iShares MSCI USA ESG Select ETF Experiences Big Inflow

Dividend Channel.....»»

Category: topSource: redinewsNov 15th, 2021

CommScope (COMM) Partners ViacomCBS for Content Distribution

By partnering with CommScope (COMM), ViacomCBS is driving greater efficiency and expanding its footprint to connect with more people. CommScope Holding Company, Inc. COMM recently announced that ViacomCBS VIAC has launched FAVE and migrated its DABL and select SHOWTIME linear channels from satellite to Content Delivery Network (CDN) IP distribution using the CommScope DigiCipher Streaming system.ViacomCBS is a leading global media and entertainment company that creates premium content and experiences for audiences. The move represents the first ViacomCBS services to be fully transitioned from satellite to CDN IP.The CommScope DigiCipher Streaming distribution system includes the ME-7000 HEVC encoding, TME-2020 multiplexing/encryption, VDP-1000 packaging, BNC network management and DSR-4470 IRDs. The DigiCipher Streaming system allows control of the Integrated Receiver Decoders platforms with satellite and IP input.By partnering with CommScope, ViacomCBS is driving greater efficiency and expanding its footprint to connect with more people.CommScope’s shares have lost 27.2% in the past year compared with the industry’s decline of 44.7%.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchCommScope’s DigiCipher Streaming system offers programmers like ViacomCBS a path that leverages their existing Integrated Receiver Decoders in the migration from satellite to CDN IP input and eliminates service interruption.CommScope is well-positioned to benefit from industry tailwinds such as 5G and mobile network densification, indoor coverage and expansion of optical fiber networks.The company has been pursuing strategies focused on reducing operational costs and optimizing the overall cost structure. The CommScope NEXT program is expected to drive growth, optimize business processes and unlock shareholder value.COMM currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.SeaChange International, Inc. SEAC is another top-ranked stock in the broader Zacks Computer and Technology sector that carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has been revised 10% upward over the past 30 days.SeaChange International delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 37.2%, on average. The stock has lost 6.2% in the past year.United States Cellular Corporation USM, carrying a Zacks Rank #2, is also a decent pick for investors. The consensus estimate for current-year earnings has been revised 7.3% upward over the past 60 days.United States Cellular Corporation pulled off a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 4.1%, on average. The stock has lost 2.6% in the past year. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 5 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report United States Cellular Corporation (USM): Free Stock Analysis Report SeaChange International, Inc. (SEAC): Free Stock Analysis Report CommScope Holding Company, Inc. (COMM): Free Stock Analysis Report ViacomCBS Inc. (VIAC): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 14th, 2022

Meet the Danish Frogmen who just took down a boat full of pirates in the Atlantic

An incident off the coast of West Africa in late 2021 offered a rare look at the operations of Denmark's Frømandskorpset, or Frogman Corps. Danish Frømandskorpset students who passed selection, earning the title Frogmen, in October 2021.Frømandskorpset In November, a Danish frigate patrolling off of West Africa sent a group of special operators to investigate a suspicious boat. The Frømandskorpset operators deployed by the frigate took down the suspected pirates without any casualties. It was a rare look at Denmark's Frogman Corps, a little-known but highly skilled commando unit. At the end of 2021, a widely overlooked incident in the Atlantic Ocean showcased the deadly effectiveness of the Frømandskorpset, the Frogman Corps, who are Denmark's equivalent to the US Navy SEALs.In November, the Danish frigate Esbern Snare was conducting an anti-piracy patrol in the Gulf of Guinea south of Nigeria when it received reports of suspicious activity nearby.The Danish warship sailed toward the area of concern and found a small, fast-moving motorboat with nine men on board shadowing merchant vessels in the area.Danish Frømandskorpset operators training with a rigid-hull inflatable boat.Casper Tybjerg / FKPAfter positively identifying the men as pirates, the Esbern Snare deployed its contingent of Frogmen aboard rigid-hull inflatable boats to interdict the motorboat.After closing in, the Danes ordered the pirates to halt and eventually fired warning shots so that the special operators could board the motorboat.The pirates fired back, and the Danish commandos returned fire, killing four pirates and wounding one while suffering no casualties. The motorboat sank after the shootout, and the pirates were taken aboard Esbern Snare.The incident was a rare glimpse of one of the world's least-known special-operations units in action.A select fewDanish Frømandskorpset candidates during training, January 2020.Frømandskorpset/Casper TybjergThe selection and operator training course for the Frogman Crops is one of the most selective in the world with an incredibly high attrition rate.Out of the 500 to 600 applicants who volunteer for the course each year, only a handful make it and graduate in the ranks of the Frogmen. Since the unit's inception in the late 1950s, there have been less than 400 Frogmen.The pipeline to become a naval commando takes roughly nine months and is based on the US Navy Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL and the UK Special Boat Service training and selection processes.There is a "Hell Week," during which students are pushed to their physical and mental limits, in addition to basic and advanced combat diving, airborne operations, small-unit tactics, and land warfare.Maritime counterterrorism and much moreDanish Frømandskorpset operators break the surface during training.Frømandskorpset/Casper TybjergGiven the small size of the Danish special-operations community, the Frogman Corps is responsible for several different mission sets, including maritime counterterrorism, special reconnaissance, underwater unconventional warfare, direct action, close protection, and visit, board, search, and seizure.The Danish commandos have also developed a reputation for anti-piracy operations. The Danish Frogmen recaptured a hijacked merchant vessel in 2010.As NATO member, Denmark gets to work closely with US special-operations units, often participating in joint exercises with Army Green Berets, Air Commandos, Navy SEALs, and Navy Special Warfare Combatant-Craft operators.Danish Frømandskorpset students conduct helocast training in September 2020.FrømandskorpsetDanish Frogmen "are top-class combat divers, and we train with them often. They are a small community, but they are tough, and young Green Beret combat divers always learn new things from them in joint training events," a retired Army Green Beret, who requested anonymity to describe his experiences, told Insider.The Frogmen also attend US special-operations and conventional courses, including the US Army Airborne School, Army Ranger School, and Special Forces Underwater Operations School.Danish special-operations units also fought in Afghanistan and developed a solid reputation for professionalism, discipline, and tactical effectiveness.Glorious ancestorsA uniform patch bearing the emblem of Denmark's Frømandskorpset.Frømandskorpset/Casper TybjergCreated in 1957, the Danish Frogman Corps traces its lineage in World War II and the British special-operations units that fought the Germans and Italians in North Africa and Europe.In 1941, a British officer named David Stirling created the Special Air Service to conduct unconventional warfare and strategic reconnaissance operations behind the Axis lines in North Africa.The unit was so effective — at one point, it had destroyed more German and Italian aircraft on the ground than the Royal Air Force — that the British military decided to develop a maritime version of the SAS.The idea had been promoted a year earlier, in 1940, by another enterprising British officer who persuaded the Royal Navy to create a special-operations unit that would take the fight to the Nazis on the coasts and rivers of occupied Europe.A Danish Frømandskorpset operator training aboard a ship.FrømandskorpsetNamed the Special Boat Section — later renamed the Special Boat Service, which it is still called — the unit primarily operated around the islands and coasts of Italy and Axis-occupied Greece.After taking heavy casualties in several operations in 1942, the SBS was absorbed by the SAS.In a development peculiar to World War II, some troops whose countries were overrun by the Nazis served in British units. Maj. Anders Lassen, a Dane, was one of them, and he became the only foreigner to win the Victoria Cross — the British equivalent of the Medal of Honor — during the war.When the Frogman Corps was created in 1957, the new unit drew lessons and experiences from veterans who served with the SBS and used knowledge and help from the US's Underwater Demolition Teams, the forefathers of the modern Navy SEAL Teams.Stavros Atlamazoglou is a defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 13th, 2022

5 surprising things I learned about leadership in Anna Wintour"s MasterClass, from owning controversial decisions to building a dependable team

In her MasterClass, Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour shares her best leadership and creativity tips. Here are my favorite ones. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.In her MasterClass, Anna Wintour shares her best leadership and creativity tips, from owning difficult choices to building a dependable team.MasterClass As the manager of a team, I rely on leadership books and classes to keep improving. I found Anna Wintour's MasterClass on creativity and leadership especially insightful. It taught me how to lead with a strong point of view and select the best team members. MasterClass, an online subscription service featuring video lessons from celebrities and experts, is one of the best investments I've made in my personal development. I love it so much that I've gifted it to others twice this year. Masterclass All-Access Pass$180.00 FROM MASTERCLASSMy career has taken a bit of a whirlwind over the last year: I started a new job in 2020 and quickly found myself in a leadership position, helping guide a team of 30 journalists and editors. As a result, I've become a voracious consumer of books on leadership and management, and one of the main reasons I took the plunge on a $180 annual MasterClass subscription was the chance to learn from leadership luminaries about their secrets to success.MasterClass: Anna Wintour Teaches Creativity and LeadershipLegendary Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour shares her tips for leading with vision and boldness.$180.00 FROM MASTERCLASSFew of those leaders have been as intriguing to me as Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue. As a fellow woman working in media, I've always been fascinated by Anna's career path. There's so much lore about her leadership style – several popular books and movies are rumored to be based on it. But I've always felt she was a bit misunderstood, that people don't and wouldn't say the same things about men in the field as they do about her. Edward Berthelot/Contributor/Getty ImagesRegardless of what you feel about her leadership style, you have to argue that she gets results: She's been the reigning editor at Vogue for over 30 years, is responsible for the success of the Met Gala (one of the most well-known annual charity events in the world), and has helped launch the careers of hundreds of designers, photographers, models, and writers. In her MasterClass, Anna gives specifics about her leadership philosophy, and while a lot of the content is geared toward fashion and media hopefuls, so many components can be applied to any leader of any business. I loved the class so much that I watched it twice — and took notes along the way. Here are five things I learned about leadership from Anna Wintour's MasterClass:1. Lead with a strong point of view.MasterClassThis was the overarching piece of advice I took from Anna Wintour's MasterClass: Leaders should lead, not follow. It seems almost comically simple, but hearing it made me realize how often I rely on consensus or direction rather than my unique point of view. While Wintour recognizes diplomacy as a tool, she emphasizes it's critical as a leader to communicate your point of view with clarity and decisiveness, rather than bowing to pressure to follow other people's way of thinking. To her, the mark of a true leader is to push boundaries and provide a more exciting vision than others can initially see. Now, when faced with a tough leadership decision, I try to remind myself that my team is looking for me to make the best decision, not the most popular or safe choice. 2. Always stay open and interested in the world around you.MasterClassOne surprising tidbit I picked up from Anna's MasterClass was how much time she spends engaging with the world around her to inform her point of view. "Spend as much time as you can on creative exposure," Wintour emphasizes. For her, that means using her free time for taking walks, reading books, seeing plays, and "watching the world." I was especially tickled by Anna's anecdote about how so many prospective employees worry about what to wear when interviewing with her and neglect to think about what she really cares about: Their passions, genuine interests, and the last great book they read. (In fact, she says she doesn't pay very much attention to what they're wearing at all.)For me, this advice is an excellent reminder that the way we spend our free time has a significant impact on our decisions, our teams' well-being, and even the world at large. It can be a potent tool for pulling myself out of mindless social media scrolling and redirecting my energy to activities I know will fill me up, like reading, exercise, and writing.3. Build a diverse team of highly dependable people.MasterClassWhen speaking to her hiring philosophy, Wintour stresses finding self-reliant and diverse people in their way of thinking and observing the world. Once she finds those people, she likes to give them assignments they're passionate about and entrust them with a large amount of autonomy. While Wintour recognizes that her communication style isn't for everyone, she feels it's important to make feedback quick, fast, and direct so that there is no ambiguity in the direction. She stresses getting back to people quickly to keep the work moving.Though Anna's communication philosophy isn't my preferred way of engaging with my direct reports, her advice about hiring people to fill your blind spots is always on my mind as I look for new people to join our team. Recognizing how powerful diversity can be in creating a robust and effective team is critical: People with different backgrounds and experiences can only make our work better and more far-reaching. 4. Don't be afraid to make the "wrong" choice from time to time.MasterClassAs someone who uses data to make the majority of my decisions, I was surprised to learn that Wintour believes data is a bit, well, overrated. "Data can't tell you everything," she says. "You can't develop an audience through data; it comes through the creative talent." Her opinion: If you speak with passion and authority, people will listen — and an audience will find you. In an algorithm-obsessed world, it's hard to imagine making any choice that isn't backed by an endless amount of data at our fingertips, but I think Wintour has a point. There's something to be said for being "ahead" of the data, anticipating people's needs before they know them, or writing about a topic before it's trending. It goes back to her first tip about leading and not following.Wintour emphasizes making the "wrong choice" every so often when it means a chance to move the conversation forward. However, that doesn't mean being reckless: "Controversial decisions have to have meaning, and you can't make them all the time," she warns. She also stresses that bold initiatives take time, and it's important to be patient when determining the success or failure of any outside-the-box decision. 5. Know your brand, but don't be afraid of evolving it.MasterClassWintour stresses the importance of understanding your brand and keeping it front and center in all your decisions. However, she also recognizes that it has to evolve to stay relevant constantly. "Our brand has to be at the core of everything we do: What is it, what does it stand for, and how do you move it forward?" she says. People want change, so we always have to look for new ways of connecting with our audience. "It is naive to think you only have one customer, who wants to be spoken to in one way or through one medium," she says. Wintour and her team are frequently looking for ways to talk to their audience in a way that feels more personal. As for figuring out your brand, she cautions that it's more important to define what your brand is than what it is not. "It's very easy to say, 'This is not us, this is not who we are.' It is much harder to say, 'This is what we believe, this is what we stand for,'" she says. I think about this often when giving feedback: Am I providing a clear vision of our brand, or am I defining our brand by what it is not? The bottom lineMasterClassAs a middle manager in media with plenty of room to grow, I found Anna Wintour's MasterClass invaluable. Her advice drew a clear line between who is a leader and who is simply a manager, and I use wisdom gleaned from her MasterClass when I show up for work every day and try to be the best leader possible for my team. I highly recommend Anna's MasterClass for any leader or potential leader, but this course is particularly relevant for women and those working in media or fashion. While an annual MasterClass subscription ($180) gets you access to hundreds of celebrity-led video courses, the insights I've gleaned from Anna Wintour's MasterClass alone have more than made up for what I've paid for my subscription in value.MasterClass: Anna Wintour Teaches Creativity and Leadership$180.00 FROM MASTERCLASSMasterclass All-Access Pass$180.00 FROM MASTERCLASSRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 6th, 2022

