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

Dunkin Doughnuts

Getty Images/Joe Raedle

1. Dunkin’ Doughnuts testing online ordering and delivery service.

On order to catch up to its tech-savvy competitor, Starbucks, Dunkin’ Doughnuts is testing on-the-go ordering and delivery service in some US markets. Starting Wednesday, 124 Dunkin’ restaurants in Portland, Maine, will allow customers to order ahead of time through a smartphone app. About 19 cafes in Dallas are trying out delivery, and additional locations in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington also will soon start bringing coffees to customers.

2. The 5 retailers with the best Black Friday discounts.

The biggest shopping blitz of the year, Black Friday, is quickly approaching. Ahead of the holiday, WalletHub has analysed 8,000 Black Friday deals across 30 major US retailers to find out who is offering the deepest discounts this year. Belk, Groupon, Stage Stores, Kohl’s and JC Penny are among the retailers with the best Black Friday discounts.

3. Google bribes users to post restaurant reviews.

Google is trying to beef up its Local Guides feature. Each time a user submits a bit information — a photograph of a place, a review, a star rating, or an answer to a question — they earn points. These points can be turned in for perks such as early access to Google products, travel to a reviewer “summit,” and even a terabyte of Google storage, which is valued at $US9.99.

4. Walmart blames the tech industry for sluggish sales.

Walmart’s sales are improving slightly in the US, but globally, revenue is falling. Walmart blamed the sluggish sales in part on the tech industry. On a conference call Tuesday, executives said there haven’t been many new and exciting tech products over the last couple years.

5. Juicy Couture tracksuits will be featured in a museum in London.

Remember those pink velour tracksuits? It might have been a good idea to keep them! The Victoria and Albert Museum in London
will include a 2004 version of the Juicy Couture tracksuit in its upcoming exhibit, “Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear.” The display, set to open in April 2016, will look into the role of undergarments from the 18th Century until now.

6. Hanukkah sweater causes Internet outrage.

Nordstrom is under fire for a sweater some say are offensive to Jews. The blue sweater boasts a menorah and the words “Chai maintenance.” It’s a play on the Hebrew word “Chai,” which means life, but it also propagates negative stereotypes of Jewish women. The sweater also reads “Hannukah J.A.P.,” referring to the abbreviation for Jewish American Princess, another term that’s not so flattering for the Jewish people. The sweater has since been removed from the site.

7. Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO blames slowing sales on nice weather.

While one may expect that unseasonably warm weather would be good news for a sporting goods chain, Dick’s says that the opposite is true. Shares of Dick’s Sporting Goods crashed after the company reported missing expectations in the third quarter, something CEO Edward Stack blamed on what he called “funky weather.”

8. The owner of TJ Maxx and Marshalls had higher store sales than expected, and the momentum could continue.

The owner of off-price chains TJ Maxx and Marshalls, reported a bigger-than-expected rise in quarterly comparable store sales as more bargain-hungry shoppers visited its stores for apparel, accessories and household goods. This indicates healthy demand for the holiday shopping season, in contrast with full-price department stores such as Macy’s Inc. and Nordstrom Inc., which cut their forecasts last week.

9. The new Barbie commercial stars a boy and people are loving it.

Mattel just aired an ad for a new Barbie, and it’s the first time a boy has starred in a commercial for the doll. The ad is for Mattel’s limited-edition Moschino Barbie, and opens with a young boy with a mohawk stating, “Moschino Barbie is so fierce!”

10. Lyft cofounder says it’s on track to hit $US1 billion in gross annual revenue.

Ride-hailing app Lyft, Uber’s biggest competition in the United States, expects to reach $US1 billion in annualized gross revenue by this time next year. Lyft calculated its $US1 billion run rate from its gross bookings in October, when the company made about $US83 million off of 7 million rides.

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