Billionaire investor Bill Ackman swapped out Starbucks for Domino’s Pizza last quarter – and trimmed 5 of his 6 other holdings

Bill Ackman
Bill Ackman.

  • Bill Ackman’s hedge fund sold Starbucks and bought Domino’s Pizza last quarter.
  • The billionaire investor pounced when the pizza chain’s stock slumped in March.
  • Pershing Square trimmed its Agilent, Chipotle, Hilton, and Restaurant Brands bets.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Billionaire investor Bill Ackman swapped out Starbucks for Domino’s Pizza and trimmed all but one of the other holdings in his stock portfolio last quarter, a regulatory filing revealed this week.

Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management sold its almost 1% stake in Starbucks, which was worth $1.1 billion at the end of December. The hedge fund also bought more than 5% of Domino’s Pizza – a position valued at about $750 million as of March 31.

Ackman explained the move at a recent Wall Street Journal event. Starbucks stock had rebounded faster than expected, he said, while Domino’s stock slumped in March to its lowest since the pandemic tanked markets last spring.

“We’ve admired it for years, and it was just never cheap enough,” Ackman said about the pizza-delivery chain. “Then for about five minutes, it got cheap. I don’t know who sold or why, but we started buying around $330 a share, and then very quickly it moved up a lot.”

Pershing’s newest position has jumped in value by another 18% since March 31, to over $880 million as of Monday’s close.

Ackman and his team also reduced their stakes in Agilent, Lowe’s, Hilton, and Restaurant Brands by 3% to 4%, and their Chipotle stake by around 6%. In contrast, they boosted their Howard Hughes position by about 23% to 13.5 million shares.

Pershing’s stake in Lowe’s was worth $2.3 billion at the end of March, making the home-improvement retailer its most valuable holding. Its Agilent, Chipotle, Hilton, and Restaurant Brands positions were worth about $1.5 billion each, while its Howard Hughes stake was valued at $1.3 billion. The overall value of its stock portfolio grew 5% to $10.5 billion.

Ackman’s next major update could be related to his $5 billion special-purpose acquisition vehicle, Pershing Square Tontine Holdings. The investor is hoping to announce a deal to buy a minority stake in an “iconic” private business in the next few weeks.

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CVS, Walmart, Costco, Target, and others are dropping mask mandates for fully vaccinated customers. Here’s how retailers are responding to new CDC guidelines.

Walmart coronavirus shopping
Shoppers wearing masks at a Walmart store in North Brunswick, New Jersey, in July.

  • The CDC relaxed its guidelines for wearing masks indoors and outdoors for fully vaccinated people.
  • Some companies, including Macy’s and Kroger, have said workers and customers still need to wear masks.
  • But Walmart, Costco, and others have dropped their mask mandates. States can still set their own rules.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday relaxed mask guidance for fully vaccinated people – but not all retailers and restaurants aren’t ready to welcome maskless customers.

Macy’s and Kroger are among those saying they’ll still make masks mandatory for shoppers and workers in their stores. Walmart, Costco, and others have dropped their mask requirement – although individual states can still mandate masks in stores.

Here’s where fully vaccinated people will and will not have to wear a mask now that the guidance has changed.

Target

mask target store
Shoppers leaving a Target in Miami.

Target updated its policies on Monday, announcing that fully vaccinated customers and workers are no longer required to wear masks in its stores unless required by individual state laws. 

“Face coverings will continue to be strongly recommended for guests and team members who are not fully vaccinated and we’ll continue our increased safety and cleaning measures, including social distancing, throughout our stores,” it said

 

Kroger

food donations kroger
A customer wearing a mask in a Kroger store in Jackson, Mississippi.

The grocery chain Kroger said it would keep masks mandates for its customers and workers at its nearly 3,000 stores.

“As we have throughout the pandemic, we are reviewing current safety practices, the CDC’s latest guidance, and soliciting feedback from associates to guide the next phase of our policy,” a Kroger spokesperson told Insider.

Starbucks

Starbucks barista
A Starbucks barista.

Wearing a mask will be optional for fully vaccinated customers beginning Monday, May 17, the company said in a statement.

Masks will remain optional “unless local regulations require them by law,” the statement said.

Macy’s

macys
A person with Macy’s bags.

The department-store chain Macy’s confirmed to Insider that it would keep masks mandatory in its stores.

Walmart

Walmart
A Walmart store.

Vaccinated Walmart customers are now allowed to shop without a mask, according to a memo sent to US store associates on Friday. Fully vaccinated Walmart workers also won’t be required to mask up in-store beginning May 18.

However, the company is still reviewing mask mandates for “certain job codes for health and sanitation purposes,” and will still adhere to mask requirements depending on city and state protocols, according to the note.

Bed Bath and Beyond

bed bath & beyond
A Bed Bath and Beyond store.

A spokesperson for Bed Bath and Beyond told Insider that it was reviewing its policies, but that its mask policy currently remains unchanged.

They added that the company would continue to align its COVID-19 protocol with local, state, and government health and safety guidelines to create a safe environment for both staff and customers.

Home Depot

Home Depot
A Home Depot store.

Home Depot has not updated its mask policy, a spokesperson told Insider.

Walgreens

walgreens masks
A sign in a Walgreens store telling customers to wear masks.

A Walgreens spokesperson told USA Today that masks will still be mandatory in its stores as these are COVID-19 testing and vaccine sites. 

Walgreens did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

CVS

CVS NYC
People outside a CVS store.

CVS said it was reviewing its mask policy.

“The safety of our employees and customers will continue to guide our decision-making process,” the company said in a statement to Insider.

Gap

gap store
A Gap store in a mall in Los Angeles, California.

