• To-Go Cocktails Likely Here To Stay
    Nearly 20 states have approved measures that would keep to-go cocktails around, many permanently, even as bars reopen and indoor dining resumes. At least 15 other states are considering similar bills. “Not everyone has embraced the changes,” according to The New York Times. “Concerns about to-go cocktail sales have created unlikely allies in some states‚ including liquor stores concerned about losing business to restaurants as well as organizations dedicated to fighting underage drinking.”
  • Google Plans First Permanent Retail Store In NYC
    Google plans to open its first-ever permanent retail store in New York City. The Chelsea store will sell Pixel phones, Nest smart thermostats and Fitbit wearable devices. It will also host workshops on using Google products and provide repair and troubleshooting services. “Other giant tech companies have pursued bricks-and-mortar operations with varying results,” per The Wall Street Journal. Apple opened its first retail store nearly 20 years ago in SoHo. Microsoft Corp., on the other hand, said last year that it would exit its bricks-and-mortar operations more than a decade after opening its first retail location.
  • McDonald's, Office Depot, Walgreens, Dollar General Latest To Update Mask Policy
    There is confusion over where masks are required, since many retailers are changing policies "except where required by local or state mandate." McDonald’s said on Thursday restaurant crew and managers will still wear face coverings while working in restaurants, but starting May 21, "masks will be optional for fully vaccinated customers unless required by local regulation, while social distancing and protective barriers in restaurants will remain in place.” Walgreens announced a similar policy on Wednesday. The changes follow the latest CDC guidance that was issued late last week.
  • Consumers Are Buying New Shoes For Special Occasions
    Starting in the late first quarter and into the second quarter, Shoe Carnival began seeing “a much more diverse consumer coming out” and “a much greater expansion” of consumer interest in categories that suffered during COVID-19,"  says Cliff Sifford, Shoe Carnival’s vice chairman and chief executive officer. “There’s a lot of weddings going on right now,” he says. “Not all the categories [are] back, but we’re definitely seeing that movement to buy goods that, frankly, [the consumer] hadn’t bought for 14 months.”
  • John Deere Comes To Aid Of Black Farmers
    Last summer, when Black Lives Matter protests were taking center stage worldwide, John Deere created a coalition focused on improving the livelihoods of Black farmers. LEAP (Legislation, Education, Advocacy and Production) is expanding its mission and has a dedicated website. The coalition now includes John Deere, the National Black Growers Council, and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
  • Craft Beer Industry Faces Sexism, Assault Accusations
    A post asking for women’s stories about sexism in the beer industry has resulted in a deluge. “Thousands of messages — and counting — sent to brewer Brienne Allan (who goes by the Instagram handle @ratmagnet) include accusations against some of the beer world’s most lauded brewers and breweries,” reports VinePair. “Some allegations accuse brewery owners of complacency toward a toxic work culture under the shroud of progressivism; while others directly accuse individuals in the industry of sexual harassment, assault, and more.”
  • Express Uses TikTok To Get Consumers Excited About Getting Dressed Again
    Express is launching a TikTok campaign called the #ExpressReentry challenge asking users to submit photos of the outfits they plan on wearing when they “re-enter” their pre-pandemic routines. The campaign aims to bring a sense of excitement back to fashion as consumers shed their quarantine uniforms of loungewear.
  • Biden Visits Ford Plant, Promotes EVs
    President Joe Biden, in metro Detroit to visit the Ford Motor Co. plant where an electric  pickup truck will be revealed Wednesday, declared "the future of the auto industry is electric.” The new truck is called the F-150 Lightning. "There's no turning back," said Biden, who became increasingly earnest when discussing the state of the U.S. auto industry. ”The American auto industry is at a crossroad. The real question is whether it will lead or fall behind in the race of the future.”
  • Apple Does Good, As Always, But Tracks 'Stunning' Sales Numbers
    The headline of this Fast Company post tells the whole story: "Apple raked in a stunning $1 billion a day last quarter, during a pandemic." That means almost $90 billion in revenues for January, February, and March of 2021. The growth was "fueled by gains in its services, iPhone, and iPad businesses," but "the big star of the quarter was clearly the iPhone, which saw extraordinary demand."
  • Former Prepster J.Crew Taps 'Mohawk-Sporting Designer' For Top Creative Post
    In an effort "to disrupt the business,” the beleaguered J. Crew, "known for its preppy styles, is turning to an occasional-Mohawk-sporting designer with a skateboarding pedigree." Brendon Babenzien, "co-owner of culty New York menswear label Noah and former longtime design director at pioneering streetwear brand Supreme," will be J.Crew’s men’s creative director, per The Wall Street Journal. Babenzien's first designs will reach stores in the second half of 2022.
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