• Whole Foods Reportedly Bailing On 365 Store Banner
    The dozen Whole Foods 365 stores will be changed to traditional Whole Foods markets by the year’s end, according to reports. “At about 25,000 to 30,000 square feet, the format is smaller than traditional Whole Foods supermarkets — which average roughly 38,000 square feet and can range up to 50,000 square feet — and carries less than half of the 20,000-plus SKUs at the full-size stores and has no full-service departments,” according to Supermarket News.
  • Walmart Aligning Ad Businesses
    Walmart plans to consolidate ad sales for its stores and websites, Reuters reports. “Walmart’s suppliers, such as Procter & Gamble Co, Unilever Plc and Mondelez International Inc, can deal with one inhouse ad team instead of different groups within and outside the retailer,” it writes. Citing Forrester Research, Reuters notes that about 300 million shoppers visit Walmart’s stores every month, while millions visit its site to make purchases."
  • Brewery Offers Tribute To Lucky Charms Cereal
    Smartmouth Brewing Company has created "Saturday Morning," a limited-edition IPA with marshmallows. The 6.6 percent ABV beer is "brewed with in-house toasted marshmallows and bulk dehydrated-marshmallow-bits," said Chris Neikirk, brewery spokesperson, in a statement to USA Today. The beer will be available on draft or in cans and distributed throughout Virginia to limited restaurants, bars and specialty bottle shops, Neikirk tells the newspaper.
  • FiatChrysler Invests $4.5B In Detroit
    FiatChrysler Automobiles appears to be in the best shape financially of the Detroit Big Three, given it is investing in manufacturing plants instead of closing them. The automaker announced a massive $4.5 billion investment package upgrading six plants in the metro Detroit area, that will preserve or add more than 5,000 jobs. “Not only will FCA expand production of the next generation of its Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango at its assembly on Detroit’s east side, but Jeep will also launch a new slightly larger SUV with three rows of seats,” according to Forbes. “Call it ‘the-future-is-now’ ...
  • Anheuser-Busch Breaks Into Spirits Business
    Anheuser-Busch has acquired Cutwater Spirits, a San Diego spirits and canned cocktail company. The company, which was previously Ballast Point Spirits, makes 16 types of spirits, including rum, vodka, whiskey, and gin, and 14 canned cocktails. “Cutwater will join Anheuser-Busch’s “Beyond Beer” portfolio, which also includes Spiked Seltzer, the non-beer brand Ritas, HiBall, and Babe Rose,” per Fortune.
  • Elon Musk Might Want To Stop Tweeting
    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has asked a New York judge to hold Tesla’s Elon Musk in contempt for violating a settlement over social media comments. Musk posted an aerial picture last week of thousands of new Teslas, and said he expects the company to make 500,000 cars in 2019. Musk was reprimanded last year for tweets about the company’s financial performance. He agreed that he would not make similar statements without prior agreement with the company.
  • Kraft Heinz Deals With Negative News
    The food maker lost more than $14 billion of its market value Friday morning after a barrage of negative news, including large write-downs on its well-known brands, the Wall Street Journal reports.  “It was a striking reversal for a company whose cost-management efforts and higher profit margins were seen as a packaged-food industry model,” per WSJ. Shares of other food companies were also trading down.
  • United Offers Elite Loyally Designation: Global Services
    United Airlines offers a quasi-secretive Global Services program, a loyalty status with high-end perks and benefits. The status ranks above the four published MileagePlus tiers (Premier Silver, Gold, Platinum and 1K). American Airlines's ConciergeKey and Delta Air Lines's Delta 360 are the comparable super-secret VIP programs for those carriers. “These prestigious statuses are a bit of a mystery, and airlines are reticent to talk about them,”according to SFGate. Global Services is by invitation only and United Airlines will not detail the qualifications or benefits.
  • Stitch Fix App Becomes 'Stickily Addictive'
    Aiming to receive more  feedback than customers provide on the five items mailed in each box, a Stitch Fix employee designed Style Shuffle, which allows customers to rate a set of clothing images each day. “A sort of Tinder for clothes, it became available on Stitch Fix’s iOS app in March and has proven to be stickily addictive: It not only trains the company’s algorithm to understand holistically a client’s personal style, but it also draws customers back to the app and interests them in Stitch Fix’s inventory,” according to Fast Company.
  • Fashion Needs To Face Its Blackface Problem
    "How does this keep happening?" asks a Vulture think piece about the prevalence of blackface in fashion, citing recent examples like Gucci's black balaclava sweater with red lips, which led to director Spike Lee calling for a brand boycott. "Now, brands everywhere, not just American and European, need to take a long look at why we’re here in the first place."
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