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Lord & Taylor, the country’s oldest department store chain, files for bankruptcy

Lord & Taylor files for bankruptcy

Lord & Taylor, the country’s oldest department store chain, filed for bankruptcy on Sunday, joining about a dozen iconic retailers that have succumbed to Chapter 11 protection during the pandemic.

The once-storied institution, founded in New York in 1826, had in recent years fallen out of touch with high-end customers and younger shoppers. Le Tote, the clothing rental start-up that bought Lord & Taylor last year for about $100 million, also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Sunday.

The filings comes weeks after two other department store chains -- Neiman Marcus and J.C. Penney -- also filed for bankruptcy protection. The pandemic has wrecked havoc on already struggling retailers that have temporarily shuttered thousands of stores and furloughed more than 1 million employees since mid-March.

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3 Months Of Hell: U.S. Economy Drops 32.9% In Worst GDP Report Ever

Worst GDP in history

The coronavirus pandemic triggered the sharpest economic contraction in modern American history, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

Gross domestic product — the broadest measure of economic activity — shrank at an annual rate of 32.9% in the second quarter as restaurants and retailers closed their doors in a desperate effort to slow the spread of the virus, which has killed more than 150,000 people in the U.S.

The economic shock in April, May and June was more than three times as sharp as the previous record — 10% in 1958 — and nearly four times the worst quarter during the Great Recession.

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Chamber of Commerce, others sues Trump administration over restrictions on work visas

US Chamber of Commerce
Top business groups representing multiple industries filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against the Trump administration over newly issued limits on work visas.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), National Retail Federation (NRF), TechNet and International Training and Exchange (Intrax) filed the complaint against acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

“American innovation rests on having the best and brightest working here. Over the past century, the United States has benefited immensely from courageous individuals who have left their homes, accepting an invitation to travel to America for temporary work,” reads the lawsuit filed in federal court in California.

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Ann Taylor and Loft parent files for Chapter 11; Justice stores closing

Ann Taylor parent company closing 1600 storesThe parent company of Ann Taylor and Loft, Ascena Retail Group, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Thursday and said it would close some 1,600 stores.

According to CNBC, "Ascena was once the biggest clothing retailer for women in the country, having amassed a portfolio of well-known brands for various sizes and age groups."

Ascena also is in the process of shutting down Catherines and is shutting down 600 of its Justice stores.

Justice stores in Tupelo, Biloxi, Hattiesburg, Meridian, Ridgeland and Southaven will be closed.

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Bed Bath & Beyond announces plans to permanently close 200 stores over next two years

Bed Bath and Beyond to close 200 stores

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. plans to close approximately 21% of its namesake stores, or 200 locations, over the next two years, the company announced Wednesday.

The New Jersey-based home goods retailer, which also operates buybuy Baby, Harmon Face Values and World Market, said the closing stores would "mostly" be Bed Bath & Beyond stores during an earnings call with analysts.

In January, company officials said they still planned to close 60 stores across all of its concepts, which was originally announced in October 2019. However, in January, the company said 20 of the 40 Bed Bath & Beyond stores scheduled to close would be delayed until the first half of 2020. (Here's the list of 40 closing stores that the company released in January.)

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United Airlines sending 'gut punch' furlough warnings to 36,000 workers

United AirlinesUnited Airlines (UAL.O) said on Wednesday it was preparing to send notices of potential furloughs to 36,000 U.S.-based frontline employees, or about 45% of staff, as travel demand hit by the coronavirus pandemic struggles to recover.

Not everyone who receives a notification will be furloughed, United said, with the final number depending on how demand evolves and how many employees accept early exit packages and temporary leaves.

The furloughs would begin on Oct. 1, when a government-imposed ban on forced job cuts by airlines that accepted billions of dollars in federal payroll aid expires.

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Gap in U.S. Black and white unemployment rates is widest in five years

Gap in US black and white work forceThe United States saw the widest gap in unemployment rates for African Americans and whites in five years in June, underscoring an uneven nascent recovery from historic job losses triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Jobless rates for both groups fell in June, but the rate for whites came down at a much faster rate. The white unemployment rate fell 2.3 percentage points to 10.1% from 12.4%, while the rate for Blacks dropped 1.4 points to 15.4% from 16.8%, according to data released by the Labor Department on Thursday.

At 5.3 percentage points, the gap is now the widest since May 2015 and exposes an important economic component of racial inequality at a pivotal moment in U.S. race relations. The country has been rocked by nationwide protests over police brutality against African Americans in recent weeks, following the death of a Black man in police custody in Minneapolis.

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