Sur La Table files for bankruptcy with plans to close nearly half its stores (chainstoreage.com)

Sur La Table is slashing its store footprint as it seeks to prosper under new ownership. The nearly 50-year-old, upscale kitchenware retailer said it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after considering the "rationalization of its national store footprint and “certain store closures to prosper in the current retail environment.” On its FAQ page, the privately held Sur La Table said it has decided to close over 50 of its 121 stores (see list at end of article). Great American Group LLC and Tiger Capital Group LLC will conduct the liquidation sales, which are expected to last eight to 12 weeks. “We have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to reduce the company’s expenses and recover from the financial impact of the COVID-19 crisis,” the company stated on its FAQ page.
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Booksellers Select the Top Ten Titles from the First Half of 2020

Barnes & Noble Inc. announced that booksellers from across the U.S. selected ten titles as the Best Books of 2020 (So Far), including books that address our current moment, share lessons from the past, and bring memorable characters—both real and imagined—to life. “Our passionate bookselling team has undertaken the distinct challenge of narrowing down our favorite books from the first half of 2020 into a short list of ten diverse and thought-provoking titles. The result is a unique range that includes the informative and historical, to electrifying new novels and even a heartwarming children’s tale about a dog, a gorilla, and an elephant,” Jackie De Leo, Vice President, Bookstore, Barnes & Noble. “I am really impressed with our booksellers’ selections, and I am pleased to recommend these titles to our customers.”
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Ingram Upgrades Printing, Shipping Networks (publishersweekly.com)

Citing industry shifts as well as disruptions in the publishing supply chain caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Ingram Content Group said it is investing millions of dollars in an upgrade to its global printing and distribution network. In the U.S., Ingram said it is investing “millions of dollars” to increase capacity in its print-on-demand manufacturing plants located in Allentown, Pa., Jackson, Tenn., and La Vergne, Tenn. New printing, binding, trimming, and shipping/sortation equipment will be installed now through October, which the company said will increase U.S. capacity “by double-digit percentages,” adding that it expects to “hire hundreds of new associates in these facilities.”
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Torstar Corporation Acknowledges Receipt of Acquisition Proposal

Torstar Corporation confirmed that it has received a non-binding unsolicited offer from a private investor group, pursuant to which the New Offeror has offered to acquire all of the issued and outstanding Class A shares and Class B non-voting shares of Torstar. The Torstar board of directors has determined that the New Offer may reasonably be expected to constitute or lead to a “Superior Proposal” under the arrangement agreement dated May 26, 2020 entered into between Torstar and NordStar Capital LP, and is engaging in discussions and negotiations with the New Offeror regarding its non-binding proposal.
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Walgreens Boots Alliance Reports Fiscal 2020 Third Quarter Results

Fiscal 2020 third quarter net loss attributable to WBA was $1.7 billion compared with net earnings of $1.0 billion the same quarter a year ago. Net loss per share1 was $1.95 compared with net earnings per share (EPS) of $1.13 the same quarter a year ago. The results reflect $2 billion in non-cash impairment charges related to goodwill and intangible assets in Boots UK reflecting deteriorated business conditions including the adverse impact of COVID-19 and resulting future uncertainty. Sales in the third quarter were $34.6 billion, an increase of 0.1 percent from the year-ago quarter, and an increase of 1.2 percent on a constant currency basis, as the pandemic sharply curtailed footfall in retail pharmacies. The company had an operating loss of $1.6 billion in the third quarter, compared to operating income of $1.2 billion in the same quarter a year ago, primarily due to impairment charges in Boots UK of $2 billion.
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Bed Bath & Beyond in big store closing move (chainstoreage.com)

Bed Bath & Beyond plans to close about 200 stores during the next two years as it looks to return to profitability. The embattled home furnishings retailer, which operated a total of 1,478 stores as of May 30, announced the decision to “right-size” its real estate portfolio in reporting its first-quarter results. Bed Bath & Beyond said the closings, which will mostly affect its 955 namesake locations, and other cost restructurings should generate annual cost savings of between $250 million and $350 million, excluding related one-time costs. The company reported that its net loss narrowed to $302.29 million, or $2.44 per share, for the quarter ended May 30, from $371.09 million, or $2.91 a share, in the year-ago period. Sales tumbled 49% to $1.31 billion from $2.57 billion a year ago, as the retailer’s stores were temporarily shuttered for much of the quarter amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Retail group asks U.S. governors to mandate wearing face masks (chainstoreage.com)

The Retail Industry Leaders Association on Tuesday sent a letter to the National Governors Association in which it urged every governor to require customers to wear a mask when entering a retail store or other enclosed public space. The letter encourages uniform, statewide orders “to create clarity for businesses, customers and law enforcement,” noting that different rules around the country have made it confusing for shoppers and often lead to arguments between customers and store employees who trying to enforce company policies.
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Notary Publics and Paper Still Matter in a Digital World

In our digital world, you can pay bills and bank online, sign online contracts with an e-signature and click to accept terms and conditions. In fact, you don’t need to use a written signature for most day-to-day transactions. But there are still plenty of situations where it’s legally required to put pen to paper, and often those legal documents require a seal from a notary public. “People appreciate the added security that a notarized piece of paper brings,” says Ginger Shore, senior funding sales officer and notary public at North Carolina State Employee’s Credit Union. “I find myself providing notary services every single day. It’s still a very necessary part of the business and legal world.” A notary public is an official appointed by the state government to serve as an impartial witness and fraud deterrent during the signing of important documents.
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SAGE Advises Single Use Paper Towels Should Be Used In Public Washrooms to Help Control COVID-19

As people get ready to reopen many businesses, SAGE (the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies that provides scientific and technical advice to support government decision makers during emergencies) has reviewed the evidence on the spread of COVID-19 and the efficiency of mitigation measures. One of the issues considered is washroom hygiene with a large amount of useful information on cleansing and air flows. Specifically on hand drying the documents states: Replacement of jet dryers with paper towels. Rationale: Jet air dryers can aerosolise microorganisms from poorly washed hands. Incomplete drying of hands means that contamination can persist on hands. The full SAGE document can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/transmission-of-sars-cov-2-and-mitigating-measures-update-4-june-2020
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