Posts tagged with "Business Insider"

Lululemon slashes price of Mirror by 50% as it nears October 5 launch of fitness studio

October 3, 2022

Starting October 5, fitness gear company Lululemon will temporarily cut the price of its Mirror home-fitness device by roughly 50%—taking the price down to $795 as it works to build interest in a new studio membership platform, the company announced on Wednesday, September 28, reports Business Insider.

The company first unveiled the plan for a membership program linked to Mirror at an analyst day in April. On Wednesday, it offered new details about the platform, which it’s calling Lululemon Studio, including a launch date that coincides with the Mirror sale: October 5.

According to Business Insider, for $39 a month, members will have access to more than 10,000 online classes. They’ll also get a 10% discount on Lululemon merchandise and discounts on in-person classes at studio partners including Pure Barre, Rumble, and YogaSix.

Membership requires the purchase of a Mirror device, and current Mirror owners will automatically become members of the program for 12 months.

Lululemon also will launch a free membership program on October 5 that will offer shopping rewards, free access to select Lululemon Studio classes, and early access to product drops.

Lululemon executives said the platform will help the company to serve its customers more flexibly.

“Our guests’ fitness needs have evolved and Lululemon Studio is solving for them by providing members with access to fitness content from our world-class trainers and studio partners at home, on the go and live in studios around North America,” said Chief Brand Officer Nikki Neuburger in a news release.

Analysts weren’t immediately sold on the plan given the struggles of other connected-fitness companies.

“Increasingly, it seems publicly traded companies are making the pivot to content over equipment,” said Simeon Siegel, a BMO Capital Markets managing director, in an email to Business Insider. But he questions whether companies can do both content and hardware at the same time.

“Like all companies, connected-fitness operators should focus on what makes them special. If it’s the equipment, great. If it’s the content, fantastic,” Siegal said. “If it’s both, make sure to value and price both accordingly. But that is rare. And being true to who they are is difficult, but key.”

Lululemon acquired Mirror in July 2020 for $453 million. At the time, company insiders were skeptical about the technology, calling it “buggy” and wondering how it fits into Lululemon’s long-term growth strategy.

At the April investor day, Michael Aragon, Lululemon Digital Fitness CEO, said Mirror is a natural fit for the company’s business plan.

“Our goal is to build a platform that connects Lululemon guests, who want to live healthier lives,” he said. “The goal is simple: Be the go-to platform for fitness and wellness.”

Research contact: @BusinessInsider

Germany and Denmark plan to invest $9 billion in an island of wind parks to replace Russian gas

August 31, 2022

Germany and Denmark have agreed on a $9 billion deal to build an offshore wind power project in the Baltic Sea that authorities said would provide enough power for up to 4.5 million householdsout of a total of 40.1 million nationwide—by 2030, reports Business Insider.

Prior to the announcement, German residents had worried what would happen to them without Russian power for the grid during the coming winter. Both nations said the new project represents a step toward reducing the region’s reliance on Russian gas and oil.

Under the deal, announced on Monday, August 29,  Denmark will boost its planned wind power capacity on Bornholm Energy Island from 2 to 3 gigawatts, per State of Green, an energy and climate arm of the Danish government.

The deal also includes a 292-mile subsea cable that links Bornholm’s wind parks to the German grid.

Currently, Denmark and Germany have offshore wind power capabilities of 1.5 gigawatts and 1 gigawatts, respectively, in the Baltic Sea, accounting for more than 90% of the region’s wind energy, State of Green wrote in its statement.

The infrastructure to connect the wind parks will cost $3 billion, while $6 billion would be needed to bolster the wind parks, Bloomberg reportedciting the Danish government.

In State of Green’s Monday statement, Dan Jørgensen, Denmark’s minister for climate, energy, and utilities, called the project a “landmark in energy history” at a time when “international cooperation is more urgent than ever before.”

Robert Habeck, Germany’s minister for economic affairs and climate action, said the “flagship project” would help Europe achieve “energy security and climate neutrality.”

