Posts tagged with "CNBC"

Poshmark adds a home décor marketplace to its fashion platform

June 13, 2019

Redwood City, California-based Poshmark—a social commerce marketplace where users can buy and sell new and secondhand fashion items— is moving into home furnishings, as well, where it will compete with the likes of Wayfair and its subsidiaries, Joss & Main, Birch Lane, and AllModern.

The company has announced the launch of Home Market—“an in-app marketplace to buy, sell, and connect around home decor.” Starting on June 11, Poshmark shoppers and sellers began buying, listing, “and discovering” a wide selection of home decor products, in addition to the 75 million listings in apparel, shoes and accessories already on the platform.

“With the launch of the Home Market, we’re taking our first step into broader lifestyle categories and expanding our social marketplace beyond the closet,” said Manish Chandra, founder & CEO of Poshmark, in a company press release. “This market launch reiterates the power of Posh Markets to scale social commerce and enables Poshmark to continue transforming the e-commerce experience.”

The expansion comes as more and more shoppers are turning to secondhand marketplaces like Poshmark, Rebag and TheRealReal to buy used designer handbags or sneakers at lower prices, CNBC reports.

The secondhand apparel market in the U.S. was worth $24 billion in 2018, compared with $35 billion for fast-fashion companies like H&M and Zara, according to data compiled by ThredUp and GlobalData Retail. But by 2028, CNBC notes, the used fashion market is set to jump in value to $64 billion, while fast fashion will only reach $44 billion, the firms said.

Poshmark’s new home vertical will be for things like wall art, pillows, candles and other smaller home goods, but not bulky furniture, Chandra said. Poshmark is still working on perfecting its logistics to be able to handle and ship heavier items, he explained.

Research contact: @Poshmarkapp 

Nearly 200 CEOs sign letter calling abortion bans ‘bad for business’

June 11, 2019

More than 180 CEOs from a who’s who of U.S. and global consumer-facing companies have signed a letter opposing laws and regulations that restrict women’s reproductive healthcare, including abortion, CNBC reports.

Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey, Glossier CEO Emily Weiss, fashion designers Rebecca Minkoff, Eileen Fisher, and Diane Von Furstenburg; and the chief executives of companies including Yelp, Warby Parker, Ben & Jerry’s, Birchbox, United Technologies, Amalgamated Bank, Atlantic Records, and The Body Shop, say they signed the letter to send a clear message that restricting access to reproductive care, including abortion, is “against our values, and is bad for business.”

Such legislation, they say in the ad, inhibits “our ability to build diverse and inclusive workforce pipelines, recruit top talent across the states, and protect the well-being of all the people who keep our businesses thriving, day in and day out.”

The letter appeared yesterday as a full-page ad in The New York Times under the heading “Don’t Ban Equality”— and comes less than a month after Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) signed the most restrictive abortion legislation ever in the United States— banning doctors from performing abortion at any stage of pregnancy, punishable by 99 years in prison. The law includes no exceptions—period—even for cases of rape or incest.

Several other states— including Georgia, Arkansas, Indiana and Missouri—have adopted similar laws this year, CNBC noted.

Andrea Blieden, U.S. general manager of The Body Shop told CNBC Make It that “access to reproductive healthcare is recognized as a human right” and says the letter emphasizes the company’s outlook that it is essential U.S. law to “respect, protect and fulfill the human rights of women.”

“We believe that a woman’s ability to access reproductive health care is critical to her autonomy, economic success, physical and mental health and general empowerment in the workplace,” said Blieden. “As a brand that stands for equality and women’s empowerment, we believe it’s important that we take a stand and join this cause.”

Seventh Generation CEO Joey Bergstein told the news outlet that now, more than ever, it’s essential for CEOs and executives to speak up. “We’re deep believers that companies and businesses can and must be a force for good,” he says. “You’ll notice in our mission that we don’t talk at all about selling eco-friendly home and personal care products. We talk about the change we’re trying to create in the world, and that’s inclusive of social change, with this being a pivotal issue.”

A 2017 survey conducted by public relations firm Weber and Shandwick found that 47% of Millennials believe CEOs have a responsibility to speak up about issues that are important to society. Additionally, 28% of Gen Xers and Boomers agreed.

The letter that appeared in the Times was spearheaded by a group of advocacy organizations that comprises the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Planned Parenthood Federation of America, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and the Center for Reproductive Rights. These organizations also have partnered to launch DontBanEquality.com, a site where people can learn more about the group’s mission and where CEOs can add their names to the letter.

