Chicago’s Mayor proposes a government-run grocery store


Important Takeaways:

  • Chicago’s Dem Mayor Brandon Johnson now wants to create city-run grocery stores to promote ‘equitable’ access to food after Walmart and Whole Foods close stores
  • Chicago’s Democrat mayor wants to create city-run grocery stores to promote ‘equitable’ access to food after half of the city’s Walmart and Whole Foods stores closed.
  • Mayor Brandon Johnson announced a partnership with the Economic Security Project to open municipally-owned grocery stores in Chicago in a bid to tackle many of the city’s so-called ‘food deserts.’
  • Johnson’s new moves are set to help ‘repair past harms that have contributed to purposeful disinvestment and exclusion and lack of food access’ in historically underserved communities.
  • ‘My administration is committed to advancing innovative, whole-of-government approaches to address these inequities.
  • The city did not give a timeline for when the initiative would come forward – and the grant money which will help invest could come from state and federal tax dollars, not just local taxes, reports CBS.
  • There was mixed reaction to the scheme.
  • One person wrote on social media: ‘Let’s see… major, successful retailers and grocery store operators have pulled out of certain zip codes due to chronic crime, but the city of Chicago is going to install and manage tax-payer-subsidized stores. What could possibly go wrong?’
  • Another added: ‘People need to learn not to steal and the grocery stores won’t have to close.’
  • And another person on social media said: ‘I don’t believe the city of Chicago could run an ice-cream stand in the summer time, let alone a grocery store.’

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Florida City Walmart shooting; 1 dead, 2 injured


Mathew 24:12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.

Important Takeaways:

  • The Florida City and Miami-Dade police departments are actively investigating the shooting
  • A Florida suspect opened fire in a Florida City Walmart, hitting two people and killing one.
  • The shooting took place at around 3 p.m. Wednesday.
  • WSVN reported that two people were shot: one person was reportedly hit in the foot, while another was injured in the abdomen. A third customer had a panic attack from the incident, requiring medical attention.
  • The victim who was shot in the abdomen was transported to the hospital via air rescue, but soon passed away. The other victim with non-life-threatening injuries was a customer that got hit by a stray bullet, authorities say. The victim who died was reportedly involved.

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Target shares drop losing $14 billion; Walmart refuses to make changes to its merchandise

Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Important Takeaways:

  • Walmart REFUSES to make changes to its Pride Month merchandise which includes onesies that say ‘I love my 2 moms’ despite backlash against Target that saw its value plunge by $14B
  • Walmart says it has not made any changes to its LGBTQ-related merchandise tied to Pride Month, or to security measures in place at its stores
  • It comes after rival Target pulled some of its Pride collection from stores in the face of a customer backlash that saw its value plunge by $14 billion
  • Target made the move to avoid the same fate as Anheuser-Busch, whose Bud Light sales fell by more than 25% since their collaboration with Dylan Mulvaney
  • Shares fell 3.66 percent on Tuesday, resulting in the once-popular retail store losing a whopping $2.4billion in market capitalization amid widespread backlash to its Pride display, which included ‘tuck-friendly’ women’s swimwear.

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Job cuts at Walmart pushing toward Automation

Revelations 18:23:’For the merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.’

Important Takeaways:

  • Walmart laying off hundreds of US workers at five e-commerce fulfillment centers
  • About 200 workers at Pedricktown, New Jersey, and hundreds of others at Fort Worth, Texas; Chino, California; Davenport, Florida; and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania were let go due to a reduction or elimination in evening and weekend shifts, the spokesperson said.
  • The layoffs at Walmart, a retail bellwether because of its size, could be a harbinger of further turmoil in the U.S. economy, which many economists predict could enter recession this year.
  • Fears of an upcoming recession have already led retailers to announce 17,456 job cuts so far in 2023, compared with 761 in the same period last year

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More stores plan to close this year

Stores Closing

Revelations 18:23:’For the merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.’

Important Takeaways:

  • More than 800 stores are closing across the US in 2023. Here’s the full list.
  • More than a dozen major retailers are expected to close at least 800 US stores in 2023.
  • Macy’s, Walmart, and Big Lots are among the chains shutting down stores.
  • Bed Bath & Beyond is planning to close 416 locations — the most of any retailers on the list.
  • Leading the list is housewares giant Bed Bath & Beyond, which once owned more than 1,500 stores across three brands, but is now aiming to end the year with just 480 locations across two brands.
  • Tuesday Morning: 265 stores
  • Gap and Banana Republic: up to 74 stores

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Walmart making cuts amid economic downturn

Revelations 18:23:’For the merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.’

Important Takeaways:

  • Walmart cuts 200 corporate employees, says it will continue hiring in ‘key areas’
  • Walmart let go of almost 200 corporate employees on Wednesday amid the economic downturn and rising inflation, according to a person familiar with the development. The company said in a statement that these layoffs are a part of updating its structure.

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Walmart’s earnings declined in second quarter

Revelations 18:23:’For the merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.’

