Posts tagged with "Business Insider"

Fire? Flood? Tornado? An all-in-one survival kit is designed to protect a family of four for 72 hours

October 8, 2021

Last year, if there was one thing most of us thought about a lot more than normal, it was survival. The pandemic turned out to be a wake-up call—demonstrating that everything can go south in a matter of days, if not hours, reports Futurism.

As a result, panic buying and hoarding—and photos of empty store shelves—began to appear in the news. And now that things have calmed down (relatively speaking), more people than ever have learned that, when it comes to disaster preparedness, you can’t wait until a disaster strikes.

But, now a New York city-based private company called Judy Kits, founded in 2019 by CEO Simon Huck, is marketing a variety of survival kits and products, such as portable power stations and survival go-bags, depending on your needs and circumstances.

Judy works by providing four levels of kits in addition to content—The Starter ($60), The Mover ($150), The Mover Max ($180), and The Safe ($250)—which are filled with items one may need in an emergency, including First Aid, Warmth, Safety, Food, Water and Tools. Once a Judy kit is registered, a customer receives safety-tips and advice through text communication. Customers can also text real-time emergency questions to Judy for real-time guidance, Forbes reports.

If you want to be prepared for nearly any disaster, the company suggests that The Mover Max could be just what you need. The Mover Max is described on the Judy Kit website as “a versatile, all-in-one kit that is ready to support up to four people for 72 hours.”

The company has packed a whopping 53 survival essentials into a waterproof, easy-to-transport backpack—among them:

  • Tools and first aid: The first section of the backpack includes a variety of essential tools, such as a 3-in-1 radio, charger, and flashlight, duct tape, multitool, biohazard bag, pocket tissues, and hand sanitizers.
  • Food and water: The second section contains 7 food bars and 14 water bottles—each of them boasting a five-year shelf life.
  • Safety and warmth: The backpack also contains a poncho, dust masks, gloves, a couple of emergency whistles, and more.

All of the tools are orange, so that they can be easily located in difficult environments.

“We aim to create a safety movement that empowers people with the tools, resources, and community to be prepared for the unexpected,” Huck said.

Among expert reviewers contacted by Business Insider, Thomas Coyne, a former Helitack firefighter and the founder of Coyne Survival Schools, said, “Getting a starter kit is better than nothing, but I still recommend building your own.”

Personalized kits would include medications, paperwork, and other individual and family necessities. It’s also worth mentioning that he suggested having at least 30 days’ worth of supplies.

Research contact: @futurism

Philip Morris International CEO advocates to ban cigarettes, stop selling Marlboros in UK market

July 27, 2021

Jacek Olczak, the CEO of Philip Morris International—which makes and markets the top-selling brand of cigarettes, Marlboro, outside the United States—says his company will stop selling cigarettes in the United Kingdom within a decade.

Olczak told The Mail on Sunday that the move was part of the company’s goal to become smoke-free and to help end the use of traditional cigarettes, Business Insider reports.

Olczak also called on the UK government to outlaw cigarettes within a decade, comparing them to gas-powered cars, which are set to be barred from being sold in the country starting in 2030, according to The Telegraph.

“We can see the world without cigarettes,” he said. “And actually, the sooner it happens, the better it is for everyone. With the right regulation and information it can happen ten years from now in some countries. And you can solve the problem once and forever.”

Philip Morris International is separate from Philip Morris USA, which makes Marlboro cigarettes in the United States and is a division of the American tobacco corporation Altria. It split from Philip Morris USA in 2008 and recently announced plans to transform into a smoke-free company, as well as its intention to buy the British pharmaceutical company Vectura Group, which makes asthma inhalers.

Anti-smoking groups in the UK criticized that sale, accusing tobacco companies of trying to position themselves as anti-smoking while still selling tobacco products, according to The Guardian.

Smoking kills more than 8 million people a year, according to the World Health Organization.

Research contact: @BusinessInsider

Twitter acquires Scroll, an ad-free news reader

May 5, 2021

Twitter  has announced the acquisition of Scroll, an ad-free news product—and word is that the social media giant expects to pull the service into a new subscription offering being planned, Ad Age reports.

To date, the app, which launched in January 2020, has offered subscribers the opportunity to get ad-free access to hundreds of websites, for $5 per month.

