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Editorial Results (free)

1. Retailers Cheer GOP Retreat on Ending Debit Card Fees Limit -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Restaurants, grocers and other businesses celebrated on Thursday as House Republicans backed off efforts to eliminate the cap on fees that banks can charge retailers when customers use a debit card.

2. Sears Revenue Continues Decline Amid Tough Landscape -

NEW YORK (AP) – Sears' extended decline in sales persisted during the first quarter and the storied retailer vowed to make additional spending cuts to offset its slowing business.

The company's operating loss widened to $222 million, or $2.15 per share, on weak sales. Sears Holdings has been closing stores and selling brands long affiliated with Sears, including Craftsman. A year ago the company reported a loss of $181 million.

3. How Food Stamp Cuts Could Ripple Through the Economy -

NEW YORK (AP) – A proposal to curtail the nation's food stamp program would pinch families struggling to pay for groceries and ripple through other areas of the economy, including supermarkets and discounters, as people shuffle their budgets.

4. Lit Supply Opens Fourth Location -

Lit Supply is opening its fourth Memphis location to better serve the community, the company announced Tuesday, May 23.

The new Lit Jr. is located at 3292 Austin Peay Highway. Lit stores, known for restaurant and kitchen supplies, has expanded to include a food division. All Lit stores are open to the public without a membership fee.

5. Wal-Mart Expands Military Leave-of-Absence Policy -

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced Tuesday that it's expanding its military leave-of-absence policy by offering differential pay to all eligible employees who are on military assignments lasting more than three days.

6. AutoZone Downgraded After Disappointing Q3 -

Analysts downgraded shares of auto parts retail giant AutoZone on Tuesday, May 23, after the company reported a second straight quarter of weaker earnings and sales for its fiscal third quarter.

Raymond James Financial Inc. lowered its rating on AutoZone’s stock from “strong buy” – which it attached to AutoZone back in September 2007 – to “market perform.”

7. Eyewear Retailer SEE Opens at Saddle Creek -

National eyewear retailer SEE is opening its first Germantown location at the Shops of Saddle Creek at 7535 Poplar Ave.

8. Wal-Mart Sees Online Sales Surge, More Shoppers at Stores -

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) – Wal-Mart saw online sales surge as it changed up its shipping offers, and drew more shoppers to its stores as well in the most recent quarter even as retail overall is more competitive.

9. Last Word: Food Changes, Tax Breaks and 'The Big Bang' -

Late hours in Washington for another night Wednesday with word of the appointment of former FBI director Robert Mueller as special prosecutor in the Trump-Russia investigation. Here is all of the reaction we had as of late Wednesday from our folks in D.C.

10. Fresh Market Updates Memphis-Area Stores -

The Fresh Market has unveiled a new look and shopping experience at its Memphis-area stores, part of changes the brand is rolling out company-wide through 2018.

The Memphis stores were part of the early rollout, which has already seen updates to Fresh Market stores in the company’s home state of North Carolina, as well as in Boca Raton, Florida, and Columbia, South Carolina. In general, the changes include a new look inside and expanded product offerings – at the company’s store at 2145 Union Ave., for example, a baby section greets customers for the first time.

11. Eyewear Retailer SEE Opens at Saddle Creek -

National eyewear retailer SEE is opening its first Germantown location at the Shops of Saddle Creek at 7535 Poplar Ave.

12. Cai to Lead Memphis Chamber’s International Business Efforts -

Jinliang (Jin) Cai has joined the Greater Memphis Chamber as vice president of international business development. In that role, Cai will be directing efforts both to grow foreign direct investment in Memphis and Shelby County and to increase the volume of local exports to foreign markets. 

13. Outdoors Inc. Opens Downtown Pop-Up Store -

Outdoors Inc. is trying something new for its sixth retail location, which opened its doors earlier this month at 100 Peabody Place Downtown.

14. Losses at JC Penney Double, Sales Slide, As Do Shares -

PLANO, Texas (AP) – Losses at J.C Penney doubled in the first quarter and sales at established stores fell again, capping a terrible week for retailers.

Though the loss at first did not appear as bad as many industry analysts had expected, many soured on even that after a closer look.

15. Memphis Retail Market ‘Cautiously Optimistic’ Through First Quarter -

Despite some notable big-box bankruptcies, positive growth is still in the forecast for the rest of 2017, according to Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors’ first quarter Retail Marketbeat Report.