According to The Times, Gap has said it’s reviewing its policies and has not confirmed whether masks will continue to be mandatory. 

A spokesperson for the apparel giant did not respond to Insider’s requests for comment. 

Publix

Publix grocery store night
A Publix.

Florida-based supermarket chain Publix is no longer requiring masks for fully vaccinated shoppers.

Dollar General

dollar general
A Dollar General store.

When asked about updated mask policies, a Dollar General spokesperson directed Insider to its website. The US chain’s COVID-19 protocols were last updated on March 10 and include a mask mandate.

Ulta

ulta
An Ulta store.

Ulta is “assessing the implications” of the new CDC guidelines, a spokesperson told Insider. The beauty giant said it would continue to enforce mask and social-distancing protocols “until our assessment is complete and we are able to share more.”

Carl’s Jr

Carl's Jr. Restaurant
Carl’s Jr.

Carl’s Jr is still requiring face masks but is now reviewing its mask policy, a Carl’s Jr spokesperson told Insider.

Costco

Costco
Costco

Costco announced on Friday that customers can now shop without a mask in stores that are located in states without a mask mandate. The retailer will not require proof of vaccination.

However, as per CDC guidelines, face masks will still be required in Costco’s healthcare sections, including its pharmacy, optical, and hearing aid divisions.

Trader Joe’s

trader joes
Customers line up outside a Trader Joe’s store.

Trader Joe’s is also dropping its mask mandate for fully vaccinated customers, and will not require proof of the vaccine, a spokesperson told Insider.

Lidl

Lidl

A spokesperson for Lidl told Insider that it was updating its policies to align with the new CDC guidance.

“Wherever legally permissible, fully vaccinated customers will be allowed into our stores without masks,” they said.

Ikea

ikea
Customers wait to get inside Ikea.

An Ikea spokesperson told Insider that its mask and social-distancing protocols would stay in place “for the time being” for both staff and customers because “changing our mask policy for requires careful consideration and planning.”

JCPenney

FILE PHOTO: A J.C. Penney employee helps a customer with her purchase at the J.C. Penney department store in North Riverside, Illinois, U.S., November 17, 2017. REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: A J.C. Penney employee helps a customer with her purchase at the J.C. Penney department store in North Riverside

Department store chain JCPenney told Insider that masks and social distancing will still be required in its stores as it continues to monitor the situation.

Apple

Apple store

Apple is also keeping masks mandatory in stores for the time being, according to a Bloomberg report. 

Insider reached out to Apple for further comment but didn’t immediately hear back.

CVS

cvs pandemic customers store
CVS.

Fully vaccinated CVS Pharmacy customers will no longer be required to wear face masks unless state or local protocols dictate otherwise, the company announced on Monday.

Employees and unvaccinated patrons will still be required to mask up.

Meijer

meijer
A Meijer store.

Supermarket chain Meijer has rolled back its mask requirement for fully vaccinated customers in stores where state and local protocols allow it to do so, a spokesperson told Insider in an email.

However, workers and unvaccinated patrons must remain masked.

Kohl’s

kohl's

Kohl’s confirmed to Insider that as of May 17 all fully vaccinated store workers and customers will be able to go mask-free, provided individual states allow it. 

Aldi

Aldi store shop

Aldi told Insider that it is continuing to require all employees and customers to wear a face covering and to maintain social distancing, but added that it would continue to assess its COVID-19 safety practices and keep customers informed of any future changes.

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Some Starbucks employees are angry over mask mandates lifting, while others are eager to end customer confrontations

Starbucks mask requirement
  • Starbucks is one of several retailers to lift mask mandates following new CDC guidelines.
  • Some workers are worried about greater risk of exposure to COVID-19.
  • Others are eager to end confrontations with customers.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Starbucks is one of many retailers lifting mask requirements for customers, and workers say they are split over whether it’s the right decision.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday relaxed mask guidance for fully vaccinated people, and Starbucks, Walmart, Costco, and others have dropped mask requirements except in states where they are still legally required.

The new rules put retail workers in a bind. For some, ending confrontations with customers over masks is a welcome respite after a difficult year, but others remain worried about contracting COVID-19 and low vaccination rates.

Starbucks pointed Insider to the company’s updated COVID-19 response page, which says that face coverings are optional for fully vaccinated customers beginning Monday, May 17. Employees will continue to be required to wear double masks.

A Starbucks worker in Connecticut told Insider that she is concerned as a “chronically ill and high-risk barista,” and is considering leaving her job over mask mandates lifting. The worker and others cited in this story spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak frankly on the topic, and their employment was confirmed by Insider.

Read more: Restaurant and retail owners have 2 options nowadays: stop treating their workers like garbage or stop having workers at all

Masks are technically still required for unvaccinated customers, but in practice workers can’t police each person’s vaccination status.

A barista in Michigan who works at a Starbucks near a hospital shared concerns about the potential spread of the virus among immunocompromised patients.

“We can’t verify if the people coming in without a mask have been vaccinated or not, and we’re outside of a hospital so people with compromised immunities have to share spaces with people who have no mask on,” the worker said. “I’m worried we’re going to end up with another spike in cases.”

At the same time, many Starbucks workers have shared in interviews and on social media message boards that they are ready to end uncomfortable confrontations with customers over masks.

“It isn’t like the system was great when we were enforcing masks,” the Michigan barista said. “We still had people take masks down to talk to us, people who only wore face shields and would talk over the espresso bar, and kids who put their hands on everything and had no mask on at all.”

A Pennsylvania employee said that she and her coworkers struggled to enforce mask mandates prior to the revised CDC guidance.

