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• Financially moribund Sears Holdings has decided to auction off 16 profitable store locations online, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal.

The story says that “real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield is partnering with Real Insight Marketplace , an online auction platform, to help Sears sell 16 profitable store locations. The stores, 15 of which are attached to malls, are being marketed as sale and lease-back deals, and some properties with agreements that allow modifications could be turned into self-storage, hotel or residential space.”

• The Wall Street Journal reports on how the price of bananas - “the most widely eaten fresh fruit in the US” - have stayed relatively stable in most supermarkets even as wholesale prices have hit new highs, largely because of labor issues, floods, cooler temperatures and mudslides.

Many retailers, the story says, “have been loath to pass their higher costs on to shoppers. For many supermarkets and other stores, bananas drive trips to the store because they are an item that most people go out to purchase rather than buy online. Most large retailers sell bananas at a slim margin or sometimes no price markup, which means higher wholesale prices are likely hurting returns for sellers that haven’t locked in prices with long-term contracts.”
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