16. Clark Tower Wraps Up $8 Million Renovation -

Commercial real estate firm Colliers International has announced the owner of Clark Tower, In-Rel Properties, has finished an $8 million renovation of the iconic East Memphis office building. Details on that and other top deals in this week's Real Estate Recap...

17. In The Bag: Coach Buying Kate Spade for $2.4 Billion -

NEW YORK (AP) – Coach will spend $2.4 billion for Kate Spade, tying together two premier brands in the luxury goods sector that have fought to snare younger shoppers.

Noting that crucial demographic, Coach Inc. CEO Victor Luis said in a statement Monday that Kate Spade has a "strong awareness among consumers, especially millennials." Coach executives say that 60 percent of Kate Spade customers are in that group.

18. US Jobs Data Show Some Scars From Recession Finally Healing -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A burst of hiring in April provided reassurance for the U.S. economy after a slow start to the year: Job growth returned to a healthy pace. Unemployment hit a decade low. And the number of part-time workers who want full-time jobs reached its lowest point in nine years.

19. Sprouts Opening East Memphis Store July 12 -

Sprouts Farmers Market is close to finishing construction on its new East Memphis location on South Perkins Road and is looking to hire more than 100 full- and part-time positions before the store’s scheduled opening July 12.

20. Sprouts Opens in East Memphis July 12, Looks to Hire More Than 100 -

Sprouts Farmers Market is close to finishing construction on its new East Memphis location on South Perkins Road and is looking to hire more than 100 full- and part-time positions before the store’s scheduled opening July 12.

21. Independent Bookstore Day Celebrates Reading, Small Businesses -

It probably won’t escape many local participants and supporters of Independent Bookstore Day this weekend that the day is as much about the survival of the medium as it is a celebration of it.

22. Last Word: Election Day, Game 6 and School Vouchers Get Rolled -

Intermission in the NBA playoffs as tipoff of Game 6 approaches Thursday evening at the Forum. Look at all of the clouds as the lights dimming and letting you know it’s time to take your seats for the show that is reigniting the local passion for basketball.

23. Activist Investor Gets 2 Fred’s Board Seats -

The yellow sign near the corner of Summer Avenue and White Station reads: Fred’s Pharmacy. It’s a physical representation of the Memphis-based discount retailer repositioning itself away from its retail legacy and doubling down on its health care-related and pharmacy offerings.

24. McDonald's US Sales Climb, Customer Traffic Still a Focus -

NEW YORK (AP) – McDonald's says new Big Mac sizes helped boost a key sales figure in the U.S., but that it is still working on trying to attract more customers to its stores.

The world's biggest burger chain said Tuesday that global sales rose 4 percent at established locations in the first three months of the year. That included a 1.7 percent increase in its flagship U.S. market, where the fast-food chain has suffered four straight years of declining customer visits.

25. RegionSmart Summit Seeks to Increase Economic Vitality in the Mid-South -

More than 300 community leaders and officials will be on hand for the second annual RegionSmart Summit, which will be held Thursday, April 27, at the Halloran Centre for Performing Arts & Education.

26. Bebe Expects to Close All its Stores by the End of May -

NEW YORK (AP) – Clothing chain Bebe says it expects to close all its stores by the end of May, making it the latest retail casualty of the migration to online shopping.

The Brisbane, California-based chain had said earlier this month it would close 21 stores and "explore options" for the remaining locations. In a regulatory filing, it said it expects to recognize an impairment charge of about $20 million as a result of the closing of all its stores. The chain had recently said it had more than 130 retail stores and more than 30 outlet stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. It also offers branded products elsewhere and operates bebe.com.

27. Bartlett Opens Greenway; Ghost River Natural Area Grows -

The city of Bartlett has 29 parks, and every one of them has a walking trail. But the path that formally opens to the public Friday, April 21, at a trailhead at Santa Valley Road and U.S. 64 is Bartlett’s first venture in a full-fledged greenway.

28. Last Word: 'Take That For Data', Gas Tax Wednesday and Corker in Memphis -

“Take That For Data” may be the rallying cry for the rest of the NBA playoffs around here. And look for an off-the-chart crowd reaction Thursday when Grizz coach David Fizdale takes his place courtside. The Grizz' loss to the Spurs in Game 2 Monday in San Antonio prompted a post-game statistics-laden tirade by Fizdale about officiating of the game that concluded with Fizdale saying “take that for data” –the closest thing to profanity in the entire rant.