Scroll works with a handful of publishers—among them, Vox Media, BuzzFeed News, Business Insider, The Atlantic, and USA Today—and offers stories from those publishers to paying customers. It does not block ads; rather, it works with its expanding group of publishers to take the ads down in exchange for a slice of the subscription fee.

Scroll keeps 30% of the subscription fee and distributes the other 70% to the participating sites, based on which articles users view.

Scroll will temporarily halt new subscribers while its 13-person team joins the social media company, Twitter said on May 4 in a blog post. Deal terms weren’t disclosed. Scroll, which has offices in New York City and Portland, is backed by investors including Union Square Ventures.

Twitter has spoken publicly about its interest in selling a subscription product, and is considering a number of options. The San Francisco-based company also recently acquired Revue, a newsletter startup, with plans to make money from subscriptions. Twitter envisions the two products working together, and says users may one day pay to read newsletters or stories from certain publishers directly on Twitter without any ads.

“For every other platform, journalism is dispensable,” wrote Scroll CEO Tony Haile in a blog post. “If journalism were to disappear tomorrow their business would carry on much as before. Twitter is the only large platform whose success is deeply intertwined with a sustainable journalism ecosystem.”

The social media company is looking for ways to expand business outside of digital advertising, which makes up the bulk of revenue. Advertising can be inconsistent and Twitter said last week that ad sales got off to a slow start in 2021 thanks in part to civil unrest in the United States and delayed public events, like Hollywood’s Academy Awards presentation. A subscription business would offer a more steady and predictable revenue stream. Scroll is Twitter’s sixth deal in the past six months.

Research contact: @adage

SEC charges Hollywood actor with operating $690M Ponzi scheme based on fake Netflix deals

April 8, 2021

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has obtained an asset freeze against Los Angeles-based actor Zachary Horwitz (also known by the stage name Zach Avery) in connection with an alleged Ponzi scheme that raised over $690 million, Business Insider reports.

The U.S. regulator said in a Tuesday statement that Horwitz allegedly lied to investors that he and his company were buying film rights and reselling them to Netflix and HBO. In reality, his company had no business relationship with the entertainment giants and relied on fake emails to fool investors.

According to the SEC statement, Horowitz and his company, 1inMM Productions, promised investors returns in excess of 35%, and for years paid supposed returns on earlier investments using funds from new investments.

“We allege that Horwitz promised extremely high returns and made them seem plausible by invoking the names of two well-known entertainment companies and fabricating documents,” said Michele Wein Layne, director of the SEC’s Los Angeles Regional Office.

In addition, Business Insider reports, Horwitz misappropriated investor funds for his personal us,—using victims’ money to purchase a $6 million property in Beverlywood, California.

The US Justice Department separately issued a statement saying that the FBI arrested Horwitz on Tuesd, April 6. Horwitz was criminally charged with raising $227 million over the course of about five years that has yet to be repaid as part of a scheme in which he claimed he would acquire rights to films that Netflix and HBO would then distribute abroad, particularly in Latin America, the statement said.

Research contact: @BusinessInsider

You can use Yelp to report businesses that aren’t enforcing social distancing and mask use

January 13, 2021

Businesses that do not enforce social distancing or that do not require their employees to wear masks now can be reported in a new Yelp update that launched on Tuesday, January 12, Business Insider divulged this week.

Yelp users can specify what type of pandemic precautions a business is—or is not—taking by answering survey questions on the business’ page or through the edit button on a company’s COVID-19 updates section.

What’s more, businesses on Yelp will either receive a green check mark or orange question mark to indicate whether they are following COVID-19 guidelines.

Multiple customers must report a business within 28 days for it to appear on the company’s page.

Yelp said that every decision the company has made to date to prioritize COVID-19 information on its site has only increased consumer interest.

“This new update further highlights how businesses have adapted to keep their customers safe, and aims to instill confidence in consumers to continue supporting local businesses,” Yelp’s Head of Consumer Product, Akhil Ramesh, said in the announcement.

Businesses with multiple locations only will receive feedback based on each individual location—and will not be rated overall. Yelp also plans to send users notifications when a company updates its COVID-19 information.

