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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."

WellStar strikes partnership deal with Mayo Clinic

MARIETTA, Ga. -- WellStar Health Systemannounced a deal with the Mayo Clinic Health System Thursday morning.

The Mayo Clinic is a globally recognized research and health system that specializes in cancer and cardiac care. The group has a network of specialists and hospitals in Rochester, Jacksonville, Fla. and Phoenix, Ariz.

Marietta-based WellStar, the largest health system in metro Atlanta with a network of five hospitals, declined comment.

With the partnership, Mayo gets toehold in a burgeoning medical market. The deal makes WellStar more competitive with Atlanta's Emory Healthcare, a cardiac and oncology powerhouse.

The WellStar-Mayo collaboration could be similar to what Mayo is doing with Colorado's Aspen Valley Hospital.

Under that partnership, Aspen Valley Hospital (AVH) doctors get access to Mayo's diagnostic and consulting tools, according to the Aspen Daily News.

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."

Publisher named for west Ga. newspapers

Publisher named for west Ga. newspapers

CARROLLTON, Ga. -- A group of newspapers in west Georgia has a new publisher.
    
Marvin Enderle has been named publisher of the Times-Georgian in Carrollton, the Douglas County Sentinel in Douglasville and associated weekly newspapers.
    
The Times-Georgian reports that all of the publications are owned by Paducah, Ky.-based Paxton Media Group.
    
Enderle's previous positions include publisher of The Enquirer-Journal in Monroe, N.C., and publisher of Paxton Media Group's newspaper in Russellville, Ark.
    
He began his newspaper career in 1979, as a district manager at the News-Leader in Springfield, Mo. He has held positions at newspapers in Coffeyville, Kan., Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Norwich, N.Y., and Rockingham, N.C.

Grocery is the #1 holiday purchase! Research shows where consumers are spending this holiday season

Grocery is the #1 holiday purchase! Research shows where consumers are spending this holiday season

With all the hype and Black Friday campouts at Best Buys and Toys R Us, you'd guess that the majority of holiday shopping budgets go to purchases like electronics, toys and clothing. But according to new research, the biggest share what comes out of your holiday wallet actually goes to ... groceries and restaurants.

New data from Card-Linked Marketing leader Cardlytics -- collected from millions of U.S. households over the past two years -- shows what consumers actually spend their money on during the holiday season.  When it comes to holiday shopping Americans are spending 24% of their budget on groceries followed by restaurants and apparel.  Toy purchases are actually at the bottom of the list.

The Top 10 Share of Wallet (see link/attached for graphics and pie charts for 2011 and 2012 holiday spending):

1. Groceries - 24%