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Business - Chicago Tribune

Business news from the Chicago Tribune. Get money tips, stock market updates and the latest Chicago business news.

Last Build Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2017 19:06:50 -0600

Copyright: ©2017 Chicago Tribune

Chicago's Rock 'n' Roll McDonald's to close for remodeling, ditch rock theme

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 13:45:00 PST

The Rock ’n’ Roll McDonald’s in River North will close Dec. 30 for major remodeling and abandon its rock theme upon reopening, part of a companywide push to modernize all of its 14,000 U.S. restaurants by the end of 2020.

The McDonald’s at Clark and Ontario streets, a rock-themed tourist attraction,...


FCC repeals net neutrality rules, in a sweeping act of deregulation

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 15:00:00 PST

Federal regulators voted Thursday to allow Internet providers to speed up service for websites they favor - and block or slow down others - in a decision repealing landmark, Obama-era regulations overseeing broadband companies such as AT&T and Verizon.

The move by the Federal Communications Commission...


Today's net neutrality vote will change the Internet forever, and consumers will pay

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 06:18:00 PST

The internet — as we know it — is likely to die Thursday at the hands of the Trump administration. What’s more, we’ll be expected to pay for the burial.

This is what’s called a “lose-lose” situation.

In one of its most anti-consumer and anti-business decisions yet, the Republican-controlled Federal...


How to decide if bitcoin is safe for you to trade

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 10:43:00 PST

Is Bitcoin a great investment opportunity or a risky bubble waiting to burst like 1637's Dutch tulip mania?

Bitcoin's run-up has grown famous. Late Thursday morning, the digital currency was trading for more than $19,000 on exchanges in South Korea, before closing around $16,600 on Bitfinex, a...


Disney buys Fox entertainment assets in $52.4 billion deal that shakes up entertainment, media worlds

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 11:49:00 PST

Disney is buying the Murdoch family's Fox movie and television studios and some cable and international TV businesses for about $52.4 billion, as the home of Mickey Mouse tries to meet competition from technology companies in the entertainment business.

Disney's all-stock deal for 21st Century...


Plan for 80-story tower, two others in Lakeshore East hits roadblock

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 13:50:00 PST

An ambitious plan for three residential high-rises near Lake Michigan, including one that would soar 80 stories, has been shot down by the city’s downtown alderman.

Chicago-based Magellan Development Group and its development partner, Australia’s Lendlease, now must make significant changes to...


Fed boosts benchmark rate for third time this year

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 13:19:00 PST

The Federal Reserve is raising its key interest rate for the third time this year and foresees three additional hikes in 2018, a vote of confidence that the U.S. economy remains on solid footing 8½ years after the end of the Great Recession.

The Fed announced Wednesday that it's lifting its short-term...


Allstate spinoff Arity uses cellphone data to be high-tech backseat driver

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 03:00:00 PST

In the auto insurance world, Gary Hallgren is Big Brother, watching more than a million drivers every day to determine who is likeliest to have an accident.

Hallgren is president of Chicago-based Arity, a year-old Allstate tech startup that uses smartphone apps and add-on devices to track every...


Deal of the day: $500 million-plus sale of Groupon HQ

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 12:35:00 PST

Groupon’s sprawling headquarters along the Chicago River is close to getting a new owner, in a $500 million-plus deal that would be one of the biggest office sales in Chicago this year.

Chicago developer Sterling Bay is working to complete the purchase of the building at 600 W. Chicago Ave., according...


30,000-square-foot rooftop restaurant and bar will crown new Navy Pier hotel

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 14:30:00 PST

Visitors who play at Navy Pier soon will be able to stay there as well, with a new seven-story hotel set to rise on the eastern end of the familiar landmark over the next 18 months.

Developers unveiled plans this week for the upscale, 222-room Curio Collection by Hilton hotel adjacent to Festival...


Chicagoans are jumping into the world of bitcoin: 'Everyone thinks I'm crazy'

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 15:00:00 PST

In January, Mike Haynes’ salary was cut in half as the tech startup he worked for restructured. By spring, he had burned through most of his savings. Now he’s one of the many speculators chasing their fortunes though bitcoin investing.

The CBOE Futures Exchange became the first traditional exchange...


Why Boeing can make a brash prediction about beating Elon Musk to Mars

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 03:00:00 PST

It’s a corporate suit versus a high-tech visionary and the winner gets a trip to Mars.

Boeing Co. CEO Dennis Muilenburg recently squabbled online with Tesla co-founder and space travel entrepreneur Elon Musk about whose company will be the first to plant a flag on the red planet.

