News ⚡️

🚚 Arlington, Texas Announces They Lost Amazon Bid | Via: CNN
The Lead: On Tuesday, Arlington officials announced Amazon passed on the city, stating it is "no longer moving forward in the selection process" for HQ2. Arlington was informed of the tech giant's decision in recent weeks.

Why it Matters: Amazon's very public quest to find a host city for HQ2 has become quite the contest. Cities have flung loads of hours and dollars in a quest to change their city's profile and economic fortunes. While other cities have not yet announced whether they've been 'cut' from Amazon's consideration, this decision could point to some of the important aspects they're seeking in a place: large urban center of a million residents or more, a region with the ability to attract or sustain strong technical talent, and communities that think differently and creatively about available space for business.

🤖 HQ2, Where Are You (Or, Where Will You Be?) | Via: Retail Dive
The Lead: Just as one city announces they believe they lost their HQ2 bid, NBC News reports that Amazon has wrapped up visits to all 20 finalist cities, culled from an initial list of more than 200. There is no date set for the e-commerce juggernaut to announce its HQ2 location, which is expected to bring 50,000 jobs and a $5 billion investment.

Why it Matters: As major metropolitan regions sweat out the wait, a growing number of other companies are calling finalist cities in an effort to see if their company could potentially be a good fit. Newark Mayor Ras Baraka noted there is a "halo effect" around the city, especially from other technology companies, according to the report.

🍎 Apple Quietly Looks For New Space | Via: Mercury News
The Lead: Apple is quietly searching for locations that will fit a new campus. Reports indicate that Apple has zoomed in on Northern Virginia and North Carolina. This past weekend, news outlets in Raleigh indicated that officials were close to a deal there. While Amazon very publicly moves on with their efforts to locate new locations, Apple's Tim Cook is taking a different tack. According to a CNBC report, Cook said, “We didn’t want to create this contest. You wind up putting people through a ton of work to select one, that is a case where you have a winner and a lot of losers. I don’t like that.” This past weekend, Cook was the commencement speaker at Duke University in Durham, and also met with North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper.

Why it Matters: The impact of a prominent East Coast Apple campus, which would be the company's fourth, would be gigantic. Average salaries for the high-level research jobs would be around $130,000. Apple has a data center in North Carolina and has various ties to the Research Triangle, too. A Bloomberg analysis released earlier this month listed North Carolina as one of the states that would likely be in the running for the new campus based on a variety of factors, from tax incentives to human capital.

The Big Idea 🤔

😱😎Retail Apocalypse, Schma-pocalypse | Via: Wall Street Journal
The Lead: We'd like to say we told you so. A prospering economy has put wind back in the sails of some chains that were losing revenue to online shopping, The Wall Street Journal says. Also helping are store improvements and even closings, as the stores retrenched in the face of fewer shoppers.

Why it Matters: A number of American retailers saw improvements recently. Walmart’s saw faster sales in-store and online during the first quarter. Earlier in the week, Home Depot reported sales at stores open at least a year jumped 4.2% in the period, while Macy’s saw same-store sales increase 4%.

Prime Time for Whole Foods | Via: CNN
The Lead: Amazon is dishing out more perks to Prime members who shop at Whole Foods.

Why it Matters: The company announced two new Prime benefits that shoppers can take advantage of in Whole Foods stores: an additional 10 percent off sale items and "deep discounts" on select bestselling items. The perks roll out across all Florida stores today and will reach all Whole Foods locations in the US this summer.

💰You Can't Buy Millennial Loyalty | Via: Quartz
The Lead: Bleep, chirp, buzz. That sound was the breaking news flash come across your mobile phone: A new study of millennials in the workplace shows that the generational cohort's loyalty to employers is deteriorating. The research, conducted by Deloitte, found that while money can attract talented millennials, it doesn't necessarily retain them.

