Category Archives: Amazon

Sign O’ The Times: Sears On Life Support, Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Sears lines up emergency financing due to potential bankruptcy

Source: VIEW press / Getty

Before there was Amazon, there was Sears, which was the blueprint for the business model Jeff Bezos is benefitting greatly from. Ironically, the iconic retail chain is now on life support thanks to the booming E-commerce business it paved the way for.

Sears has entered voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings after a decade of struggling. To reduce its debt, the US retailer plans to close up to 150 stores with the hope that move will help the company make it through the holiday season. The company has been dying a slow death since 2013 losing roughly around $5.8 billion after closing 1,000 stores.

Founded in 1892, Sears was best known for selling merchandise through its catalogs sent out throughout the country via the US postal system. The company was at its peak in the 1990s until Target, Walmart and other companies sprouted offering stiff competition. Hedge fund manager Edward Lampert bought the company in 2004 and merged it with K-Mart and under his guidance saw a $1.5 billion profit in 2015 but it was all downhill since then.

Speaking on the decision, Lampert said in a statement:

The Chapter 11 process will give [Sears] the flexibility to strengthen its balance sheet … continue right-sizing its operating model, and return to profitability,”

Lampert is hoping for a huge turnaround, but recently we saw that is a huge undertaking just ask Toys “R” Us who tried unsuccessfully to reorganize but wound up laying off its all of its employees. Sears currently employs 68,000 people so we hope the retail giant can find a way to stay afloat for them. 100,000 people receive pensions from the company, and they are also could be affected but could be protected by regulators.

Unfortunately, more layoffs and store closes are more than likely going to happen and continue the trend of traditional walk-in retail becoming a thing of the past.

Photo: VIEW press / Getty

 

Will Bernie Sanders Back Down? Amazon Has Raised Minimum Wage to $15

According to Reuters, digital retailer Amazon.com Inc is about to put a little extra paper into the pockets of some of their employees.

Earlier today, the major distribution platform said that it would raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour for U.S. employees next month. In the past, Amazon has received criticism about sweatshop salaries for workers that work crazy hours for next to nothing. Considering that it is the world’s second most valuable company, one would think that the platform would compensate their workers better. Apparently, the suits at Amazon have heard the clarion call and made the shift. Now they will pay their lowest tier employees more than their competition, Walmart and Target.

But let’s not celebrate too quickly, they remain below the average non-management worker in American warehousing industries, which has sparked political challenges from politicians like Senator Bernie Sanders and Rep. Ro Khanna who have come up with legislation to check companies who they to beat the system on the blood, sweat, and tears of the poor., Sanders and Khanna have cleverly using the name of Amazon’s CEO to come up with a bill that has the sole aim to break the cycle of Goliath exploiting the Davids of the world. Their bill is called Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies Act (abbreviated “Stop BEZOS”) and it would tax big business companies like Amazon, Walmart, and Target for the cost of employees’ food stamps and other public assistance and would institute a 100 percent tax on government benefits that are granted to their employees, according to The Verge.

Many call it the “corporate welfare tax.” Such a tax would surely piss President Trump off as it would affect corporations with 500 or more employees and have decided to play sweatshop even in 2018. The bill will hit companies who have workers are receiving government aid like foodies (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program SNAP), free school lunch and breakfast programs, Section 8 housing subsidies, or Medicaid.

“We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead,” founder and Chief Executive Jeff Bezos said in a statement.

The pay increase will be in effect in November, just in time for the new hires that are sure to come during the holiday season. It is estimated that over 250,000 US workers will get that extra ching ching. What a way to end the year… but clearly more work is left for this billion dollar company to do.

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