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Stories you may have missed from the world of business


Lord & Taylor, oldest US department store, files bankruptcy

Lord & Taylor is seeking bankruptcy protection after a turnaround effort faltered amid the pandemic. The oldest US department store filed for Chapter 11 protection in Richmond, Va., on Sunday. The company, founded in Manhattan by two English immigrants in 1826, listed assets and liabilities of up to $500 million each in its petition. Fashion start-up Le Tote Inc. bought the rights to the company’s stores, brand, and e-commerce site from Hudson’s Bay Co. for $71 million last year. The chain joins a burgeoning list of department store casualties. Former fashion stalwarts like J. Crew Group and Neiman Marcus have already filed for bankruptcy protection this year. Le Tote also filed for Chapter 11. Executives at the company had planned to cut the number of Lord & Taylor stores and target younger women. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



UK to ditch ‘outdated’ planning rules to speed construction

Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick will announce a shakeup of the United Kingdom’s “outdated and cumbersome” planning rules, which he said will accelerate home construction and spur vital infrastructure projects. The program, echoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s call to “Build Build Build” to help the British economy recover from the pandemic, will introduce a streamlined path to development in “growth” and “renewal” zones designated by local councils, Jenrick said. “It takes an average of five years for a standard housing development to go through the planning system — before a spade is even in the ground,” he wrote in the Sunday Telegraph. “We are introducing a simpler, faster, people-focused system to deliver the homes and places we need.” The changes will set guidelines for architecture and enable smaller companies to compete with large corporations because the new rules level the playing field for gaining planning consent, Jenrick said. The District Councils’ Network, which represents 187 planning authorities, said the changes won’t deliver the boost the government claims; “the housing delivery system is broken, not the planning system,” said Mark Crane, the network’s spokesman, adding that “councils need to be given the funding to invest in infrastructure and the powers to build homes that are green, high-quality, and affordable.” — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Apple asks UK store landlords to halve rent

Apple is asking landlords to slash the rent for some of its UK stores by as much as 50 percent while offering to extend leases by several years in return, The Sunday Times reported. The iPhone maker wants rents to match those of retailers who have benefited from landlords who cut rents after traffic in shopping centers plummeted because of the pandemic. The profitability of Apple’s 38 UK stores is such that landlords are desperate for the company to remain a tenant, the newspaper wrote, without saying how it obtained the information. Apple declined to comment to the Sunday Times. Apple reported record second-quarter sales of $59.7 billion and dethroned Saudi Aramco as the world’s most profitable company. Its stock jumped 10 percent Friday, ending the day with a record market capitalization of $1.817 trillion. Saudi Arabia’s national oil company is valued at $1.76 trillion. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Bitcoin surpasses $12,000 then tumbles in wild weekend action

Bitcoin reminded investors of both its promise and its peril this weekend. The world’s largest cryptocurrency rose to $12,112 in trading just after midnight on Sunday in New York, its first foray above $12,000 since August 2019. But it plunged 30 minutes later to $10,638. Bitcoin has rallied strongly in recent days after rising above $10,000. It had fallen as low as $4,904 in mid-March but by mid-May was back around $9,000. While cryptocurrencies’ volatility continues to attract skeptics, JPMorgan Chase & Co. in June noted that Bitcoin’s rally back from the March depths suggests it has staying power. Notable moves this weekend and last recall a similar phenomenon in 2019, when outsized gains took place numerous times during Saturday and Sunday trading as the price rose into five-digit range. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



GoodRx files for US IPO, report says

GoodRx Inc., a price-comparison platform for prescription drugs, has filed for a potential initial public offering of stock with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Reuters reported. The Santa Monica, Calif., company was valued at $2.8 billion in August 2018 after the private equity firm Silver Lake Management took a major stake. GoodRx is hiring advisers for the IPO and a stock market listing could come later in 2020 or in early 2021, one person told Reuters. GoodRx gathers prices and discounts for prescription drugs. It doesn’t sell the drugs, but directs consumers to the drugstore with the best deal and offers coupons. Last year, it bought the startup HeyDoctor in a move to provide virtual medical care. Co-CEO Doug Hirsch cofounded the company in 2011. He’s a former Facebook executive. — BLOOMBERG NEWS