29. RegionSmart Speaker to Highlight Suburban Retrofitting -

Redevelopment is a ubiquitous term in Memphis right now. Major projects such as the Crosstown Concourse and ServiceMaster’s new headquarters are located well within the city limits, but according to Ellen Dunham-Jones, that is only just one piece of the puzzle.

30. Wal-Mart to Discount Online-Only Items Delivered to Stores -

NEW YORK (AP) – Starting next week, Wal-Mart will offer discounts on thousands of online-only items when customers elect to have them shipped to one of the company's stores for pickup.

31. Last Word: Tubby Support, Pot Bill Withers and Changing Indigent Counsel Rules -

Just in time for spring, the near unraveling of the Overton Park-Zoo parking compromise. The Memphis City Council again put together a compromise Tuesday to keep the move to a new expanded parking lot on track and the funding in place by the Memphis Zoo and Overton Park Conservancy.

32. Z-Muffins Raise Lilee’s Gourmet Business -

Just in time for National Zucchini Bread Day on April 25, locally owned Lilee’s Gourmet Bakery is expanding into more Memphis-area retail locations. The fresh food bakery’s staple – zucchini bread muffins, or “Z-muffins” – are now sold in 18 area Kroger stores as well as Miss Cordelia’s Grocery, the Curb Market, Cash Savers, Superlo, Whole Foods and Fresh Market.

33. Norris, Proponents of Current IMPROVE Act Stand Firm as Alternative Bills Are Devised -

Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris gets revved up when he talks about the IMPROVE Act as a tax-cutting and bridge-safety measure. It’s a message he’s been sending for weeks, yet other lawmakers aren’t catching on.

34. IMPROVE Act Proponents Stand Firm as Alternative Bills Are Devised -

Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris gets revved up when he talks about the IMPROVE Act as a tax-cutting and bridge-safety measure. It’s a message he’s been sending for weeks, yet other lawmakers aren’t catching on.

35. Sprouts to Open Store In East Memphis in Q3 -

Sprouts Farmers Market is bringing another store to the Memphis area as part of a wave of new store openings – 11 new stores total are planned for the second half of 2017.

A company spokesman confirmed Sprouts is opening a 28,000-square-foot store "early in the third quarter" at 576 S. Perkins Road. It's part of a total of 32 stores opening across the country this year.

36. Last Word: Spring Votes, Those Tax Bills and Tim McCarver on Baseball Changes -

Look for more details on the specifics of the “Gateway” project to start to emerge now that a crucial if overlooked piece of the geographic puzzle in the north Downtown area has come into public view. The city’s largest hotel, also the city’s original convention center hotel, is about to change hands and go back to flying the Marriott flag.

37. Fred’s May Buy Up to 1,200 Rite Aid Stores -

Memphis-based Fred’s Inc. is “the right buyer” of hundreds of Rite Aid stores that need to be divested so Rite Aid and Walgreens Boots Alliance can win Federal Trade Commission approval for their pending merger.

38. Death Toll in Syria Chemical Attack Rises to 86 -

BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on the suspected chemical attack in Syria (all times local):

10:30 p.m.

A Syrian monitoring group says the death toll from a suspected chemical weapons attack on the northern town of Khan Sheikhoun has risen to 86.

39. Sprouts to Open Store In East Memphis in Q3 -

Sprouts Farmers Market is bringing another store to the Memphis area as part of a wave of new store openings – 11 new stores total are planned for the second half of 2017.

A company spokesman confirmed Sprouts is opening a 28,000-square-foot store “early in the third quarter” at 576 S. Perkins Road. It’s part of a total of 32 stores opening across the country this year.

40. Arkansas House Rejects Attempt to Impose Online Sales Taxes -

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – Arkansas House members say online retailers will not have to collect Arkansas sales taxes.

The proposal received only 43 votes in the 100-member House on Monday. Opponents say the bill creates a new tax and infringes on congressional power to regulate trade among the states. Supporters say Arkansas needs it to balance competition among online retailers and brick-and-mortar stores.

41. Griffin Joins Memphis in May To Lead Marketing Efforts -

Robert Griffin has joined Memphis in May International Festival as director of marketing, a role in which he’s responsible for all marketing and communication programs, promotions, media and public relations, marketing research and sponsorship activation for the annual festival. 
Griffin comes to Memphis in May with nearly 20 years’ experience in marketing and advertising.