“It’s critical that business leaders stand up and use our voice on incredibly important issues,” says Bergstein. “And I think reproductive rights and women’s equality is one of the most important issues of our time.”

Research contact: @CNBCMakeIt

Apple snags asthma tracker Tueo for its third healthcare acquisition since 2016

May 30, 2019

In its latest move to edge deeper into the healthcare sector , Apple has snagged Redwood City, California-based digital startup Tueo Health, which helps parents track their children’s asthma symptoms when they are in bed at night using an under-the-mattress sensor that signals a mobile app to report problems, Business Insider reports.

According to the news outlet,  Apple likely was eyeing the digital asthma management company because its product had a good chance of taking off: The global intelligent asthma monitoring market is expected to hit $655 million by 2025—a huge leap from its $20 million valuation in 2017, according to Allied Market Research.

This represents Apple’s third healthcare acquisition since 2016—including Beddit and Gliimpse.

Acquired by Apple in May 2017 and founded in October 2006, Beddit is a Finnish-based technology company that has  developed a device that keeps tabs of users’ movement while they’re asleep. Apple likely tapped sleep tracking a growth pillar given that 45% of US adults in 2017 “could imagine” using a sleep tracker, Business Insider said.

Founded in 2013 and purchased by Apple in August 2016, Gliimpse—which targets patients with chronic conditions—offers a consumer-facing platform to combine a user’s personal health data from labs, hospitals, and pharmacies into one shareable report. Apple bought Gliimpse to help turn the iPhone into a repository for consumers’ medical records, helping Apple move into the health records market, per CNBC.

Apple could use all three of these acquisitions to forge new ties with health organizations that want access to valuable sleep data. For example, If Apple can integrate Tueo Health’s solution into its smartphone-based personal medical records hub Health Records, pediatric-focused firms might want to join the horde of hospitals that’ve been flocking to implement it. The tech could provide a fuller picture of how patients are faring at night, which could steer doctors toward the most effective treatment options, Business Insider reports.

This could be a balm to hospitals that are likely racing to get a handle on asthma, which costs the nation $56 billion annually: Over 8% of children—or 6 million total in the United States suffer from asthma, and that number will likely climb, per the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA).

Research contact: @businessinsider

Scared of boarding the Boeing 737 Max? Southwest will allow flyers to switch planes for free

May 28, 2019

Although Boeing may have completed the requisite fixes to its 737 Max by the end of June, many flyers have “reservations” about boarding those flights. Now, Southwest Airlines has announced that they won’t have to fight to switch.

Indeed, Southwest’s Chief Marketing Officer Ryan Green says they shouldn’t have to worry: “If they’re uneasy about flying on a Max aircraft, we’ll be flexible with them,” he told CNBC. “We’ll be understanding of that and allow them to fly on a different flight without paying any difference in fare.”

The Dallas, Texas-based low-cost carrier does not charge passengers a fee to change their tickets, but it does charge customers the difference in airfare. But in the case of concerns around the Max, an exception will be made.

All 371 Boeing 737 Max airliners in service worldwide have been grounded since March 13 following the crashes of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 and Lion Air Flight JT610.

Southwest Airlines is the world’s largest operator of the Boeing 737 Max, with a fleet of 34 aircraft. All 34 planes, which are currently in desert storage in Victorville, California, have been pulled from the flight schedule until at least August 5. However, in a recent statement, Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said that the company does not have a confirmed timeline for the 737 Max aircraft to return to service.

Kelly said, “We simply don’t have a confirmed timeline to share with regard to when the MAX will return to service. There have been dates ranging from May to July depending on who is commenting. We have our schedule adjusted through August 5th, and if the aircraft are available to fly earlier, we will use them as additional spares to further enhance the reliability of our scheduled service.

“We remain in constant contact with the FAA, Boeing, and industry regulators, as well as our Employee Unions and industry peers, to prepare for implementation of software updates and additional training that Boeing and the FAA will provide to all operators worldwide,” Kelly continued, adding, “These enhancements will further advance the safe operation of the Boeing MAX 8 aircraft and add yet another layer of Safety, and I am incredibly encouraged by the path forward. I have the utmost confidence in our People, procedures, airplanes, training, maintenance, and performance monitoring systems, enhanced by our data-focused Safety Management System.”

