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Pike Nurseries Becomes an Employee-owned Company

Pike Nurseries management is pleased to announce the company has combined with Armstrong Garden Centers, its sister corporation in California, to operate under an established Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). The plan transfers ownership to Pike Nurseries and Armstrong Garden Centers employees through a defined contribution benefit program. 


“The ESOP program allows us to reward our employees for their hard work and longevity with the company,” said Mike Kunce, CEO and Chairman of the Board at Pike Nurseries and Armstrong Garden Centers. “This structure not only enables management continuity, but also ensures the employees who have built and sustained Pike Nurseries and Armstrong Garden Centers play an integral part in the future success of the business.”


Surya bringing 200 jobs to Bartow County

Surya bringing 200 jobs to Bartow County

BARTOW COUNTY, Ga. -- An India-based carpet manufacturer will create hundreds of jobs and invest $30 million in Bartow County.

Gov. Nathan Deal announced Thursday that Surya will open a 1 million-square-foot facility in metro Atlanta to handle supply chain management, sales, and web and creative development services for the company.

The project will retain 250 jobs and create 200 more. Hiring has already begun. Visit surya.com/careers for more information.

"Surya's decision to expand in Georgia is an indicator of the strength of our competitive business climate," Deal said in a release.

Surya makes machine and hand-knotted rugs and sells soft goods to home furnishings retailers in the U.S.

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.

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."

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%

Radiance Solar completes 1-megawatt solar power installation at Shaw Industries manufacturing plant

Radiance Solar completes 1-megawatt solar power installation at Shaw Industries manufacturing plant

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- Radiance Solar has completed one of the Southeast’s largest commercial solar photovoltaic installations at Shaw Industries’ carpet tile manufacturing plant.

The one megawatt system will produce 1.4 million kilowatt hours of power annually. Feeding into the Georgia Power electric grid, Shaw will use this renewable energy to help power its carpet tile manufacturing facility in Cartersville.

The roof-mounted system includes 3,696 Solar World, U.S.-made panels and 36 SMA Tripower 3-phase inverters. An added feature to the monitoring system incorporates a large screen monitor in the building that displays real-time energy production.

With a commitment to improving energy efficiency and to adopting renewable energy when possible, Paul Murray, Vice President of Sustainability and Environmental Affairs at Shaw says, “Solar is a mature, reliable power source, and the economics made this project a viable, long-term investment.”

Surya Rugs plans new facility in Bartow

WHITE, Ga. -- Surya Rugs is planning a 1.28 million-square-foot-facility in Bartow County, the Rome News-Tribune reports.

Karl Lutjens with Southland Engineers has filed a Development of Regional Impact document with the Northwest Regional Commission indicated that the project will affect 75 acres at 1095 Cass White Road in White.

According to the DRI submission, the project will be developed in two phases. The first phase will include 574,000 feet with 50,000 square feet of that space earmarked for office space.

An additional 711,000 square feet will be added within three years of completing the first phase, which would bring the facility to more than 1.28 million square feet under one roof, the Rome paper adds.

Documents filed with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs indicated the first phase of the project is to be finished by December 2014, with the overall project completed by December 2017, the paper said.