42. Supreme Court Won't Restore $7.25B Swipe Fees Settlement -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court will not restore a $7.25 billion settlement between merchants and Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. over credit card transaction fees.

43. Sears, Once a Stalwart, Has ‘Substantial Doubt’ About Future -

NEW YORK (AP) – Sears, a back-to-school shopping destination for generations of kids and the place newlyweds went to choose appliances, has said that after years of losing money that there is "substantial doubt" it will be able to keep its doors open.

44. Wal-Mart Launches Incubator Lab to House Startups -

NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart is launching an incubator lab focused on projects in robotics, virtual and augmented reality, and artificial intelligence as it aims to compete more aggressively with Amazon.

45. List of the 138 JC Penney Stores That are Closing -

J.C. Penney on Friday released a list of the 138 locations that will close in the coming months as part of its plan to cut costs. Most are located within malls or shopping centers. Liquidation sales will start at the closing stores on April 17, and most stores will be shut by mid-June, the company said.

46. JC Penney Lists the 138 Stores it is Planning to Shutter -

NEW YORK (AP) – J.C. Penney on Friday listed for the first time the 138 locations it will shutter in the coming months as the retailer seeks to cut costs and improve its profitability.

47. Hollywood Feed Opens 50th Location -

Memphis-based Hollywood Feed recently opened its 50th location at 2220 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. in Duluth, Georgia. It is the second Georgia location for the holistic pet food and product retailer, which has stores across the Southeast in Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Texas.

48. Editorial: The Ride From Mall To Mixed Use -

Memphis has come a long way from Southland Mall – the city’s first shopping mall – which seemed so cavernous in the late 1960s and now seems so small.

That’s not to say the times have left Southland Mall behind. They haven’t. It can and should be a part of the renaissance now underway in Whitehaven.

49. Wolfchase At 20 -

For the shopping mall – that quintessential staple of American retail, the biggest of big boxes, a sprawling, multilevel marvel of commercial magnificence – these are most certainly interesting times.

50. Fred’s Brings on New Board Members -

Change continues to be the operative word at Memphis-based retailer Fred’s Inc., which has made some key additions to its board in recent days as the company continues pursuing a major turnaround that includes completing its acquisition of 865 Rite Aid stores.

51. Hollywood Feed Opens 50th Location -

Memphis-based Hollywood Feed recently opened its 50th location at 2220 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. in Duluth, Georgia. It is the second Georgia location for the holistic pet food and product retailer, which has stores across the Southeast in Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Texas.

52. RadioShack Files for Second Bankruptcy in 2 Years -

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) – RadioShack has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the second time in just over two years, putting the future of the nearly 100-year-old electronics retailer in doubt.

53. McDonald's Lays Out Plan It Hopes Can Reverse Drop in Visits -

NEW YORK (AP) – McDonald's acknowledged on Wednesday that it lost 500 million customer transactions in the U.S. since 2012 and laid out its plans to get more people back into its restaurants – including by letting them order and pay on their mobile phones by the end of the year.

54. Last Word: Building a Bigger Police Force, Old Desk Calendars and Summer School -

Since the Memphis Mayor’s race of 2015 became about how best to build a larger Memphis Police Department, the discussion has always had an element of controversy to it on a larger scale than a head count of who has a badge.

55. Bill Expanding Wine Sales Narrowly Fails in Arkansas House -

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – A measure that would expand wine sales in grocery stores has narrowly failed in the Arkansas House, though the bill will likely be brought up again this session.

56. AutoZone Reports ‘Challenging’ Q2 Results -

AutoZone’s results for the second quarter represented a bit of a slowdown for the auto parts and accessories retailer, with the company’s CEO using adjectives like “challenging” to describe the three-month period in which earnings and same-store sales were somewhat muted.

57. JCPenney to Close as Many as 140 Stores Nationwide -

Retail giant JCPenney has announced it will close 130 to 140 stores – representing 13 to 14 percent of its current store portfolio – as well as two distribution facilities over the next few months.

58. Binghampton Gateway Comes to Food Desert -

The groundbreaking of a shopping center doesn’t always attract a large crowd of city officials and TV cameras, but then again not every shopping center is an oasis in the middle of a food desert.