However, according to research conducted by Business Insider, many travelers are anxious. . A poll conducted by the news outlet a week after the Ethiopian Airlines crash showed that 53% of American adults surveyed would not want to fly on a Boeing 737 Max—even after the FAA clears the aircraft for service.

Research contact: @SouthwestAir

170 footwear firms, including Nike and Adidas, sign letter imploring Trump to halt tariffs

May 21, 2019

More than 170 footwear manufacturers, distributors, and retailers—including Nike, Under Armour, AdidasFoot LockerUgg and Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse—signed and delivered a letter to the White House on May 20, asking President Donald Trump to reconsider his decision to raise tariffs on footwear imported from China, CNBC reported.

The request comes after the White House last week released a new list of about $300 billion in Chinese goods that could get hit with 25% tariffs, if Trump decides to move forward. The list includes footwear, CNBC said— everything from sneakers to sandals, golf shoes, rain boots and ski shoes.

The Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America, a trade organization for the industry, has estimated the tariffs could cost shoe shoppers more than $7 billion each year.

“There should be no misunderstanding that U.S. consumers pay for tariffs on products that are imported,” the letter said. “As an industry that faces a $3 billion duty bill every year, we can assure you that any increase in the cost of importing shoes has a direct impact on the American footwear consumer. It is an unavoidable fact that as prices go up at the border due to transportation costs, labor rate increases, or additional duties, the consumer pays more for the product.”

Indeed, if the tariffs are enforced, the price of a pair of shoes could hurtle $15 to $20 higher. The shoe companies estimate that a popular type of canvas “skate” sneaker, currently retailing at $49.99, with a 25% tariff, could increase to $65.57. The price of a typical hunting boot would increase from $190 to $248.56. And a popular performance running shoe could jump from $150 to $206.25, FDRA said.

What’s worse, the shoe companies said, “High footwear tariff rates fall disproportionately on working class individuals and families. While U.S. tariffs on all consumer goods average just 1.9 %, they average 11.3% for footwear; and reach rates as high as 67.5%. Adding a 25% tax increase on top of these tariffs would mean some working American families could pay a nearly 100% duty on their shoes. This is unfathomable

The U.S. imported $11.4 billion worth of footwear from China last year, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, making it an industry that is strongly reliant on that country for its cheaper yet skilled labor.

The companies implored the president, “On behalf of our hundreds of millions of footwear consumers and hundreds of thousands of employees, we ask that you immediately stop this action to increase their tax burden. Your proposal to add tariffs on all imports from China is asking the American consumer to foot the bill. It is time to bring this trade war to an end.”

Research contact: @FDRA

Mrs. Meyer’s should watch her back now that Target is rolling out Everspring

April 23, 2019

Mrs. Meyers had better watch her back, along with the other “clean” household brands that are hitting the market. On April 22, discount retailer Target  launched Everspring, a private-label household essentials brand that comprises more than 70 products—from hand soap to laundry detergent to paper towels.

What’s more, the new, “clean” products range in price from $2.79 to $11.99, which is about 20% less than other comparable products on the market already.

Developed by Target’s internal design team as a down-to-earth solution that is up to Earth’s standards, Everspring products include ingredients and components that are derived from plants or use other renewable materials, as well as post-consumer recycled paper. The assortment was designed with  what Target describes as “simple yet beautiful packaging that guests will be proud to have in their homes.”

The launch is part of Target’s ongoing investment to roll out more in-house brands, according to a CNBC report—including recent lines for apparel, furniture and home decor. The company is on track to have over two-dozen of its own new private labels in stores by the end of the year. These brands offer the retailer higher profit margins since it can set its own prices and bypass any middlemen.

“It has taken over a year,” to bring Everspring to life, said Christina Hennington, senior vice president and general merchandise manager for Target’s Essentials category. “From the sourcing to the packaging, … we had to do it right. … We hired the right expertise to make sure the chemical quality was up to expectations.”

The Everspring line is unique for Target in that all of the items — such as cleaning wipes, dish soap and all-purpose cleaner—are either biobased, meaning they’re derived from plants and other renewable agricultural, marine and forestry materials or are made from recycled materials and natural fibers, according to the company. They use 100% natural fragrances to make scent combinations like mandarin and ginger, and lavender and bergamot. And they’re not tested on animals.

“The consumers who seek this transparency of chemicals … becoming educated on what is right for them and their family … it’s a younger consumer,” Hennington said. “But you can’t say that across the board. There is someone of every age who cares about what goes on their bodies and in their bodies.”

