CHECKOUT COUNTER: Wal-Mart boosts benefits for US workers
Wal-Mart Stores says it will raise its starting salary for US workers to US$11/hour and give longtime employees a $1,000 bonus. CEO Doug McMillon credits a recently passed US tax bill for allowing the company to make the changes. The retail group, which hiked wages for some of its workers to $10/hour in 2016, is also revamping its maternity and parental leave benefits.
2. Adidas on the inside track
Adidas Originals has partnered with Berlin’s public transportation system, Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe, on a new sneaker that features the pattern on the upholstery of the transit system’s seats. The shoes will also double as a pass that gives the wearer free access to the city’s public transit network for an entire year. They’ll go for €180 and only 500 pairs will be sold.
3.Gucci brought into bloom
Gucci has renovated and reopened its former museum in Florence, Italy, under a new name: Gucci Garden. The complex houses a boutique and a restaurant run by three-Michelin-star chef Massimo Bottura. The strategy is driven by creative director Alessandro Michele, who has made Gucci the "it" luxury brand since he took the helm two years ago.
4. Driverless pizza delivery
Toyota unveiled a new electric self-driving vehicle concept at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week. The car maker, which will partner with Pizza Hut for the venture, plans to start testing the "e-Palette" as early as 2020. The companies also plan to collect data from Pizza Hut’s delivery vehicles to improve delivery efficiency and safety.