• Gap, H&M, Levi Strauss Linked To Deforestation
    A report is linking some huge brands to Cambodia’s disappearing forest. The biggest offenders over the past three years, based on data gleaned from the Open Apparel Registry, included Bestseller, C&A, Gap, H&M, Levi Strauss, Next, Ralph Lauren and Sainsbury’s-owned Tu.
  • No Easy Fix For Global Supply Chain Problems
    Supply chain issues affecting everything from cars to food to electronics aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, and were actually primed to happen even before the pandemic. “The pandemic has certainly made supply and demand extremely volatile, shifting faster than the supply chain can adjust,” per The New York Times. “But that came on top of decades of very lean inventories kept by companies to limit their costs.”
  • Runner Sues Nike, Former Coach For Alleged Abuse
    Distance runner Mary Cain has filed a $20 million lawsuit against her former coach Alberto Salazar and Nike. “Cain, 25, had a promising career, becoming in 2013 the youngest American athlete to make a World Championships team at age 17,” per Axios. “She alleges in the suit that she faced sustained emotional abuse by Salazar after joining the Nike Oregon Project in 2012. She accuses Nike of knowing this and failing to intervene. Cain said it affected her physical and mental health.”
  • Circle K Tests AI-Powered Check-Out Free System
    Circle K convenience store is trying out an AI-powered checkout-free experience in a retrofitted store in Tempe, Arizona. "Using AI-powered cameras mounted at strategic locations throughout the store, the system accurately identifies the products shoppers pick up and automatically records the purchases on the Circle K mobile app — eliminating time spent at traditional checkout areas," per RIS News. The location was retrofitted without ceasing store operations or altering its layout. 
  • Online Shopping Encourages Easy Returns -- And Waste
    While the average brick-and-mortar store has a return rate in the single digits, the average rate is somewhere between 15% and 30% for online purchases -- and for clothing, it can be even higher.  Last year, U.S. retailers took back more than $100 billion in merchandise sold online. “All of that unwanted stuff piles up. Some of it will be diverted into a global shadow industry of bulk resellers, some of it will be stripped for valuable parts, and some of it will go directly into an incinerator or a landfill,” per The Atlantic.
  • NHL, Navy Federal Credit Union Extend Sponsorship
    The National Hockey League and Navy Federal Credit Union have extended their U.S. sponsorship partnership. The multiyear deal includes Navy Federal as the presenting sponsor of TNT’s NHL Veterans Appreciation Night broadcast on Nov. 10 with the Coyotes facing the Wild. The credit union is also the presenting sponsor of the Stadium Series game between the Predators and Lightning at Nissan Stadium on Feb. 26.
  • McDonald's Plans U.S. Test For McPlant Burger
    McDonald’s will test the plant-based McPlant burger created as part of its partnership with Beyond Meat in eight U.S. restaurants next month. The fast-food retailer already started selling the burgers in some international markets, including Sweden, Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. “The trial is the latest step in McDonald’s cautious march to add plant-based meat to its menu,” per CNBC. “The company has taken its time to learn more about the longevity of meat substitutes and consumer demand, even as other fast-food chains raced to add the trendy item to their menus.”
  • El Pollo Loco CEO Resigns
    El Pollo Loco announced that Bernard Acoca resigned Oct. 15 as chief executive officer and president “to pursue other opportunities,” and the company’s board named Chief Financial Officer Laurence Roberts to the interim post. Acoca held the post since 2018 and under his leadership, the fast food retailer accelerated its digital penetration, according to the company. Roberts, CFO for the past eight years, previously served as CFO and chief operating officer of Yum Brand Inc.’s KFC division.
  • Lowe's Hosts Trick Or Treating In Stores
    Lowe’s is giving trick or treaters a chance to make up for last year’s largely cancelled Halloween festivities. The retailer will host “Hal-LOWE-en Trick-or-Treat Tryouts” nationwide on Oct. 21 from 5 to 7 p.m. in store garden centers for families who register at Lowes.com/TrickorTreat. Space is limited to 100 families per store and cloth face coverings and social distancing will be required to attend, Lowe’s said.
  • NBA, LegalZoom Offering $6M To Small Businesses
    The NBA and LegalZoom.com are partnering for “Fast Break for Small Business” which will award $6 million in grants and LegalZoom services to thousands of small businesses. Hall of Famer and former Detroit Pistons player Grant Hill will be an ambassador for the program. LegalZoom.com signed a multiyear deal as an official partner of the NBA, WNBA and G-League. Applications for the first round of grants are open through Nov. 23.
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