Top Headlines - part 7

CVS Changes Name, Ends Tobacco Sales

CVS Changes Name, Ends Tobacco Sales

BUSINESS

  • Name change reflects commitment to health
  • Drug store chains adding services to gain customers
  • Tobacco sales ending nearly a month early

CVS, the United States’ second-largest drugstore chain, is changing its name from CVS Caremark to CVS Health, effective immediately, to better reflect the chain’s commitment to consumer health.

The retail business will continue to be known as CVS/pharmacy, and signage won’t change.

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1-800-Flowers Buys Harry & David for $142 Million

1-800-Flowers Buys Harry & David for $142 Million

BUSINESS

  • Acquisition adds to company’s gift offerings
  • Harry & David had rebounded from bankruptcy
  • New company to be worth $1 billion

Online florist 1-800-Flowers Inc., one of the largest providers of flower deliveries,has agreed to purchase gift basket retailer Harry & David Holdings Inc. for $142.5 million in cash, adding to its gift offerings.

The deal includes not only Harry & David’s brands, website and retail locations but its orchards and its Medford, OR, headquarters and manufacturing-and-distribution facilities. A warehouse-and-distribution facility in Hebron, OH, also is included in the deal.

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Slowing Tablet Market May Harm Apple iPad

Slowing Tablet Market May Harm Apple iPad

BUSINESS

  • Market saturated where sales strongest
  • Laptop sales expected to grow
  • Customers will determine whether bigger tablets are better

The slowing tablet market is expected to hurt Apple iPad sales, analysts predict.

iPad sales have slowed in Europe and North America, markets where sales have historically been the strongest, and are expected to be flat compared to 2013. Analysts expect iPad sales to contract for the fourth consecutive quarter with shipments totaling 65.5 million.

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Abercrombie & Fitch Sales Drop 7% in Second Quarter

Abercrombie & Fitch Sales Drop 7% in Second Quarter

BUSINESS

  • Low sales offset by decreased costs
  • Chain criticized for not keeping up with fashion
  • Retailer hopes marketing strategies will help it compete

Teen apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Co. reported sales fell 7% during the second fiscal quarter of 2014, the tenth straight quarterly decline.

Same store sales dropped 11%, but were balanced by direct-to-consumersales rising 11%. Net sales fell 6% to $890.6 million and profit grew to $12.9 million. The increase in profit was the result of a fall in store, distribution, administrative, marketing, and general expenses.

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Amazon to Buy Video Streaming Service Twitch for $970 Million

Amazon to Buy Video Streaming Service Twitch for $970 Million

BUSINESS

  • Amazon beat out YouTube in bidding
  • Twitch to keep branding
  • Twitch the most popular Web service for video game-play

E-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc. has agreed to purchase video streaming service Twitch for $970 million in cash.

Twitch has 50 million users monthly, 1.1 million of whom broadcast videos. It ranks fourth in Internet traffic behind Netflix, Google and Apple, and is the largest live-streaming website in the United States, yet it has yet to become a household name.

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Burger King Purchases Tim Hortons for $11.4 Billion

Burger King Purchases Tim Hortons for $11.4 Billion

BUSINESS

  • Combined company to be third largest globally
  • Merger allows Burger King to compete in breakfast market
  • Previous owner of Tim Horton was unsuccessful

Burger King, the second-largest American burger chain, has purchased Canadian coffee and doughnuts chain ,Tim Hortons, for $11.4 billion, opening up new markets for both.

The combined company will be the third-largest fast food chain globally. It will be headquarter in Canada with more than 18,000 locations in 100 countries. Corporate taxes in Canada are 46% lower than in the U.S., according to auditors KPMG. It will be listed on both the New York and the Toronto stock exchanges.

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Ralph Lauren Smart Shirt to Debut at U.S. Open

Ralph Lauren Smart Shirt to Debut at U.S. Open

BUSINESS

  • Shirt monitors bodily functions
  • Ball boys to wear shirts during tournament
  • Shirt the first aimed at everyday users

Luxury fashion house Ralph Lauren Corp. will debut a biometric smart shirt during the U.S. Open Tennis Association tournament, where it is the official outfitter, and enter the wearable technologies market.

The compression shirt, called the Polo Tech Shirt, was developed with proprietary technology from Canadian company OMSignal which employs experts in sports medicine, neuroscience and engineering.

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Microsoft to Unveil Windows 9 in September

Microsoft to Unveil Windows 9 in September

BUSINESS

  • Company to hold press conference to preview operating system
  • Several changes are rumored to correct problems
  • Windows 8 was highly criticized

Software giant Microsoft plans to reveal its next operating system at a press conference September 30, The Verge reports.

The operating system is codenamed Threshold. It is unknown whether it will be named Windows 9 before release, but computer experts expect Microsoft’s numbering scheme to continue.

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Twitter to Remove Images of Decreased Upon Request

Twitter to Remove Images of Decreased Upon Request

BUSINESS

  • Removal represents a change in Twitter policy
  • Social media site faces same dilemma as journalists
  • Policy change comes after highly public examples

Social media website Twitter Inc. says it will now remove videos and photos of the deceased at the request of immediate family and authorized individuals.

Only photos or video taken from when critical injury occurred to the moments before or after death will be removed. Users can submit requests via email.

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Verizon to Introduce VoLTE Network in U.S. by January

Verizon to Introduce VoLTE Network in U.S. by January

BUSINESS

  • VoLTE will increase voice quality
  • Verizon scored highly in latest providers’ report
  • Carrier making changes to attract more customers

Verizon Communications, the largest wireless provider in the U.S. by subscribers, plans to provide Voice over LTE (VoLTE) service nationwide by 2015, offering customer benefits and increasing the number of 4G subscribers. VoLTE will be launched around the same time as the carrier’s Advanced Wireless Services spectrum overlay.

Rivals T-Mobile and AT&T launched VoLTE in limited markets earlier this year.

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