Target said its sales of “naturals”—including “clean” brands like Mrs. Meyers, Seventh Generation and Method—have grown by double-digits year-over-year since 2016. Seeing this heightened demand on its website and in stores, Target wanted to take a bigger stake in the space.

Everspring-branded items will be marketed with a new “Target Clean” icon that was launched by the retailer earlier this year, indicating a product is made without a group of commonly unwanted chemicals such as sodium laureth sulfate or propylparaben. Target is starting to put the logo on certain household essentials, beauty products, personal care items and baby goods.

“We are listening to our guests … and doing our homework to know what their expectations are,” Hennington said.

Research contact: @Target

Class-action lawsuit filed against eight colleges snared in admissions bribery scandal

March 15, 2019

As if top U.S. colleges are not charging enough, parents are bribing industry officials to get their kids into the “right”schools.

Among the high-profile moms and dads who now are being hit with federal criminal charges for providing monetary inducements—some of them, six figures high—to college advisers, test proctors, admissions officers, or athletics coaches to admit their children are actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, as well as top business and legal executives nationwide.

Now, a class-action civil lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California by two Stanford University students, Erica Olsen and Kalea Woods, against eight top universities in connection with the massive college admissions bribery scandal, which hit the news on March 12,

The defendants in the lawsuit are Yale University, the University of Southern California, Stanford University, UCLA, the University of San Diego, the University of Texas, Wake Forest University, and Georgetown University. Federal prosecutors have said the schools, themselves, were victims of the scam,l according to a report by CNBC.

Indeed, the suit accuses each of the universities of being “negligent in failing to maintain adequate protocols and security measures in places to guarantee the sanctity of the college admissions process.”

And the suit, which claims more than $5 million in damages, alleges that, as a result of the payoffs, “unqualified students found their way into the admissions rolls of highly selective universities, while those students who played by the rules and did not have college-bribing parents were denied admission.”

Although the only two named plaintiffs to date are Olsen and Woods, the action would ultimately include potentially thousands of students as complainants—if not more, if the case is granted class-action status by a judge.

Also named as a defendant, according to The New York Times, is William “Rick” Singer, 59, the owner of a  college preparatory business, the Edge College & Career Network, who masterminded and profited from the scheme.

The suit claims that the universities named as defendants “knew or should have known of these corrupt practices because the funds” that were being used as bribes to gain admittance for the children of wealthy parents “were often going into university accounts; and to prominent figures, such as coaches and directors in charge of university accounts.”

The suit alleges that the plaintiff, “Olsen has also been damaged because she is a student at Stanford University, another one of the universities plagued by the fraud scandal. Her degree is now not worth as much as it was before, because prospective employers may now question whether she was admitted to the university on her own merits, versus having parents who were willing to bribe school officials.”

And it says that her co-plaintiff, Woods, at the time she applied to USC for admission, “similarly was never informed that the process of admission at USC was an unfair, rigged process, in which parents could buy their way into the university through bribery and dishonest schemes.”

Wake Forest’s president, Nathan Hatch, in a letter made public said that “the university has cooperated fully with the investigation.”

Hatch said he “to make abundantly clear that Wake Forest is considered by the U.S. Department of Justice to be a victim of this fraud. In no way has it been suggested that the university was involved in the deceitful practices, nor were any employees, other than [Wake Forest volleyball coach Bill] Ferguson, accused of wrongdoing.”

Ferguson has reportedly been placed on administrative leave by the institution.

Lawyers for Olsen and Woods, as well as spokesmen for the other universities, did not immediately respond to requests for comment from CNBC.

Research contact: @_DanMangan

Deal or no deal? Senate to vote on Trump’s ‘national emergency’ declaration this week

March 14, 2019

As of March 13, fully 52% of U.S. voters continue to oppose President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the southern border, according to findings of a Politico/Morning Consult poll.

Based on the polling results, Trump has failed to build support for his declaration in the face of congressional opposition; the results are essentially unchanged since he signed an order to reallocate military funds toward construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Only 38% of voters support the declaration.

The partisan divides suggest that this week’s Senate vote to nullify the president’s power to declare a national emergency could put the squeeze on Republican incumbents in battleground states. Indeed, G.O.P. Senators Cory Gardner of Colorado, Susan Collins of Maine and Thom Tillis of North Carolina are expected to join Democrats in voting disapprove Trump’s declaration

Likewise, Democrats are expected to reject a move by Republicans that would amend the president’s powers under the 1975 National Emergencies Act. Under the proposed legislation, national emergencies would end after 30 days if Congress does not vote to extend them. (And the Senate vote against the president’s emergency declaration would become a moot issue.)

