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The Latest: Australian state worried about mall outbreak

MELBOURNE, Australia — The COVID-19 figures in Australia’s Victoria state continue to show improvement but officials are concerned about an outbreak at the country’s largest shopping centre.

Victoria reported three more COVID-19 deaths and eight more cases on Saturday. The figures take the state toll to 805 and the national death count to 893.

Melbourne’s latest 14-day average stood at 12 cases, and there have been 11 cases with an unknown source in the past two weeks up to Wednesday.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said a recent outbreak linked to southeast Melbourne’s Chadstone Shopping Centre showed why it was unsafe to ease restrictions.

A cluster of cases at the 550-store shopping centre grew to 11 and includes a family.

“If we were to open up now, just as our modeling tells us … it will be many hundreds of cases,” Andrews said.

Melbourne’s strict lockdown rules continue to be eased,

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Nike CEO: Digital Is The New Normal

Nike’s earnings call on Tuesday (Sept. 22), in which it set a new standard for companies capitalizing on the digital-first economy, just might have had the quote of the year.

“We know that digital is the new normal. The consumer today is digitally grounded and simply will not revert back,” said Nike CEO John Donahoe. His comment came as Nike lapped the field on overall revenue and eCommerce percentage gains. Perhaps most importantly it showed profits despite the tight margins associated with digital sales operations.

By the numbers, Nike was reporting on its first quarter of the 2021 fiscal year. First quarter reported revenues were $10.6 billion, down only 1 percent vs. 2019 numbers. The real star was Nike’s digital sales, which increased 82 percent. Women’s apparel digital sales spiked 200 percent. The company also saw its connected fitness business increase. The Nike

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CPG Companies Capitalize On Digital Shift

Consumer packaged goods (CPG) – which just four years ago had only a 1 percent penetration rate online – are capturing the digital shift in a dramatic way during the pandemic. As the crisis pushed online grocery into exponential growth during the crisis, CPG companies are finally starting to sell and advertise online.

The shift has been so dramatic that IRI, the go-to sales tracking resource for the CPG business, this week added two new reports to its roster specifically aimed at eCommerce sales. The eCommerce Channel Shift Index and eCommerce Demand Index have both been added to measure what had been a rounding error up until the pandemic. IRI has found that total eCommerce demand has significantly outpaced all other channels since COVID-19, and for June is up 86 percent compared to June 2019. By way of comparison, spending at brick-and-mortar drugstores was down 5 percent and total trips

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Accessibility’s nextgen breakthroughs will be literally in your head

Predicting the future of technology for people with visual impairments is easier than you might think. In 2003, I wrote an article entitled “In the Palm of Your Hand” for the Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness from the American Foundation for the Blind. The arrival of the iPhone was still four years away, but I was able to confidently predict the center of assistive technology shifting from the desktop PC to the smart phone. 

“A cell phone costing less than $100,” I wrote, “will be able to see for the person who can’t see, read for the person who can’t read, speak for the person who can’t speak, remember for the person who can’t remember, and guide the person who is lost.” Looking at the tech trends at the time, that transition was as inevitable as it might have seemed far-fetched.

We are at a similar point now, which

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JCPenney Eyes $1.75 Billion Purchase By Brookfield And Simon Property

J.C. Penney Company has entered an agreement in principle to sell JCPenney to Brookfield Property Partners and Simon Property Group for $1.75 billion. JCPenney intends to execute a stalking horse asset purchase agreement and auction that will conclude before the 2020 holiday season.

The agreement would involve the formation of a separate real
estate investment trust and a property holding company, which will include 161
of JCPenney’s real estate assets and all of its owned distribution centers. The
trust would be owned by a group of the retailer’s First Lien Lenders.

“We have determined that an agreement with Brookfield and
Simon, as well as the formation of separate real estate investment trusts owned
by our First Lien Lenders, is the best path forward to maximize value for our
stakeholders, ensure we keep the most stores open and associates employed, and
position JCPenney to build on our over 100-year history,”

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Traveller on York Region Transit tests positive for COVID-19

Traveller on York Region Transit tests positive for COVID-19 – 680 NEWS


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Last Updated Sep 28, 2020 at 6:57 pm EDT


YRT bus picking up passengers at Finch Transit hub

An individual who travelled on York Region Transit in the last two weeks has tested positive for COVID-19.

York Region Public Health confirmed the positive test and were first made aware of the case on September 25.

According to YRT the individual wore a face mask while they were on YRT

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Manifesting Retail’s Week Of Revolution

Retail, for all intents and purposes, has always been an interdependent system. Supply depends on demand; demand depends on supply; supply depends on the supply chain. Pricing depends on supply and demand. Pricing also depends on more intangible factors such as sales, operations and marketing. And all retailers depend on the one constant that separates any business from a hobby: the customer.

This week, retail has seen the manifestation of several changes to this interdependency that were already in the works before the pandemic, and have been accelerated by shoppers’ fear and/or loathing of visiting physical stores. We’ve seen Ralph Lauren come close to economic trouble, arguably because the department stores and boutiques that have not been open for a good part of Q2 have either underperformed or have not performed at all. We’ve seen the CEO of Saks pen an insightful piece

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Westfield Adds Location Analytics To Data Harvesting Initiative At Shopping Centers

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) has named Placer.ai as its location analytics provider as part of a wider effort by the property management firm to leverage new technologies at its retail locations.

URW will use the Placer.ai solutions to help determine where
it should allocate resources within its shopping centers, and to gather insights
that can be used to modify marketing strategies, ensure lease optimization and
measure overall tenant and shopping center health. Expected findings include
mobile location and customer visitation data, competitive benchmarking,
visitors by trade area and customer preference information, including
cross-shopping at any given mall.

“Innovation remains at the core of our business, and we are
always looking for solutions to help us create tailored experiences for
visitors and tenants alike,” said Ghadi Hobeika, EVP of Media Sales, Marketing
and Digital at URW in a statement. “Placer.ai will provide us with a new and
critical lens to help drive key

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Kentucky police: 3 shot inside Lexington mall

Kentucky police: 3 shot inside Lexington mall – 680 NEWS

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Last Updated Aug 23, 2020 at 7:28 pm EDT

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Three people were shot inside a Kentucky mall Sunday, police said.

The Lexington Police Department said in a post on social media that the shooting occurred around 4 p.m. ET outside of a store at the Fayette Mall. Police said later that the shooting did not appear to be random.

The conditions of those who were shot were

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Capitalizing On The Suburban, Multi-Generational Home And Office

The census bureau will release new home construction figures for August tomorrow. An earlier prediction of a 6.6% contraction for 2020 is dire but new residential construction is already rebounding since April with rising prices buoyed by low supply and mortgage rates. Nevertheless, commercial real estate, especially on the retail side, is projected to suffer due to a surge in eCommerce activity, home offices and overall safety and quality-of-life concerns in crowded cities.

Now that many of us working adults have worked remotely and experienced the advantages as well as the trials and tribulations of this set-up for the first time, let’s take stock of what will likely be life and work-at-home in 2021. The added complexity of having children partially or fully engaged in distance learning as mandated by their school district only adds to this conundrum. To make a perfect trifecta, let’s also throw the depressed job market

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