Samsung is opening a metaverse version of its flagship NYC store in Decentraland

Samsung has partnered with Decentraland, an ethereum-based virtual world that is among a few different metaverses being developed as part of Web3. Samsung 837X debuts in Decentraland, a blockchain-powered metaverse.Samsung Samsung is opening its first metaverse store, Samsung 837X, an immersive world modeled after its flagship New York store. The tech giant has partnered with Decentraland, an ethereum-based virtual world platform. The store will be open only for a limited time, but Samsung expressed plans to bring the experience to new platforms.  Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell Samsung is opening its first store in the metaverse with Samsung 837X, an immersive world modeled after its flagship New York City store, Samsung 837, starting Thursday.The tech giant has partnered with Decentraland, an ethereum-based virtual world platform. The opening includes Samsung's first-ever metaverse-mixed-reality dance party hosted by DJ Gamma Vibes live from the physical Samsung location.To participate, customers will first need to enter Decentraland through a desktop browser before they can buy and sell exclusive digital assets, like land and wearables.Upon entering, the customer's avatar will be dropped outside of Samsung's metaverse building. Once in the lobby, a virtual guide will direct the avatar to choose from three interior spaces: sustainability, customization, and connectivity.Samsung's lobby in its metaverse store, Samsung 837XSamsung Connectivity Theater is where news from the Consumer Electronics Show, which runs from January 5-8, will be released. Sustainability Forest is where guests can learn more about Samsung's recent partnership with Veritree, a climate solutions platform, to plant two million trees by the first quarter of this year. Customization Stage is where the party will be at. Samsung 837X, one of the largest brand land takeovers in Decentraland, will be open only for a limited time. But the tech conglomerate noted that it plans to bring the metaverse experience to more people by launching on new platforms. "The metaverse empowers us to transcend physical and spatial limits to create unique virtual experiences that could not happen otherwise," Michelle Crossan-Matos, SVP of corporate marketing and communications at Samsung Electronics America, said in a statement. "Innovation is in our DNA."Samsung seems to be cementing its position in the digital asset space. Earlier this week, the South Korean firm announced that customers can buy and sell non-fungible tokens through an integrated platform that will be available on select smart TVs.Prior to this, Samsung had already been investing in related projects, particularly through Samsung Next, its venture capital arm. Investments include Axie Infinity, Dapper Labs, Forte, The Sandbox, and SuperRare.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJan 6th, 2022

Fallen Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick"s partner called out Sen. Lindsey Graham for being "very disrespectful" during a Jan. 6 commission meeting

"You're looking out the window and tapping your fingers on the desk," Sandra Garza recalled telling the South Carolina Republican. Sandra Garza, partner of the late Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, speaks about her support of a January 6 commission following a meeting with Sen. Susan Collins on May 27, 2021.Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Lindsey Graham appeared bored while an officer recounted his experience of the Capitol riot, per The Times. "I feel like you're being very disrespectful," officer Brian Sicknick's partner told Graham in May.  She joined USCP officers to advocate for a bipartisan January 6 commission. Sandra Garza, the longtime partner of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, recalled confronting Sen. Lindsey Graham while advocating for a bipartisan commission to investigate January 6.Sicknick died the day after the attack after suffering two strokes. "All that transpired" at the Capitol riot "played a role in his condition," according to Francisco J. Diaz, the chief medical examiner of Washington, DC.Garza told The New York Times that she and Sicknick supported former President Donald Trump and had doubts about the 2020 election. She met with Graham and other Republican senators in May alongside other officers as the Senate considered approving the commission.But, Garza said, Graham appeared bored and distracted while DC Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone recounted his experiences during the riot. So she confronted the South Carolina senator."I feel like you're being very disrespectful, and you're looking out the window and tapping your fingers on the desk,'" she recalled telling Graham. Another Republican senator then tried to tell her she was misreading Graham's body language, further infuriating her, per The Times.Capitol Police Sergeant Harry Dunn similarly said the experience was enraging. Sen. Tim Scott, who was also at the meeting, said that both him and Graham were in favor of accountability, but not a commission.In a statement at the time, Graham said that he would not support the commission because it's "approach will turn into a partisan food fight." Graham's office did not respond to Insider's request for comment for this story.In May, a motion to begin debate on a bill to create a bipartisan January 6 commission garnered 54 votes in the Senate, failing to reach the 60-vote threshold needed to break a filibuster and allow a vote on the bill. Every Democrat present voted for it, while only Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, and Rob Portman of Ohio voted for it.With the blockage of a bipartisan commission, House Democrats moved forward in creating their own select committee to investigate January 6.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 4th, 2022