59. Binghampton Gateway Center Spells End for Inner City Food Desert -

The groundbreaking of a shopping center doesn’t always attract a large crowd of city officials and TV cameras, but then again not every shopping center is an oasis in the middle of a food desert.

60. Wal-Mart Keeps Working to Make Inroads Against Amazon -

NEW YORK (AP) – The nation's largest retailer keeps working to make headway against the largest online seller.

Wal-Mart drew more shoppers to its namesake stores in the United States and its online sales soared 29 percent in the fourth quarter, which covers the critical holiday shopping season. That's an indication that its efforts to lower prices and improve web services are helping it compete better against Amazon, which has built fierce loyalty with its Prime two-day shipping program.

61. Sector-by-Sector Highlights of the Commercial Property Forecast Summit -

Many of the area’s best and brightest commercial real estate minds were on hand for the Memphis Area Association of Realtor’s Annual Commercial Property Forecast Summit at the Halloran Centre for Performance Thursday afternoon. 

62. 'Day Without Immigrants' Protest Closes Many US Restaurants -

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The heart of Philadelphia's Italian Market was uncommonly quiet. Fine restaurants in the nation's capital and New York closed for the day. Grocery stores, food trucks, coffee shops and taco joints in places like Chicago, Los Angeles and Boston shut down.

63. US Retail Sales Rise in January, Led By Gas and Restaurants -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Americans increased their spending at gasoline stations and restaurants in January, boosting retail sales even though auto buying fell.

Retail sales rose a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent, down from a solid 1 percent gain in December, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

64. Sears May Sell Land, Cut Jobs to Save $1B -

NEW YORK (AP) – Sears may sell more locations, cut more jobs and put more of its famous brands on the block as part of its latest plan to revive the faltering retail chain.

The company, which also owns Kmart, said Friday that it is cutting costs by at least $1 billion a year. It also said that it was adding $140 million in liquidity by reworking its debt, giving the company more breathing room.

65. FedEx Subsidiary Launches New Fulfillment Platform -

FedEx Corp. subsidiary FedEx Supply Chain announced the launch of FedEx Fulfillment, an e-commerce solution that helps businesses manage inventory for their retail stores.

66. Fred’s, UTHSC Partner On Blood Pressure Screenings -

Members of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center are teaming up with Fred’s Pharmacy for its Healthy Heart Initiative in February.

67. Last Word: Little Chairs in Longview, Police Pay Raise and Tiger Football Schedule -

The toys are in their cubbyholes. No stray Legos yet. The little chairs tucked neatly under little tables. The tall trees with their bare branches are much in need of little eyes inspecting their twisted branches and the shadows they make on the winter ground.

68. Fred’s, UTHSC Partner On Blood Pressure Screenings -

Members of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center are teaming up with Fred’s Pharmacy for its Healthy Heart Initiative in February.

69. FedEx Subsidiary Launches New Fulfillment Platform -

FedEx Corp. subsidiary FedEx Supply Chain announced the launch of FedEx Fulfillment, an e-commerce solution that helps businesses manage inventory for their retail stores.

70. Retail Group: Sales to Grow 3.7 Percent to 4.2 Percent -

NEW YORK (AP) – Despite a bumpy holiday season, chains like The Limited shutting down and department stores such as Macy's closing stores, the largest retail trade group says it's still optimistic that sales will grow this year – especially online.

71. Bill Excludes Churches From Campaign Spending Disclosures -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A Republican state senator wants to change Tennessee election finance law to exempt churches from having to report campaign spending on "public or private morality."

72. AutoZone Joins Retail Group Fighting Border Tax -

AutoZone has come out against a tax proposal from U.S. House Republicans that’s been mentioned as one mechanism for financing President Trump’s proposed wall along the country’s southern border.

73. Last Word: De-Annexation Theories, Clash on School Vouchers and Garth & Trisha -

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and his administration come up with some surprises in de-annexation recommendations to the city task force on the issue. The three most recently annexed areas of Memphis were considered likely to be in the recommendations. Although the indication last year was that this would take a lot of discussion before someone actually wrote that on a Power Point presentation at City Hall. Not only did Strickland do that – he also included four other areas.

74. Fred’s Could Buy More Rite Aid Stores -

Fred’s Inc. may end up buying more than the 865 Rite Aid stores it’s already planned to acquire as part of the merger of two drugstore chains.

