Shoppers spent heavily during the week that ended Saturday, before and after Christmas, after a snow storm during the last weekend of the holiday shopping season led to pent-up demand. Retail sales rose 8.8 percent during the week ending Dec. 26, according to research firm ShopperTrak. Meanwhile, traffic edged down 1 percent compared with a year ago. On the day after Christmas, consumers spent $7.9 billion, up from $7.8 billion on the same day last year. That was the second biggest sales day of the season after the Friday after Thanksgiving, when shoppers spent $10.66 billion.
GM moves ahead with Saab shutdown
General Motors Co. is pressing ahead with plans to shut down Saab, though it will continue to hear bids for the Swedish car brand, a company spokesman said Wednesday. Tom Wilkinson said the automaker is not commenting on reports that a deadline for proposals for Saab has been extended to Jan. 7. GM had previously said it was giving bidders until today to come forward with an offer for Saab until it decided earlier this month that it would wind down the brand. “During the wind down process we’ve heard from a number of people with proposals for Saab, and we’re going to evaluate the proposals as we start the wind down,” Wilkinson said. Saab spokeswoman Gunilla Gustavs said GM’s decision to wind down Saab still stands, though it will still entertain bids. Dec. 31 is “no longer a magical date” where a GM decision should be expected, Gustavs said.
Storied N.Y. eatery to shut its doors
Tavern on the Green, once America’s highest-grossing restaurant, is singing its culinary swan song. The former sheepfold at the edge of Central Park, now ringed by twinkling lights and fake topiary animals, is preparing for New Year’s Eve, when it will serve its last meal. Just three years ago, it was plating more than 700,000 meals annually, bringing in more than $38 million. But that astronomical sum wasn’t enough to keep the landmark restaurant out of bankruptcy court. Its $8 million debt is to be covered at an auction of Baccarat and Waterford chandeliers, Tiffany stained glass, a mural depicting Central Park and other over-the-top decor that has bewitched visitors for decades.
Cable holdout likely in Fox pay dispute
It appears Fox won’t accept Time Warner Cable’s offer to carry its broadcast signal while a fee dispute continues. Chase Carey, chief operating officer of Fox owner News Corp., told staff in a memo that a signal interruption was likely when the deal over fees expires at midnight Thursday, halting service to millions of viewers. Carey says an interim deal would simply help Time Warner without fair compensation to Fox. Fox argues it needs to be paid more for broadcast signals that are retransmitted to subscribers of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks.
From Herald news services