“Republican Senators are proposing new legislation to allow the president to violate the Constitution just this once in order to give themselves cover,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) said on her official website, adding, “The House will not take up this legislation to give President Trump a pass.”

By promising not to bring the legislation to the floor, Pelosi hopes to put pressure on Republican lawmakers trying to balance their desire to support Trump’s immigration policy and their professed concerns about presidential power, CNBC reported on Wednesday.

Trump has recently tried to pressure Republicans by framing the vote as one about border security rather than executive power. CNBC said.

The president has pledged to veto any bill that would kill “emergency” funding for his wall. Neither the House nor the Senate appears to have the two-thirds majority support needed to overcome his opposition.

Research contact: @jacobpramuk

No extra legroom, just more money: United announces new charges in coach

December 12, 2018

Air travel alert: Even sitting in coach is getting way more expensive. Starting December 14, coach passengers on United Airlines who want to avoid the back of the plane may have to ante up for it, according to a December 10 report by CNBC.

The air carrier will charge a fee for so-called “preferred seats” on flights throughout its network. These seats don’t come with extra legroom or other perks. They’re standard economy seats are located behind the Economy Plus rows, which do come with more space to stretch out.

Ready to switch airlines? It won’t help. United’s rivals American Airlines and Delta Air Lines already have a surcharge in place for such seats, CNBC notes—pointing out that the airlines all seem to be attempting to get customers to pay up for perks that used to be included in airfare.

United did not say how much more travelers would have to pay for seats in these preferred locations. On competitors Delta and American, the prices vary by aircraft, route, and demand, the cable news outlet says.

For example, a preferred seat on a Delta flight from New York to Los Angeles in early January was $80. On an American flight from New York to Paris at that time, the price of a preferred location seat ranged from $62 to $81. Prices are for each leg of the itinerary.

Seating is a key part of the airlines’ bare-bones basic economy product, which United and American rolled out last year, following Delta. In exchange for what is usually the lowest fare, basic economy passengers can’t pick their seats ahead of time or make changes to their tickets. They also board last.

What’s next? Maybe charging for the oxygen masks that deploy when an airplane hits an air pocket and sinks rapidly in rough weather.

Research contact: @lesliejosephs

UK ‘player’ Hamleys may expand into U.S. toy sector

December 11, 2018

Although Toys R Us has returned as a pop-up store at Kroger for the holidays (and maybe longer), the retailer that used to rule the toy realm is just a shadow of its former self. And, without the industry leading Toys R Us megastores, nationwide, an $11 billion toy industry has been left with no dominant retail player in the sector, reported CNBC on December 10.

Companies like TargetWalmartAmazon and Kohl’s are trying this holiday season to sell more toys to kids and their parents, but the verdict is still out on which company will best fill the void that Toys R Us left behind, the news outlet said.

But now—seeing a huge opportunity— one iconic, international toy retailer could soon make its first move into the States with a flagship location in New York, and plans for a wider rollout of stores to follow. British toy retailer Hamleys is close to finalizing a deal for roughly 30,000 square feet at 2 Herald Square in Manhattan, near Macy’s and Victoria’s Secret, a person familiar with those negotiations told CNBC, requesting anonymity because the talks are confidential. The store is expected to open in 2020, should the deal go through, said the source—cautioning talks are still ongoing between the tenant and landlord and nothing has been finalized.

According to CNBC, Hamleys has been around since 1760 when it opened its first location in England. Today, it has a flagship shop on tourist destination Regent Street in London, in addition to locations all across the Middle East, Asia and Africa. And in North America, Hamleys has three stores in Mexico.

In the United Kingdom, Hamleys’ stores are known to draw kids in for exciting experience, including the opportunity to play with life-size Lego figures. Often, employees dress up as fictional characters to entertain shoppers. This excitement in stores is what many people say the toy industry is now missing in the United States, CNBC reports. And shoppers prefer it to the online experience, where it is impossible to pick up a toy and look at it, or try it.

After an opening in New York, Hamleys would likely mote into other  major markets such as Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami to open store;  and would consider moving into some of the more profitable malls in the country, said the person familiar with its plans.

Hamleys didn’t immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Research contact: @laurenthomasx3