In December, Memphis-based Fred’s said it would buy those 865 stores from Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and Rite Aid Corp. on the heels of Walgreens working to satisfy regulatory concerns for its purchase of Rite Aid. Since then, the two chains have said they may divest more stores to overcome concerns from regulators.

75. Wal-Mart Dumps Its Version of Amazon Prime for New Path -

NEW YORK (AP) – Wal-Mart is replacing a program that offered free shipping but had an annual fee with one that has a lower free shipping threshold and faster delivery as it hopes to answer Amazon's powerful Prime membership success.

76. Stanifer Takes On Creative Role at Hollywood Feed -

Hollywood Feed has promoted Katherine Stanifer to graphic art manager, a role that includes serving as the lead graphic designer for brand assets for the retailer’s 50 locations across the Southeast. Stanifer works closely with Hollywood Feed’s director of advertising & creative, Billie Claire Darby, on a variety of projects ranging from internal training videos to monthly sales catalogs.

77. Last Word: State of the State React, Reverse Logistics and Speed Limiters -

As the work week began, U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen of Memphis joining House Democrats in sponsoring a bill that would bar the use of any federal funds to carry out President Trump’s order barring refugees from seven majority Muslim countries.

78. Walgreens Slashes Offer for Rite Aid, Pushes Back Deadline -

Walgreens substantially lowered its offering price for drugstore rival Rite Aid and, facing resistance from U.S. regulators, raised the number of stores it would be willing to unload to ease monopoly concerns.

79. Turning the Page -

When a bookstore decides to close its doors for good, the moment isn't always so immediate or possessive of the clean finality that comes with shutting a book at the end of the story.

In the case of The Booksellers at Laurelwood, it is a long goodbye. These final weeks of a liquidation sale that will stretch into February – the culmination of a decision that the store’s finances have become untenable – have meant the slow unwinding of a 32-year-old bookstore that’s closing up shop the same way you fall asleep, fall in love, get old – gradually, then all of a sudden.

80. New Prescription: Doctor Offices That Look Like Apple Stores -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – After a relative suffered a heart attack a few years ago, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Adrian Aoun got an unsettling look at a health-care system that he diagnosed as an inefficient and outdated mess.

81. Wal-Mart to Add About 10,000 Retail Jobs in the US -

NEW YORK (AP) – Wal-Mart plans to add about 10,000 retail jobs in the U.S. as it opens new stores and expands existing locations. The world's biggest retailer said Tuesday that its plans will also generate about 24,000 construction jobs.

82. Last Word: Valero Protest Arrests, Anticipating Trump's Impact & Saving Booksellers -

A busy King holiday weekend that reflects what the week as a whole will probably be like at least politically. The weather is anyone’s guess. A group of about 40 people protested at the entrance to the Valero refinery in South Memphis Monday afternoon and a dozen were arrested by Memphis police.

83. Holiday Spending Rises But Department Stores Lag -

Holiday spending got a boost in 2016, according to one analysis, as more people opted to shop by phone or computer – though department stores and clothing retailers still lagged.

Overall consumer spending grew 4.7 percent over last holiday season, while online retail purchasing grew 12 percent over the same period last year, according to First Data, which analyzed online and in-store payments for nearly a million merchants between Oct. 29 and Jan. 2.

84. View From the Hill: Taxing Online Sales Not Such an Easy Fix -

Cumberland Transit owner Allen Doty isn’t sure if a rule requiring major out-of-state retailers to collect Tennessee sales taxes will create more equity for his shop.

But Doty, who has been selling everything from bicycles to kayaks and camping gear for 34 years in Nashville, is definitely tired of people shopping in his store for hours, snapping a picture of shoes they like, then going home and buying them online “just to avoid sales tax.”

85. Last Word: Opening Day in Nashville, Parking Pass or Parking Space and Ell Persons -

Lots of formalities Tuesday in Nashville where the 2017 session of the Tennessee Legislature begins. And that’s what this first week back will be about on the floors of the state House and the state Senate. Away from the floors, the real business of speculation and vote counting and drafting language is already well underway.

86. Online Shoppers Help Holiday Spending; Department Stores Lag -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Holiday spending got a boost in 2016, according to one analysis, as more people opted to shop by phone or computer – though department stores and clothing retailers still lagged.

87. Sears to Sell Craftsman Tool Brand to Stanley Black & Decker -

NEW YORK (AP) – After controlling the Craftsman name for 90 years, troubled department store operator Sears said it will sell the famous tool brand to Stanley Black & Decker Inc.

