Juul to Ramp Up Efforts to Combat Underage Use of E-Cigarettes

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 18, 2018 3:09:16 PM / by Michelle Seiler Tucker

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E-cigarettes maker Juul Labs Inc. plans to back efforts to raise the minimum age of buying tobacco products and spend at least $30 million on measures that could help keep its items away from minors. Juul Labs said Wednesday it would support state and federal measures that would restrict tobacco purchases to people age 21 and older. The company, one of the most popular sellers of such products in the U.S., also said it would spend money over the next three years to fund independent research, youth and parent education, and community-engagement efforts. “Our company’s mission is to eliminate cigarettes and help the more than one billion smokers worldwide switch to a better alternative,” Juul Chief Executive Kevin Burns said in prepared remarks. He added, “At the same time, we are committed to deterring young people, as well as adults who do not currently smoke, from using our products. We cannot be more emphatic on this point: No young person or non-nicotine user should ever try Juul.” In April, the FDA sent a request for information to Juul Labs as part of a new Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan, which is aimed at keeping tobacco products of any kind out of the hands of minors. The information request was meant to help the FDA understand why teens are so interested in e-cigs (particularly Juul) and whether or not Juul Labs was marketing the product intentionally to minors.

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AT&T-Time Warner ruling: The media industry hangs in the balance

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 13, 2018 5:13:50 PM / by Michelle Seiler Tucker

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All eyes in the media and financial worlds were on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia when Judge Richard Leon announced his decision in the closely watched legal battle over whether AT&T will be able to acquire Time Warner yesterday on June 12, when Leon approved the deal and allowed the merger to go through. The $84 billion deal merging the second-largest wireless company and the corporate parent of the Warner Bros. TV and film studio, CNN and HBO was proposed in October 2016.  At the time, the New York Times noted it would “create a new colossus capable of both producing content and distributing it to millions with wireless phones, broadband subscriptions, and satellite TV connections.”  The message to media companies was clear: Bigger isn't just better. It's stupendously awesome.  Critics of the deal, including the non-profit Public Knowledge, however, raised alarm bells. When the Justice Department announced in November 2017 that it filed suit to block the merger on the grounds that it would lead to high prices and harm consumers, AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson was stunned by the news, saying it defied “logic.” On Tuesday, AT&T emerged from court with a victory over the US Department of Justice, winning its case to buy Time Warner, the high-profile entertainment company behind networks like HBO and movie franchises like Superman and Harry Potter.   

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McDonald’s Introducing Self-Serve Kiosks that Don’t Need Minimum Wage

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 11, 2018 3:16:54 PM / by Michelle Seiler Tucker

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McDonald’s has a new plan to boost sales: self-serve ordering kiosks where customers can order their Big Mac without the horrible attitudes and consistent mistakes of the franchise employees that could care less about customer service. The company plans to upgrade 1,000 stores with this technology every quarter for the next eight to nine quarters, because when people have to scroll through menu items themselves, they end up ordering more of those $1 menu items. “What we’re finding is when people dwell more, they select more,” CEO Steve Easterbrook told CNBC on Monday. “There’s a little bit of an average check boost.” Customers in Canada, Australia, and the U.K. have gotten used to mobile ordering a Big Mac, or navigating a self-serve kiosk, but the technology is not widespread in the U.S. yet. That will most likely be changing, though. In an earnings call in January, McDonalds’s announced that half of all American storefronts will have self-serve kiosks by the end of 2018.

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Women Worldwide Certainly Will Miss the Iconic Fashionista & Revolutionary Handbag Designer, Kate Spade!

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 6, 2018 11:32:46 AM / by Michelle Seiler Tucker

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Kate Brosnahan Spade, who created an iconic, accessible handbag line that bridged Main Street and high-end fashion, died Tuesday, June 5, at her Manhattan apartment. The designer, 55, started Kate Spade New York in 1993 and opened her first shop in the city three years later, the company's website states. Ms. Spade worked as an editor before making the leap to designing, constructing her first sketches from paper and Scotch tape. She would come to attach her name to a bounty of products, and ideas: home goods and china and towels and so much else, all of it poised atop the thin line between accessibility and luxury.

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Sears to close over 60 stores following nearly 6 years of fiscal decline

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 4, 2018 1:36:36 PM / by Michelle Seiler Tucker

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Sears Holdings Corp. has announced the closure of over 60 Sears and Kmart following a 31% drop in year-end revenue announced on May 5th. While once a major player in large retailers, Sears has been steadily losing customers to primary competitors Amazon and Walmart for almost 6 years. In 2011 the company revenue was estimated at $9.4 billion. Revenue has since dropped to $2.89 billion as reported in the last quarter which marks the 26th straight quarter of decline.

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