Business Briefs – January 5, 2017

Sears to Sell Craftsman Tool Brand To Stanley Black & Decker

NEW YORK (AP) – After controlling the Craftsman name for 90 years, troubled department store operator Sears said it will sell the famous tool brand to Stanley Black & Decker Inc.

Stanley, which makes and sells tools under the DeWalt and Black & Decker names, wants to grow the Craftsman brand by selling its products in more stores outside of Sears. Today, only 10 percent of Craftsman products are sold in other stores.

Sears has struggled, losing money for years as revenue fell. The company also announced plans Thursday to close 150 stores, about 10 percent of its total 1,500 locations.

U.S. Services Companies Saw Solid Growth in December

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. services companies grew again in December during the shopping season, maintaining the high pace reached in the previous month.

The Institute for Supply Management, a trade organization of purchasing managers, said Thursday that its services index came in at 57.2 in December, matching the November figure. It was the strongest reading since October 2015. Anything above 50 signals growth.

The services industry has now grown for 83 straight months. The strength in December reflected in part a strong gain in new orders which rose to a 16-month high of 61.6.

Postal Service to No Longer Offer Services at Staples

NEW YORK (AP) – The U.S. Postal Service will no longer be offering its services at Staples stores across the country.

Those services, which were handled by Staples employees, will be discontinued at about 500 of the office supply retailer’s locations by the first week of March.

The USPS said in a statement that in November it was ordered by a National Labor Relations Board administrative law judge to discontinue its retail relationship with Staples and that it plans to comply.

Mercedes Recalls About 48K SUVs to Fix Air Bag Sensor

DETROIT (AP) – Mercedes-Benz is recalling nearly 48,000 SUVs in the U.S. to fix a sensor problem that could stop the front passenger air bag from inflating in a crash.

The recall covers certain GL, GLE and GLS models from 2016 and 2017. Mercedes says in documents posted by U.S. safety regulators that a sensor in the front passenger seat may be calibrated incorrectly and as a result, deactivate the air bag.

It was unclear from the documents if the problem had caused any injuries.

Wal-Mart Expands Online Reach With ShoeBuy Acquisition

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Jet.com, the online retailer now owned by Wal-Mart, has acquired the footwear-shopping website ShoeBuy for about $70 million. The deal, announced Thursday, closed Dec. 30.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. says ShoeBuy will continue to operate as a stand-alone website, and ShoeBuy’s current executives and employees will still be based in Boston.

The move is Wal-Mart’s latest push to expand its reach online following last year’s acquisition of Jet.com, which it bought for $3 billion plus $300 million in stock.