Supermarket chain Publix has responded to online blowback after The Wall Street Journal reported the company's heiress donated $300,000 to fund the Jan. 6 rally before the riot at the U.S. Capitol. Julie Jenkins Fancelli, who is the daughter of Publix founder George Jenkins, donated more than $980,000 to President Trump's 2020 campaign and the Republican party. She also provided the majority of the funds for the $500,000 rally near the White House. Publix posted a statement on Twitter saying, "Mrs. Fancelli is not an employee of Publix Super Markets, and is neither involved in our business operations, nor does …
The Coachella music festival, scheduled for southern California in April 2021, was canceled on Friday by local health officials because of the ongoing pandemic. The Stagecoach Country Music Festival, also scheduled for April 2021, was canceled as well. Other major cultural gatherings are shifting dates again for 2021 as the pandemic continues to rage worldwide. Organizers of the Glastonbury music festival in England have canceled the June event, while the Cannes film festival in France postponed its traditional May event to early July.
If brands are still debating what tone to take with their Super Bowl spots (seriously, are there really some still in the works this late?) Fast Company has some words of advice: “We want to smile,” says Geoff Cottrill, cofounder of Marvin Media. “We want to fall off the couch laughing. We want to be entertained. If you’re showing up to try to create some explicit kumbaya moment, you’re only reminding us of the problems in the world. And that’s not why we’re tuned in.”
Another huge brand is suffering the effects of the ongoing worldwide pandemic. With isolation becoming the norm for many, it’s no huge surprise that a beauty brand like L'Occitane might be suffering. The company plans to close 23 stores as it looks to shed unprofitable and declining locations, according to court papers. L'Occitane currently runs 166 boutiques in the U.S., largely based in regional malls.
Walgreens has selected Starbucks executive Roz Brewer as its new CEO, which will make her the only Black woman leading a Fortune 500 company. Starbucks announced that Brewer was departing after a little more than three years as its chief operating officer. She was praised for her expertise in operations, customer relations, talent development and digital innovation. Brewer “revamped stores, taking out clutter and cutting down on administrative work so employees could focus on customers and speed up service. She helped grow Starbucks' rewards program and pushed for more diversity in its ranks,” per The Associated Press.
Target is giving its pandemic-weary employees a fifth round of “thank you” payments. The retailer plans to pay $500 bonuses to all hourly workers in stores, distribution centers, and corporate and field-based offices. Also, all store directors, executive team leaders and salaried distribution center leaders — about 12,000 people in total — will receive bonuses of $1,000 to $2,000. Overall, Target said it invested about $1 billion more in employee compensation, benefits, health and safety during 2020 versus 2019.
Godiva is the latest venerable retailer to say goodbye to brick-and-mortar locations, closing or selling 128 locations in North America by the end of March. The brand will continue to sell its products in the U.S. through grocery, specialty stores, department stores and other outlets as well as online. The company, which currently has more than 600 locations worldwide, said it will still “maintain retail operations across Europe, Middle East and Greater China in formats that reflect the unique cultural preferences of those markets.”
Brands are referencing the animation characters of Chinese millennials’ childhoods with the goal of forming closer emotional connections to those customers. Spanish luxury fashion house Loewe launched a collaboration with Studio Ghibli featuring characters from animated Japanese fantasy film "My Neighbour Totoro" on ready-to-wear and accessories. Gucci has developed a Chinese New Year capsule collection featuring the Japanese manga character Doraemon, shortly after teasing a three-way partnership with The North Face and Pokémon Go.
A growing list of companies is offering employees incentives for getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Trader Joe's will give employees two hours of pay per dose for getting the vaccine and will also shift around schedules to make sure employees have time to get vaccinated. Instacart is paying its workers $25 to offset them taking time to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Incentives for employees offer an alternative way to encourage workers to get the vaccine, as opposed to mandating they get shots, Laura Boudreau, assistant professor of economics, Columbia Business School. tells USA Today.
Natural Light Beer, long a staple among college students, is returning the love with an experiential marketing effort. The company recently unveiled the "most expensive" piece of art in the world in an effort to bring attention to the rising cost of college and the impact of college debt. Entitled "Da Vinci of Debt," the piece is made using 2,600 actual diplomas provided by real college graduates across the nation.