8 vegan and alt-meat food trends you won"t be able to escape this year

As more people seek out vegan foods, more are becoming available. This year will be no different, from "animal-free dairy" to plant-based fine dining. Food items from Chef Matthew Kenney's Liora restaurant.Courtesy of Liora As more people seek out vegan foods and alt-meat products, more are becoming available. This year will be no different, as vegan options become easier to find and food tech ushers in novel proteins. These are the trends to watch in 2022, from "animal-free dairy" to plant-based fine dining. We're in the midst of a food evolution — and a food revolution — as more people seek out plant-based foods and products. As vegan and related novel alternatives get better in taste, become more affordable, and have greater availability, a future of food that doesn't rely on animals and environmentally-destructive factory farming seems more attainable each year. And 2022 may be the greatest year yet to prove this to be true. There is a coalescence of factors contributing to the plant-based boom. Emerging food tech startups backed my powerhouse investors. An evolving dining scene that puts more plants — and less meat — on the menu. The availability of meat doppelgangers made to satisfy those who don't want to give up foods they know and love. These are to name a few. Read on to uncover some of the biggest plant-based and related food-tech trends you will see this year. 'Animal-free dairy' in more products"Animal-free dairy" sounds like an oxymoron. But food tech startup Perfect Day and its growing list of brands and brand partners might just be on the verge of ushering in an animal-free-dairy renaissance. Perfect Day's patented animal-free dairy proteins use a fermentation process rather than the traditional animal-required way, which is extracting from bovine milk. In 2020, Smitten Ice Cream became the first company to use animal-free dairy from Perfect Day in a commercial product. Subsequently, Perfect Day's own brand, Brave Robot, followed shortly after with pints sold at grocery stores and on its website. There's more to come, too. Wellness brand Natreve recently announced the launch of its animal-free whey protein powder, which says it will come to market in 2022. Another brand called Modern Kitchen launched its animal-free cream cheese spread in September 2021 and has started to sell it online.Brave Robot animal-free dairy ice cream, which uses Perfect Day animal-free dairy proteins.Brave RobotBut don't call these animal-free dairy products "plant-based" — they're not, since the animal-free dairy proteins are identical to those found in cow's milk. And while the proteins are vegan, it should be cautioned that those with a milk allergy should avoid them, according to Perfect Day. (They say those with lactose sensitivity or intolerance would be OK to consume.)Be on the lookout for Perfect Day continuing to launch its own consumer products through an arm called The Urgent Company, and for other brands to license the next-gen dairy ingredient. We may start to see some of these companies from partnerships with restaurants in 2022. Mycoprotiens increasingly used for alternative meats"Mycoptotien" sounds like a hyper food-techy thing, but its foundations are based on an organism more than a billion years old: fungi. Mycoprotiens are formed when fungi is placed in a fermentation tank — similar to tanks used to ferment beer — and fermented with glucose and other nutrients. The outcome is a doughy protein substance with a fibrous meat-like texture, which can be used as a key ingredient to create meat substitutes. Quorn, a popular brand of vegan and vegetarian foods, has long used mycoproteins in its products, like its vegetarian "chicken" nuggets. The Vegetarian Butcher, a plant-based meat alternative brand which was acquired by Unilever in 2018, is also using mycoproteins. With their rich nutritional profile, relatively inexpensive production, and a low environmental impact compared to animal-meat production, expect to see more plant-based brands opting to use mycoproteins for their alt-meats. We may also see mainstream consumer-packaged-goods juggernauts get into the mycoprotein game, either by snatching up plant-based mycoprotein startups or launching their own mycoprotein-based alt-meat brands. Mycoprotiens are considered vegan and plant-based. Cultivated meat actually coming to our plates Cultivated meat (also called cell-based meat, cell-cultured meat and a variety of other names) was once a moonshot idea for scientists trying to make meat without the animal. But in the last few years, cultivated meat producers have made strides to prove viability. With the impending FDA and USDA approval of cultivated meat, which some industry experts think could happen as soon as mid-year 2022, we'll begin to see these novel proteins in the form of fish, steak, chicken, and more start to be served.Eat Just's Good Meat cultivated chicken from Madame Fan in Singapore.Eat JustBrands will start to partner with select food-service outfits and chefs they trust with preparations of their cell-based meat. For example: Just Foods and its Good Meat cell-based meat brand — which is currently selling its cultivated chicken in Singapore — recently announced chef José Andrés has committed to selling Good Meat cultivated chicken at one of his US restaurants once regulatory approval is reached. Note that you won't see cultivated meat being labeled or called vegan or plant-based — it's neither, technically, since there's currently some animal involvement along the way, and the basis of the meat is made from animal cells, not plants.Restaurants pivoting to more veg-centric menus While we might not see restaurants doing drastic pivots to all plant-based menus, expect restaurants and chefs de-emphasizing meat — as well as adding and labeling vegan options on the menu. You'll also see more restaurants leading with these offerings and using it in marketing making it clear to consumers that they offer an inclusive dining experience, and that they're eager to use plant offerings as a competitive advantage against laggers.Plant-based fine diningWhat kind of food do you think of when you hear "fine dining"? An expertly cooked Kobe steak? A perfectly seared Bluefin Tuna? A Sweet Potato Gnocchi dish at Liora, a Chef Matthew Kenney restaurant in Baltimore.LioraIn 2022, chefs will increasingly redefine what luxury dining means with plants, not meat, at the center of the plate. While we've started to see highly regarded chefs go all-in on plant-based fine-dining — Alexis Gauthier's Gauthier Soho with fine dining French gastronomy, Daniel Humm's Eleven Madison Park, and Matthew Kenney, the unofficial father of vegan fine-dining with his empire of plant-based restaurants — expect to see more fine dining establishments make a pivot to de-emphasize meat, and offer thoughtful plant-based dishes that use creative house-made proteins.School cafeterias getting more healthful plant-food optionsPressure has been mounting for schools to add healthier food options in the cafeteria for kids—and specifically more plant-based options for both human and planetary health. The dependence of school lunches on animal products dates back to the 1980s, when a surplus of dairy and cattle formed the basis of the school menus we see today. Private businesses are heavily entrenched with the government's National School Lunch Program, making it challenging to displace legacy meat and dairy food options.But 2022 could be a historic year for school lunch reform. There is currently a bill in Congress that would provide a grant to school districts to add more plant-based options. We'll also see new programs and offerings driven both by nonprofits and private plant-based businesses. Dedicated vegan markets—both brick and mortar, and e-commerceWalk into any market and you'll surely find a small section carved out for vegan foods. An all-vegan shopping experience at a grocery store or local market, though, has been harder to come by — but that's changing. A host of all plant-based e-commerce stores have been popping up over the last several years, and in 2022, the brick-and-mortar experience for all plant-based neighborhood bodegas is not to be ignored. XMarket's plant-based store in the Hillcrest neighborhood in San Diego.XMarketPlantX, the e-commerce vegan foods and goods company, has started to slowly expand its in-person neighborhood markets, dubbed XMarket. Its largest store opened in November 2021 in San Diego, California, and the company already has several other locales in North America either open, or announced to be opening soon. Another, PLNT PWRD MRKT, which is focused on plant-based snacks and goods, recently opened in Montecito, California, making it the first-ever all vegan market on the California central coast. Expect to see more dedicated plant-based stores with a focus on vegan brand curation and in-store community experiences. Celebrity investment in vegan brands and alt-proteinsWhere celebrities and their investment firms put their dollars not only make headlines, but they're also signals to the market. The last few years have given rise to celebrities infusing investment dollars into plant-based and future food brands whose values align with their own — and where they see market opportunity. Leonardo DiCaprio is betting big on cultivated meat, with investments in 2021 in both Aleph Farms and Mosa Meat. He's also previously invested in Beyond Meat and plant-milk brand Califia Farms. Sean "Jay-Z" Carter was an early investor in allergen-safe vegan cookies Partake Foods, Impossible Foods, Simulate plant-based chicken nuggets, and Oatly. Drake invested in Daring Foods, a plant-based chicken company. Travis Barker invested in esteemed LA-vegan restaurant Crossroads. Post Malone's venture firm invested in Actual Veggies, a whole ingredient veggie patty company. The list goes on, and will only get bigger.Plant-based and food tech brands going publicThe last few years have seen banner IPOs from leading plant-based brands. In 2019, Beyond Meat went public with one of the most successful IPOs ever with a $1.5 billion valuation; just months later, it was worth more than $12 billion. Oatly went public in 2021 with a valuation of $10 billion. In the same year, Globally Local made history as the first vegan fast food-chain to go public (and it did so on the Toronto Stock Exchange). Expect to see vegan brands and food-tech companies going public in the US and in Canada in 2022. (To see which plant-based brands have gone public already, there's a helpful list on Vegreneur that tracks this activity.) Watch out too for the formation of, and activity from, plant-based and alt-protein-focused SPACs. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 4th, 2022

The cast of "Harry Potter" returns to Hogwarts in a new 20th anniversary special — here"s how to watch the reunion on New Year"s Day

Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, and more reunite for "'Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts" on HBO Max ($10/month). Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.WarnerMedia The cast of "Harry Potter" is back in a new 20th anniversary special.  The reunion show will be available to stream exclusively on HBO Max starting January 1. HBO Max costs $10 a month with ads, or $15 a month without ads. HBO Max Monthly Plan (ad-free)$14.99 FROM HBO MAXIn celebration of the film franchise's 20th anniversary, the cast of "Harry Potter" is reuniting in a new special. The show premieres New Year's Day on HBO Max. Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), Emma Watson (Hermione Granger), and many other cast members travel back to Hogwarts, where they reminisce about their experiences making the original "Harry Potter" films. The reunion promises to be a powerful nostalgia trip for fans of the books and movies, and it looks like a great way to bring the holidays to a close. "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" premiered in theaters on November 14, 2001. Seven more films followed through 2011, covering the entire book series. Every "Harry Potter'' movie is available to stream on HBO Max right now. How to watch 'Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts'You can watch "Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts'' exclusively on HBO Max starting January 1. The reunion special will be available to all HBO Max subscribers, regardless of what plan you pay for.HBO Max's ad-supported plan costs $10 a month, while the service's ad-free subscription costs $15 a month. The ad-free plan also adds support for up to 4K streaming on select titles, as well as streaming access to "The Matrix: Resurrections" while it's still in theaters. HBO Max (ad-supported)$9.99 FROM HBO MAXHBO Max Monthly Plan (ad-free)$14.99 FROM HBO MAXIf you want to try HBO Max for free before buying a subscription, your only option is to go through Hulu. Hulu subscribers can claim a seven-day trial of HBO Max as an add-on service. The trial is only available to members who are new to HBO Max. You can stream "Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts" through your web browser or with the HBO Max app. The app is available on most smartphones, Xbox consoles, PlayStation consoles, tablets, and smart TVs. You can find a complete list of compatible devices on the HBO Max website. What else can I watch on HBO Max?In addition to the entire "Harry Potter" collection, HBO Max has a ton of great content to watch. If you're looking for more fantasy and nostalgia, all three parts of "The Lord of the Rings" are included with HBO Max. Fans of "The Matrix" can also watch all of the movies on HBO Max, including the newly released sequel "The Matrix Resurrections." The newest entry is only available with the ad-free plan, however. HBO Max (ad-supported)$9.99 FROM HBO MAXRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 1st, 2022

39 useful gifts for new parents, including a cozy robe for them and a sound machine to soothe the baby

