<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - Chicago Business News - Money, Financial & Corporate News - Inc. Well]]> Copyright 2016 http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/business en-us Sun, 29 May 2016 12:39:21 -0500 Sun, 29 May 2016 12:39:21 -0500 NBC Local Integrated Media <![CDATA[Amazon to Open 2nd Center in Joliet Bringing 2,000 Jobs]]> Thu, 26 May 2016 10:50:37 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-151368933.jpg

Amazon.com Inc. says it plans to open a second facility in Joliet and more than 2,000 full-time jobs.

The online retail company made the announcement Wednesday, saying the new jobs would be in addition to the 1,500 full-time employees who already work at its existing Joliet facility. The jobs include health care, retirement, parental leave and other benefits.

Amazon says the workers will pack and ship smaller items to customers.

Amazon's vice president of North American operations, Akash Chauhan, said the company has "found an abundance of talent in Joliet."

Amazon recently announced it would work with Joliet Junior College to help workers who are interested in enrolling in courses as part of the Career Choice Program. It also made a donation to the school's veterans' scholarship program.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Chicago



Photo Credit: David McNew/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[CEO Spotlight Powered by Bizcast]]> Thu, 09 Jul 2015 05:23:13 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/CEO-spotlight-opt-2.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Chicago's 3-D Candy Printer Makes Byron Miranda-Shaped Candy]]> Tue, 24 May 2016 18:49:25 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/211*120/byron+candy+maker.png Byron visited the first 3-D candy printer at Dylan's Candy Bar Chicago and it made quite an impression of him. ]]> <![CDATA[National Restaurant Association Brings Future of Dining to Chicago]]> Mon, 23 May 2016 18:33:18 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/WMAQ_000000017922505_1200x675_691307075652.jpg The National Restaurant Association is in full swing at McCormick Place. NBC 5's LeeAnn Trotter reports.]]> <![CDATA[McDonald's Testing Fresh Beef at 14 Restaurants ]]> Thu, 12 May 2016 14:27:05 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/179*120/mcdonalds+burger.jpg

McDonald's says it's testing fresh beef at 14 restaurants in Dallas, but says it's too early to say whether fresh beef could replace its frozen patties nationally.

The Oak Brook, Illinois company says the test is limited to its quarter pounder patties.

"Like all of our tests, this one too is designed to see what works and what doesn't within our restaurants," said Lisa McComb, a McDonald's spokeswoman, in a statement.

The test comes as McDonald's Corp. fights to turn around its business, which had suffered slumping sales until recently. The company has said it's looking at improving its core menu items.

McDonald's has more than 14,000 locations in the U.S., making by far the biggest burger chain.

The test was first reported in Nation's Restaurant News.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Chicago



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ikea Announces Plans for First Wisconsin Location]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 13:21:18 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-536073699.jpg

Ikea has announced plans to open its first store in Wisconsin, expanding the retailer’s presence in the Midwest.

The company submitted plans Thursday for a location in Oak Creek, about 12 miles south of Milwaukee.

The 295,000-square-foot store would be built on 29 acres at the northwestern corner of Interstate 94 and Drexel Avenue, the company said. It plans to open the new location by summer 2018.

“We are excited at the possibility of growing our Midwestern U.S. presence with a Milwaukee-area store,” Ikea U.S. president Lars Petersson said in a statement. “A location in the retail corridor would provide our already 206,000 Milwaukee-area customers their own store.”

The store will include nearly 10,000 exclusively designed items, 50 room settings, three model home interiors, a restaurant and a play area for children.

The Wisconsin location joins stores in Bolingbrook and Schaumburg in Illinois and in the Twin Cities-area in Minnesota.

Earlier this year, Ikea increased its average minimum hourly wage to $11.87, which is $4.62 above the current federal wage and marks a $1.11 increase, or 10 percent, from last year’s average minimum pay. The increase affected 32 percent of Ikea's 10,500 U.S. store workers and raised the average hourly wage to $15.45.



Photo Credit: Moment Editorial/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Target Holds Job Fair for New Chicago Location]]> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 16:23:38 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/LPN+2650+north+clark+vw-2.jpg

Ahead of the opening a new store in Lincoln Park, Target is hosting a job fair with a plan to hire more than 80 team members.

Target will be holding interviews from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the company's Division Store, located at 1200 N. Larrabee, in Chicago Thursday and Friday and again May 5-7. 

The new store is scheduled to open in July in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood at the intersection of Clark and Diversey. The new store plans to cater to students and local residents offering a pharmacy, Target Mobile and Order Pickup.

Target encourages interested applicants to apply in advance at Target.com/careers.

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<![CDATA[Sears to Close 68 Kmart, 10 Sears Stores This Summer]]> Thu, 21 Apr 2016 17:33:20 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/TLMD-tienda-sears-generica-shutterstock_225276199.jpg

Sears Holdings Corp. is announcing Thursday that it will close 68 Kmart stores and 10 Sears stores as it struggles to restore profitability.

The ailing company had said in February that it would accelerate the closing of unprofitable stores. The move is expected to generate a "meaningful level" of cash from the liquidation of store inventories and from the sale or sublease of some of the related real estate, it said.

The closings follow a comprehensive review of the company's store portfolio that took into account store performance and the timing of lease expirations.

The Sears stores will close in late July; two Kmart stores will close in mid-September.

Sears has long been struggling with a sales slump, unable to keep up with rivals like Wal-Mart.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Chicago



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Chicago Chef Debuts Line of Marijuana Edibles on 4/20]]> Wed, 20 Apr 2016 11:18:34 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/mindy+segal+getty.jpg

Chicago chef Mindy Segal debuted her line of marijuana edibles Wednesday, also known as 4/20, the unofficial marijuana holiday.

Segal, of Mindy's Hot Chocolate, announced her new line of infused products attached to her personal brand of sweets in December. They include chocolate brittle bars, granola bites, a warm chocolate drink and ready-made mix with do-it-yourself instructions, according to a release.

To produce the new sweets, Segal partnered with Cresco Labs, Illinois' largest cannabis cultivator. 

"We've all heard the expression 'it tastes like medicine,' but there's no reason it has to," said Segal, who is a winner of a James Beard Award for outstanding pastry chefs. "With my recipes and Cresco's technology, we're developing this line of products to be consistent every time and absolutely enjoyable to eat." 

Charles Bachtell, the founder of Cresco Labs, said Segal's partnership "says a lot about where this industry is headed." 

Segal's edible products will be available at licensed dispensaries across Illinois for approved patients suffering from one of the nearly 40 medical conditions eligible for medical marijuana treatment.

Medical marijuana sales began in Illinois last month with eight licensed dispensaries opening in Marion, Mundelein, Canton, Quincy, Addison, North Aurora, Schaumburg and Ottawa. One is also set to open in Chicago at 5001 N. Clark St. in the Andersonville neighborhood.

Illinois is among 23 states with medical marijuana programs. State officials expect 25 dispensaries will be open to the public by the end of the year.



Photo Credit: Getty Images for Jack Daniel's]]>
<![CDATA['Fight for 15' Movement Takes to Chicago Streets]]> Thu, 14 Apr 2016 23:09:15 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/fight+for+fifteen+wojo+pic.jpg

The national Fight for 15 movement has set its sights on Chicago as activists and workers continue to push for raising their minimum wage to $15 an hour.

From the South Side to the North Side, fast food workers joined with members of the Service Employees International Union and the Chicago Teachers Union in a march across the city Thursday. 

The group arrived on foot and by bus where they marched from the McDonald’s at Clark and Devon streets in the city’s Edgewater neighborhood to the Loyola University Campus for a rally. 

The group claims the current minimum wage is too hard to live on without public assistance.

Still, the Illinois Policy Institute opposes raising the mandated $15 minimum wage, saying it would lead to more unemployment as businesses would replace workers with automated food-dispensing kiosks.

“We proudly invest in the future of those who work in McDonald's restaurants," Lisa McComb, a spokesperson for McDonald's, said in a statement. "In addition to raising the minimum wage for employees at our company-owned restaurants, we also offer employees access to Archways to Opportunity, a set of programs McDonald’s pays for which helps them earn a high school diploma and get needed tuition assistance so they can work toward earning a college degree."

The Chicago protests are part of many being held across the country in states including, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington.

Currently, California and New York are on their way to raising their minimum wage to $15 an hour, but the idea faces headwinds in more conservative and rural states in the South and the Midwest.

Activists believe the movement is picking up steam.

"In the beginning, it looked impossible," said Alvin Major, a fast-food worker and leader of the Fight for $15 campaign. But now, "what happened in New York, in California, it's going to spread around the country."

Demonstrations at the Rock n' Roll McDonald's in the Loop Thursday night began at around 4:30 p.m. 

Five people were taken into custody by the Chicago Police Department in connection with hanging a large banner from a hotel near the protest. Police went into the hotel and removed the banner before taking the protesters into custody. 



Photo Credit: Charlie Wojciechowski]]>
<![CDATA[Navy Pier Summer Job Fair Sells Out]]> Thu, 07 Apr 2016 18:07:31 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/navy+pier+disturbance.jpg

Turns out the idea of working along Chicago’s lakefront at an iconic landmark turning 100 this summer sounds like a dream job to a lot of people.

Navy Pier's Thursday first-ever job fair has sold out.

Ahead of its historic centennial celebration this summer, Navy Pier is hosting a job fair from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday in the Crystal Gardens.  Nearly 30 pier businesses are seeking to hire more than 900 seasonal workers. Job opportunties are available for Navy Pier and its partners along the pier, including bars, boats, restaurants and, yes, the new Ferris wheel.

Most opportunities are for seasonal work through the summer of 2016.

Attendees were required to pre-register for this event, which is now full. Navy Pier set a registration capacity limit of 2,500 applicants and that number was reached mid-week last week. Those who were interested in the event but were not able to register in advance can check out the Navy Pier employment site to view available job postings. 

Navy Pier reminded job seekers to bring multiple copies of their resumes and wear professional attire.

Here’s the full list of participating partners:

Navy Pier
Amazing Chicago’s Funhouse Maze
American’s Dog
Auntie Anne’s
Ben & Jerry’s
Big Bowl Chinese Express
Big Bus Chicago
Big City Chicken
Bike and Roll Chicago
Bubba Gump Shrimp Company
Build A Bear Workshop
Chango Loco
Chicago Children’s Museum
Color Inc.
Completely Nuts
DMK Burger Bar and Fish Bar
Entertainment Cruises
Faces In Focus
Frankie’s Pizza by the Slice
Garrett’s Popcorn
Giordano’s
Harry Caray’s
Jimmy Buffet’s Magaritaville
Life in the Windy City & Varsity Stop Outfitters
McDonald’s
Navy Pier IMAX Theatre
Oh Yes Chicago!
Photogenic, Inc
Porkchop
Riva Crab House
Shoreline Sightseeing
 

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<![CDATA[No Joke: Krispy Kreme Offering Free Doughnuts April 1]]> Fri, 01 Apr 2016 09:55:27 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/krispykremedonuts.jpg

It might be April Fool's Day, but Krispy Kreme says this is no joke — the company is giving away free doughnuts to customers on April 1 at many locations. 

"This offer is real," said Sarah Roof, corporate communications coordinator for Krispy Kreme.

Customers will receive "one free Original Glazed doughnut at participating U.S. shops."

The chain said the promotion is thanks to "this year's doughnut harvest."

"This year, on account of the unusually fair winter, the Doughnut Harvest was especially bountiful," the chain said in a release. "Now, for the first time, the surplus is so great we are inviting guests everywhere to join us in celebration."

Visit the Krispy Kreme website to verify locations that are not participating in the offer.



Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Starbucks Announces Debut of Pumpkin Spice Latte K-Cups]]> Thu, 24 Mar 2016 12:55:36 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Starbucks_Pumpkin_Spice_Caffe_Latte_KCup_.JPG

Lovers of Starbucks' seasonal Pumpkin Spice Latte can get their fix this year without extra-long lines or texting secret passwords for early access.

The autumnal fan-favorite drink will be available for the first time as a K-Cup.

Grocery stores nationwide are expected to carry Pumpkin Spice Caffe Latte K-Cup packs for a limited time this fall, a Starbucks spokesperson said. Suggested retail is $9.99 for a 10-count K-Cup pack and $12.99 for a 16-count pack.

Brace yourself for this dreamy description of the forthcoming latte: "Customers will be able to enjoy this creamy fall sip – swirling with real pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg flavors combined with dairy – specially crafted to be enjoyed at home and complement our smooth, balanced Caffe Blend made from 100 percent arabica coffee."

Count us in.

The pumpkin spice K-Cup flavor is one of several from Starbucks, according to reports. Others include caramel, mocha and vanilla, as well as the seasonal peppermint mocha.

Last year, Starbucks released a new Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe, pushed back the annual debut date by a couple days and passed around a PSL Fan Pass with a top-secret password for customers to gain early access to the drink.



Photo Credit: Starbucks]]>
<![CDATA[Suburban Kohl's Store Among 18 Set to Close Nationwide]]> Thu, 17 Mar 2016 17:28:59 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/kohls+store.jpg

A suburban Kohl’s store is one of 18 the company plans to close in June.

The retailer’s St. Charles location, at 3840 E. Main St., will be closed by June 19, the company said.

Kohl’s Corp. announced last month that it was closing 18 brick-and-mortar stores across the country. CEO Kevin Mansell said the stores to be closed account for less than 1 percent of the company's sales.

In addition to the St. Charles location, nine stores will close in California, and eight other stores in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, New Jersey and Wisconsin will also close.

The closures are a shift away from the retailer’s aggressive expansion of stores in recent years across the country.

“While the decision to close stores is a difficult one, we evaluated all of the elements that contribute to making a store successful, and we were thoughtful and strategic in our approach. We are committed to leveraging our resources on our more productive assets,” Mansell said in a statement.

But there is good news for some Midwest shoppers. The company will be opening seven new "smaller format" Kohl’s stores in various regions around the country, as well as two "off-aisle" pilot spin-off discount stores in Wisconsin.

Kohl’s will also make its first entry into the outlet space in the coming year, with plans to open 12 FILA outlet stores.

The Wisconsin-based retail chain reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of $296 million Thursday on net income of $1.58 per share. The results exceeded Wall Street expectations. The department store operator posted revenue of $6.4 billion for the quarter.
 

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<![CDATA[Target Plans New Mysterious Startup]]> Thu, 10 Mar 2016 12:37:01 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/87874312.jpg

Target is looking to hire employees for a new mysterious startup.

The new franchise, called “Goldfish,” is looking to hire 20 team members to work out of the Minnesota-based retailer's tech office in Sunnyvale, California -- the heart of Silicon Valley. 