Store management did not confront customers who refused to wear masks, and that made other employees uncomfortable when it came to enforcing the mandates, she said.

“We should not have to put ourselves in that situation and we should be able to ask disruptive customers to leave,” she said.

As of May 17, 47% of the US population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 37% are fully vaccinated, according to CDC data.

The past year has exposed the massive demands put on retail workers, often for relatively low pay and few benefits, even as they were called heroes and essential workers. While tasked with enforcing mask mandates and interacting with customers during the height of a pandemic, many workers reported abuse, harassment, and assault on the job. A West Coast barista told Insider that she was “punched by a grown man” for asking him to wear a mask before restrictions were lifted.

These conflicts in customer-facing jobs over the past year have helped fuel a mass exodus from the retail industry as a growing number of openings in the labor market are making it easier for retail workers to transition to new careers.

Do you have a story to share about a retail or restaurant chain? Email this reporter at mmeisenzahl@businessinsider.com.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Walmart, Costco, Trader Joe’s, and others are dropping mask mandates for fully vaccinated customers. Here’s how retailers are responding to new CDC guidelines.

Walmart coronavirus shopping
Shoppers wearing masks at a Walmart store in North Brunswick, New Jersey, in July.

  • The CDC relaxed its guidelines for wearing masks indoors and outdoors for fully vaccinated people.
  • Some companies, including Target and Kroger, have said workers and customers still need to wear masks.
  • But Walmart, Costco, and others have dropped their mask mandates. States can still set their own rules.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday relaxed mask guidance for fully vaccinated people – but many retailers and restaurants aren’t ready to welcome maskless customers.

Macy’s and Target are among those saying they’ll still make masks mandatory for shoppers and workers in their stores. Walmart, Costco, and others have dropped their mask requirement – although individual states can still mandate masks in stores.

Here’s where fully vaccinated people will and will not have to wear a mask now that the guidance has changed.

Target

mask target store
Shoppers leaving a Target in Miami.

A Target spokesperson told Insider that it was reviewing its policies and the new CDC guidance. But for now, the chain said, it will continue upholding all its coronavirus safety measures in stores, including wearing masks and social distancing.

 

Kroger

food donations kroger
A customer wearing a mask in a Kroger store in Jackson, Mississippi.

The grocery chain Kroger said it would keep masks mandates for its customers and workers at its nearly 3,000 stores.

“As we have throughout the pandemic, we are reviewing current safety practices, the CDC’s latest guidance, and soliciting feedback from associates to guide the next phase of our policy,” a Kroger spokesperson told Insider.

Starbucks

Starbucks barista
A Starbucks barista.

Wearing a mask will be optional for fully vaccinated customers beginning Monday, May 17, the company said in a statement.

Masks will remain optional “unless local regulations require them by law,” the statement said.

Macy’s

macys
A person with Macy’s bags.

The department-store chain Macy’s confirmed to Insider that it would keep masks mandatory in its stores.

Walmart

Walmart
A Walmart store.

Vaccinated Walmart customers are now allowed to shop without a mask, according to a memo sent to US store associates on Friday. Fully vaccinated Walmart workers also won’t be required to mask up in-store beginning May 18.

However, the company is still reviewing mask mandates for “certain job codes for health and sanitation purposes,” and will still adhere to mask requirements depending on city and state protocols, according to the note.

Bed Bath and Beyond

bed bath & beyond
A Bed Bath and Beyond store.

A spokesperson for Bed Bath and Beyond told Insider that it was reviewing its policies, but that its mask policy currently remains unchanged.

They added that the company would continue to align its COVID-19 protocol with local, state, and government health and safety guidelines to create a safe environment for both staff and customers.

Home Depot

Home Depot
A Home Depot store.

Home Depot has not updated its mask policy, a spokesperson told Insider.

Walgreens

walgreens masks
A sign in a Walgreens store telling customers to wear masks.

A Walgreens spokesperson told USA Today that masks will still be mandatory in its stores as these are COVID-19 testing and vaccine sites. 

Walgreens did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

CVS

CVS NYC
People outside a CVS store.

CVS said it was reviewing its mask policy.

“The safety of our employees and customers will continue to guide our decision-making process,” the company said in a statement to Insider.

Gap

gap store
A Gap store in a mall in Los Angeles, California.

According to The Times, Gap has said it’s reviewing its policies and has not confirmed whether masks will continue to be mandatory. 

A spokesperson for the apparel giant did not respond to Insider’s requests for comment. 

Publix

Publix grocery store night
A Publix.

Florida-based supermarket chain Publix is no longer requiring masks for fully vaccinated shoppers.

Dollar General

dollar general
A Dollar General store.

When asked about updated mask policies, a Dollar General spokesperson directed Insider to its website. The US chain’s COVID-19 protocols were last updated on March 10 and include a mask mandate.

Ulta

ulta
An Ulta store.

Ulta is “assessing the implications” of the new CDC guidelines, a spokesperson told Insider. The beauty giant said it would continue to enforce mask and social-distancing protocols “until our assessment is complete and we are able to share more.”

Carl’s Jr

Carl's Jr. Restaurant
Carl’s Jr.

Carl’s Jr is still requiring face masks but is now reviewing its mask policy, a Carl’s Jr spokesperson told Insider.

Costco

Costco
Costco

Costco announced on Friday that customers can now shop without a mask in stores that are located in states without a mask mandate. The retailer will not require proof of vaccination.

However, as per CDC guidelines, face masks will still be required in Costco’s healthcare sections, including its pharmacy, optical, and hearing aid divisions.

Trader Joe’s

trader joes
Customers line up outside a Trader Joe’s store.

