Arrow-right Camera


Inland Northwest’s four Macy’s stores included in layoffs

Wed., Feb. 4, 2009, midnight

Plans by retailer Macy’s to cut costs nationwide will result in some layoffs at all four stores in the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene area, a company spokesperson said Tuesday.

In a press release this week Macy’s announced it will lay off about 7,000 workers.

Many of those cuts will occur in nearly all 840 stores the company operates across the country.

At Spokane’s three Macy’s and the one in Coeur d’Alene, each location will see a cut of between four and six positions, said spokesperson Sharon Bateman.

Which jobs those will be are to be decided by each store’s managers, Bateman said.

The same press release from the company’s Cincinnati headquarters said the company will close 11 stores this year. None of those closures is near Washington state.

As a step toward stronger performance, Bateman noted the company has reorganized the regional management of stores. Under the new approach company buyers will visit local stores monthly to keep in touch with area tastes and consumer preferences, Bateman said.

“Those buyers will understand customers better and select merchandise more in keeping with preferences,” she said.

Tom Sowa


Car and truck sales fall 37 percent in January

Consumers frightened by the prospect of losing their jobs stayed away from auto showrooms again in January and sent U.S. car and truck sales falling 37 percent, a familiar refrain for the struggling industry but an unwelcome start to a critical year for U.S. carmakers.

Sales fell 49 percent at General Motors and 40 percent at Ford. Toyota and Nissan’s sales each fell at least 30 percent.

“How many ways can you say disaster?” asked Aaron Bragman, an auto industry analyst with the consulting firm IHS Global Insight in Troy, Mich. “That’s across the board. It’s not unique to one company.”

With January’s drop, the industry’s sales have declined for 15 straight months when compared with the same month in the previous year.

Los Angeles

90,000 sex offenders removed from MySpace

MySpace has identified and removed 90,000 registered sex offenders from its social networking site over the last two years, the Beverly Hills, Calif., company confirmed Tuesday, more than double the number previously acknowledged.

About 40,000 sex offenders were believed to have been using the popular site until the new numbers were released Tuesday, the attorneys general for Connecticut and North Carolina said in a statement. The information on the 90,000 sex offenders using MySpace was turned over to Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s office in response to a subpoena, the statement said.

A similar subpoena was issued to Facebook, but the company has yet to release any information, the statement said.

Each time MySpace identifies a sex offender using the site, that user account is shut down and the company saves the information to hand over to law enforcement, said Chief Security Officer Hemanshu Nigam.

None of the registered sex offenders found on MySpace have been convicted of crimes related to their actions on the site, Nigam said.

Los Angeles Times

Associated Press

Click here to comment on this story »