Little has been released on what exactly the new venture will become, but according to job descriptions, the company plans to bring “innovative project ideas to market via technology.”

“As a Goldfish team member, you'll have a direct impact on the innovation of cutting edge technologies,” a posting for the Head of Engineering reads. “We are ambitious and bent on disrupting the way people shop.”

“Goldfish” is still in its development phase and Target is not yet sharing what the project is about, said Jenna Reck, a spokesperson for Target. 

Target last year hired a number of team members, including entrepreneurs and residents, tasked with building new businesses to help “propel Target’s growth,” Reck said. 

Earlier this month, officials for the retailer revealed plans to boost annual spending on technology and supply chain initiatives to as much as $2.5 billion a year by 2017, according to the Washington Post

The company also increased its digital channel sales by 34 percent last year, according to fourth quarter results. 

The news comes less than a week after the retailer revealed major changes coming to its stores, including a revamping of its grocery business, additions for online shoppers and a new rewards program.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Target Reveals Big Changes Coming to Stores]]> Fri, 04 Mar 2016 17:02:43 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/target-store-sign.jpg

Target is planning big changes in its stores that could make the Minnesota-based retailer a one-stop shop for customers.

Arguably the most notable change will be seen in the company’s grocery aisles.

"At $18.5 billion in sales, grocery is a huge business for Target, which is why we’ve doubled down on the fundamentals in food and are working to transform virtually every element of the grocery business," Target said in a statement.

Customers can expect to see "rolling changes in assortment, presentation, freshness, displays, signage" and more in the coming year, the company said.

Also among the changes will be a new, simpler loyalty program.

"Our current rewards offerings cover a lot of ground. And, while REDCard has been extremely successful, many guests want options beyond a tender-based loyalty program," Target said. "We’re looking to create a program that is clear and simple for guests to understand, offers rewards they care about and makes it easy to participate."

Target lauded its online sales growth for the last year, saying the company saw a 31 percent increase in 2015.

To continue the upward climb in the e-commerce industry, the company said it is testing a designated "order pickup" line in some stores.

It’s the latest announcement from Target, which recently revealed a new line of kids’ home collection, said to provide more neutral items that can be mixed and matched across genders

The company also made headlines when it started testing online grocery delivery service to let shoppers in the Minneapolis area order fruits and other perishables, as well as household, pet and baby products, and have them delivered to their homes in as little as an hour.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Meijer Supercenters Coming to 2 Chicago Suburbs]]> Wed, 02 Mar 2016 11:56:09 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Meijer+Superstore.png

Midwest retailer Meijer Inc. plans to invest more than $400 million in new and remodeled stores this year, including two being built in the Chicago area.

Grand Rapids-based Meijer announced Wednesday that the investment includes construction of nine new Meijer supercenters and 32 remodeling projects. New supercenters are scheduled to open this year in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin.

Chief Executive Officer Hank Meijer says in a statement that the company is "pleased to continue to grow and invest in the Midwest communities that have supported us for so long."

Since 2010, Meijer has opened 36 new stores and remodeled dozens of others. The company says each new store creates as many as 300 jobs.

Meijer operates 224 supercenters and grocery stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin.

The cities of the nine new Meijer supercenters, according to MLive, include:

  • Owensboro, Ky.
  • Evansville, Ind.
  • Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Round Lake Beach, Ill.
  • Flossmoor, Ill
  • Sturgis, Mich.
  • Flat Rock, Mich.
  • Sussex, Wis.
  • Waukesha, Wis.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Chicago



Photo Credit: Meijer Inc.]]>
<![CDATA[Beam Suntory Moves Global Headquarters to Downtown Chicago]]> Tue, 01 Mar 2016 09:19:48 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-462501025.jpg

The alcohol maker Beam Suntory has announced that it will move its global headquarters to Chicago from suburban Deerfield by the end of next year.

The spirits company says it will move more than 450 employees to Chicago's Merchandise Mart. It is the latest company to leave the Chicago suburbs for the city.

Executives said Monday that the company has signed a letter intending to sublease 110,000 square feet in the building along the Chicago River. Beam Suntory CEO Matt Shattock says the company wants to focus on cities like Chicago where consumers, particularly millennials, work and live.

Employees will gradually start moving on Sept. 1. Relocation is scheduled to be finished by the end of 2017.

Kraft Heinz, Hillshire Brands, Walgreens and AT&T all have recently moved employees to downtown Chicago.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Chicago

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<![CDATA[McDonald's Tests New Breakfast Menu]]> Fri, 26 Feb 2016 14:10:39 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-481668528.jpg

McDonald’s is testing the addition of an entirely new breakfast menu.

The world’s largest hamburger chain said a test started this week for a new “Simple Delights Menu,” featuring things like breakfast bowls and Chobani Greek Yogurt.

The tests are being done at about 800 restaurants in Los Angeles and San Diego.

The new menu features “balanced options” for customers as the chain continues to move forward with its revitalization efforts.

Among the options are things like fruit and maple oatmeal, apple slices, cuties and the newly introduced breakfast bowls and yogurt options.

The two new breakfast bowls are expected to be sold during regular business hours for $4.39. Options include an Egg White and Turkey Sausage Breakfast Bowl and a Scrambled Egg and Chorizo Breakfast Bowl.

The Southern California locations will also feature a new Fruit N’ Yogurt Parfait as well as McCafe Fruit Smoothies, which will also include Chobani Greek Yogurt.

McDonald's is riding high from its biggest quarterly U.S. sales jump in nearly four years. The Oak Brook, Illinois company said in January that sales rose 5.7 percent in the last three months of 2015, boosted by its all-day breakfast menu and unseasonably warm weather.

Last month, McDonald’s pushed its operation limits by adding new items to its all-day breakfast lineup, though the turnaround push is far from over. The company's U.S. customer visits fell 3 percent last year, following a 4.1 percent drop in 2014.
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dunkin' Donuts Battles McDonald's in All-Day Breakfast Trend]]> Thu, 25 Feb 2016 16:01:57 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/tlmd-dunkin-donuts-st.jpg+19+feb.jpg

Dunkin’ Donuts may be trying to take a bigger bite out of the all-day breakfast game.

The doughnut and coffee chain has started changing menus and drive-thru signs at 8,400 U.S. shops to showcase its signature coffee and “all day breakfast” options amid declining sales and increasingly tough competition, according to Crain’s Chicago Business.

Dunkin’ Brands Chief Executive Officer Nigel Travis reportedly said “revitalized burger players” were hurting the chain and customers now have “plenty of options from which to choose to get their morning coffee and afternoon pick-me-up,” Crain’s reported.

McDonald's is riding high from its biggest quarterly U.S. sales jump in nearly four years. The Oak Brook, Illinois company said in January that sales rose 5.7 percent in the last three months of 2015, boosted by its all-day breakfast menu and unseasonably warm weather.

Last month, McDonald’s pushed its operation limits by adding new items to its all-day breakfast lineup, though the turnaround push for the world’s largest hamburger chain is far from over. The company's U.S. customer visits fell 3 percent last year, following a 4.1 percent drop in 2014.

Still, the all-day breakfast reminder is the latest attempt Dunkin' Donuts has made to catch up with rivals.

Late last year, Dunkin’ Donuts began testing delivery and on-the-go ordering in a number of states.

Seattle-based coffee chain Starbucks Corp. also offers on-the-go ordering at 7,400 company-owned U.S. stores and was testing deliveries in certain cities.


 

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<![CDATA[Kohl's Plans to Close 18 Stores in 2016]]> Thu, 25 Feb 2016 14:57:34 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/KOHLS.png

Kohl's Corp. says it will close a small fraction of brick-and-mortar stores as it meets the needs of its online customers.

Kohl's closure of 18 stores this year is a shift away from its aggressive expansion of stores in recent years across the country. CEO Kevin Mansell said the stores to be closed account for less than 1 percent of the company's sales. The company will announce which stores will be closed in March. 

“While the decision to close stores is a difficult one, we evaluated all of the elements that contribute to making a store successful, and we were thoughtful and strategic in our approach. We are committed to
leveraging our resources on our more productive assets,” Mansell said.

But there is good news for some Midwest shoppers. The company will be opening seven new "smaller format" Kohl’s stores in various regions around the country, as well as two "off-aisle" pilot spin-off discount stores in Wisconsin.

Kohl’s will also make its first entry into the outlet space in the coming year, with plans to open 12 FILA outlet stores.

The Wisconsin-based retail chain reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of $296 million Thursday on net income of $1.58 per share. The results exceeded Wall Street expectations. The department store operator posted revenue of $6.4 billion for the quarter.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Chicago



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[McDonald's Testing Chobani Yogurt]]> Thu, 25 Feb 2016 09:58:24 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/cms689.jpg

McDonald's is partnering with Chobani to offer Greek yogurt parfaits and smoothies at its Southern California restaurants as the fast-food giant works to transform into a "modern, progressive burger company."

McDonald's spokeswoman Lisa McComb said the partnership is limited to a regional test of about 800 restaurants in Los Angeles and San Diego.

"It's very premature to determine if it may expand," she wrote.

The Southern California restaurants are offering a "Simple Delights Menu" that lists options like apple slices, smoothies and the yogurt parfait made with Chobani.

SoCal restaurants also began selling two breakfast bowls this week. One is made with egg whites, turkey sausage, spinach and kale. The other is made with scrambled eggs and chorizo and includes a hash brown. The chain had tested the bowls on a more limited basis last year, which McComb said was for "operational learnings and customer feedback."

The change-up comes as McDonald's Corp. fights to step up its image, as sales have slumped amid changing tastes and intensifying competition. CEO Steve Easterbrook, who took over last March, has said he wants to transform McDonald's into a "modern, progressive burger company." One of the biggest moves under Easterbrook was the introduction of an all-day breakfast menu in October, which generated positive headlines for the company.

Whether it leads to sustained sales growth remains to be seen. In January, McDonald's said sales jumped 5.7 percent at established U.S. locations in the last three months of 2015, marking its best showing in four years. But the company did not disclose how much of the increase was driven by an uptick in customer visits, versus factors such as price hikes.

A Chobani representative was not immediately available for comment Wednesday. The partnership was reported earlier Tuesday in the San Diego Union Tribune.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Chicago



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[McDonald's Trades Toys for Books Temporarily]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 05:46:57 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/mcdonalds19.jpg

McDonald’s is offering kids something other than toys with their Happy Meals this month.

Children can choose to get a book instead of a prize with their meals through Feb. 15, the company said in a release.

The four different books that are available are: “Paddington” by Michael Bond; “Clark the Shark Takes Heart” by Bruce Hale; “Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse!” by Laura Numeroff; and “Pete the Cat: Valentine’s Day is Cool” by Kimberly and James Dean.

McDonald’s is partnering with Reading is Fundamental for the book drive, donating 100,000 books to the literacy nonprofit.

“Ensuring children have access to books has proven instrumental in combating illiteracy in children in the United States,” said Carol Rasco, the president and CEO of Reading is Fundamental.

This is the third year McDonald’s has made the book offer, according to the release. The first time was in 2013 and by the time the 15th rolls around, the chain will have distributed over 10 million books to kids.

 

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<![CDATA[McDonald’s Faces Lawsuit Over ‘Deceptive’ Mozzarella Sticks]]> Thu, 04 Feb 2016 10:18:45 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/mcdonalds19.jpg

After a flurry of social media posts accused McDonald’s of serving customers mozzarella sticks without the cheese, the fast-food giant faces another damning complaint.

A California resident filed a class-action lawsuit against McDonald’s on Jan. 29, according to documents given to NBC Chicago. The suit alleges that the chain — based in suburban Oak Brook, Illinois — falsely advertised mozzarella sticks as "real mozzarella," and made with "100 percent real cheese."

The lawsuit claims that "McDonald’s has used starch as a cheap substitute and filler" instead of using only cheese in the mozzarella sticks, calling McDonald's labeling and advertising "misleading, deceptive, unfair, and fraudulent."

In a statement released to NBC Chicago, McDonald’s wrote, "Our mozzarella cheese sticks are made with 100% low moisture part skim mozzarella cheese. We intend to defend ourselves vigorously against these allegations."

The latest cheese controversy comes after McDonald’s customers took to social media last week to complain after their mozzarella sticks came without cheese.

The company responded to the cheese controversy in a statement to NBC Chicago, explaining that the cheese may have melted out of the sticks during the cooking process.

"We are aware of a low volume of guest concerns about our Mozzarella Cheese Sticks," spokeswoman Lisa McComb said in an emailed statement. "In these instances, we believe the cheese melted out during the baking process in our kitchens and shouldn't have been served. We apologize to any customers who may have been affected. We are working to fix this in our restaurants."


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<![CDATA[McDonald's Customers Say Mozzarella Sticks Came Without Cheese]]> Fri, 29 Jan 2016 12:09:06 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/172*120/CYWF3ypUAAAfAav.jpg

McDonald’s customers have taken to social media after finding their mozzarella sticks came without cheese.

Twitter users blasted the company with photos confirming the cheese was missing.

"My girl got mozzarella sticks from McDonald's and they gave her them with no cheese @McDonalds y'all slacking," wrote @AntoineFulton.

"@McDonalds I just bought your mozzarella sticks and not one of the three had cheese in the middle. This is pathetic," said @piercenick5.

The company responded to the cheese controversy in a statement to NBC Chicago, explaining that the cheese possibly melted out of the sticks during the cooking process.

"We are aware of a low volume of guest concerns about our Mozzarella Cheese Sticks," spokeswoman Lisa McComb said in an emailed statement. "In these instances, we believe the cheese melted out during the baking process in our kitchens and shouldn't have been served. We apologize to any customers who may have been affected. We are working to fix this in our restaurants."

The Oak Brook-based chain announced its plans to add the snacks to its menus late last year. 

More recently, the company announced it will start offering an expanded all-day breakfast menu that adds McGriddle and biscuit sandwiches in 72 restaurants in Tulsa, Oklahoma.



Photo Credit: @piercenick5/Twitter
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<![CDATA[10 Most In-Demand Jobs in Chicago for 2016: Report]]> Tue, 19 Jan 2016 14:01:13 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/jobs+employment+generic+newspaper.jpg

If you’re looking for a new job this year you might want to consider getting into the health care and tech industries.

According to a new report from Crain’s Chicago Business, demand and pay are up for 10 professions in the Chicago area and the trending industries on the list are health care and tech.

The list ranked the 10 most in-demand Chicago jobs in 2016 that pay $60,000 or more. The ranking used data on growth projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics and interviews from local staffing professionals.

According to the list, industrial organizational psychologists are set to see the biggest growth in the next decade, jumping 53 percent. With salaries ranging from $83,500 to $112,300, experienced psychologists working with corporations will be a prominent field in the coming years.