Trader Joe’s is also dropping its mask mandate for fully vaccinated customers, and will not require proof of the vaccine, a spokesperson told Insider.

Lidl

Lidl

A spokesperson for Lidl told Insider that it was updating its policies to align with the new CDC guidance.

“Wherever legally permissible, fully vaccinated customers will be allowed into our stores without masks,” they said.

Ikea

ikea
Customers wait to get inside Ikea.

An Ikea spokesperson told Insider that its mask and social-distancing protocols would stay in place “for the time being” for both staff and customers because “changing our mask policy for requires careful consideration and planning.”

JCPenney

FILE PHOTO: A J.C. Penney employee helps a customer with her purchase at the J.C. Penney department store in North Riverside, Illinois, U.S., November 17, 2017. REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: A J.C. Penney employee helps a customer with her purchase at the J.C. Penney department store in North Riverside

Department store chain JCPenney told Insider that masks and social distancing will still be required in its stores as it continues to monitor the situation.

Apple

Apple store

Apple is also keeping masks mandatory in stores for the time being, according to a Bloomberg report. 

Insider reached out to Apple for further comment but didn’t immediately hear back.

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A Starbucks worker reveals the average customer order costs more than she makes an hour, as the coffee giant focuses on more expensive, complicated drinks

Starbucks barista
  • Starbucks is relying on fewer customers who are spending more on their orders.
  • Workers told Insider that customizations with the expectation of fast food delivery is unsustainable.
  • Some workers say the company has not adjusted staffing needs appropriately to deal with the new volume.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

With the US job market heating up, a shift supervisor at an Atlanta Starbucks told Insider she’s leaving for a job with better pay and benefits. The final straw for leaving her job of two years, she said, was realizing how her pay compared to the increasingly pricey drinks Starbucks sells.

“The thing that really radicalized me was that our starting wage ($9) is less than one average customer’s ticket,” she told Insider.

Though pay varies across Starbucks locations, this supervisor’s experience is at the heart of the company’s strategy. The coffee chain relies on fewer customers who spend more on customized drinks. In the second quarter of 2021, US same store sales increased by 9% despite a 10% decline in number of transactions. The growth was driven by a 22% increase in average ticket size as orders grow larger and more complicated. Additions like different milks and sauces can increase that base price of a drink.

Read more: McDonald’s franchisees blame hiring challenges on unemployment benefits and say an ‘inflationary time bomb’ will force them to hike Big Mac prices

Mobile orders and drive-thru orders tend to be larger and more costly than in-store, according to Starbucks earnings, so many of the most complicated orders are coming through these channels. Drive-thru and pick-up mobile orders made up 80% of transactions before the coronavirus pandemic and have increased since then.

The chain continues to add customization options and new, multi-step drinks even as competitors pare down offerings to make drive-thrus more efficient. While drive-thru menu offerings are trending slimmer at most restaurants, some experts don’t expect that from Starbucks. “They have a ton of customization, and that’s not going away. They believe it’s a strength” Mark Kalinowski, founder of Kalinowski Equity Research, told Insider.

In 2020, Starbucks lagged behind coffee competitor Dunkin’ in terms of speed, according to QSR’s annual drive-thru study. While Starbucks is working to make drive-thrus more efficient, it isn’t trying to be the fastest drive-thru around, Kalinowski says. “Customization is much more meaningful for Starbucks,” he says, even if it means slightly longer waits.

Instead, Starbucks is more of a destination where customers spend time and money for a drink made to their exact specifications.

Workers say customization and speed are at odds

Erika, a Starbucks shift supervisor in Ohio, told Insider that as the business has changed to focus on customizations through drive-thru and mobile, the company has not adjusted staffing needs appropriately to deal with the new volume.

“Drinks are becoming increasingly more complicated as they are offered unlimited modifications, and people are still bored from lockdown so they visit us for a sense of normalcy,” she told Insider, explaining that the heavily modified drinks take more staff to make and keep lines moving.

Starbucks did not respond to Insider’s request for comment about customizing orders and the time they might take for workers.

Another supervisor in Pennsylvania told Insider that situation is the same at her location. “Custom drinks from social media like TikTok are also increasing the need for labor. These drinks are getting more and more complicated while the company is pushing for drive-thru times under 40-50 seconds,” she told Insider. These demands create an “impossible standard for partners to uphold” with “a large amount of stress on partners.”

While Erika would like to make those drinks for customers, she says supervisors expect the impossible, with strict limits on wait times in the drive-thru. It isn’t sustainable, she says, and creates a problem because people expect Starbucks to act as a quick service restaurant.”Simplification of our menu and restricting modifications would improve our speed, or set us up for success by labeling us as a custom beverage establishment that prides itself on the limitless modifications” she told Insider.

“We can’t do both. At least not staffed the way we are.”

Do you have a story to share about a retail or restaurant chain? Email this reporter at mmeisenzahl@businessinsider.com.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Companies across the US are offering workers perks for getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Here’s the running list.

covid vaccine card cdc
ICU nurse Megan Tschacher shows off her vaccination card at UC Health Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado on December 14, 2020. Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post/Getty Images

  • Workers across the US can receive extra pay from their employers for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Many front-line workers are now able to receive the vaccine in various states and localities.
  • So far, almost 34 million people have received one or more doses of the two-shot immunization.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Companies across the US are joining in the largest-ever vaccination effort by offering employees perks if they receive the two-dose COVID-19 vaccine.

Receiving the vaccine is voluntary, but most companies have strongly encouraged employees get the immunization when it’s their turn. The two-dose vaccines, one from Pfizer and BioNtech and the other from Moderna, were emergency approved in the US in December. Since then, almost 34 million people have received one or more doses, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Many states and localities have begun moving from the first phase of vaccinating health care workers and elderly living in long-term care facilities to immunizing front-line workers. With that, some companies are giving workers two to three hours of paid time off per dose received, and others are offering a stipend for employees who voluntarily get the shots when it’s their turn.