On Friday, August 26, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbockv emphasized her nation’s desire to pursue the “enormous” potential of offshore wind energy in the Baltic Sea, which she said could generate up to 90 gigawatts of power.

“Wind energy from the Baltic Sea will help us fight the climate crisis. And it is an investment in our security: it will help make us less dependent on gas from Russia,” she said.

The world’s total wind power capacity—both onshore and offshor3 is now up to around 837 gigawatts, according to the Global Wind Energy Council. China holds the largest share in the world’s offshore wind market, having raised its offshore wind capacity to 27.7 gigawatts in 2021, per the GWEC.

The European Commission has set a target for increasing its nations’ total wind power capacity to 300 gigawatts by 2050, up from the 16 total gigawatts installed as of May.

Research contact: @BusinessInsider

The Artemis I moon mission is set for liftoff on Monday

August 29, 2022

NASA is counting down to its Artemis 1 uncrewed test flight—a $50 billion, 42-day test flight that is designed to set the stage for humanity’s return to the moon, reports Business Insider.

The total distance to be traveled by the mega-spaceship—as it circles the moon and returns to earth on October 10—will be 1.3 million miles.

“We are go for launch, which is absolutely outstanding,” Robert Cabana, NASA associate administrator, told reporters at a press conference. “This day has been a long time coming.”

If the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket successfully launches, shoots its Orion spaceship around the moon, and the spaceship survives the fiery plummet at 24,500 mph back through Earth’s atmosphere, NASA could be on track to put boots on the lunar surface in 2025—the first human moon landing since 1972.

Eventually, NASA plans to build a permanent base on the moon and mine resources there, before sending astronauts on to Mars.

The rocket is sitting on Launchpad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, after being rolled out last week. Space agency officials say liftoff is scheduled for Monday, August 29, during a two-hour window that opens at 8:33 a.m. (EDT).

Two backup windows are also available on September 2 and September 5, if any last-minute technical issues or weather delays arise. More than 100,000 visitors are expected to gather near NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, to view the inaugural launch.

The bright new SLS rocket stands taller than the Statue of Liberty, at 23 stories, with the spaceship secured up top. Four car-sized engines and two rocket boosters should give it enough thrust to push through the thickest parts of the atmosphere,

It will zip as close as 60 miles above the lunar surface, allowing lunar gravity to sling it 40,000 miles past the moon before heading back to Earth for a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean in October.

Scientists will assess how future astronauts will experience the stresses of space by measuring how much cosmic radiation mannequins aboard the Orion capsule endured during the test flight. The mission will also launch several CubeSats, or miniature satellites, with science missions.

However, NASA’s main goal with Artemis I is to test every function of the launch and spaceflight system—including Orion’s communication and navigation systems and its heat shield, which must withstand a fiery plummet through Earth’s atmosphere at temperatures reaching 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit—before risking human lives in future missions.

If the uncrewed Orion spaceship makes it around the moon and back without a hitch, the Artemis II mission will carry astronauts on a similar roundabout. The Artemis III mission aims to put humans on the moon in 2025.

Research contact: @BusinessInsider

Timex takes a witty swipe at Apple: ‘Know the time without seeing you have 1,249 unanswered emails’

August 18, 2022

Apple may be the leader in the smartwatch market, but an old-school player wants to remind us of the joys of analog watches, reports Business Insider.

Timex is promoting a new watch with a New York City billboard. The $140 watch, a collaboration with the Brooklyn-based clothing company Adsum, is currently sold out. But the ad’s message lives on.

“Know the time without seeing you have 1,249 unanswered emails,” reads the sleek, minimalist billboard, apparently referring to Apple’s Watch that displays your notifications on your wrist.

Timex was founded in 1854 and has become a global household name for traditional watches. But Apple gave consumers a very different product with its series of smartwatches starting in 2015.

However, there is something that traditional watches haven’t given us that smartwatches may have: notification anxiety.

Smartwatches deliver a slew of real-time health data like heart rhythm to you right to your wrist and can cause obsessive self-monitoring, as Digital Trends reported in late 2021.