New parents love useful gifts that make life with a new baby easier. Here are 40 of the best gifts for new parents, from diapers to meal kits. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Amazon A thoughtful gift can really make a difference in the busy life of a new parent. From a portable high chair to a swaddling blanket, here are 38 of the best gifts for new parents. Still looking for a gift? Check out our list of the All-Time Best products we've ever tested. Being a new parent means that people will naturally want to shop for you and the baby — mainly because gifts for new parents are fun to buy. The gifts here are a great way to celebrate new life with gifts that are both practical and fun.We rounded up 38 gift ideas that will help new parents adjust to life with a baby, help everyone sleep a little better, eat a little easier, and make those new baby photos pop.We've done our best to select a range of gifts with a variety of shipping options. Keep in mind that gifts purchased now may not arrive in time for the holidays. Be sure to check estimated arrival dates when checking out and keep in mind that the ship date is different than the package arrival date.Here are 39 of the best gifts for new parents:A digital baby bookQeepsakeQeepsake Membership, available at Qeepsake, from $35.88It's easy to forget to record special milestones when you're a sleep-deprived new parent. That's where Qeepsake comes in handy. The service texts parents questions about their baby and then saves their responses and photos. Parents can order the printed book that includes all their memories.A soft robe they'll want to wear all dayParachuteClassic Bathrobe, available at Parachute, $99Busy parents will love to wrap themelves in this cozy robe after a quick shower. The midweight robe is made from 100% Turkish cotton for both comfort and quick drying, and it's one of our all-time favorites.A food catchall that is easy to cleanThe Rooted Baby Co.Silicone Bib, available at The Rooted Baby Co., $12.99Eating meals is a messy affair for the littlest eaters among us. This bib made of high-quality silicone makes cleanup a breeze with the ability to catch any snack spills. It's good to go for the next meal with just a few wipes and it's dishwasher safe.A way to nurse comfortably and stylishly at the same timeTargetBamboobies Nursing Cover, available at Buy Buy Baby, Target, and Bed Bath & Beyond, from $20.99New moms may take a little time adjusting to breastfeeding in public and there's no need to hide behind a hot blanket. A good nursing cover allows baby to feed in peace and mom to cover up for any occasion or outing.A comfy, personalized blanket made just for babyPottery Barn KidsCable Knit Recycled Chamois Baby Blanket, available at Pottery Barn Kids, $40Putting your baby's name on anything instantly makes it a family classic. This cable knit chamois version is the coziest blanket for afternoon naps to keep your little one warm.A bag that puts everything you need within reachLululemonLululemon Everywhere Belt Bag, available at Lululemon, $38Fanny packs have gotten a bad rap, but for a busy parent who needs three extra hands, it's the perfect solution. This belt bag allows you to put your most used items in quick reach so that you're not digging through a diaper bag to find your keys while also keeping an eye on the baby.A safe, easy-to-use nail trimmerBblüvBblüv Trimö Baby Electric Nail Trimmer, available at Buy Buy Baby, $29.99Baby nails can get really sharp. And because they're so small and delicate, they can be intimidating to take care of. This electric trimmer makes it easy to gently cut fingernails and toenails without having to worry about getting them too short. The electric file gently rounds off the rough edges.A fun way to clean up snot-nosed kidsFridaBaby/InsiderFrida Baby Nose Frida the Snotsucker, available at Buy Buy Baby and Amazon, from $16.99Stuffy noses can make a baby uncomfortable. Since they can't just go blow it out with a tissue, they need a little help. The Nose Frida Snotsucker looks, well, weird, but it's safe, clean, easy to wash, and if we're being honest, it's kind of fun too. A pillow spray to help parents get a good night's sleepAmazon.comThis Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, available at Dermstore, $29Sleep is a tenuous proposition, at best, for new parents, so when they finally get the chance to turn in for the night, this spray will help them fall into a deeper and more relaxed sleep. Featuring a pleasing blend of lavender, chamomile, and vetivert, the relaxing scent helps a person doze off. One of our reporters swears by it for a better night's sleep.A cleverly designed towel that quickly dries and comforts babiesParachuteParachute Hooded Baby Towel, available at Parachute, $29Getting out of the bath is cold for babies, too, but this this absorbent towel keeps lets you wrap them up to keep them cozy while drying off. The adorable hood adds extra warmth.A keepsake calendar filled with sweet photosArtifact UprisingArtifact Uprising Wood Calendar, available at Artifact Uprising, $30Parents can't get enough photos of their newborn. Take some of those photos to create a unique, practical calendar featuring their little one that they can use every day.An essential supply they can never get enough ofHonest/Business InsiderHonest Diapers, available at, $10.95/packCloth diapers aren't for everyone, but these absorbent disposable diapers made from Earth-friendly materials are a good alternative for the eco-conscious. They also feature fun prints, even holiday designs. And to up the convenience factor for busy new parents, the company also has a diapers and wipes subscription box to save money and precious time. A comfortable seat for babyBumboBumboo Infant Floor Seat, available at Buy Buy Baby and Target, from $44.99Made from soft, durable foam, the Bumboo seat helps babies learn to sit upright, starting at three months. Parents will appreciate its portability as well as how easy it is to clean.A comfortable and flexible baby slingAmazonBaby K'tan Original Carrier, available at Amazon, and Target, from $59.95Hands-free carrying is a convenient way to keep baby close that parents will appreciate, whether they're grocery shopping or talking on the phone. This sling is comfortable for the baby as well as parents. It's a gift one of Business Insider's own gives to new parents after having used it with her kids from the time they were born until they were toddlers. You can check out our top picks for the best baby carriers here.Crib sheets in cute printsBrooklinenBrooklittles Crib Sheet Sets, available at Brooklinen, from $28.80From spit up to diaper blowouts, crib sheets have to endure a lot, so it's essential that there's always a clean one handy. Parents will really appreciate such a practical gift when they need one. Brooklinen's line of sheets for little ones feature fun patterns and prints that look great in any nursery.A baby book parents will actually want to fill outMaisonetteLucy Darling Flower Child Memory Book, available at Maisonette, $34.99Parents always appreciate looking back on the special memories they otherwise might have lost to sleep deprivation during baby's first year. Jotting down moments to savor won't feel like more paperwork with this spiral-bound baby book adorned with fun floral patterns. There's even a place for the baby's hand and foot prints.A warm cup of coffee on a cold dayContigo/Business InsiderContigo Autoseal West Loop Insulated Travel Mug, available at Amazon, $20.99Life with a baby doesn't pause so parents can rest, so having a little caffeine on hand can be a lifesaver when a parent's running morning errands on five hours of sleep. This leak-free travel mug keeps drinks hot or cold for up to seven hours, and it comes in 30 colors and a variety of sizes.An Amazon Prime membership so new parents can order suppliesWhat to buy on Amazon Prime Day 2018Sundry Photography/ShutterstockAmazon Prime gift subscription, three months, $39Nobody wants to make an extra trip to the store, especially busy new parents. A Prime membership lets them avoid the hassle, allowing them to order whatever they need and have it delivered instead, in two days.A full-year subscription is $119. And if they already have a Prime membership, they'll be able to convert your gift to credit so they can spend the money on anything they need.A portable gadget for fussy sleepersAmazonBaby Shusher Sleep Miracle, available at Buy Buy Baby, Amazon, and Target, $14.99White-noise machines are useful gadgets to have around because they're helpful for getting a fussy baby to fall asleep. The Baby Susher plays a real human voice, and it's easy to use at home, in the car, etc. A pacifier that won't keep falling to the groundAmazon/Business InsiderPhilips Avent Soothie Snuggle Pacifier Holder with Detachable Pacifier, available at Buy Buy Baby and Amazon, from $14.95This pacifier features a plush animal that can be detached to make cleaning both pieces fast and easy. You can choose from a variety of animals, including elephant, giraffe, monkey, and seal, that make it easy to find and comforting for babies to snuggle. A swaddling blanket that transforms their baby into a burritoUncommon GoodsTortilla Baby, available at Uncommon Goods, $48What's better than a delicious burrito? A swaddling blanket that looks like a burrito and helps baby sleep tight after a long day.Socks for tired feetBombasGift a Bombas Gift Box, from $35Bombas' comfortable gym socks feature a blister tab and cushioned footbeds that wrap feet in luxury. Busy, tired parents will appreciate comfortable socks. Also, Bombas also donates a pair to a homeless shelter for every pair purchased. A jolt of caffeine after a sleepless nightSwift CupAgaro Free-Dried Coffee (6 cup box), available at Swift Cup Coffee, $14Instant coffee isn't what it used to be; it's actually good now, and that's excellent news. Tested by our experts, these six individual packets of freeze-dried Ethiopian coffee will give sleepy parents the quick jolt they're looking for, and all they have to do it add 10 ounces of hot or cold water and stir.A sleek bassinet that rocks crying babies to sleepSnooSnoo Rental Gift Card, available at Happiest Baby, from $25There's nothing new parents will appreciate more than a little help with a baby who doesn't sleep well. Sensing when a baby is tense, the Snoo automatically rocks them to sleep with a gentle motion. There's also a built-in white noise machine and a swaddle to help calm fussy little ones. Parents can control the bassinet and monitor it via the app. And while the Snoo is expensive, the company has a rental program for a more affordable option.Bilingual board books for early learningAmazon/Business InsiderCanticos Board Books, available at Amazon, from $2.41It's never too soon to start learning a second language. These books help by introducing important early words like numbers, shapes, and more in both English and Spanish.A mustache pacifierBuyBuyBaby/IniderMustachifier, available on BuyBuyBaby, $9.99This pacifier will have everyone doing a double take to see if that baby really does have a hipster mustache. And don't overlook the value of peace and quiet that comes with it too.A meal kit delivery service so they can cook for themselvesBlue ApronBlue Apron Subscription Gift Card, from $65Cooking can be an extra hassle for frazzled new parents, but a delivery service like this can make it a little easier to get a healthy, home-cooked meal. Blue Apron boxes come with preportioned ingredients and three easy-to-cook recipes. They'll get one week of meal kits for $60.Check out our guide to the best meal kit delivery services, which includes options for special diets.A gadget to make diaper changes easierDiapertainment/Business InsiderDiapertainment, available at Amazon, $15.99Diaper changing is much easier when a squirming baby is occupied. This smartphone mount does helps hold a little one's attention with their favorite short videos so parents can get down to business.An interactive play matLoveveryThe Lovevery Play Gym, available at Lovevery, $140This activity gym has different learning zones and a range of accessories designed to engage a baby as they grow. Designed by childhood development experts, there are features here for infants as well as toddlers.*This product is currently backorderedA pregnancy journal to track progress and memoriesAmazon/Business Insider"Expecting You: A Keepsake Pregnancy Journal," available at Amazon, $13.46Pregnancy is a journey, and this journal gives new parents the chance to track their memories and experiences. Whether they end up using it as a reference for subsequent children or just as a way to look back on a special time, this keepsake journal makes a timeless treasure for parents.A portable way to secure babies to their seatsBuyBuyBabyInglesina Fast Table Chair in Black, available at Buy Buy Baby, $79.99A popular choice for an easy-to-use high chair because of its convenience, the Inglesia Fast Table Chair can be used with any table up to 3.3 inches thick. And it can be used for children ranging in age from 6 months to 3 years.A 5-in-1 machine to help baby sleepBaby Dream MachineBaby Dream Machine, available at Baby Dream Machine, $119On top of smoothing "pink noise" sound that help infants relax, the Baby Dream Machine is also a cool-mist humidifier as well as an aromatherapy machine. It even provides red light and night light therapy with an adorable bear design that will great in the nursery. The gift of getting some shut-eyeHalo/Business InsiderHalo Sleepsack Swaddle Wrap, available at Buy Buy Baby, $24.99Swaddling helps a baby feel more relaxed, and a more relaxed baby is a better sleeper. This transitioning swaddle features a unique design that allows a baby to be wrapped with their arms in or out, which is important for safety once they start rolling.An adjustable, washable pillow to ensure a good night's restLauren Savoie/Business InsiderCoop Home Goods Premium Adjustable Loft Pillow, available at Amazon, $63.99Few things help exhausted parents fall asleep faster than a comfortable pillow. This customizable pillow is hypoallergenic and works well for all sleeping positions.Fun PJs' for any occasionHanna AnderssonEarth Day Baby Zip Sleeper, available at Hanna Andersson, $16.99Whether they're cozying up to watch a parents' favorite show or settling in for a special holiday, matching family pajama sets are a fun way for families to share an experience. Hanna Andersson makes a comfy set of pajamas featuring everything from holiday prints to dinosaurs to popular characters.A time-saving food hack parents can feel good aboutCerebelly/Business InsiderCerebelly Pouches, available at Cerebelly, $4.24 eachWith organic vegetable-based recipes that babies will love, these handy little pouches are perfect in a meal-time pinch. They're self-stable, so they'll last long enough to be around when you need them. Created by a neurosurgeon, this go-anywhere babyfood is also loaded with nutrients that help with brain development.  A smart home device to act as an assistantLisa Eadicicco/Business InsiderEcho Dot 4th generation, available at Target, $29.99A smart speaker is the perfect nursery assistant. It can play gentle music to help lull babies to sleep or set timers for feeding times. They're also compatible with a long list of smart home devices, which makes it easy to turn off light or set the thermostat while parents are busy changing diapers.An Instant Pot for easy mealsInstant PotInstant Pot Duo 60, available at Amazon, $89Our favorite Instant Pot includes a number features and functions, from pressure cooking to sautéing. Parents can make delicious one-pot meals for themselves and the baby with just a few easy steps and a lot less cleanup.Something to soothe and protect baby's delicate skinDove/Business InsiderBaby Dove Derma Care Body Wash, available at Walmart, $8.86Baby Dove Eczema Care Cream, available at Rite Aid, $8.69Newborns have delicate skin that requires gentle, soothing products to keep them clean and their outer layer soft and hydrated. Developed alongside pediatric dermatologists, Dove's wash and cream are free of dyes, parabens, phthalates, steroids, and fragrances.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytDec 15th, 2021

We tried 11 baking sheets and cookie sheets to find the 4 best ones you can buy in 2021

