<![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-usSun, 23 Oct 2016 11:13:19 -0500Sun, 23 Oct 2016 11:13:19 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Target Announces Collaboration With Victoria Beckham]]> Fri, 21 Oct 2016 16:38:43 -0500 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 16:38:30 -0500 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 17:15:44 -0500 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 14:33:19 -0500 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[$martMoney]]> Tue, 08 May 2012 09:08:56 -0500 ]]> <![CDATA[Airlines Reading, Responding to Social Media Rants]]> Thu, 29 Sep 2016 15:25:34 -0500 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 19:52:21 -0500 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 11:38:46 -0500 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 09:37:47 -0500 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 17:15:08 -0500 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 10:10:54 -0500 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]]>
<![CDATA[Prime Now Adds First Beauty Store for Chicago Users]]> Thu, 15 Sep 2016 11:20:56 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/227*120/amazon1.png

Chicago Amazon Prime users have already been able to get groceries, food and gifts delivered to their homes in a matter of hours, but now they can add beauty products to that list.

Amazon announced its Prime Now service has added its first-ever beauty brand to the one-hour delivery service. The partnership is with Chicago-based Merz Apothecary, which sells beauty and natural health products.

"We have thrived in business for 141 years by focusing on our customer needs, and we believe Prime Now is a natural extension of this customer-centric approach,” Anthony Qaiyum, owner of Merz Apothecary, said in a statement. “As the owner of an independent, family-run business, I am especially excited for us to be able to combine our unique products and our expertise in our field with Amazon's unrivaled delivery operations. I think it is a recipe for customer satisfaction and business growth."

The Prime Now service offers one-hour delivery for $7.99 or free two-hour delivery and is available from 8 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week in Chicago.

“Merz Apothecary is a family-owned, iconic destination in the Windy City and we think customers will love the convenience of superfast delivery of thousands of beauty items,” Simoina Vasen, director of Prime Now, said in a statement. “We are excited to launch this new product offering in Chicago with such a beloved local brand.”

The company first launched the quick delivery service for Prime members in Chicago last year. The service is also currently available in Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas, Indianapolis, Manhattan and Miami.

Photo Credit: Amazon]]>
<![CDATA[Ford to Stop Producing Small Cars in US]]> Wed, 14 Sep 2016 16:02:11 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-513343308-ford-generic.jpg

Ford says it will move its entire small car operation from America to Mexico, NBC News reported.

"Over the next two to three years, we will have migrated all of our small car production to Mexico," CEO Mark Fields said at an investor conference in Detroit on Wednedsay, assuring investors that his company maintains a healthy profit margin in its pickup truck and van business.

Many automakers are shifting manufacturing to lower-cost zones as they deal with lower profit margins for small cars. But the move from Ford is likely to set off a firestorm during the U.S. presidential race, where blue-collar jobs and relations with Mexico are contentious topics.

<![CDATA[FAA Issues Warning About Samsung Phones]]> Thu, 08 Sep 2016 19:59:02 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_16246359982059-samsung.jpg

The Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday strongly urged travelers not to turn on or charge Samsung Galaxy Note 7 cell phones while on planes, after a series of incidents involving exploding batteries.

In a statement, the FAA also advised travelers not to stow the devices in any checked baggage.

Samsung Electronics issued a recall on Sept. 2 for the roughly 2.5 million devices after reports that batteries exploded during charging.

Three Australian airlines have already barred passengers from using or charging the smartphones during flights.

The recall resulted in a nearly $7 billion loss for Samsung's share value this week.

Photo Credit: Ahn Young-joon, AP]]>
<![CDATA[‘I Already Lost Them’: The World Reacts to Apple’s AirPods]]> Thu, 08 Sep 2016 18:35:29 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_16251682398866-iphone-7-earbud.gif

At Apple’s product launch event Wednesday, the company confirmed what many had been speculating for months: The new iPhone 7 does not have a headphone jack. iPhone users who want to communicate and listen to things through their devices will have to purchase the company’s new wireless earbuds, the $159-per-pair AirPods.

The ‘Pods will be available in October, and they’ll come with a small charging case, so users can juice up once their earphones' five hours of power run out.

Aside from balking at the cost of the AirPods, people joked around, and expressed genuine concern, about their size, NBC News reported.

The earphones are essentially the size of Apple’s current earbud product, but without the cord that has in the past kept users’ earphones physically attached to their larger devices. Humorous observations about how easy it will be to lose track of the tiny wireless earphones quickly sprung up around social media. One common joke was about already having lost the AirPods, even though they’re not yet available for purchase. 

"I didn’t even get the AirPods yet, but I already lost them," journalist Joanna Stern tweeted.

But it’s not just the cost and size that inspired the slew of jokes and memes.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Airbnb Addresses Claims of Racism, Revamps Website]]> Thu, 08 Sep 2016 13:05:40 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/airbnb-homepage.jpg

Before the end of the year, Airbnb plans to display user photos less prominently, promote instant bookings and introduce technological changes to address widespread reports of racial discrimination against nonwhite guests, according to a report released by the online vacation home rental marketplace Thursday.