While one of the...


CPS, City Colleges expand coding programs with help from Apple

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 03:00:00 PST

Starting this spring, more Chicago Public Schools students will have a new language to learn: the one spoken by iPhone apps and Apple’s iOS operating system.

The tech giant is teaming up with the city to get its coding curriculum into more CPS classrooms and into the City Colleges of Chicago, and...


Time Out to open one of Chicago's biggest food halls in Fulton Market district in 2019

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 09:20:00 PST

The publisher of Time Out entertainment magazines confirmed plans to open one of the largest food halls in Chicago in 2019, in the Fulton Market district that’s already a destination for foodies.

Time Out Market Chicago is planned for a three-level, nearly 50,000-square-foot building to be constructed...


Tech support scams hitting more computer users online

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 07:50:00 PST

For consumers who turn over control of their computers to remote technicians online, the fix may already be in.

A growing number of remote tech support scams are popping up, in which users facing “crashed” computers give online access for repairs that do nothing more than drain their wallets, according...


Bitcoin futures soar amid frenzy over virtual currency

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 15:16:00 PST

Wall Street got its first taste of bitcoin on Monday, with the price of the first-ever futures contract for the digital currency jumping 20 percent.

It's a step forward for the bitcoin, which has soared this year despite concerns that the surge of investor interest has transformed it from a new-age...


Nobu Hotel in Fulton Market selling before it's built

Fri, 8 Dec 2017 13:55:00 PST

Chicago’s Nobu Hotel is still in the early stages of construction on West Randolph Street, but the Robert De Niro-backed hotel and restaurant is already getting a new landlord.

Mexico’s RCD Resorts has struck an almost $20 million deal to buy and take over the Fulton Market district development...


Christmas tree growers battle against popularity of plastic

Fri, 8 Dec 2017 12:25:00 PST

Millennials have earned a reputation for loving consumer products that are local and artisanal. So why are they buying so many plastic Christmas trees?

That's the question irking Tim O'Connor, the executive director of the Christmas Tree Promotion Board in Littleton, Colorado. To help capture more...


'Crisis mode': As boomers age, a shortage of caregivers

Sat, 9 Dec 2017 23:05:00 PST

As more and more baby boomers cross the threshold into old age, members of the Me Generation are confronting a growing problem: Who will take care of them when they can no longer care for themselves?

It’s a situation few families are prepared for, but one many will face. As relatives gather for...


More companies find spending on corporate responsibility increases the bottom line

Fri, 8 Dec 2017 08:00:00 PST

Kraft Heinz, a company known for its rigorous cost-cutting, now wants to improve animal welfare, help end the destruction of rainforests and fight world hunger.

Though cynics may roll their eyes, consider this: Growing a better world — as Kraft Heinz puts it — is also good for business. Increasingly,...


Illinois Insurance Department head navigates Obamacare changes

Thu, 7 Dec 2017 10:20:00 PST

Jennifer Hammer’s first year as director of the state’s Department of Insurance hasn’t been an easy one.

Hammer, who was appointed by Gov. Bruce Rauner and confirmed in February, has overseen the department during a time of tumult and uncertainty over the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.


O’Hare restaurant workers vote to strike, but timing of a walkout is unclear

Fri, 8 Dec 2017 09:00:00 PST

Workers at O’Hare International Airport’s restaurants, bars and coffee shops voted Thursday to strike in an effort to secure higher wages and more affordable health insurance, but as of late Friday union officials wouldn’t say when — or if — such a strike would actually occur.

The vote was 84 percent...


WTTW plans to buy rival public TV station WYCC's broadcast license

Thu, 7 Dec 2017 14:20:00 PST

The owner of WTTW-Ch. 11 said Thursday that it is seeking to buy now-dark rival WYCC-Ch. 20 from City Colleges of Chicago in a move that would put both Chicago public TV stations under one corporate umbrella.

Under the terms of the deal, which requires approval from the Federal Communications Commission,...


Sinai Health System announces data breach but says risk to patients low

Thu, 7 Dec 2017 14:05:00 PST

At least two employees at Sinai Health System had their email accounts compromised in a phishing incident, potentially affecting the information of 11,350 people.

The seven-member hospital system said in a statement Thursday that it cannot confirm whether any patient information in the email accounts...


Bill offers potential path for accusers silenced by their employers

Thu, 7 Dec 2017 09:05:00 PST

New legislation proposed Wednesday would prevent companies from keeping sexual harassment complaints from employees in private arbitration, where accusations are kept confidential and companies can influence who adjudicates the case.

The bipartisan bill would allow victims of sexual harassment...