But that hasn’t stopped Apple watch from being a hit, even though it wasn’t always: It struggled to appeal to people for the first year or so into its presence on the market.

Then Apple changed its strategy to gear the Watch more towards fitness—a tool to track one’s physical health while also staying on top of regular iPhone alerts—instead of mere fashion or luxury. The Watch Series 2, for example, rolled out in 2016 and came with GPS that you could use without your smartphone.

The fitness focus caused the Apple Watch to skyrocket in popularity, and it leapfrogged Rolex as the number one watch in the world in mid-2017.

Apple has since blown past legacy Swiss watch companies, like Swatch, TAG Heuer, and others, which are struggling to compete with the phone giant’s hit fitness-oriented smartwatch.

Apple shipped an estimated 31 million units in 2019, versus the 21 million shipments from Swiss watch brands, research firm Strategy Analytics said in an early 2020 report.

Research contact: @BusinessInsider

What’s the trending ‘coastal grandmother’ lifestyle?

Aughust 10, 2022

If you aren’t one of the 183 million viewers of 26-year-old Lex Nicoleta’s coastal grandmother TikTok video—first posted in March and now trending everywhere—we have the lowdown, thanks to both The Star and Business Insider.

According to The Star, coastal grandmother is an appealingly attainable way of life—and if you have time to read a newspaper you’re likely halfway there. You own a couple of button-down cotton shirts, which you button up. You’re not shy around a bucket hat, preferably in white; or a bottle of wine, which you open at 4 p.m. and finish that night—even on a Tuesday, because there are no days in this world of timeless ease.

You may garden or walk on a beach, if you happen to live near one (not a requirement for the CG); maybe there’s a dog and a zippy car. Extra points if you own and use an extremely heavy orange Le Creuset casserole (check!).

Diane Keaton in “Something’s Gotta Give” and Meryl Streep in “It’s Complicated” are the often-cited original models for the coastal grandmother and, like them, you wear your privilege on your loose linen sleeve. But you don’t have to be a grandmother to be a coastal grandmother, any more than you must be beachbound: Anne Hathaway, Selena Gomez, and Taylor Swift have all posted their CG looks, and a large and merry band of under-25s have joined in the fun. As Nicoleta says: Coastal grandmother “is for anyone and everyone.”

Indeed, Business Insider writer Allison Kenien says she grew up with her own coastal grandmother. “Looking at the viral TikTok videos,” Kenien says, “I see a glamorized version of ocean life.”

The videos glorify an affluent lifestyle that is commonly associated with seaside communities. But real coastal culture, in Kenien’s opinion, is not about money—it’s about experiences: combing the beach for shells, feeling the rush of big waves, breathing the salty air, watching the sunrise with the fishermen, and eating the freshest catch at sunset.

She agrees that the coastal grandmother aesthetic on TikTok focuses heavily on white or cream clothing—and there is a good reason for that: Conventional wisdom is that the colors repel sunlight and catch the breeze; keeping you comfortable all day, from the sand dunes to the salt ponds.

In addition, Kenien notes, “You can score bonus points for wearing vintage yacht club clothing, which shows that you’ve been hanging around the water for a long time.”

However, in her experience, the aesthetic is more varied than TikTok would suggest: “In the fall, winter, and spring, coastal grandmothers add color to their wardrobe. I like to keep my nautical look with blue, gray, and red clothing; gold accents; and patterns with ropes, stripes, or waves. For the coldest months, we wear fisherman sweaters, cozy socks, and a warm wool coat. “

And when coastal grandmothers go home, they enjoy neighborhoods with a distinctive look. American flags are common in traditional coastal towns—and coast homes are typically sided in distinct cedar shingles that get a faded, weathered look over time. Compared to traditional siding, these shingles are more resistant to rotting caused by ocean air.

One common decor item mentioned on TikTok that is definitely accurate is having a bowl of lemons to decorate the kitchen counter. This isn’t just about aesthetics though, says Kenien. She explains, “It’s because we frequently eat seafood, which is traditionally served with lemon in order to neutralize the ‘fishy’ taste and give dishes a fresher flavor.”

