In today’s top news, Amazon could be in talks to buy JCPenney, and 4 million stimulus payments will be sent to consumers via Visa prepaid debit cards. Plus, Uber plans to cut 3,000 more jobs.
Amazon could be in talks to acquire the clothing retailer JCPenney, which officially filed for bankruptcy late Friday (May 15), ending speculation as to the beleaguered former retail titan’s financial status.
The U.S. Treasury Department and the IRS are planning to send out around 4 million Economic Impact Payments (EIP) via Visa prepaid debit cards rather than paper checks this week. The EIP cards can be used for purchases, withdrawals from ATMs and transfers to bank accounts and represent a large part of the final wave of individual stimulus payments that went out amid the initial coronavirus response with March’s CARES Act.
Uber plans to cut 3,000 more jobs and close 45 offices — all while eyeing other cutbacks as the COVID-19 economy keeps pummeling the ride-hailing giant. Job cuts do not include drivers. Uber’s rides business was down 80 percent in April from the same month the previous year.
Bank of America lowered its rating of Square Inc. by two notches Monday (May 18), downgrading the stock to “underperform” from “buy” amid fears that shops, restaurants, and salons will struggle once COVID-19 funds are spent.
As summer approaches, consumers are letting their credit cards cool off — even on seasonal essentials like ice coolers. Retailers must offer payment choices to drive sales, although offering too many options can quickly turn customers frosty. In the latest Buy Now, Pay Later Tracker, Brian Garofalow, vice president of eCommerce for cooler retailer Igloo, discusses how providing flexible payment options adds value, but why retailers need to be strategic about the payment methods they accept.
The pandemic has forced many aspects of business life to pause, including much of the action in mergers and acquisitions. Now, some lawmakers even want to ban M&A until the economy returns to normal. Karen Webster hosted a live roundtable with six experts from the academic, legal, regulatory and investment realms on how merger policy should change now — if at all — and whether Big Tech deserves the scrutiny that’s come its way. Here’s what you missed.
When the going gets tough, the tough go to Walmart. That’s one of the main takeaways to come out of Walmart’s first-quarter earnings release on Tuesday (May 19). Walmart reported that first-quarter revenue grew 8.6 percent, and the areas where the company showed strength and invested the most energy to change offer clue as to how U.S. consumers are changing habits in response to the pandemic.