Important Takeaways:

  • Walmart Laying Off Corporate Employees in Sign of Slowing Job Market
  • A change in the ways consumers shop is being driven by rising food and gas prices, as inflation surged to 9.1 percent in June, the company said.
  • Walmart said it now anticipates adjusted earnings per share for the second quarter and full year to decline around 8–9 percent and 11–13 percent, respectively. Previously, the retailer had predicted a 1 percent fall it had previously forecast for the full year.
  • “Food inflation is double digits and higher than at the end of the first quarter. This is affecting customers’ ability to spend on general merchandise categories and requiring more markdowns to move through the inventory, particularly apparel,” Walmart said.

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Florida Walmart adds electronic security tags to high priced steaks

Rev 6:6 NAS And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.”

Important Takeaways:

  • Now even the steaks are being locked up! Florida Walmart is securing $20 ribeyes with mesh wiring and electronic security tag to prevent theft – as crime soars nationally
  • Michael Fromhold, from Florida, was stunned when he noticed that the meat at his local Walmart had been locked up in what appears to be a rather dramatic attempt to prevent people from stealing it.
  • It is unclear whether or not the cages are being used in all Walmart stores across the country, or whether the company is implementing the safety measures in stores that are located in areas of high crime.
  • According to FBI data, there were a total of 1.3 million violent offenses reported in America during 2020, or 388 for every 100,000 people – a five per cent increase from 2019.
  • In Chicago, murder is at its highest in nearly 30 years – recording 836 homicides in 2021, up from 770 in 2020. There were 492 people killed in the Windy City in 2019.
  • Nearly every single police precinct in New York City has seen spikes in crime so far this year – including five in which the rate has doubled, data from the NYPD shows.

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Amazon launches online pharmacy in new contest with drug retail

By Jeffrey Dastin

(Reuters) – Inc. on Tuesday launched an online pharmacy for delivering prescription medications in the United States, increasing competition with drug retailers such as Walgreens, CVS Health and Walmart.

Called Amazon Pharmacy, the new store lets customers price-compare as they buy drugs on the company’s website or app. Shoppers can toggle at checkout between their co-pay and a non-insurance option, heavily discounted for members of its loyalty club Prime.

The move builds on the web retailer’s 2018 acquisition of PillPack, which Amazon said will remain separate for customers needing pre-sorted doses of multiple drugs.

Shares of pharmacy chains, drug wholesalers and grocers fell before the bell. Amazon’s shares were up nearly 2% at $3,190.99.

Over the past two years, Amazon has worked to secure more state licenses for shipping prescriptions across the country, which had been an obstacle to its expansion into the drug supply chain, according to analyst notes from Jefferies Equity Research.

The company founded as an online bookseller has disrupted industries including retail, computing and now potentially pharmaceuticals, drawing criticism of its size and power from labor groups and lawmakers along the way.

TJ Parker, PillPack’s CEO and vice president of Amazon Pharmacy, said in a statement the retailer aimed to bring “customer obsession to an industry that can be inconvenient and confusing.”

The company faces entrenched competition from Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc, CVS Health Corp, Walmart Inc, Rite Aid Corp., Kroger Co and others. Take-up of online ordering of drugs has been low, according to market research from J.D. Power.

Amazon injects a new look and feel into a space that has been dominated by a few large mail order pharmacies like CVS, Cigna Corp and UnitedHealth’s Optum, analysts from brokerage Evercore ISI said in a note.

“Consumers have historically not warmed to mail delivery of prescriptions, as customer service has been a weaker point of this service,” they added.

Shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Rite Aid and CVS tumbled between 8% and 12%, while those of drug distributors Mckesson Corp., Cardinal Health Inc. and Amerisourcebergen Corp were down 2% to 5%.

Should Prime members prefer buying in person, Amazon said its discounts on non-insurance purchases apply at more than 50,000 brick-and-mortar pharmacies – including those run by rivals. Inside Rx, a subsidiary of Cigna’s Evernorth, administers that benefit, Amazon said.

Still, the pandemic may help bring drug orders online. E-commerce has surged this year as governments told people to stay home to stave off infections of COVID-19, and Prime members – more than 150 million globally – may be receptive to buying medication online now that it’s from Amazon.

The company said Prime subscribers get up to 80% off generic and up to 40% off brand drugs when they pay without insurance, as well as two-day delivery.

Amazon’s online pharmacy is not yet available in Illinois, Minnesota, Louisiana, Kentucky, and Hawaii, a spokeswoman said.

(Reporting By Jeffrey Dastin in San Francisco and Caroline Humer in New York; Additional reporting by Manojna Maddipatla and Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Lincoln Feast and Sriraj Kalluvila)

Walmart to sell Medicare plans in latest healthcare push

(Reuters) – Walmart Inc said on Tuesday it would sell Medicare insurance plans in 50 states and Washington D.C. through its broker, marking the U.S. retailer’s latest move into the healthcare space.

Walmart Insurance Services LLC, which was launched in July, will offer policies from health insurers such as Humana Inc, UnitedHealth Group and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield from Oct. 15-Dec. 7, the company said.

Medicare Advantage plans cater to Americans older than 65 and those with disabilities.

The company already operates health centers across the United States, offering low-cost services such as dental care and counseling.

Walmart’s move comes at a time when health insurers face rising costs as Americans catch up on less urgent surgeries delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hospitals rescheduled elective surgeries to reduce the burden on the healthcare system as coronavirus cases surged, while some patients canceled appointments to avoid potential contraction of the respiratory illness caused by the virus.

(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)