CDATA[Portillo's Launches Yearlong Subscription Service]]> Tue, 29 Nov 2016 13:03:25 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/portillos5.png

For the first time ever, Portillo's will offer nationwide delivery of its famous chocolate cake.

The local Chicago restaurant announced Tuesday that customers will now be able to ship two pre-baked chocolate cake layers and a do-it-yourself icing kit, complete with frosting and a spatula, straight to their homes.

“For the upcoming holiday season, we wanted to give Portillo’s fans a new way to enjoy their favorite menu items,” Portillo’s CEO Keith Kinsey said in a statement. “The additions to our Shop & Ship service make it easier than ever for our customers to relish Portillo’s year-round, regardless if they live near one of our locations.”

A new subscription service, Portillo's 365, was also unveiled Tuesday. The subscription includes a rotating selection of Portillo's most popular menu items, delivered every other month, anywhere in the country.

Customers can purchase the subscription for $365 on the restaurant's website. It includes:

• January: One deluxe package of Italian Beef Sandwiches slow-roasted, thinly sliced beef cooked with Italian spices and served on French bread (makes 8 sandwiches per package)

• March: One 10-pack of Chicago-Style Hot Dogs, topped with customary mustard, onions, relish, sport peppers, tomato, pickle, and celery salt

• May: Two slabs of Portillo’s award-winning Ribs, tender baby back slabs marinated in Portillo’s housemade sauce

• July: One deluxe package of Italian Beef Sandwiches slow-roasted, thinly sliced beef cooked with Italian spices and served on French bread (makes 8 sandwiches per package)

• September: One 10-pack of Chicago-Style Hot Dogs, topped with customary mustard, onions, relish, sport peppers, tomato, pickle, and celery salt

• November: One famous Chocolate Cake, with do-it-yourself frosting

Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[Target Announces Plans to Open New Store in Chicago Area]]> Tue, 29 Nov 2016 11:50:38 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/target-store-sign.jpg

Target has announced plans to open a new store in the Chicago area next year.

The Minnesota-based company revealed it will open a new, flexible-format store in Oak Park as part of Elevate Oak Park, a new mixed-use project.

The new store will be located at the corner of Lake and Maple streets and is projected to open in October 2017.

“We are very excited to welcome Target to the heart of our downtown,” said Oak Park Mayor Anan Abu Taleb. “A retailer of Target’s reputation is an economic game changer not only for Oak Park, but also for our neighboring communities.”

The flexible-format stores are often placed in smaller locations with items tailored for local guests.

The Oak Park location will be about 22,000 square feet and will feature a grocery section, cosmetic products, men’s and women’s apparel, toys, sporting goods, home décor, and electronic and tech items. It will also include order pickup and Target mobile, the company said.

“Target is focused on adding flexible-format stores in the Chicago area to make it easier for more guests to shop at Target,” said Mark Schindele, senior vice president, Properties, Target. “We look forward to providing the Oak Park community with a quick-trip shopping experience with product assortments that are unique to Target.”

There are currently four flexible-format stores in the Chicago area and the company plans to add three more locations in the city in 2017.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[The Drake Hotel's Iconic Cape Cod Room to Close]]> Wed, 23 Nov 2016 15:39:51 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/the+drake+sign.JPG

One of Chicago’s oldest restaurants is closing after more than 80 years.

The Cape Cod Room inside the iconic Drake Hotel, known as the restaurant where Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio carved their initials after getting married in 1954, announced it will close on Jan. 1, 2017.

The closing comes as the Drake prepares for what it says will be a “historic renovation,” according to the hotel’s website.

Well-known seafood dishes from the restaurant, including Bookbinder soup, oysters Rockefeller, crab cakes, Cape Cod seafood boil and baked Alaska, will become featured menu items at the hotel’s Coq d’Or Restaurant and Lounge instead.

The restaurant has been a staple in the city for the last 83 years. It will offer its last dinner service on New Year’s Eve.

<![CDATA[Report Names Best Stores to Shop For Black Friday Deals]]> Wed, 23 Nov 2016 22:29:19 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/holiday+shopping.png

Black Friday shopping is often chaotic, but for anyone tired of store-hopping to find the best deal, a new report has dubbed the best places to shop for savings.

The report from personal finance website WalletHub surveyed 8,000 Black Friday store deals from 35 of the biggest U.S. retailers. WalletHub then identified the stores offering the biggest discounts in various categories, including appliances, jewelry and toys.

Macy's topped the list with the highest overall discount rate at 63.35 percent. 

Other department store giants Kohl's and Sears, took sixth and tenth place, respectively.

