• Ikea Acquires A Platform In Gig Economy With TaskRabbit Purchase
    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, Pajama-Wearing Patriarch Of Brand Playboy, 91
    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.
  • Michelle Gass Will Lead Kohl's After Kevin Mansell Steps Down
    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.
  • Unilever Again Goes For A Cosmetic Fix, Purchasing Carver Korea
    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 Launches Local-Sourcing Site, Pursues Foodies, Battles Hunger
    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 Amps Up $1 Billion For Electric SUV Production In Alabama
    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.
  • Try Eating What You Serve Kids, Panera Challenges Competitors
    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."
  • Post Diversifies Its Holdings With Bob Evans Farms Purchase
    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.
  • Toys 'R' Us Gets Ready For Holidays By Filing For Chapter 11
    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.
  • 'Rolling Stone' Magazine Asks, 'Do You Want To Make A Deal?'
    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.
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