Family Christian is closing all of its stores, including its Palm Beach County location

After 85 years in business, Family Christian plans to close all of its retail stores.

The company, which is based in Grand Rapids, Mich., announced Thursday it would shutter its 240 stores located in 36 states as a result of declining sales, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Family Christian has one store in Palm Beach County — at the Boynton Town Center on Congress Avenue.

2/25/2004-----BOYNTON BEACH---Sherman Casebolt (cq) of the Family Christian Store with some of the products associated with The Passion of the Christ movie in his shop, Wednesday.  He has had CDs, books, pendants and tee-shirts specificly from the movie in stock, some items have sold out already. Staff photo by Bob Shanley.
2/25/2004—–BOYNTON BEACH—Sherman Casebolt (cq) of the Family Christian Store with some of the products associated with The Passion of the Christ movie in his shop, Wednesday. He has had CDs, books, pendants and tee-shirts specificly from the movie in stock, some items have sold out already. Staff photo by Bob Shanley.

RELATED: JCPenney to close up to 140 stores; shutter Lakeland distribution facility

The company employees more than 3,000 people across the country, the Detroit Free Press said.

RELATED: Macy’s in CityPlace to close

Family Christian is the latest in a string of retailers to announce store closings amid a surge in online buying.

On Friday, JCPenney said it would close up to close up to 140 stores and offer buyouts to 6,000 employees over the next few months as part of an effort to compete with online sellers.

RELATED: This national retailer is closing in CityPlace 

Earlier this year Macy’s said it would close 68 stores, including the one at CityPlace in West Palm Beach, as part of a streamlining measure.

Women’s clothing retailer BCBG Max Azria is closing 120 stores across the country, including at least one Palm Beach County location. Signs at the company’s store in CityPlace last week advertised storewide discounts of between 40 and 60 percent.

 

JCPenney to close up to 140 stores

JCPenney plans to close up to 140 stores and offer buyouts to 6,000 employees over the next few months as part of an effort to compete with online sellers.

FILE - In this Friday, Oct. 23, 2009 file photo, shoppers visit a J.C. Penney store in New York. J.C. Penney Co. is reporting a 78 percent drop in its third-quarter earnings Friday, Nov. 13, 2009, because of a big expense to fund its pension plan. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, file)
FILE – In this Friday, Oct. 23, 2009 file photo, shoppers visit a J.C. Penney store in New York. J.C. Penney Co. is reporting a 78 percent drop in its third-quarter earnings Friday, Nov. 13, 2009, because of a big expense to fund its pension plan. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, file)

The company also plans to close two of its distribution facilities, including one in Lakeland, Fla.

“As a result of the store actions, JCPenney will close a distribution center located in Lakeland, Fla. in early June, at which time operations will transfer to the Company’s logistics facility in Atlanta as part of a strategic effort to streamline store support services,” JCPenney said in a news release posted on its website.

Nearly all impacted stores are expected to close in the second quarter of the year.

RELATED: Macy’s in CityPlace to close

JCPenney said it would release its list of stores slated for closure in mid-March. The company has two locations in Palm Beach County — one in the Mall at Wellington Green and another at the Boynton Beach Mall.

“We believe closing stores will also allow us to adjust our business to effectively compete against the growing threat of online retailers,” Marvin R. Ellison, chairman and chief executive officer of JCPenney, said in a statement released by the company. “Maintaining a large store base gives us a competitive advantage in the evolving retail landscape since our physical stores are a destination for personalized beauty offerings, a broad array of special sizes, affordable private brands and quality home goods and services. It is essential to retain those locations that present the best expression of the JCPenney brand and function as a seamless extension of the omnichannel experience through online order fulfillment, same-day pick up, exchanges and returns.”

RELATED: This national retailer is closing in CityPlace 

JCPenney said the store closures are expected to save the company about $200 million. The closures represent 13 to 14 percent of the company’s store portfolio.

JCPenney is the latest in a list of retailers that plan to close brick and mortar locations as more people shop online. Earlier this year Macy’s said it would close 68 stores, including the one at CityPlace in West Palm Beach, as part of a streamlining measure.