Why it Matters: We can debate age-related semantics and the wants and desires of an entitled generation, but we've thoroughly reached a point when the sheer number of younger workers and emerging generations is fundamentally changing the way in which we work -- or, the way they want to work. If you're working in HR or are involved in hiring and thinking about your company's future, you'll probably want to check into some of these stats. Factors like workplace diversity and flexible working arrangements are cited as ways to keep these workers loyal. The findings also suggest that millennial views of employers' ethics and motivations are eroding, with just under half believing that businesses behave ethically, a drop from 62% in 2017.

Heard Around The Web 💬

🍔 Happiness Beneath the Golden Arches | Via: Huffington Post
The Lead: Alice Pirnie, 90, takes orders at the counter, serves as a greeter and is considered by some as the “Mother of McDonald's” because of her caring nature.

Why it Matters: Talk about dedication. In an industry that consistently sees high employee turnover, Pirnie has shown that her commitment has been a valuable asset for this McDonald's location. There's a lot we can learn about her work ethic: She strives to bring each customer joy, no matter what. She arrived at the Broken Bow location 26 years ago when it opened, and only took extended time off when a grease fire closed the inside of the restaurant. In addition to her deep dedication to customer service, Pirnie also served as the store's unofficial historian, recording and tracking articles and news about the store and the locations where people visited from. How does she do that? “By smiling lots,” she said. “I smile at them until they finally smile back at me. I like to see happy people. Life is better if you can be friendly. To have friends you must be friendly. I just love seeing people.”

🍕Pizza Hut Expands Global slice-print | Via: NRN
The Lead: Depending on the region, growth will occur through opening new franchise locations or converting Telepizza brands into Pizza Hut units. Telepizza Group plans to open at least 1,300 new restaurants over the next 10 years and 2,550 locations over 20 years.

Why it Matters: The United States is dominated by a variety of pizza chains, but Pizza Hut's International group is poised to take the American brand global. “This groundbreaking deal is a major milestone in our journey to become the most loved, fastest-growing pizza brand in the world,” Milind Pant, president of Pizza Hut International, said in a statement.

🏀 The Business of (Sports) Fashion | Via: Hollywood Reporter
The Lead: NBA superstar Lebron James recently bought his teammates matching Thom Browne suits to wear before their basketball games. And they aren’t your average suits — they're custom, made-to-measure Super 120 twill suits with white Oxford shirts, four-bar cashmere cardigans, leather brogue boots and Mr. Thom bags. The athletes and their coach were fitted for the suits, and revealed the uniform look while entering the stadium for the team's first-round Game 3 of the NBA playoffs April 20. The team uses group texts to confirm what color suit they'll wear next.

Why it Matters: Increasingly, the styles of the biggest NBA stars are having an impact on the fashion industry. Last night, James Harden donned a $1,280 Gucci shirt. James' tapping of Thom Browne as the choice for his teammates was no accident. “It’s just a togetherness [thing],” teammate Kendrick Perkins told the Globe. “I mean, it’s something that LeBron came up with and we all just kind of rock it together.”

“This initiative with the Cavaliers is a cultural statement that speaks to the confidence and power of uniformity,” Browne wrote in a statement. “LeBron and each one of his teammates is a true individual, and this individuality is heightened by the confidence they show in representing this unique, strong, singular message.”

😇 Would You Do That To Your Mother? | Via: Facebook Live
The Lead: As we get more complex, we get further and further from the humans at the center of the work. Best-selling author Jeanne Bliss joins Jay Baer to talk about her book in this very interesting, highly-engaging Facebook Live video.

Why it Matters: In an effort to think about that, best-selling author Jeanne Bliss used our mothers as the perfect parallel to explore 32 case studies including companies like Pepsi and The Four Seasons, that are designed to make you think about delivering 'mom-approved customer service and tactics to engage frontline employees.

Attend our Webinar:
We are super excited to be hosting Jeanne for a webinar next week. Register for free and engage with us on May 23, at 1 pm CST. We look forward to having you be part of our conversation!