• Exclusive Colleges Buy Data, Drive Down Admission Rates
    Like everything else, it’s all about image and branding. Some colleges are buying data about students, including approximate test scores, then recruiting some to apply—even if they aren’t likely to get in. “Those kids’ eventual rejections drive down admission rates, making the schools look more exclusive and pushing them up in national rankings,” according to The Wall Street Journal.
  • Sears, Kmart Closing More Stores
    The parent company of Sears and Kmart plans to close 96 stores by February. It will leave the two retailers with just 182 locations, fewer than half the number remaining when Transformco, an entity controlled by Sears’ former CEO and his hedge fund, bought the company out of bankruptcy earlier this year. Sales at the closing stores are expected to start Dec. 2, the company said in a statement.
  • Britain's Iconic Selfridges Unveils Quirky Holiday Effort
    Selfridges' latest future-facing campaign film for the holiday season is an extension of the retailer’s Christmas windows, which were unveiled in October, under the theme “Future Fantasy: A Christmas for Modern Time.” The film moves between various stylized scenes, “from a merry dinner feast to a rave-like house party complete with strobing lights and guests dressed to the nines in Gucci, Balenciaga and Valentino, to present the perennial Christmas tale of togetherness,” according to WWD.
  • Katy Perry Song Promotes Harley-Davidson
    Pop goddess Katy Perry’s “Harleys in Hawaii” has been streamed and viewed millions of times -- by a demographic Harley-Davidson has had a hard time reaching. The song was inspired by a vacation with Perry's fiancé, the actor Orlando Bloom.  “Many brands now spend as much on product placement with social media influencers as they do on advertising,” notes The New York Times. “But all Harley-Davidson did in exchange for the enormous exposure to her fan base was provide motorcycles for the video.”
  • Walgreens Exploring Leveraged Buyout
    Walgreens is considering a deal to take the company private. Reuters first reported Tuesday the pharmacy retailer was exploring the move. “Such a step would remove the company from the public eye and could make it easier to focus more on in-store health services, which could draw in customers and better position Walgreens to compete with CVS Health,” analysts tell the Chicago Tribune. “For Walgreens, going private would mean not having to answer to shareholders for the first time since 1927.”
  • Popeyes Chicken Might Have Inspired Stabbing Death
    A Maryland man died after an attack outside a Popeyes following an argument. The victim was waiting in line for the recently reintroduced fried chicken sandwich when he exchanged words with another man. Police believe the argument, which they took outside, was started over someone cutting the line. The sandwich had been pulled from the menu at the end of August after causing huge lines and a shortage of ingredients.
  • Funeral Homes Get In On the Eco-Friendly Movement
    What started as a family trying to honor a decedent’s request has turned into a business. “Green burials aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by cremations and toxic chemicals used for embalming a body,” according to the Chicago Tribune. “And as consumers become more conscious about the products and services they use, Illinois funeral homes are ramping up their green burial services for a small but growing client base interested in reducing their carbon footprint, even in death.”
  • Under Armour Under Investigation By Justice Department
    Under Armour is currently the subject of a federal accounting probe in which the Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission are examining how the company recorded revenue. Under review is whether the sportswear maker shifted sales from quarter to quarter to appear healthier, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal. Under Armour had three chief financial officers from 2016 to 2017.
  • McDonald's CEO Fired For Relationship With Employee
    Steve Easterbrook is out because he "engaged in a consensual relationship with an employee that violated company policy," The New York Times reports. “This was a mistake,” Easterbrook wrote in an email to employees. “Given the values of the company, I agree with the board that it is time for me to move on.” "Mr. Easterbrook, 52, had been widely credited with turning around McDonald’s after it posted one of its worst financial performances in years, in 2015," according to the Times.
  • U.K. Chick-fil-A To Close In LGBT Rights Row
    Gay rights campaigners are boycotting Chick-fil-A, which opened its first U.K. branch at a shopping center in Reading, a town in  southeast England.  A spokeswoman for the shopping center said "the right thing to do" was to not extend the restaurant's lease beyond the "six-month pilot period.” The company has donated millions of dollars to three organizations that have a reputation for being hostile to LGBT rights: the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Paul Anderson Youth Home and the Salvation Army.
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