The review aggregation site has actively updated coronavirus data on the app since the pandemic started. In June, Yelp launched its coronavirus safety section where companies were able to update their pages with their own COVID-19 information.

Research contact: @businessinsider

More than 170 top U.S. business leaders urge Congress to certify Biden’s Electoral College win

January 6, 2021

More than 170 American business leaders signed a letter on January 4 urging Congress to certify the result of the presidential election without delay, Business Insider reports.

Signatories included Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO David Solomon; Microsoft President Brad Smith;  BlackRock CEO Laurence Fink; Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla; James Zelter, a co-president of Apollo Global Management; and Lyft CEO Logan Green.

Congress is scheduled to certify the result on Wednesday, January 6—thereby confirming President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. President Donald Trump has so far refused to acknowledge that he lost the election.

The Partnership for New York City, a nonprofit organization and major business advocacy group, published the letter on Monday. “This presidential election has been decided and it is time for the country to move forward,” the letter said. “President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have won the Electoral College and the courts have rejected challenges to the electoral process.”

According to Business Insider, the leaders added that “attempts to thwart or delay this process run counter to the essential tenets of our democracy.”

Biden and Harris deserve respect and bipartisan support as America faces “the worst health and economic crises in modern history,” they said.

The letter said that Congress should certify the electoral vote and that “there should be no further delay in the orderly transfer of power.”

But at least 140 Republican House members are planning to vote against certification, two representatives told CNN last week.

Trump and other Republicans have tried to overturn the result of the election, pushing false claims of voter fraud.

Over the weekend, Trump pleaded with Georgia’s secretary of state in an hourlong phone call to “find” additional votes to overturn Biden’s victory in the state.

Biden won the 2020 presidential election with 306 electoral votes, flipping five states that voted for Trump in 2016.

Research contact: @businessinsider

Last-minute Trump Administration law will enable restaurant owners to pull wait staffers’ tips

Dece4mber 24, 2020

One of the final pieces of legislation rolled out by the Trump Administration will reportedly allow restaurant bosses to save money by taking tips away from their serving staff to help pay “back-of-house staff” such as cooks and dishwashers, The Daily Beast reports.

According to Business Insider, the new rule was published on Tuesday, December 22, by the U.S. Department of Labor.

“This final rule provides clarity and flexibility for employers and could increase pay for back-of-the house workers, like cooks and dishwashers, who have been excluded from participating in tip pools in the past,” said Wage and Hour Administrator Cheryl Stanton in a statement released by the DoL. “Newly allowed tip sharing may incentivize the inclusion of these previously excluded workers and reduce wage disparities among all workers who contribute to customers’ experience.”

Restaurant managers and owners would not be permitted under the law to keep any portion of the tips for themselves.

The new rule won’t take effect until after President Donald Trump leaves the White House, so it’s possible that President-elect Joe Biden could work to rescind it. Tipped staffers can earn as little as $2.13 an hour in wages from their employer.

Research contact: @thedailybeast

J. Crew promotes the head of Madewell to take over the company, as CEO exits after ‘brutal’ year

November 26, 2020

J. Crew Group has named Libby Wadle—the head of its popular casual-wear division, Madewell—as its next CEO, the company announced in a press release  on November 24. Wadle will replace outgoing CEO Jan Singer , who took over the struggling retailer last January— after short stints as CEO of Victoria’s Secret and Spanx.

The private-equity-backed J. Crew, which emerged from bankruptcy in September. has seen extensive turnover at the top level, with Wadle becoming its fourth CEO in under four years, Business Insider reports.

Longtime CEO Mickey Drexler stepped down in 2017 as J.Crew fell out of favor with consumers ;and he was succeeded by Jim Brett, who lasted just 17 months before stepping down in November 2018 amid a clash over the company’s direction. After Brett’s departure,  the retailer went more than a year without a CEO until Singer’s appointment in January.

“Moving forward as a company under unified leadership, we will harness the power of our collective platforms and talented teams to ensure our brands can continue to inspire and grow,” said Wadle, who has spent the last 16 years in senior leadership roles at various J.Crew brands.

Wadle takes over as economic fallout from COVID-19 has ravaged brick-and-mortar retailers, but J.Crew’s sales had been declining even before the pandemic hit. In May, J.Crew became the first major retailer to file for bankruptcy as a result of the pandemic, reaching a deal with its lenders to convert about $1.65 billion of its debt into equity, according to Business Insider.