Also projected to grow significantly in the next 10 years are openings for diagnostic medical sonographers. With the potential to earn into the low figures, sonographers are expected to see growth of up to 46 percent.

Here’s the full list of most in-demand Chicago jobs, and their salaries, according to Crain’s:

1. Java Developer
Projected Growth: 17 percent
Median Salary: $98,000
What they do: Write programs used by mobile devices, websites and mainframes.

2. Information Security Analyst
Projected Growth: 18 percent
Median Salary: $89,000
What they do: Plan security measures to protect companies from cyberattacks. Monitor an organization’s computer networks and system, manage software installations and expose any potential hacking weaknesses.

3. Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs Specialist
Projected Growth: 22 percent
Median Salary: $97,300
What they do: Make sure a company’s pharmaceutical products meet federal regulations and laws.

4. Biomedical Engineer
Projected Growth: 23 percent
Median Salary: $87,000
What they do: Apply engineering principles and design concepts to medicine and biology for healthcare purposes.

5. Orthotist/Prosthetist
Projected Growth: 23 percent
Median Salary: $60,000
What they do: Design and fit prosthetic limbs for patients.

6. Occupational Therapist
Projected Growth: 27 percent
Median Salary: $78,800
What they do: Treat injured, ill, or disabled patients through the therapeutic use of everyday activities.

7. Audiologist
Projected Growth: 29 percent
Median Salary: $73,000
What they do: Identifying and assessing hearing loss and balance problems for patients and fitting them with hearing aids.

8. Genetic Counselor
Projected Growth: 29 percent
Median Salary: $74,000
What they do: Use family and medical histories to assess a patient’s chance of disease and assist with testing, prevention, counseling and management of patients with such diseases.

9. Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
Projected Growth: 46 percent
Median Salary: $62,500
What they do: Healthcare workers who perform diagnostic medical sonography, or ultrasound. Though often associated with pregnancies, sonographers use sound waves to generate images that can be used for assessing and diagnosing medical conditions.

10. Industrial Organizational Psychologist
Projected Growth: 53 percent
Median Salary: $83,500-$112,300
What they do: Use psychological principles for business and organizational issues. The can assist in hiring and training employees, determining suitability for leadership roles and assisting with work performance enhancement.
 

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<![CDATA[McDonald's Testing New Mac and Cheese Side]]> Tue, 22 Dec 2015 18:19:34 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Mac-Cheese.jpg

McDonald’s has confirmed that the chain is testing mac and cheese at certain restaurants in the northeast Ohio area.

“We’re always looking for new ways to offer relevant tastes to our customers, so we’re giving that it a try and gathering valuable feedback from our customers,” Phil Saken, the communications manager for McDonald's Ohio region, told NBC Chicago.

The mac and cheese is selling for $1.75 a la carte and $3.00 in a Happy Meal as an entrée option, Saken said. The 4-ounce servings are a “blend of cheeses used for this ooey gooey goodness.”

Unfortunately, it isn’t clear if it will be offered in any other states. However, the Oak Brook-based chain has announced there will be a new addition to menus across the U.S. next year.

McDonald's USA President Mike Andres has announced plans to widely offer mozzarella sticks in the U.S. as “a snack item to add to your order."
 



Photo Credit: McDonald's]]>
<![CDATA[What Shoppers Aren't Buying This Holiday Season: Report]]> Wed, 16 Dec 2015 14:47:27 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Generic+Gifts+Generic+Holiday+Shopping.jpg

More shoppers may be saying “bah humbug” to clothes this holiday season.

According to a report by Crain’s Chicago Business, the season’s top holiday trends don’t feature much clothing, and recent sales reports indicate the dip in consumption is affecting some major apparel retailers.

Data from IBM Watson Trend, which reports an instant analysis of what consumers are buying, shows the current items on most wishlists are an Apple Watch, Samsung TVs, Sony TVs, Lego Friends and Lego Star Wars. In fact, the only clothing item to make it into the season’s current trending items list was running shoes.

The National Retail Federation noted Tuesday that millions of shoppers still have a lengthy list to finalize.

“While we witnessed an early start to the holiday shopping season and an extraordinary Thanksgiving weekend, some of the busiest shopping days of the year are still to come,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “We expect retailers will be competitive on price and value options in the final stretch, including extended store hours and in-store events, as well as online deals and free shipping offers. Even an unseasonably warm winter cannot keep last-minute shoppers from putting off their holiday purchases anymore.”

According to their final consumer holiday spending survey, however, 50.8 percent of shoppers say they have already purchased clothing and acccessories gifts. That's compared to only 34.5 percent who have bought toys and 22.8 percent who bought electronic items. 

Recent retail data showed sales at clothing and accessories stores have increased 0.8 percent since October, but decreased 1.6 percent when compared to last year. 

Crain’s reported that a dip in sales has forced various reactions from larger retail companies.

For example, Macy’s announced last month that it has “begun a process to explore joint ventures or other deal structures with third parties to redevelop” flagship spaces in Chicago, Manhattan, San Francisco and Minneapolis. The decision came after the company said “the pace of sales” did not improve in the third quarter.

“Spending by domestic customers remained tepid, especially in key apparel and accessory categories,” Macy’s said in a release.

In November, major retailer Nordstrom Inc. revealed the company’s third quarter performance was below company expectations, citing “softer sales trends that were generally consistent across channels and merchandise categories.”

Earlier this year, Gap Inc. revealed plans to close 175 stores and eliminate 250 jobs at its headquarters.
 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Amazon Prime Begins Grocery Delivery in Chicago]]> Thu, 10 Dec 2015 15:59:11 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_93380942358.jpg

Online retailer Amazon expanded its one-hour delivery service Thursday to include groceries for Chicago residents who are members of Amazon Prime.

The service will include groceries, prepared meals and baked goods from Plum Market, Sprinkles Cupcakes and My Fit Foods, according to Amazon. The goods can be ordered through the Prime Now app.

One-hour delivery costs Prime members $7.99 on top of the standard membership fee, and two-hour delivery is free.

Plum Market offers all-natural, organic, local and specialty food items. The grocery chain has one store in Chicago, located at 1233 N. Wells St. in the Old Town neighborhood.

Prime Now is currently available in more than 20 cities across the U.S., including Chicago and Indianapolis.



Photo Credit: AP - FILE]]>
<![CDATA[McDonald's Offers New Sandwiches, Table Service at Some Locations]]> Wed, 02 Dec 2015 14:50:46 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/mcdonald%27s+worker+getty.jpg

Hundreds of McDonald’s restaurants are about to get new sandwich menu items and an entirely new way of ordering.

The Oak Brook, Illinois-based chain announced Wednesday that it plans to offer up Taste Crafted Burgers and Chicken in roughly 600 Southern California restaurants and also plans to test table service at those locations. 

According to the company, the new menu items allow customers to create a sandwich by giving them the option of beef, buttermilk crispy chicken or artisan grilled chicken and a choice between a sesame seed bun, a potato roll or an artisan roll. Customers can also choose one of four flavor options, including pico guacamole, buffalo bacon, maple bacon Dijon and deluxe.

"Consumers have told us that they are looking for variety and the ability to customize their choices. Taste Crafted Burgers and Chicken allows us to cater to our customers' desires," said Clay Paschen III, president, McDonald's Operators' Association of Southern California (MOASC). "We're excited to bring these delicious ingredients, delectable flavors and variety to our Southern California customers."

The table service test means customers will place their order at the front counter and receive a metal stand with their order number on it. They can take the stand to their table and their food will be delivered to them, a company spokesperson confirmed. 

"We know that eating out is about the whole experience from start to finish," said spokeswoman Lisa McComb. "This extra touch of hospitality makes every visit more enjoyable from the time customers order until they are ready to leave."

It was not clear if the sandwich option and table service would eventually be rolled out nationwide, but McComb said the company is focused on "gathering the valuable customer and crew feedback from this test."

Last month, Bloomberg reported that McDonald’s rolled out a new method for taking orders from the drive-thru window to ensure accuracy. The company also announced plans to offer mozzarella sticks nationwide next year.  



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Chicago Company Named Best Retailer for 2015 Cyber Week]]> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 10:54:54 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/cyber+monday+TLMD.jpg

Those who choose to skip out on the Black Friday chaos may choose to explore Cyber Monday deals instead, but for shoppers looking to save even more during the online shopping frenzy, it appears some retailers are better than others.

According to Wallethub, a personal finance website, an analysis of thousands of holiday cyber deals from 30 of the biggest U.S. retailers shows a Chicago-based organization is offering the largest discounts for 2015.

Groupon was listed as the best retailer for Cyber Week, with a 62-percent discount rate, according to the report. The Chicago company was followed in the ranking by Belk, Bon-Ton, JCPenney, Macy’s, eBay, Kohl’s, Sears, Amazon and Kmart.

The most discounted category for Cyber Week was jewelry, while computers, phones and video games were the least discounted items, according to the study.

Cyber Monday sales are expected to hit the $3 billion mark for the first time this year, the largest one-day sales total in e-commerce history, the report states.

The average discount for the online event is 36 percent, Wallethub stated, noting that in 5 out of 9 products analyzed in the study, discounts were bigger on Black Friday.

The worst retailers listed in the study were Gander Mountain, Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy, Best Buy and Gap. 

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<![CDATA[McDonald's Changes Process for Drive-Thru Orders]]> Mon, 23 Nov 2015 15:46:53 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/cms671.jpg

McDonald’s knows there is nothing more annoying than waiting out a long line at the drive-thru only to get your food and realize something is wrong with your order, which is why the fast-food giant has reportedly rolled out a brand new method for taking orders from the drive-thru window.

About 70 percent of McDonald’s orders come from people who never leave their car and the restaurant chain is hoping a new measure called "ask, ask, tell" will keep customers happy by ensuring their orders are right, according to Bloomberg.

"Ask, ask, tell" slows down the drive-thru ordering process for McDonald’s U.S. stores, requiring employees to repeat the orders back to customers three times: first when they place their order, a second time at the window when they pay and a final time when they hand customers their food.

The new process gives customers three different times in the drive-thru process to ensure every detail of their order is correct down to the condiments and special modifications, but it will likely create a slightly longer wait time for the added steps for each single order.

McDonald’s has also asked storefronts to turn off the pre-recorded greetings at drive-thrus so real employees say hello instead, Crain’s Chicago Business reports.

Finally, workers will no longer fold over the tops of bags at the end of the ordering process, so customers can easily peak inside to make sure their food is correct.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Tyson Closing Plants in Chicago and Wisconsin ]]> Thu, 19 Nov 2015 19:00:26 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/tlmd_tyson_logo.jpg

Tyson Foods says it's closing plants in Chicago and Jefferson, Wisconsin, in a move that will affect 880 workers.

Springdale, Arkansas-based Tyson said in a statement Thursday the closures are due to changing product needs, the age of both facilities and prohibitive costs of renovations, as well as the distance of the Chicago plant from its raw material suppliers.

Job losses at the Chicago plant, which makes prepared foods for the hospitality industry, will total around 480 people. Another 400 positions will be lost at the Jefferson plant, which makes sliced pepperoni and ham for pizza toppings, as well as sliced pepperoni and salami for deli and food service applications.

The company expects to close the plants in the second half of its fiscal year, which ends Oct 1, 2016. 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[These Are The New Items Replacing McDonald's Dollar Menu]]> Mon, 16 Nov 2015 15:32:02 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/186*120/GettyImages-159067598+%281%29.jpg

It's the Dollar Menu, take two.

McDonald's hopes it has a catchy, new deal that will be as hugely popular as its Dollar Menu. Starting Jan. 4, the fast-food chain will launch the "McPick 2" menu, which will let customers pick two of the following items for $2: a McDouble, a McChicken, small fries and mozzarella sticks.

The offering has gained the necessary votes from franchisees to make it onto the national menu, and will be available in U.S. restaurants for a five-week run starting Jan. 4. After that, McDonald's said it may change the details of the offering, but that it plans to stick with the "McPick" concept and name.

It's just the latest effort by McDonald's to revive slumping sales with bigger moves, such as making breakfast items like Egg McMuffins available all day. The chain has also been trying to find a new way to attract deal seekers after moving away from the Dollar Menu, which was introduced more than a decade ago.

"As we moved away from the Dollar Menu, we didn't replace it with offers of an equivalent form of value. And customers have voted with their feet," CEO Steve Easterbrook said in July.

Whether the McPick menu catches on remains to be seen.

In an attempt to wean customers off the Dollar Menu in 2012, McDonald's rolled out an "Extra Value Menu" that offered items for a range of prices. After that failed to take hold, the company turned to the "Dollar Menu & More," which channeled a proven name but may have confused people with its range of prices.

McDonald's isn't alone in struggling to get customers to let go of the $1 price. Wendy's tried replacing its 99-cent menu with a "Right Price Right Size" menu, but acknowledged the switch wasn't doing the job. Last month, it began promoting a limited-time "4 for $4" deal that includes a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger, chicken nuggets, fries and a drink.

Deborah Wahl, senior vice president of marketing for the U.S., said the McPick platform was designed to give people options.

"Customers are looking for choice and flexibility. That's sort of the new definition of value," she said.

While deals remain a staple in fast-food industry, striking on the right one can be tricky. Franchises pay for ingredients like beef and cheese and have to think about whether they can charge low prices and still make money. Companies, meanwhile, get a percentage of sales in royalty fees no matter what.

That can lead to tensions over pricing. In 2009, for instance, Burger King franchisees sued the company over a $1 double cheeseburger they said they were losing money on. The suit was later settled.

As for the McPick menu, McDonald's noted that it has wide support and gained a "high majority" of franchisee votes, although it declined to provide details. When asked whether franchisees in regions with higher costs such as New York might lose money on the offer, Wahl said the deal is designed to drive customer traffic into stores.

McDonald's Corp., based in Oak Brook, Illinois, said votes from franchisees on the McPick menu were finalized Monday, although it secured the needed votes for approval earlier.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Chicago



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Macy's Considers Redeveloping Flagship State Street Store]]> Wed, 11 Nov 2015 14:23:27 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-458643256.jpg

Macy’s announced Wednesday that it is considering redeveloping its flagship State Street store in Chicago, among others.

The company said in a release it has “begun a process to explore joint ventures or other deal structures with third parties to redevelop” flagship spaces in Chicago, Manhattan, San Francisco and Minneapolis.

The redevelopment would be done in “a manner that maintains a robust Macy’s retail store presence while also bringing alternative use into those buildings,” Macy’s said.

The announcement came as Macy’s revealed its third-quarter financial results.

