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Happy Friday and Halloween Eve! Here's a recap of this week's industry news!
Following Amazon’s lead, Walmart has joined the battle of the skies to use drones for their customer deliveries. Reuters reported that Walmart has already submitted an application to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for product deliveries and returns. However, the FAA just announced new restrictions and registration procedures for private drone use. Walmart announced that they would be using drones from the company DJI to facilitate deliveries. Some possible functions of the drone would be local grocery delivery and neighborhood product drop-off locations. Unfortunately until the FAA finalizes a plan to regulate commercial-drone use, companies including Walmart and Amazon will not be flying anything to your home anytime soon.
Walgreens in $17.2B deal to acquire Rite Aid – USA Today
This week Walgreens announced that they would acquire direct competitor, Rite Aid. The $17 billion deal combines the second and third largest drugstores in the nation. The brand still needs regulatory approval for the acquisition, but if Walgreens receives approval this will only Intensify their ongoing competition with CVS. CVS and Walgreens are now the only two massive, chain stores in the marketplace. Walgreens said that Rite Aid will keep its brand name for now, and they will decide in the future how to properly integrate the two brands.
Snapchat’s latest update gives users even more ways to step up their selfie game. The app has added a new filter setting called “Speed Modifiers”. The filter now has slow-motion, fast-forward and rewind options. The update also includes new 3D Touch capability for the new iPhone 6S and 6S+. This newest addition to the app comes a month after including animated filters.
One retailer is paying workers to take off on Black Friday – Business Insider
The outdoor brand, REI, is taking an unheard of approach to Black Friday by closing its doors and encouraging employees and customers to explore the outdoors. All 143 locations will be closed the day after Thanksgiving, and the national retailer will give all of their employees a paid-day off. On a day that usually includes customers flooding stores and fighting for deals, REI hopes to offer an alternative that demonstrates what the brand really stands for. REI encouraged anyone participating in the campaign to share how they chose to spend their day outside.
Uber found the best way to brighten anyone’s Thursday: kittens. For National Cat Day, Uber announced UberKITTENS, a service that delivered kittens to uber users in select markets in the United States and Canada. Customers could request the kittens for $30 to play with them for 15 minutes. The campaign wasn’t just adorable, it was for a good cause too. Uber paired with local shelters in each market to help connect cat lovers and kittens that need a loving-home.
Read anything interesting this week? Tell us about it @WalkerSands!