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Coronavirus: Photo appearing to show lineup outside Costco in London, Ont., raises concerns – Global News

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City officials in London, Ont., responded on Tuesday after a photo that appears to show a long lineup outside a local Costco was posted online, prompting concerns about social distancing amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Shelby Herbstreit posted the photo on Facebook just before 10 a.m. Tuesday. It showed a string of people with shopping carts standing on a sidewalk.

In a caption accompanying the image, Herbstreit wrote the photo was captured outside a Costco store in the city’s north end.

“This is NOT okay,” Herbstreit’s Facebook post read.

“There are other stores that can be shopped at all over the city for essentials.”

The post has since garnered nearly 7,500 shares.

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Dr. Chris Mackie, London’s medical officer of health, commented on the photo during a virtual media briefing Tuesday afternoon.

He said the Middlesex-London Health Unit is currently investigating the circumstances surrounding the photo.

“We’ve actually asked the public health inspector to attend to Costco today to ensure the best practices are being implemented there,” said Mackie.

He added that it’s important to look closely at the picture and camera angle, noting: “People do have shopping carts in between themselves, which is better than nothing, but it’s not great.”

“This isn’t ideal. Shopping carts are not six feet long,”

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London Mayor Ed Holder also spoke at the briefing.

He said he understands the public needs to pick up their necessities but asked people to be “smarter” and always keep a safe distance.


READ MORE:
Ontario reports 379 new coronavirus cases, total reaches 4,726 and 153 deaths

“For your safety, for the safety of your families [and] those around you, keep your distance,” Holder said.

“We’re at unprecedented times now, and that may require unprecedented measures.”

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980 CFPL has reached out to Costco Wholesale Canada for comment.

In late March, Costco Wholesale Canada announced it was adding exclusive hours for seniors.

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“On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, Costco warehouses will open from 8 to 9 a.m. for members ages 60 and older, and for those with physical impairments,” the store’s website stated.






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Coronavirus outbreak: Long lines seen in Ontario grocery stores as locals stock up on supplies in case of COVID-19 quarantine


Coronavirus outbreak: Long lines seen in Ontario grocery stores as locals stock up on supplies in case of COVID-19 quarantine

Since then, Costco announced it would limit the number of shoppers allowed inside and adjust cleaning measures and services.

Locally, there are now 162 positive cases of COVID-19 in the London-Middlesex area.

Twelve new cases were confirmed on Wednesday, along with another death, raising the death toll in the area to seven.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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

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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.

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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.

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