business news in context, analysis with attitude

...with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

• The Wall Street Journal reports that “a proposal by bankrupt retailer Toys “R” Us Inc. to pay top executives at least $16 million in bonuses has drawn the ire of a Justice Department bankruptcy watchdog,” who filed a brief with the courts saying that “apparently, this Christmas, Toys ‘R’ Us intends to deliver not only ‘children their biggest smiles of the year’ but insiders, too.”

Toys R Us wants to pay its senior executives between $16 million and $32 million in bonuses, based on the company achieving certain goals, saying it needs to pay the executives the money in order to get through the holiday season.

The Journal says that CEO David Brandon would be in line to get as much as $12 million in bonus money.

Mark me down as being on the side of the Justice Department on this one. The only thing I would’ve added to the court brief is that this is a total crock - these guys want bonuses for doing their jobs, which they’re clearly not all that good at. I’d be a lot more sympathetic if they wanted bonus money for all the store managers and employees who are on the front lines. But no, they never think about the employees. They just think about themselves and their own bank accounts. Like I said - it is a crock.

• The Puget Sound Business Journal reports that Starbucks’ “decision to close its 379 Teavana retail stores has so far cost the Seattle-based coffee company $130 million … Starbucks originally acquired Atlanta-based Teavana in 2012 for $620 million. The decision to close comes as the mall-based locations have been underperforming despite Starbucks' efforts to reverse the trend.”
KC's View: