Swedish-based Ikea, which now owns 357 big boxes in 29 countries and serves two billion visitors a year online, quickly assembled a presence in the on-demand, sharing economy yesterday by announcing it would acquire 100% of San Francisco-based TaskRabbit for an undisclosed price. TaskRabbit will operate as a standalone company under CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot and continue to work with other retailers and commercial partners after the deal closes in October.
Hugh Hefner, the controversial publisher and entrepreneur who made a fortune by both promoting and embodying the changing sexual mores of the postwar generation, died last night at 91 of natural causes in his Los Angeles mansion, surrounded by family.
Chief merchant and chief customer officer Michelle Gass, a chemical engineer by undergraduate training who developed her marketing chops during a 17-year stint at Starbuck's before joining Kohl's in 2013, will succeed Kevin Mansell as CEO next May, the retailer announced yesterday.
Continuing its expansion into the beauty and personal care business, Unilever is buying the cosmetics firm cosmetics firm Carver Korea for $2.71 billion, making Goldman Sachs's and Bain Capital's 60% investment last year look like a beautiful deal, indeed.
Kroger, which has seen a lot of competition come and go since its founding in 1883, launched a program Friday that directly hits at the latest challenger for the palates of mid-America, Amazon's recently acquired Whole Foods. The Kroger.com/We Are Local website targets local and emerging brands that wish to partner with the Cincinnati-based supermarket chain, which claims nearly 2,800 stores in 35 states under two dozen banners and annual sales of more than $115.3 billion.
Mercedes-Benz will invest $1 billion in its SUV manufacturing facility in Tuscaloosa County, Ala., to turn out EQ-branded electric vehicles by the beginning of the next decade, parent company Daimler announced yesterday, creating 600 jobs and yet more competition for Elon Musk's Tesla. It will build a battery plant nearby as part of the initiative.
In a Twitter video campaign that launched yesterday, Panera Bread founder and CEO Ron Shaich challenges his fast-food competitors to eat the meals they are peddling to children - with "cheap toys" as enticements - for a week. Calling out @McDonalds, @BurgerKing and @Wendy specifically, he disparages pizza, nuggets, fries and sugar-laced drinks while promoting Panera's "new approach. Kids can choose from almost our entire menu in smaller sizes."
Cereal maker Post Holdings is adding Bob Evans Farms sausages and frozen veggie side dishes to its menu, paying $77 per share in a deal valued at $1.5 billion. The acquisition was endorsed by the boards of both companies and is expected to close in early 2018 following the approval of antitrust regulators and Bob Evans shareholders.
Filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection late last night "marks the dawn of a new era" for Toys "R" Us, according to its chairman and CEO, Dave Brandon. With $3 billion in fresh loans, the once-dominant retailer has figured out a way to restructure its $5 billion in debt to pay employees and suppliers but it has a ways to go in stemming the tide that swamped it in the first place: Amazon.
The controlling interest in "Rolling Stone" magazine, which has enjoyed the rare distinction of being a symbol of the culture it has covered since Jann Wenner and Ralph Gleason launched it on a shoestring in San Francisco in November 1967, is up for sale. Like the Woodstock Generation and the print magazine industry itself, it is graying and wobbly on its feet.