Plan for 51-story Wacker Drive tower hits obstacle

Thu, 7 Dec 2017 09:30:00 PST

A planned 51-story tower on Wacker Drive has run into an unexpected obstacle that could halt the high-profile office development: the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The federal agency has informed the developers, Chicago’s Riverside Investment & Development and Dallas-based Howard Hughes Corp.,...


Hackers steal $70 million worth of bitcoin as price marches upward

Thu, 7 Dec 2017 08:27:00 PST

Bitcoin surged past $17,000 Thursday — and briefly hit $19,000 — as the frenzy surrounding the virtual currency escalated just days before it starts trading on major U.S. exchanges. Bitcoin has gained more than $5,000 in just the past two days.

At the same time, there are fresh concerns about the...


Outdoor retail giant Patagonia sues Trump to block shrinking of Bears Ears monument

Wed, 6 Dec 2017 18:43:00 PST

Outdoor retailing giant Patagonia on Wednesday joined a flurry of lawsuits challenging President Donald Trump's decision to chop up two large national monuments in Utah could finally bring an answer to the much-debated question of whether presidents have the legal authority to undo or change monuments...


Chicago private equity firm exits $35 million investment in Brad Keywell's Uptake

Wed, 6 Dec 2017 11:15:00 PST

Valor Equity Partners has ended its investment in Uptake Technologies three months after putting $35 million into the data analytics startup, according to a letter the Chicago private equity firm sent to investors this week.

The Nov. 22 exit came shortly after Caterpillar, which took an early minority...


Look inside the world's largest, most lavish Starbucks, now open in Shanghai

Wed, 6 Dec 2017 09:31:00 PST

Starbucks once made waves with the indulgent sizes of some of its drinks, such as the Trenta, which contains a staggering 31 ounces of joe. Now, as part of the company's aggressive expansion in China, the Seattle-based coffee retailer opened its largest store in the world: a nearly 30,000-square...


CVS-Aetna deal puts spotlight on drug supply chain

Wed, 6 Dec 2017 05:38:00 PST

When drug company chief executive Heather Bresch was hauled in front of Congress last year to defend the high price of lifesaving EpiPens, she drew skeptical lawmakers' attention to a large poster board that blamed theskyrocketing price tag on a coterie of drug supply chain middlemen. Of EpiPen's...


Click to unwrap: More retailers are letting customers send digital gifts this holiday season

Tue, 5 Dec 2017 12:00:00 PST

It’s Christmas Eve, you still have gifts to buy, and as the hours tick by, your options grow thin.

Anything you order online won’t arrive in time. A gift card feels impersonal. You’re skeptical that something picked primarily because it was in stock at a retailer open late on a holiday will be...


City loses out on Mars Wrigley U.S. candy headquarters; 200 Chicago jobs likely headed to N.J.

Tue, 5 Dec 2017 12:45:00 PST

Mars Wrigley Confectionery will base its new U.S. headquarters at two sites in New Jersey, and not Chicago, the company announced Tuesday.

Mars Wrigley will keep its global headquarters in Chicago, but the U.S. headquarters decision likely means the company will shift more than 200 jobs from Chicago...


DeVry parent hands ownership of school to California company

Tue, 5 Dec 2017 09:55:00 PST

DeVry University, one of the nation’s largest remaining for-profit college chains, is getting a new owner.

The university’s parent company, Downers Grove-based Adtalem Global Education, plans to transfer ownership of DeVry University and its Keller Graduate School of Management to Silicon Valley-based...


McDonald's brings back Dollar Menu in 'value wars 2.0' salvo

Tue, 5 Dec 2017 13:24:00 PST

McDonald’s is lifting the curtain on its new value menu, which includes the debut of a new chicken sandwich — an opening salvo in what some analysts are calling “value menu wars 2.0” in the relatively stagnant fast-food industry.

Beginning Jan. 4, McDonald’s will launch its $1 $2 $3 Dollar Menu...


Baffled by bitcoin: One man's quest to comprehend cryptocurrency

Tue, 5 Dec 2017 03:00:00 PST

If you ask me to stand on one leg and quickly describe what bitcoin is, I’d fall down.

Like the vast majority of people, I really don’t understand this emerging, digital alternative to cold, hard cash and what it’s ultimately supposed to accomplish, or why anyone would want it in their 401(k) retirement...


Patagonia's billionaire owner says he plans to sue Trump

Tue, 5 Dec 2017 14:13:00 PST

Outdoor goods retailers Patagonia, REI and the North Face are firing back against President Donald Trump's executive order this week that would drastically reduce the size of two national monuments in Utah.

