3 To Know: Party City files for bankruptcy, Chevys new EVs

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A shopper leaves a Party City store in Vernon Hills, Ill., Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020.  Party City Holdco Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023 as the party supply chain confronts inflationary pressures and a pullback in consumer spending. The party supplies chain, which operates more than 800 company-owned and franchise stores throughout North America, has been long struggling with increased competition from the likes of Walmart and Target.

1. Party City files for bankruptcy as part of $150 million agreement to restructure business

Celebration retailer Party City has filed for bankruptcy to cut costs, the company announced in a news release.

The company filed for relief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, the release said. The move is part of an attempt to restructure and reduce the company's debt.

Party City's companies outside of the U.S., as well as its franchise stores and Anagram business are not part of the bankruptcy filing but are still part of the Party City enterprise.

The company currently has more than 800 Party City stores in over 45 states throughout the country and also runs a website for online shopping. 

Party City's CEO Brad Weston said in the release that the pandemic and a global supply chain crisis were factors in the bankruptcy filing.

"As we take this important step to put our business on stronger financial footing for the future, we are as committed as ever to inspiring joy by making it easy for our customers to create unforgettable memories," he said in the release. – Saleen Martin/USA Today

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2. Would you pick a vacation over an engagement ring? Many couples would, survey finds

If you're planning to pop the question to your partner, you might want to have plane tickets in hand rather than a ring. Sandals Resorts found in a recent survey that more couples would prefer a trip over a diamond.

Ring in hand

Sandals commissioned the survey of more than 1,400 adults in the U.S. and found that 72% of couples would pick a vacation over "an extravagant engagement ring" in results released Tuesday, according to press materials. The survey was conducted via SurveyMonkey in November.

The all-inclusive resort company also found that more than half of respondents would pick sharing an experience with their significant other over giving each other material gifts.

When it came to the type of vacation respondents would prefer, 37% of couples said they would opt for a "luxury all-inclusive beach vacation," while 27% would pick an adventurous trip, according to the press materials. Meanwhile, 26% said they would choose a culturally immersive visit, while 8% would go for a spiritual retreat. Nathan Diller/USA Today

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3. Chevrolet rolls out these new EVs and a hybrid Corvette

General Motors has a big year ahead for Chevrolet, with the launch of four electrified vehicles this year and updates to four gasoline-powered cars in its lineup, including a heavy-duty Silverado that gets an all-new interior.

The 2024 Corvette E Ray is displayed, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023, in Milford Mich. The fastest corvette ever made comes out next year, and it's not powered soley by the traditional howling V8. The E Ray is a gas electric hybrid, the first all wheel drive version of the storied sports car with the front wheels running on a battery. Aimed at affluent buyers who want new technology in the top-line Chevrolet sports car, the $104,000 E Ray jerks your head back as it goes from zero to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

On the electric side, GM has started building some 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV pickups at Factory Zero in Detroit and Hamtramck that it is road testing now. Fleet customers get first dibs, with retail orders starting in the fall. Chevrolet also will roll out the 2024 Blazer SUV followed by the Equinox EV later this year.

But one of the most anticipated electrified cars to come to market this year will be the 2024 Corvette E-Ray hybrid. Let's start there.

How much will the electric Corvette cost? The E-Ray, which will be built at Bowling Green Assembly in Kentucky starting this year, will start at $104,295 for the 1LZ coupe and $111,295 for the hard-top convertible. GM has not given a specific date for when it will go on sale or reach the market, but it will be this year. GM is calling it the quickest production Corvette in history, able to go from 0 to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds and blow through the quarter-mile in 10.5 seconds. – Eric D. Lawrence/Staff