Wallethub also warned against Black-Friday "traps" -- customers should aim for a 39 percent discount or higher when shopping Black Friday deals.

  1. Macy's — 63.4%
  2. Stage — 62.8%
  3. JCPenney — 62.8%
  4. Harbor Freight — 62.6%
  5. Gordmans — 61.6%
  6. Kohl's — 58.1%
  7. Shopko — 55.6%
  8. Fred Meyer — 49.7%
  9. Craft Warehouse — 45.0%
  10. Sears — 43.9%
  11. CVS Pharmacy — 43.9%
  12. Office Depot and OfficeMax — 43.0%
  13. Toys R Us — 40.5%
  14. Hhgregg — 37.3%
  15. Dollar General — 36.9%
  16. Dell Home — 35.7%
  17. GameStop — 34.9%
  18. Meijer — 33.8%
  19. Best Buy — 33.2%
  20. Staples — 33.1%
  21. Wal-Mart — 32.6%
  22. BJ's — 32.0%
  23. True Value — 31.9%
  24. Modell's — 29.8%
  25. Microsoft — 29.3%
  26. AAFES — 29.1%
  27. Kmart — 28.6%
  28. Target — 28.6%
  29. HP — 28.5%
  30. Sam's Club — 28.3%
  31. Ace Hardware — 27.7%
  32. Verizon — 27.5%
  33. Costco — 25.4%
  34. Amazon — 24.7%
  35. Big Lots — 23.5%

Photo Credit: Getty Images, file]]>
<![CDATA[McDonald's Unveils New Nutella Burger]]> Mon, 14 Nov 2016 17:53:23 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/214*120/14991016_1017476491696071_2918818054348977766_o.jpg

McDonald's has unveiled its newest burger. This time, however, the world's largest hamburger chain has gone meat-less.

The announcement of the new "Sweety con Nutella" on the restaurant's Italian Facebook page caused an online frenzy, generating over 74,000 comments and over 90,000 shares since Nov. 10.

The "burger" consists of Nutella sandwiched between two buns.

"A soft sweetness has arrived that you will not be able to resist," the company wrote on social media. "Try Sweety with Nutella now: soft bread with a creamy, indulgent center."

The burger will cost two euros and will be sold at all 540 McDonald's and McCafés in Italy, according to a press release.

The Nutella burger joins a growing list of regional specialty items that the company has developed over the years, including McRice Burgers in the Philippines, McLobsters in Canada and Squid Ink Burgers in Japan.

McDonald's did not respond to a request for comment on whether or not the Nutella burger might be introduced in the US. 

Photo Credit: McDonaldsItalia
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<![CDATA[Gibson's Made Most Money Among Independent Chicago Eateries]]> Mon, 14 Nov 2016 17:43:50 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/160*120/BLT+Prime_Steak.jpg

Gibson's Bar & Steakhouse has again grossed more money than any independent restaurant in Chicago, according to Restaurant Business Online's annual ranking of top-grossing independent restaurants.

The Gold Coast steakhouse raked in $25.6 million last year, ranking No. 8 in the country overall with only five U.S. locations. Gibson's rose two spots from last year's 10th place award, climbing back to the same slot the steakhouse occupied in 2014.

Rankings are calculated using 2015 restaurant sales data taken from surveys. Gibson's is one of 10 Chicago restaurants that made the Restaurant Business Online's list in 2016.

Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab placed No. 14 nationally and second among Chicago restaurants with $22.3 million. Seven Chicago restaurants and three suburban restaurants made the list of 100. Check out the full list of all Chicago restaurants that made the list this year below.

1. Gibson's Bar & Steakhouse (No. 8)

2. Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab (No. 14)

3. David Burkes Primehouse (No. 23)

4. Shaw's Crab House (No. 34)

5. Chicago Cut Steakhouse (No. 36)

6. Gibson's Bar & Steakhouse, Rosemont location (No. 43)

7. Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse (No. 63)

8. Gibson's Bar & Steakhouse, Oak Brook location (No. 68)

9. Hugo's Frog Bar (No. 69)

10. Quartino (No. 87)

<![CDATA[Amazon Starts Offering Black Friday Deals]]> Thu, 17 Nov 2016 10:12:57 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AMAZON_AP_16287435798944.jpg

It's only one day after Halloween and more than three weeks to Thanksgiving but Black Friday deals are already here. 

Amazon began offering sales on Tuesday as part of its Black Friday Deals store, which will run through Dec. 22.

Each day will bring a set of timed sales with new deals coming "as often as every five minutes," similar to last years. 

