Walmart reportedly cutting more than 1,000 jobs

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 11:11 AM

Walmart Announces They Will Raise Wages

Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is reportedly cutting more than 1,000 corporate jobs.

The Wall Street Journal reported the retailer is cutting jobs at its headquarters, which comes as Walmart announced its store workers will receive raises and bonuses. Walmart employs more than 1.5 million people in the U.S., plans to cut more than 1,000 corporate jobs, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.

» RELATED: Walmart to roll out ‘Scan & Go’ technology in another 100 stores

“We’ve been looking at our structure for some time as we explore ways to operate more effectively,” a Wal-Mart spokesman told the WSJ, without confirming that job cuts are planned this month.

Sam’s Club, which is owned by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., suddenly shuttered 63 stores across the U.S. late last week. Two Sam’s Club stores in Cincinnati have permanently closed without notice. The Loveland store on Fields-Ertel Road and the Oakley store on Marburg Avenue both permanently closed Thursday, WCPO reported. No locations in the Dayton region have been impacted. Sam’s Club has locations in Dayton, Beavercreek and Centerville.

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Want a T-bone for Memorial Day grill? It’s going to cost you

Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 12:00 AM

Joe Neuhauser, general manager of the meat department at Dorothy Lane Market in Oakwood, cuts a slab of meat before Memorial Day weekend. KARA DRISCOLL/STAFF
Joe Neuhauser, general manager of the meat department at Dorothy Lane Market in Oakwood, cuts a slab of meat before Memorial Day weekend. KARA DRISCOLL/STAFF

A majority of the meats you grill on the Memorial Day grill will be cheaper this year, but those who like a good T-bone steak will pay a little more compared to last year.

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of grilling season and is a major holiday that drives sales, including meat sales, at local grocery stores.

Robert Bernhard, owner of Dot’s Market, which has two grocery stores in Dayton, said an unusually cold April appears to have led to pent up demand to cook out. Now that temperatures are finally up, he said the grocery shoppers are out.

“They are so happy to see nice weather that they get the grills out,” Bernhard said. “It really does well for us when weather is nice.”

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Prices are slightly higher than a year ago, Bernard said, and usually rise throughout the summer.

Ground beef in the U.S. cost an average of $3.73 per pound in April compared to $3.55 per pound the same time last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The average price for all types of steaks is $7.70 per pound compared to $7.28 last April.

Pork chops cost an average of $3.29 per pound compared to $3.44 per pound the year before. Boneless chicken breasts are at $3.24 per pound, slightly down from $3.29 per pound the year prior.

While there might be a higher supply of meat this year, there is a lower supply of high quality beef for grocery stores to stock, said Jack Gridley, Dorothy Lane Market vice president of Meat, Seafood, Deli and Prepared Foods.

At the same time, Gridley said incomes are improving and more consumers have the money to buy quality beef.

“For yourself, you may see less marbling. The meat is leaner, but at the same time there’s less flavor. There’s less tenderness,” he said.

Dorothy Lane, which operates three grocery stores in the area, has still been able to find high quality beef and hold their prices steady, but Gridley said it takes more work to find the right supplier.

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“It’s very difficult. If you’re looking for quality meat, you need to find a partner that also believes in that and raises cattle from birth to harvest and believes in doing it the old fashion way,” Gridley said.

Nielson, a data analytic company, reported that out of the different types of meat, beef typically has the highest sales for the holiday weekend.

In 2016 — the latest year Nielson had data for — beef sales topped $778 million for the two weeks ending June 4. Next up was chicken, with sales of more than $362 million, followed by pork, which generated $208 million over the same time frame.

Grilling season also drives other grocery shopping, with strong sales annually reported over Memorial Day weekend for vegetable trays, tomatoes, berries, and pre-cut fruit. The weekend is also traditionally the second most important holiday weekend in beer sales, second in dollars only to Fourth of July, Nielson reported.

“The grill is out and it’s a time of the year where people want a good eating experience, so whether its simply hamburger to prime rib eye or New York strip steak, they want that eating experience to be great,” Gridley said.

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The historic Golden Lamb is getting some updates and renovations. Here’s what’s happening.

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 2:43 PM


            The Golden Lamb in Lebanon. Photographed Sept. 2016 LISA POWELL / STAFF
The Golden Lamb in Lebanon. Photographed Sept. 2016 LISA POWELL / STAFF

The Golden Lamb in Lebanon is beginning renovations on one of its four first-floor dining rooms and kitchen, one of several projects happening at the historic facility.

In addition, the Golden Lamb completed work on the General Grant Suite, updated the Henry Clay private dining room, refurbished third- and fourth-floor hotel corridors and commissioned two works by artists Ursula Roma and Suzanne Fisher that are now on display.

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Renovations for the Charles Dickens dining room are to be completed by early July.

The Golden Lamb also anticipates renovations to two other public dining rooms and the Black Horse Tavern.

For more information, visit www.goldenlamb.com or call 513-932-5065.

