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Thread: The business news thread

  1. #201
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    This sounds like a huge fine until you realize Wells Fargo's 1st-quarter profit this year was $5.94 billion.

    Wells Fargo fined $1 billion for mortgage and auto loan abuses

    http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2018/04/20/w...-auto-lending/

  2. #202
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    Amazon is obviously taking lessons from the How To Become Big By Stepping On The Little Guys handbook.

    Amazon is dropping local third-party vendors from its Fresh grocery service
    Business Insider, May 14 2018

    Amazon Fresh will no longer let local third-party vendors sell on its platform. Vendors were previously allowed to enroll in Amazon Fresh's Local Market Seller initiative, which supplemented Fresh's offerings with locally sourced items. Fresh is Amazon's answer to home-and-business grocery-delivery services such as FreshDirect and Peapod. Fresh's third-party model acted as a platform for local merchants who could sell products to be delivered to members alongside their typical Fresh orders. The program will wrap up on May 30, when all vendors will be kicked off the platform.

    An email informs vendors that the local program is transitioning to be more retail-based, with Amazon buying product wholesale and selling it to consumers, much like a typical store. "While this specific program is transitioning, there are many other ways for local merchants to sell on Amazon," the email reads, encouraging vendors to stay tuned for updates on the new options, one of which is likely to be selling through the new retail program."

    In November, Amazon stopped its Fresh delivery service in parts of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and California and it has yet to explain why. At the same time, Amazon has turbocharged its fresh-grocery efforts with its two-hour-delivery service, Prime Now, and is working on integrating Whole Foods delivery into the service. Stephenie Landry, the Amazon executive in charge of Prime Now, has also been tapped to lead Amazon Fresh, which has led some to speculate that the services might be merging.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/amazo...vendors-2018-5

  3. #203
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    Scents and odors can be trademarked if they are not a "functional" or "inherent" part of the product. Scents of foods, perfumes and air fresheners can not be trademarked. The smell of Play-Doh, however, can be trademarked. Hasbro applied for a trademark in February 2017 and today the trademark was granted. A list of ten other scents that have been trademarked is at

    http://mentalfloss.com/article/69760...-patent-office

    Hasbro officially trademarks Play-Doh smell
    UPI, May 18 2018 12:17 PM

    Toy maker Hasbro announced it has trademarked one of the most recognizable aspects of one of its most iconic products: the smell of Play-Doh. The Pawtucket, Rhode Island company announced today that the US Patent & Trademark Office has officially recognized the distinctive Play-Doh smell as a registered trademark of the brand, which first hit stores in 1956. The odor is described by Hasbro as a "sweet, slightly musky, vanilla-like fragrance, with slight overtones of cherry and the natural smell of a salted, wheat-based dough."

    "The scent of Play-Doh compound has always been synonymous with childhood and fun," said Jonathan Berkowitz, senior vice president of global marketing for the Play-Doh brand. "By officially trademarking the iconic scent, we are able to protect an invaluable point of connection between the brand and fans for years to come."

    https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2018/05...4491526659837/

  4. #204
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    Last month, two men were arrested at a Starbucks in Philadelphia. They were waiting for a third man and had not yet bought anything. Executives have finally -- and wisely -- decided that sitting in their cafés is not a crime.

    New Starbucks policy: No purchase needed to sit in its cafés or use its restrooms

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/news-us/...-cafes-n875736

  5. #205
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    From an investor's standpoint, Campbell's Soup is Mm-Mm-not-so-good-anymore.

    Trouble in Big Food: America's cereal, soda and soup companies are in turmoil
    CNN Money, May 21 2018 2"12 PM ET

    America's cereal, soda and soup companies are having a rough 2018. General Mills, Campbell Soup, Hershey and Pepsi are all failing to convince investors they have a plan to navigate shoppers' changing tastes. The consumer staples sector is at the back of the pack in the S&P 500, down 13% this year. It's on track for its worst year in a decade.