Women’s clothing retailer BCBG Max Azria is closing 120 stores across the country, including at least one Palm Beach County location. Signs at the company’s store in CityPlace last week advertised storewide discounts of between 40 and 60 percent.

 

 

The most reliable wireless network in Florida is…

Verizon Wireless has the best wireless network in the state, according to a study released this week by the independent testing firm Rootmetrics.

COCONUT CREEK, FL - OCTOBER 25:  Supporters hold cell phones to take pictures of Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a campaign rally at Broward College on October 25, 2016 in Coconut Creek, Florida. With two weeks to go until election day, Hillary Clinton is campaigning in Florida.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
COCONUT CREEK, FL -Supporters hold cell phones to take pictures of Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a campaign rally at Broward College on October 25, 2016 in Coconut Creek, Florida.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

RootMetrics tested 373 indoor locations across the state, analyzing the reliability and speed of each of the four major carriers. In all, the firm said it preformed more than 265,000 tests in the state in order to compile scores for the second half of 2016.

Verizon scored 97.1, followed by AT&T’s 94.4. Sprint took the third spot with 91.7 and T-Mobile came in last with a sore of 89.3.

Verizon also took top honors on a national level. AT&T took the No. 2 spot, followed by Sprint and T-Mobile.

Verizon said it invested $268 million in 2016 to improve its network in Florida, including the addition of 77 new macro cell sites and 149 new small cells — radio, antenna, power and a fiber connection that are strategically positioned on street lights, sides of buildings or other structures.

 

 

 

Publix has 3rd best reputation among U.S. corporations, new poll finds

Publix took the No. 3 spot in a new poll ranking the corporate reputation of the country’s 100 “most visible” companies.

The Lakeland-based supermarket chain’s reputation quotient rating fell just below Amazon and the Wegmans grocery chain in The Harris Poll’s annual survey.

(Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post)
(Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post)

But Publix beat out other top U.S. companies, including Apple, The Walt Disney Company and Google.

Publix took the 6th spot in the poll last year, and ranked 8th on the list in 2015.

 

Wawa sets date for South Florida openings

Wawa, a family-owned chain of convenience stores known for its hot coffee and tasty sandwiches, plans to open three stores in a single day next month.  image001

According to a “Save the Date” card distributed to county leaders, Wawa will hold a “Triple Header” grand opening celebration on March 23 for three stores in the Southeast Florida market.

RELATED: City commissioner: Wawa wants to open in Boynton Beach

The locations and opening times have not been released.

The company has selected several Palm Beach County sites, including the corner Belvedere Road and Australian Boulevard.

RELATED: Wawa says Hello to Palm Beach County

Wawa announced in 2015 that it planned to open dozens of stores in Palm Beach and Broward counties.

Wawa opened its first Florida location outside of SeaWorld in Orlando in 2012.

 

Shoppers expected to save tax refunds this year

Nearly half of those expecting tax refunds this year plan to save the money rather than spend it right away, a survey released Wednesday by the National Retail Federation found. tax form

The survey found that 48 percent of consumers plan to put the money they get from their refund this year into savings. This year’s level is  slightly less than 2016’s record high of 49.2 percent, the federation said.

“Financial security continues to be top-of-mind for all Americans, and consumers are hanging on to their tax refunds tighter than ever,” said the federation’s President and CEO Matthew Shay . “Consumers are leveraging their tax returns to build up their savings, but that’s good news in the long run because money saved today is money that can be spent down the road, particularly during the back-to-school and holiday seasons later this year.”

Only 20.9 percent of consumers will spend their refunds on everyday expenses, 8.7 percent will use them for major purchases such as a television, furniture or a car, and 7.6 percent will splurge on special treats like dining out, apparel or spa visits — the lowest levels in the survey’s history, the federation said.

About 35 percent of consumers will use the money to pay down debt, up from 34.9 percent last year but far below the peak of 48 percent seen in 2009, the federation said.

 

Comcast launches technician tracking app for customers

Cable giant Comcast has launched a new feature in its mobile app that allows customers to more closely monitor service appointments by pinpointing when a technician is en-route to their home. techeta_2

The feature, called “Tech ETA,” will notify customers with an estimated 30-minute window in which the technician is expected to arrive as well as the worker’s name and photo.

