• Starbucks Returning To Its Roots In Italy
    In a coals-to-Newcastle play, Howard Schultz is finally entering the marketplace in Italy after having exported his Seattle coffeehouse concept to 70 other countries and serving more than 90 million people a week worldwide. It is partnering with Italian company Percassi to open its first outlet in Milan next year; they then plan to expand to other cities across Italy.
  • Weight Watchers: The Oprah Effect Yet To Take Effect
    Weight Watchers reported huge losses yesterday but not where investors would like to see them. Quarterly revenue dropped 21%, sending its stock skidding 27% in extended trading, Reuters reports, and "undermining hopes that new investor and media mogul Oprah Winfrey would help boost sales."
  • Foxconn Hits Pause Button On $6 Billion Deal For Sharp
    There has been a snag in what appeared to be a $6-billion done deal Thursday morning between Sharp, the troubled Japanese electronics products brand, and Foxconn, the Taiwanese manufacturer best known as the assembler of most of the world's iPhones.
  • Early Reviews of BK's Franks: They're Not Exactly Digging It
    The reaction to the national rollout of Burger King's new menu item yesterday was not a universal "hot diggity dog!" On one front, 7-Eleven tweeted "in the great hot dog war, there can only be one weiner" after issuing a Hot Dog Bill of Rights to the "ladies and gentlemen of the press and social mediasphere" on Monday.
  • Google Getting Out Of Making Financial Service Comparisons
    Did you know Google had a comparison-shopping site for financial services? Precisely. And soon it won't. Google is pulling the plug on Google Compare, which enabled consumers in the U.S. and U.K. to get competitive quotes from several - but not all - providers for financial products such as car and travel insurance, credit cards and mortgages.
  • Virtual Reality: The Brightest Star In Samsung's Galaxy
    Let's talk virtual reality this morning because, if folks like Mark Zuckerberg have their say, just everybody with a discretionary dollar and a yearning to take "social" to the next level will be doing so by the time the year is out.
  • P&G, Walmart Execs Address The Shifting Marketplace
    Two stalwarts of the consumer ecology - Procter & Gamble and Walmart - talked about disappointing recent results yesterday, with its leaders characteristically upbeat about the ways they are addressing the landscape even as it mutates.
  • Campbell Putting $125 Million In Fund For Startups
    In its ongoing scramble to keep up with consumers - including the folks who ride its elevators - eschewing salt, GMOs, dyes, added sugars, unpronounceable additives and the middle aisles, Campbell Soup yesterday said it is putting $125 million into a Delaware-based limited partnership, Acre Venture Partners L.P., that will invest in food startups.
  • Apple Fighting Order To Help Unlock Shooter's iPhone
    In a letter to customers, CEO Tim Cook says Apple will oppose a "chilling" request by the FBI, backed by a federal judge's order, to use the All Writs Act of 1789 to force it to unlock the iPhone 5C used by Syed Rizwan Farook who, with his wife, killed 14 people in a terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif., on Dec. 2.
  • Whole Foods 365 Mulls, 'Would You Like A Tat With Those Taters?'
    In an interview on Bloomberg TV last week, Whole Foods' co-CEO Walter Robb talked about broadening the appeal of the chain to Millennials with its smaller 365 by Whole Foods Market shops, the first of which is scheduled to open in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles in May.
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