"The president stole your land," reads an overlay on Patagonia's website posted Monday afternoon....


Advocate plans to merge with Wisconsin hospital giant Aurora

Mon, 4 Dec 2017 11:00:00 PST

Advocate Health Care is ready to give a merger another try — this time with Wisconsin giant Aurora Health Care, in a proposed deal that would create the 10th largest not-for-profit hospital system in the country.

Under terms of the planned “50-50 merger” announced Monday, neither system would pay...


Airlines ban smart bags that lack removable batteries

Mon, 4 Dec 2017 10:15:00 PST

Planning to give — or give yourself — smart luggage this holiday season? Check the battery compartment first.

Starting Jan. 15, any passenger with battery-powered luggage must be able to remove the battery to bring the bag on an American Airlines flight. The airline announced the policy last week,...


Beyond Rx? CVS Health-Aetna deal may mean more services

Mon, 4 Dec 2017 05:45:00 PST

CVS Health wants to do much more than fill your prescription or jab your arm with an annual flu shot.

The second-largest U.S. drugstore chain is buying Aetna, the third-largest health insurer, in order to push much deeper into customer care. The evolution won't happen overnight, but in time, shoppers...


Bus company serving University of Illinois criticized for 'racist and bigoted' ad

Mon, 4 Dec 2017 03:30:00 PST

A bus company that runs shuttles between college campuses and the Chicago area drew strong rebukes for a racially charged ad that took a swipe at the number of Chinese students attending University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The ad from Suburban Express, sent Saturday via email, was publicizing...


CVS agrees to buy Aetna in $69 billion deal that could shake up health care industry

Mon, 4 Dec 2017 03:00:00 PST

Pharmacy giant CVS Health agreed to buy Aetna in a $69 billion blockbuster acquisition that could rein in health care costs and transform its 9,700 pharmacy storefronts into community medical hubs for primary care and basic procedures, the companies announced Sunday.

The pharmacy chain agreed to...


CBOE will be first to trade bitcoin futures

Mon, 4 Dec 2017 08:15:00 PST

The CBOE Futures Exchange will start trading bitcoin futures Sunday, making it the first traditional exchange to allow investors to bet on the future price of the digital currency.

The exchange announced Friday that it would begin offering bitcoin futures trading, but it didn’t specify a start...


How Fingerlings and Hatchimals made retailers' hot toy lists

Sat, 2 Dec 2017 04:40:00 PST

Last holiday season, most Americans thought fingerlings were a kind of undersized potato. This year, parents of young kids know them as the tough-to-find toy topping plenty of wish lists.

How did Fingerlings — interactive toys, most shaped like monkeys, that can cling to a finger — go from unknown...


No tears for end of Cook County soda tax — and no more pop runs to Indiana

Fri, 1 Dec 2017 10:25:00 PST

Since Cook County’s sweetened beverage tax went into effect, Ida White has been driving just over the Indiana border to meet her sister, who lives in South Bend, to make a Canada Dry handoff.

“When she calls today, I’ll let her know she doesn’t have to anymore,” said White, a 55-year-old nurse,...


Chicago raised its minimum wage two years ago, but some still earn less. Here's why.

Sat, 2 Dec 2017 22:30:00 PST

Maria Leon, a single mother of three and longtime Gage Park resident, says she worked for years in two Chicago restaurants for less than the city’s minimum wage.

Last year, she sued the restaurants, which have the same owner, alleging they were violating city, state and federal wage laws. The two...


Outcome Health's path: From a Northwestern classroom to the courtroom

Fri, 1 Dec 2017 03:00:00 PST

On a Sunday morning a few weeks ago, Outcome Health CEO Rishi Shah walked out of a multimillion-dollar home on Chicago’s North Side and was greeted by a process server with court papers about an investor lawsuit alleging fraud. Shah ran to a waiting black Cadillac Escalade, jumped in and shut the...


CBOE, CME to jump into bitcoin futures trading

Fri, 1 Dec 2017 16:50:00 PST

Bitcoin futures are coming to Chicago’s two main financial exchanges, allowing investors to bet on price swings of the prevailing digital currency and providing perhaps the biggest validation yet to a financial product that’s still largely unknown by the average consumer.

The Chicago Mercantile...


Markets stumble after Flynn flips

Fri, 1 Dec 2017 13:06:00 PST

A day after traders broke out celebratory hats marking the Dow Jones Industrial Average crossing 24,000 for the first time, markets tumbled Friday, as news that President Donald Trump's former national security adviser pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, and would cooperate with authorities investigating...


