Missouri Minute: Sears to shutter more stores; Bass Pro moving 120 jobs to Springfield

Good morning, MBA readers,

Corporate mergers giveth, and corporate mergers taketh away. Bass Pro Shops is moving 120 jobs to its headquarters in Springfield from a Cabela’s facility in Nebraska — an effect of the outdoor retailers’ 2017 tie-up. But head southwest of Springfield about an hour, and you’ll find a soon-to-be-shuttered Sears store in Joplin. The retail chain, which has never delivered on the hopes surrounding its 2004 merger with Kmart, is closing 96 stores nationwide by February. And in one of the biggest mergers of the moment, T-Mobile has announced an assortment of consumer-friendly moves as it seeks legal clearance of its planned purchase of Sprint. Get the details on these deals and the day’s other top business stories below.

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Bass Pro Shops to move 120 jobs to Springfield
The outdoor sports retailer plans to relocate 120 positions from its Cabela’s unit in Sidney, Nebraska, to its Springfield headquarters in 2020. Employees who do not want to relocate will be offered severance and outplacement aid, the company said. (Springfield Business Journal)

Sears to shutter 96 stores, including Joplin location
Sears said Thursday that it will receive a $250 million lifeline but shutter 96 Sears and Kmart stores nationally amid mounting financial losses. That will leave the retailer, once one of the world’s largest, with 182 locations. (Reuters)

Perficient earnings beat Wall Street expectations
The IT consulting company based in the St. Louis area announced third-quarter earnings of $9.8 million, with adjusted per-share earnings of 56 cents, 4 cents more than expected by Zacks Investment Research. The company also surpassed analysts’ quarterly revenue expectations by over $1 million. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

T-Mobile to offer new consumer perks amid continued merger scrutiny
T-Mobile executives announced three new consumer-focused initiatives as the wireless company continues to work toward approval of its merger with Sprint. Along with a 5G launch date of Dec. 6, they announced free 5G service to first responders, free online access to low-income households with children and a reduced price for T-Mobile’s lowest-cost plan. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Missouri CPA convicted in $7 million fraud scheme
Prosecutors say Douglas Richardson, of Lebanon, transferred millions of dollars from Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Smart Prong Technologies into his own bank accounts. (Associated Press)

Opposing Stenger got St. Louis County employee fired, lawsuit claims
Robert Jenkins, a former director of the St. Louis County office that awards contracts, has filed a lawsuit claiming he was wrongfully fired for speaking up about former County Executive Steve Stenger’s pay-to-play schemes. The county has largely denied Jenkins’ claims. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Trump nominates St. Louis attorney to federal judge post
President Donald Trump has nominated Husch Blackwell lawyer Matthew Schelp to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri pending Senate approval. Schelp earned his law degree from the University of Missouri School of Law and served in the U.S. Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Ameren uses goats to clear right-of-way
The electric company is using the grass-eating animals for the first time to clear right-of-way in an area that is hard for workers to reach with chainsaws and other equipment. Ameren said it’s a cheap way to get rid of weeds and preserve worker safety. (Jacksonville Journal Courier)

Show me

Efforts to privatize St. Louis Lambert International Airport took another step with the release of information about 18 groups that are vying to lease the airport. What kind of property would those groups be getting? Airport traffic numbers from the last three decades offer one measure. The airport served more than 15.6 million passengers in 2018, which was the highest total since 2007 but almost 50 percent less than the passenger total in 2000.

Say that again

“I don’t want to stay here because it’s making my son sick, but I can’t afford to just pick up and move without getting my security deposit.”

That’s Amanda Jackson, a 34-year-old construction worker living in the Southwest Crossing Apartments in St. Louis, where the roof has collapsed and she’s worried about her 1-year-old son being exposed to mold, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Residents of the 328-unit complex are afraid water will be shut off soon, and maintenance workers have alleged nonpayment by the building’s owner, T.E.H. Realty. A representative for St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said Wednesday that the city won’t cut off the water, though the complex is behind “several thousand dollars in payment.” What will happen with T.E.H. Realty — which owns a number of similar low-income housing complexes across the city — remains to be seen.

Hello, my name is

Galera Therapeutics

The St. Louis-founded biopharmaceutical firm sold 5 million shares at $12 each in its initial public offering on Wednesday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The company, which relocated to Malvern, Pennsylvania, in 2012, is working to create a drug to reduce effects of radiation in cancer patients. Its research efforts are still led by its founders in the St. Louis area.

It’s been a pleasure doing business with you this morning. Have a tremendous weekend.


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