Business

Starbucks To Reopen “Significant Number” Of Stores

CBNC reports: Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson on Wednesday detailed how the coffee chain plans to operate U.S. cafes. as it moves to reopen “a significant number” of stores next week. Roughly half of Starbucks’ U.S. company-operated locations are closed. Those that have remained open during the pandemic have had drive-thru only service, Johnson said on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.” …

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Amazon Using Blacklisted Chinese Cams On Workers

Reuters reports: Amazon.com Inc has bought cameras to take temperatures of workers during the coronavirus pandemic from a firm the United States blacklisted over allegations it helped China detain and monitor the Uighurs and other Muslim minorities, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters. China’s Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co Ltd shipped 1,500 cameras to Amazon this month in a …

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Oracle Lands Huge Deal To Support Surging Zoom

Reuters reports: Zoom Video Communications Inc said on Tuesday it has started using Oracle Corp’s cloud computing service to help handle the surge in online video call volumes brought on by the novel coronavirus pandemic. As corporations and schools shift to remote work and billions of people subject to stay-at-home orders seek ways to remain connected, Zoom has seen daily …

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New York AG Hits Amazon Over Warehouse Protections

NPR reports: Amazon may have violated federal safety standards for providing “inadequate” protections to warehouse workers in New York, the state attorney general’s office says. In a letter to Amazon obtained by NPR, the office of New York’s top lawyer Letitia James says the company may have also broken the state’s whistleblower laws for firing a warehouse worker who helped …

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Tyson Chairman Warns “Food Supply Chain Is Breaking”

NBC News reports: The board chairman of Tyson Foods is warning that “millions of pounds of meat will disappear” from the national food supply chain as the coronavirus outbreak forces food processing plants to shutter. “The food supply chain is breaking,” John Tyson wrote in a full-page advertisement published Sunday in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The …

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Treasury Department Asks Publicly-Traded Companies To Return Small Business Stimulus Loans After Backlash

ABC News reports: The Treasury Department issued new guidance on Thursday encouraging publicly-traded companies to return their coronavirus stimulus loans by May 7 as Shake Shack and other public companies have faced backlash for receiving funds meant for small businesses. While small business owners struggled to secure loans under the Paycheck Protection Program in the two weeks before the $350 …

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Instacart To Hire Another 250,000 Grocery Shoppers

Business Insider reports: Instacart is on a hiring spree. The company announced Thursday that it would be hiring 250,000 new workers to help it meet the surge in demand for online delivery options during the coronavirus pandemic; it had already hired 300,000 new people in the past month. Instacart is a delivery company that pairs customers with personal shoppers who …

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Steak House Chain To Return $20M Bailout After Furor

ABC News reports: Ruth’s Chris Steak House will return the $20 million coronavirus small business loan it procured from the government’s $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program, the company announced Thursday. The PPP was designed to throw a financial lifeline to the millions of small businesses who have seen revenues plunge due to social distancing lockdowns — but the hastily conceived …

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Publix Buys Excess Produce For Food Bank Donations

Via press release: Publix announced today a new initiative to purchase fresh produce and milk to assist farmers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Publix will donate these products directly to Feeding America member food banks in its operating area. The initiative will support Florida produce farmers, southeastern dairy farmers and the growing number of families looking to Feeding America for …

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Oil Turmoil Craters Dow By 1200 Points In 48 Hours

Roll Call reports: The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged more than 1,200 points, or 5 percent, in the first two days of trading this week amid turmoil in energy markets. On Tuesday, the Dow Jones closed down 631.6 points, or 2.7 percent, and the S&P 500 closed down 86.6, or 3.1 percent. The losses followed record lows for oil on …

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McDonald’s Offers Free Meals For Frontline Workers

USA Today reports: McDonald’s is introducing free “Thank You Meals” for first responders and health care workers serving on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, the fast-food giant announced Tuesday. Starting Wednesday and through May 5, health care workers, police officers, firefighters and paramedics can get a free meal at participating restaurants nationwide available at the drive thru or …

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Lord & Taylor In Talks To File For Bankruptcy Protection

The New York Post reports: Lord & Taylor is exploring filing for bankruptcy protection after it was forced to temporarily shut all of its 38 US department stores in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, people familiar with the matter said on Monday. It is one of several options that the retailer and its advisers are exploring, which also include …

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Small Number Of Manufacturers Resume Production

The Associated Press reports: Boeing and a small number of other manufacturers around the U.S. geared up Monday to resume production amid pressure from President Donald Trump to reopen the economy and resistance from governors who warn there is not enough testing yet to keep the coronavirus from rebounding. Boeing, one of the Pacific Northwest’s biggest employers, said it will …

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Neiman Marcus To Seek Bankruptcy Protection

Reuters reports: Neiman Marcus Group is preparing to seek bankruptcy protection as soon as this week, becoming the first major U.S. department store operator to succumb to the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak, people familiar with the matter said. The debt-laden Dallas-based company has been left with few options after the pandemic forced it to temporarily shut all 43 …

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Walmart, Sam’s Club Mandate Masks For Employees

USA Today reports: Walmart and Sam’s Club will require employees to wear masks or other face coverings starting Monday to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Shoppers also will be encouraged to wear face masks as part of the retailers’ updated COVID-19 response. The retail giant announced the changes in a letter sent to employees that was posted on Walmart.com …

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Already Struggling JC Penney In Bankruptcy Talks

USA Today reports: J.C. Penney is considering filing for bankruptcy protection as the retailer grapples with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and its own long-in-the-making struggles. The Plano, Texas-based company is exploring the possibility along with a range of other options, including out-of-court debt restructuring, according to a person familiar with the deliberations who was not authorized to speak …

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Apple Launches Budget iPhone Amid Economic Crisis

Some relatively normal but still virus-related news: Apple announced a new, cheaper iPhone model on Wednesday, marking the first time it has launched a new phone without one of its glitzy in-person events as most of the country remains under shelter in place orders due to the coronavirus pandemic. The new, second-generation iPhone SE carries the same name as the …

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Ticketmaster Update: No Refunds For Postponed Events

USA Today reports: Ticketmaster has updated the wording of its refund policy for postponed events, and customers are not happy. With large gatherings across the nation either canceled or postponed due to the spread of coronavirus, many ticket-holders are seeking refunds for concerts, sports and other events. According to an image captured by the The New York Times, a page …

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Amazon Waitlists New Grocery Delivery Customers

Gizmodo reports: As Amazon buckles under the increased demand presented by social distancing guidelines and shelter-at-home orders, the company now says that new customers to its Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market grocery delivery services are being waitlisted. An Amazon spokesperson told Gizmodo by email that the waitlist is a result of both “restricted capacity due to social distancing as …

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Pork Producer Shutters Plant, Warns Of Meat Shortages

Reuters reports: Smithfield Foods, the world’s biggest pork processor, said on Sunday it will shut a U.S. plant indefinitely due to a rash of coronavirus cases among employees and warned the country was moving “perilously close to the edge” in supplies for grocers. Slaughterhouse shutdowns are disrupting the U.S. food supply chain, crimping availability of meat at retail stores and …

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