The changes were announced following months of criticism sparked in part by the Twitter hashtag #AirbnbWhileBlack, which featured accounts from African-American users who said they were discriminated against on the platform.

"Bias and discrimination have no place on Airbnb, and we have zero tolerance for them," Chief Executive Officer Brian Chesky wrote in an email to users. "Unfortunately, we have been slow to address these problems, and for this I am sorry."

Starting Nov. 1, Airbnb users must agree to treat fellow members without bias regardless of race, religion, national origin, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or age, Reuters reported.

Photo Credit: Airbnb]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook Satellites Part of Plan for Internet in Space]]> Fri, 02 Sep 2016 15:57:38 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/spacex-explostion-smoke.jpg

On Thursday, a SpaceX rocket, along with a satellite leased in part by Facebook, were destroyed in a launch pad explosion at Cape Canaveral. The explosion, in which no people were harmed, occurred during preparation for a launch that had been scheduled for Saturday. 

A Facebook spokesperson said the company was “disappointed by the loss” of the Israeli-built Amos 6 satellite. The portion of the satellite that Facebook had leased would have served to bring internet access to parts of sub-Saharan Africa, NBC News reported, as a part of Facebook's mission to connect people around the world through the Internet.

Both Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk have discussed plans to use low-orbit satellites to bring high-speed internet access to the many regions of the planet that don't have it. While building a space-based internet is not a new idea, it's one that has taken off once again largely due to new technology and lower launch costs.

"Now with even faster computers and cheaper satellites, there is a whole lot of interest in creating a bunch of new systems to do this," James Muncy, co-founder of the Space Frontier Foundation, told NBC News.

Photo Credit: Frank Jakubetz]]>
<![CDATA[Pumpkin Spice Latte Returns as Starbucks Debuts New Drink]]> Fri, 02 Sep 2016 12:01:41 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/PSL_and_Chile_Mocha_2016.jpg

Starbucks isn’t waiting for summer weather to end before it begins dishing out its fall treats.

With meteorological fall already underway, so is the return of the beloved pumpkin spice latte.

For the 13th year in a row, the coffee company has debuted its popular seasonal drink made with pumpkin spice sauce, cinnamon, ginger, clove and nutmeg.

While the drink officially launches Sept. 6, customers could begin ordering as early as Thursday with an early access code from @TheRealPSL Twitter account.

Joining the fall favorite on the seasonal menu is a new drink from Starbucks – the Chile Mocha.

“When we think about fall, often people think about warmth and spice, like cinnamon and apple pie,” Michelle Sundquist, Starbucks senior product developer, said in a statement. “We decided to take that idea in a new direction with chocolate and a bit of heat.”

The new drink features espresso and steamed milk infused with a cocoa and cinnamon powder, whipped cream and a Chile Mocha topping made of ancho and cayenne chile pepper, cinnamon, paprika, sugar and sea salt.

“The first sip should be warm and chocolatey, quickly followed by the creaminess of the whip and just a kiss of sweet and savory heat all at once," said Sundquist.

Photo Credit: Starbucks]]>
<![CDATA[Tesla Needs More Money to Keep Model 3 On Track]]> Wed, 31 Aug 2016 13:48:43 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-490597798.jpg

Automaker Tesla will need to raise additional capital in order to continue as planned with development of its new Model 3 sedan and its giant battery “gigafactory” in Reno, the company said Wednesday. 

The company has posted operating losses in the last 14 straight quarters, and it’s reported negative cash flow since early 2014, Reuters reported. Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk admitted the company might need a “small equity capital raise” in 2017.

Still, Musk was tweeting Wednesday about an upcoming blog post on the recent developments related to Tesla’s self-driving technology.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Popular Suburban Pizza Restaurant Plans New Chicago Location]]> Fri, 26 Aug 2016 12:48:44 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/230*120/nick%27s+pizza.png

A popular northwest suburban pizza restaurant is eyeing its first Chicago location.

Nick’s Pizza & Pub said it is in the early stages of opening a location in the city’s North Side Lincoln Square neighborhood.

Owner Nick Sarillo said he is in the process of claiming a vacant building at the corner of Montrose and Artesian avenues.

The restaurant, which has locations in Crystal Lake and Elgin, is a staple for residents in the northwest suburbs and has tried opening an eatery in the city before, but complications have kept that from happening.

This time, Sarillo said things are different.

“I’m so much more excited about this one,” he said. “I don’t see anything getting in the way.”

Still, things are far from concrete, Sarillo noted.

While the suburban locations offer a unique experience, with rustic and antique décor and baskets of peanuts with shells covering the floor, Sarillo said the latest location would likely be a bit different.

“I want it to feel like it belongs in the neighborhood, even though it’s a throwback to what the neighborhood was at the turn of the century,” he said.

That means that while he still hopes to have a big wooden door, fireplaces and peanut shells on the floor, part of the décor will be unique to the city location.

The biggest difference will likely be the building itself, which is a smaller brick structure and not a restored barn-like building like the two suburban locations.

“I don’t want to put a barn in a place where there would never be a barn but I do want it to feel like Nick’s,” Sarillo said. “Even though it’s a brand new place I’ve always wanted it to feel like it’s been there 100 years.”

