Category Archives: Money

Hooray, things are getting worse more slowly!

U.S. Jobless Rate Hits 8.9%, but Pace of Losses Eases – NYTimes.com

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The slow demise of Bruno’s continues

Southern Family Markets bids on Bruno’s stores; 13 in Birmingham area could close – al.com

Already down to 56 stores (from a high of, I would guess, over 200), nearly half the remainder (25) would close under this deal. Included among these is the store in perennially underserved Bessemer. This is still very nearly a best-case scenario. Also, the lawyers will get a million bucks, so they’re happy.

Added: Bruno’s pulls out of Montgomery.

Life support

Update: Hearing on Bruno’s auction postponed as talks continue – Business News from The Birmingham News – al.com

Really, though, it’s just a temporary measure before they harvest the organs.

It’s a great day, really

After 75 years, lights out for Bruno’s Supermarkets – Business News from The Birmingham News – al.com

Bruno’s is getting auctioned off in bits and pieces today. Unless someone buys the whole chain — which is extremely doubtful — the best case scenario is that someone like Kroger’s buys a lot of the stores and keeps them open. But many stores are certain to close, especially in already hard-hit poor areas. Let’s congratulate the people responsible:

  • The Bruno family, whose pursuit of a quick buck destroyed Joe Bruno’s legacy.
  • Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, who began the process of stripping the chain for parts, allowed stores to deteriorate, and saddled it with debt, driving it into bankruptcy the first time.
  • Ahold, the Dutch company that took over from KKR and did basically the same stuff for a few years.
  • Lone Star Funds, the current owners, who have apparently stripped whatever KKR and Ahold couldn’t get from the carcass, and which has allowed the stores to deteriorate to such a degree that some of them are actually scary to enter.
  • The employees, who are about as happy to work there as you’d expect, and who have refused to allow the union to make any further concessions to keep the stores open.
  • The bankruptcy court, which is allowing the management to pay out $40 million in bonuses to poor, abused executives of the company.

And, okay, Wal-Mart and Publix. Still…

That was a mistake

Judge sentences former Compass Bank teller to two months in prison after she pleaded guilty to stealing $14,500 from a customer – al.com

If she’d stolen $14.5 million, she would have gotten off with probation.

Efficiencies

Bruno’s could close stores if no buyer is found | TuscaloosaNews.com | The Tuscaloosa News | Tuscaloosa, AL

Bruno’s is a veteran, once locally-owned, grocery chain that once upon a time dominated the local market. And then, it was bought out by the geniuses at KKR, and as was so often the case, handed around to other owners who picked it clean until it was utterly ruined. And now, a large employer is on the verge of collapse, and if someone doesn’t buy in thousands of people will be out of jobs. Obviously, this is because of unions.

I’m always behind this guy in the line

I’d Like To Register A Complaint: Upset With $350 Electrical Bill, Man Pays In Pennies