Business Stories of the Week: Friday, Feb. 9, 2018

by February 9, 2018

Best Buy announced their plans to phase out CD sales by July of this year. Photo courtesy Pixabay.com

Best Buy stops selling CDs

Once “the most powerful music merchandiser in the U.S.” according to Billboard, Best Buy announced that it will stop selling CDs in July, USAToday reports. CD sales have declined significantly in the past several years — in 2016, only 34% of recording industry revenue came from physical formats, while more than half came from streaming services. Best Buy is one of the last major music retailers in the country, after big-name chains like Sam Goody and Virgin Megastore closed in the late 2000s.

U.S. Solar jobs down almost 10,000 in 2017

Reuters reports that the U.S. solar industry lost nearly 10,000 jobs in 2017, thanks to slow growth in Massachusetts and California. This represents the first contraction in the solar job market since it was first tracked in 2010. Solar tax credits expiring in 2016, combined with reduced incentives for residential and commercial use, as well as import tariffs on new panels are partly to blame, experts say. However, they predict a slight increase in jobs by the end of the year.

PepsiCo CEO pitches “chips for ladies”

The CEO of PepsiCo, which owns the Doritos brand, announced the company would be making chips designed to appeal to women, according to CNBC. Indra Nooyi said that women “don’t like to crunch too loudly” in public, and that there are “snacks for women that can be designed and packaged differently.” The proposed snacks sparked significant controversy, with #LadyDoritos trending on Twitter, and late-night talk show host Seth Meyers saying “there’s no more appropriate snack for the #MeToo era than a chip that tells women to be quiet.”

Jobless claims drop to 45-year low

In January, initial jobless claims to state unemployment agencies dropped to 216,000 in mid-January, the lowest since 1973, Reuters reports. Last week represented the 153rd straight week that initial jobless claims were below 300,000, which economists say is the threshold for a “strong labor market.” The Department of Labor reports steadily increasing wages, and the Federal Reserve expects to use this as an impetus to raise interest rates later this year.

Dunkin Donuts to ditch foam cups

Environmentally conscious doughnut and coffee connoisseurs can rejoice in Dunkin Donuts’ plans to eliminate its foam hot coffee cups, CNBC reports. The move comes amid other major fast food companies, including McDonalds, working towards greening up their packaging offerings. Stores in New York and California will see the new, recyclable cups starting this spring. The company plans to have full rollout by 2020.

Chipotle seeks something new

According to Bloomberg, Chipotle Mexican Grill hasn’t done much to change its menu in 25 years. After a record three-month stock drop, CEO Steve Ellis says the company is trying out new menu items, ranging from salads and grains, to “adult-size quesadillas” and nachos. Keeping the restaurant’s trademark window service and speed is a priority, so Ellis says the company will be using their New York test kitchen to try out new recipes.