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Instacart the Grocery Delivery Startup Raises $210 Million

San Francisco, California based Instacart, which provides a delivery service for groceries, has raised close to $210 million in a round of funding says documents that were filed on Tuesday with the regulatory agency the Securities and Exchange Commission. The latest round of funding, which could jump up to $220 million if every allotted share is sold, has more than quadrupled the previous valuation of the startup that was $400 million, which was based upon other regulatory filings. One online research firm suggested that the new round of investment... 
 

Subway in Safety Scandal in China over Food

Subway is the latest brand of foreign fast food to become involved in China in a scandal over food safety. This came after the sandwich chain based in the United States said it was carrying out an investigation of local media claims that its workers at a franchise in Beijing had altered the dates of expiration on certain food ingredients. Subway markets itself overseas including in China as a healthy alternative to other traditional forms of fast food. However, it now joins competitors Yum’s KFC and McDonald’s in finding its brand reputation... 
 

UPS and FedEx Make Improvements During Holiday Season

Christmas this year was on time for most everyone. After UPS and FedEx were unable to deliver some gifts last year prior to Christmas day, the two shipping companies improved their performance during this holiday shopping season. UPS delivered more than 99% of its express packages as was promised on December 22 and 23, and FedEx delivered over 99% of its express packages on those same days. Last year the two companies’ percentage of express packages that were delivered on time was in the low 90s. ShipMatrix, which supplied this data, did not have... 
 

MasterCard Spending Report for Holidays Shows Weak Electronics

Consumers spent strongly on eating out and lodging during the holiday shopping season, while sales were flat in electronics, reflecting a shift that is ongoing toward spending on different experiences instead of on goods, said MasterCard in a spending report from the holidays. Overall, retail sales were up 5.5% during the time from the day after Thanksgiving known as Black Friday through the day of December 24, in comparison to one year ago. MasterCard announced that growth of sales during that period was in line with what it had forecasted for... 
 

Gift Cards Have Become Hugely Popular, but Have Risks

Gift cards are widely popular gifts for the holidays as they give the receiver what he or she wants, a chance to pick out his or her very own gift. The popularity of the gift card is undisputable. That segment saw over $31.75 billion spent on purchasing gift cards, said the National Retail Federation. Four out of every five shoppers during the holiday are planning to purchase at least one gift card. The average shopper will spend over $172 for gift cards. While gift cards certainly have their advantages, which card you purchase and what you end... 
 

Last Shopping Weekend for Holidays Off to Good Start

Shoppers filled malls as well as department stores on the holiday season’s last weekend prior to Christmas. The weather has cooperated to help increase the prospect for a strong finish to this year’s holiday shopping season that has thus far produced a mixed bag across the U.S. Crowds in large metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and New York were building in stores by early afternoon on Saturday. Some holiday shoppers said they had been drawn by large discounts, which have become deeper and longer this year. Some shoppers... 
 

Olive Garden Sees Growth in Same Store Sales

Darden Restaurants Inc started to show progress in turning its ailing chain of Olive Garden restaurants around posting the first positive quarter on Tuesday for sales in same stores in over a year and beating expectations of analysts. Eugene Lee the interim CEO told Darden investors that moving from the deep discounts to instituting an everyday value menu for $9.99 has helped to attract more customers to Olive Garden and to ordering online for carryout. Shareholders of Darden in October cast their votes to replace the entire board of directors with... 
 

Loss Widens at Sears

Sears Holdings the former powerhouse in retail has for the past year attempted to liquidate assets to raise cash. However, some have questioned whether the efforts will work quickly enough. That speculation was ignited even more Thursday when the retailer reported that its loss for the third quarter widened from the same reporting period of last year. The company disclosed as well that it was planning to close as many as 235 stores in 2015. In an attempt to strengthen its balance sheet, Sears sold assets such as Land’s End and a stake in its operation... 
 

Automakers Sales Increased in November in the U.S.

Automakers in the United States beat the blahs of Black Friday that hit some other retailers by producing strong sales on cars and light trucks as the consumer jumped at the deal for the holiday season. General Motors, Chrysler Group and Honda Motor posted on Tuesday their best U.S. Sale for November in the past several years, powered in part by strong demand sport-utility vehicles and large size pickup trucks. Ford Motors the No. 2 automaker in the U.S. said its sale dropped by 2% due to the company starting deliveries of its redesigned F-150 pickup. Overall,... 
 

Sales on Thanksgiving Weekend Drop by 11%

Sales in stores as well as online from Thanksgiving until Sunday night dropped over 11% to an estimated $50.85 billion from last year’s $57.4 billion. This was according to a survey released by the National Retail Federation on Sunday night. Sales dropped despite a number of stores opening even earlier this year than any prior Thanksgiving. Though most retailers offered aggressive discounts online as they did at their brick and mortar stores, the Internet did not attract more buyers or spending during the four-day weekend than last year. The average... 
 

USPS Making Deliveries on Sunday during Holidays

The United States Postal Service has announced it will be going into high gear during the holiday shopping season. Earlier this month, the USPS announced it would deliver packages on Sunday in large cities and in areas of high volume. The U.S. Postal Service said it is expecting volume growth during this holiday season in the double-digit range. Deliveries on Sunday started on November 17 and will run through Christmas Day. For that period, the USPS is anticipating a growth of 12% in its package deliveries that will reach between 450 and 470 million... 
 

Best Buy Online Site Crashes on Black Friday

The website for Best Buy suffered an outage on Black Friday during one of the year’s busiest days of shopping. The website was down for in the early morning hours before coming back online and then crashing again on Friday night. The company said the first outage was due to heavy traffic. A spokesperson said a concentrated increase in the amount of mobile traffic triggered a series of issues that led to the site shutting down. The site crashed again on Friday evening, as users took to social media complaining of the outage at 5:30 p.m. ET. At... 
 

Biggest Protests at Walmart to Date

Thanksgiving is just a distant memory with Black Friday and the holiday shopping season getting into high gear. Black Friday is known best as one day in which the large retailers, mainly the big box stores haul in loads of money. However, the day has also become a time for some employees of those big box retailers to demand a share of those proceeds. At Walmart, the protests scheduled for Black Friday will be the biggest and widest reaching to date say organizers, with strikes and pickets taking place at more than 1,699 stores across 49 states as... 
 

SABMiller and Coca-Cola Reach Deal for Africa

SABMiller Plc and the Coca-Cola Company have reached a new brand and bottling deal for millions of dollars as the two companies, two of the biggest drink makers in the world, eye a larger share of the beverage market in Africa. SABMiller’s Appletiser brand of soft drink is being acquired by Coca-Cola and the rights to another 19 ready to drink non-alcoholic brands in Latin America and Africa for close to $260 million. The drinks group based in the U.S. and SABMiller, the No. 2 brewer in the world by volumes, have also combined bottling operations... 
 

Walmart and SolarCity Corp Sign Agreement for Solar Installation

SolarCity Corp shares on Nasdaq were up more than 3.2% after the firm announced they entered into contract with Walmart Stores that says SolarCity would be working on solar projects at stores owned by Walmart in 36 states during the upcoming four years. Walmart and SolarCity first entered into a partnership with one another in 2010 and since have begun 200 solar projects at many different Walmart stores across the nation. In addition, SolarCity has completed 13 storage units for energy at different Walmart stores next to the usual generator for... 
 
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