A baking sheet is a kitchen essential that can be used for everything from roasting potatoes to baking cookies. We tested 11 to find the 4 best ones. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Lily Alig/InsiderBaking sheets are incredibly versatile pieces of cookware; they can be vessels for everything from one-pan meals and cookies to grandma-style pizza and loaded nachos. A quality baking sheet doesn't have hot spots, is easy to clean, keeps its shape, and evenly browns your food. Full-size sheet pans don't fit in most home ovens, so a half sheet measuring 13 by 18 inches is the largest option appropriate for home cooks, according to Kristy Greenwood Bortz of Victory Love + Cookies. Check our FAQ section for a brief rundown of the four most common sheet pan types and their dimensions. In this guide, we use the term "baking sheet" to refer to all of the products, while "cookie sheet" specifically means a flat pan with only one elevated edge. According to Beth and Maddie Barnett of Eat Me Cookies, cookie sheets' unique structure allows you to slide baked goods on and off without having to lift them over a rim. That's something to consider when choosing the best baking sheet for your particular needs. In order to select our top three picks, we consulted food industry experts and ran each baking sheet through a series of tests. We baked butter cookies, roasted potatoes, and noted how each sheet handled being rotated in an oven. We also considered the sheets' capacities and cooling times, as well as how difficult it was to scrub away burnt food.Here are the 4 best baking sheets of 2021Best baking sheet overall: Nordic Ware Naturals Half Sheet, available at Target, $10.79The Nordic Ware delivers an even bake, wipes clean easily, and food slides off with little effort.Best cookie sheet: Williams Sonoma Goldtouch Cookie Sheet, available at Williams Sonoma, $32.95This sheet has excellent heat conductivity and flat edges work to prevent underdone or broken cookies.Best baking sheet for roasting: OXO Non-Stick Pro Half Sheet, available at Amazon, $25.95Oil and burnt food slide off the OXO Good Grips Half Sheet with ease, making it perfect for roasting vegetables, meat, and more.Best quarter baking sheet: Nordicware Naturals Quarter Sheet, available at Target, $8.99Just like its half sheet cousin, the Nordic Ware Quarter Sheet is affordable and easy to use.Best baking sheet overallWe baked a batch of roll-and-cut butter cookies on every sheet we tested, including the Nordic Ware Naturals Half Sheet, above. The half-moon shape made it easy to evaluate spread and color.Lily Alig/Insider$10.79 FROM TARGETOriginally $11.99 | Save 10%$17.00 FROM WALMARTThe Nordic Ware Naturals Half Sheet delivers an even bake, wipes clean easily, and food slides off with little effort.Size: 17 1/4" x 12 1/4" x 0.9" deepCoating: UncoatedMaterial: AluminumPFOA free: YesPros: Conducts heat evenly, cookies release easilyCons: Shows wear and tear after first useThe Nordic Ware Naturals half sheet is our top pick because it's simple, effective, and affordable. When I roasted potatoes on this sheet, a coat of olive oil prevented most of the sticking, and any burnt pieces were easily scrubbed off with a scouring pad. In our bake test, the uncoated aluminum sheet baked the butter cookies in the time suggested by the recipe, as opposed to the nonstick sheets, which baked cookies faster than expected. Though there was slight resistance, the cookies came off without breaking. As someone who uses a baking sheet on an almost daily basis, it's important that I don't have to take my sheet's limitations into account before I bake. It can be frustrating if you have to remember to position your cauliflower away from your baking sheet's warped spot, or risk charring the bottoms of your cookies if you don't take them out five minutes early. Using the Nordic Ware sheet requires little thought; it bakes evenly and keeps its shape. Here I should mention that this sheet will show wear and tear after the first use. I've already noticed scratches and slight discoloration from acidic foods, but the decline in appearance has had no effect on its performance.Best cookie sheetThe butter cookies came out crisp, but not burnt, on the Williams Sonoma Cookie Sheet.Lily Alig/Insider$32.95 FROM WILLIAMS SONOMAThe Williams Sonoma Goldtouch Pro Cookie Sheet's excellent heat conductivity and flat edges work to prevent underdone or broken cookies.Size: 17" x 12 1/4" x 1" deepCoating: Goldtouch (Williams Sonoma proprietary nonstick coating)Material: Aluminized steelPFOA free: YesPros: Sturdy, even browning, easy to maneuver Cons: Requires adjusted baking time or temperatureCookie sheets can feel flimsy because they don't have the structure of wire-reinforced rims. The Goldtouch Pro sheet felt sturdy, and when I held it using the one raised edge, I didn't feel like it was going to tip out of my hands. When rotating it in the oven, I could lift the sheet with two hands on one of the rimless edges. In my experience with this pan, it bakes evenly browned cookies faster than usual. Since originally testing the Goldtouch Pro, I have used it to bake meringues and macaroons. With those recipes that tend to be low and slow bakes, there was no change in baking time and the cookie bottoms were golden and crisp. There was no resistance between the butter cookies and the surface of the sheet. I could pick them up with my hands and didn't even need a spatula. The sheet didn't warp in an oven heated to 400 degrees and cooled down quickly.Best baking sheet for roastingEven the burnt onion pieces came off the OXO baking sheet easily with soap and a little scrubbing.Lily Alig/Insider$25.95 FROM AMAZONOil and burnt food slide off the OXO Good Grips Half Sheet with ease, making it perfect for roasting vegetables, meat, and more.Size: 18" x 13" x 1"Coating: NonstickMaterial: Aluminized steelPFOA free: YesPros: Easy to clean, texture does not transfer to food, sturdyCons: Speeds up bake time, can't clean it with steel woolOne of the OXO Half Sheet's main selling points is its textured diamond pattern, which is designed to limit direct food-to-sheet contact and thus increase airflow. While I didn't see evidence of those benefits on the cookies I made, the pattern seemed to be a plus for roasting potatoes. I found that the burnt bits of potato and oil came off the OXO sheet much easier and with less scrubbing than the smooth sheets. And, the sheet is sturdy and balanced, so walking from the counter to the oven with a full, heavy pan of vegetables was easy. As with the other nonstick sheets I tested, the butter cookies baked in a shorter amount of time than the recipe indicated. While I expected the diamond texture to imprint on the cookies, that wasn't the case.Best quarter baking sheetLily Alig/Insider$8.99 FROM TARGETOriginally $9.99 | Save 10%$7.98 FROM WALMARTJust like its half sheet cousin, the Nordic Ware Naturals Quarter Sheet Pan is affordable and easy to use.Size: 9" x 13" x 1"Coating: UncoatedMaterial: AluminumPFOA free: YesMade of uncoated aluminum with a reinforced steel rim, it never warped and is the most lightweight quarter pan I tested. However, it is prone to scratching — I scratched the bottom of the sheet just by rotating it on the oven shelves. The other sheets produced a darker brown base, but the cookies on the Nordic Ware took on a honey brown color on the top and bottom. This coloring shows an even and rapid heat distribution. Of the three quarter sheets we tested, only the Nordic Ware crisped the potatoes on both sides, also demonstrating the speed of heating. This quarter sheet pan may fit in some convection toaster ovens, but only if the interior is wider than 13 inches. What else we testedWe roasted potatoes coated in olive and salt on all rimmed baking sheets.Lily Alig/InsiderNUCU Gold-Coated Aluminum Cookie Sheet ($40): The NUCU cookie sheet baked cookies faster than any other sheet we tested, requiring even more significant adjustments to time and temperature. Williams Sonoma Goldtouch Half Sheet ($32.95): The Goldtouch Half Sheet baked cookies faster than the Nordic Ware and was slightly more difficult to clean than the OXO.  Great Jones Holy Sheet ($40): This brand is known for having accessible, high-end cookware. However, this sheet pan hasn't held up under heavy use from other Insider testers — the ceramic nonstick coating is easily damaged. King Arthur Baking Company Quarter Sheet Pan ($19.95): This pan is made by USA Pans exclusively for King Arthur Baking; it is smooth, but has the same nonstick coating and coloring as the USA Pan. The two quarter pans performed almost identically in terms of browning the cookies in the recommended bake time. I rank the King Arthur Baking pan higher — though it took longer than the Nordic Ware, the potatoes did eventually take on a golden brown color. USA Pan Warp Resistant Nonstick Quarter Sheet Pan ($16.95): Like our best pan for roasting, the USA Quarter Sheet Pan has a ridged surface. I did not spot any difference in performance between the textured and smooth sheet pans. This pan performed well, evenly browning the cookies in the recipes recommended time. However, the potatoes did not crisp. Crate & Barrel Slate Blue Half Sheet Pan ($16.95): Similar to the gold sheets we tested previously, the slate blue pan did bake the cookies faster than uncoated, silver pans. However, it was a slight difference and the cookies did not burn. The pan cleaned easily and showed only minor scratches. Overall, this is a well constructed baking sheet for those who want extra color in their kitchen.  Silpat Nonstick Perforated Aluminum Baking Tray ($44.95): This was the darkest colored tray we have tested, and my fear of overcooking came true: within 10 minutes, two minutes faster than the average baking time, the cookies were burnt. Daker colored sheets are prone to this. Though a layer of parchment paper helps, you should still check your baked goods two to four minutes before the recipe says. We did not test the sheet with vegetables because it is perforated. Our baking sheets testing methodologyThe cookies in the above photo were cooked at the same temperature for the same length of time, just on different sheets.Lily Alig/InsiderWe consulted three experts on their professional experiences with different types of baking sheets: Kristy Greenwood Bortz, owner of Victory Love + Cookies, and Beth and Maddie Barnett, founders of Eat Me Cookies. Their input informed our own testing methodology and the answers to our FAQs.For this guide, we tested six baking sheets, including two rimless cookie sheets. We used a holiday cookie recipe from King Arthur Baking Company. Baking test: We baked 12 butter cookies on all test products, baking one sheet at a time and rotating the sheet once during baking. We evaluated the browning on the bottom of the cookies, comparing cookies on the edges of the sheets to the ones in the center. We did not use parchment paper. Roasting test: We roasted potatoes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes to evaluate how much they stuck to the sheet. We also noted the sheet's capacity, and how well it handled the weight of the potatoes. Cleaning test: After baking, we washed the sheets according to manufacturer instructions. Dishwasher-safe sheets were washed in a dishwasher and then examined for surface damage. If a sheet was hand-wash only, it was cleaned with a non-abrasive sponge. We noted how difficult it was to scrub away burnt food by hand. Ease of use: During baking, we noted how it felt to handle the sheets and how easy it was to rotate them in the oven. After baking, we noted how long it took before we could hold the sheet without a potholder.Baking Sheet FAQsWe tested six sheets from four different brands and in two different styles.Lily Alig/InsiderWhat are the standard baking sheet sizes?Full sheet: 26 by 18 with 1 inch high sidesHalf sheet: 18 by 13 with 1 inch high sidesQuarter sheet: 13 by 9 with 1 inch high sidesJelly roll tin: 15 by 10 with 1 inch high sidesWhat is the difference between a baking sheet and a cookie sheet? In this guide, we use "baking sheet" as a general term for all sheet pans. "Cookie sheet" refers specifically to a flat, rimless sheet pan with one raised edge to hold it by. The structure of a cookie sheet allows you to slide cookies on and off without having to lift them over a rim, thus preserving their shape and structure.All cookie sheets are baking sheets, but not all baking sheets are cookie sheets.Does the color of the baking sheet matter?Like all bakeware, a baking sheet's color affects its heat retention. "Darker pans absorb heat and can cause the bottoms of cookies to burn," said Maddie Barnett. If you use your baking sheets often, you'll learn how to adjust baking times and temperatures, but it may require some trial and error. Remember that you can bake an underdone cookie more, but an overbaked cookie can't go back in time. "You can always pull a cookie a little early and then put it back in the oven to finish baking if you determine that the center is still raw," said Greenwood Bortz.PFOA and PTFEIf you've shopped for baking sheets online, you've probably noticed the acronyms PFOA and PTFE in product descriptions. Here's what you need to know about each:PTFE stands for polytetrafluoroethylene, and is more commonly known by its brand name: Teflon. There have been concerns over the health effects of PTFE and PFOA, although studies have been mostly inconclusive.PFOA, or perfluorooctanoic acid, was originally used in the production of Teflon, which was invented in the 1970s. Most of the PFOA burns off during the manufacturing process, although trace elements remain in the cookware. These elements are then released if the cookware is overheated to temperatures of 570 degrees Fahrenheit or above. However, since 2010, the EPA has put programs and regulations in place to phase out the use of PFOAs in American manufacturing. The majority of cookware made in the United States since 2015 is PFOA-free, and so are all of our top picks. International standards are not the same as American ones, so PFOA may still be used in products from other countries.Check out our other great baking guidesLily Alig/InsiderThe best loaf pansThe best cake pansThe best cooling racks11 baking tools every beginner needs, according to professional bakersRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytDec 10th, 2021

