Our Weekly News Roundup Featuring Toys R Us, Amazon, Lyft and more…


It’s about that time again! The week is coming down to an end and it’s time to reveal all of the best news stories that have disrupted leading industries such as marketing, retail, security, healthcare and financial services.

It is clear that the news is constantly in flux, throwing us curve balls with unexpected headlines and stories that tend to disrupt us in more ways than one. The news is important in that way, which is why we are dedicated to delivering you with the most important stories!

Let’s get into it.


The Millennium Alliance Announced…

We announced the keynote of our Transformational CMO Assembly this week! Alan Siegel, brand visionary, and marketing expert will be heading our event this April. If you missed the announcement, don’t worry, we got you covered. Find it here.

United Airlines Receives Negative Feeback

It is pretty clear United Airlines has had some pretty bad luck this year, and it keeps getting worse. This week, something pretty terrible happened on a United flight that has resulted in 140% of negative social chatter.

According to reports, a flight attendant that works for United Airlines advised a passenger to put their 10-month-old dog in the overhead compartment, resulting in the death of the dog. Not only is this simply traumatizing for all passengers involved, it makes the airline look insensitive and borderline cruel. All are not good traits for a brand, and customers are beginning to notice. This was not far behind the incident where a man was physically dragged off the airline, videotapes to follow. United has some explaining to do and may need to come back with some great marketing tactics to get people on their good side.


Toys R Us Goes Bankrupt

Say goodbye to those childhood memories you may have in Toys R Us, (am I the only one who remembers toy shopping with my parents there?)

The massive toy store has filed for bankruptcy, leading to the closing of all of its stores. After dealing with months of debt, and a terrible holiday season, the toy seller has officially lost its market and is forced to close. This will result in some debt relief.

“In fact, the retailer said in a court filing Thursday that sales “came in well below worst-case projections.” The earnings targets attached to its debtor-in-possession (or DIP) loan — a crucial bankruptcy financing measure that has kept the retailer afloat since filing  — was $250 million short of projections. The shortfall meant the Toys R Us had defaulted on its DIP loan terms.” Retail Dive reports.

Dollar General Is Opening Stores

If you lost hope in the retail industry after hearing about Toys R Us closing, fear not. Dollar General will be able to give you more hope. The store has announced it will be opening 900 new stores this quarter after a report was released of sales growth by 7% at the end of last year.

Not only will Dollar General open 900 stores, it will remodel 1,000 and relocate 100 stores.


Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Joins New Partnerships

The Blue Cross Blue Sheild Association has launched a new institute called Blue Cross Blue Shield Institute that addresses social influence on health outcomes. This institute includes partnerships with CVS Health, Walgreens, and Lyft in the test markets that involve transportation and pharmacy efforts.

“The institute will combine “a social mission with business innovation and insight to target barriers to healthcare that can be solved with technology and strategic alliances.” HealthcareDive reports.

More Healthcare Layoffs Arise

A new report reveals that Ascension Michigan has laid off 500 workers among 14 hospitals. Among those laid off included management positions. This comes as no surprise after its operating revenue dropped $122.1 million during 2017.


Amazon Alexa Hits The Office

This week, we reported on the fact that Amazon’s Alexa is hitting business operations. We have learned since then who in fact will be using Alexa in business. WeWork and Capital One are among the enterprises who will be using Alexa in business. This means that Amazon is pushing efforts with major corporations by enabling tech products to work effectively in the workplace.

Lyft Tries Out New Service

Lyft has reported the trial of a new service that will act as a subscription service for customers. Taking an approach similar to tv streaming service Netflix, Lyft will be offering customers a service in which they can subscribe to rides on a monthly basis.

“There seems to be a couple of plans Lyft is testing out. One costs $199 upfront to get 30 free rides worth up to $15 per ride. Another plan costs $399 a month for 60 rides. So, it appears as if Lyft is A/B testing to try to figure out just how much people are willing to pay.” TechCrunch reports.


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