“My great grandmother’s favorite meal was Block Island swordfish, which is locally sourced from Rhode Island,” she recalls. “Nearly a century later, we still serve it to guests and share stories about my grandmother’s tradition of eating swordfish with gherkin pickles.”

And paper plates won’t do: Nicoleta mentions serving these coastal recipes on good china, “which.” Says Kenien, “is spot on in my community, where coastal families often have special serving dishes, usually passed down through the family.”

Finally, she recalls, “My grandparents made the ocean magic last all year long, even when the glitz and glimmer of the summer season had ended.”

At the heart of the coastal grandmother is sharing the spirit of the seaside with others. You can carry that warmth and love anywhere, through any season.

Research contact: @BusinessInsider

Starbucks is closing 16 stores due to a high frequency of ‘challenging incidents’

July 14, 2022

Starbucks is permanently closing 16 locations nationwide by the end of July, The Wall Street Journal first reported.

“After careful consideration, we are closing some stores in locations that have experienced a high volume of challenging incidents that make it unsafe to continue to operate, to open new locations with safer conditions,” a Starbucks spokesperson told Business Insider in a follow-up interview.

The incidents that workers have reported involve customers and other members of the public using drugs in the stores, according to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz .

The company said that the closures are to make Starbucks locations safer for customers and employees, reiterating the message in a letter that Debbie Stroud and Denise Nelson, the senior VPs of U.S. Operations at Starbucks, sent to employees on July 11. The company also gives local leaders the authority to close bathrooms, reduce seating, and take other measures to keep conditions safe for employees.

“We look forward to continuing to serve these local communities and encourage our customers to visit us at our other stores in these areas, which can be found on the Starbucks App or Starbucks Store Locator,” the spokesperson said.

See the full list of store closures below:

  • Santa Monica & Westmount, West Hollywood, California
  • Hollywood & Western, Los Angeles, California
  • 1st & Los Angeles (Doubletree), Los Angeles, California
  • Hollywood & Vine, Hollywood, California
  • Ocean Front Walk & Moss, Santa Monica, California
  • 2nd & San Pedro, Los Angeles, California
  • 10th & Chestnut, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 4th & Morrison, Portland, Oregon
  • Gateway, Portland, Oregon
  • 23rd & Jackson, Seattle, Washington
  • Roosevelt Square, Seattle, Washington
  • Olive Way, Seattle, Washington
  • 505 Union Stn, Seattle, Washington
  • Westlake Center, Seattle, Washington
  • Hwy 99 & Airport Rd, Everett, Washington
  • Union Station Train Concourse, Washington, DC

Research contact: @BusinessInsider

Elon Musk’s Chinese doppelgänger, Yilong Ma, is suspended from nation’s versions of TikTok, Twitter

May 20, 2022

Elon Musk‘s viral Chinese doppelgänger, Yilong Ma, appears to have been suspended on the Chinese versions of TikTok and Twitter, reports Business Insider. 

At press time, Insider saw that Ma’s page on Douyin—China’s version of TikTok —had been purged of all content. At the same time, a content-restriction notification citing a violation of the platform’s policies was slapped on Ma’s page on Weibo, the country’s Twitter-like platform.

Representatives from Douyin’s parent company, Bytedance, and Weibo’s parent company, Sina, did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Business Insider.

In a response to press queries from Insider, Ma said he had not received an appropriate explanation from Weibo or Douyin on why his account was suspended. At press time, he had not responded to a follow-up request from Insider to verify via video call if he truly resembled Musk.

At press time, Ma’s page on the international version of TikTok, where he is known by the username “Elong Musk,” was still active. Ma has more than 239,000 followers on the platform, with about 3.9 million likes on his videos.

“All platform videos are ported, I only have TikTok. I love you,” said the profile description on Ma’s TikTok page. Ma first went viral on Douyin  in November 2020 for videos that appeared to show a striking resemblance to Musk. He later attracted the attention of Musk when the Tesla CEO quipped in response to a clip of Ma that he, too, may be “partly Chinese.”