These 9 brands make the best couches and sofas you can buy online in 2021

We talked to interior designers about what makes a great couch. Here's where you can find the best couches and sofas. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Article; Benchmade Modern; Burrow; Crate and Barrel; West Elm; Alyssa Powell/InsiderA new couch can be a big investment. Whether you're planning to relax, work, or even sleep on your couch, you'll need a sofa that's built for comfort. You'll also want to purchase a couch that is durable enough to survive spills, accidents, and everyday wear and tear. We spoke with Stephen Kuhl, co-founder, and CEO of popular furniture brand Burrow, Beth Wangman, an interior designer of over 25 years who currently works as a senior designer for non-profit Digs with Dignity in addition to running her own design business, and Bailey Li, an interior designer and decorative artist who specializes in commercial and residential design. We compiled their advice to curate a selection of brands that combine striking designs, durable materials, and a great customer experience. Our selection also features brands that cater to various price points, making it easy to find a solid couch no matter your budget. Kuhl, Wangman, and Li also shared advice on shopping for couches on a budget, the best materials to look for when shopping, and how to navigate shopping for a couch online versus in-store.Here's where you can find the best sofas in 2021WayfairWayfair sofaPopular home brand Wayfair offers customers multiple designs and styles, all available at a variety of price points.Typical price range: $200 to $10,000Shipping costs: Orders over $35 qualify for free shipping in the contiguous U.S.Experiencing shipping delays: May experience some pandemic-related delaysAverage shipping time: 1 to 3 weeks for large items In-store pickup: NoReturn policy: 30 days for most itemsRestocking/return fees: Return shipping deducted from return amount Warranty: Protection plans available for an additional cost at time of purchaseFabric swatch samples available: NoFinancing options: Wayfair Credit Card, Affirm, and moreSpecial features: Customer service available daily until midnight ESTIf you're unsure exactly what style couch you're looking for or are working with a tight budget and still want tons of options, you'll want to shop with Wayfair as it offers various styles and unique brands. Some of the brands available at Wayfair include pieces from its sister brand AllModern, as well as from family-owned brand, Novogratz. You can also avoid extreme delays some other retailers are experiencing by shopping with Wayfair. However, if you're looking for a custom-designed sofa, Wayfair may not be the best choice as most of its options are pre-made. Wayfair offers some of the most extensive customer service hours in the industry; its team is available daily until midnight EST, ensuring you'll be able to get in contact with someone if you experience any issues. Assembly varies widely by model, but each product page includes assembly instructions, which we recommend looking through before deciding to purchase. Wangman likes Wayfair for its budget-friendly prices but strongly suggests closely reading reviews prior to making a purchase.What to buy:AllModern Hailee 84'' Genuine Leather SofaBest known for offering modern, contemporary designs, AllModern is a great brand to start with if you’re looking for the mid-century modern style. The Hailee Sofa is constructed of durable, genuine tan leather. The sofa also has removable cushions, which is a rare find in a leather couch. This couch is a great option for those that prefer a firmer seating option.$1800.00 FROM WAYFAIROriginally $2550.00 | Save 29%Novogratz Brittany 81.5" Round Arm SleeperFounded by a husband and wife duo, Novogratz offers smartly designed sofas that are both durable and unique. The Brittany Sleeper is beautifully designed and comes in eight bold shades. It’s also constructed for sleeping; the back of the sofa reclines to accommodate comfortable sleeping positions. $409.99 FROM WAYFAIROriginally $622.00 | Save 34%BurrowBurrowIf you're looking to avoid the typical challenges associated with purchasing furniture online, Burrow offers a seamless shopping experience, speedy delivery, and durable sofas and couches.Typical price range: $795 to $4,295Shipping costs: Free on all ordersExperiencing shipping delays: Slight delays due to increased demand and the pandemic Average shipping time: 6 to 8 weeks In-store pickup: NoReturn policy: Within 30 days of receipt Restocking/return fees: 10% return shipping fee, 20% fee for returns without original packaging, fee is capped at $250Warranty: 1-year manufacturer warranty, 3 or 5-year warranty available through third party service Fabric swatch samples available: YesFinancing options: AffirmSpecial features: Free design consultations, AR viewer, Showroom in NYCWhen creating Burrow, its founders sought to address the pain points of shopping for large furniture, including poor delivery experiences, unfair warranties, subpar quality, and high prices. Burrow offers "very simple elegant solutions to designing furniture so that it can be shopped more easily, delivered more conveniently, and be more functional and durable in people's homes," said Kuhl.The brand uses a direct-to-consumer (DTC) model to offer high-quality, customized sofas at a fraction of the cost of traditional retailers and is also very open about its production process, which includes rigorous testing. As "Burrow is meant to be the evolution of furniture" said Kuhl, it offers many modular sofas designed to grow with you as your seating needs change over time.This feature persuaded Insider Reviews' senior editor Lauren Savoie to purchase a Burrow model after a lengthy search. "One concern was how we were even going to get a sofa up our staircase (the previous tenants had to take a chainsaw to their couch to get it out!). When I saw Burrow's Nomad sofa comes apart in chair-sized sections, I was sold," she says. "I love that it's not going to be a nightmare to move, and that we can add or remove sections to suit whatever apartment we end up in next."All Burrow couches are equipped with built-in USB ports, and offer easy, tool-free assembly. Each is designed to prioritize comfort, with a layered foam design. Customers can customize their couch in several ways, such as choosing fabrics and colors, leg finishes, and arm shape. Add-ons are also available, including matching chaises, ottomans, and pillows depending on the design of the sofa. Read our full review of the Burrow Nomad Sofa here.What to buy:Burrow Nomad SofaOwned by senior editor, Lauren Savoie, and one of Burrow’s bestsellers, the fabric Nomad Sofa offers a modern design at a great price point. The sofa can comfortably seat three people and is made with stain- and scratch-resistant olefin fabric. The design is modular, so you can add or remove sections or chaises to accommodate your changing space and needs.$1495.00 FROM BURROWBurrow Field 6-Piece Sectional Double LoungerBurrow's newest sofa line, the Field collection features Burrow's signature modular design but with a sleek, minimalist design that suits a variety of different styles. Like Burrow's other sofas, you can add or remove sections on the Field collection to fit changes to your needs and space over time. $2785.00 FROM BURROWBurrow Range 2-Piece SofaIf you’re looking for a smaller sofa that still offers some customization, the Range Sofa should be your top choice. The sofa’s arm panels can swap sides for more variety and the couch can be added on to in the future if you ever need a larger seating arrangement.$1070.00 FROM BURROWBenchmade ModernBenchmade ModernWhile custom-made sofas can take several months to arrive, Benchmade Modern offers custom options constructed in about five weeks.Typical price range: $2,600 to $3,200Shipping costs: $99 contactless curbside delivery with options to upgrade to white glove delivery for an additional $295Experiencing shipping delays: May experience some pandemic related delays Average shipping time: 5 weeks to make, and about 7 to 15 days to ship depending on locationIn-store pickup: NoReturn policy: 100-day return periodRestocking/return fees: None Warranty: Lifetime frame warranty, 1-year manufacturer warranty Fabric swatch samples available: YesFinancing options: AffirmSpecial features: Sofa printouts available to ensure perfect sofa fitBenchmade Modern specializes in furniture for those looking to purchase custom on a tight timeline. Compared to the industry standard of waiting 14 weeks to receive your handcrafted sofa, Benchmade Modern takes a shorter amount of time, while maintaining high quality.The brand also prioritizes creating sofas that are made to be lived on and enjoyed, so it uses durable family-friendly, and pet-friendly performance fabrics. It also offers a wide color and fabric selection, allowing you to choose from bold pops of color or more neutral tones. You can also customize legs and cushion type depending on whether you'd prefer to fluff your cushions frequently or not. As for assembly, most of Benchmade Modern's furniture is shipped fully assembled and only requires a quick leg assembly. Although the brand specializes in fast construction, it is currently experiencing some pandemic-related delays, so we strongly recommend paying close attention to estimated delivery timelines if you're in a crunch.What to buy:Benchmade Modern OG Couch Potato SofaDesigned to represent relaxation, the OG Couch Potato Sofa offers medium support and a slight recline, which is perfect for movie nights or impromptu naps. The couch is available in multiple sizes including a two-seater size and a wide variety of colors.$3027.00 FROM BENCHMADE MODERNOriginally $3561.00 | Save 15%Benchmade Modern Catwalk SofaThe Catwalk Sofa has a subtle mid-century design, good support, and a lowered seat height for comfortable lounging. Aside from fabric and cushion customizations, the sofa also has two leg finish options.$2580.00 FROM BENCHMADE MODERNOriginally $3035.00 | Save 15%ZinusZinusPopular mattress brand Zinus also offers affordable sofas, all priced under $500.Typical price range: $370 to $480Shipping costs: Free on all items Experiencing shipping delays: May experience some pandemic-related delays Average shipping time: Typically 5 to 12 days In-store pickup: NoReturn policy: 100-day trial periodRestocking/return fees: Free returns Warranty: 1-year limited warranty Fabric swatch samples available: NoFinancing options: Affirm Special features: Generous trial periodWhile splurging on a couch is an option for some, many of us are working on a tighter budget, making Zinus' affordable sofa selection the best place to start shopping. While most of the brand's best-selling items are priced under $500, you'll still be getting something solidly built. The sofas are pre-made, but the brand offers unique designs that you likely won't find elsewhere at a similar price. All of Zinus' couches have a no-tool assembly and take less than 30 minutes to fully assemble. Each model's product page includes assembly instructions just in case you misplace them, as well as care and cleaning instructions. The brand also offers a generous 100-day trial period on all of its products.What to buy:Zinus Mikhail Mid-Century SofaThe Mikhail Sofa has a unique, modern design and eye-catching red fabric color. Its fabric is designed to be easily cleaned in the case of spills or other messes. The sofa also comes in a smaller size, which is perfect for those looking to furnish small spaces.$588.00 FROM ZINUSZinus Jackie Classic SofaA classic design that’s available in four neutral colors, the Jackie Sofa is likely to stay in style for a long time. Although the sofa has two cushions, it can comfortably seat three people and is made with supportive foam. $567.00 FROM ZINUSCrate & BarrelCrate and BarrelCrate & Barrel offers structurally unique couches that can be customized to your liking.Typical price range: $799 to $6,000+Shipping costs: Dependent on cost and weight of item purchased Experiencing shipping delays: Yes, dependent on fabrics and models ordered Average shipping time: Typically 7 to 10 days, longer for custom itemsIn-store pickup: Yes, dependent on availability Return policy: 30 days on pre-made furniture, no returns on custom furnitureRestocking/return fees: Customer's responsibility to handle any return costs Warranty: Reach out to customer service if you experience any issuesFabric swatch samples available: YesFinancing options: Available through Crate & Barrel Credit CardSpecial features: Can go see items in-store, View In Your Room Feature, Free design servicesIf you're looking to add a high-quality piece to your living area, Crate & Barrel offers several options. The brand has more than ten sofa collections, each available in different fabric colors. Many of its models are made of sustainably-sourced materials such as chenille, velvet, and polyester. It also offers full fabric breakdowns, which can be found by simply hovering over each fabric option on the website, and includes information on the fabrics origin and durability. Although on the pricier side, the quality is unmatched, making Crate & Barrel worth the splurge.While assembly varies by sofa, Crate & Barrel offers white-glove assembly for an additional fee. The brand is currently experiencing delays across its wide selection, but offers stock color options that are ready to ship if you don't want to wait for a custom couch.What to buy:Crate & Barrel Axis 2-Piece Sectional SofaAssociate travel editor Hannah Freedman purchased this two-piece sofa when she moved last year and loves its custom nature, comfortability, and stain resistance. Due to its custom construction, the couch did take a few months to arrive, but was definitely worth the wait. The sofa’s deep seats and low back cushions are optimal for comfortable lounging. $2998.00 FROM CRATE & BARRELCrate & Barrel Pershing Curved-Arm 79" SofaOffering a unique design, the Pershing sofa will give a modern pop to your home. The design is a Crate & Barrel exclusive and is constructed with comfortable foam and down.