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News in brief

November 24, 2022 at 1:42 a.m.

Weekend's shopping

forecast to rise 10%

Shoppers are expected to spend about $125 billion today through Monday, representing a 10% increase over last year's spending, according to a consumer survey.

The International Council of Shopping Centers said in a new report that about 89% of U.S. consumers plan to shop over the weekend that traditionally kicks off the Christmas shopping season. That's despite retailers' promotions starting much earlier this year and concern over inflation and rising interest rates.

However, 81% of those who plan to spend said higher interest rates will likely affect their shopping behavior or payment methods. Few said they plan to use credit cards to finance extravagant purchases.

About 37% of respondents said they will spend less this year, and an equal number will pay with a debit card.

About 31% of shoppers said they'll pay for their purchases with cash. And 23% said they'll take advantage of the "buy now, pay later" options that retailers are increasingly adopting.

The 2022 ICSC Thanksgiving Weekend Intentions Survey was carried out online between Nov. 11 and Nov. 13, with 1,013 shoppers responding.

-- Serenah McKay

Nearly all laid off

at furniture-maker

TUPELO, Miss. -- A Mississippi-based company that had become one of the largest furniture businesses in the country has eliminated nearly its entire workforce.

Approximately 2,700 workers, most of whom live in northeast Mississippi, lost their jobs Monday, according to the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.

United Furniture Industries sent a memo via email and text to workers late Monday informing them not to report to their shifts Tuesday.

A second email informed workers their "layoff from the company is expected to be permanent and all benefits will be terminated immediately without provision of COBRA," referring to the federal law that gives people who lose their jobs an option to keep their employer-sponsored health insurance coverage under some circumstances.

Some employees were sleeping when the emails hit their inboxes. Others never saw the emails before heading to work. Company drivers who were out making deliveries were told to return to a United Furniture location immediately to turn in their trucks.

The memo said the layoffs were made at the instruction of the company's board of directors and were due to "unforeseen business circumstances."

-- The Associated Press

Arkansas Index flat

with 845.57 closing

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed Thursday at 845.57, up 0.18.

Shares of J.B. Hunt Transport Services rose 2%.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.

Print Headline: Weekend’s shopping forecast to rise 10% Nearly all laid off at furniture-maker Arkansas Index flat with 845.57 closing


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