Recently, Publix, Petco and AT&T joined the growing list. Here’s the 18 Insider knows about so far:

Know of a company not on this list that’s offering employees time off, pay, or other perks to get vaccinated? Email Natasha, the reporter of this piece, at ndailey@insider.com.

1. Target

Target
Eduardo MunozAlvarez/VIEWpress via Getty Images

Target is offering workers up to four hours of paid time off to get both shots of the vaccine and will pay for Lyft rides up to $15 for employees needing transportation to and from their appointment.

2. Dollar General

dollar general
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The discount chain was the first major retailer to announce an incentive for workers to get vaccinated. Dollar General employees can earn up to four hours of pay for receiving both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and will receive extra time off if they have an adverse reaction.

Read more: What’s coming next for COVID-19 vaccines? Here’s the latest on 11 leading programs.

3. Darden Restaurants

olive garden
Patrons enter an Olive Garden Restaurant. Steve Helber/AP Photo

Darden Restaurants, which owns Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, and The Capital Grille, will offer workers four hours of paid time off, two hours per dose, Bloomberg reported. Employees must show proof of their vaccination to earn the time. The company doesn’t require the shots, but strongly encouraged workers to get them.

4. Shake Shack

shake shack
Noam Galai/Getty Images

The burger-and-shake restaurant chain will give workers 3 hours of pay per shot of the two-dose vaccine. Shake Shack didn’t mandate employees receive the vaccine but “strongly encouraged” it.

5. Noodles & Company

Noodles & Company.
Noodles & Company.

Workers will earn up to four hours of paid time off for receiving the vaccine, the company said in a Feb. 10 statement to Insider. The restaurant strongly recommended employees receive the vaccine but did not require it.

6. Kroger

kroger
Kroger logo is seen at one of their stores in Athens, Ohio. Stephen Zenner/SOPA

The grocer is giving employees a one-time $100 payment for getting the vaccine. On top of that, Kroger said it would give associates an added bonus of a $100 store card and 1,000 fuel points to “thank and reward” workers during the pandemic.

7. Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe's.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The grocery retailer will offer all 50,000 employees two hours of pay per dose and allow for flexible scheduling so workers can make it to appointments.

8. Aldi

Aldi store shop
Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

The German grocer will cover employee costs associated with receiving the vaccine and provide two hours of pay for each of the two doses received.

9. Instacart

GettyImages 1153149270
SOPA Images/Getty Images

The app will offer its US and Canada shoppers, who deliver groceries to customers, a $25 stipend to get vaccinated.

10. Lidl

lidl
Leonhard Foeger/File

The German grocery chain is encouraging workers to get vaccinated by offering its US workers $200 in extra pay if they receive the immunization.

11. McDonald’s

GettyImages 185747043
Scott Olson/Getty Images

The fast food chain is giving workers four hours of pay for receiving the vaccine. Though getting the shots is not required, the company said it will connect employees with groups that can answer questions on the vaccination, Restaurant Business reported.

12. Starbucks

starbucks barista drinks
Richard Drew / AP Photo

The coffee chain is offering workers two hours of pay per dose of the COVID-19 vaccine they receive.

13. Chobani

Chobani Greek Yogurt
Sarah Schmalbruch / INSIDER

Chobani will give workers up to six hours of pay, three per dose, for receiving the vaccine, Human Resource Executive reported.

14. Amtrak

Amtrak
AJ Packer/Shutterstock.com

Amtrak is allowing employees to get vaccinated during work hours, and will pay for two hours off if employees provide proof they received the shot. Workers will also be excused with pay for up to 48 hours if they have side effects.

15. JBS USA and Pilgrim’s

jbs meatpacking greely colorado
The JBS meatpacking facility in Greeley, Colo. Chet Strange for The Washington Post via Getty Images

The meat-packing company is offering employees a $100 bonus incentive if they receive the vaccine voluntarily.

16. Petco

petco groomers
Petco groomers. AP Photo/Richard Vogel

The pet-supply retailer told Insider it would offer employees a one-time payment of $75 for getting vaccinated. Plus, it will give a $25 donation to the Petco Partner Assistance Fund for each person who receives their shots.

17. AT&T

AT&T
People walk past the AT&T store in New York’s Times Square, June 17, 2015. Brendan McDermid/Reuters

AT&T is giving employees up to four hours of paid time off per dose, adding up to eight hours total for anyone who needs the hours to get the vaccine, a spokesperson said in an email to Insider. The company is also giving workers access to Castlight, a tool to help them find available vaccines in their area based on eligibility.

18. Publix

Publix grocery store night
Johnny Louis/Getty Images

Publix will give associates a $125 gift card to the store after they get both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. Workers aren’t required to get the shots at Publix, but they will need to show proof of vaccination. The vaccine is optional, though encouraged, the company said.

19. Walmart and Sam’s Club

Walmart

Beginning May 18, Walmart and Sam’s Club will give its associates below the store manager level $75 for being fully vaccinated, the companies announced on May 14. Workers are required to show their vaccine card in order to receive this bonus.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Walmart, Costco, and Trader Joe’s are dropping mask mandates for fully vaccinated customers. Here’s how other retailers are responding.

Walmart coronavirus shopping
Shoppers wearing masks at a Walmart store in North Brunswick, New Jersey, in July.