Meanwhile, Walmart and Target are taking cues from each other by offering more exclusive merchandise during the holiday season.

Walmart is offering 400 exclusive toy items including what is already a hit — a Disney Princess Carriage priced at $398. It's also adding thousands more items that will be available for store pickup. 

Target is offering 1,800 new or exclusive toys, about 15 percent more than last year. Another exclusive is a 10-disc box set from Garth Brooks, which includes his new album and the 25th anniversary edition of "Friends in Low Places." The set will be in Target stores Nov. 11, two weeks before the new album is available elsewhere.

Walmart is also planning more product demonstrations, in departments from toys to food. And Santas who used to remain stationary will roam the stores for more customer interaction and selfies.

For the end of the year, the world's largest retailer plans to deploy "holiday helpers" stationed at the checkouts, who can direct customers to registers with shorter lines or even run back to the aisles to pick up an item someone forgot.

Macy's announced in October it was staying committed to Thanksgiving Day shopping, saying it'll open an hour earlier this year. The move dampened hopes that other key stores will back away from the "Christmas Creep."

The retailer plans to open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving, with most Macy's stores closing at 2 a.m., and then reopening at 6 a.m. on Black Friday. It cited "ongoing customer interest in shopping on Thanksgiving, both at Macy's and at many other retailers."

Macy's announcement shows that many major chains will probably stick with the Thanksgiving opening and may even open earlier than last year as they try to avoid being trumped by the competition. Macy's is under pressure to do well, after six straight quarters of declines for a key revenue measure. Target, Best Buy and J.C. Penney have not yet announced their Thanksgiving strategy.

Photo Credit: AP ]]>
<![CDATA[Businesses Booming as World Series Focus Shifts to Chicago]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 16:23:45 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/jewel+cubs.png While the Cubs to work on the field, businesses in Chicago and around Wrigley Field are preparing for the crowds. Emily Florez reports.]]> <![CDATA[Target Announces Collaboration With Victoria Beckham]]> Fri, 21 Oct 2016 15:38:43 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/212*120/victoria+beck22ham.jpg

Victoria Beckham is launching a clothing line for the masses.

The former Spice Girl has taken a step back from the expensive, upscale brand that her clothing line has become famous for and is now focusing on creating wardrobe pieces that are accessible for lower-income consumers.

"For a while now, I have been thinking how great it would be to work on clothes for a customer that either doesn’t want to pay or can’t pay designer prices," Beckham said in statement. "I loved the idea of opening the brand up to a wider audience and being able to share my vision with a broader customer base."

Victoria Beckham for Target includes more than 200 items for women and children, marking the designer's first excursion into designing childrensware.

"Designing for children is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, so I was incredibly excited to be able to incorporate childrenswear into this collection," Beckham said in a statement.

Beckham joins other high-end designers who have collaborated with Target, including Jason Wu, Lilly Pulitzer and Zac Posen.

Pieces in the collection range in price from $6-$70, with most items under $40, and will be offered in sizes XS-3X for women and NB-XL for girls, toddlers and babies, according to the company. 

The Victoria Beckham for Target collection will be available April 9 through April 30, 2017, or while supplies last.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fewer People Are Visiting Trump-Branded Properties: Analysts]]> Mon, 17 Oct 2016 15:38:30 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-528652674.jpg

The number of visitors to Donald Trump-branded properties dropped in September by more than 16 percent compared to the same month last year, CNBC reports.

That drop follows a 7.1 percent year-over-year decline in August as well as significant dips in July and June. This is according to an analysis by Foursquare, which looked at visits to Trump hotels, casinos and golf courses from its more than 50 million users. 

The slide appears to coincide with Trump’s increasingly controversial presidential run, leading some to speculate that the latter is negatively effecting the former. The GOP presidential candidate’s privately held company the Trump Organization doesn’t release sales numbers and hasn’t commented on Foursquare’s analysis, meaning that these stats don’t tell the whole story.

Furthermore, the numbers have yet to reflect changes in the month of October, during which Trump’s rhetoric has escalated dramatically, alienating many of his supporters, and multiple women have come forward to report instances in which they were touched or treated inappropriately by Trump in the past.

Photo Credit: Spencer Platt, Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Tony Robbins Hypes Up Dreamforce Crowds in San Francisco]]> Wed, 05 Oct 2016 16:15:44 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/214*120/Tonyrobbinsofficial.jpg

There was no fire walk or Oprah Moment, but Tony Robbins did unleash his trademark hunger and energy to thousands on the opening night of Dreamforce, technology’s biggest event in San Francisco, dissecting everything from relationships to software to Donald Trump’s tax returns.

