retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Content Guy’s Note: Stories in this section are, in my estimation, important and relevant to business. However, they are relegated to this slot because some MNB readers have made clear that they prefer a politics-free MNB; I can't do that because sometimes the news calls out for coverage and commentary, but at least I can make it easy for folks to skip it if they so desire.

The New York Times< reports on how, “ ahead of the pivotal midterm elections in November, a coalition of major companies — including Walmart, Patagonia and Lyft — is making a big push to increase voter turnout.

“The participating companies all insist that the effort, called Time to Vote, is nonpartisan. They say they are concerned with persistently low voter turnout rates, and want their employees and customers to get to the polls on Nov. 6 … The Time to Vote effort is being supported by nearly 150 companies, including many that have managed to stay out of politics. The Gap, Southwest Airlines, Kaiser Permanente and Sonos are all involved.”

While the companies say their efforts are nonpartisan, many of them have taken positions contrary to the interests of the Trump administration, even though “stock markets are booming, and big business cheered last year’s tax overhaul, which favored the wealthy and corporations.”

The Times notes that “Patagonia, for example, is currently suing Mr. Trump for his decision to shrink the size of several national monuments. Walmart’s chief executive, Doug McMillon, chastised Mr. Trump after Charlottesville. And Lyft made a symbolic $1 million donation to the American Civil Liberties Union after Mr. Trump announced his initial travel ban targeting Muslim-majority countries last year.”

The Times also writes that these companies are making efforts to get people to vote: “Patagonia is shutting its corporate campus and its retail stores in the United States for the entire day. Levi’s is giving corporate employees five hours to vote on Election Day, and retail employees will get three hours. Walmart created a website with resources to help people get informed and to the polls. And Lyft is providing discounted rides to polling places, and will provide free rides to people in underserved communities, which it is identifying with help from nonprofit organizations including Voto Latino and affiliates of the Urban League.”
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