  • The CDC relaxed its guidelines for wearing masks indoors and outdoors for fully vaccinated people.
  • Some companies have said workers and customers still need to wear masks.
  • Target, Macy’s, and Starbucks are among those saying they’ll still mandate masks in their stores.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday relaxed mask guidance for fully vaccinated people – but many retailers and restaurants aren’t ready to welcome maskless customers.

Macy’s, Target, and Starbucks are among those saying they’ll still make masks mandatory for shoppers and workers in their stores. Other retailers are on the fence.

Here’s where fully vaccinated people will and will not have to wear a mask now that the guidance has changed.

Target

mask target store
Shoppers leaving a Target in Miami.

A Target spokesperson told Insider that it was reviewing its policies and the new CDC guidance. But as of now, the chain said, it will continue upholding all its coronavirus safety measures in stores, including wearing masks and social distancing.

 

Kroger

food donations kroger
A customer wearing a mask in a Kroger store in Jackson, Mississippi.

The grocery chain Kroger said it would keep masks mandates for its customers and workers at its nearly 3,000 stores.

“As we have throughout the pandemic, we are reviewing current safety practices, the CDC’s latest guidance, and soliciting feedback from associates to guide the next phase of our policy,” a Kroger spokesperson told Insider.

Starbucks

Starbucks barista
A Starbucks barista.

Starbucks shoppers and workers will still be required to wear masks in stores, the company told CNN.

Macy’s

macys
A person with Macy’s bags.

The department-store chain Macy’s confirmed to Insider that it would keep masks mandatory in its stores.

Walmart

Walmart
A Walmart store.

Vaccinated Walmart customers are now allowed to shop without a mask, according to a memo sent to US store associates on Friday. Fully vaccinated Walmart workers also won’t be required to mask up in-store beginning May 18.

However, the company is still reviewing mask mandates for “certain job codes for health and sanitation purposes,” and will still adhere to mask requirements depending on city and state protocols, according to the note.

Bed Bath and Beyond

bed bath & beyond
A Bed Bath and Beyond store.

A spokesperson for Bed Bath and Beyond told Insider that it was reviewing its policies, but that its mask policy currently remains unchanged.

They added that the company would continue to align its COVID-19 protocol with with local, state and government health and safety guidelines to create a safe environment for both staff and customers.

Home Depot

Home Depot
A Home Depot store.

Home Depot has not updated its mask policy, a spokesperson told Insider.

Walgreens

walgreens masks
A sign in a Walgreens store telling customers to wear masks.

A Walgreens spokesperson told CNN that it was reviewing its rules in light of the CDC’s new guidelines.

Walgreens was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Insider.

CVS

CVS NYC
People outside a CVS store.

CVS said it was reviewing its mask policy.

“The safety of our employees and customers will continue to guide our decision-making process,” the company said in a statement to Insider.

Gap

gap store
A Gap store in a mall in Los Angeles, California.

According to The Times, Gap has said it’s reviewing its policies and has not confirmed whether masks will continue to be mandatory.

A spokesperson for the apparel giant was not immediately available to comment when contacted by Insider.

Publix

Publix grocery store night
A Publix.

The supermarket chain Publix is “awaiting additional guidance before implementing potential changes,” a spokesperson told Insider.

Dollar General

dollar general
A Dollar General store.

When asked about updated mask policies, a Dollar General spokesperson directed Insider to its website. The US chain’s COVID-19 protocols were last updated on March 10 and include a mask mandate.

Ulta

ulta
An Ulta store.

Ulta is “assessing the implications” of the new CDC guidelines, a spokesperson told Insider. The beauty giant said it would continue to enforce mask and social-distancing protocols “until our assessment is complete and we are able to share more.”

Carl’s Jr

Carl's Jr. Restaurant
Carl’s Jr.

Carl’s Jr is still requiring face masks but is now reviewing its mask policy, a Carl’s Jr spokesperson told Insider.

Costco

Costco
Costco

Costco announced on Friday that customers can now shop without a mask in stores that are located in states without a mask mandate. The retailer will not require proof of vaccination.

However, as per CDC guidelines, face masks will still be required in Costco’s healthcare sections, including its pharmacy, optical, and hearing aid divisions.

Trader Joe’s

trader joes
Customers line up outside a Trader Joe’s store.

Trader Joe’s is also dropping its mask mandate for fully vaccinated customers, and will not require proof of the vaccine, a spokesperson told Insider.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Walmart, Target, and Starbucks say they’re keeping mask mandates despite the CDC relaxing guidance for vaccinated people. Here’s how stores are responding to the new guidelines.

Walmart coronavirus shopping
Shoppers wearing masks at a Walmart store in North Brunswick, New Jersey, in July.

  • The CDC relaxed its guidelines for wearing masks indoors and outdoors for fully vaccinated people.
  • Some states lifted mask mandates, but companies say workers and customers still need to wear masks.
  • Target, Walmart, and Starbucks are among those saying they’ll still mandate masks in their stores.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday relaxed mask guidance for fully vaccinated people – but many retailers and restaurants aren’t ready to welcome maskless customers.

Walmart, Target, and Starbucks are among those saying they’ll still make masks mandatory for shoppers and workers in their stores. Other retailers are on the fence.

Here’s where fully vaccinated people will and will not have to wear a mask now that the guidance has changed.

Target

mask target store
Shoppers leaving a Target in Miami.

A Target spokesperson told Insider that it was reviewing its policies and the new CDC guidance. But as of now, the chain said, it will continue upholding all its coronavirus safety measures in stores, including wearing masks and social distancing.

 

Kroger

food donations kroger
A customer wearing a mask in a Kroger store in Jackson, Mississippi.

The grocery chain Kroger said it would keep masks mandates for its customers and workers at its nearly 3,000 stores.

