H&M’s Different Kind of Click Bait by Elizabeth Paton & Sapna Maheshwari at NY Times. “The Swedish retailer now lets customers know where nearly every garment it sells is made…This is part of the company’s new “consumer-facing transparency layer.” H&M shoppers can now find out not only the country where clothing was manufactured, but also details on materials and recycling, the name of the supplier or authorized subcontractor where a garment was made; the factory address; and the number of workers employed there.” Tiered subs.
You Might Be Buying Trash on Amazon—Literally at Wall Street Journal. “Just about anyone can open a store on Amazon.com and sell just about anything. Just ask the dumpster divers. These are among the dedicated cadre of sellers on Amazon who say they sort through other people’s rejects, including directly from the trash, clean them up and list them on Amazon.com Inc.’s platform. Many post their hunting accounts on YouTube.” WSJ subs.
Fannie Mae boosts 2020 housing forecast ‘significantly’ at CNBC. “After increasing just over 1% annually this year, growth in single-family housing starts will accelerate to 10% during 2020 and top 1 million new homes in 2021, the group predicts. That would mark a post-recession high but is still far below the annual peak of about 1.7 million single-family starts in 2005 and the 1.2 million annual pace experienced in the late ’90s.” Read more
Amazon Air expansion takes wing with regional carriers at Fox Business. “A Minnesota airline is teaming up with Amazon to fly more cargo planes. Sun Country Airlines plans to hire 70 pilots to fly Amazon Air-branded jets under a six-year deal with the e-commerce giant that will represent 20 percent of all the carrier’s flights, according to the Minnesota Star-Tribune. The first trips will start in April.” Read more
Kroger, Publix and Hy-Vee produce on list of best grocery store chains in every state at USA Today. Best by state/Read more
Puppies have sickened at least 30 people with a drug-resistant bacteria, CDC says by Ryan W. Miller at USA Today. “…and many were at pet stores. At least 12 people who were infected came in contact with puppies at Petland, a national pet store chain, the CDC says.” Read more
Atlanta: Local communities halt new dollar stores by J.D. Capelouto at Atlanta Journal Constitution. “It’s the image that it portrays for a place. … We’re trying to send a signal that we’re a quality town,” said Lary, who has pushed for an upscale grocery store like Whole Foods or Sprouts to open in Stonecrest, which became a city in 2017.” Read more
The Costco Visa is by far the most-searched credit card, with about 935,000 monthly searches by Sarah Silbert at Business Insider. “By comparison, the second-most popular credit card search, for Southwest credit cards, racked up just 171,000 monthly searches.” List/Read more
**A message from Sweets & Snacks Expo: Save the date: May 19-21, 2020 at McCormick Place in Chicago. Your year starts here. Website/Register
Retailers offered free returns, and shoppers ruined it by Donald Moore at Bloomberg via Detroit Free Press. “Among those willing to risk consumer wrath is Urban Outfitters Inc.’s Anthropologie, which charges a fee for mail returns. Fashion Nova, the most-searched fashion brand on Google last year, offers in-store credit, not refunds. Abercrombie & Fitch Co. will next year stop accepting returns without a receipt, invoice or order confirmation.” Read more
The 50 best companies for women, according to employee ratings at CNBC. “Making the cut: Costco, Home Depot, Publix, Bath & Body Works, H-E-B…” List/Read more
Inside Ikea’s big bet on smart home tech by Thomas Ricker at The Verge. “I am in Sweden to meet with Block and his team to better understand the extent of Ikea’s smart home ambitions. What I discover is a company that’s aware of its missteps, with a clear understanding of how it wants to improve and expand. Ikea believes its advantage in the smart home stems from what at first looks like its greatest disadvantage: Ikea is not a tech company…” Read more
FDA targets e-cigs that hook teens but don’t help smokers quit by Chris Kirkham at Reuters. “E-cigarette makers face an existential threat. By May, they must submit applications to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration proving that their products provide a net benefit to public health. If a company fails to make its case, the FDA has the power to order its products off the market.” Read more
Sheetz to open 600th store at Penn Live. Read more
H-E-B store brings fresh food, concern to Houston food desert by Paul Takahashi at Houston Chronicle. “We know gentrification is going to happen anyway, but we can control what kind of businesses come here,” McDavid said. “We don’t need more auto mechanic shops or gas stations. We want real retail, somewhere I can shop and keep money in our area.” Read more
Costco, Instacart expand alcohol delivery to 200 club stores
Nearly 40% of children have received or sent a “sext” by the age of 13
Executive chairman of Meijer gives commencement address at Univ. of Michigan
The 11 cleverest tech ideas of 2019
Rumor: Bezos has talked to Ford family re: buying the Detroit Lions
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