Macy’s to close 125 stores, cut 2,000 jobs

Associated Press


Macy’s to close 125 stores, cut 2,000 jobs

Macy’s says it is closing 125 of its least productive stores and cutting 2,000 corporate jobs as the struggling department store tries to reinvent itself in the age of online shopping. The store closures represent about one-fifth of Macy’s current total. The stores, which include about 30 that are in the process of closing, account for $1.4 billion in annual sales. The corporate jobs will be shed as Macy’s closes its offices in Cincinnati and San Francisco, leaving New York as its sole corporate headquarters. Macy’s is also testing a new store format that’s located at a strip center, instead of a mall. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Twitter to label or remove doctored photos, audio, and videos

Twitter will begin to label and in some cases remove doctored or manipulated photos, audio, and videos that are designed to mislead people. The company said Tuesday that the new rules prohibit sharing synthetic or manipulated material that’s likely to cause harm. Material that is manipulated but isn’t necessarily harmful may get a warning label. Under the new guidelines, the slowed-down video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in which she appeared to slur her words could get the label if someone tweets it out after the rules go into effect March 5. Twitter said it considers threats to the safety of a person or a group serious harm, along with risk of mass violence or widespread civil unrest. But harm could also mean threats to people’s privacy or ability to freely express themselves, Twitter said. This could include stalking, voter suppression, and intimidation epithets, and “material that aims to silence someone.” — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Owner of NY Stock Exchange offers to buy eBay

The owner of the New York Stock Exchange has made an offer to buy online marketplace eBay Inc., The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. The Journal said International Exchange Inc. is valuing eBay at more than $30 billion, compared to eBay’s value of around $28 billion before the report. The newspaper cited people familiar with the matter who were not named. Atlanta-based Intercontinental Exchange, better known as ICE, declined to comment on the report. EBay did not immediately respond to request for comment.



Iconic San Francisco skyscraper to be sold to N.Y. developer

The Transamerica Pyramid, the iconic skyscraper that has defined the San Francisco skyline for almost half a century, is poised to change hands for the first time. A group led by New York developer Michael Shvo has a deal to purchase the building, according to people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing the private transaction. The price is about $700 million, one of the people said. For Shvo, it’s another landmark property to add to his portfolio. In the last year, Shvo and his partners have acquired buildings valued at more than $3 billion, including the Coca-Cola building in Manhattan. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Studios that released diverse movies made money

Studios are putting a more diverse set of faces on the big screen, and it’s paying off. More than 40 percent of the 100 best-selling films in 2019 had a female lead character, a historic high, according to a study released Tuesday by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative at the University of Southern California. And almost a third of the top films had a lead or co-lead actor from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group, also the highest since USC started tracking data in 2007. Diversifying the characters appearing on screen paid off. Walt Disney Co., which incorporated the highest percentage of females and minorities of all the major studios, had a banner year. On average, the films that included a nonwhite lead character earned $1.3 billion at the box office for Disney, making them some of the biggest sellers of all time. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Jeffrey Epstein’s estate valued at more than $500m

The estate of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein has begun selling off his assets, including a Bentley, a Mercedes-Benz, and three Chevrolet Suburbans, according to a court filing in the US Virgin Islands. The 2018 Bentley sold for $195,000 and the 2019 Mercedes for $133,200, the document shows. The Suburbans fetched $17,500, $44,000, and $50,500 apiece. He also sold a quad bike that converts into a watercraft for $36,000, with total income from asset sales reaching $1.07 million. Epstein’s assets were valued in the filing at $634.8 million, significantly higher than estimates last year. According to a prior court filing, Epstein, 66, at the time of his death, left an estate valued at more than $500 million, including about $57 million in cash. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Swedish bank under investigation for money laundering denies managers bonuses

The most senior managers working at Sweden’s biggest mortgage bank won’t be getting bonuses to reflect last year’s bumper profits. Swedbank AB’s board wants to send a clear message that a bank being investigated for money laundering can’t reward its highest-ranking people, no matter how much business they bring in. So it’s withholding payments into two bonus programs for 170 top managers. The Stockholm-based bank, which dominates financial markets in the Baltic region, is being investigated in Europe and the United States after Sweden’s public broadcaster said it channeled as much as $155 billion in potentially dirty money into the West. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Irish regulators launch probes into Google and Tinder over user data

Irish regulators have launched separate inquiries into Google and dating app Tinder over how they process user data, in a new round of regulatory scrutiny aimed at tech companies. Ireland’s Data Protection Commission said Tuesday that it decided to look into how Google handles location data after a number of consumer groups across the European Union filed complaints. The regulator is also investigating Tinder after people in Ireland and elsewhere in the EU raised concerns. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Performing arts center removes gift shop tree with black figures hanging from it

A performing arts center at Michigan State University removed a gift shop display featuring dolls depicting prominent black figures that were hanging from a tree-like rack, said school officials, who added that they will provide racial bias training for workers and volunteers. University spokeswoman Emily Gerkin Guerrant apologized in a statement, adding that “people were hurt and offended” regardless of the intent of the display at the Wharton Center for Performing Arts. The felt ornaments hung from the tree-shaped rack depicted figures such as former President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, and Prince. The dolls were noticed by Krystal Rose Davis-Dunn, a black graduate student, who told the Lansing State Journal that there were other trees holding dolls of historic black figures, as well as a few white leaders. Davis-Dunn said she asked employees if they saw anything wrong with the displays, but they did not. She added for her, it recalled images of “African-American people hanging from twine.’’ — ASSOCIATED PRESS