Consumer & Service

Business • Consumer & Service
H&M fined €35.3 million in Germany for spying on employees
H&M fined €35.3 million in Germany for spying on employees
Credit: unsplash.com / Fernand De Canne

Hamburg’s data protection commissioner has stated that H&M in Nuremberg had collected private information about employees including family issues and religious beliefs. The data had been collected on a network drive and had been accessible for up to 50 managers. The incident got public when the data had been briefly visible for all people on the network.

H&M has been fined €35.3 million and the company stated that the practices uncovered in Nuremberg did not align with the guidelines of the company.

Business • Consumer & Service
H&M terminates cooperation with a supplier in China because of crimes against the Muslim Uyghur people
H&M Store
H&M Store Credit: Mister No

The Swedish clothing company H&M announced that it is ending its cooperation with the Chinese supplier Huafu. The textile supplier, based in the Chinese province of Anhui, is said to have benefited from the forced labour system in the province, which is mainly inhabited by Muslim Uyghur people.

According to H&M, the company had an "indirect business relationship" with the supplier, even though there hadn't been any indications of forced labour, H&M decided to terminate the cooperation regardless.

Business • Consumer & Service
First Amazon Fresh opens Woodland Hills, in Los Angeles
First Amazon Fresh opens Woodland Hills, in Los Angeles
Credit: Amazon, Screenshot via YouTube

After an invite-only phase, the first Amazon Fresh grocery store has opened its door to the public in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles. Amazon is also introducing Dash Carts, shopping carts featuring a scale and a variety of cameras and sensors to calculate your shopping total. Echo Show stations featuring Alexa will help customers find items and products in the store.

Business • Consumer & Service
Peloton announced its first-ever quarterly profit amid Covid-19 pandemic-demand spike
Peloton Bike
Peloton Bike Credit: Peloton

Peloton, the connected fitness-equipment company, reported a fiscal fourth-quarter profit of $89.1 million, the first-ever since the company went public a year ago. The company revenue totalled $607.1 million, up from $223 million a year ago.

During a conference call Thursday, the company CEO James Foley said: "The strong tailwind we experienced in March as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold has continued to propel the demand for our products into the fourth quarter and the first couple of months of the Q1 fiscal year 2021."

Business • Consumer & Service
Amazon drivers are hanging smartphones in trees to get more work
Amazon drivers are hanging smartphones in trees to get more work
Credit: Wicked Monday

Smartphones dangling from trees became a usual sight near Amazon.com delivery stations and Whole Foods stores in the Chicago suburb thanks to an Uber-like app called Amazon Flex, that lets drivers make deliveries in their own cars.

Someone places several devices in a tree located close to the station where deliveries originate. Drivers then sync their own phones with the ones in the tree and wait nearby for an order pickup. 

For many with other jobs, it’s a way to earn extra money in their spare time. But with joblessness rising and unemployment payments shrinking, competition for such work has stiffened, and more people rely on it as their primary income source.

Business • Consumer & Service
Protesters set up a guillotine outside Jeff Bezos' mansion and demanded higher wages for Amazon workers
Protesters set up a guillotine outside Jeff Bezos' mansion and demanded higher wages for Amazon workers
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

Demonstrators gathered outside Jeff Bezos' mansion Thursday and constructed a guillotine outside his front door to protest Amazon workers' wages. The protest came the day after Bezos became the wealthiest person in history, according to Forbes, with a net worth surpassed $200 billion.

Protesters, led by former warehouse worker and outspoken Amazon critic Christian Smalls, called on the company to raise its minimum wage to $30 per hour.

Business • Consumer & Service
Greg Joswiak replaces Phil Schiller as head of Apple marketing
Phil Schiller
Phil Schiller Credit: Apple

Apple announced Tuesday that its marketing boss Phil Schiller will step down from his role and serve as an “Apple Fellow” running the App Store and company events. Greg Joswiak will replace Schiller as Vice President of Worldwide Marketing.

"Phil has helped make Apple the company it is today and his contributions are broad, vast, and run deep. In this new role, he will continue to provide the incredible thought partnership, and guidance that have defined his decades at Apple," said Tim Cook in a press release.

Business • Consumer & Service
Apple reports revenue of $59.69 billion in the third quarter
Apple Park headquarters
Apple Park headquarters Credit: Carles Rabada

Apple announced revenue of $59.7 billion and a net quarterly profit of $11.25 billion for the third fiscal quarter of 2020, which corresponds to the second calendar quarter of the year.

The company reported growth across all of its product lines for Q3, from the iPhone, which has seen slowed growth in recent years, to its booming wearables and services businesses. The iPhone revenue of $26.4 billion for the quarter, an increase from the year-ago quarter.

Business • Consumer & Service
During Covid-19: Ice-cream sales up, deodorant sales down according to Unilever
During Covid-19: Ice-cream sales up, deodorant sales down according to Unilever
Credit: Veganbaking.net (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

According to the consumer goods corporation Unilever, the sales of personal care items have decreased during the pandemic. Likely reason for this is the social distancing and limited socialisation of people and working from home during the pandemic.

Contrary to the decrease of consumer goods sales, such as deodorant, makeup and other personal products, the sales of ice-cream have increased by 15% in the first quarter and by 26% in the second quarter.

Business • Consumer & Service
Walmart makes face masks mandatory for customers
Walmart makes face masks mandatory for customers
Credit: MikeMozartJeepersMedia / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Walmart announced on Wednesday that it would require all customers to wear a mask or face covering when entering its stores, following other large retailers such as Best Buy, Costco and Apple. Walmart's face covering policy will take effect on July 20 in around 5,000 – roughly 65% – of its stores.