“As we have throughout the pandemic, we are reviewing current safety practices, the CDC’s latest guidance, and soliciting feedback from associates to guide the next phase of our policy,” a Kroger spokesperson told Insider.

Walmart

Walmart
A Walmart store.

Walmart said it would stick to its mask policy in stores for the time being.

“We serve millions of Americans every week and believe our policy of requiring associates and customers to wear masks in our stores has helped protect them during the pandemic, and we’re not lifting those measures at this time,” the company said in a statement shared with The Columbus Dispatch on Thursday.

A Walmart spokesperson was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Insider.

Starbucks

Starbucks barista
A Starbucks barista.

Starbucks shoppers and workers will still be required to wear masks in stores, the company told CNN.

Macy’s

macys
A person with Macy’s bags.

The department-store chain Macy’s confirmed to Insider that it would keep masks mandatory in its stores.

Home Depot

Home Depot
A Home Depot store.

Home Depot has not updated its mask policy yet, a spokesperson told Insider.

Walgreens

walgreens masks
A sign in a Walgreens store telling customers to wear masks.

A Walgreens spokesperson told CNN that it was reviewing its rules in light of the CDC’s new guidelines.

Walgreens was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Insider.

CVS

CVS NYC
People outside a CVS store.

CVS said it was reviewing its mask policy.

“The safety of our employees and customers will continue to guide our decision-making process,” the company said in a statement to Insider.

Gap

gap store
A Gap store in a mall in Los Angeles, California.

According to The Times, Gap has said it’s reviewing its policies and has not confirmed whether masks will continue to be mandatory.

A spokesperson for the apparel giant was not immediately available to comment when contacted by Insider.

Publix

Publix grocery store night
A Publix.

The supermarket chain Publix is “awaiting additional guidance before implementing potential changes,” a spokesperson told Insider.

Dollar General

dollar general
A Dollar General store.

When asked about updated mask policies, a Dollar General spokesperson directed Insider to its website. The US chain’s COVID-19 protocols were last updated on March 10 and include a mask mandate.

Ulta

ulta
An Ulta store.

Ulta is “assessing the implications” of the new CDC guidelines, a spokesperson told Insider. The beauty giant said it would continue to enforce mask and social-distancing protocols “until our assessment is complete and we are able to share more.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Walmart, Target, and Starbucks are keeping mask mandates despite the CDC relaxing guidance for vaccinated people. Here’s how stores are responding to the new guidelines.

Walmart coronavirus shopping
Shoppers are seen wearing masks while shopping at a Walmart store, in North Brunswick, New Jersey, on July 20, 2020.

  • The CDC has relaxed guidelines for wearing masks indoors and outdoors for fully-vaccinated people.
  • Certain states have now lifted mask mandates, but some companies say workers and customers still need to wear masks.
  • Target, Walmart, and Starbucks are among those still mandating masks in their stores.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday relaxed guidance for mask-wearing in indoor and outdoor spaces for fully vaccinated people – but many retailers and restaurants aren’t ready to welcome maskless customers.

Walmart, Target, and Starbucks are among those who are still making masks mandatory for shoppers and workers in their stores, they said Thursday. Other retailers are still on the fence.

Find out where you will and will not have to wear a mask, if you’ve been fully vaccinated, now the rules have changed:

Target

mask target store
Shoppers wearing protective face mask leave a Target store during the new coronavirus pandemic, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Miami.

Target said in a statement shared with Fox Business that it was upholding all of its coronavirus safety measures in stores. As a result, customers and workers will be required to wear masks and stay socially distanced. 

A spokesperson for Target was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Insider. 

Kroger

food donations kroger
A customer wears a mask to donate a frozen turkey at a north Jackson, Mississippi, Kroger grocery store on November 19, 2020.

Grocery chain Kroger is also keeping masks mandates for all of its customers and workers at its nearly 3,000 stores, CNN reported.

A spokesperson for Kroger was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Insider. 

Walmart

Walmart

Walmart is sticking to its mask policy in stores for the time being.

“We serve millions of Americans every week and believe our policy of requiring associates and customers to wear masks in our stores has helped protect them during the pandemic, and we’re not lifting those measures at this time,” the company said in a statement shared with The Columbus Dispatch

A spokesperson for Walmart was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Insider.  

Starbucks

Starbucks barista

Starbucks shoppers and workers will still be required to wear masks in its stores, the company said, according to CNN.

Home Depot

Home Depot

Home Depot told The New York Times that it had no plans to change its mask policy in stores. Insider reached out for further comment, but didn’t immediately hear back.  

Macy’s

macy's shoppers coronavirus masks shopping bags

Macy’s has not yet confirmed whether masks will still be mandatory in its stores. A spokesperson told CNN that it is currently reviewing its policies. 

Macy’s was not immediately available to comment when contacted by Insider. 

Walgreens

walgreens masks

Walgreens has not yet confirmed how it will react to the CDC’s new guidelines, but a spokesperson told CNN that it is reviewing its rules.

Walgreens was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Insider.

CVS

CVS NYC

CVS is reviewing its mask policy.

“The safety of our employees and customers will continue to guide our decision-making process,” the company said in a statement to Insider.

 

Gap

gap store
The Gap store inside the Westfield Topanga shopping mall in on Friday, June 26, 2020 in Canoga Park, CA.

According to The Times, Gap Inc is reviewing its policies, and has not confirmed whether masks will continue to be mandatory.

A spokesperson for the apparel giant was not immediately available to comment when contacted by Insider. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Norwegian has unveiled a new cruise ship complete with a food hall, Starbucks, and its largest staterooms ever – see inside

The Norwegian Prima cruise ship
The new Norwegian Prima.

