• Starbucks Makes Big Splash With Its First Store In Italy
    Starbucks is venturing into the birthplace of espresso. “The just-opened, 25,000-sq.-ft. Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Milan is the crown jewel of Starbucks’ global retail footprint,” according to Chain Store Age. “Located in a palazzo close to the city’s major attractions, the space features such design details as hand-chiseled flooring made of local marble, bar tops carved from Tuscan marble and equipped with radiant heating, and a hand-carved Carrera marble statue of the brand’s signature siren icon.”
  • Airlines' Baggage Fee Hikes Prompt Legislative Review
    Increases in fees for checked bags by JetBlue and United Airlines have gotten the attention of several legislators, who are calling for an end to “fee gouging.” Sens. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) wrote to 11 U.S. carriers last week, including JetBlue, United, Delta and American, asking if they had plans to raise any more fees, according to the Los Angeles Times
  • Papa John's Founder Blames CEO For Racism Scandal
    In his second lawsuit against the company he founded in 1984, John Schnatter alleges that CEO Steve Ritchie launched a “false and defamatory campaign” accusing Schnatter of racism “for the sad and simple reason that Mr. Ritchie learned that he was going to lose his job,” according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. The complaint alleges that Ritchie “placed his own self-interest and desire to salvage his own employment over the best interests of the company all in an effort to save his own job.”
  • Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn Trade 'Project Runway' For Amazon Fashion Show
    Fashion experts Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn are ending their 16-year involvement with Bravo’s “Project Runway” and instead are reteaming for a fashion competition series for Amazon. The online retailer says the currently unnamed series “will include a shoppable experience for viewers as the retailer and streamer looks to bridge the intersection of content, commerce and technology,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.
  • Hometown Food Names Former Kraft Exec CMO
    Dan Anglemyer has been named CMO at Hometown Food, which owns the Pillsbury brand and other baking products that previously belonged to J.M. Smucker. Anglemyer, a Kraft and Mondelez veteran, “was previously CMO of Back to Nature Foods, which was a joint venture between Mondelez and Brynwood Partners that controlled the SnackWell brand of cookies and Back to Nature nuts, granola and other products,” according to Chicago Business.
  • Alex And Ani Plan 'Warrior' Influencer Campaign
    It seems natural that an eco-conscious brand like Alex and Ani would line up some adversity-facing “Warrior” influencers to champion the company in a video series. The initiative includes paid and organic social media, e-mail marketing and online retargeting ads. “The effort is a major pivot from traditional advertising to influencer marketing—a tool the Rhode Island-based Alex and Ani is employing for the first time,” according to WWD.
  • Ford Halts Fusion, Focus Ads
    Sales of the Ford Mustang jumped 35% in August, likely due in part to a marketing strategy that shifts funds previously used for the Fusion and Focus -- two models it will no longer produce -- to the muscle car. "The Mustang is poised to be the lone passenger car to survive Ford’s cull of its North American lineup to focus on more lucrative trucks, utilities and commercial vehicles," according to Bloomberg.
  • Tofurkey, ACLU Join To Protest Missouri's 'Fake Meat' Bill
    Tofurky, which makes meatless products such as a “chorizo style sausage” and “hot dogs,” is suing to block a Missouri law that requires a product called sausage to contain livestock. Joining in the suit are the Good Food Institute, the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri and the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “The lawsuit hinges on the idea that the Missouri law infringes on First Amendment rights to free speech,” according to Fortune.
  • JPMorgan Pays Millions To End Discrimination Lawsuit
    PMorgan Chase & Co. agreed to pay $19.5 million to members of a class-action lawsuit who alleged discrimination. “Six current and former black employees say they were sent to less lucrative branches, denied opportunities, kept out of a program for richer clients, and were paid less than white colleagues,” according to the New York Business Journal. JPMorgan will also pay $4.5 million for bias training and other initiatives. 
  • Remember Flip Phones? This Is Much Cooler
    Samsung is reaching a breakthrough design in smartphones.They company "has been working on bendable and foldable display technology for years,"  according to The Verge.  "Samsung CEO DJ Koh hinted the device could be unveiled at Samsung’s developer conference in November, but it’s not clear if consumers will actually be able to purchase the foldable phone this year." Lenovo and Microsoft are working on their versions using the technology.
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