Lansing State Journal
The Michigan Attorney General's Office has warned a national craft retail chain to close its doors under a statewide executive order intended to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus. Joann Stores asked that the craft store be deemed “essential,” defined as necessary to sustain life, because it is supplying fabric to crafters who are sewing masks for local hospitals, which are running short on supplies. The attorney general's office disagreed and told the business to shut down in-person shopping.
Most brands are skipping the pranks this year as the COVID-19 pandemic contains to rage. "It definitely does seem a little tone deaf to be making these kind of jokes that really have the goal of promoting your business at a time when so many people are out of work," Alex Boese, author of "The Museum of Hoaxes: A History of Outrageous Pranks and Deceptions," told USA Today.
Taco Bell is handing out free Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Tacos Tuesday from the drive-through windows of participating locations Tuesday. It usually reserves its giveaways for major sporting events such as the World Series. In a letter posted on Tacobell.com, CEO Mark King says the giveaway is to show the company’s appreciation and that “we're all in this together."
With many restaurants nationwide doing away with dining room service, reservations app OpenTable is launching a tool to help grocery stores and restaurants mitigate long lines and overcrowding in the age of coronavirus. The company is expanding its software to let users choose between available shopping times slots at supermarkets and retailers. The move comes as public health agencies and governments urge the public to avoid crowded areas to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Chain Store Age
The majority of Macy’s 130,000 employees will be laid off until further notice as the department store struggles with store closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “With its online operations still open for business, there will be fewer furloughs in the retailer’s digital business, supporting distribution centers and call centers as it continues to serve customers online,” according to Chain Store Age. In a statement, Macy’s noted it has lost the majority of its sales due to the store closures.
Airlines continue to cut flights as the COVID-19 pandemic prompts consumers nationwide to cancel leisure travel and businesses to continue to restrict travel for employees. American Airlines and Delta Air Lines announced new cuts on Friday following similar moves by Southwest Airlines and United Airlines. American, whose May reductions will be uploaded by April 5, said its capacity will drop between 70%-80%.
Instacart workers are planning a nationwide strike to demand greater safety precautions. Organizers say requests for hazard pay and protective equipment have been ignored for several weeks amid surging demand for grocery delivery. As the COVID-19 pandemic worsens in the U.S., more and more consumers nationwide are sheltering in place and not leaving their home for any reason, including groceries.
The company known for revolutionary vacuum cleaners is pivoting in light of the coronavirus. Dyson has received an order from the U.K. government for 10,000 ventilators to support efforts by the country's National Health Service. James Dyson, the company's billionaire founder, confirmed the order in a letter to employees shared with CNN on Wednesday. Dyson said the company had designed and built an entirely new ventilator, called the "CoVent," since he received the call 10 days ago from U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The Cheesecake Factory is one of hundreds of businesses affected by shelter-in-place orders that are keeping patrons away. Many locations are located in now-closed malls. The popular sit-down restaurant chain says it will not be able to make upcoming rent payments for any of its storefronts on April 1. The Calabasas Hills-based company informed all of its landlords in a letter dated March 18 that a severe decline in restaurant traffic has decreased its cash flow and “inflicted a tremendous financial blow” to business, according to the letter obtained by Eater.
Travelers who must take flights despite the world-wide pandemic will see less airport and on-board amenities at airlines across the board. Several have suspended alcoholic beverage service on all flights, even international. Many are only offering bottled water as a beverage. American Airlines will also temporarily close most of its Admirals Club lounges until further notice and Delta Air Lines is closing many Sky Clubs.