The restaurant isn’t just known for its food and interior design, however. Sarillo has made headlines with his business model that fosters a purposeful and value-driven culture. 

It appears Ald. Ameya Pawar is behind the move as well, as he posted news about the potential move to his social media this week.

“Coming soon to Montrose/Artesian: Nick’s Pizza & Pub!” he wrote.

While there’s still much to do to finalize the plans, Sarillo hopes that if everthing goes as planned, the new restaurant would be opened between April and June of next year.

“That would be the goal,” he said.

<![CDATA[Guests' Data May Have Been Hacked at Hotels]]> Mon, 15 Aug 2016 10:49:03 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/HotelHack-AP_16228457715731%281%29.jpg

Hyatt, Sheraton, Marriott and Westin hotels in 10 states and the District of Columbia may have been targeted by hackers for months. 

According to the hotel operator HEI Hotels & Resorts, malware put into place in at least 20 locations may have collected names, card account numbers, card expiration dates and verification codes. 

Data from customers may have been collected from early December, through late June. At some properties, HEI said, data collection may have begun as early as March 2015 at hotel locations where people bought food or drinks. 

HEI said in a company release that "We are treating this matter as a top priority, and took steps to address and contain this incident promptly after it was discovered." 

HEI said that once it found out about the problem it transitioned payment card processing to a stand-alone system that's completely separate from the rest of its network. It disabled the malware and is in the process of reconfiguring various components of its network and payment systems to make them more secure. 

The company said it's continuing to cooperate with the law enforcement investigation and coordinating with banks and payment card companies. 

Anyone who used a card at HEI hotels in the given time frame should review their account statements and look for discrepancies or unusual activity, both over the past several months and going forward, the company said. Customers who notice anything out of place should contact their credit or debit card issuer.

Starwood's Westin hotels in Minneapolis; Pasadena, California; Philadelphia; Snowmass, Colorado; Washington, D.C.; and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, were affected. Also breached were Starwood properties in Arlington, Virginia; Manchester Village, Vermont; San Francisco; Miami; and Nashville, Tennessee.

Customers may also visit www.heihotels.com/notice for additional information about the incident. 

The company says the breach has been contained and customers can safely use cards at all of its properties.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Macy's to Close 100 Stores Nationwide]]> Thu, 11 Aug 2016 08:06:17 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-530665646.jpg

Macy's announced Thursday plans close approximately 100 of its department stores, the latest effort to adapt to shifting consumer shopping patterns and more online competition, CNBC reported.

The 100 store closures are only the latest round of closures Macy's has done in recent years to cast off locations where profitability has waned. Macy's hasn't announced which locations will close. It currently operates 728 stores, including 675 of its traditional full-price locations.

Most of the 100 stores the company plans to close will be shuttered in early 2017, with the remainder shutting down as leases and other obligations expire or are waived. The locations of these stores will be released at a later date.

Photo Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Amazon Japan Raided on Suspicion of Antitrust Practices]]> Mon, 08 Aug 2016 06:33:00 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-151368933.jpg

Japan's Fair Trade Commission has raided the offices of Amazon's local unit on suspicion of pressuring retailers to offer products at lower prices than on rival sites, the Nikkei business daily said on Monday.

The paper, which cited unidentified sources with knowledge of the case, did not say when the raid took place, NBC News reported.

A spokesman for the country's anti-monopoly watchdog agency said he could not confirm the report but added: "I won't say the contents are incorrect."

An Amazon Japan spokeswoman declined to comment.

Photo Credit: David McNew/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Millennials Cause Home Ownership to Drop ]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 15:59:12 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/house_home_+for_sale_owner_generic.jpg

The nation’s home ownership rate fell to its all-time low, and could drop further in the months to come, NBC News reported. 

The rate fell to 62.9 percent, the same as it was in 1965, when the U.S. Census started tracking the metric.

The drop is largely due to a delay in home ownership by millennials, who are burdened by student loan debt and are delaying life choices like marriage and parenthood. They have the lowest ownership rate of their age group in history. 

"While the millennial home ownership rate continues to decline, it's important to note that the decrease could be just as likely due to new renter household formation as it is their ability to buy homes," wrote Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at Trulia. "Certainly low inventory and affordability isn't helping their efforts to own, but moving out of their parents' basement and into a rental unit is also a good sign for the housing market." 

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Image Source]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook Beats Analyst Expectations in Second Quarter]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 21:32:21 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/FacebookLogo3.jpg

Facebook beat Wall Street expectations, posting stronger earnings for the second-quarter, NBC News reported. 

The company reported $6.44 billion in revenue, according to a release posted at the end of the trading day. Analysts expected Facebook to earn $6.02 billion. The boost was due to strong user engagement and dominance in mobile and digital advertisements. 

The company reported 1.71 billion users. Daily active users were 1.13 billion on average for June 2016, amounting to a 17 percent increase year over year. Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook will now focus on expanding the community. 

"We have five billion people left to connect," Zuckerberg said. "The biggest thing we can do to help people and grow the business is to focus on improving and expanding this already dynamic and large community we have using the Facebook app."

Photo Credit: File--AP]]>