Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Founders Brewing Co. has settled a federal lawsuit brought by a black employee at its Detroit tap room that spurred backlash against the craft brewery nationwide. The employee alleged his colleagues used racial slurs with impunity as part of a racist culture. “The settlement comes as the Grand Rapids-based brewery faces immense backlash for a legal deposition in which a general manager at Founders’ Detroit tap room would not concede that the employee who filed the lawsuit, Tracy Evans, is black,” according to MLive.
Halloween season is big business for candy manufacturers. Some brands are trying to captivate consumers with special flavors. “Chicago-based Ferrara Candy, whose Brach’s brand has 85% of the candy corn market share during Halloween this year introduced doughnut-flavored Donut Shoppe candy corn at Dollar Tree stores; fruity mermaid-themed candy corn in shapes like sea shells and starfish at Kroger; and pumpkin pie-flavored candy corn at Walgreens,” according to the Chicago Tribune.
Official NBA partner Express has lined up some of the league’s top young players (Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers; Trae Young and John Collins, Atlanta Hawks and Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets) for a campaign that breaks this month across Express' digital, social media and in-store platforms as well as the NBA's digital and social media platforms. It’s the third year of the partnership. New this year is a collaboration with NBA 2K and EA Sports NBA Live Mobile, giving consumers access to in-game content and special offers.
Google’s Alphabet Inc. is looking at a potential acquisition of smart watch maker Fitbit. Reports of the talks sent Fitbit’s stock up as much as 41% earlier in the week. “Google is under investigation for anti-competitive behavior by both the U.S. federal government and a collection of state attorneys general because of its online advertising and data collection practices, making any acquisition the company does likely to come under strict scrutiny,” according to Bloomberg.
The United States Trade Representative is suspending tariffs on certain products, and considering a similar move for others. The USTR is granting exclusions for some of the products (like merino wool yarn and imitation leather) that got hit with additional duties as part of the Section 301 investigation (List 3 tariffs) that saw $200 billion worth of goods targeted in September last year.
Sneaker collectors looking to land a pair of Nike’s next exclusive shoe need NBA 2K skills. “Nike and one of the most popular basketball simulation video games out there—NBA 2K20—are collaborating on a unique sneaker drop that connects Nike’s SNKRS app with a new in-game mode giving players the chance to gain access to a group of limited-edition sneakers,” according to the Sourcing Journal. The collection of sneakers is known as “Gamer Exclusives.”
Automakers are increasingly putting collision-avoidance systems on more models and making them standard equipment. But the safety systems are not all the same, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which conducted tests of 16 midsize sedans. Some cars stopped before the pedestrian dummy could be hit, others were slower to react. In one case, the vehicle did not reduce its speed and hit a child dummy.
Ford Motor Co. will take the wraps off a “Mustang-Inspired” electric SUV in Los Angeles at a private event on Nov. 17, ahead of the vehicle's Los Angeles auto show debut. “The 'performance SUV,' according to Ford, will be available in U.S. and European dealerships next fall,” reports CNBC. “The vehicle is the first of what is expected to be an onslaught of all-electric vehicles as Ford invests $11.5 billion in all-electric and hybrid vehicles through 2022.”
>BMC Toys in Scranton, Penn. is answering the plea of Vivian Lord, a six-year-old from Little Rock, Ark., who wrote the owner a letter asking why there are no female toy soldiers. “Why do you not make girl army men, my friend’s mom is in the army too!!” Vivian Lord wrote in her letter, which her mother Brittany sent to three toy companies.
The shift to digital sent music sales plunging. But thanks to Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music, streaming revenue helped to make up the losses but profits are hard to come by. "Since 2014, the global recorded music industry has seen overall sales grow every year-from $14.3 billion in 2014 to $18.1 billion in 2018," according to Fortune. "That's predominantly thanks to paid streaming. Today, paid and ad-supported streaming together represent almost half of all global recorded music revenue. Physical sales of CDs and records still account for 25%; the rest comes from other avenues, like performance rights."