Yum! Brands buys burger chain
CHICAGO • Yum! Brands, the owner of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, is adding hamburgers to its lineup with a US$375 million (S$506 million) deal to buy Habit Restaurants.
Yum announced on Monday an agreement to acquire California-based Habit, which sells chargrilled burgers, ahi tuna sandwiches and milkshakes from about 300 locations, mostly company-owned, in the United States and China.
Habit Burger, owned by Habit Restaurants, represents a new niche for Yum: fast-casual. The format still has drive-through windows and competes with chains like Shake Shack and Five Guys.
The acquisition is expected to close by the end of the second quarter.
Pier 1 may close up to 450 stores
NEW YORK • Pier 1 Imports, the US speciality furniture chain once hailed as a trendy destination for young professionals, said on Monday that it might close up to 450 of its 936 stores, as well as some distribution centres, and lay off an unspecified number of corporate employees.
The company is the latest big-name retailer to announce store closings and job cuts as it struggles with declining store visits and changing consumer tastes.
Pier 1 made the announcement while reporting a quarterly sales decline of 13 per cent and a loss of US$59 million (S$79.6 million). The company's annual revenue, which it last reported in April, was US$1.6 billion.
Citigroup to hire more programmers
LONDON • Citigroup plans to recruit 2,500 programmers this year for the unit that houses its traders and investment bankers, bulking up on coders and data scientists as technology reshapes the business.
Roughly three-quarters of the company's trade orders last year were electronic, according to Mr Stuart Riley, global head of operations and technology for the bank's institutional clients group.
The hires reflect "what we are building in technology and why we are focused on making salespeople and traders more effective at servicing our clients", Mr Riley said.
Goldman Sachs Group and JPMorgan Chase are among other firms that are hiring such staff as computer specialists change the face of trading floors across Wall Street.