Walgreens leaves 'the corner of happy and healthy' behind with new slogan

Fri, 1 Dec 2017 03:00:00 PST

Walgreens is dropping its longtime advertising slogan, “At the corner of happy and healthy.”

The new tag line — “Trusted since 1901” — will debut Sunday in some of the company’s TV, online and in-store advertising.

The date refers to when Charles R. Walgreen Sr. purchased the Chicago drugstore...


Morning Spin: Cook County pop tax goes away today

Fri, 1 Dec 2017 03:00:00 PST

Welcome to Clout Street: Morning Spin, our weekday feature to catch you up with what's going on in government and politics from Chicago to Springfield. Subscribe here.


Cook County's soda pop tax expired today, but the political ramifications will continue to be felt for at least a few more...


The office holiday party gets toned down amid a national conversation on workplace harassment

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 12:30:00 PST

There may be less booze and more daylight at your office holiday party this year.

Some companies are rethinking their year-end celebrations amid a national conversation about sexual harassment. The end result? More lunch-hour parties instead of boozy nighttime affairs, and events with a more limited...


McDonald's U.S. president says downtown headquarters will create 'different level of energy'

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 03:00:00 PST

Chris Kempczinski, McDonald’s U.S. president, is hitting the gas as the global fast-food chain works to modernize its U.S. restaurants and woo back customers who have drifted off.

“We’ve probably changed more in the last year than McDonald’s has changed in the last five years, maybe even longer,”...


Fast-growing Cushman & Wakefield shakes up executive team

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 09:35:00 PST

Cushman & Wakefield is shaking up its leadership, after growing to become the world’s third-largest commercial real estate brokerage and moving its global headquarters to Chicago.

Chicago real estate veteran Shawn Mobley has been promoted to CEO of the Americas, replacing Tod Lickerman, who has...


Elon Musk says he wants to build express train service to O'Hare

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 07:50:00 PST

Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk says he’ll get in on the competition to construct an express train service to O’Hare Airport.

“The Boring Company will compete to fund, build & operate a high-speed Loop connecting Chicago O’Hare Airport to downtown,” Musk tweeted Wednesday night, referring to the company...


Chain reaction: Byline Bank deal could kick off next merger wave in Chicago

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 04:00:00 PST

The area’s small, midsize and family-owned companies — and there are a bunch of them around here — are the primary lending targets of a newly created local banking power that’s determined to give its larger rivals a run for the money.

This week, Byline Bancorp agreed to acquire First Evanston Bancorp...


Illinois Obamacare enrollments so far top 95,000, up nearly 40% over last year’s pace

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 08:55:00 PST

Illinois consumers are snapping up Obamacare health insurance plans much faster than they did last year, despite continuing uncertainty over the law’s future.

More than 95,000 Illinois residents selected Obamacare exchange plans during the first four weeks of open enrollment this year, compared...


4 Chicago-area Massage Envy franchises among nearly 200 sued by customers alleging sexual assault

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 05:05:00 PST

Four women have filed lawsuits against Massage Envy franchises in Chicago and the suburbs claiming they were sexually assaulted by massage therapists, part of a growing list of women who say they were sexually assaulted by employees at the company’s franchises across the U.S.

Claims against the...


Trump's tax promises undercut by CEO plans to reward investors

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 06:20:00 PST

Major companies including Cisco, Pfizer and Coca-Cola say they'll turn over most gains from proposed corporate tax cuts to their shareholders, undercutting President Donald Trump's promise that his plan will create jobs and boost wages for the middle class.

The president has held fast to his pledge...


NBC fires Matt Lauer over 'inappropriate sexual behavior'

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 21:10:00 PST

Matt Lauer's firing as host of NBC's "Today" makes him the biggest media figure brought down by sexual misconduct allegations since Bill O'Reilly and Roger Ailes lost their lofty positions at Fox News Channel.

In the wave of accusations sweeping through the media, Hollywood and politics, the stature...


Chicago banker who loaned Paul Manafort millions summoned to talk to Manhattan D.A.

Tue, 28 Nov 2017 12:35:00 PST

Manhattan prosecutors investigating Paul Manafort's New York business activities are scheduling interviews with 10 to 20 of his work associates and lenders, including Stephen Calk, whose Chicago-based bank provided millions of dollars in loans on Manafort family properties.

Manhattan District Attorney...


