COVID-19 has stagnated the travel industry, which has shown creativity in offering its services to COVID-19 relief. Disneyland, which has been shuttered since mid-March, is now serving as a vaccination super site. “Emergency medical workers and local residents over the age of 75 queued for the first of five Orange County, Calif., 'Super POD' (Point Of Dispensing) sites, and Andrew Do, chairman of Orange County’s board of supervisors, says they will soon be able to inoculate 7,000 people a day there,” per The New York Times.
J.C. Penney is dropping MyPillow from its line of merchandise, along with Kohl's, Bed Bath & Beyond, Wayfair and Texas supermarket chain H-E-B. The moves come in reaction to CEO and founder Mike Lindell, who has pushed claims of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. “People have flocked to social media to put pressure on stores carrying MyPillow to drop the brand,” according to USA Today. A one-star review dated Jan. 16 on Macys.com is titled “Pillow for Seditious Traitors.”
Ben & Jerry’s is debuting Doggie Desserts: four-ounce cups of mostly non-dairy frozen treats, one featuring pumpkin with cookies and another with peanut butter and pretzels. “During the pandemic, ice cream sales have surged,” reports the Washington Post. “Over the 52 weeks ending Sept. 6, in-home ice cream expenditures were up 13.4% and unit sales increased by 8.4%, according to data from Chicago-based market research firm IRI."
Office Depot's parent, ODP Corp., rejected a takeover bid from rival Staples and suggested other kinds of deals instead, "with one option being selling ODP’s retail and consumer-facing e-commerce operations to Staples, or a joint venture," according to Chain Store Age. Such a deal “could be executed more efficiently and with far greater certainty and less regulatory risk than" a takeover, according to the ODP chairman.
Tyson Foods Inc. has announced the amount it will pay "in its previously disclosed broiler chicken antitrust litigation": $221.5 million in settlements, according to Market Watch. "The settlements will be reflected in its first-quarter 2021 financial statements."
Beginning this spring, for the first time Western Union money transfer services will be available at all 4,700-plus Walmart locations across the country. The services will include domestic and international money transfers, bill payments, and money orders. Through Western Union’s global cross-border, cross-currency platform reaching 200 countries and territories worldwide, Walmart customers will have the ability to move money almost anywhere across the world. Other U.S. retailers that offer Western Union services include Walgreens, Kroger, and Dollar General. Amazon enables cash payment for online orders in a number of developing nations using Western Union services.
Costco is selling a one-of-a-kind baseball autographed by Babe Ruth on its website for $64,000. Costco listed another ball signed by the swinger in May for $30,000. “The concept might seem like a departure from Costco’s brand, offering customers staples on the cheap,” according to The New York Times. “Not so, said Andrew Lipsman, an analyst at the research firm eMarketer, noting that the company has sold furniture and engagement rings, sometimes for hundreds of thousands of dollars.” Costco declined to comment.
Yuengling beer will become available throughout Texas beginning some time this fall. Last year, D.G. Yuengling & Son brewing, the oldest continuing brewery in the nation, formed a partnership with Molson Coors to launch Yuengling in the 25 states in the West where it is not currently available. Texas was chosen first. The beer, made with Yuengling's recipe, will be brewed at a Molson Coors facility in Ft. Worth. “Texas is bigger than our entire north region and the last eight states that we’ve launched, combined,” says Jen Yuengling, vice president of operations and the oldest of four sixth-generation Yuengling …
BMW is suspending the two-year-old car subscription service it was testing in Nashville. The service was either $2K or $3,700 per month, depending on the models selected. Recent requests to sign up have been met with a disclaimer that the service is in the process of shutting down, as discovered by The Verge. A Nashville resident who was interested in applying for the subscription service was told it was going to be defunct by the end of January. BMW is not alone. Ford, Mercedes-Benz and Cadillac have all walked away from similar programs following low demand.
Uber Technologies Inc. is partnering with COVID-19 vaccine developer Moderna Inc. to provide vaccine information and eventually help schedule rides to appointments. The companies will send in-app messages first in the United States before expanding the program globally to more of Uber’s 78 million monthly users in the coming months. “Uber and Moderna said the effort may also include working with public health officials to build ride-scheduling into the booking process and send text reminders for appointments,” per the Boston Globe.