The frenzied post-Thanksgiving shopping experience that traditionally draws turkey-satiated shoppers out of the house before dawn for years sparked long lines, bustling crowds and fever-tossed shelves. But in the past two holiday seasons, Black Friday lost its title as the busiest shopping day of the year.
It looks like a beef burger. Tastes like a beef burger. And for the first time ever, it's being sold alongside sirloin, lamb and honest-to-goodness ground beef in the meat department at Whole Foods grocery stores. The Beyond Meat veggie burger proclaims to be the world's first plant-based variety that looks, cooks, and tastes like traditional ground meat burgers.
Former Boston Private Bank & Trust chief executive Mark Thompson is leading a takeover of Admirals Bank and plans to relaunch the Boston-based institution as a retail bank serving Millennials, young entrepreneurs, and nonprofits. The new institution will be called Bank & Trust Company of Boston.
JCPenney is trying out a new, more compact format for the Sephora beauty boutiques within its mammoth department stores in the hopes of bringing the highly successful concept to its smaller stores, too. The partnership has been a boon for Penney: Annual sales per square foot at the shops inside JCPenney are about $500 to $600.
Amazon wants to open 20 brick-and-mortar grocery stores over the next two years. The company believes the U.S. market has room for up to 2,000 of its Amazon Fresh-branded grocery stores over the next decade. Amazon is planning to operate a pilot program for its grocery stores by the end of 2018 in places like Seattle, Las Vegas, New York, Miami and the Bay Area.
Vegan meal kit company Purple Carrot will begin selling its boxes of premeasured ingredients in local Whole Foods stores. It's an interesting move for Purple Carrot, which has until now relied on an e-commerce subscription model to serve its customers, like other meal kit companies, such as Blue Apron, Chef'd and HelloFresh.
Fast-food chain Arby's will begin testing venison sandwiches in select markets by the end of the month. The sandwich features a thick-cut venison steak and crispy onions with a berry sauce on a toasted roll, according to the company. The sandwich is part of Arby's "It's Meats Season" campaign, which celebrates the start of hunting season.
With a new alliance, IBM and General Motors are pairing some of the oldest brands in their tech stables-Watson and OnStar, respectively-in an attempt to leverage their connectivity and artificial intelligence successes to leapfrog the competition and control the computerized blitz occurring in the passenger compartments of automobiles.
Bacardi has erected several large bat habitats at its rum bottling facility campus in Jacksonville, Fla. The wooden bat caves, which stand 20 feet off the ground, are engraved with both the Bacardi and Lubee Bat Conservancy logos. The goal is to provide habitats for local bats to help maintain the community's natural wetlands, farming and forest areas.
Artificial intelligence is set to transform the marketing and communications world even more than social media has, according to 55% of CMOs surveyed by Weber Shandwick across five markets. Of the 150 senior executives surveyed, 68% said their brand is currently selling, using or planning for business in the AI era.