84 years of Sears Christmas catalogs: See what's inside

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 22:00:00 PST

Eighty-four years after it launched, the 2017 Sears Wish Book includes toys, holiday decorations, housewares, tools, clothing, jewelry and appliances. How would the prices of similar items sold in previous editions of the Christmas catalog compare in today's dollars?(image)

Chicago immigration raid leaves bakery scrambling to rehire after 800 workers lost

Tue, 28 Nov 2017 10:20:00 PST

A Swiss maker of hamburger buns for McDonald’s Corp. said it’s struggling to run a Chicago bakery after it lost a third of its workers in a clampdown on 800 immigrants without sufficient documentation.

About 35 percent of the workers at Cloverhill Bakery had to be replaced, according to Zurich-based...


Columbia College part-time faculty set to strike this week over wages, benefits

Tue, 28 Nov 2017 11:00:00 PST

The union representing part-time faculty members at Columbia College Chicago says it plans to hold a two-day strike this week in protest of low wages, lack of benefits and inadequate job security.

The union said it began bargaining for a new contract in August, and alleges the college administration...


Chicago and Cook County sue Uber over 2016 data breach

Tue, 28 Nov 2017 04:45:00 PST

The city of Chicago and Cook County on Monday filed a lawsuit against Uber Technologies, alleging the ride-hailing company’s 2016 data breach harmed “tens, if not hundreds, of thousands” of area residents.

San Francisco-based Uber disclosed last week that the personal data of 57 million customers...


Who would lose if Trump guts consumer watchdog? Anyone with a credit card or mortgage

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 14:50:00 PST

If you have a credit card, mortgage, payday loan or do any type of consumer financing, expect to be hurt by President Donald Trump’s plan to gut the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — a controversial but effective industry watchdog.

Right now, the focus is on the unusual situation of two people...


Judge temporarily bars Outcome Health founders from moving $225 million

Tue, 28 Nov 2017 07:17:00 PST

A court has temporarily barred Outcome Health’s founders from tapping $225 million they received from big-name investors, a ruling that company attorneys previously warned could “further destabilize” the troubled company.

A Delaware Chancery Court judge on Wednesday granted the request by investors...


Serena & Lily is latest online retailer to set up shop on Armitage Avenue

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 08:45:00 PST

Armitage Avenue is adding yet another online retailer, reinforcing the street’s reputation as Chicago’s go-to spot for expanding from cyberspace to retail space.

Online home furnishings retailer Serena & Lily plans to move into a two-level shop on the Lincoln Park street, according to its landlord,...


Owners push to strip Trump brand, end management deal at luxury 70-story Panama hotel

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 12:00:00 PST

Owners of the Trump International Hotel in Panama are working to strip President Donald Trump's name from the 70-story building and fire the hotel management company run by Trump's family. The property once paid at least $32 million to associate with Trump.

The uprising by Panama hotel owners —...


Retailers — and shoppers — take another look at printed catalogs

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 08:25:00 PST

In one TV commercial from this year’s Toys R Us holiday campaign, a mom sweats through her cycling workout while her suspiciously helpful daughter tries to stir up a breeze.

“I’m just gonna leave this right here,” the girl says, covering the stationary bike’s display with her impromptu fan — an...


Mobile shopping for Cyber Monday deals expected to surpass computers for first time

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 13:08:00 PST

Weeks of deals didn’t stop people from heading online to shop on the Monday after Thanksgiving.

Cyber Monday is on track to becoming the biggest U.S. online shopping day ever, according to Adobe Analytics, the research arm of software maker Adobe. By 10 a.m. Eastern time, $840 million had been...


Jeff Bezos becomes world's only $100 billionaire with Amazon's Black Friday stock surge

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 11:25:00 PST

Jeff Bezos is the world's newest $100 billion mogul.

The founder's fortune is up $2.4 billion to $100.3 billion as the online retailer's shares jumped more than 2 percent on optimism for Black Friday sales. Online purchases for the day are up 18.4 percent over last year, according to...


Volo Auto Museum may save McDonald's museum from demolition

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 05:25:00 PST

There may be hope for the doomed replica of a historic McDonald's hamburger restaurant after all.

Upon hearing that McDonald's plans to demolish its museum in the Chicago suburb of Des Plaines next month, the Volo Auto Museum in Lake County is exploring the possibility of picking up the entire...


Black Friday loses some in-store shine as consumers shop online

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 09:25:00 PST

Black Friday has long brought to mind images of shoppers busting through doors at the crack of dawn, elbowing their way to the latest toy or deeply discounted TV.

A new image, however, may be more fitting: Consumers lounging at home in their pajamas, coffee and credit card in hand, as they shop...


A growing number of young Americans are leaving desk jobs to farm

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 06:18:00 PST

Liz Whitehurst dabbled in several careers before she ended up here, crating fistfuls of fresh-cut arugula in the early-November chill.

