Carl’s Jr. tries to court Amazon with tweets
Hey, Amazon, how about burgers and fries with those organic avocados from Whole Foods?
Carl’s Jr., the chain formerly run by onetime Trump Cabinet nominee Andy Puzder, is hoping a Twitter publicity stunt aimed at the e-commerce giant will create some buzz for a brand that has stopped using ads of bikini-clad models eating its burgers.
The official Twitter account of Carl’s Jr., which has 92,000 followers, on Monday started tweeting “big ideas” with the hashtag #AmazonBuyUs. One of the first tweets suggested that Amazon should acquire the fast-food chain.
“We’ve got dozens of billion-dollar ideas for this partnership, from the world’s first-ever self-driving restaurant to a chicken tender dash button,” the company said. The ideas also included a special “prime” drive-through lane for faster service and a “cloud-based” restaurant.
(Amazon chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Washington Post.)
— Bloomberg News
Walmart aims to ease returns process
Walmart said Monday that it would speed up the process for in-store returns of items bought on its website, just ahead of the busy holiday season.
Walmart has been using its more than 4,700 stores to promote hassle-free shopping on its website by offering services that allow customers to pick up products ordered online as well as make in-store returns.
The new service aims to drastically reduce the time taken to return an item bought online, as the company battles online retail giant Amazon’s aggressive moves to establish its own brick-and-mortar presence.
Starting in early November, under Walmart’s Mobile Express Returns, customers can use the retailer’s app to initiate a return. The process can be completed at “express” lanes in a store by scanning a bar code and handing over the item, eliminating the need to wait in lines. Wal-Mart said it plans to extend the process to items bought in stores by early next year.
FDA mulls gene therapy for blindness
Advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will meet Thursday to consider whether to recommend approval of a gene therapy aimed at improving vision for some people with hereditary blindness.
It would be the first gene therapy in the United States for an inherited disease, and the first in which a corrective gene is given directly to a patient. Only one gene therapy is sold in the United States now, a cancer treatment approved in August.
The eye treatment, called Luxturna, is made by Philadelphia-based Spark Therapeutics. A study of 29 patients found that it improved vision for nearly all of those given it and that it seemed safe. It is intended to be given just once, supplying a gene to make a protein needed for sight that people with the defective gene lack.
— Associated Press
Also in Business
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) on Monday signed legislation requiring drug companies to report certain price increases for prescription drugs, in a move that could set a model for other states to follow. The law, which aims to provide more transparency around pharmaceutical and biotech company pricing methods for their medicines, requires drugmakers to give a 60-day notice if prices are raised more than 16 percent over a two-year period. The law also requires health plans and insurers to file annual reports outlining how drug costs affect health-care premiums in the state.
Ten new satellites for Iridium Communications have been carried into orbit by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from California. The booster lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base before dawn Monday. Its first stage successfully returned from space and set down on a landing platform floating in the Pacific Ocean as the second stage went on to deploy the satellites in orbit. It was the third successful launch in Iridium’s campaign to replace its entire fleet with a total of 75 next-generation communications satellites. Five more SpaceX launches are expected to complete the process by mid-2018.
Alphabet’s self-driving car unit Waymo and several groups are launching a campaign aimed at convincing skeptical Americans of what they say is the value and safety of driverless cars, as Congress considers how it will regulate the technology. The company said Monday that it was teaming up with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the National Safety Council and the Federation for Blind Children in a campaign called “Let’s Talk Self-Driving.” The campaign says self-driving cars could help eliminate most alcohol-related crash deaths and allow the blind broader access to personal transportation.
— From news reports