$1699.00 FROM CRATE & BARRELWest ElmWest ElmWell known for its modern, stylish designs, you're sure to find a stunning couch while shopping at West Elm.Typical price range: $500 to $5,000Shipping costs: Dependent on cost and weight of item purchased, white glove service available at an additional cost Experiencing shipping delays: Yes, dependent on model and fabrics purchasedAverage shipping time: 4 to 5 days for in-stock items, up to 12 weeks for customIn-store pickup: Yes, depends on store availabilityReturn policy: 30 days on most items, no returns on custom productsRestocking/return fees: Customers may be responsible for return shipping and processing costs Warranty: Covers against manufacturer's defects only, reach out to customer service if you experience any issues Fabric swatch samples available: YesFinancing options: West Elm Credit Card, Affirm Special features: Free design services, AR room planner West Elm is another must-shop brand if you're looking for a modern, conversation-starting couch. The brand specializes in quality furniture and iwith options to customize size, fabric, color, and more. Assembly varies by item, and instructions, as well as care instructions, are listed on the site, with some couches even having care instruction videos. While the retailer is currently experiencing delays on certain models, it has many options that are in stock and ready to ship. We recommend reading estimated ship times carefully before purchasing. As some customers have experienced issues with certain West Elm sofas, we also strongly recommend reading the reviews of any you're interested in to ensure you'll receive the best quality.What to buy:West Elm Leon Wood Frame Leather SofaAvailable in two size options and 18 leather colors, the Leon Sofa combines modern and antique design. The couch is also available in regular top-grain leather or animal-friendly vegan leather depending on your preference. Although the couch is made of leather it’s also very plush.$1499.00 FROM WEST ELMWest Elm Haven Loft SofaThe Haven Loft Sofa is available in custom materials and colors as well as three ready-to-ship fabric color options. The sofa has deep, plush seating with reversible cushions. A fun feature of the Haven Sofa is its adjustable leg levelers that can fit to different floor levels. $1299.00 FROM WEST ELMArticleArticleArticle provides customers with long-lasting furniture at a fair price point.Typical price range: $899 to $4,300Shipping costs: $49 for orders under $999, free shipping on orders over $999Experiencing shipping delays: May experience some pandemic-related delays Average shipping time: Will receive shipping estimate when placing orderIn-store pickup: NoReturn policy: 30 days on all ordersRestocking/Return fees: $49 return shipping fee, free exchanges, $50 restocking fee for returns without original boxWarranty: Basic manufacturer warranty, reach out to customer service if you experience any issuesFabric swatch samples available: YesFinancing options: Affirm Special features: Sofa Finder featureArticle uses a DTC model to offer its stylish furniture at prices up to 30% cheaper than traditional retailers. The brand has a mix of pre-made ready-to-ship models as well as customizable sofas. Article's designs are both modern and vintage influenced, making it easy for customers to find unique couches that will complement their living spaces. Many of the brand's options are modular and can be arranged to be left- or right-facing depending on your preferences. With few exceptions, Article's sofas either don't require assembly, or have a simple assembly that should take under 15 minutes. Article is also Wangman's top retailer for purchasing a quality couch online; she said she loves the brand's great pricing, high quality, and fair return policy.What to buy:Article Sven Green Velvet Left SectionalThe ultimate statement couch, Article's Sven sofa series comes in fabric, leather, or colorful velvet and you can choose from a left-hand or right-hand sectional. Like many of Article's sofas, this one features 5-minute assembly.$2599.00 FROM ARTICLEArticle Ceni Fresh White SofaA modern twist on the classic mid-century design, the Ceni Sofa provides flexibility through its detachable cushion seats, backrests, and armrests. The sofa is available in six fabric colors and two size options and doesn’t require any assembly. $1149.00 FROM ARTICLERaymour & FlaniganRaymour & FlaniganRaymour & Flanigan has been providing quality furniture at various price points for several decades, and is well trusted by many consumers.Typical price range: $500 to $5,000Shipping costs: Dependent on cost and weight of item purchasedExperiencing shipping delays: May experience some pandemic-related delaysAverage shipping time: 5 to 10 days In-store pickup: Select items available in storeReturn policy: Only items labeled "Free Shipping" are eligible for returns, if item arrives damaged reach out to customer serviceRestocking/return fees: 15% restocking feeWarranty: Covers against manufacturer's defects, protection plans available for purchaseFabric swatch samples available: Yes Financing options: Custom-fit financing and lease-to-own financing options, 6-month layaway program Special features: Free showroom pickup available on select items, price matching, free design consultations, 7-day deliveryRaymour & Flanigan is a well-known option for furniture shopping due to its wide variety of durable, high-quality furniture. Search the site by your preferred back style, color, fabric, reclining features, and more to find the sofa of your dreams. The retailer is great for those looking for classically designed models that will remain in style as home design trends shift. The brand is one of the few in this guide that offers in-person shopping, with some products available for pickup directly from its showrooms, which quickly eliminates long waiting times. Each couch requires different levels of assembly, with instructions available on each product page.What to buy:Raymour & Flanigan Skye Microfiber Power Reclining SofaArguably the best choice for movie nights, the Skye Sofa provides “cloud soft comfort” and seats that recline at the simple press of a button. The couch is also made of stain-resistant materials, which is great news for messy theater snacks. $1529.95 FROM RAYMOUR & FLANIGANOriginally $1699.95 | Save 10%Raymour & Flanigan Glendora Microfiber SofaPerfect for minimalists, the Glendora Microfiber Sofa is simply designed and available in two neutral shades. The sofa features a foam and spring construction for plush comfort. The sofa’s legs are also removable.$1169.95 FROM RAYMOUR & FLANIGANOriginally $1299.95 | Save 10%Interior DefineInterior DefineInterior Define allows customers to create a totally unique custom sofa completely from scratch.Typical price range: $995 to $5,000Shipping costs: $149 flat rate (includes white glove service)Shipping delays: Experiencing some pandemic-related delays Average shipping time: 18 to 22 weeks due to custom nature of sofasIn-store pickup: NoReturn policy: 30 days for in-stock items, 60 days for custom itemsRestocking/return fees: 15% for in-stock items 50% for custom items deducted from total refund amountWarranty: 10-year frame warranty Fabric swatch samples available: YesFinancing options: Affirm Special features: AR app, free design services, option to buy throw pillows and sofa legs separately, Quick Ship page features items that ship within 2 to 3 weeksIf you're looking for a full custom experience, Interior Define specializes in offering its customers total control when designing their sofas. You can choose fabric type and color, legs, couch size, couch depth, seat cushions, and cushion fill for thousands of possible combinations. The brand also offers short clips of people of varying height sitting on each sofa, so that you can get a feel for its true fit. The brand has several different types of performance fabrics available including performance velvet, performance basketweave, performance tweed, and more. These fabrics are key to a durable and stain-resistant sofa. Interior Define also offers options for those who don't want to wait for a custom product to be constructed, with its Quick Ship page featuring items that usually ship within 2 to 3 weeks.What to buy:Interior Define Caitlin by The Everygirl Fabric SofaStunningly designed, the Caitlin Sofa is sure to grab attention no matter what fabric color you end up choosing. The sofa is made for soft seating and will match both minimal and modern decor styles.$1795.00 FROM INTERIOR DEFINEInterior Define Sloan Fabric 2-Seat SofaThe Sloan Sofa has a more structured design while also offering supportive comfort. It features a layered cushion for that extra soft feel. $1395.00 FROM INTERIOR DEFINEFAQsAlyssa Powell/InsiderWhat are the differences between sofas and couches?While many designers prefer to use the word "sofa" to indicate luxury or higher quality, the terms "sofa" and "couch" can be used interchangeably and refer to the same item, so search both while shopping.What are the best materials for couches and sofas? If you're spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a new sofa you'll want to make sure your investment will last through everyday wear and tear, spills, and other accidents that are bound to happen. You'll also want a couch that continues to feel comfortable over time. Kuhl recommends looking for products made with olefin yarn as "it's sustainable, it's super durable and soft." What type of couch or sofa should I buy if I have kids or pets?If you have children or pets, you should look for fabrics labeled as "performance." Performance fabric has been treated to be more durable against spills and heavy usage. You can find performance versions of your favorite fabrics including velvet, linen, microsuede, chenille, tweed, and more. Parents and pet parents might want to look for sofas with removable covers that can be washed or replaced as needed. Our experts also recommend parents choose a couch with fewer cushions, as cushions will eventually show signs of heavier use.Where do I start when looking for a sofa online?Start your process by establishing a realistic budget that will ensure quality while also allowing you to avoid overpaying. "Sofas are definitely a category where you get what you pay for, for the most part," said Kuhl. You'll also want to think about the main functions you desire from your sofa. Whether you're looking for a couch based on aesthetic, design, comfort, or durability, you'll want to establish these factors prior to shopping. After you've determined the key functions you're looking for, you'll want to seek out brands that offer those features and go from there. Do some research and become familiar with the brand's return and warranty policies and make sure you have a clear way to contact customer service in the case that any issues arise. Pay close attention to reviews, as they will quickly help you determine quality, comfort, and even if there are any major design flaws. Li suggests ordering swatches of any materials you're interested in as they are a great indicator of true color, quality, and durability. How do I choose the best sofa size and proportions for my space?In addition to taking accurate measurements, it's important to consider size, scale, and proportion when purchasing a new sofa. Wangman recommends that customers sketch out a floor plan of their space that includes the length and width of the room as well as the ceiling height. If you're not comfortable drawing a floor plan out by hand, she also recommends using free floor plan software programs such as SketchUp, SmartDraw, or Draft It.What does a good couch cost?Type of couchBudgetMid-pricedHigh-pricedCustom2-seater$500+$1,000+$2,000+$1,5000+3-seater$800+$1,500+$2,500+$3,000+4-seater$1,000+$2,000+$3,000+$3,500+Sectional$2,000$3,000+$4,000+$4,000+How can I afford a couch on a budget? Many brands currently offer financing through third-party partners such as Affirm, or through opening a store credit card. Many of these options include a 0% APR time period that can last anywhere from 12 to 18 months depending on the price of the items purchased. However, if you don't pay off the entire balance by the end of the 0% APR time period you'll be stuck paying off high amounts of interest. If you don't have a huge budget but are in need of a new sofa, you have a few options. First, consider shopping with more budget-friendly retailers such as Wayfair and Zinus. You can also wait for sales, which typically occur during the summertime and during major sale events like Black Friday. A great way to save money while shopping is to find out if any of the brands you're interested in have a retail outlet. "If you are willing to do a little research and possibly a minor repair here and there, you can score a quality sofa for 30% less than the MSRP by locating the retail outlets of some of your favorite manufacturers," said Li.Our experts recommend, if you can, spending more money initially to ensure you'll purchase a piece that will last you a long time versus having to constantly replace cheaper-made furniture every few years. Another tip is to buy modular furniture (Burrow is a popular option) that can be added on to and adjusted over time, allowing you to slowly expand your seating as your budget increases. You can also purchase a smaller sofa with a chaise, which will allow for additional seating space at a lower price.Should I purchase a pre-made or custom couch?When deciding whether to purchase a pre-made or custom couch, you should consider two main factors: budget and timeframe. While custom products allow you to choose the fabric, style, and even the legs, you'll also have to wait several weeks to months for the couch to arrive. Custom also typically comes at a higher price. While pre-made couches don't allow customers as much design flexibility, they are available in many designs and fabrics, typically have a lower price point, and offer faster shipping times. Overall, if you have time to wait and a higher budget, a custom couch can be a unique fixture in your home and better match the rest of your decor.Check out more furniture guidesArticle; Fully; IKEA; Union & Scale; Gilbert Espinoza/InsiderThe best futonsThe best bed framesThe best outdoor furnitureThe best desksThe best online interior design serviceRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytDec 7th, 2021

