• As Sears reportedly prepares for a bankruptcy filing, perhaps as soon as this week, there are reports that CEO Eddie Lampert will not this time will not write a check from his hedge fund for the $134 million debt payment due next Monday.

Fox Business reports that while Lampert has bailed the retailer out numerous times with short term loans, that is not his intention this time.

And,Fox Businessalso reports that “the Sears board decided against selling the Kenmore brand to Lampert for $400 million, as he had proposed, after it became clear his broader restructuring plan that he went public with late last month wasn't winning support from creditors.”

The Wall Street Journal notes that “over the last decade, the company has closed two-thirds of its Kmart locations and one-third of its Sears department stores.” At the same time, the story says, Sears has fallen behind on its payments to suppliers and has been cancelling some order sot manufacturers.


MarketWatch reports that Kroger and its recently purchased Home Chef business are launching “weekly rotating in-store kits at select Kroger locations. The company will also launch a limited test of the new Home Chef Express product, a meal kit that could be ready to eat in about 15 minutes. The Home Chef meal kits will first be available at select Kroger locations in Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin, with additional locations expected in 2019.”


• The Chicago Tribune reports that Treasure Island Foods closed the last of its six stores yesterday, a couple of days ahead of schedule, “officially ending a 55-year run in Chicago.”

The story says that “last week, Treasure Island filed notice with the state that it was laying off 486 workers. The document filed with the state didn’t specify why the company failed to give the workers 60 days’ notice, as is typically required for mass layoffs by state and federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification acts.”

The Tribune writes that “two lawsuits are pending. Longtime produce wholesaler Anthony Marano Co. sued Treasure Island last week over more than $450,000 in allegedly unpaid produce. Recent court filings indicate Treasure Island owes $900,000 in total to its produce vendors. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, which represents 28 employees, also filed a lawsuit against Treasure Island last week, for allegedly violating a federal law that governs layoff notices.”


Business Insider reports that Mondelz International has announced that “it will make all packaging for all of its brands recyclable by 2025 and will eliminate 65 million kg of packaging by 2020 … Mondelz sells products in 165 countries, and working toward this goal will also lead to the elimination of a total of 65 million kg of packaging due to redesigns since 2013. Upcoming redesigns will also more clearly feature information on recycling.”


• The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Postal Service (USPS) has applied to the Postal Regulatory Commission for a10 percent increase in the cost of a first class stamp, to 55 cents, as well as “more aggressive price increases on its parcel business, where it is allowed to adjust prices as the market demands. Those include a 3.9% increase on priority mail express and a 5.9% increase on priority mail.”

The story says that “the agency proposed a 9.3% increase on Parcel Select packages weighing over 1 pound and a 12.3% increase on lighter packages shipped using that service.” Parcel Select, the Journal points out, is the service that “large shippers like Amazon as well as carriers like United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp. , use to deliver packages the last leg of a trip to the customer’s door. The so-called last mile is typically the most expensive part of an online order’s journey.”