Chipotle to close for part of day next month
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. will close all of its U.S. stores for part of the day Feb. 8, while its employees attend a national team meeting, a company spokesman said Friday.
At the meeting, company officials will discuss food-safety changes, allow employees to ask questions and thank them for their "hard work during this difficult time," Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold said in an email.
Stores will open at 3 p.m. local time that day, he said. As of September, Chipotle has 1,906 restaurants worldwide, 1,895 of them in the United States.
The Denver-based burrito chain has struggled to attract customers since E. coli outbreaks were linked to the company's restaurants. Chipotle's December sales were down 30 percent, according to a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Holiday sales report shows challenge for 2016
NEW YORK -- Holiday shoppers did not make retailers merry during this critical season -- overall sales in November and December were disappointing.
Sales rose 3 percent to about $626.14 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. That's below the forecast for a 3.7 percent gain the group had expected.
The group blamed the shortfall on unusually warm weather that led to discounts on cold-weather items. It also pointed out that stores don't have the ability to raise prices in a still tough spending environment.
Fed concerned about leaks from 2010 meeting
WASHINGTON -- Transcripts released Friday show that in the fall of 2010, officials of the Federal Reserve were worried not just about a sluggish economy but also about in-fighting at the Fed and possible leaks of sensitive information.
The transcripts reveal that then-Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke told members of the Fed's top policy group that he was concerned about reports of leaks to the news media and to financial market players. He was also concerned about as officials taking "very inflexible positions" in advance of Fed meetings.
Bernanke's comments came at the start of a pivotal Fed meeting when the central bank approved a second round of bond purchases in an effort to bolster a struggling economy.
Wells Fargo beats fourth quarter profit forecasts
Retail banking giant Wells Fargo & Co. said its earnings were flat in the fourth quarter, as loan growth and expense reductions were not enough to offset struggling oil and gas loans.
Wells Fargo earned $5.71 billion in the last three months of 2015, unchanged from the same period a year earlier. The company's results were in line with analysts' forecasts.
Like other banks, Wells has been feeling stress from loans made to energy companies, which have been struggling because of a plunge in the price of oil.
-- Herald staff, wire reports