Jean J. Brown

Heineken Pulls Payout, Kering’s Gucci Sales Slump: Earnings Wrap

(Bloomberg) — Consumer-goods companies from brewers to paint-makers sounded notes of caution on spending as the fallout in confidence from the coronavirus pandemic spreads even as lockdowns are lifted.

Heineken NV canceled its interim dividend and said its board will take a pay cut to mitigate the impact, while Kering said it doesn’t see a recovery in the U.S. or Europe before at least June or July after sales at its flagship brand Gucci tumbled. The shares fell nearly 7%. Akzo Nobel NV’s stock rose after earnings topped expectations, but the company said shoppers will need to “have money in their pocket” before shelling out for decorative paints.

In one of the only industries cushioned from the virus, Roche Holding AG advanced after the drugmaker said it still sees a small profit gain this year as demand for its medicines holds up and the company works on developing tests for

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After Weeks on Zoom, Churches Consider Plans to Reopen

Manuel Cuzco, 63, who lives nearby, kneels on the steps of St. Sebastian Roman Catholic Church in the Woodside neighborhood of Queens, March 22, 2020. (Todd Heisler/The New York Times)
Manuel Cuzco, 63, who lives nearby, kneels on the steps of St. Sebastian Roman Catholic Church in the Woodside neighborhood of Queens, March 22, 2020. (Todd Heisler/The New York Times)

When everything began shutting down back in March, Steve Wiens thought he would be leading church via Zoom for two, maybe four, weeks.

Members of his church, Genesis Covenant in Robbinsdale, Minnesota, rose to the challenge. They celebrated the Eucharist from their kitchens, with coffee and doughnuts, Capri Sun and Oreos. They divided themselves into small groups across town to keep tabs of who needed groceries or supplies.

“We’ve somehow maintained a real intimacy and sweetness because we leaned into the values that always held us,” Wiens said.

But as the weeks have turned into months, and Zoom fatigue is settling in, many church leaders are contemplating how — and when exactly — to reopen. This week, Wiens mapped out

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Pandemic Pits E-Commerce Giant Amazon Against Big Box Stores, Mall Outlets

For retailers, Q1 earnings might resemble a Charles Dickens novel  as a tale of two sectors: Essential and nonessential—or perhaps brick-and-mortar and e-commerce.

Companies with the goods consumers needed as they hunkered down at home are widely expected to have rung up relatively healthy sales numbers, analysts said. Those that sold discretionary items probably struggled.

And it could be better yet for those essential retailers with strong e-commerce platforms to peddle food, aseptic solutions and even lumber (home repair projects seem popular now as people can’t really go anywhere). Non-store retail sales in March, at the onset of the shutdown throughout the U.S. slipped 3.1%, according to the Commerce Department. That sounds disappointing, but not when you look at overall retail sales that month falling 8.7%, making March the worst month ever for retail sales in data going back to 1992.

As many stockpiled food and filled medicine cabinets and

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18 Last-Minute Mother’s Day Gifts for Every Kind of Mom

We can’t even tell you what day of the week it is, never mind what month it is. So, it’s a huge feat that we haven’t missed Mother’s Day completely. Lucky for us (and all the rockstar moms in our lives), we figured things out just in the nick of time. Ahem, Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 10. Here are 18 thoughtful gifts that can be shipped directly to her doorstep or sent via email to ensure a last-minute, yet definitely on-time delivery.

She’s spending so much time at home these days that she can’t stop thinking of home improvement projects (same!). Gift her a one-on-one consultation with an interior designer, from the comfort of her own home, so she can turn her Fixer Upper obsession into reality. Choose from either a Havenly Mini ($79), which will let her refresh any room or the Havenly Full ($129), which will … Read More