Car Buying is Changing and All It Took Was a Pandemic: The Enlightenment

Photo credit: Illustration by Marcos Chin - Car and Driver
Photo credit: Illustration by Marcos Chin – Car and Driver

From Car and Driver

For ages, car dealers have stacked the deck against buyers. They’ve squelched competition with state laws that their lobbyists helped craft. They’ve fought attempts to share financial information with buyers, making negotiating unpleasant and difficult. Many of them won’t even answer a simple email.

In the past decade, car dealers have haltingly, begrudgingly embraced changes in the retail landscape brought on by the internet. And that slow play would have continued but for a fat little microorganism that traveled the globe earlier this year and disrupted everything. The COVID-19 shutdowns this spring forced dealers to do something they’d been putting off: embrace technology and put buyers first.

“People’s expectations changed overnight,” said Larry Dominique, chairman and CEO of PSA North America, which is in the process of relaunching the Peugeot brand in the U.S. and Canada

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Nation’s largest school system ‘in an impossible situation’ amid the coronavirus pandemic

This post has been updated with information from a New York City Department of Education employee.

It’s been a rough week for the millions of children, parents, educators, and city officials involved in the reopening of New York City schools. 

After grappling with a shortage of teachers and buildings that are not ventilated well enough to deter transmission of coronavirus, the nation’s largest school district again delayed the start of in-person learning.

“The [New York City] Department of Education has put P.S. 125 and many other schools in the city in an impossible situation,” Tamara Tucker, president of the parents association at P.S. 125 in Morningside Heights, which serves students from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade, told Yahoo Finance. “And I don’t want to penalize the schools for being hamstrung like that.” 

The city provided parents with three main options for students starting the fall school year: in-person, fully virtual, or

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Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats forced to hold e-conferences due to coronavirus pandemic

It’s party conference time – but not as we know and love it (and often hated it, too).

Gone are the three weeks of plotting and posturing in big halls, whispered briefings over tepid food, grazing on sausage rolls at fringes and rounding each day with liver-destroying receptions.

This year, thanks to coronavirus, it’s all online. Welcome to the e-conferences, an event that everyone can attend but, frankly, may prove tame since the best action usually takes place not on stage but in bars, corridors and nearby kebab houses.

For the control freaks at No 10 or Victoria Street it is a dream come true – a chance for ultimate message discipline without MPs or members. No chance of it being derailed by an unauthorised 3am reshuffle briefing in the Radisson Hotel bar.

They’re doing their best to recreate some of the fun.

Labour is staging a quiz night on

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What retailers should expect going into a holiday season during a pandemic

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Despite the massive unemployment rate nationwide and the worst economic climate since the Great Depression, holiday retail sales overall are still expected to increase this winter, albeit between a modest 1% and 1.5%, according to Deloitte. Analysts are projecting sales of about $1.15 billion between November 2020 and January 2021.

But with limits on the number of customers allowed in stores to accommodate social distancing, many shoppers will be turning to e-commerce more than ever before. Deloitte forecasts that e-commerce sales will grow by 25% to 35%, year-over-year, during the 2020-2021 holiday season, a great leap from the 14.7% uptick in online holiday shopping from 2018 to 2019. E-commerce holiday sales are expected to generate between $182 million and $196 million this season.

Deloitte analysts are predicting two

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A Job That Isn’t Hard to Get in a Pandemic: Swindlers’ Helper

Denise Newton, 24, who was contacted by a company called Heies this year after she lost her job, in Birmingham, Ala., Aug. 13, 2020. (Wes Frazer/The New York Times)
Denise Newton, 24, who was contacted by a company called Heies this year after she lost her job, in Birmingham, Ala., Aug. 13, 2020. (Wes Frazer/The New York Times)

After the fitness center where Denise Newton worked closed down in April because of the coronavirus, she posted her résumé online to look for a new job. She soon got a call from a company she had never heard of.

The woman who phoned from the company, Heies, invited Newton to apply for a job as a “local hub inspector.” When she started work in May, Newton began receiving boxes with Apple Watches and laptops in them. Her job was to open the boxes, check the contents and then mail them off to foreign addresses.

