Kroger Health is partnering with the federal government and state health departments to administer COVID-19 vaccines. “The company said it would be providing COVID-19 vaccines at all of its 2,200 pharmacies and 220 clinics,” per Drug Store News. “ Over the last few months, Kroger Health has worked with the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Defense, as well as the pharmaceutical companies and other businesses, to prepare for vaccine authorization.”
Lyft is offering 60 million rides to and from vaccination locations for low-income, uninsured and at-risk communities as COVID-19 vaccines roll out. “The ride-hailing company partnered with JPMorgan Chase, Anthem, United Way, Epic, Centene, Modern Health, One Medical, the National Hispanic Council on Aging, the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging and others to help in the coming weeks,” per USA Today.
Live-streaming and Twitch came out ahead thanks to the pandemic. In October, users spent 1.6 billion hours on Twitch, which represents a 99% jump in year-over-year growth, according to StreamElements and Arsenal.gg’s November report. “And even that doesn’t account for just how many things were converted into streaming video — events, holidays, relationships, and more,” per The Verge. “Now, nine long months later, it’s hard for me to remember how novel Zoom socializing felt.”
After seeking to work within local and state coronavirus protocols, organizers of the Rose Bowl Game said the CFP semi-final playoff contest between No. 1 Alabama and No. 4 Notre Dame is relocating from Pasadena, Calif., to AT&T Stadium, home of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys. Capital One has signed a deal to become presenting sponsor of the Rose Bowl Game on New Year's Day as part of an agreement with ESPN, with the event to be known as the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Capital One.
The COVID-19 vaccine is arriving for health care workers and the at-risk population, but average folks will have to wait a bit. “Walgreens and CVS Health predict the vaccine will be available to the public during the spring, and patients will most likely be able to make appointments to get the shots at pharmacies,” per the Chicago Tribune. On Friday, Walgreens said its pharmacists were administering the vaccine to residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Ohio and Connecticut.
There won’t be the typical crowds in Times Square this year thanks to the pandemic, but Airbnb has a solution for those who want to see the iconic ball drop up close and personal. “Together with Nasdaq, Airbnb is transforming the stock market index’s private outdoor terrace and indoor lounge in Times Square into a vacation rental for one night only,” according to Afar. The $21 listing (in honor of 2021) is available only to NYC residents, who must abide by local COVID-19 travel and safety regulations.
The death toll for retailers continues with no end in sight. Despite emerging from bankruptcy this month J.C. Penney announces it will close another 15 stores by the end of March after already closing 150-plus stores since filing for bankruptcy. "As part of our store optimization strategy that began in June with our financial restructuring, we have made the decision to close an additional 15 stores," J.C. Penney said in a statement to USA Today. "These stores will begin liquidation sales later this month.”
Just because a Democrat will be back in office Jan. 20 doesn’t mean that activist brands can relax. Patagonia, for one, “will continue to invest money and manpower trying to influence policy -- in the U.S. and abroad,” per Bloomberg. Its CEO says he’s willing to bring more litigation against officials who try to roll back or diminish environmental protections. “I think we have absolutely lost the right to have philosophical debates about the role of business vs. the role of government or whether it’s too late to do anything,” says Patagonia CEO Ryan Gellert.
There might be a vaccine, but COVID-19 isn’t done messing with businesses. “CoStar Group, one of the top collectors of retail real estate data, says that the 40 major retailers that filed for Chapter 11 protection and the 11,157 stores that closed this year both set new annual records,” per Chain Store Age. “The 149 million sq. ft. of GLA represented by the closures falls just short of the 155 million sq. ft. mark set in 2018 when scores of department stores shuttered, but the year isn’t over yet.”
Although they are popular, sales are not the reason Oreo keeps releasing limited-editiion flavors. “Novelty Oreos play a much purer role: They help drive consumers back to milk’s alleged favorite, the 108-year-old paterfamilias, the plain old Oreo,” per The New York Times. “In other words, the new flavors function as advertisements for the original. And it seems to work. In the time that sales were up 12% for novelty flavors, sales of the classic were up almost 22%, according to Nielsen."