“We are disappointed that the pace of sales did not improve in the third quarter, as we had expected,” Terry J. Lundgren, chairman and chief executive officer of Macy’s, Inc., said in a statement. “Spending by domestic customers remained tepid, especially in key apparel and accessory categories. Simultaneously, the slowdown in buying by international visitors continued to significantly impact Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores in tourist centers, which are some of our company’s largest-volume and most profitable locations.”

The company announced in September it planned to close 35 to 40 locations in early 2016, or as much as 5 percent of its namesake department stores.  



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Kroger to Buy Roundy's for $178M to Expand in Midwest]]> Wed, 11 Nov 2015 11:31:42 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/marianos.png

Kroger said Wednesday that it plans to buy fellow grocer Roundy's for about $178 million to expand in the Midwest.

Roundy's Inc. owns about 150 stores in Wisconsin and Illinois. Its shops include Copps, Mariano's, Metro Market and Pick 'n Save.

Cincinnati-based Kroger said the deal will give it a presence in new areas. Kroger Co. operates more than 2,600 stores in 34 states. It owns several supermarket chains, including City Market, Ralphs and Harris Teeter.

Together Kroger and Roundy’s will operate 2,774 supermarkets and employ over 422,000 associates, according to the company.

“We are excited about becoming part of The Kroger Co.," said Robert A. Mariano, chief executive officer of Roundy’s, Inc. "Kroger’s scale, knowledge and experience allows us to accelerate the strategic initiatives we have invested in and makes us a more formidable competitor in the marketplace. This is a great win for our customers, communities, employees and our shareholders, and I personally look forward to continue to exceed customer and employee expectations. ”

Kroger said it doesn't plan to close any stores and Roundy's headquarters will stay in Milwaukee.

As part of the deal, Kroger said it will pay $3.60 for each share of Roundy's, a 61 percent premium over its closing price of $2.18 on Tuesday. Including debt, Kroger valued the deal at $800 million.

"We admire what Bob Mariano has done with the Mariano’s banner in Chicago," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and chief executive officer. "He has created an urban format that is resonating with customers and we expect to apply Roundy’s experience to our stores in urban areas around the country," 

The deal is expected to close before the end of the year, although Roundy's has an option to find another buyer within 30 days.

Shares of Roundy's jumped $1.40, or 64 percent, to $3.58 in morning trading Wednesday. Kroger shares slipped 31 cents to $36.96.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Chicago

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<![CDATA['Make Our Wages Supersize': Group Marches in Chicago in Fight for 15 Protest]]> Tue, 10 Nov 2015 19:17:24 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/fight+for+15+2.JPG

More than a hundred fast food workers and their supporters protested in Chicago Tuesday to call for a national minimum wage of $15 an hour along with the right to unionize.

The group gathered early Tuesday morning outside the McDonald’s at Milwaukee and Western shouting “hold your burgers, hold your fries, make our wages supersized.”

“It basically means poverty,” said Solo Littlejohn, who makes $8.25 an hour as a cook for Kentucky Fried Chicken. “We have to make sacrifices. There are places where we cannot get the simple things that we need. Simple things like body wash, shampoo… simple things we should have to go without.”

The Fight for 15 movement sponsored marches like the one in Chicago in 270 cities nationwide, hoping to become a powerful political bloc with the presidential elections nearly a year away.

By mid-morning protesters marched from Milwaukee and Western to a McDonald’s at 356th Street and Indiana.

“As a single parent with one child I need at least $22 an hour,” said Mary Hood, who earned $10.50 an hour at McDonald’s. “At least at $15 [an hour] I can do more. With what I am making now I can barely do anything.”

McDonald’s raised wages at company-owned restaurants in July to $1 more than the locally mandated minimum wage; it also created new learning opportunities for employees, the company said. 

“Generally speaking, the topic of minimum wage goes well beyond McDonald's - it affects our country's entire workforce,” McDonald’s said in a statement Tuesday. “McDonald's and our independent franchisees support paying our valued employees fair wages aligned with a competitive marketplace. We believe that any minimum wage increase should be implemented over time so that the impact on owners of small and medium-sized businesses - like the ones who own and operate the majority of our restaurants - is manageable. We respect people's right to peacefully protest, and our restaurants remain open every day with the focus on providing an exceptional experience for our customers."

But protesters said Tuesday’s march was about more than just minimum wage – adding that it was also about racial and economic justice.

That’s why the group says it marched to Chicago Police headquarters Tuesday afternoon and called for the firing of Dante Servin, the officer who shot and killed 22-year-old Rekia Boyd three years ago.

The Chicago agency responsible for investigating allegations for police misconduct recommended in September that Servin be fired for the fatal off-duty shooting. Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy is expected to determine if Servin will remain on the force.  



Photo Credit: Charlie Wojciechowski]]>
<![CDATA[McDonald's to Offer Mozzarella Sticks Nationwide Next Year]]> Tue, 10 Nov 2015 16:05:15 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/160*120/mcdonalds-sign-gallery.jpg

McDonald’s plans to add a new snack item to menus across the country next year.

McDonald's USA President Mike Andres announced plans Tuesday to widely offer mozzarella sticks in the U.S. as “a snack item to add to your order,” a company spokesperson confirmed. 

The move is the latest addition to the Oak Brook-based chain’s menus.

The fast food giant made headlines after it rolled out all-day breakfast options nationally last month.

Reports have also indicated the chain may soon chop the Dollar Menu and add a $2 menu in a program called the “Pick 2.” The “Pick 2” would allow customers to choose two items for $2. Franchise owners were expected to vote on the 2-for-2 deal late last month.

The franchise is also making a few other tweaks as a way to entice customers, like toasting burger buns longer and searing burger patties. Most recently, the company revealed plans to test Monster drinks at about 20 restaurants in the U.S., including in Illinois.

Since new CEO Steve Easterbrook took over the company in March, McDonald’s has seen an uptick in sales at U.S. locations during the third quarter. It’s the first time sales have increased in two years.

Easterbrook has said he wants to transform McDonald's into a "modern, progressive burger company."



Photo Credit: NBCChicago.com/File
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<![CDATA[SC Johnson to Move 175 Jobs to Chicago]]> Sat, 07 Nov 2015 18:46:13 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/ziploc+bags.jpg

S.C. Johnson and Son Incorporated announced it will invest $50 million to $80 million in its global headquarters in Racine and move 175 jobs to Chicago within the next year or two.

Senior vice president of global corporate affairs Kelly Semrau says the construction project is expected to start next spring and be finished in about two years. And the company says locating some jobs in Chicago will help expand the company's talent pool so it can remain competitive. No jobs will be eliminated.

S.C. Johnson, a maker of household products, has about 13,000 employees worldwide, including 2,250 in the Racine area.

The company is known for manufacturing products under brands including Pledge, Raid, Scrubbing Bubbles, Windex and Ziploc.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Chicago



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Tesla Eyeing Showroom on Michigan Avenue]]> Sat, 07 Nov 2015 16:26:00 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_744246684318.jpg

The Magnificent Mile may become a little more magnificent in coming months, as luxury car maker Tesla Motors is in talks to lease a two-level showroom in the Park Hyatt Chicago. 

Entrepreneur Elon Musk is reportedly looking into opening a flagship Tesla showroom at 800 N. Michigan Ave, according to Crain's Chicago Business. The two-level, 10,000-square foot space has been vacant since clothing brand Giorgio Armani moved its boutique to Oak Street in August. 

The lease has not been finalized and other potential tenants, including other car companies, have been looking into the space. Tesla is unique in that the company sells its cars directly to customers, rather than through a traditional dealership structure.

In 2009, the company opened a sales and service center at 1053 W. Grand Ave., and three other locations in various Chicago suburbs have opened since. Car aficionados recognize Tesla as a luxury brand, with status symbol cars like the Model S selling for around $75,000. 



Photo Credit: AP-FILE]]>
<![CDATA[Kraft Heinz to Move Oscar Mayer HQ to Chicago]]> Wed, 04 Nov 2015 15:10:57 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/OscarMayer2.jpg

Kraft Heinz announced Wednesday it will move the headquarters for Oscar Mayer to Chicago in 2016.

Early next year, an estimated 250 Oscar Mayer employees will move from Madison, Wisconsin, to the new Kraft Heinz co-headquarters at the AON Center, where Kraft Heinz signed a 12.5-year lease earlier this year, according to a statement from the mayor's office. 

Along with the move to Chicago, Kraft Heinz will close seven North American manufacturing facilities, including the one in Madison, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Earlier this year, Kraft Heinz announced it was cutting about 2,500 jobs to help slash costs after Kraft and Heinz combined. About 700 of those cuts were to come to Kraft's Northfield, Illinois, headquarters.

"Oscar Mayer's decision to return to Chicago is a reflection of the talent of our workforce, the strength of our world-class transportation networks and the certainty and confidence we have given businesses that invest in our city ... Oscar Mayer's move to Chicago adds to our strength as a leading destination for food companies and I look forward to watching them create more jobs for our residents and build a great future here in Chicago," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement.



Photo Credit: AP Images for Oscar Mayer]]>
<![CDATA[Target Closing 13 Stores Nationwide, Citing Falling Profits]]> Wed, 04 Nov 2015 14:48:17 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-71478723.jpg

Target plans to close 13 stores nationwide in 2016, including several in the Midwest.

The Minneapolis-based retailer says a decision to close a store usually follows several years of decreasing profitability. The retail giant plans to close the stores on Jan. 30, 2016. The 13 are among Target's nearly 1,800 stores in the U.S.

Target was hurt by a massive credit-card breach before Christmas 2013 that sent shoppers temporarily fleeing. The company also botched a major expansion into Canada and pulled the plug on that earlier this year.

Layoffs in 2015 included 2,500 jobs, or about one-fifth of the workers in the company's corporate offices in Minneapolis and Brooklyn Park.

The 13 stores slated to close in 2016, according to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, are located in:

Casa Grande, Arizona
Victorville, California
Suncoast Pasco County in Odessa, Florida
Dixie Highway in Louisville, Kentucky
Anderson, Indiana
Ottumwa, Iowa
East Flint in Flint, Michigan
New Ulm, Minnesota
Springfield, Ohio
Columbus Southwest in Columbus, Ohio
Austin North East in Austin, Texas
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Superior, Wisconsin

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Chicago



Photo Credit: Getty Images/File]]>
<![CDATA[Wiener's Circle Dresses for Halloween]]> Fri, 30 Oct 2015 17:35:52 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/image2116.JPG

Who said restaurants can’t dress up for Halloween? 

Wiener's Circle – the hot dog stand that became known for its sassy staffers – decided to convert its store into McDowell's, just like the fictional restaurant in the 1988 film "Coming to America."

The restaurant went all out; all the signs were changed to McDowell's, and all the workers dressed as fast-food workers from the movie. General Manager Scott Brooker said customers have been fooled, thinking the famous stand is no longer operating (but don’t worry, they are still serving their famous hot dogs).

In the film, Cleo McDowell explains how his restaurant is different from McDonald’s: “They got the Big Mac, I got the Big Mick. We both got two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions, but their buns have sesame seeds. My buns have no seeds.”

Winer's Circle was sold last month, but Brooker explained that while they are under new leadership, restaurant management wanted to let everyone know they are still serving hot dogs that have been named as among the best in the country.

“McDowell’s just seemed like the best way to do it,” Brooker said. “We’re across from McDonald's. They got the Big Mac, we got the Big Mick.”

The restaurant, located at 2622 N. Clark St., is known for its authentic Chicago-style char-grilled hot dogs and hamburgers. It has also become a YouTube fan favorite and tourist attraction thanks to its late-night shenanigans, which include employees hurling insults at customers and the ever-popular “milkshake.”

The Wiener Circle will serve the "Big Mick" through the weekend.

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<![CDATA[Peet's Coffee & Tea Buys Intelligentsia Coffee]]> Fri, 30 Oct 2015 12:54:04 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/160*121/Intelligentsia+Coffee+Bar.jpg

Peet’s Coffee and Tea on Friday announced that it has acquired a majority stake in Chicago-based Intelligentsia Coffee.

It’s a move Intelligentsia founder Doug Zell called “interesting and rewarding.”

The coffee roaster, which started in October of 1995 and made a name for itself as a small, independent coffee company,  currently has locations in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York, but according to Peet's, that won't change with the acquisition. 

Intelligentsia’s co-founders and the company’s co-owner said they will still have a significant stake in the company and Intelligentsia will “continue to operate independently."

“Peet's recognizes that we are special and wants to provide a canvas that will allow more of the world to see the picture we are painting,” Doug Zell, founder of Intelligentsia, wrote in a letter Friday. “Perhaps a good analogy is we've been showing our artwork at a local gallery and now have an opportunity for a spot at the Louvre.”

Peet's said everything from the farmers Intelligentsia uses to the process it uses to acquire its coffee will remain the same, but the company will have "full access to Peet's resources and scale."

The announcement comes just weeks after Peet’s Coffee & Tea acquired ownership of Portland’s Stumptown Coffee Roasters.

“As the super-premium coffee category further explodes and fragments due to more consumers (18-34 year olds) demanding variety and highly specialized coffee experiences, it’s important that we offer differentiated craft coffee brands with unique propositions and appeal,” Dave Burwick, CEO of Peet’s Coffee, said in a statement. “With the recent addition of both Intelligentsia and Stumptown, together with Peet’s, we are building a craft powerhouse of highly complementary brands and businesses that satisfy the desires of the new coffee connoisseur as well as traditional craft coffee consumers."

In 2013, Caribou Coffee closed 18 Chicago locations, converting several stores to Peet’s Coffee & Tea shops.
 

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<![CDATA[Date Set for Opening of New Suburban Portillo's Restaurant]]> Tue, 27 Oct 2015 16:30:41 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/206*120/portillos3.png

The date for the opening of the Portillo’s restaurant in Gurnee has been set.

Fans can visit the new location in Gurnee Mills Circle at 6102 W. Grand Avenue on November 10th at 10:30 a.m.

The chain said on its Facebook page that the location was inspired in part by a man who started a campaign to get one in the suburb. Joe Kahn created another Facebook page, “Gurnee Wants a Portillo’s,” because people in the area couldn’t wait for one to open.

“Portillo’s opening in Gurnee has been a hot topic as long as I’ve lived here. Every time a new parcel of land would open up or a new building was started, there were rumors that it was going to be a Portillo’s. But it never was,” Kahn said in an interview with the restaurant. “I got the idea to start the Facebook page as a way to not only be a central source of information, but as a way to get support for what I truly believed was a solid location for a new store.”

A Facebook event page has been made for the opening of the new location. People in the area hope to beat the Portillo’s attendance record of 5,000 set in Rockford, according to the page.



