6 Most Important Things in Business Today

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Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M) hired 80,000 workers for the holidays, down from 83,000 last year. Despite the small drop, Macy’s continues to struggle considerably, and the fourth quarter may be critical to whether the company can survive as an independent operation.

Toys “R” Us, burdened with debt, has filed Chapter 11. The company announced:

To achieve our financial objectives, Toys“R”Us and some of our U.S. subsidiaries and our Canadian subsidiary proactively and voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Our Canadian subsidiary also began parallel proceedings under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act in Canada. The Company’s operations outside of the U.S. and Canada, including its approximately 255 licensed stores and joint venture partnership in Asia, which are separate entities, are not part of the Chapter 11 filing and CCAA proceedings.

Equifax Inc. (NYSE: EFX) was hit by hackers as early as March, although it was not the same group that exposed 143 million accounts more recently. According to Bloomberg:

Equifax Inc. learned about a major breach of its computer systems in March — almost five months before the date it has publicly disclosed, according to three people familiar with the situation.

In a statement, the company said the March breach was not related to the hack that exposed the personal and financial data on 143 million U.S. consumers, but one of the people said the breaches involve the same intruders. Either way, the revelation that the 118-year-old credit-reporting agency suffered two major incidents in the span of a few months adds to a mounting crisis at the company, which is the subject of multiple investigations and announced the retirement of two of its top security executives on Friday.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) will allow people on food stamps to order groceries, in an experiment by the nation’s largest retailer. According to CNBC:

Wal-Mart said Tuesday it is removing a hurdle that had long prevented food stamp recipients from using its online grocery shopping platform.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, requires that customers using electronic benefits transfer, pay for their purchases at the “actual time and place” of a sale.

Amazon Web Services, Amazon.com Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) cloud operation, will begin to charge some customers by the second. AWS announced:

Effective October 2nd, usage of Linux instances that are launched in On-Demand, Reserved, and Spot form will be billed in one-second increments. Similarly, provisioned storage for EBS volumes will be billed in one-second increments.

The 69th Emmys posted horrible ratings. According to CNNMoney:

The 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards averaged 11.4 million viewers on Sunday night, according to CBS. That is about even with last year’s telecast, which was the least-watched Emmys on record with 11.3 million viewers.