    On Friday, Campbell plunged 12%, its worst day since 1999, after CEO Denise Morrison abruptly retired. Campbell announced a review of its entire lineup, including soup, leaving the door open for breaking up the 149-year-old company. It's part of a broader problem. Large consumer goods brands lost market share to small competitors from 2011 to 2016 for the first time in 50 years, according to Jim Brennan, a senior partner at Boston Consulting Group. The legacy brands' business models and pricing power are crumbling as the retail and grocery industries consolidate, consumer allegiances fade and low-budget digital advertising campaigns sway shoppers.

    http://money.cnn.com/2018/05/21/news...psi/index.html

  6. #206
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    "The end of retail as we know it"? Methinks whoever wrote this headline is an alarmist who doth exaggerate too much.

    JCPenney's CEO just signaled the end of retail as we know it
    Mary Hanbury, Business Insider, May 22 2018

    JCPenney's stock price dropped by as much as 8% today following news that CEO Marvin Ellison would leave the company to lead the home-improvement retailer Lowe's. Analysts say Ellison's sudden departure could signal his lack of confidence in JCPenney and department stores generally as he jumps ship to an area of retail that is less vulnerable to the threat of Amazon.

    Ellison, who became the CEO of JCPenney in 2015 after a 12-year stint at The Home Depot, was tasked with bringing the department store back from the brink of disaster. In 2013 the chain had a $1.42 billion operating loss and nearly $5 billion of debt. With Ellison at the helm, JCPenney has undergone a turnaround and sales stabilized but the chain has been crippled by a heavy debt load and struggled to find its place in the retail landscape. JCPenney was one of the few retailers to report weaker-than-expected sales for the first quarter of 2018.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/jcpen...-stores-2018-5

  7. #207
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    Disney is offering $52.4 billion in stock. Comcast reportedly will offer $60 billion in cash. If Comcast has that much money, I'm guessing it's because their monthly cable-TV subscription rates are much higher than they should be.

    Comcast preparing all-cash bid for Fox TV and movie assets, countering Disney's offer

    http://www.latimes.com/business/holl...523-story.html

  8. #208
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    Necco Wafers taste like a combination of chalk and drywall and yet they've been produced continuously since 1847. Go figure! And they will continue to be produced despite the company's bankruptcy. Spangler, maker of Dum Dums, has bought Necco.

    Necco sold at auction to Spangler Candy Company
    The Associated Press, May 23 2018

    New England Confectionery Company, or Necco, was sold to Spangler Candy Company at a bankruptcy auction today. The Ohio-based candy company bid $18.83 million for Necco, which had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April. Necco is best known for its Necco Wafers and the candy hearts that are popular around Valentine's Day. The company will continue to be run out of its longtime headquarters in Revere, just north of Boston, at least through the fall.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/necco...e-court-2018-5

  9. #209
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    Alexa, copy this story and post it on Sirius Buzz. Alexa? Alexa? Oh, never mind. I'll have to do it myself.

    Amazon Echo records a family’s conversation, sends it to a random person in their contacts
    The Washington Post, May 24 2018 6:40 PM

    A family in Portland, Oregon, received a nightmarish phone call from Seattle two weeks ago. "Unplug your Alexa devices right now," a voice on the other line said. "You’re being hacked." One of Amazon’s Alexa-powered Echo devices in their house had silently sent recordings to the caller without the family’s permission. The person, an employee of the husband, was in the family’s contact list.

    "My husband and I would joke and say, 'I bet these devices are listening to what we’re saying,'" a woman who identified herself only by her first name, Danielle, told KIRO. She added that the device did not tell her that it would be sending the recorded conversations.

    Amazon said today in an emailed statement to The Washington Post on that the Echo woke up when it heard a word that sounded like "Alexa" and "the subsequent conversation was heard as a 'send message' request. At which point, Alexa said out loud, 'To whom?' At which point, the background conversation was interpreted as a name in the customer's contact list. As unlikely as this string of events is, we are evaluating options to make this case even less likely."

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...s-report-says/

  10. #210
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    Here is a story that will outrage those of us who toil at a real job and are not CEOs barking out orders while sitting at a huge desk in a luxurious office:

    CEO median pay of $11.7 million was 164 times the typical worker's salary last year

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/ceo-pay-...m-year-before/

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