In its announcement about the new feature, Comcast officials said the company has reduced appointment windows from 4 to 2 hours as part of an effort to reduce the amount of time customers spend waiting for technicians. The company said its on-time arrival rate for appointments stood at 97 percent at the end of last year.

Customers can access Tech ETA on the My Account Android and iOS app.

 

 

Macy’s at CityPlace offers deep discounts in advance of store closing

The Macy’s at CityPlace in West Palm Beach has slashed prices in an attempt to clear out merchandise before the store closes this spring.

Signs near the front entrance Thursday advertised discounts of up to 60 percent off.

Macy's at CityPlace
Macy’s at CityPlace

RELATED: Macy’s in CityPlace to close

Macy’s announced last month that the CityPlace store is one of 68 locations it plans to close this year as part of a streamlining measure. The CityPlace location opened in 2000.

The announcement followed disappointing holiday sales for the retailer. Macy’s said comparable sales fell by 2.1 percent in November and December from 2015’s levels.

The CityPlace store was busy on Thursday with lunchtime shoppers looking for deals. Discounts included:

  • 40 percent off handbags; women’s shoes; men’s active wear; men’s dress shirts; women’s active wear; watches
  • 50 percent off luggage
  • 60 percent off men’s tailored clothing
  • 70 percent off fine jewelry

 

 

This national retailer is closing in CityPlace

img_0193
The BCBG store in CityPlace

Women’s clothing retailer BCBG Max Azria is closing its store in West Palm Beach’s CityPlace.

The store has already begun liquidating its merchandise, with signs advertising storewide discounts of between 40 and 60 percent.

RELATED: Macy’s in CityPlace to close

BCBG is closing 120 of its least profitable stores, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

BCBG’s website shows the company has four other Palm Beach County locations, including one in Palm Beach Gardens, one in Delray Beach and two in Boca Raton.

BCBG is the second retailer this year to close in CityPlace. Last month, Macy’s announced it was shuttering its CityPlace store.

 

 

 

Retail sales to grow by as much as 4.2 percent in 2017, trade group says

Retail sales are expected to grow by as much as 4.2 percent this year, but shoppers will be “hesitant” to spend until they have more certainty about federal policy changes, the National Retail Federation said Wednesday.

Caption:CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 14: A shopper carries a purchase from Macy's along the Magnificent Mile shopping district on August 14, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. Macys reported lower than-expected second quarter sales today and cut their profit outlook for the year. Some analysts fear the disappointed news will reverberate throughout the retail sector because Macy's is looked at as a barometer of spending among middle- to upper-income shoppers. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Caption:CHICAGO, IL – AUGUST 14: A shopper carries a purchase from Macy’s along the Magnificent Mile shopping district on August 14, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. Macys reported lower than-expected second quarter sales today and cut their profit outlook for the year. Some analysts fear the disappointed news will reverberate throughout the retail sector because Macy’s is looked at as a barometer of spending among middle- to upper-income shoppers. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The trade group said it expects retail sales, excluding automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants, to grow between 3.7 and 4.2 percent over 2016’s level. Although consumer strength is strong, the federation warned that consumers are concerned about policy changes on taxes and trade.

“The economy is on firm ground as we head into 2017 and is expected to build on the momentum we saw late last year,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “With jobs and income growing and debt relatively low, the fundamentals are in place and the consumer is in the driver’s seat. But this year is unlike any other – while consumers have strength they haven’t had in the past, they will remain hesitant to spend until they have more certainty about policy changes on taxes, trade and other issues being debated in Congress.”

“Lawmakers should take note and stand firm against any policies, rules or regulations that would increase the cost of everyday goods for American consumers,” Shay warned.

Online sales and other non-store purchases are expected to help drive this year’s rise, growing between 8 and 12 percent, the federation said.

“It is clear that online sales will continue to expand in 2017 and provide growth for the retail industry,” said Jack Kleinhenz, the federation’s chief economist. “But it is important to realize that virtually every major retailer sells online and many of those sales will be made by discount stores, department stores and other traditional retailers. Retailers sell to consumers however they want to buy, whether it’s in-store, online or mobile.”