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A two-month hunt for one pair of dumbbells. Welcome to fitness under COVID-19 – OurWindsor.ca

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A two-month hunt for one pair of dumbbells. Welcome to fitness under COVID-19 | OurWindsor.ca

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Aniplex USA to Release Persona 5 the Animation Complete Set on Blu-ray Disc – Anime News Network

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Set includes English dub with cast reprising roles from game

Aniplex of America announced at the digital Aniplex Online Fest event on Saturday that it will release PERSONA 5 the Animation on Blu-ray Disc as a “Complete Blu-ray Set” on September 29.

The English dub of the anime series will debut in the Blu-ray Disc set, with the following cast, reprising their roles from the game:

The PERSONA 5 the Animation‘s “Complete Blu-ray Set” will include six discs with 26 episodes of the anime series as well as two anime specials PERSONA 5 the Animation: Dark Sun and PERSONA 5 the Animation: Stars and Ours. Extras include an illustration card set, commercials, trailers, and textless versions of the series’ opening and ending sequences.

Aniplex of America describes the anime’s story:

Ren Amamiya is about to enter his second year of high school after transferring to Shujin
Academy in Tokyo. A strange incident triggers the awakening of his Persona, and alongside
his friends, he forms the “Phantom Thieves of Hearts” to change the hearts of corrupt
adults by stealing the source of their distorted desires. Meanwhile, cases of psychotic
breakdowns have been popping up one after another… Living their ordinary high school
lives in Tokyo during the day, the group stalks the bustling metropolis of Tokyo as the
Phantom Thieves by night.

It’s time for the curtains to rise on this grand, picaresque story!

Aniplex of America first announced that it had licensed the anime adaptation of AtlusPersona 5 game on February 2018. The anime premiered in Japan in April 2018. Aniplex of America streamed the series on Crunchyroll and Hulu as it aired. Crunchyroll began streaming the 50-minute PERSONA 5 the Animation: Stars and Ours anime special in March 2019. The first anime special, PERSONA 5 the Animation: Dark Sun, aired on December 30. Crunchyroll is streaming the first special.

Masashi Ishihama (From the New World, Kamichu!) directed PERSONA 5 the Animation, and the game franchise‘s producer Katsura Hashino is credited with the original story concept. Satomi Ishikawa (Convenience Store Boy Friends) adapted Shigenori Soejima‘s original game character designs for animation. Kazuma Kaneko is credited for having drawn the original demon designs from the game. Shinichi Inotsume (Persona 5 the Animation -The Day Breakers-, Hayate the Combat Butler, Sket Dance) was in charge of the series scripts. Shōji Meguro returned from the game to compose the anime’s music.

Sources: Email correspondence, press release


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Why Did Microsoft’s Retail Stores Die as Apple Stores Thrived? – Motley Fool

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Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) recently announced that it will permanently close all of its brick-and-mortar Microsoft Stores worldwide. It will also convert its four stores in New York City, London, Sydney, and Redmond, Washington into “Experience Centers” that showcase its products instead of selling them.

The closures were reportedly planned last year, according to The Verge, but significantly accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The company already shuttered all its “Specialty Store” mall kiosks last year. In a press release, Microsoft VP David Porter noted that the tech giant’s “product portfolio has evolved to largely digital offerings, and our talented team has proven success serving customers beyond any physical location.”

Image source: Microsoft.

Microsoft stated that it wouldn’t lay off any staff as part of the reorganization, and that it would continue paying its retail employees as they transferred to remote sales, training, and support positions. It also said it would “continue to invest in its digital storefronts” to reach over 1.2 billion people monthly in 190 markets.

Let’s see how this strategic shift will impact Microsoft, and why it has failed to replicate Apple‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL) success in brick-and-mortar retail over the past decade.

Will these closures dent Microsoft’s earnings?

Prior to the pandemic, Microsoft operated 72 stores in the U.S., seven stores in Canada, and one each in Puerto Rico, the U.K., and Australia. Microsoft doesn’t separately disclose its sales from those retail stores.

However, Microsoft expects the closures of its stores to result in a pre-tax charge of $450 million, or $0.05 per share, in its fiscal fourth quarter, which ends on June 30. Those charges will primarily include asset write-offs and impairments.

Back in April, Microsoft guided for 6% to 9% year-over-year revenue growth in the fourth quarter, but didn’t provide any earnings guidance. Analysts expect its revenue to rise 8% to $36.5 billion, but for its non-GAAP earnings to grow less than 1% to $1.38 per share.

Microsoft’s write-offs and impairments will be excluded from its non-GAAP earnings, so the store closures alone wouldn’t cause it to miss analysts’ expectations. However, they’ll still take a bite out of its GAAP earnings, which hit $1.71 per share in the year-ago quarter.

Why couldn’t Microsoft follow Apple’s lead?

Microsoft opened its first retail stores in 2009, eight years after Apple launched its first Apple Stores.

A community gaming event at a Microsoft Store.

Image source: Microsoft.

The brand appeal of Apple’s products over the past decade — including the iMac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad — turned Apple’s retail stores into major attractions in otherwise struggling malls. Apple has also consistently generated higher sales per square foot than any other American retailer in recent years.

Apple’s stores were so popular that malls granted them sweetheart deals to move in. Back in 2015, Green Street Advisors claimed that Apple paid less than 2% of its sales to malls, compared to an average cut of 15% for other typical tenants. Microsoft, whose stores lacked Apple’s brand appeal, likely couldn’t generate comparable sales or secure similar deals with malls.

Microsoft’s hardware business has improved significantly in recent years under CEO Satya Nadella, with new Surface devices and Xbox consoles attracting new buyers. However, these products were also widely available at other retailers, and Microsoft’s store-based community events arguably couldn’t solidify its stores as “hangouts” as Apple did with its Genius Bar and free classes.

The right decision, but a missed opportunity

Microsoft’s decision was the right move, since there wasn’t a reason to continue losing money on brick-and-mortar stores throughout the retail apocalypse and COVID-19 crisis when it sold all its products online.

The closures won’t meaningfully impact Microsoft’s long-term growth, but they mark a missed opportunity to follow Apple’s lead in strengthening its brand with retail hangouts. They’ll also reduce the number of places where Microsoft can showcase its new and upcoming hardware products.

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Ubisoft shakes up executive ranks, begins process to deal with harassment – GuelphToday

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TORONTO — A Paris-based game software developer with offices in several Canadian cities is making changes in response to complaints against several executives, including a vice-president based in Toronto.

Ubisoft says Maxime Beland, its Toronto-based vice-president of editorial, has resigned and another unidentified employee in Toronto has been fired.

Tommy Francois, a Paris-based vice-president of editorial and creative services, has been placed on disciplinary leave.

The two vice-presidents were part of a creative team that set the tone and direction of Ubisoft’s various games, which include the “Assassin’s Creed” franchise.

Ubisoft chief executive Yves Guillemot says in a public letter posted online that he has decided to “revise the composition” of its editorial department and transform its human resource processes.

Guillemot says Ubisoft will begin holding online sessions on Monday, moderated by external facilitators, in order to collect suggestions for improvement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 5, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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