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This Week in Business: Macy’s, Disney+, and More

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Macy’s To Close 125 Stores

Macy’s announced plans to close 125 stores due to slowing mall traffic on Tuesday. It also announced that it will cut 2,000 corporate jobs in an attempt to save more costs. Recently, the department store chain has had problems with retaining customers, as more and more are shifting to online shopping.

“We will focus our resources on the healthy parts of our business, directly address the unhealthy parts of the business and explore new revenue streams,” Chief Executive Officer Jeff Gennette said in a statement. The closing 125 stores account for nearly $1.4Bn in annual sales. Macy’s stocks remained relatively stable following the announcement.

Disney+ Breaks Expectations

Since its launch in November, 28M people signed up for streaming service Disney+. In response, Disney CEO Bob Iger called the launch a “complete success”. Disney+ is Disney’s attempt to compete with Netflix, which currently has 170M subscribers worldwide. “I’m enormously proud of what we have accomplished in a relatively short period of time and believe we are well-positioned to not only withstand the disruptive forces … but to thrive,” Iger said.

Right now, Disney+ is available in 5 countries. However, a launch in the UK and other countries is Disney’s top priority. It plans to launch the service in the UK next month. Disney also plans to launch in India in March. Currently, most of the subscribers come from the US. Half of them signed up on the Disney+ website.

Ralph Lauren Closes Half Of China Stores

Ralph Lauren announced that it had shut down half of its stores in China due to the recent coronavirus outbreak. CEO Patrice Louvet said that the company is still assessing any potential financial impact. However, he did say that Ralph Lauren gets about 4% of its revenue from China. Currently, the death toll from coronavirus has reached 420 people.

IKEA Announces First UK Store Closure

IKEA announced the closure of its Coventry store, the first big UK store closure. The company said that the location has continuously made less than expected, with fewer people coming each year. However, it also said that it would help the affected 352 workers find jobs at other stores. “However, given its location and the size of the land available at the time, the store was built over seven levels, which resulted in a significant impact on the operating costs of the store and the shopping experience for customers,” IKEA said.

ING To Pay 30M Euros To Settle Probe

A Milan court ordered ING to pay 30M euros, $33M, to settle a money-laundering case in Italy. The bank admitted in 2018 that people had been able to launder money through its accounts. It also agreed to pay 775 million euros to settle the case in its home country. However, it declined a request to comment.

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