Next Christmas -- or during the year's birthday gift-giving -- you may want to rethink your use of gift cards. "The researchers CEB TowerGroup said consumers spend about $130 billion on gift cards a year, but about $1 billion is lost. The billion dollars is burned up through non-use or spending part of the balance, then letting the rest lapse," according to a story in the New York Post. Also, "read the fine print on these cards" to spot inactivity fees, along with expiration dates.
Retailers previously looking for space at shopping centers were offered only a multiyear lease. But now mall landlord Macerich Co. is offering 180-day agreements, and brands like Amazon, Lego and Wayfair are joining the pop-up wave. Pop-ups bring “some excitement to some dead wings, or some not-so-well-trafficked wings” of shopping centers, Greg Maloney, chief executive officer of Jones Lang LaSalle’s retail unit, tells Bloomberg.
Albert P. Carey, chief executive officer of PepsiCo North America, will retire at the end of March 2019. PepsiCo will return to its earlier model of separate leaders for its North America units, with Vivek Sankaran and Kirk Tanner taking over as the top executives of F.L.N.A. and N.A.B., respectively. Tanner has held numerous leadership roles across sales, operations, customer marketing, distribution and channel development.
"Xennials" were born on the cusp of Gen X-ers and millennials, and therefore experienced world events, and especially technology, in unique ways particular to their age. According to Pew Research, members of Generation X were born between 1965 and 1980 and Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996. Xennials, though, were born some time between 1977 and 1983. According to Buzzfeed, “they feel at times as cynical as Gen X and as bubbly as millennials. They drank Orbitz and Zima. They like New Kids on the Block.”
Anheuser-Busch InBev is partnering with Tilray, a Canadian marijuana grower, to research nonalcoholic beverages laced with the drug. The agreement is limited to the Canadian market, and each company is investing $50 million. It is not the first beer maker to jump onboard the weed train. Corona brewer Constellation Brands is investing $4 billion in Canadian grower Canopy Growth, and Molson Coors formed a joint venture with Canada’s Hydropothecary.
Don’t sound the death knell for malls quite yet. Shopping centers are doing well, partly because the teens and younger adults who make up generations Y and Z enjoy visiting them. While it's "kind of counter-intuitive, these generations that have grown up with digital connectivity really love to be in physical spaces,” says Bridget Johns, head of customer experience for store analytics firm RetailNext. “So I think changing those environments to respond to what the younger generations, the millennials, and Generation Z, are looking for is part of the better mall developers' strategy.’’
Coca-Cola is the lead investor in Omnivore, a California-based restaurant tech company. Other investors include Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik.Omnivore promotes an "end-to-end suite of solutions" to help optimize the digital restaurant experience, such as online ordering, paying at the table, third-party delivery, kiosk/digital menus and analytics. The financing will be used to accelerate current development and growth of proprietary Omnivore products that minimize friction for restaurant brands.
LG Electronics will sell big-screen TVs next year that can be rolled up and put away like a poster -- the centerpiece of an effort to revive an ailing business. The 65-inch TVs will retract automatically at the touch of a button like a garage door, sources tell the Los Angeles Times. The company showed off the rollable-screen technology earlier this year. LG declined to comment.
Many women have Twitter accounts out of professional necessity, but the cost of their participation in discourse is often verbal attacks. Amnesty International considers such online abuse against women a human rights issue, and has repeatedly called on Twitter to release “meaningful information about reports of violence and abuse against women, as well as other groups, on the platform, and how they respond to it,” according to Wired. Twitter refused. So, Amnesty took matters into its own hands.
Procter & Gamble partnered with the Environmental Working Group to overhaul its iconic Herbal Essences shampoo and conditioner brand. Two new Herbal Essences shampoos, which go on sale in January, represent the first "EWG-verified" products from a large company. The nonprofit’s involvement in the revamped products shows how the group is compensating for the Food and Drug Administration's light touch when it comes to regulating the cosmetics industry.