Several automakers including Volkswagen and Renault are shuttering or shifting manufacturing operations following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. “The invasion was a factor in consulting firms J.D. Power and LMC Automotive slashing their 2022 global new-car sales outlook by 400,000 vehicles to 85.8 million units,” per Reuters. “For automakers, one of the supply-chain concerns created by the Ukraine conflict centers on the metals palladium, platinum and rhodium used in exhaust-scrubbing catalytic converters.”
Officials in Ohio, Utah and New Hampshire have called on liquor stores to remove Russian-made or Russian-branded vodka from shelves. “These moves are largely symbolic — and may even miss their intended target — as very few brands imported to the United States still produce the liquor in Russia,” per CNN Business. “Many of the top-selling vodka brands that trace their origins to Russia are now distilled in multiple countries — including the United States.”
"Wayfair Inc. reported disappointing fourth-quarter revenue and earnings and a decline in active customers," per Chain Store Age. "Some industry analysts speculated that Wayfair’s loss came as more consumers are shopping in-store for furniture." To take advantage of that trend, the company recently announced plans "to open brick-and-mortar stores across all its brands, which include Wayfair, AllModern, Joss&Main, Birch Land and Perigold."
Purple tomatoes -- genetically modified to be rich in the beneficial pigments found in "superfoods" -- could soon be on sale in the U.S., if a small company called Norfolk Plant Sciences gets approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In one experiment, mice given purple tomato powder lived nearly 30% longer than mice on a standard diet.
"A highly contagious and deadly form of avian influenza has been barreling across the eastern half of the United States in recent weeks, killing both wild birds and farmed poultry and raising fears that an unchecked outbreak could prove calamitous for an industry that was devastated by a similar virus seven years ago," per The New York Times. “It’s important to note that avian influenza is not considered to be a risk to public health and it’s not a food-safety risk,” Mike Stepien, a spokesman for the Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said.
"Allowing customers to skip the checkout line, Just Walk Out uses overhead computer-vision cameras, weight sensors and deep-learning technology to detect merchandise that shoppers take from or return to shelves and track items selected in a virtual cart," according to Supermarket News. This new store is in Washington, D.C.’s Glover Park neighborhood; another such store will open later this year in Sherman Oaks, California.
"The discount giant will add an option to place Starbucks orders, as well as make a merchandise return, at its curbside pickup service at select locations this fall," according to Chain Store Age. "The ability to place Starbucks orders during curbside pickup was a top request in a customer survey Target conducted."
"Though public health experts have long advised the use of condoms for anal sex to protect against H.I.V. and other infections, regulators did not have enough data to allow marketing for that use," according to The New York Times. Now they do, as one study showed "the failure rate, defined as slippage or breakage, to be less than 1 percent during anal sex." The FDA's decision to allow marketing for that purpose applies just to the company that did the study -- Global Protection Corp. for the ONE male condom -- but other companies can apply for approval by providing …
Volkswagen is considering separating its Porsche division into its own separate company, with a different stock listing. "The transaction would help the automaker raise money to invest in electric vehicles while also potentially returning more control of the high-performance carmaker to descendants of its founder," according to The New York Times.
"Two years into the pandemic, the [drug] industry has evaded reforms a supermajority of voters want," begins this New York magazine post. Big Pharma is protected partly by an "endless river of money [that] continues to flow, the widest, steadiest current of lobbying largesse the capitol has ever known." That money only hints at "the fullness of Pharma’s influence," which the post further details.