But something was off. The boxes were suspiciously plain, even though they included brand-name products. The name on the labels was never Newton’s. When she asked

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As far as the economy goes, we might want to start spelling ‘pandemic’ with a ‘K’

With apologies to Sesame Street, the U.S. economy has emerged from six months of  the COVID-19 pandemic looking a lot like the letter “K.”  

On one end of the economy are businesses that are soaring, as we abandoned offices and classrooms, settled in at home and pretty much stayed there.  

Those sectors pointing up on the “K” include grocery stores and technology companies like Zoom and Amazon.  

On the downward leg of the “K” are the airlines, restaurants and hotels that many of us haven’t gone near for six months. 

In this “K” recovery, “you have pockets of the economy that start to recover at an accelerated rate and others that are going to be in decline for a much longer period of time,” said Tim Sheehy, president of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce.

The contrast is stunning.

“Depending on where you sit in the COVID economy, business could … Read More

Why Chrissy Metz Is ‘Excited’ About This Is Us Addressing the COVID-19 Pandemic in Season 5

Maarten de Boer/NBCUniversal This Is Us

When season 5 of This Is Us returns this fall, viewers will see the Pearson family navigate the realities of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Creator Dan Fogelman told fans in August that the NBC drama will “attack things head on” by addressing the global health crisis and other current events. With the season 5 production kicking off later this month, the actors have already gotten scripts for the first two episodes. Chrissy Metz tells PEOPLE that there are many storylines to look forward to, including the pandemic-themed arc.

Speaking about the “magic of This Is Us,” Metz, 39, says the cast and crew are raring to go back to work.

“We’re going to get it done, and everybody is on board and ready to go,” she says. “We have the scripts, we’re ready to go, they’re just making sure that there

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Brentwood’s Diesel bookstore launches a GoFundMe as more stores struggle through pandemic

Diesel bookseller Lynn Aime makes a sale next to a sign asking customers to contribute to the shop's GoFundMe. <span class="copyright">(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)</span>
Diesel bookseller Lynn Aime makes a sale next to a sign asking customers to contribute to the shop’s GoFundMe. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Next to a bottle of hand sanitizer, on a table at an entrance to Brentwood’s Diesel bookstore, is a message to customers describing an existential crisis induced by a pandemic. It says, in essence: We need your help.

“We have tried to weather this storm, with creative reinvention, hard work, and perseverance, as we always have,” reads the note from Diesel owners Alison Reid and John Evans. “We’ve managed to keep our booksellers afloat financially and with the necessary health care. But at this point, our stores are foundering.

“… So we are asking for your support to restore us to a sustainable level, to make it through this taxing time… We have resisted this appeal to our wider community, but now we are running

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Here are the states struggling the most financially during the pandemic

The Daily Beast

Like ‘a Bomb Went Off’: Oregon City Destroyed as Wildfires Devastate West Coast

As of Sunday afternoon, there were only about 20 buildings still standing in the city of Detroit, Oregon. The wildfires raging along the West Coast hit the small, rural enclave three hours outside of Portland over the weekend, burning a majority of the community’s structures—including City Hall, where the fire department’s office is based. Locals have suggested the destruction was as if “a bomb went off.”“We have approximately 20-25 structures still standing, and the rest are gone,” the Idanha-Detroit Rural Fire Protection District said on their Facebook page, noting that several firefighters currently on the frontlines of these massive blazes had lost their own homes. “I know this must be frustrating for everyone. Fires are still actively burning in Detroit and have kept firefighters busy. Our primary focus is protecting the structures that are

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Salvation Army gets early start on holiday fundraising campaign to ‘rescue Christmas’ amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Salvation Army is starting its annual holiday fundraising campaign earlier than ever in an attempt to “rescue Christmas.”

Facing an increased demand amid the coronavirus pandemic with high unemployment, the nation’s largest social services organization said it will start collecting donations in its iconic red kettles with bell-ringing volunteers Monday instead of waiting until closer to Thanksgiving as in past years.

Yet with a surge of store closings, a decline in foot traffic to retail locations, consumers carrying less cash and a nationwide coin shortage, the Salvation Army said it expects to see up to a 50% decrease in fundraising.

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“Our ability to raise vital funds to serve those in need this Christmas and beyond is at risk,” said Commissioner Kenneth Hodder, the faith-based charity’s national commander, in a news release. “We need

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