- Created on 15 November 2013
(AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh, File)
NEW YORK (AP) — McDonald's has an idea for speeding up service at the drive-thru: add another window.
Under the current set up, customers place their orders, then drive up to a window where they pick up their food. The fast-food chain says it's testing a "Fast Forward Drive-Thru" that lets customers drive to a third stop if their orders aren't ready.
McDonald's spokeswoman Lisa McComb says the Fast Forward Drive-Thru will be featured in new and renovated restaurants starting next year.
The drive-thru is an important revenue generator for fast-food chains. McDonald's gets about 70 percent of its sales from the drive-thru, according Richard Adams, who now runs a consulting firm for franchisees.
McDonald's Corp., based in Oak Brook, Ill, has more than 14,000 locations in the U.S.
- Created on 15 November 2013
Thanks to the racial discrimination lawsuits filed against Barneys and Macy's over the past several weeks, a group of major fashion retailers have decided to gather and figure out how they can be less racist. Hooray!
To be more specific, representatives from both Barneys and Macy's as well as Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale's, Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor are meeting on November 22 in New York City to discuss racial profiling, loss prevention practices and any other store operations that could get them entangled in some nasty legal issues. The event is being co-hosted by the Retail Council of New York State and the New York Metropolitan Retailing Association.
It's good to see that after the initial outrage surrounding the Barneys and Macy's cases haven't quickly been forgotten. The perils of "shopping while black" aren't just limited to these distinct luxury stores and the issue needs to be addressed industry wide. With that said we have a few hopes for this pending forum.
- Created on 14 November 2013
An outdoors sign for Walmart is seen in Duarte, Calif. Tuesday, May 28, 2013. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges the company dumped hazardous waste in Calif. Wal-Mart entered the plea in federal court in San Francisco to misdemeanor counts of negligently dumping pollutants from Walmart stores into sanitation drains across California, a company spokeswoman said. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes) | ASSOCIATED PRESS
Thanks to the federal government's relentless push to cut spending, Walmart's shoppers are hurting and so is the retailing giant.
The company announced on Thursday that it expects relatively weak sales at the end of the year, as its shoppers, struggling under a range of cuts in government programs and benefits are having trouble making ends meet.
"We know the customer continues to be challenged by ongoing uncertainty around health care costs, the payroll tax increase and recent SNAP [food stamp] reductions," Walmart U.S. CEO Bill Simon said on a recording announcing the company's third quarter earnings.
Wal-Mart's reduced outlook comes as the company reported a 2.8 percent increase in its third-quarter profit, but saw a revenue shortfall. Its shares slipped in premarket trading Thursday.
Walmart counts on the money it takes in from food stamps. The company nets about 18 percent of all food stamp dollars. Congress slashed food stamp benefits earlier this month, a move that could hurt Walmart and other retailers.
Simon's comments on Thursday seemed to conflict with remarks he made earlier this year claiming that the retailer might actually benefit from the food stamp reduction because when shoppers become more concerned about price, Walmart becomes more relevant.
Walmart shoppers are also reeling from an increase in the payroll tax and the government shutdown that dinged their confidence, company officials said on the call.
Read the rest of the story here.
- Created on 12 November 2013
NEW YORK (AP) — Last Thanksgiving Day, Kimberly Mudge Via's mother, sister and nieces left in the middle of their meals to head for the mall.
Now, Via says she'll never host Thanksgiving dinner for her relatives again.
"They barely finished," says the 28-year-old who lives in Boone, N.C. "They thanked me and left their plates on the counter."
That scene could become more common in homes across the country. Black Friday shopping, the annual rite of passage on the day after Thanksgiving, continues to creep further into the holiday as more stores open their doors a day early.
It's a break with tradition. Black Friday, which typically is the year's biggest shopping day, for a decade has been considered the official start to the busy holiday buying season. Stores open in the wee hours of the morning with special deals called doorbusters and stay open late into the evening. Meanwhile, Thanksgiving and Christmas remained the only two days a year that stores were closed.
Now Thanksgiving is slowly becoming just another shopping day. Over the past few years, major retailers, including Target and Toys R Us, slowly have pushed opening times into Thanksgiving night to one-up each other and compete for holiday dollars. Some initially resisted, saying that they wanted their employees to be able to spend time with their families.
This year, Macy's, Wal-Mart and Kohl's are among at least a dozen major retailers that are opening on Thanksgiving. Several are opening for the first time, and others, including Gap, are opening earlier on the holiday than they did last year.