“The continued executive turnover at J.Crew adds to the turbulence of an already brutal year for the retailer. The brand’s turnaround, which was in process during 2019, is now more challenging given the ongoing disruption in apparel spending, as the pandemic continues to radically alter US consumers’ shopping habits,” Moody’s VP Raya Sokolyanska told Business Insider in a statement.

Research covntact: @businessinsider

Walmart offers extra provisions for fur babies—including insurance and dog-walking services

November 13, 2020

Walmart is digging deeper into the pet services game, the company announced on November 12. The retail giant is launching Walmart Pet Care, an “omnichannel pet care offering that makes holistic care easy, simple, and affordable for the 90 million pet owners who shop at Walmart,” according to a report by Business Insider.

Pet-related services now include Walmart’s first-ever pet insurance plans via insurance provider Petplan. The company also is collaborating with pet-services company Rover to pair owners with local pet-sitters and dog-walkers.

“We’re on a mission to help families live better — and that goes for pets, too,” Melody Richard, merchandising vice president of Walmart’s pets category, said in a statement sent to Business Insider. “Especially as adoption rates soar as a result of the pandemic and more people become pet owners, this was the perfect time to launch expanded services in Walmart Pet Care for our customers.”

The pet services industry has exploded in recent years, Business Insider says, as consumers continue to spend more and more on their animals.

“Maybe 30 years ago, pets were in someone’s backyard,” Kristen Peck, CEO of animal medication company Zoetis, told the audience at the Business Insider Global Trends Festival in October. “Then they came into the house. And I’d say five-to-10 years ago they ended up on your bed. Why does that matter? The closer they get to you, the more you invest in their healthcare, and the more their health impacts you.”

And this isn’t the first time that Walmart has dipped its paw into the pet services business. The Arkansas-based retailer currently stocks 1,800 pet products, and hosts a number of in-store vet clinics. Last year, the company launched Pet Rx, a service focusing on prescriptions for pets.

Insurance plans now offered in collaboration with Petplan will offer “pet parents” the chance to save on veterinary bills, streamline pet care appointments, and access up to $1,000 worth of free online virtual vet appointments. Additionally, Walmart customers using Rover will receive a $20 store gift card after completing their first and fifth Rover appointments.

“Through Rover, pet parents can quickly and easily book pet sitters and dog walkers from over 300,000 providers in their communities across the country,” a Walmart spokesperson said. “Walmart is working with Rover to provide customers with convenient pet sitters and dog walkers that match each pet, lifestyle, and budget.”

Research contact: @businessinsider

Bulletin to stress eaters: Krispy Kreme, McDonald’s offer free ‘noshes’ on Election Day

November 4, 2020

More than 90 million Americans voted early or by mail this year. But, with the U.S. presidential election on track to have the highest voter turnout since William Howard Taft was elected in 1908 with a 65% turnout, that still leaves over 100 million who should be hitting the polls on November 3.

And for most Americans—whether they are going to the polls or watching the results vigilantly—that could mean a very stressful Election Day. However, Business Insider reports, help is on the way.

If stress eating is your thing, several food chains are offering freebies that will take away the pain—among them:

  • Krispy Kreme is giving customers free doughnuts. The chain also is handing out “I Voted” stickers, in case customers voted early or by mail.
  • McDonald’s is offering a free Apple Fritter, Blueberry Muffin, or Cinnamon Roll with the purchase of coffees starting on Election Day. The “post-Halloween” deal will last from November 3 through November 9.
  • Boston Market is giving away free sliders from 9 p.m. until close nationwide, with no additional purchase necessary. The chain launched its new late night menu in October.
  • McAlister’s Deli is doing a buy-one-get-one-free sandwich deal to celebrate National Sandwich Day, which also falls on November 3. Customers need to sign up for the chain’s rewards program to access the deal.
  • Chili’s $5 Presidente Margarita deal is ending on Election Day. Customers can use the hashtag #PresidenteForPrez for a chance to win free Chili’s for a year.

Taking advantage of one or more of these offers could give Americans something to “chew on,” besides the election results.

Research contact: @businessinsider