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Kroger just bought Home Chef: 5 other major changes to expect

Published: Thursday, May 24, 2018 @ 10:51 AM

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Kroger Co. is buying Home Chef, the country’s largest private meal kit company, in deal that could reach $700 million, according to the Cincinnati-based grocery chain.

The initial transaction price is $200 million and future payments of up to $500 million over five years are contingent on achieving certain sales goals, the company said. The pending merger comes on the heels of Home Chef’s 150 percent growth in 2017, $250 million in revenue, and two profitable quarters, according to Kroger.

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Kroger has a major presence in the region. The chain has approximately 6,000 workers in the Dayton area where they have invested over $160 million in new storing, remodels and fuel centers in the past 10 years, according to Tim Brown, president of Kroger’s Cincinnati/Dayton division.

It’s not the only recent change that Kroger has made to transform the customer shopping experience. Here are five other things that Kroger has tried out in the past year:

1. No more waiting? Kroger looks to eliminate checkout lanes

The Cincinnati-headquartered grocery chain will roll out its “Scan, Bag, Go” service to 400 stores in 2018, according to Business Insider. Shoppers can avoid long checkout lines by scanning barcodes of items they want to buy using a handheld scanner or through Kroger’s “Scan, Bag, Go” app on any smartphone. READ MORE

2. Kroger expands organic brand offerings

Cincinnati-headquartered Kroger, in partnership with Fair Trade USA, announced today that its Simple Truth brand will expand in 2018 to offer more Fair Trade Certified productsThe Simple Truth brand’s current portfolio of Fair Trade products spans multiple commodities, including coffee, cocoa, coconut, tea, sugar and agave. READ MORE

3. Kroger sells off convenience store business for $2.15B

Kroger has sold off its convenience store business unite to EG Group for approximately $2.15 billion. EG Group, a privately-held petrol forecourt convenience store retailer in the United Kingdom, agreed to purchase the chain form Kroger. The deal includes 784 stores operating across 18 states, including 66 franchise locations. READ MORE

Kroger is hiring 11,000 workers nationwide, including 2,000 management positions. The hires include 486 jobs in metro Atlanta from stocking to pharmacy technicians. Those interested in a Kroger job should visit jobs.kroger.com.

4. Kroger to roll out digital aisle displays that connect to smartphones

Kroger is changing how customers will shop in stores with new digital aisle displays that connect and interact with smartphones. The Cincinnati-based grocery retailer is rolling out new technology called Kroger Edge in nearly 200 stores in 2018. The technology will be installed on store shelves where paper price tags currently hang. READ MORE

5. Kroger reportedly exploring other partnerships, acquisitions

Home Chef isn’t the first acquisition that Kroger has reportedly explored in the past year. Customers could expect more acquisitions to occur if reports are true. Kroger reportedly has conversations with Chinese e-commerce and technology company Alibaba earlier this year about a potential partnership.

They’ve also reportedly had conversations about a partnership with Overstock.com, and online retailer Boxed Wholesale allegedly rejected Kroger’s $400 million buyout offer in March. It’s clear Kroger is open to pursing new ventures with online companies. READ MORE

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Area home sales climb in April: Here’s why

Published: Thursday, May 24, 2018 @ 10:43 AM


            This house on Oak Street in the South Park neighborhood has found a buyer. The neighborhood has a variety of homes for sale that fall along the price scale. CORNELIUS FROLIK / Staff
This house on Oak Street in the South Park neighborhood has found a buyer. The neighborhood has a variety of homes for sale that fall along the price scale. CORNELIUS FROLIK / Staff

The housing market in the Dayton area is continuing to heat up.

There were 1,415 sales recorded in April, up 7 percent from the same time last year, according to Dayton Realtors, a trade association covering Montgomery, Greene, Darke, Warren, and Preble counties.

The sales volume for those homes was $228.3 million, up 10 percent from the same time last year.

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The average sales price increased 2.6 percent from last year to $161,363, while the median sales price increased 7.6 percent to $139,985.

The first four months of 2018 saw continued increases over the previous year in prices and in sales. Through April, sales reached 4,473, a 2.5 percent increase from 2017 when 4,364 transactions occurred over the same period.

The average sales price year-to-date is $154,096, up 4 percent percent jump over 2017’s year-to-date numbers. The median sales price is up 3.4 percent from $127,600 in 2017 to $132,000 through April 2018.

There were 1,980 new listings added in April, just ten units up from last year’s 1,970, while there were year-to-date listings 6,551, up 3 percent decrease from the 6,769 submitted through April last year.

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The overall home inventory on the multiple-listing service showed 3,723 available as of the end of April, which represented a supply of 2.6 months based on April’s pace of sales.

The Dayton Daily News recently reported on the tight inventory of new homes and the slowed pace of new home construction. Builders and Realtors said one major reason for the slow pace of home construction is the Dayton area isn’t experiencing the growth in jobs, wages and population that other parts of the nation are seeing.

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