The king of self-help had the crowd of 7,000 inside Moscone Center yelling, laughing, dancing, hugging each another in joy, crying even, as he imparted life lessons during his three-hour keynote session: “The Power to Break Through: Your Ultimate Edge.”

The massive four-day Dreamforce conference was expected to draw at least 170,000 attendees this year and will also feature appearances from Mark Cuban, Melinda Gates and U2.

Even before Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, himself a huge Robbins fan, welcomed the celebrity life coach on stage, the crowd was already energized, giddy with excitement for what lay ahead.

“How many of you have a relationship with a human?” Robbins asked, as he bounded up on stage in his signature black shirt and trousers, his 6’ 7” frame billowing over the audience in almost superhuman fashion.

Robbins, who went from being a janitor to advising billionaires such as Warren Buffett and Carl Icahn, and considers Richard Branson among his good friends, spent a good part of his session, or “event,” as he likes to call them, dissecting human relationships – what works, what doesn’t, who is engaged, who is disengaged, etc.

Robbins even used Donald Trump’s tax return leak as a case study for engagement levels at workplaces. “Somebody at his company was obviously disengaged,” Robbins said, while discussing how the documents were sent to a reporter at the New York Times.

As the giant screens in the room lit up with thousands of faces – nuns, monks, billionaires, geeks – it felt as if you were in a church listening to a sermon, in this case the Church of Tony Robbins.

“What is your idea of an extraordinary life?” Robbins asked the audience. “Some people’s extraordinary life is a billion-dollar company, some people’s extraordinary life is writing poetry, and some people’s extraordinary life is helping people in the Tenderloin.”

His talk was peppered with remarks like, “Reality TV is bull___,” and to a fan sitting right in front: “Come here little ba_____, I want to hug you.”

Robbins went over the history of modern technology, what worked (Apple), what didn’t (Yahoo), trying things like body shaking and jumping to get everyone pumped up about the future.

In a series of rapid fire interactions with the audience, Robbins discussed the pros and cons of innovation, marketing, social media, advertising, basically everything that makes a business tick in this day and age.

"Feel the energy - yes or no?" He asked the crowd. "Make sure the person next to you in the chair has as much energy as you now."

He didn’t make anyone walk on hot coals, but he did make the audience work. “Stand up, sit down, shake your body,” and then every 15 minutes: "Who's with me on this? Say aye."

Earlier this year, Robbins was in the news when about 30 people suffered injuries after walking on hot coals at one of his sessions.

At one point, Robbins asked everyone, “Who in this room has failed?” and proceeded to answer his own question: “We've all failed.”

With the help of crowdsourcing, Robbins listed some of the most common reasons for failure on a giant screen:


  • Fear
  • No Time
  • Didn't take action
  • Lack of money
  • Lack of technology
  • Lack of education
  • Not enough research
  • Terrible people


And then he left everyone with these famous Tony Robbins words of wisdom: “Failure is never a lack of resources; it's a lack of resourcefulness.”

<![CDATA[Mall of America Will Be Closed for Thanksgiving]]> Thu, 06 Oct 2016 13:33:19 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP28704920138.jpg

The nation's largest shopping mall has officially taken a stand against Thanksgiving Day shopping, as Mall of America announced Wednesday it will be closed for the holiday. 

The mall tweeted Wednesday morning that it will be closed for Thanksgiving, saying it is "pleased to give this day back to our 15,000 employees and their families."

"See you Black Friday," the mall wrote. 

Last year, stores like Target and Wal-Mart announces they would open their doors for the November national holiday.

Meanwhile, companies like Nordstrom have remained closed. 

“We've been talking about this for months, looking at the numbers, looking at the pros and the cons,” Jill Renslow, the mall's senior vice president of marketing and business development, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “We're excited to give this day back to our employees so they can celebrate with their families.”

Photo Credit: AP, File
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<![CDATA[Airlines Reading, Responding to Social Media Rants]]> Thu, 29 Sep 2016 14:25:34 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/swa-airline-tweets-compliants.jpg A new study says airlines are reading posts made by customers complaining over delayed or canceled flights and poor service, and are responding to those messages. Dallas-based Southwest Airlines has a team tracking Twitter, Facebook and other online sites 24 hours a day. When a customer vents about a problem, a representative reaches out to them. "The approach is really how can we help, wait a minute we hate to hear that.... so what is going on, give us some information and let's see what we can do to straighten this out," said Lisa Goode, with Southwest Airlines. Social media teams help airlines by rebooking customers or by helping keep them more calm by relaying information when problems crop up.