The hours were better at her nonprofit jobs. So were the benefits. But two years ago, the 32-year-old Whitehurst - who graduated from a liberal arts college and...


Black Friday cheat sheet: 5 things to look for as you shop

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 11:44:00 PST

If this year’s Black Friday deals are giving you déjà vu, you’re not alone.

Retailers, it turns out, tend to repeat the same promotions every year: Macy’s has been selling $39.99 cashmere sweaters for five years running, while Best Buy has marked down the same 6-foot HDMI cable to $9.99 each Black...


Hot holiday toys: Oonies, Fingerlings, Legos and some 'surprises'

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 06:05:00 PST

The holidays are upon us, which means toys are popping up everywhere.

There are Hatchimals and Shopkins, Fingerlings and Oonies, and of course updates on classics like Legos and Nintendo. The most popular of the bunch have already begun selling out online and in stores.

Shoppers are projected to...


Use these Black Friday shopping hacks to win great deals

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 05:36:00 PST

Use these hacks to guarantee yourself the Black Friday deals you want, whether you decide to shop from your couch or at the store.(image)

What stores are open on Thanksgiving and Black Friday?

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 10:30:00 PST

The turkey may still be brining, but this year's holiday discounts have already begun.

Kohl's kicked off its turkey-day discounts on Monday, while Old Navy is offering 50 percent off everything beginning Wednesday. By the time Thanksgiving morning rolls around, nearly every major retailer will...


It's a make-or-break Christmas season for these retailers

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 08:55:00 PST

The holiday season is always a pressure cooker for retailers, but this year promises to be more stressful than usual.

With foot traffic dwindling and more consumers shopping online, brick-and-mortar chains are having to fight harder for customers. Many U.S. retailers also are laboring under a mountain...


This holiday season, mom-and-pop shops threaten the mall

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 08:30:00 PST

More bad news for America's shopping malls: Consumers are shopping closer to home. And increasingly, home is not where the malls are.

Spending growth at mom-and-pop businesses has outpaced that of the big chains in the past two years, according to Sarah Quinlan, senior vice president at credit-card...


Sensory-friendly Santa welcomes kids with special needs: 'It’s important to have the memories'

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 05:20:00 PST

Hours before Woodfield Mall opened last Sunday morning in Schaumburg, before workers turned on the holiday lights and the halls filled with shoppers, 4-year-old Liam Munnelly’s parents placed him on Santa’s lap.

Though Liam couldn’t talk back, Santa spoke to him, pointing at the decorations overhead....


After winning Foxconn, Southeast Wisconsin prepares for influx of jobs as residents fear loss of 'peace and quiet'

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 12:40:00 PST

In April, the owners of Apple Holler, an orchard in the southeastern Wisconsin town of Sturtevant, will be getting ready to plant 2,500 apple and peach trees on land just west of Interstate 94.

Across the highway in Mount Pleasant, Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn and the state of Wisconsin...


30 years ago: A powerful video prankster could become Max Jailroom

Sun, 22 Nov 1987 22:00:00 PST

On Sunday, Nov. 22, 1987, viewers watching "Doctor Who" on WTTW-TV experienced one of the oddest things ever to cross Chicago televisions: a 90-second hijacking of the airwaves, featuring a person dressed as Max Headroom. This is the Tribune's original report about the prankster, who has never...


United Soccer League expansion team coming to North Side site proposed for Amazon's HQ2

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 11:15:00 PST

A new professional soccer team plans to begin playing on Chicago’s North Side within three years, at one of the sites proposed for Amazon’s second headquarters.

Developer Sterling Bay has bought a United Soccer League expansion team to play in its planned sports and entertainment stadium along...


Partisan politics could mean fewer second helpings and more early exits this Thanksgiving

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 09:35:00 PST

Dreading the heaping helping of partisan political bickering likely to be served up at your family’s Thanksgiving dinner?

If so, here’s one thing to be thankful for: A contentious feast probably won’t last as long.

A recently completed study on the effects of partisanship on family ties showed...


One-third of Outcome Health's staff takes buyouts

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 10:20:00 PST

More than one-third of Outcome Health’s employees took a buyout offered late last week by the Chicago tech firm.

That equates to about 200 employees, roughly 170 of whom are based in Chicago, according to a source close to the company. Outcome Health employs a total of about 535 people.

The buyouts...


Corporate tax cut plans put local home buyers, sellers, builders in a bind

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 03:00:00 PST

If the federal tax plan, now wending its way through Congress, were already law, would you have been able to buy, sell or build your house?

