Retailers push for ever-earlier shopping on Thanksgiving Day continues. Joining the still-swelling wave, Kohl's said Thursday that its stores will open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, two hours earlier than last year. That puts the Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based chain on even footing with Macy's, which already announced a 6 p.m. start to the pre-Black Friday shopping extravaganza. Macy's opened at 8 p.m. last year. Other big retailers such as Target and Sears have yet to disclose their plans, but Anne Brouwer, senior partner with Chicago retail consultant McMillanDoolittle, said she expects more announcements of openings at 6, or earlier.

Kohl's department store is opening a customer service operations center this week in Dallas and plans to employ 1,500 people in four years. The center has a health care clinic, an idea that more companies are adopting to increase productivity. It also has an on-site cafe. The Wisconsin-based retailer said it's hiring full- and part-time workers at the 240,000-square-foot facility.

The long road to getting a bill passed in Washington is rarely smooth. The efforts of the last few years to pass a postal reform bill, whose primary purpose is to efficiently downsize the USPS in light of its diminished use in today's society, has been no exception. During the 112th Congress, the Senate passed a postal reform bill, but the House was unable to counter with one of its own. So far, a year-and-a-quarter into the 113th Congress, a similar pattern has ensued. Here's a recap of where things stood as of press time

Clothing retailer Lands’ End is set to spin off from Sears Holdings Corp. on April 4, according to an amended filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The filing provides the timeline and details of the tax-free distribution, which will turn the profitable Lands’ End business into a stand-alone, publicly traded company. On March 24, stakeholders in Sears will receive about .3 shares of Lands’ End common stock, according to the filing.

We were privileged to hear from two outstanding keynote speakers at Direct Tech's annual user conference last week in sunny, warm Orlando. (Please forgive my sigh; I'm back home in Wisconsin, where the current temperature is -10°.) One of them, Elaine Beaubien, an award-winning educator, entrepreneur, and business management and training coach, shared her observations on "innovating to survive" in a rapidly changing environment.

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