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Pike Nurseries Becomes an Employee-owned Company

Pike Nurseries management is pleased to announce the company has combined with Armstrong Garden Centers, its sister corporation in California, to operate under an established Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). The plan transfers ownership to Pike Nurseries and Armstrong Garden Centers employees through a defined contribution benefit program. 


“The ESOP program allows us to reward our employees for their hard work and longevity with the company,” said Mike Kunce, CEO and Chairman of the Board at Pike Nurseries and Armstrong Garden Centers. “This structure not only enables management continuity, but also ensures the employees who have built and sustained Pike Nurseries and Armstrong Garden Centers play an integral part in the future success of the business.”


TSYS bringing 450 jobs to Henry County

TSYS bringing 450 jobs to Henry County

MCDONOUGH, Ga. -- TSYS, a global payments company based in Columbus, will open a new contact center in Henry County, bringing hundreds of jobs to the area.

The 62,000-square-foot facility will be located at 3500 Loop Road in McDonough. It is expected to open later this year.

Gov. Nathan Deal said TSYS will hire 450 people to work in the contact center. It will offer customer service; risk and fraud management; collections; dispute and chargeback serving; and back office support.

Visit tsys.com for more information.

Michael Merlin named to Barron’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors

Michael Merlin named to Barron’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors

ATLANTA, GA March 11, 2014– Morgan Stanley announced today that Michael Merlin, Managing Director, Financial Advisor, in the Firm’s Atlanta Wealth Management office, has been named to Barron’s list of America’s Top 1,200 Advisors: 2014 State-by-State.

The “Barron’s Top 1,200 Advisors” is a select group of individuals who are screened on a number of criteria. Among factors the survey takes into consideration are assets under management, revenue produced for the Firm and quality of service provided to clients.

“I am extremely proud that  Michael Merlin is representing Morgan Stanley Wealth Management on this list,” commented Michael Outlaw, Branch Manager of Morgan Stanley’s Atlanta office. “This listing recognizes an elite group of financial professionals who are dedicated to providing clients with exceptional wealth management services.”

RadioShack to close 1,100 stores

(USA TODAY) -- After reporting dismal fourth-quarter earnings, RadioShack said Tuesday that it would close about 1,100 poorly performing stores, roughly 20% of the electronic retailer's locations.

The store closings will leave about 4,000 locations in the U.S. The company has been struggling to revamp its stores for the past year.

Total net sales and operating revenues were $935.4 million in the fourth quarter, vs. $1,171.4 million last year, a 20% decline. Comparable store sales were down 19%, which the company blames on poor performance in its mobile phone business.

RadioShack stock was down more than 20% in premarket trading.

"Even in this environment, we're continuing to make progress on the five pillars of our turnaround plan: repositioning the brand, revamping the product assortment, reinvigorating the stores, operational efficiency and financial flexibility," CEO Joseph C. Magnacca said in a statement.

Best Buy to cut hundreds of jobs

(BUSINESS JOURNAL) -- Best Buy Co. Inc. plans to cut hundreds of jobs throughout its U.S. store operations, according to a report in the New York Post.

The article, citing anonymous insiders, says the "layoffs could affect upwards of 2,000 managers," though the exact scope isn't known. The retailer does not plan to close any of its 1,055 U.S. stores at this time.

Best Buy, which reports its fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday, declined to comment. The chain has 19 stores in metro Atlanta.

Late last month, Best Buy announced it was laying off roughly 950 full-time employees at its Best Buy and Future Shop stores in Canada as part of a store-restructuring initiative. The company said it will consolidate sales departments and reduce management layers in an effort to "streamline its store operating model as part of the company's long-term growth strategy in Canada."

Home Depot opens Locust Grove fulfillment center

LOCUST GROVE, Ga. -- The Home Depot on Monday opened its new, 1 million-square-foot direct fulfillment center in Locust Grove, Ga., to help it offer same-day shipping and delivery.

It is the first of three new fulfillment centers the Atlanta-based home improvement retailer will open across the United States over the next two years. Future fulfillment centers are scheduled to open in Perris, Calif., and Troy, Ohio.

The Locust Grove facility will initially employ about 125 and will eventually employ 300.

Vinings-based Home Depot is investing $300 million to improve its supply chain, build the new fulfillment centers and upgrade warehouse technology systems as part of a focus on generating higher online sales.

RadioShack to close 500 stores

(ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE) -- RadioShack scored big points with its comedic 1980s-themed Super Bowl ad that poked fun at the retailer's outdated image, but the mood was more somber on Tuesday when news broke that around 500 stores will close in the coming months.

WATCH | RadioShack Super Bowl ad

The Wall Street Journal says it isn't clear which of the Fort Worth, Texas-based company's 4,300 stores will be closed or when.

The closings are part of a restructuring. Says the WSJ, "The retailer has struggled to reverse a string of losses deepened by a sales strategy focused around smartphones, which failed to improve revenue over the past two years."