Sure, posing that very idea smacks of vast overstatement.

But the way this new tax plan is shaping up, it’s going to be much harder to make such housing-related...


McDonald’s museum in Des Plaines will be demolished next month

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 04:30:00 PST

The McDonald’s museum in Des Plaines, a replica of Ray Kroc’s first restaurant, is slated to be torn down next month, the world’s largest burger chain said Monday.

Kroc, considered by the company to be the founder of the modern chain, built his first restaurant in 1955 after franchising the brand...


Chicago’s Vista Tower could get new owner amid Chinese government crackdown

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 10:25:00 PST

Chicago’s soon-to-be third-tallest skyscraper, Vista Tower, could get a new owner before the 98-story condominium and hotel tower even opens, a Chinese newspaper is reporting.

Chinese firm Dalian Wanda Group is seeking a buyer willing to pay about $5 billion for five huge developments throughout...


Rocky Wirtz's Breakthru Beverage to merge with Texas-based firm, becoming $12 billion liquor distributor

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 07:20:00 PST

Breakthru Beverage Group, the alcohol wholesale company that has its Illinois operation based in Cicero, is planning to merge with Texas-based Republic National Distribution Co. to form the second largest alcohol distributor in the U.S., the companies announced Monday.

It would be the the second...


Outcome Health, under scrutiny by investors, offers voluntary buyouts

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 14:55:00 PST

Outcome Health is offering voluntary buyouts to employees amid “ongoing scrutiny” regarding allegations that the high-profile Chicago startup misled advertisers and investors.

The buyouts were offered to employees Friday, company spokesman John Eddy said in an email Sunday.

Outcome Health places...


Health care companies pull ads from Outcome Health's screens amid internal investigation

Mon, 6 Nov 2017 14:50:00 PST

A number of major advertisers and agencies have pulled tens of millions of dollars in health care ads from Outcome Health amid questions about whether the Chicago-based health information and advertising startup misled clients about its performance.

At the same time, Outcome Health’s high-profile...


Outcome Health's problems with sales pitches go back years

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 03:00:00 PST

Long before investors poured nearly $500 million into Outcome Health, executives at the Chicago startup time and again reprimanded salesmen for making misleading or inaccurate claims, records show.

Outcome, which pitches doctor's offices free health-related programming and ads on TVs and tablets...


A CEO's nightmare: An endorsement from the alt-right

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 15:17:00 PST

The neo-Nazis were hungry. They had spent the day in a Charlottesville, Virginia, courthouse testifying at the preliminary hearing for a white nationalist jailed for pepper-spraying counterprotesters during August's deadly Unite the Right rally. Now, after the long drive home to Alexandria, Virginia,...


The winner in Amazon and Walmart's holiday showdown is you

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 03:00:00 PST

The holiday season is meant to celebrate peace on earth, but there’s no love lost in cyberspace where an unparalleled battle is shaping up between Walmart and Amazon.

While this is serious business for them, the fun part is that you — the consumer — get to help decide the winner from your smartphone...


Chicago Tribune leaving namesake tower by mid-2018

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 09:20:00 PST

The Chicago Tribune will move in early 2018 to the Prudential Plaza office complex, ending a 93-year run in the newspaper’s namesake tower on North Michigan Avenue.

Parent company Tronc on Friday confirmed the newspaper will move to One Prudential Plaza in the second quarter of 2018. The Tribune...


Sears dials up 'unprecedented' discounts to record levels as it copes with slump

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 06:30:00 PST

Sears, reeling from billions in losses and sputtering mall traffic, is increasingly turning to a time-honored retail tactic: putting everything on sale.

The department-store chain embarked on its most aggressive holiday sales ever this month, marking down its entire inventory by 10 percent to 50...


Entercom shakes up Chicago airwaves with CBS Radio acquisition, flips WJMK-FM 104.3 to classic hip-hop

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 10:10:00 PST

Philadelphia-based Entercom didn’t waste any time shaking up the Chicago airwaves.

Hours after closing on its $2.4 billion acquisition of CBS Radio on Friday, Entercom flipped WJMK-FM 104.3 from classic hits to a new format: classic hip-hop.

The station, formerly known as K-Hits, will now be billed...


After Trump's election, more students consider law school, hoping to make a difference

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 11:10:00 PST

The election of President Donald Trump pushed Tiffany Boguslawski over the edge.

The 19-year-old aspiring politician knew she wanted to be a lawyer, but the new president, who shares her hard-line stance on immigration and international trade, sealed the deal.

Boguslawski, a triple-major in political...