Photo Credit: Instagram/PortillosHotDogs]]>
<![CDATA[Hot Dog Emoji Now Available on Apple Devices]]> Thu, 22 Oct 2015 17:30:44 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/hot+dog+emoji.jpg

The hot dog emoji is now available with Apple’s latest update to allow Mac and iPhone users to express their love for the beloved food.

Some local business took to social media to celebrate the new emoji.

It should be noted that the emoji comes after a campaign last year by Chicago hot dog restaurant Superdawg to make it a reality.

General Manager Laura Ustick began a campaign to advocate for the creation of the hot dog emoji, and the campaign attracted national attention. Emoji are the colorful pictures and icons used in electronic messages to communicate things, from feelings to food.

Ustick noticed a demand for the emoji after witnessing Twitter discussions about the absence of a hot dog. After that, she has joined the conversation and created a prototype for the emoji. She even launched a Change.org petition asking emoji creator Shigetaka Kurita to add a hotdog symbol -- without ketchup -- to the visual library.

"We take our hot dogs very seriously," Usick said about the campaign.

Ustick used social media sites like Twitter and the Facebook page "Hot Dog Emoji Coalition" to get the word out.

"The emoji is a universal language, and the hot dog is a universal food," she said.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[McDonald's Dollar Menu Could Get Chopped]]> Thu, 22 Oct 2015 14:35:01 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/mcdonalds+drive+thru.jpg

McDonald’s turnaround plan includes a major menu change.

Nation’s Restaurant News reports the Dollar Menu may soon become the $2 dollar menu. McDonald’s has dubbed the program “Pick 2,” and will allow customers to choose two items for $2. Franchise owners will take a vote on the 2-for-2 deal later this month.

McDonald’s first introduced the Dollar Menu in 2002, but has moved away from the option as costs for ingredients have climbed.

The franchise is also making a few other tweaks as a way to entice customers, like toasting burger buns longer and searing burger patties. Most recently, the company revealed plans to test Monster drinks at about 20 restaurants in the U.S., including in Illinois.

Since new CEO Steve Easterbrook took over the Oak Brook-based company in March, McDonald’s has seen an uptick in sales at U.S. locations during the third quarter. It’s the first time sales have increased in two years.

New CEO Steve Easterbrook took over the Oak Brook-based company in March. Easterbrook said he wants to transform McDonald's into a "modern, progressive burger company.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Chicago



Photo Credit: Getty Images/File]]>
<![CDATA[Chicago-Based Radio Flyer Named Best Small Workplace]]> Wed, 21 Oct 2015 20:01:52 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/radio+flyer+wagons.jpg

A Chicago company has been named the best small company to work for in the U.S. in an annual ranking of small- and medium-sized companies by Fortune magazine.

Radio Flyer, the maker of the famous little red wagon, nabbed the No. 1 spot on the list of the best small workplaces. Today, the company is the leading producer of wagons, tricycles and three-wheel scooters and employs 58 people in the U.S. and 35 outside of the country.

In its company profile in Fortune magazine, Radio Flyer hit the jackpot for offering telecommuting, compressed work weeks, an onsite fitness center, discounted gym memberships, college tuition reimbursement and paid time off for volunteering, among other things.

In 2004, the company was forced to lay off half of its employees and closed its historic Chicago factory to outsource manufacturing to China. In the years since, however, the company has flourished, and it is consistently named among the best places to work.

To compile the lists of the best small and medium workplaces, Fortune surveyed more than 88,000 workers at 540 companies with25 to 999 employees.

The top five small workplaces are: 

1. Radio Flyer — Chicago
2. Square Root — Austin, Texas
3. Granite Properties — Plane, Texas
4. PPR Talent Management Group — Jacksonville Beach, Florida
5. Ruby Receptionists — Portland, Oregon

The top five medium workplaces are:

1. Intuitive Research and Technology — Huntsville, Alabama
2. Atlassian — San Francisco
3. ESL Federal Credit Union — Rochester, New York
4. 4imprint — Oshkosh, Wisconsin
5. Squarespace — New York



Photo Credit: File - Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Story Behind Starbuck's 'Beast Mode' Frappuccino]]> Wed, 21 Oct 2015 13:27:35 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/Beast_Mode_Frappuccino_%289%29.jpg

What happens when one the biggest NFL stars pairs up with a coffee powerhouse? A drink called 'Beast Mode' is born.

At least that's what the final product was when Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch teamed up with Starbucks to launch a new Frappuccino flavor, with proceeds from the blended coffee creation benefiting inner city youth through his Fam 1st Family Foundation.

Lynch came up with the concoction by trying a variety of the coffee chain's flavors before mixing them together and deciding what went together best.

The 'Beast Mode' is a double mocha Frappuccino with mint, cream and protein powder, topped with whipped cream, "purple berry drizzle" and matcha green tea powder.

“I’d drink this before a workout,” Lynch said. “You could get your buff on with this.”

Beast Mode hits select Starbucks shops on Oct. 22 and will be available through the football season.



Photo Credit: Starbuck's]]>
<![CDATA[Uniqlo to Open Flagship Store in Chicago Friday]]> Fri, 23 Oct 2015 17:26:57 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/uniqlo+manhattan.jpg

The Japanese retail store Uniqlo is set to open its flagship store — and second largest store — in Chicago on Friday.

The opening will include giveaways, prizes, deals and a performance, the company wrote on its website.

UNIQLO will give away tote bags to the first 1,000 people at the store as well as 100% cashmere scarves to the first 200 people in line.

Customers who make a $50+ purchase will receive a free t-shirt.

The 60,000-square-foot store is located at 830 N. Michigan Ave. on the Magnificent Mile. It will be the second largest store after the Fifth Avenue location in New York.

Uniqlo sells casual attire, including sweaters, scarves and jeans, as well as sportswear for men, women and children.

"Chicago is a global city that's home to some of the finest cultural and sports institutions in the world, and we are thrilled to join the city's rich landscape," said Larry Meyer, CEO of Uniqlo USA.

Uniqlo currently has more than 40 stores in the U.S., but the Chicago location will be its first in the Midwest. Worldwide, there are at least 1,600 Uniqlo stores.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Toby Keith's Closes Early After Staff Steals From Restaurant]]> Fri, 16 Oct 2015 11:44:25 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/175*120/GettyImages-173092769.jpg

Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill in Rosemont, Illinois, had until Oct. 31 before it needed to close its doors for good, according to the village's mayor, but it appears the restaurant shut down early after management accused workers of stealing memorabilia and liquor from the venue.

The restaurant's general manager, Larry Vanni, told the Daily Herald that once reports came out that the venue would soon close he had a meeting with his staff, asking them to remain professional. But, he said, "some of them took it to the extreme" and "a few bad eggs ruined it for everybody."

Up to 50 staff members will lose their jobs with the closing of the once popular restaurant, but Vanni reportedly claimed about six or seven workers stole items from the bar Wednesday night, including autographed Toby Keith memorabilia and raided the bar's alcohol supply.

Vanni told the publication the only reason the venue decided to close was because management "couldn't trust staff to show up and do their jobs professionally."

Rosemont officials announced Thursday that Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill would close on Oct. 31. 

Village of Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens noted, however, that the doors were locked at the restaurant Thursday and the restaurant was not open during the afternoon. 

Village officials said Wednesday they plan to replace Toby Keith’s with a project from Joe’s Bar on Weed Street and Lettuce Entertain You’s Bub City, the Daily Herald reported.

The joint venture between Joe’s Bar and Bub City, both of which are country-themed bars and restaurants in Chicago, could open in the spring.

The village board on Wednesday approved a lease with Rosemont Ventures LLC, the Bub City and Joe’s Bar project, according to the publication.

An eviction hearing for Toby Keith's was scheduled for Thursday. 

Reports that Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill could be forced out of Rosemont first surfaced in August after an eviction suit was filed from the village of Rosemont, saying the restaurant owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes and rent.

General manager Larry Vanni responded to the suit and the reports shortly after, saying everything the bar and restaurant owed was paid and the company wanted to stay in Rosemont.

Vanni later told the Daily Herald, a check he received from the company’s corporate offices came from a closed account and Boomtown Entertainment CEO Frank Capri said Wednesday he plans to seek new legal counsel to explore the company’s options in Rosemont.

Boomtown Entertainment did not immediately respond to NBC Chicago’s request for comment.  

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<![CDATA[Toby Keith's Bar in Rosemont Will Soon Close]]> Thu, 15 Oct 2015 16:18:09 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP483260167176.jpg

Toby Keith’s will soon leave Rosemont, and another country-inspired venue could take its place.

Rosemont officials announced Thursday that Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill will close on Oct. 31. 

Village of Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens said the doors were locked at the restaurant and the restaurant was not open Thursday. 

Village officials said Wednesday they plan to replace Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill with a project from Joe’s Bar on Weed Street and Lettuce Entertain You’s Bub City, the Daily Herald reports.

The joint venture between Joe’s Bar and Bub City, both of which are country-themed bars and restaurants in Chicago, could open in the spring.

The village board on Wednesday approved a lease with Rosemont Ventures LLC, the Bub City and Joe’s Bar project, the Daily Herald reported.

An eviction hearing for Toby Keith's was reportedly scheduled for Thursday. 

Reports that Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill could be forced out of Rosemont first surfaced in August after an eviction suit was filed from the village of Rosemont, saying the restaurant owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes and rent.

General manager Larry Vanni responded to the suit and the reports shortly after, saying everything the bar and restaurant owed was paid and the company wanted to stay in Rosemont.

Vanni later told the Daily Herald, a check he received from the company’s corporate offices came from a closed account and Boomtown Entertainment CEO Frank Capri said Wednesday he plans to seek new legal counsel to explore the company’s options in Rosemont.

Boomtown Entertainment did not immediately respond to NBC Chicago’s request for comment.  



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Tribune Tower is For Sale: Report]]> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 15:23:27 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Tribune-Tower.jpg

Chicago’s historic Tribune Tower is reportedly for sale.

The building’s owner, Tribune Media, announced Thursday that it has hired real estate investment banker Eastdil Secured to explore options for a sale or partnership to redevelop the Michigan Avenue landmark, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Murray McQueen, president of Tribune Real Estate, reportedly said in a statement that the offer is “an incredible opportunity” and they “are expecting a high level of interest from a broad range of private and institutional investors and developers.

The 36-story building, which houses the Chicago Tribune, was built in 1925 and named a Chicago landmark in 1989.
 



Photo Credit: Joe Sutton]]>
<![CDATA[Take a Sneak Peek at the New Boozy Target in Streeterville]]> Wed, 07 Oct 2015 18:04:30 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/boozy+target6.jpg

The new alcohol-serving Target in Streeterville is all set to open next week, and the first glimpse of the store is impressive.

The store, located at 401 E. Illinois St., the former location of Fox and Obel, will be the Minnesota-based retailer's first location to serve alcohol. It is expected to open Oct. 11.

A spokesperson for Target confirmed last month that the Streeterville store sought a liquor license but declined to elaborate on plans for the bar area.

The store was originally slated to open as a TargetExpress, which is a smaller, urban-focused version of the regular Target store. Although the company later announced that all CityTarget and TargetExpress stores would be renamed "Target" and rebranded with the company's logo, the Streeterville location appears to have kept the small, urban theme.

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<![CDATA[Portillo's Reveals Plans for First Wisconsin Location]]> Wed, 07 Oct 2015 12:02:56 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/219*120/Portillos+Brookfield_Renderings.jpg

Cheeseheads can soon get a little taste of Chicago-style grub thanks to Portillo’s.

The Oak Brook-based chain known for its hot dogs and Italian beef menu items has submitted plans to build a restaurant in Brookfield, Wisconsin, located west of Milwaukee.

The restaurant would be the first in Wisconsin.

The proposed site would be located on Bluemound Road, at The Shoppes a the Corridor, but the plan is awaiting approval from the Plan Commission and City Council. The chain hopes to open the new restaurant in the second half of 2016.

“While we started as a Chicagoland restaurant, our neighbors to the north have been badgering us for years to bring Portillo's across the state line,” Portillo’s said in a release. “We are thrilled at the opportunity to expand into Wisconsin.”

It’s not the first out-of-state restaurant for the chain, who revealed earlier this year that it plans to open a location in Tampa.

The announcement was made just after the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Tampa Bay Lightning to take home the Stanley Cup.

"Tampa residents spent years peppering us with requests to build a restaurant — you really put us in a pickle. So we’re thrilled we’re finally making our way to Florida," an advertisement from Portillo’s read.

Portillo's started as a hot dog stand in Chicago in 1963 and has grown to more than 40 locations, with only a handful located outside of Illinois.

Last month, the chain revealed plans to open a second Chicago location in the city’s South Loop.

The South Loop storefront also aims to be open in early 2016, Portillo’s director of marking Nick Scarpino said in an email.

In April, the Oak Brook-based chain also applied for a permit in Gurnee, which is set to open in November.
 



Photo Credit: Portillo's]]>
<![CDATA[UPS to Hire More Than 3,000 People in Chicago Area]]> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 17:44:33 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-459450119.jpg

UPS has announced it will hire more than 3,000 people in the Chicago area for seasonal positions.

Tractor-trailer drivers start at $27 per hour and delivery drivers start at $18.75 per hour, the company said in a press release.

The company is also hiring package handlers who will start at $10.10 per hour.

UPS is hiring at six area locations:

• UPS Palatine Facility, 2100 N. Hicks Road
• UPS Northbrook Facility, 2525 Shermer Road
• UPS Franklin Park Facility, 2301 N Rose St.
• UPS Bedford Park Facility, 6700 W 73rd St.
• UPS Jefferson Street Facility, 1400 S. Jefferson St.
• UPS Addison Facility, 150 S. Lombard Ave.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Verizon Moving Center to Rolling Meadows, Adding 200 Jobs]]> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 16:50:46 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/verizon+banner.jpg

Verizon Wireless says it plans to add 200 workers at a new call center in Chicago's western suburbs beginning next year.

The company will begin hiring the new workers over a year's time after moving 900 workers from a call center in Elgin to a larger office in Rolling Meadows.

Joan Bowyer, Verizon's vice president of customer service, tells the (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald  that the company considered Chicago and other suburban sites to accommodate its growing number of workers, their commutes and future needs.

The new offices will include the call center, social media team and chat group workers.

Verizon's Midwest headquarters are based in nearby Schaumburg.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Chicago



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Last Chance to Dine at Ed Debevic's in River North]]> Sun, 04 Oct 2015 14:21:12 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/160*120/11137110_10152876011048299_1762192408383809822_n.jpg

Sunday is the last chance for customers to dine at Ed Debevic's, a River North restaurant famous for its snarky staff.

