What started as an April Fools' promotion in the St. Louis market is going national. Burger King is rolling out its “impossible” vegan whopper to 7,300 locations across the country. “For Impossible Foods, this is no doubt a big deal, considering the reach of Burger King,” according to Grub Street. Billed as “the veggie burger that bleeds,” the plant-based burger is said to confuse even the most avowed meat eater.
The New York Times
"Hot-tub orgies? At the company that has so profoundly contributed to our notions of gauzy romance and surprise Valentine’s gifts and new and abundant ways to show a woman how she is treasured?" That's New York Times writer Taffy Brodesser-Akner in a long feature dissecting the claims of pay discrimination and sexual harassment against Sterling Jewelers Inc., whose stable of stores includes Kay, Jared the Galleria of Jewelry and Zales. Brodesser-Akner interviewed a slew of women whose accounts are horrifying, showing "a portrait of a company that the women said felt all-powerful and was often vindictive to them... described to [the …
New York Post
Toys ‘R’ Us is plotting a comeback with some small stores. The iconic retail brand plans to open a handful of U.S. stores in time for the holidays that will each span about 10,000 square feet, according to the New York Post. The 600 stores that were shuttered last spring spanned 20,000 to 50,000 square feet. “We are a little startup company now,” said Tru Kids Chief Executive Richard Barry, confirming the pint-size store plans.
Timex, a quintessentially American company, hasn’t produced any watches in the United States since the 1970s. The Middlebury, Conn.-based company is engaging in domestic production again with a model that’s assembled in the United States from mostly domestically made parts. The project is called the American Documents series and it includes four models, each is $495.
Despite continued shuttering of traditional retail outlets, "the much-discussed retail apocalypse is a retail revolution instead,” according to a report cited in WWD. “And this is because the store is not dead; it simply must be reimagined as the hub of a customer-centric model,” the report continues. Among the report's "tips for legacy retailers looking to reimagine themselves in the current market" include the fact "that there are indeed many data points available from store visits."
The Next Web
Lego plans to offer Braille Bricks, a product to help blind children learn the writing system. Instead of the normal dots (the company refers to them as “studs”) you see on top of Lego bricks, this version will feature the same patterns as the Braille alphabet. Each brick will also have a printed letter or number, so sighted people can interact with the bricks too. This approach aims to make mastering Braille more fun.
The New York Times
Sun-Maid hired Harry Overly to convince millennials they should eat raisins. The first spot features overjoyed children thrilled to be eating California raisins. The ads are predicated on nostalgia, on the memories of raisins as the first solid food that parents gave to kids. “There’s no other snack brand that has the emotional equity that Sun-Maid has,” Overly tells The New York Times.
Wall Street Journal
Lululemon’s new leader says there’s “no need” to discount the $100 yoga pants the activewear brand is famous for, despite the plethora of cheaper imitations. Lululemon Chief Executive Calvin McDonald said the company plans to launch new products from deodorant to sneakers. He also said he wants to increase awareness of a brand he says still isn’t well-known to many customers, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company will become more than an apparel retailer, he said.
For the first time since merging with Continental Airlines in 2012, United Airlines is freshening its livery. The airline unveiled the new design on a Boeing 737NG airliner. “The current United livery is based on Continental's old blue and gray paint scheme, complete with a blue and gold globe on the tail. That design has been around for nearly three decades,” reports Business Insider. “United's new livery is more evolutionary than revolutionary. It's actually the next iteration of the current paint scheme.”
Chain Store Age
Shelley Broader has resigned as Chico’s CEO and board member Bonnie Brooks, former vice chair, president and CEO of Hudson’s Bay Company, has been appointed interim CEO. “Broader’s resignation comes as Chico’s has been challenged with sliding sales,” according to Chain Store Age. “The company’s total same-store sales fell 4.9% last year. Net sales slipped to $2.1 billion from $2.3 billion.”