Consumer and retail news: 10 things you need to know today

Karl Lagerfeld

Charles Sykes/Invision/AP
Karl Lagerfeld.

1. Instagram is killing Gap’s business more than ever

Gap Inc. announced yet another month of poor results today. A reason to blame for this consistent struggle could be social media.

2. Karl Lagerfeld, the famous fashion designer behind Chanel and Fendi, is being investigated for alleged tax evasion

The 82-year-old creative director and designer of Chanel, Fendi, and his namesake brand is reportedly at the center of an investigation by French authorities for allegedly squirrelling away up to $22 million through companies based in the U.S., Ireland, and the British Virgin Islands, according to French paper L’Express.

3. The mystery of Chipotle’s E. coli outbreak is stumping scientists and fuelling conspiracy talk

Three months and thousands of tests later, health investigators still can’t find the source of the outbreak, which has since sickened 53 people in nine states.

4. KFC is taking one of America’s hottest regional food trends national — and it’s getting rave reviews

The chicken chain is promoting the new Nashville Hot Chicken with an eight-city food-truck tour, kicking off on Thursday. The food truck will stop in cities and towns with no KFC nearby that all happened to be named Nashville, starting in Nashville Village, Ohio and ending in Nashville Town, North Carolina.

5. A Swiss watchmaker is mocking Apple with a $25,000 mechanical timepiece

Swiss watchmaker H. Moser & Cie has made a $24,900 mechanical watch that is shaped like the Apple Watch, comes in white gold, and is accompanied by an Apple-style promotional video. According to Hodinkee, a watch blog, only 50 units are being made. The full name of the watch is the Swiss Alp Watch.

6. US Marshals raided a booth at CES to seize allegedly counterfeit hoverboards

Attendees at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Thursday were treated to a more dramatic sight when US Marshals marched onto the show floor to seize allegedly contraband hoverboards. A Chinese company accused of making counterfeit hoverboards was raided and forced out of its booth, according to Bloomberg’s Joshua Brustein.

7. The price of PlayStation’s virtual reality headset has apparently leaked, and it’s twice the cost of the PlayStation 4

Sony’s PlayStation VR will cost $800. That would mean the virtual reality system, which requires a PlayStation 4 to operate, will actually cost roughly double the price of the PlayStation 4 itself, which retails for about $400.

8. There’s been a huge surge in female-led blockbusters — but barely any action figures for them

A new “Star Wars” Monopoly game didn’t include the film’s main character, Rey (Daisy Ridley). According to Hasbro, including her in the game would have been a “spoiler.”

9. Lily, the drone that automatically follows you around taking video, has raked in $34 million in pre-orders

After you toss the drone up into the air, you’re free to concentrate on whatever you’d like Lily to record video of you doing, thanks the small circular tracker that you can stow away in your pocket or wear on your wrist. Lily stays in constant communication with that tracker, which, along with some clever machine learning technology, allows the drone to always keep you in the shot even as you move around.

10. 11 photos that show how McDonald’s has changed since the 1950s

The burger chain is among the nation’s oldest fast-food companies still in existence, and its packaging has changed drastically through the years. With help from McDonald’s, we’ve compiled images of the chain’s takeout bags dating back to the 1950s.

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