Ma subsequently uploaded several videos on TikTok, including one in which he expressed his thoughts on Musk’s high-profile acquisition of Twitter. In this clip, he points excitedly at a printout of the Twitter icon, calling it “my bird!”

Ma’s latest video on TikTok is a photo compilation of him posing in front of a Tesla, captioned: “I want to take my brother for a ride in my Tesla! #elonmusk #tesla.”

Ma’s popularity later led to the Tesla CEO saying he would like to meet Ma in person. “I’d like to meet this guy (if he is real),” Musk tweeted. “Hard to tell with deepfakes these days.”

“I am here. I want very much to see you too! I love you, you are my hero,” Ma wrote in response to the billionaire in a post on Weibo.

Research contact: @BusinessInsider

Sandy Hook families agree to $73 million settlement with Remington Arms

February 17, 2022

The families of nine victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, have settled their lawsuit against Remington Arms—the manufacturer of the rifle that was used in the 2012 mass shooting—in an historic moment they said should put the gun industry and the banks and insurance companies that work with it on notice, reports Business Insider.

“Today is a day of accountability for an industry that has thus far enjoyed operating with immunity and impunity,” Nicole Hockley, whose son Dylan was killed in the shooting, told reporters. “And for this I am grateful.”

The settlement was for $73 million, Josh Koskoff, an attorney for the families, said at a news conference on Tuesday, February 15. Four insurers for the gunmaker will cover the costs, Koskoff said.

It marks the first time a gunmaker has been held responsible for a mass shooting in the United States.

“The gun industry’s protection is not bulletproof,” Koskoff said at the news conference.

Koskoff said the biggest feature of the settlement is not even the cash amount, but rather the “hundreds of thousands of documents” the families received through the discovery process that presumably details Remington’s internal decisions about how to market and manufacture what became one of its best-selling products.

The families of victims of the shooting first filed suit against Remington Arms in 2014 over its marketing of the Bushmaster rifle that was used by Adam Lanza to kill 26 young children and educators at the school in Newtown, Connecticut.

Many of the families pointed out that legal experts said their case faced long odds. At issue is a 2005 federal law that offered gun makers and dealers sweeping immunity protections with narrow exceptions. Hockley called the settlement a “crack” in “the gun industry’s impenetrable armor.”

Remington took its legal fight over the situation all the way to the Supreme Court. In 2019, the high court declined to intervene after the Connecticut Supreme Court allowed the suit to proceed. Remington argued that it was protected by the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.

The Connecticut court found that the federal law did “not permit advertisements that promote or encourage violent, criminal behavior,” NPR reported at the time.

Koskoff took reporters at the press conference through a lengthy review of Bushmaster’s marketing for the firearm Lanza later used in the massacre.

“They will tell you it’s made for hunting, but where’s the animal in all of this?” Koskoff said pointing to one ad. Another ad in the presentation depicted the firearm with a message to prospective buyers about their “man card.”

Research contact: @BusinessInsider

IKEA is serving 3D-printed vegan meatballs to job candidates during their interviews

Februayry  8, 2022

IKEA is offering aspiring employees the opportunity to interview for a job while sampling a serving of its vegan meatballs—not cooked, but printed by a machine, reports Business Insider.

The never-before-served 3D-printed meatballs are being offered as part of the home furnishing company’s recruitment campaign “Taste the Future,” which launched on Febraury1. The campaign aims to entice a diverse and extraordinary range of tech talent through a unique, tasty, and thought-provoking job interview for selected roles and people.

Indeed, the chain’s world-famous Swedish meatballs are an iconic part of the IKEA offer. Now IKEA is exploring new technologies to make them more sustainable. In line with their commitment to offer 50% plant-based main meals in IKEA restaurants by 2025, IKEA menus already include plant balls as alternatives to its traditional meatballs. The ambition is to make healthier and more sustainable eating easy, desirable and affordable.

According to the company’s website, the machines are designed to recreate the flavor, texture, and appearance of its original, iconic meatballs.