  • Norwegian Cruise Line has unveiled its latest ship: Prima.
  • The new vessel has several of the company’s firsts, including a unique food hall and glass bridges.
  • The new vessel, with Norwegian’s largest-ever staterooms, will begin sailing in the summer of 2022.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Norwegian Cruise Line has unveiled its latest cruise ship: the Norwegian Prima.

The Norwegian Prima cruise ship
The new Norwegian Prima.

“As we emerge from this global crisis, this announcement marks a strong sign of hope for the cruise sector,” Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, the Italian shipbuilder that constructed the Norwegian Prima, said in a press release.

The announcement comes at a hopeful time for the cruise industry.

the haven sundeck on the norwegian prima
The Haven Sundeck aboard the Norwegian Prima.

On May 5, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines on how cruise lines should go about trial voyages. These test trips are meant to precede the COVID-19 Conditional Sailing Certificate needed to resume passenger sailings again after a year of no large cruise ships in US waters.

However, cruise lines that can prove that 98% of its crew and 95% of passengers are vaccinated will be allowed to skip these trial sailings.

stern of the Norwegian Prima cruise ship
The stern of the Norwegian Prima.

This may include Norwegian, which plans to require vaccinations.

Norwegian’s new Prima ship is the first of six upcoming vessels under the cruise line’s new “Prima Class,” its first new class in almost a decade.

oceanview room board the Norwegian Prima cruise ship
An oceanview room aboard the Norwegian Prima.

The new ship is aptly named after the Italian word for “first.”

This new ship will be able to accommodate 3,215 guests.

food hall aboard the Norwegian Prima
The food hall aboard the Norwegian Prima.

In total, it’ll stretch 965 feet long and will weigh 142,500 tons.

The new ship will have features that have never been seen on previous Norwegian ships, such as a food hall, two glass bridges, and a decorated hull.

the haven sundeck on the norwegian prima
The Haven Sundeck aboard the Norwegian Prima.

It’ll also have more outdoor and pool deck space than any other Norwegian ship.

Prima will also have Norwegian’s first “Ocean Boulevard” section filled with different leisure and entertainment options.

food hall aboard the Norwegian Prima
The food hall aboard the Norwegian Prima.

This 44,000-square-foot “boulevard” will wrap around the eighth deck and will be lined with views of the ocean.

One of the boulevard’s offerings will include the Indulge Food Hall, Norwegian’s first food hall concept.

food hall aboard the Norwegian Prima
The food hall aboard the Norwegian Prima.

This take-out dining hub will have 11 eateries, beverage shops, and dessert offerings.

Craving a Starbucks coffee, southern American comfort food, or Thai noodle dishes? Just head to Indulge.

food hall aboard the Norwegian Prima
The food hall aboard the Norwegian Prima.

The food hall will also have an Indian eatery, a salad bar, a Tapas “food truck,” and an ice cream shop.

If you’d rather dine in, you can head to one of Ocean Boulevard’s three restaurants, which will all be equipped with both indoor and outdoor tables.

stern of the Norwegian Prima cruise ship
The stern of the Norwegian Prima.

The three establishments include the Onda By Scarpetta, Los Lobos, and the Local Bar and Grill.

Onda by Scarpetta – which will serve up modern Italian meals – is also available on the Norwegian Encore and Spirit ships.

Onda by Scarpetta restaurant aboard the Norwegian Prima cruise ship
The Onda by Scarpetta restaurant aboard the Norwegian Prima.

If you’re craving Mexican food, you might want to opt for Los Lobos instead. But if you’re in the mood for an “upscale beach club atmosphere,” head to the Local Bar and Grill, which has cocktails and American food.

Not in the mood for a meal on Ocean Boulevard?

Norwegian Prima' cruise ship's concourse.
The Norwegian Prima’s “The Concourse.”

The boulevard will also have “The Concourse,” an art and sculpture garden with seven pieces valued at a total of over $2 million, according to the cruise line.

Ocean Boulevard also has leisure areas that cater to guests who’d rather spend a relaxing afternoon by the pool.

Ocean Boulevard aboard the Norwegian Prima.
The Ocean Boulevard aboard the Norwegian Prima.

This includes the boulevard’s two infinity pools, two glass bridges for unique views of the water, and the La Terraza lounge.

Guests can book a stay inside a stateroom or one of Prima’s 13 types of suites, including the biggest three-bedroom suites “of any new cruise ship,” according to Norwegian.

oceanview room board the Norwegian Prima cruise ship
An oceanview room aboard the Norwegian Prima.

Prima’s inside, oceanview, and balcony staterooms will be larger than the ones aboard any other Norwegian ship.

If you’re looking for more luxury, you could book one of the 107 “Haven” suites.

iving room of the Norwegian Prima cruise ship Haven Deluxe Owner's Suite
The living room of the Norwegian Prima’s Haven Deluxe Owner’s Suite.

These passengers will have access to Haven-only areas, including private elevators exclusively for Haven guests.

Haven guests can also access a shared sundeck with an infinity pool, and an outdoor spa with a sauna and cold room.

Norwegian Prima's Haven Deluxe Owner's Suite's hot tub and balcony
The hot tub on the balcony of the Norwegian Prima’s Haven Deluxe Owner’s Suite.

There’s also a Haven restaurant and a combination lounge and bar.

Norwegian Prima’s future itineraries are already available on Norwegian’s website.

oceanview room board the Norwegian Prima cruise ship
An oceanview room aboard the Norwegian Prima.

The new vessel will spend the summer, fall, and winter of 2022 and 2023 in Europe, the UK, Bermuda, and the Caribbean. 

Read the original article on Business Insider