88. Somber Department Store Holiday Season Casts Pall Over 2017 -

NEW YORK (AP) – A cheerless holiday season has rolled over into the new year at the nation's largest department stores, which are cutting jobs, profit expectations and closing scores of locations.

89. Scenarios Emerge to Keep Booksellers at Laurelwood Going -

For sale: One beloved, 32-year-old independent bookstore. Asking price? $800,000. That’s what Booksellers at Laurelwood owner Neil Van Uum says he’d accept to unload the store, days after announcing its impending closure and a liquidation sale that begins on Friday, Jan. 6.

90. Reactionaries, Evidence Vie on Medicinal Pot -

Three-year-old Josie Mae Mathis of Greene County used to suffer hundreds of seizures daily from epilepsy and infantile spasms. Aden Vogus, a pre-teen from Brentwood, has seen his seizures all but disappear.

91. Booksellers at Laurelwood Set to Close -

The Booksellers at Laurelwood has faced imminent closure before, the lights-out moment once so near that the representative of a liquidation chain paid a visit to get a look at the store and take stock of its inventory.

92. Owner: Booksellers at Laurelwood Closing -

The Booksellers at Laurelwood has reached its final chapter after 32 years in business.

Citing a decline in sales and rent obligations, store owner Neil Van Uum says the store is preparing to close, with a liquidation sale to begin Friday, Jan. 6.

93. Here Come 'Smart Stores' With Robots, Interactive Shelves -

LAS VEGAS (AP) – Tomorrow's retail stores want to take a page from their online rivals by embracing advanced technology – everything from helpful robots to interactive mirrors to shelves embedded with sensors.

94. Last Word: A Rainbow's Tale, The Two Holiday Peaks and Crosstown High Plans -

I saw it all so clearly on a very cloudy and very rainy Monday in the city. A strong rainbow with bold colors across town from the setting sun on the river. Not some play rainbow that you create with a garden hose or some alleged double rainbow that depends on where you stand. As we were fond of saying in these parts in the 1980s and the 1990s – this was a “world class” rainbow.

95. AP Explains: How Amazon Echo Listens and What It Stores -

NEW YORK (AP) – Can Amazon's Echo speaker really be a witness to a murder? Authorities investigating the death of an Arkansas man found floating face-up in a hot tub believe that Amazon might have some evidence, given how Echo listens for commands and questions and communicates with Amazon's servers to respond.

96. Mold the Future Of Unplanned Purchases -

A Back End of Innovation Conference talk by Melissa Crompton, senior manager, New Model Innovation, The Hershey Co. In this changing retail landscape where trips in-store are down, how does a highly impulsive category remain relevant? And how do we become relevant to new audiences who are not going in stores? 

97. Where to Sell Your Unwanted Stuff Online and Earn Extra Cash -

NEW YORK (AP) – If you're cleaning out your closets for the new year, or need some spare cash after the holidays, your old stuff can help fill up your wallet.

A number of websites and apps make it easier to sell used smartphones, furniture and clothes. Here's where to go to sell your unwanted stuff and earn some extra bucks:

98. Many New Restaurants, Food Businesses Served Up in 2016 -

In a few weeks, the East Memphis space that once housed Cosmic Coconut will host a grand opening for its new incarnation.

It’s been reimagined as City Silo Table & Pantry, a concept that owner Scott Tashie – who also owns I Love Juice Bar in Midtown as well as the future I Love Juice Bar in Crosstown – said was a natural evolution. Encompassing a total of 2,600 square feet and anchored by a 10-foot farm table, City Silo expands on the expectation its owner says Cosmic Coconut set for “creative, clean eating” in Memphis.

99. Fred's, A Small Drugstore Chain, May Become National Player -

NEW YORK (AP) – Fred's, a small regional drugstore chain from Memphis, Tennessee, had a very good week last week.

It all started Tuesday, Dec. 20, when Fred's said it would pay $950 million to buy 865 stores that Rite Aid needed to sell in order to appease anti-trust regulators and close its $9.4 billion buyout deal with Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.

100. Hollywood Feed Opens First Georgia Location -

Memphis-based Hollywood Feed has expanded into Georgia. The holistic pet food and product retailer opened its newest location in Roswell, an Atlanta suburb, just before Christmas and plans to open a handful of additional locations in the Atlanta area over the next few months.