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Welcome back to The Drive Thru, Business Insider’s weekly round-up of all things retail and fast-food – also, your convenient reminder of what day of the week it is, just in case you’re finding that your weeks have morphed into some sort of bizarre time warp.
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A lot of major retailers reported quarterly earnings this week. Plus, as more states and stores open up, there’s an unlikely conflict brewing regarding mask policies in stores.
Here’s what you need to know:
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A bunch of major retailers reported earnings this week, including Target, Walmart, Kohl’s, and L Brands.
Target stood out with an outstanding performance this quarter, reporting a 278% increase in same-day pick-up and delivery. In a call with investors, CEO Brian Cornell said the salient results were thanks to two key factors.
Walmart reported similar success in the first quarter, with US same-store sales growing 10% and US e-commerce sales growing 74%. In its earnings release, the company announced it would be shutting down Jet.com, the e-commerce site it acquired four years ago for $3.3 billion.
Lowe’s and Home Depot both reported a jump in sales, and Kohl’s reported that while net sales were down 43.5%, the chain is confident that the location and size of its stores will help it succeed in the long run.
Less fortunately, L Brand, Victoria’s Secret’s parent company, announced in its earnings results that it plans to permanently close 250 stores in the US and Canada in 2020.
TJX Companies – which owns TJMaxx, Home Goods, and Marshalls – reported first-quarter earnings on Thursday. While its results weren’t great, the company’s stock spiked as much as 9% after reporting, thanks to its promising performance during the reopening of its stores, where customers flocked in droves and bumped up sales.
“We believe this very strong start speaks to our compelling value proposition and the appeal of our treasure-hunt shopping experience, as well as pent-up demand,” TJX President and CEO Ernie Herrman said in an earnings press release on Thursday.
The strong response to the reopening of the stores might be owed to the company’s slashing prices more than usual as a tactic to get rid of merchandise.
Retailers’ mask policies are becoming an increasingly divisive issue among shoppers and workers.
Áine and Kate analyzed how workers at chains like Kroger, Costco, and Waffle House are on the front lines of an increasingly violent war between those who support masks and those who oppose them.
As more retailers enact policies that require shoppers to wear face coverings, some customers are refusing for ideological reasons. Costco, which requires its shoppers to wear face coverings while in stores, is a particularly violent arena for the conflict.
A video circulating on social media showed a standoff between a Costco worker and a shopper who refused to wear a mask, rationalizing that he “woke up in a free country.” As the video spread, people came out in support of the Costco worker who told the customer to leave the store.
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Irene reported a bizarre story about a Reddit user who discovered that the pizza she ordered last month from a place called Pasqually’s Pizza was actually from Chuck E. Cheese.
A Chuck E. Cheese representative told Irene that Pasqually’s Pizza & Wings, which operates from Chuck E. Cheese kitchens, is a new, delivery-only premium pizza brand.
Turns out, the practice of operating multiple delivery brands out of one restaurant kitchen more common than most people think. These “virtual restaurants” generally share kitchens with full-service restaurants, or with other virtual restaurants and can actually be quite advantageous in the pandemic era, thanks to their low rent and staffing costs.
2020 graduates: Here’s where to get your well-deserved comfort food
Krispy Kreme: If you’re a graduate who missed the free dozen giveaway this week, fear not! You can still buy a new limited assorted dozen that spells out “2020” on the doughnuts until May 24.
Pizza Hut: The chain is giving away half a million free pizzas to 2020 high school graduates.