Ikea plans to recruit more than 150 tech workers this year. It plans to do so by offering hopefuls the opportunity to discuss their ideas while snacking on a plant-based version of the popular product.

“We’re looking for down-to-earth data scientists, future architects, cyber guardians, unboxed engineers, and common sense-makers. People who want to co-create a better everyday life at home for the many with thin wallets,” said Karen Rivoire, an IKEA employer brand leader.

While introducing printed snacks to interview processes seems to be a new concept, 3D-printed food is not uncommon. Food can be made quickly by packing ingredients into capsules and printing them according to pre-selected patterns.

Research contact: @BusinessInsider

Netflix is hiring Condé Nast and Time journalists, building a ‘fandom engine’ to market its shows

February  4, 2022

With stories like “The ‘Tinder Swindler’ Might Just Scare You Off Dating Apps” and “The Ultimate Ozark Travel Guide,” Tudum — pronounced like Netflix‘s signature opening sound—reads like many digital lifestyle magazines, with a breezy voice and easily digestible fare.

But the site, launched in beta mode in December following a fan event of the same name in the fall, isn’t an online news outlet: It’s a Netflix marketing platform focused on the streaming service’s own shows and movies —as above, an upcoming true-con documentary and the Jason Bateman drama Ozark, respectively —that has hired a wide and sparkly array of former entertainment journalists, reports Business Insider.

The reporter-turns-publicist or reporter-turns-copywriter pipeline in Hollywood (and other industries) is hardly new, but Netflix has drawn curiosity for luring reporters and editors from seemingly enviable posts at established lifestyle sites and glossy magazines.

The high-profile hires began in 2019 with longtime Vanity Fair editor Krista Smith, whose tenure as a Netflix consultant evolved last spring into a position as director of editorial and publishing. She runs Queue, the streamer’s magazine geared toward Hollywood’s inside-the-industry, awards-focused crowd.

Graydon Carter, the founder of digital magazine Air Mail and previously the 25-year editor of Vanity Fair, told Insider he had read Netflix’s most recent issue of Queue

It’s propaganda in magazine form,” Carter said of Queue. “The oil companies used to do this sort of thing in the ’70s and ’80s: ‘Oil is good.'”

Carter said: “I looked through the magazine and I thought it was reasonably well done but it felt thin and expensive.” He added that it was no surprise that Netflix poached talented editors like his onetime employee Smith.

Netflix’s editorial spree ramped up last summer with Michelle Lee, the six-year editor-in-chief of Condé Nast’s Allure who was named Netflix VP of editorial and publishing, reporting to Chief Marketing Officer Bozoma Saint John. Lee now oversees Tudum, Queue, and Netflix’s social channels, among them, Strong Black Lead and Geeked.

Then there’s former Refinery29 Executive Editor Connie Wang, former The Wrap deputy editor Lawrence Yeev, and former Entertainment Weekly editor-in-chief Henry Goldblatt, who — after a decade at Time Inc. properties EW and People — served as VP of awards at Showtime for the past year before joining Netflix as an executive editor in January.

Netflx is still in hiring mode: The company has listed jobs for a Tudum content researcher, and editorial and publishing managers for Netflix Film, Geeked, and Strong Black Lead.

The streamer’s marketing editorial strategy also now extends to the kids and family space: Netflix Jr. magazine launched on Tuesday, February 1, promising preschool-aged children a “physical magazine your kids can hold in their hands — full of games, stories, activities — everything you need to share in the fun of your child’s favorite Netflix characters.” Netflix, Jr., like Queue, is a print publication. (Tudum is solely online.)

With starting pay of $50 an hour and 40-hour-a-week schedules, the Tudum writers who spoke to Insider generally expressed satisfaction with the gig.

“It boils down to money,” said one writer. “Journalism is struggling, and a lot of us are tired, and they keep cutting staff jobs and budgets; and [we’re] doing more and more and more, and being held to metrics that keep changing. And [if Netflix says], ‘We’re going to pay you a more-than-livable wage and let you continue to write about the things that you write,’ honestly, why wouldn’t you want to do that?”

Research contact: @BusinessInsider