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Michael Merlin named to Barron’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors

Michael Merlin named to Barron’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors

ATLANTA, GA March 11, 2014– Morgan Stanley announced today that Michael Merlin, Managing Director, Financial Advisor, in the Firm’s Atlanta Wealth Management office, has been named to Barron’s list of America’s Top 1,200 Advisors: 2014 State-by-State.

The “Barron’s Top 1,200 Advisors” is a select group of individuals who are screened on a number of criteria. Among factors the survey takes into consideration are assets under management, revenue produced for the Firm and quality of service provided to clients.

“I am extremely proud that  Michael Merlin is representing Morgan Stanley Wealth Management on this list,” commented Michael Outlaw, Branch Manager of Morgan Stanley’s Atlanta office. “This listing recognizes an elite group of financial professionals who are dedicated to providing clients with exceptional wealth management services.”

RadioShack to close 1,100 stores

(USA TODAY) -- After reporting dismal fourth-quarter earnings, RadioShack said Tuesday that it would close about 1,100 poorly performing stores, roughly 20% of the electronic retailer's locations.

The store closings will leave about 4,000 locations in the U.S. The company has been struggling to revamp its stores for the past year.

Total net sales and operating revenues were $935.4 million in the fourth quarter, vs. $1,171.4 million last year, a 20% decline. Comparable store sales were down 19%, which the company blames on poor performance in its mobile phone business.

RadioShack stock was down more than 20% in premarket trading.

"Even in this environment, we're continuing to make progress on the five pillars of our turnaround plan: repositioning the brand, revamping the product assortment, reinvigorating the stores, operational efficiency and financial flexibility," CEO Joseph C. Magnacca said in a statement.

RadioShack to close 500 stores

(ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE) -- RadioShack scored big points with its comedic 1980s-themed Super Bowl ad that poked fun at the retailer's outdated image, but the mood was more somber on Tuesday when news broke that around 500 stores will close in the coming months.

WATCH | RadioShack Super Bowl ad

The Wall Street Journal says it isn't clear which of the Fort Worth, Texas-based company's 4,300 stores will be closed or when.

The closings are part of a restructuring. Says the WSJ, "The retailer has struggled to reverse a string of losses deepened by a sales strategy focused around smartphones, which failed to improve revenue over the past two years."

Macy's to lay off 2,500 workers, close 5 stores nationally

Macy's to lay off 2,500 workers, close 5 stores nationally

NEW YORK -- Retailer Macy's will lay off approximately 2,500 workers as it restructures its business, it said Wednesday afternoon.

The layoffs and other cost-saving changes are expected to to generate savings of about $100 million beginning this year, the company said in a press release.

"We have identified some specific areas where we can improve our efficiency without compromising our effectiveness in serving the evolving needs of our customers," said CEO Terry Lundgren in that press release.

The retailer will close five Macy's stores in early spring 2014. The stores that will close are in Fiesta Mall, Mesa, Ariz.; Metcalf South Shopping Center, Overland Park, Kansas; Jamestown Mall, Florissant, Mo., Medley Centre, Irondequoit, N.Y.; and Fashion Place Mall, Murray, Utah.

It will also combine its Midwest Region with its North Region to create a new North Central Region.

Macy's has eight stores in metro Atlanta.

Grocery is the #1 holiday purchase! Research shows where consumers are spending this holiday season

Grocery is the #1 holiday purchase! Research shows where consumers are spending this holiday season

With all the hype and Black Friday campouts at Best Buys and Toys R Us, you'd guess that the majority of holiday shopping budgets go to purchases like electronics, toys and clothing. But according to new research, the biggest share what comes out of your holiday wallet actually goes to ... groceries and restaurants.

New data from Card-Linked Marketing leader Cardlytics -- collected from millions of U.S. households over the past two years -- shows what consumers actually spend their money on during the holiday season.  When it comes to holiday shopping Americans are spending 24% of their budget on groceries followed by restaurants and apparel.  Toy purchases are actually at the bottom of the list.

The Top 10 Share of Wallet (see link/attached for graphics and pie charts for 2011 and 2012 holiday spending):

1. Groceries - 24%

LittlePINKBook.com invites women to join conversation Nov. 12 with top female executives

LittlePINKBook.com invites women to join conversation Nov. 12 with top female executives

ATLANTA -- LittlePINKBook.com, America’s No. 1 digital platform for career women, will host its 9th Annual Fall Empowerment Event on Tuesday, Nov. 12. Top-level female executives will share their experiences with rising through the corporate ranks to an audience of like-minded, successful women motivated to get there.  

Executives on the panel will be asked questions from the event’s moderator, Carol Costello, anchor at CNN Newsroom, Little PINK Book’s CEO and Founding Editor Cynthia Good as well as attendees. Panelists include:

Sad day for Atlanta couponers: The end of Kroger double coupons

Sad day for Atlanta couponers: The end of Kroger double coupons

ATLANTA -- The wave of couponers' cries heard in the Midwest and Texas has finally hit the Southeast!

For years, we have enjoyed the everyday doubling of coupons $0.50 and less. We got FREE items because of this great policy and it made handling an almost impossible budget easier for us couponers and savvy shoppers.

While I am not saying that this will hurt us (I will be posting some other things Kroger is doing), it does have me wondering -- in this competitive Atlanta market, where we use more coupons per capita then ANYWHERE in the US -- how will this fare? Will Publix jump on the bandwagon?

The end of double coupons becomes effective September 21, 2013. For this couponer, I will be having to double check my shopping list with this new rule. It's not fun, but a lot of new things are coming from Kroger, and I think this is why the program of double couponing is ending.