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• The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that New York State lawmakers expect “to ban single-use plastic bags in the coming days as they wrap up the state’s pending $175 billion budget.” However, the story says, “Lawmakers are still negotiating whether a fee on paper bags would accompany the ban, how much the fee would be, where the money would go and whether the state or municipalities would set it. The ban may also include exemptions for low-income people who qualify for public assistance.”

Finalization of a ban is expected to happen by next Monday.

• Bed, Bath & Beyond said this week that it plans to lay off some 1250 employees, which is a small fraction of its total worker base of 65,000.

One-third of the layoffs will be at its eponymous stores, and two thirds will be in its Christmas Tree Shops chain.

CNBC writes that “the retailer, which has had seven consecutive quarters of declining same-store sales, has slowed down the pace of newer store openings and said it is evaluating existing leases. Meantime, it is investing in its online capabilities to help fend off stronger e-commerce rivals like Amazon.”

NBC News reports that “department store JCPenney remains in a financial slump and, as a result, is shuttering 27 of its 860 stores in 2019 … Most of the stores are set to close by July 5, the company confirmed, but home and furniture outlet inventory will be sold throughout the summer with final closing dates in the fall.” The locations being closed have not yet been publicly identified.
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