The restaurant is closing up shop and searching for a new space to make way for a brand new high-rise residential building. What's now a retro-themed diner at 640 N. Wells St. will soon be either condos or apartments.

As plans for the new high-rise get underway, Ed Debevic's continues its search for a new location in River North to serve their 1950s-style burgers, fries and shakes with a side of trademark sassy comments, according to Crain's Chicago Business.

Ed Debevic's has occupied the spot on the corner of Wells and Erie Streets since 1984, and it is the latest restaurant to give out to developers who eye single-story buyouts as the area's real estate values continue to skyrocket.

 



Photo Credit: Ed Debevic's]]>
<![CDATA[Walgreens Prescriptions Delayed Across U.S.]]> Fri, 25 Sep 2015 06:50:15 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/walgreens+sign+edit.jpg

Walgreens customers across the U.S. may find it difficult to get prescriptions in the company’s stores this week.

The company’s pharmacists have been filling each prescription manually since their system crashed Tuesday morning, affecting all 8,200 drugstores in America, The Chicago Tribune reported.

A Walgreens spokesman told NBC Chicago they have experienced "technical issues" following a “recent maintenance procedure.” 

“Our pharmacies are still able to fill prescriptions and process most insurance claims, however some patients may experience longer wait times until certain functionalities are fully restored,” company spokesman James W. Graham said in an email.

“We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused, and our IT and pharmacy operations teams are working diligently to correct the issue,” Graham said.

The company is based in Deerfield, Illinois.

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<![CDATA[Downtown Chipotle Temporarily Closed Over Fly Issue]]> Tue, 22 Sep 2015 17:10:24 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/207*120/Chipotle+Sign.jpg

A Chipotle on Michigan Ave. was closed by city officials Monday after an inspection revealed fruit flies at the restaurant, according to a report from the city's department of public health.

The restaurant, located at 316 N. Michigan Ave., failed the city’s Monday inspection because it wasn’t able to correct the fly problem discovered last week, the report stated. The location's license was suspended.

An inspection revealed “over 30 flying insects on walls and ceiling," according to the report. It also recommended the facility consult with a pest control company.

“The restaurant was closed yesterday after regular inspections found an operating issue,” Chipotle Communications Director Chris Arnold said in an emailed statement Monday. “The issue has been addressed, and the restaurant was re-inspected this afternoon and cleared to re-open. It is back to business as usual."

When asked about the flying insects city officials said they observed in the restaurant, Arnold said in an email, “The issue has been addressed and the restaurant was re-inspected this afternoon and cleared to re-open.”

Here's the report:


 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Missouri AG: Walgreen Co. Deceiving Consumers]]> Tue, 22 Sep 2015 14:13:21 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/walgreens+sign+edit.jpg

Walgreen Co.'s persisting failure to remove expired sales tags from its shelves deceives customers and violates a 2014 settlement that sought to resolve the matter in Missouri, the state's attorney general argued Tuesday in asking a state court to punish the pharmacy chain.

Attorney General Chris Koster filed court documents asking a judge to hold the nation's largest pharmacy retailer in contempt of the settlement and issue steeper fines, including up to $5,000 for each expired tag. Koster said that since July, undercover investigators have found a total of more than 1,300 shelf tags displaying sales prices that had expired in all but one of 50 Walgreen stores.

Koster said the lapsed tags subjected customers to unwittingly being overcharged and ran afoul of the company's promise to remove the tags within 12 hours of their expiration. Two of the tags had expired in 2013, he said.

"Consumers should not have to dig through outdated and incorrect information to find the true price of an item," Koster said in announcing his latest legal filings against the company, based in the Chicago suburb of Deerfield, Illinois. He called the expired sales tags "a flagrant defiance of the court's order."

"I believe the problem is rooted in negligence. I don't believe they care," Koster added. "This has become institutionalized as a marketing technique for Walgreens, and it is outrageous."

Walgreen spokesman Phil Caruso declined immediate comment. He said the company may publicly respond to Koster's allegations later Tuesday.

Koster sued Walgreen in 2013, accusing it of overcharging customers and using deceptive advertising and pricing schemes in Missouri. The undercover investigation took place in eight stores in St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, Jefferson City and Osage Beach after consumers complained that display prices didn't match up with what they paid at checkout.

At that time, Koster cited several ways in which consumers were overcharged, including outdated price displays for sale items and confusion created by multiple prices displayed for the same item. Of 205 items purchased by investigators, 43 had price discrepancies ranging from a few cents to $15, Koster said.

Under the 2014 settlement, Walgreen agreed to pay for an independent auditor to scrutinize 25 percent of the company's stores every three months until mid-2017. Walgreen faced a penalty of $1,500 for each store that failed its first inspection, $3,000 for each one that fails a second inspection, and $5,000 for each store that fails a third or subsequent inspection.

Koster said Tuesday that the company already has paid the state $136,500 for pricing violations uncovered by the audits.

"Obviously, $136,000 in fines doesn't seem to be enough to get Walgreen's attention," he said.

Walgreen has roughly 8,240 stores in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Chicago

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<![CDATA[Opening Date Set for New Alcohol-Serving Target]]> Mon, 21 Sep 2015 12:02:05 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-71478723.jpg

A new Target store in Streeterville is expected to open next month as the first of the company's stores to serve alcohol.

The opening date for the store, which is located at 401 E. Illinois St., is set for Oct. 11, according to Eater Chicago.

A spokesperson for the Minnesota-based retailer confirmed to NBC Chicago earlier this month that Target was seeking a liquor license for the store but declined to elaborate on any future plans.

The store was originally slated to open as a TargetExpress, which is a smaller version of the regular Target store. Target later announced that all CityTarget and TargetExpress stores would be renamed "Target" and rebranded with the company's logo. The retailer noted that the Streeterville store will retain its "smaller, flexible format," however.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[The Wiener's Circle Has Been Sold: Report]]> Fri, 18 Sep 2015 11:36:18 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/weiners-circle.jpg

Chicago’s famed Wiener’s Circle, the hot dog stand serving up chardogs with a side of rude, has reportedly been sold.

The Chicago Tribune reports that five guys (not THE Five Guys) have purchased the stand and plan to grow it beyond its Lincoln Park location.

The restaurant, located at 2622 N. Clark St., is known for its authentic Chicago-style char-grilled hot dogs and hamburgers. It has also become a YouTube fan favorite and tourist attraction thanks to its late-night shenanigans, which include employees hurling insults at customers and the ever-popular “milkshake.”

It has been highlighted by numerous publications for having one of America's best hot dogs. 

Matt Brewer, one of the new owners and a self-described hot dog obsessive, told the Tribune the new group of investors is “very aware of what makes the place special.” He noted that while changes are expected, it will “still look and feel like the restaurant [customers] know and love.”

What exactly the new owners plan to do with the stand isn’t exactly clear, but the Tribune reports that menu expansions and franchising beyond Chicago are possibilities being considered.



Photo Credit: Check Please, Chicago]]>
<![CDATA[Burger King, 4 Rivals to Debut 'Peace Day Burger' ]]> Thu, 17 Sep 2015 18:03:47 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/212*120/AP272135403821.jpg

For one day, and one day only, five burger chains will come together to produce a Peace Day Burger that will be shared… for free.

The limited 1,500 Peace Day burgers will be available Monday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at a pop-up location in Atlanta, CNBC reported.

It will reportedly feature ingredients from Denny’s Bacom Slamburger, Wayback’s Wayback Classic, Krystal’s Cheese Krystal, Giraffas’ Brutus and Burger King’s Whopper.

Each chain is also expected to donate money to Peace One Day, a nonprofit group that raises awareness on Peace Day.

The announcement comes after Burger King proposed creating a”McWhopper” with McDonald’s, taking out a full-page advertisement that appeared in the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune last month.

The "McWhopper" would include elements of both the Big Mac and the Whopper, including the flame-broiled beef patty and a middle bun, according to a website Burger King set up.

McDonald's, however, declined the offer.

In a comment posted on its Facebook page, McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook said the proposal was inspiration for a good cause, then took a dig at the ploy by Burger King.

"Let's acknowledge that between us there is simply a friendly business competition and certainly not the unequaled circumstances of the real pain and suffering of war," Easterbrook said.

He added "P.S. A simple phone call will do next time."

Shortly after, Denny’s jumped on the “peace burger” bandwagon and took out full-page ads in USA Today and The New York Times, showing their version of a mash-up burger between Denny’s and Burger King.

The advertisement featured a massive burger with some extra toppings and a peace flag sticking out of the bun.

The other four brands followed with similar collaboration offers.

In an open letter released earlier this month by Burger King, the burger chain said its original offer to McDonald’s still stands.

“McDonald’s, please take your time,” the letter read. “We’re totally at peace with that.”
 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Motorola Solutions to Move Global Headquarters to Chicago]]> Tue, 15 Sep 2015 18:07:35 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/220*120/motorola+solutions.jpg

Motorola Solutions will move its global headquarters from suburban Schaumburg to downtown Chicago next year, officials announced Tuesday.

The company plans to move to 500 W. Monroe St. in the summer of 2016, officials said.

The move marks a return to Chicago for the company, which was founded in 1928 on Harrison Street.

“With this move, Motorola Solutions not only returns to its Chicago roots, but the company is doubling down on Chicago’s future,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. “The company will add hundreds of jobs to our city’s growing technology industry and gain the access to talent that they need for the future we are all building here, in Chicago.”

The transition will bring about 800 jobs to Chicago, officials said. 

The company also plans to maintain its current Americas Sales Headquarters at 224 S. Michigan Ave.

“Our company began in this city 87 years ago, and today we’re pleased to announce that our headquarters is coming home,” Greg Brown, chairman and CEO of Motorola Solutions, said in a statement. “This is another transformative step in ensuring a future of continued innovation, and will provide us with greater access to high-tech talent.”

Motorola Solutions said it will continue to have a “significant presence” in Schaumburg, with about 1,600 employees on its current campus, but it will sell unused real estate on the 277-acre property for redevelopment.

Schaumburg will likely convert the offices for a new project in the future.

“I think we’re aging very well here in Schaumburg and certainly have plans for the future that would include redevelopment of that acreage,” village president Al Larson said.

The company’s manufacturing and delivery operations will also move to Elgin.  



Photo Credit: Sky 5]]>
<![CDATA[Morton Salt Moving Operations Out of Longtime Warehouse]]> Tue, 15 Sep 2015 15:18:16 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/morton+girl.jpg

Morton Salt, Inc. has announced plans to stop packaging and warehousing operations its Elston Avenue facility in Chicago by the end of October.

The decision is a result of a “comprehensive network study initiated over a year ago” where officials decided it would be “more efficient” to house the operations at another facility, the company said in a release Tuesday.

The company first began operations at the site in the late 1920s. Earlier this year, a wall at the warehouse collapsed, sending a massive pile of salt pouring out of the wall, burrying dozens of cars at a nearby dealership. 

Though the company said it plans to “maintain a business presence on-site,” the packaging and warehousing operations at the facility will stop, officials said.

"The Morton Salt facility on Elston Avenue has an iconic presence in Chicago," Christian Herrmann, Chief Executive Officer of Morton Salt, Inc., said in a statement. "That's why we will explore all possibilities related to the future of the property and the infrastructure upon it. Our company was founded in Chicago and we are committed to the long, rich history we have here."

Morton Salt employs 23 people at the facility, where the company packages and stores ice melting salts and other bulk salts that are sold to commercial businesses.

The company says it plans to “work closely with impacted team members” to provide severance packages and other benefits and added that employees will be considered for other positions in the company, when possible.

In addition to the Elston Avenue changes, Morton Salt also plans to move from its current headquarters office at 123 N. Wacker Drive to 444 W. Lake Street in December 2016. The relocation is expected to combine the company’s 300 headquarters employees with its 50 customer service center employees, who are currently located in Oak Brook.
 



Photo Credit: chicagotypography/Instagram]]>
<![CDATA[New Uber Program Offers Car, Job to Low-Income Residents]]> Thu, 10 Sep 2015 21:13:13 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Uber-Generic.jpg

There’s a new car leasing program coming to Chicago that’s aimed at giving low-income residents access to vehicles -- and a job at Uber.

The program was announced by Rev. Father Michael Pfleger and Uber leaders Thursday.

“Economic opportunity is the key to address many challenges that are facing our community,” Pfleger of Saint Sabina said in a statement. “This program will help Chicagoans who don’t have cars get access to one so they can earn money whenever they want.”

The program called Xchange requires a $250 security deposit and drivers can opt out for free after 30 days. Weekly rates will range from $80 to $150 and include basic maintenance and unlimited mileage.

Cars available in the program include new and used vehicles like the Toyota Corolla, Toyota Prius, Nissan Sentra, Honda Civic, Chevrolet Cruze and others.

“Just because you don’t have a car shouldn’t mean you don’t have an opportunity,” Ebonee Green, who leads Uber's driver efforts on Chicago's South and West sides, said in a statement. “By lowering the barrier and cost of car ownership, Xchange will connect more people to jobs on the Uber platform.”

The move is part of Uber’s recent pledge to recruit 10,000 drivers on the city’s South and West sides.
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Portillo's May Open Restaurant in South Loop ]]> Fri, 11 Sep 2015 13:14:34 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/206*120/portillos3.png

Fans of Portillo's rejoice: a new restaurant may be opening in the South Loop.

The chain applied for a building permit at 520 W. Taylor St. last week, according to city records. The restaurant would be the second location in the city.

In April, the Oak Brook-based chain also applied for a permit in Gurnee, which is set to open in November.

A request for comment from NBC Chicago to Portillo’s wasn’t immediately returned.



Photo Credit: Instagram/PortillosHotDogs]]>
<![CDATA[ McDonald's All-Day Breakfast Menu Begins Tuesday]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 09:23:50 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-481668542.jpg

If you thought McDonald’s decision to roll out all-day breakfast was too good to be true, well, it might be; at least for those who already had a specific order in mind.

The fast food giant will indeed be making breakfast available anytime you want to order it beginning on Oct. 6, but only certain menu items will be available.

“Depending on the local market, All Day Breakfast will have a limited menu that focuses on either McMuffin or Biscuit items,” the company announced on their website. “This decision is made at the local level based on customer preference.”

The company cites the reasoning as simply not having enough room on the grills to be rotating through all breakfast, lunch and dinner menus in their entirety throughout the day.

So if you’re really craving a biscuit but in a city where McMuffins are more popular, then you’ll have to get up before 10:30 a.m. to get one when the traditional breakfast menu is available.

If you have a preference, now is the time to let it be known before the big day, like many have on social media: 

Depending on your location, you will be ordering from either the "McMuffin Market Menu" or the "Biscuit Market Menu." I think the question is, which kind of person are you?

