• Pandemic May Prompt Lasting Retail Changes
    Shoppers returning to retail stores are finding it to be a drastically different experience. “Retailers that have spent years trying to get customers to linger, in hopes they’ll buy more than they need, are reimagining their stores for a grab-and-go future filled with deliberate purchases,” according to the Washington Post. “Gone, they say, are the days of trying on makeup or playing with toys in the aisles. The focus now is on making shopping faster, easier and safer to accommodate long-term shifts in consumer expectations and habits.”
  • Record Label Launches Mental Health Offshoot
    An Atlanta-based record label, LVRN, has launched a division focused on psychological wellness for LVRN staff and artists. “From the outset, a key component to LVRN’s success was the value it placed on mental health,” according to Fast Company. “Executives worked regularly, for instance, with therapists on team building and communication exercises.” According to a 2018 study by the Music Industry Research Association, 50% of musicians reported battling symptoms of depression—that’s twice the rate of the general population.
  • Museums Begin Reopening With New Protocols
    The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston reopens Saturday, following the lead of museums worldwide. “The museum is instituting strict safety measures: Wearing masks will be mandatory inside the building and visitors will have their temperatures taken before entering the galleries,” according to Afar. “At various European institutions re-emerging from coronavirus lockdowns, ticketed time slots, plexiglass shields, and mandatory mask protocols provide a glimpse into what the ‘new normal’ might look like.”
  • Chuck E. Cheese, Applebee's Offer Food Under Different Names
    Recently, some eagle-eyed delivery app users thought they were ordering pizza and wings from a new local spot — but were shocked to find that the food was all from a Chuck E. Cheese, per Today.com. ”Pasqually’s Pizza & Wings, named after another favorite member of Munch's Make Believe Band, shares kitchen space with the Chuck E. Cheese restaurant, ensuring high-quality, fresh ingredients,” a spokesperson told Today.com. Meanwhile, Applebee's has been delivering under the name Neighborhood Wings.
  • Las Vegas Airport To Sell Masks, Sanitizer In Vending Machines
    Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport announced on Twitter that vending machines loaded with virus-protective gear are being installed. The airport claims to be the first to offer the convenience, which includes items like masks, hand sanitizer and gloves. "The whole world is going through behavioral modification and learning new habits, so it's not unthinkable that someone could show up at the airport and not have the new necessities that are part of travel,” McCarran Airport spokesperson Christine Crews tells CNN.
  • Data Supports Shift To Comfortable Clothes During Pandemic
    Maybe your coworker really isn’t wearing actual pants — or even a bra —on that Zoom call. “New data supports the claims that have already been memorialized both in memes on social media and the butt of many coronavirus jokes,” per USA Today. “According to Adobe Analytics, April was a record month for apparel, with prices decreasing 12% from March. The cuts helped apparel gain a 34% increase in sales. But consumers shifted their apparel purchases toward comfortable home clothes. Adobe found pants sales dropped 13%, bras 12% and jackets 33% while online pajama sales increased a whopping …
  • Teva Hedges Its Bets With Justice Department
    Generic drugmaker Teva recently pulled out of settlement talks with the Justice Department. The company is “betting that in the middle of a deadly pandemic, the Trump administration won’t dare to come down hard on the largest supplier of generic drugs in the United States,” per The New York Times. President Trump had been touting an anti-malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine, as a possible “game changer’” in the fight against the coronavirus. Teva made hydroxychloroquine overseas and could export it to the United States. Trump announced Monday he has been taking the drug to lessen symptoms should he …
  • Biometrics Company, Clear, Assists In Coronavirus Screening
    Clear, the company that developed the paid biometric ID service that helps speed travelers through the airport and stadiums, is expanding to offer coronavirus screening. “Health Pass by Clear will allow employees, consumers, and travelers to connect their identity with a health check that employers, business owners, restaurants, airlines, and hotels can use to screen those who enter their premises or use their services,” according to Afar. “Users can verify their identity on their phone with biometrics, including a facial scan or a fingerprint. They then answer some health questions and can upload their lab results or link to a …
  • Ford, GM Prepare To Do On-Site Virus Checks
    Some autoworkers are returning to plants, where companies are putting procedures in place to try to halt the spread of illness. Any hourly or salaried General Motors employee who shows symptoms of the coronavirus at work will get a rapid process test. An employee would get paid during a 14-day quarantine ordered by a doctor. Ford has secured contracts with health systems in four major metro areas for its hourly and salaried workers if swabbing and COVID-19 testing are needed to screen for the virus. A rapid response testing process for Ford workers with symptoms will be ready in southeast Michigan; Louisville, Kentucky; Kansas City, Missouri; and Chicago. The company plans to expand …
  • Retail Spending Took A Double-Digit Dive in April: Report
    Retail spending plummeted by 16.4% in April, nearly doubling the 8.3% seen in March. Clothing and accessories took a hit of 78.8%, NPR reports. 
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