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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, January 11, 2018 1:00 am


Sears eyes all options as sales fall

Staff, news services

NEW YORK – Sears has secured more financing, and is eying more cost cutting, after reporting a big sales drop during the critical holiday season.

The company, which also operates Kmart stores, said Wednesday that it secured $100 million in new financing, will seek twice that from other sources and will attempt $200 million in additional cost cuts this year unrelated to store closings. It also warned that if the company's efforts to complete these transactions are not fully successful, the board will consider all other options to maximize the value of its assets.

Sears Holdings Corp., which said last week it's closing more than 100 stores, said that during the November and December period, comparable-store sales tumbled by 16 percent to 17 percent.

Sears' disastrous holiday sales mark a sharp contrast to the solid gains enjoyed by many of its peers such as Kohl's, J.C. Penney and Macy's.

Ford trucks cheated emissions tests: Suit

Ford rigged at least 500,000 heavy-duty trucks to beat emissions tests, drivers claimed in a lawsuit, adding to the tally of carmakers linked to diesel-cheating allegations worldwide that started in 2015 with Volkswagen.

Ford's F-250 and F-350 Super Duty diesel pickups, a slice of the top-selling F-Series, are spewing emissions as much as 50 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxide pollutants, according to the complaint.

The trucks sold from 2011 to 2017 cost $8,400 more than their gasoline-fueled counterparts, the filing shows.

Ford marketed the trucks as “the cleanest super diesel ever,” while the lawyer behind the suit said they should have been called “Super Dirty.”

Catalyst Fitness buys ex-Summit City site

Catalyst Fitness has acquired the former Summit City Fitness location at 5928 Trier Road, Catalyst owner Jason Minich announced Wednesday. Terms of the sale are confidential.

The 25,000-square-foot acquisition gives Fort Wayne's Catalyst its third location. The others are at 203 E. Berry St. in the Anthony Wayne Building and 2488 Getz Road, near Time Corners.

Catalyst Fitness will accept memberships of former Summit City members at pre-existing rates and offer free child care services to members. The location's 26 employees will remain. The name will eventually change but will remain Summit City Fitness for now, Minich said.

The deal, which closed Dec. 18, quadrupled Catalyst Fitness membership from about 500 members to about 2,000. Catalyst, which previously employed 21, also has numerous personal training clients who are not members.

Toyota, Mazda plant headed to Alabama

Japanese automakers Toyota and Mazda on Wednesday announced plans to build a huge $1.6 billion joint-venture plant in Alabama that will eventually employ about 4,000 people.

Several states competed for the coveted project, which will be able to turn out 300,000 vehicles per year and will produce the Toyota Corolla compact car for North America and a new small SUV from Mazda.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and company executives held a joint news conference to announce that the facility is coming to the Huntsville area, not far from the Tennessee line.

Production is expected to begin by 2021.