McMuffin Market Menu

McMuffin Sandwiches
• Egg McMuffin
• Sausage McMuffin with Egg
• Sausage McMuffin
• (Does not include Egg White Delight)

Platters
• Hotcakes with Sausage
• Hotcakes

Sausage Burrito

Sides
• Fruit ‘N Yogurt Parfait
• Fruit & Maple Oatmeal
• Hash Browns*

Biscuit Market Menu

Biscuits
• Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit
• Sausage Biscuit with Egg
• Sausage Biscuit

Platters
• Hotcakes with Sausage
• Hotcakes

Sausage Burrito

Sides:
• Fruit ‘N Yogurt Parfait
• Fruit & Maple Oatmeal
• Hash Browns*

*available breakfast items vary by location

]]>
<![CDATA[New Streeterville Target Officially Applies for Liquor License]]> Fri, 04 Sep 2015 16:43:15 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/target+express.jpg

It has been confirmed that the new Target store set to open in downtown Chicago has applied for a liquor license.

The application was confirmed by Eater Chicago, which verified through a Freedom of Information Act request.

A spokesperson for the Minnesota-based retailer confirmed to NBC Chicago that Target would be seeking a liquor license for the store, but declined to elaborate on any future plans.

Although several Target locations sell alcohol, none have served it at stores, a spokesperson for Target told Fortune.

The new location is scheduled to open in October in the former Fox & Obel store, located at 401 E. Illinois St.

The store was expected to be a TargetExpress location and is smaller than most regular Target stores.

Earlier this month, Target announced that CityTarget and TargetExpress stores across the country would be renamed as "Target" stores and be rebranded with the company's logo. However, the retailer noted that the Streeterville store will still be a "smaller, flexible format" stores.



Photo Credit: Target]]>
<![CDATA[McDonald's All-Day Breakfast Could Cause Rise in Egg Prices: Report]]> Fri, 04 Sep 2015 12:24:43 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/mcdonalds-sign1.JPG

McDonald’s will soon serve all day breakfast nationwide, but experts are already warning that all those Egg McMuffins could have a negative impact on your grocery bill.

Some market researchers believe the increase in Egg McMuffin eaters, along with other egg-filled breakfast items on the McDonald’s menu, could mean high egg prices.

Egg prices are already a concern for analysts following the worst avian flu outbreak in three decades.

Darren Tristano, executive vice president of Technomic, told the Chicago Tribune that the all-day breakfast change, along with the option of adding eggs to Quarter Pounders, “will put further stress on it, and ultimately we’re going to see high [prices] that will be passed on to the consumer.”

The bird flu virus wiped out millions of chickens on commercial farms this spring.

Last month, Midwest wholesale prices rose 135 percent to $2.80 per dozen, up from $1.19 per dozen in April, according to prices from market research firm Urbern Barry.

McDonald’s did not immediately respond to NBC Chicago’s request for comment but in an interview earlier this week, the Oak Brook-based company’s U.S. President Mike Andres reportedly addressed the issue by saying “we have the best supply chain in the world.”

John Brunnquell, CEO of Indiana-based Egg Innovations, told the Tribune that McDonald’s’ decision to begin serving breakfast all day was good for egg farmers, but noted that egg prices could continue to increase as supply rises to meet demand.  

McDonald's is expected to begin serving all-day breakfast nationwide starting Oct. 6.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[McDonald's to Roll Out All-Day Breakfast Oct. 6]]> Wed, 02 Sep 2015 10:08:48 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/mcdonald%27s+breakfast.jpg

McDonald's announced Tuesday its highly anticipated decision to serve breakfast all day at all U.S. locations starting this fall.

According to CNBC, McDonald's franchisees voted to approve all-day breakfast at the fast food chain's 14,300 U.S. restaurants on Tuesday. Starting Oct. 6, patrons can order Egg McMuffins and other breakfast items at any time of the day.

The Oak Brook, Illinois-based company tweeted about the decision Tuesday afternoon using the hashtag #AllDayBreakfast and responding to customers' queries about extending the chain's breakfast hours. McDonald's even responded to a tweet from 2007 that said, "Mcdonalds should serve breakfast 24/7."

McDonald's began testing all-day breakfast in March in the San Diego market. The test was expected to expand to Nashville this summer.

"Serving all-day breakfast is likely the number one request we hear from McDonald's customers," the company told NBC Chicago in a statement in July.

McDonald's breakfast currently ends at 10:30 a.m. in most markets.

The chain has long been the fast-food leader in the mornings, with its popular Sausage Biscuits, Hotcakes and other items pulling in roughly 20 percent of the company's U.S. sales. But McDonald's has faced stiffer competition in recent years, with competitors such as Starbucks and Subway rolling out breakfast sandwiches as well.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Denny's Makes Peace Offer to Burger King]]> Mon, 31 Aug 2015 18:37:44 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/denny%27s+sign.jpg

Denny's has jumped on the "peace burger" bandwagon after fast-food chain Burger King extended a peace offer to McDonald's to create a "McWhopper" last week.

The fast casual restaurant took out full-page advertisements in USA Today and The New York Times to show off their version of a mash-up between Denny's and Burger King, according to USA Today. The advertisement features a massive burger with some extra toppings and a peace flag sticking out of the bun.

Denny's tweeted a photo of their "peace burger" Thursday, showing a classic Burger King Whopper with ingredients from the Denny's Slammer, including a fried egg, bacon and hash browns. The chain has not decided on a name for the proposed burger, but it tossed out a few ideas, such as "Whoppaslam," "The Slopper," "The Slamopper" and "Whoppaslamus-rex." 

The new advertisement debuted Monday, less than a week after Burger King proposed the "McWhopper" to celebrate the International Day of Peace on Sept. 21. The full-page Burger King advertisement appeared in The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune.

Burger King said it wanted to serve the "McWhopper" for a single day at a pop-up location in Atlanta, which is midway between the headquarters for both chains.

The "McWhopper" would include elements of both the Big Mac and the Whopper, including the flame-broiled beef patty and a middle bun, according to a website Burger King set up.

McDonald's, however, declined the offer.

In a comment posted on its Facebook page, McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook said the proposal was inspiration for a good cause, then took a dig at the ploy by Burger King.

"Let's acknowledge that between us there is simply a friendly business competition and certainly not the unequaled circumstances of the real pain and suffering of war," Easterbrook said.

He added "P.S. A simple phone call will do next time."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Uniqlo to Open Flagship Store in Chicago in Fall]]> Sat, 29 Aug 2015 14:46:59 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/uniqlo+manhattan.jpg

The Japanese retail store Uniqlo is set to open its flagship store — and second largest store — in Chicago this fall.

The retail company set the opening date for Oct. 23, according to the Chicago Tribune. The 60,000-square-foot store will be located at 830 N. Michigan Ave. on the Magnificent Mile. It will be the second largest store after the Fifth Avenue location in New York.

Uniqlo sells casual attire, including sweaters, scarves and jeans, as well as sportswear for men, women and children.

"Chicago is a global city that's home to some of the finest cultural and sports institutions in the world, and we are thrilled to join the city's rich landscape," said Larry Meyer, CEO of Uniqlo USA.

The Chicago store will employ 400 workers, according to the Tribune.

Uniqlo currently has more than 40 stores in the U.S., but the Chicago location will be its first in the Midwest. Worldwide, there are at least 1,600 Uniqlo stores.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Major Expansion, New Stores Open at Aurora Outlet Mall]]> Thu, 27 Aug 2015 07:41:40 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/shopping+bags+getty.jpg

Attention, shopaholics! A whole slew of new stores opens at the mega outlet mall in Aurora Thursday.

Chicago Premium Outlets will open more than 30 new and expanded stores to shoppers starting at 10 a.m. The list of new stores includes Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, The Limited Outlet, Abercrombie & Fitch Outlet, Tommy Hilfiger Kids and UGG Australia. The unveiling will also include 2,200 new parking spaces and new amenities, the mall said.

In April, Chicago Premium Outlets announced an initial list of new retailers that would reside in the outlet mall as part of the multi-million dollar expansion. In total, the mall was expected to hold more than 170 stores by the time the expansion was complete.

Among the newly announced stores are the first Midwest outlets for eclectic lifestyle designer Robert Graham and luxury skincare company Clarins.

Other stores that will make their debut at the outlet mall include:

  • Abercrombie & Fitch Outlet
  • American Eagle Outfitters
  • bebe
  • Columbia Sportswear
  • Corningware, Corelle & More
  • Expess Factory Outlet
  • Finish Line
  • Fragrance Outlet
  • The Limited Outlet
  • The Luggage Factory
  • Mountain Warehouse
  • Old Navy Outlet
  • Quicksilver
  • Tommy Hilfiger Kids
  • UGG Australia
  • Vans
  • Vince



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[New Streeterville Target Could Be Equipped With a Bar]]> Fri, 04 Sep 2015 15:29:57 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/target+express.jpg

A new Target store set to open in Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood is on track to become the first ever Target store to serve alcohol to customers.

A spokesperson for the Minnesota-based retailer confirmed to NBC Chicago that Target is seeking a liquor license for the store, but declined to elaborate on any future plans.

The new Streeterville location is scheduled to open in October in the former Fox & Obel store, located at 401 E. Illinois St.

The store was expected to be a TargetExpress location and is smaller than most regular Target stores.

Earlier this month, Target announced that CityTarget and TargetExpress stores across the country would be renamed as "Target" stores and be rebranded with the company's logo. The retailer noted that the Streeterville store will still be a "smaller, flexible format" store, however. 

New details on the Streeterville store and pending liquor license are expected to be released in the coming weeks, the Target spokesperson said.



Photo Credit: Target]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Vows Never to Eat Oreos Again, Citing Move to Mexico]]> Wed, 02 Sep 2015 13:51:41 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/donald+trump+oreo.jpg

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump repeated his claim Tuesday evening that he would stop eating Oreos, citing the cookie maker's decision to close a plant in Chicago and move it to Mexico.

"I'm never eating Oreos again," Trump said, before adding that he would consider it if he could find some that were made in the U.S.

Trump's claim is partly true.

Oreo's parent company Mondelez International Inc. said last month that it decided to invest $130 million in building four new production lines at a plant in Mexico, which will replace nine older production lines at its Chicago plant.

That will mean the number of jobs at the Chicago plant will go from about 1,200 to about 600, said Laurie Guzzinati, a Mondelez representative. But the plant in Chicago will remain open.

Guzzinati said the decision to invest in the Mexico plant came after discussions with union representatives for workers at the Chicago plant. She said the company determined that the new production lines would cost $46 million less per year in Mexico than in Chicago, and said labor was "one of many factors."

Guzzinati noted that Oreos continue to be made in some U.S. plants, including in New Jersey, Oregon and Virginia.

The Mondelez plant in Salinas, Mexico, opened in late 2014, and the four additional production lines are expected to be completed by mid-2016. Two of those lines will make Oreo cookies, Guzzinati said.

Mondelez, which also makes Chips Ahoy cookies and Trident gum, has said its "supply chain reinvention plan" is part of its broader push to slash costs and improve productivity.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Chicago



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Burger King to McDonald's: Let's Make a McWhopper]]> Wed, 26 Aug 2015 11:15:26 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP0910251102942.jpg

This probably isn't what the United Nations had in mind when it established the International Day of Peace: Burger King is asking McDonald's to join forces to create a "McWhopper."

In full-page newspaper ads Wednesday, Burger King says it's calling for a truce with McDonald's so that they can create a mashup of their most famous burgers — the Big Mac and the Whopper. Burger King says it wants to serve the concoction for a single day at a popup location in Atlanta, a midway point between the headquarters of the two chains.

Burger King is tying the publicity stunt to a nonprofit called Peace One Day, which says it promotes Peace Day. The United Nations created the International Day of Peace in 1981 to coincide with its annual opening session in September. It then designated Sept. 21 as the annual "day of non-violence and cease-fire" in 2001.

In a comment posted on its Facebook page, McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook said the proposal was inspiration for a good cause, then took a dig at the ploy by Burger King.

"Let's acknowledge that between us there is simply a friendly business competition and certainly not the unequaled circumstances of the real pain and suffering of war," Easterbrook said.

He added "P.S. A simple phone call will do next time."

The proposed mashup of the Big Mac and Whopper would include elements of each, such as flame-broiled beef patty and a middle bun, according to a website Burger King set up. Burger King notes on the site that it's open to discussing the proposal, but that details would have to be worked out in time for Peace Day.

"Proposals like McWhopper make noise," Burger King says in a video on the site.

Burger King said the ads asking McDonald's about the proposal were to run Wednesday in The New York Times and The Chicago Tribune, the latter of which is based near McDonald's headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois.

Burger King, based in Miami, is owned by Restaurant Brands International, which also owns Tim Hortons. 

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Chicago



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Starbucks CEO Asks Employees to be 'Sensitive']]> Tue, 25 Aug 2015 19:41:48 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP434850230768.jpg

After a turbulent day of trading at the stock markets, the CEO of Starbucks told all employees of the global coffee chain to do their part in calming nerves caused by the chaos.

CEO Howard Schultz sent a memo to his 190,000 employees Monday cautioning them to be extra "sensitive" to customers affected by the stock market plunge.

"Today's financial market volatility, combined with great political uncertainty both at home and abroad, will undoubtedly have an effect on consumer confidence and perhaps even our customers' attitudes and behavior," Schultz wrote.

"Our customers are likely to experience an increased level of anxiety and concern. Please recognize this and — as you always have — remember that our success is not an entitlement, but something we need to earn, every day. Let's be very sensitive to the pressures our customers may be feeling, and do everything we can to individually and collectively exceed their expectations."

Despite the "financial market volatility," Schultz also assured employees that Starbucks will be just fine, saying his confidence in the company and its employees "has never been greater."

This latest move by Starbucks marks another of the company's "social good' initiatives.

Under Schultz's leadership, Starbucks has taken up several such initiatives, including the recent controversial "Race Together" campaign in which baristas wrote the phrase on paper cups to encourage them to discuss diversity and racial inequality. The campaign was discontinued after some customers expressed opposition.

In 2012, Starbucks also asked baristas to write "Come Together" on coffee cups in the D.C. area to encourage unity during fiscal cliff talks.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Target to Test New Cafes in 14 Stores]]> Tue, 25 Aug 2015 08:54:53 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/target-store-sign.jpg

Target customers will soon have new dining options at some stores.

Beginning in October, the retailer plans to roll out a new café concept at 14 test stores, a Target spokesperson confirmed to NBC Chicago Tuesday. 