Photo Credit: CNBC]]>
<![CDATA[Wells Fargo CEO to Forfeit $41M Amid Review]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 18:52:21 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_16260609890795-wells-fargo.jpg

Secretary of Labor Tom Perez on Tuesday said he would initiate a "top-to-bottom" review of labor practices at disgraced bank Wells Fargo, NBC News reported.

Perez was responding to a letter from eight Democratic senators who had requested a probe into whether Wells Fargo had violated wage and working hour laws by failing to pay overtime to tellers and sales representatives who stayed late to meet sales quotas.

"We take the concerns raised in your letter very seriously," Perez told the lawmakers, whose action was spearheaded by Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

"Given the serious nature of the allegations, I have directed enforcement agencies within the department to conduct a top-to-bottom review of cases, complaints or violations concerning Wells Fargo over the last several years," wrote Perez. 

Later Tuesday, Wells Fargo said CEO John Stumpf and the executive who ran the bank's consumer banking division will forfeit tens of millions of dollars in bonuses as it tries to stem a scandal over its sales practices.

The Associated Press reported that Stumpf will forfeit $41 million in stock awards, while former retail banking executive Carrie Tolstedt will forfeit $19 million of her stock awards, effective immediately. Both are also giving up any bonuses for 2016.  

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[How to Protect Yourself From Hackers ]]> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 10:38:46 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/NC_onlinetuneup0923_1920x1080.jpg Thursday's news that Yahoo suffered a hack of 500 million of its user accounts may have many people taking a new look at how to keep their own email accounts and personal information secure. One easy way to protect yourself from hackers is by regularly updating your software. "Hackers are always finding new vulnerabilities to exploit," said Consumer Reports Editor Jerry Beilinson.]]> <![CDATA[How The Marriott-Starwood Merger Affects Your Rewards]]> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 08:37:47 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/marriott.jpg

The Marriott International brand has become the largest hotel chain in the world, after its $13 billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide closed on Friday morning.

The new deal means changes for how 78 million loyal customers of both Marriott and Starwood will manage their reward programs.

Beginning Friday, members of Marriott and Starwood loyalty programs will be able to link their accounts together, The Associated Press reported. Platinum and gold statuses will be interchangeable between the two companies. Marriot silver members will be the equivalent of Starwood's lowest category, Preferred Plus.

In addition, the merger comes with a 3-to-1 exchange rate that has been deemed equal; every Starwood point is worth three Marriott Rewards points.

Points can be used by members for free nights, sporting or entertainment events, shopping on the company’s online mall, among other exclusive experiences. By linking the rewards programs together, members now have a wider variety of locations they can stay in.

While the accounts can be linked, the loyalty programs will remain separate for the time being, Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson confirmed to the AP. Marriott has partnerships with Chase and United Airlines, while Starwood has partnerships with American Express, Delta Air Lines and Uber. Marriott plans to keep operating both programs for the next two years until eventually phasing out the Starwood Preferred Guest program.

“Nothing changes immediately,” Sorenson said. “We have to see how those partnerships evolve.”

The new company will encompass 30 hotel brands with more than 5,700 properties across more than 110 countries, the AP reported. 

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Embattled Wells Fargo CEO Resigns From Federal Panel]]> Thu, 22 Sep 2016 16:15:08 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_16264579459541-Stumpf.jpg

Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf stepped down from his position on the Federal Reserve Advisory Council Thursday, according to a statement from the San Francisco Federal Reserve.

Wells Fargo told CNBC that Stumpf “made a personal decision to resign” as the council’s Twelfth District's representative.

“His top priority is leading Wells Fargo,” the company said.

Earlier this week, Stumpf appeared before a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Wells Fargo's sales practices and the roughly 2 million accounts the bank opened without customer authorization. The CEO said on Tuesday he is "deeply sorry" for conduct that "failed to fulfill our responsibilities to our customers, our team members and the American public."

Photo Credit: Susan Walsh, AP]]>
<![CDATA[FedEx Hiring 1,000 in Chicago Ahead of Holiday Season]]> Thu, 22 Sep 2016 09:10:54 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Fedex-Truck2.jpg

FedEx is adding more than 1,000 seasonal positions ahead of the holiday season.

The positions are part of a plan to hire more than 50,000 nationally leading up to the “peak season,” with a majority of the positions in the FedEx Ground network, the company said.

The positions include package handlers, drivers and other support positions, according to FedEx.

FedEx isn’t the only company hiring thousands of workers ahead of the holiday season.

Most recently, Target announced it was hiring more than 70,000 for the upcoming months.

Photo Credit: AP]]>