Deere lays off 220 employees, citing sales drop

30 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Deere & Co. announces 220 layoffs at Moline seeding plant.

MOLINE, IL (CBS 2/FOX 28) – Deere & Company says it has informed 220 employees at John Deere Seeding and Cylinder in Moline that they will be placed on indefinite layoff, effective February 15, 2016.

According to a Deere and Company release, the layoffs reflect last week’s forecast by Deere that agricultural machinery sales will decrease in fiscal year 2016. Deere said the actions are taken to align the size of the manufacturing workforce at individual factories with market demand for products made at each specific location.

Brick-and-mortar sales fell from last year to $12.1 billion during the two days, according to retail analytics company ShopperTrak, which didn’t provide specific figures for 2014. Lower results for Q4 were primarily due to the unfavorable effects of foreign-currency exchange translation, and higher losses on residual values primarily for construction-equipment operating leases, partially offset by lower selling, administrative and general expenses. Retail observers say many of those online purchases are coming at the expense of trips to physical stores, costing merchants more in shipping and depriving them of the impulse sales they often make to shoppers wandering their aisles. Smaller-than-expected crowds turned out at shopping centers in North Carolina, where Jeff Simpson, a director at Deloitte Consulting LLP’s retail practice, was monitoring the action on Black Friday. About 135.8 million Americans are expected to shop in stores or online over the four-day weekend, according to the National Retail Federation, the largest U.S. retail trade group.

Net sales of the equipment operations were $5.932 billion for the quarter and $25.775 billion for the year, compared with $8.043 billion and $32.961 billion for the same periods in 2014. Simeon Siegel, an analyst at Nomura, said he saw decent crowds at the Westfield Garden State Plaza mall in Paramus, New Jersey, but still expected many of the shoppers to already have made purchases online.

U.S. online sales for Black Friday rose 21.5 percent from a year ago, with smartphones accounting for 44.7 percent of all online traffic, IBM Commerce said in an e-mailed statement on Saturday. With the continued shift to spending online in mind, retailers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp. are putting more of their deals on their websites, or offering them over a longer period of time.

Target and Wal-Mart say they were expecting record turnouts. “This is the big event,” said Cindy Hudson, Target’s senior vice president of store operations. “We have a large team dedicated all year to helping pull off Black Friday.” As stores opened across the country starting Thanksgiving evening, a command center at Target’s Minneapolis headquarters received live video feeds from all of its 1,800 locations. Inside the command center, workers glued to computer monitors and wall-mounted screens could view the lines outside stores to make sure they were orderly, that shoppers seemed happy and that customers were streaming into the stores at the right pace — not too fast, not too slow. He scoped out pre-Black Friday opening crowds at three major retailers that he wouldn’t identify, and said the lines had six to eight people, far less than in previous years.

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