While the company didn't reveal further details on the test, USA Today reports Target plans to add fast-casual restaurant Freshii to nine stores and Pizza Hut, featuring artisan pizzas, to three stores. Two Minneapolis stores will also replace their cafes with a D’Amico & Sons, a local pizza chain.

Target reportedly has cafes in 1,700 of its 1,800 stores.

Target’s Chief Stores Officer, Tina Tyler, told USA Today the change is less about drawing more customers to the cafes and more about showcasing the brand’s health and wellness values.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Chicago Expert to Investors: 'Don't Panic']]> Tue, 25 Aug 2015 05:35:28 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/topNews-AP_320394854692.jpg

Monday’s manic stock market day was unsettling news for investors around the world, and in Chicago, but some experts say it’s not time to panic-- yet.

Seized by fears that the Chinese economy is not as healthy as it appeared to be, investors sold with abandon at the opening bell and sent the Dow Jones industrial average down almost 1,100 points, the biggest decline on record in a trading day. Then the market staged a dramatic comeback and almost erased its losses, coming within about 115 points of break-even. By late afternoon, stocks were sinking again — and the Dow was down 588 points at the closing bell, a 3.58 percent rout.

“Chine waved the white flag and said their growth isn’t as good as they thought,” said Brian Battle with Performance Trust Capital Partners. “So there has been a selloff in Asia and it finally made it here to the U.S.”

But Steven Esposito, a senior vice president with the wealth management division of Morgan Stanley, said investors shouldn’t panic.

“What you don’t want to do is let emotion control your investment decisions,” he said. “Look at your portfolio. Make sure it’s well-diversified. It may be time to upgrade a few of your positions, or pull back, but most of all, don’t panic.”

Many investors pick and choose stocks based on a company's business outlook, but there is an entirely different class of trader that relies on technical indicators to make investment decisions. Many of their screens were flashing "sell" this week.

The S&P 500 and the Dow have broken through a few key technical levels recently. One important one is their 200-day moving averages, which the two indexes pierced on Thursday, helping to fuel selling. Both indexes dropped 2.1 percent that day, before further tumbling on Friday. The good news is the last time the S&P 500 broke through its 200-day moving average, in early July, it bounced back from those levels after a few days.

Esposito acknowledged the news is “troubling” but said having a long-term plan is key.

“You shouldn’t panic because everyone else is selling,” he said. “Make sure you have a long-term plan and stick to it. These are very troubling times. Don’t try to be a trader, be an investor.”

Some experts believe the volatility is healthy and say stocks have gone too long without a correction. 

The U.S. economy is looking healthier lately. Employers have been on a hiring spree, and that has helped push the unemployment rate to a low 5.3 percent.

Investors will get another clue on the economy on Thursday when the government releases its estimate of economic growth in the April-June period.
 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Chipotle to Hire Thousands of Employees in One Day]]> Mon, 24 Aug 2015 19:57:59 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/207*120/Chipotle+Sign.jpg

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. plans to hire thousands of employees in one day during an event scheduled to take place at restaurants across the country next month.

The company's National Career Day is scheduled to take place from 8-11 a.m. on Sept. 9 at every Chipotle across the country, according to Chipotle's website.

Chipotle says that in the last year, the company has promoted more than 10,000 people, who once started as hourly crew members, into management roles, and the upcoming event will help “draft the next wave of our future leaders.”

Management teams at each U.S. restaurant location will hold open interviews for up to 60 applicants, with the intent of hiring 4,000 new employees. 

"We are constantly looking for great people to join our team," Monty Moran, co-chief executive officer at Chipotle, said in a statement. "Regardless of your background or experience, you can succeed at Chipotle if you have a passion for making the people around you better."

The move is the latest employee initiative at the company and follows news that Chipotle would expand benefits to all employees, including tuition reimbursement for students.

Last month, Chipotle implemented a new benefits package that included paid sick days, paid vacation days and tuition reimbursement for part-time employees.

“We are always working to attract and retain the very best employees we can, and to helping develop our people so they can achieve their full potential,” Chris Arnold, Chipotle’s communication director, said.

The hiring event, which hints at the potential to put employees "on the path to developing rewarding careers," adds Chipotle to the long list of fast food chains taking extra measures to attract and retain employees.

Earlier this year, Starbucks announced it will pay for a full four years of Arizona State University's online degree program for its employees. McDonald’s unveiled a similar college reimbursement program in April. The fast food giant also announced an increase in pay and paid sick days for its employees.  



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte Debuts Later This Year]]> Fri, 21 Aug 2015 09:58:21 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/pumpkinspice.JPG

After much hype surrounding Starbucks’ new pumpkin spice latte recipe, it appears fans of the beloved fall drink will need to wait a little longer to place their orders.

The drink is expected to be released nationwide Sept. 8, according to CNBC and staff at multiple locations throughout the country and in Chicago.

The drink will debut early for Starbucks Gold card members, who will be able to sip the beloved beverage as early as Sept. 4.

Last year, the latte was released for early access customers on Aug. 26 and was launched nationwide on Sept. 2, the day after Labor Day. It should be noted that Labor Day falls later this year.

Starbucks Corp. said Monday its version of the concoction this year will be made with real pumpkin and without caramel coloring. The change comes after blogger Vani Hari, known as the Food Babe, criticized Starbucks last year for the drink's ingredients and its lack of transparency around the issue.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has called the pumpkin spice latte the company's "most popular seasonal beverage ever." In late 2013, he said sales of the drink were as strong as ever "despite the proliferation of knockoffs and copycats." The company even has a Twitter account set up for the drink, which has more than 82,000 followers. 

Starbucks did not immediately respond to NBC Chicago's request for comment. 



Photo Credit: Courtesy of Starbucks]]>
<![CDATA[McDonald's Named Top Choice for Breakfast Eaters: Reports]]> Thu, 20 Aug 2015 10:33:45 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/mcmuffins-generic-AP.jpg

Looks like consumers are lovin’ McDonald’s breakfasts -- even during lunch.

McDonald’s, which recently revealed plans to offer all-day breakfast this year, is apparently the top choice for breakfast eaters and so-called “breakfastarians.”

According to two separate surveys, McDonald’s was picked as a go-to breakfast eatery for both morning breakfast eaters and those who eat breakfast at any time of day, also known as “breakfastarians.”

Of all major dining chains that serve breakfast, McDonald’s had the top purchase consideration among consumers who typically eat breakfast out twice a day, according to the report from YouGov BrandIndex, a brand perception research service.

The world’s largest hamburger chain was followed by Subway, IHOP, Burger King and Starbucks.

In another report by Instantly, which surveyed more than 10,000 consumers, McDonald’s was selected by more than 40 percent of respondents as their “go-to” fast food restaurant for breakfast.

The Oak Brook-based chain topped Taco Bell, Carl’s Jr., Burger King and Del Taco for the top spot among breakfast eaters.

McDonald’s is expected to dish out breakfast all day nationwide later this year, according to a Wall Street Journal report citing an internal memo sent to franchisees and employees.

The company began testing the option in its San Diego market in March and expanded the test to Nashville over the summer.

McDonald's has long been the fast-food leader in the mornings, with its popular Sausage Biscuits, Hotcakes and other items pulling in roughly 20 percent of the company's U.S. sales. But the chain has faced stiffer competition in recent years, with competitors such as Starbucks and Subway rolling out breakfast sandwiches as well.

McDonald's, which has more than 14,000 U.S. locations, has also said it plans to step up its marketing of breakfast as it faces intensifying competition. 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Walgreens to Lay Off 270 Corporate Workers in Chicago]]> Tue, 18 Aug 2015 06:11:42 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/walgreens+sign+edit.jpg

Walgreens reportedly plans to lay off 270 Chicago employees as part of a plan to eliminate 370 positions from its corporate support offices.

The layoffs are part of the company’s restructuring and cost-reduction plan put in place last year, company spokesman James Graham told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Employees will be notified throughout the month, with no additional staff cuts expected in the near future, Graham said.

Earlier this year, the nation’s largest drugstore chain closed about 200 stores nationwide as it expanded on the $1 billion cost-reduction plan.

The Deerfield, Illinois company said it planned to reorganize its corporate operations and streamline its information technology and other functions. It expected the moves to add $500 million to its estimated cost savings from its three-year plan.

Late last year, Walgreens completed a nearly $16 billion deal to purchase the remaining stake of European health and beauty retailer Alliance Boots that it didn't already own. The company was renamed Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. 

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<![CDATA[Toby Keith's Bar Says it Paid Taxes, Wants to Stay in Rosemont]]> Fri, 14 Aug 2015 12:05:53 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP483260167176.jpg

The management of Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill has responded to an eviction suit from the village of Rosemont, saying the restaurant paid taxes and and wants to stay in Rosemont.

General manager Larry Vanni told the Daily Herald everything the bar and restaurant owed has been paid and the company hopes to convince Mayor Brad Stephens to drop the eviction suit and let the popular venue stay in the entertainment district.

The village had earlier filed the lawsuit against the bar claiming it owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes and rent.

Stephens told the Daily Herald he’s already begun talking to other potential users for the space, but said “those are just talks at this point.”

He also told the paper he doesn’t regret pushing for the bar and restaurant to come to the entertainment district, saying they were one of the “hottest concepts in the country” at the time.

The Rosemont venue first opened in the space in 2012.

Since its opening, other locations have closed, including some in Cincinnati, St. Louis Park, Minnesota, Orlando and Houston.

Vanni reportedly said the Rosemont location is one of the most profitable locations for the chain, noting that its revenues were being used to try and keep others afloat.

Stephens told the Daily Herald he is waiting for the August rent check to clear before he’ll consider dropping the suit but whether or not the venue can stay in Rosemont for 2016 remains to be seen.

The restaurant’s lease reportedly expires Dec. 31.
 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Cookie Store Offers Last Chance for Maurice Lenell Cookies]]> Fri, 14 Aug 2015 06:08:23 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/160*128/313_Swirl_-no_box.JPG

Fans of Maurice Lenell cookies may want to stock up while they can.

The Cookie Store and More on North Harlem Avenue will sell the last of the legendary cookies, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The Cookie Store and More opened in 2010 to serve as the unofficial outlet for the brand, but it now reportedly has a “Last Chance for Maurice Lenell” countdown sign hanging in its front window.

As of Thursday, the sign said 18 days until supply runs out, the Tribune reported.

The Maurice Lenell Cooky Company closed its Norridge factory in 2008

Consolidated Biscuit Co., which bought Lenell's equipment and trademarks and promised to continue making the cookies, told the Tribune the equipment used to make the cookies has aged and the undertaking became hard to justify. The company also said the Food and Drug Administration, and customers, wanted a revision to the recipe to remove partially hydrogenated oils, but they say that revision “changes the whole cookie.”

Consolidated Biscuit Co. has since stopped production of the beloved old-fashioned treats, and all that remains at the Cookie Store is what's left on the shelves.



Photo Credit: Maurice Lenell]]>
<![CDATA[Motorola Mobility Cutting 500 Jobs in Chicago]]> Thu, 13 Aug 2015 17:04:22 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/smartphones1.jpg

Motorola Mobility has announced plans to cut 25 percent of its 2,000 Chicago employees, a spokesman for the company said Thursday.

Will Moss, senior director of corporate communications for Motorola Mobility, said the layoffs are part of an overall restructuring by parent company Lenovo.

Lenovo on Wednesday announced plans to reduce 3,200 people in its “non-manufacturing workforce around the world” following a 3 percent decrease in revenue from the previous year.

“Lenovo saw severe challenges in its main markets,” the company said in a release. “It faced significant declines in the global PC and tablet markets, as well as slowing growth and increasing competition – especially in China – in smartphones.”

The company said it plans to reduce expenses by about $650 million in the second half of this year and about $1.35 billion annually.

“To build long term, sustainable growth, we must take proactive and decisive actions in every part of the businesses,” Yuanqing Yang, Chairman and CEO of Lenovo, said in a statement.

Moss said the Merchandise Mart will continue to be the mobile device maker's headquarters and “the hub of our global R&D and design.”

“We’ll still have a substantial workforce there,” he said.
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[400 Youths to Be Hired at Chicago Job Fair Thursday]]> Fri, 14 Aug 2015 04:30:53 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP584464016824.jpg

More than 400 young employees are expected to be hired at a job fair at Chicago’s McCormick Place Thursday.

The 100,000 Opportunity Job Fair and Forum at McCormick Place will kick off the official start to the 100,000 Opportunity Initiative, a national program where a group of U.S. companies will commit to engaging 100,000 young people in jobs, internships and apprenticeships by 2018.

More than 4,500 young Chicagoans are slated to attend the fair, which is said to be the “first of its kind.”

“We believe that for young people to get their foot in the door in industries that have career trajectories and with companies that provide tuition is all a part of our initiative at Chicago City of Learning to help our youth level up professionally and academically,” Nichole Pinkard, a DePaul University professor and founder of the Digital Youth Network, said in a statement.

At least 29 private companies will be a part of the event, including Starbucks, JC Penny, Potbelly, Hyatt and others with plans to hire more than 400 youths between the ages of 16 and 24 on the spot at the fair.

The event is also expected to feature appearances by Common, Chance the Rapper and “surprise local and national celebrities and heroes.”

The event is ticketed and applications must be filled out before attending. Applicants must be between the ages of 16 and 24, part-time students or not enrolled in school, not currently working.
 



Photo Credit: AP/File]]>
<![CDATA[Mag Mile Apple Store Plans Move: Report]]> Wed, 12 Aug 2015 11:43:10 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Apple_ipad-chicago-11-1.jpg

Apple Inc. reportedly plans to plug in at a new location in Chicago. 

The California company’s flagship store in Chicago currently sits at 679 N. Michigan Ave., but Crain’s Chicago Business, citing sources familiar with the North Michigan Avenue retail market, reports that the company will likely make 401 N. Michigan Ave. its new home.

Crain's reports the new location will be mostly below ground but will be accessible from the street through a glass structure on Pioneer Court. 

A potential move was first reported by the business publication last August, with Topshop and Saks Fifth Avenue stores among the initially scouted locations.  

Apple's Mag Mile storefront is 11 years old and could be seen as outdated when compared to other flagship stores like one of the company’s New York locations, which has customers walk in through the glass box.

Apple would be a valuable tenant for many landlords in the area.

The company’s North Avenue location on the city’s North Side has been hailed for its retail value after moving into the site of a former gas station in the wildly congested North & Clybourn corridor.

Greg Merdinger, a veteran Chicago developer, tells Crain’s the store “made the location,” turning it from good to great.

Apple Inc. could not immediately be reached for comment.

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<![CDATA[Kraft Heinz Slashing 2,500 Jobs in US, Canada]]> Wed, 12 Aug 2015 19:53:41 -0500