Consumer Biz Cheat Sheet: AMR in the Clear, Kohl’s Planning to Hire 40K Holiday Workers

Sonic’s (NASDAQ:SONC) same-store sales fell in the fourth quarter, missing estimates and putting an end to the fast-food restaurant’s gradually improving sales trend. While net sales increased 0.4% for the company’s drive-ins, sales declined an estimated 0.5% for the overall system.

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Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) has announced a profit-sharing program with groups in NYC and LA to help offset expected government funding cuts to programs for children and education.

Rumors of AMR’s (NYSE:AMR) demise yesterday have proven to be overblown, as the company had the foresight to borrow before any crisis hit, and should end the year with liquidity of more than $3.5 billion, equivalent to over 15% of annual revenue.

Toys R Us has expanded its layaway service ahead of the holiday shopping season, and plans to offer 90-day payment options. Similarly, Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) has declared “National Layaway Week” at its flagship and K-Mart stores.

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Kohl’s (NYSE:KSS) expects to hire 40,000 seasonal workers this holiday season, up 5% from last year’s total.