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Monday, February 27, 2012

Business News

Sears/KMart lost a ton of money in the last quarter.  More stores are closing.  None are in our area.  Both chains have image problems.  Sears stores in the Viewmont, Wyoming Valley and Columbia malls are nice, but they're not hip.  The real problem is KMart.  It has everything a discount store should have.  Unfortunately, most KMarts I've visited are tired and run down.  How much longer can the company bleed red ink?

The United States Postal Service has excess capacity and mounting losses.  It's closing processing centers around the country, including the one in Scranton.  My heart goes out to the people who are losing their jobs. I've been there.  It's not fun.  Times have changed, and the USPS has to adapt in order to survive.  Consolidation of mail processing centers makes sense.  I just hope its decision making process is sound.  The Scranton center gets good marks for efficiency.  You have to wonder why it is on the chopping block.  A center in Williamsport is also closing.

It's called "Pepsi Next."  It's a cola with half the calories of regular Pepsi.  Pepsi apparently believes it's creating a new market, but it seems like it will just suck buyers from the rest of the Pepsi family.

The gasoline fueled inflationary spiral is well underway.  That $1.28 two liter bottle of diet soda at the big box discount store is now $1.38.

This one is partly business related, because "The Big Bang Theory" continues to pull big ratings, first run and syndication...  The Sheldon character has gone from cute, quirky, and charming to being an unlikable loon.  By the way, "The Big Bang Theory" had move viewers than "American Idol" last week, marking the first time in years that the singing competition was beaten in the ratings.

There are now 13 varieties of Cheerios.

Montrose Publishing closed last week-- another printer done in by the internet and e-readers.  It's sad, but like the changes at the post office, the business world is evolving and those old models no longer work.

Some of those new Heinz ketchup packets are beginning to appear in fast food restaurants.  If you attack the packet from one end, you can squeeze out the ketchup.  If you open it from the other side, you can use it as a dipping container.  I've always been a dipper, and it's "thumbs up" to the new packets.  It's a product that does exactly as its billed.