17 sentimental retirement gifts that celebrate success without being cheesy

Retirement is a huge accomplishment. These gifts will show your friends or family members who just retired how much you appreciate them. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Retirement is a huge accomplishment. These gifts will show your friends or family members who just retired how much you appreciate them.Crystal Cox/Business Insider Retiring is a huge accomplishment, and it deserves to be celebrated in a huge way. We've created a list of retirement gifts they'll be eager to use as their careers come to an end. Still looking for a gift? Check out our list of the All-Time Best products we've ever tested. Retirement is something that many of us work towards and hope for through much of our lives. So, when it actually arrives, it can feel a bit surreal. It's difficult to know how to celebrate such a milestone, but a thoughtful gift can help your friend, partner, or family member mark such an occasion. They may be ready to pick up a new hobby, sit back and catch up on TV, or take up volunteering. Whatever their next step is, we hope that these gifts can help you show your support. The 17 best retirement gifts:A monthly book subscriptionBook of the Month; Alyssa Powell/InsiderBook of the Month Subscription, from $49.99 for three monthsReading can be anything from a fun, relaxing pastime to an opportunity to learn something new. With Book of the Month, they can select five books to be sent to them each month from varying genres, bringing the convenience of a library straight to their doorstep. Read our full review of Book of the Month here.A unique online experienceAirbnbAirbnb Experiences, from $0, available at Airbnb They may know Airbnb as a home renting service, but the travel site is also home to plenty of unique experiences, both online and in person. Choose anything from a scavenger hunt live from their living room to a travel itinerary planned by a local in that city.Playing cards featuring their loved ones' photosZazzleCustom Playing Cards, $8.46 available at ZazzleBridge, rummy, canasta — no matter what their favorite game is, they'll enjoy it a little bit more with a reminder of who they love. Custom playing cards with a photo of their family or friends can make their day every time they play. Candles that remind them of their favorite placeAmazonHomesick Candles, from $23.80, available at Amazon, Homesick, and Macy'sRetirement can come with nostalgia for their hometown, their college town, or even the office. Homesick candles are sentimental without being too cheesy, and they can bring their favorite scents right into their home. A classic bottle of champagneCrystal Cox/Business InsiderVeuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut, from $34.97, available at Wine.comWhat better way to celebrate retirement than a bottle of champagne? There's no champagne more classic than Veuve, and for alcohol-free celebrators, St. Regis Sparkling Brut is the way to go.Lifetime access to all things REIREIREI Co-op Lifetime Membership, $20They may be using their new abundance of free time to travel, backpack, bike, or hike. A membership to the REI Co-op provides REI enthusiasts with a member dividend, the opportunity to trade in used gear, a forum with other co-op members, and more. An audiobook subscriptionAmazonAudible Subscription, free for 30 days, then from $5.95 per month, available at AmazonIt's been a great year for audiobooks, and with good reason. They're a convenient, digitized way to escape into your favorite stories. With Audible, they'll appreciate having access to nearly every title on their list while traveling or relaxing, all in the palm of their hand. A new skill taught to them by the best of the bestMasterClassMasterClass Annual Subscription, $180Retirement can be the perfect opportunity to learn a new skill — and who better to learn it from than the best? With MasterClass, they can learn to cook from Gordon Ramsay, act with Samuel L. Jackson, or write for social change with Roxane Gay. Learn more about MasterClass here, and check out the current buy-one-get-one-free sale running through December 28.A box of food from their favorite restaurantGoldbellyGoldbelly food delivery kits, from $39Retirement can often come with moving elsewhere or spending more time at home. You can send them a culinary reminder of the place (and the food) they hold close to their heart through Goldbelly. Read our full review of Goldbelly here. A quality set of golf clubsCallawayCallaway Strata Set, $349.99, available at Callaway GolfYes, golf clubs are a cliché retirement gift. Hear us out, though: Clichés are often clichés because they're true — and retirement and golf often go hand in hand. Deemed our best full golf set for beginners, the Callaway Strata Set is a more affordable full set of clubs that doesn't sacrifice quality. An all-in-one streaming deviceTargetRoku Ultra, from $66.01, available at AmazonThere are countless streaming services available, and Roku Ultra can provide them with a centralized hub for all the services they use. It comes with a straightforward set-up, nearly every streaming channel, and a voice remote. A soothing pastime that never gets oldAmazonShop Amazon's selection of puzzles, from $9.97Puzzles are a creative way to use your brain, and the image on them can represent anything from a favorite TV show to the best place they've traveled. Gifting a puzzle that's also a nod to part of their identity is a thoughtful way to show you care. A truly soft blanketNordstrom RackBarefoot Dreams CozyChic Rib Trim Throw, from $59.97, available at Nordstrom RackBarefoot Dreams' reputation precedes the brand, and the products are truly as soft as people say they are. This cozy blanket will keep your gift recipient warm through the holiday season and beyond. A celebrity video message made just for themCameoSend them a Cameo from their favorite celebrityThere's arguably nothing more memorable than a personalized message from a beloved athlete, actor, or comedian. Cameo's ever-growing library of stars is likely to impress them, and you can learn more about Cameo here.   A paint by numbers kit that doubles as a decorationShoppingCult/EtsyShoppingCult Paint By Numbers Kit, $29.99, available at EtsyPaint by numbers is a stress-relieving, creative outlet that never seems to get old. With this kit, they'll be sent a paint-by-numbers floral canvas that they can later hang up with pride.A personalized cooking classCozymealExplore Cozymeal cooking classes online or in their cityIf they've dreamed of learning how to cook their favorite food from a professional chef, Cozymeal is an excellent place to start. Cozymeal offers virtual and in-person classes in a wide variety of cuisines, plus mixology classes for those who prefer the pre-dinner cocktail. Thoughtfully designed socksBombasBombas Socks, from $12.50, available at Bombas in masculine and feminine sizing Bombas Socks are comfortable and practical, with standout features like blister tabs and heel grips. The best thing about Bombas, though, is that a pair is donated to the homeless community every time a pair is purchased.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 6th, 2021

REI"s Cyber Week sale is here, with huge discounts on winter gear and apparel from REI Co-op, Hydro Flask, and BioLite

REI's Cyber Week sale has discounts of up to 30% off on gear from GoPro, BioLite, Hydro Flask, and the brand's own line, REI Co-op. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.REI/Uncommon PathAlthough REI has long held firm in its dislike for offering a Black Friday sale (the retailer urges people to Opt Outside, instead), it does have an annual Cyber Monday sale featuring tons of heavily discounted outdoor gear. But REI upped the stakes this year by also running what's called a Cyber Week sale. REI's Cyber Week is live now and runs through December 6, with deals on everything from winter apparel and camping gear to Hydro Flask insulated water bottles.REI's even discounting some of its adventure trips, which are bucket list-type experiences and something we recommend to literally anyone who will listen. Below, we've rounded up a few of the best REI Cyber Week deals currently available. Check back to this page often as we'll be updating it with new sales and information as often as we can. Best REI Cyber Week 2021 dealsHydro Flask Coffee with Flex Sip LidThe Hydro Flask Coffee is comfortable to drink from and easy to tote around on your next adventure thanks to its strong rubber carry loop.$26.19 FROM REIOriginally $34.95 | Save 25%$24.71 FROM DICK'S SPORTING GOODSOriginally $32.95 | Save 25%$24.71 FROM HYDRO FLASKOriginally $32.95 | Save 25%BioLite FirePit+Technology and design come together in the BioLite FirePit+, a fire pit that not only excels at grilling but comes equipped with an onboard battery, an airflow design that keeps smoke at a minimum, and foldable legs for easy portability.$187.39 FROM REIOriginally $249.95 | Save 25%$187.46 FROM BACKCOUNTRYOriginally $249.95 | Save 25%$187.46 FROM BIOLITEOriginally $249.95 | Save 25%BioLite CampStove 2+ Complete KitTK$179.89 FROM REIOriginally $239.95 | Save 25%GoPro Hero 9 BlackThe Hero 9 Black is GoPro's newest flagship camera, capable of shooting videos up to 5K and photos up to 20 megapixels.$349.99 FROM REIOriginally $450.00 | Save 22%$349.98 FROM GOPROOriginally $449.95 | Save 22%$349.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $449.99 | Save 22%$449.99 FROM B&H$449.99 FROM ADORAMASaxx Vibe Boxer BriefThe Saxx Vibe Boxer Brief comes in several solid colors and dozens of patterns for everyone's style preferences.$23.99 FROM REIOriginally $32.00 | Save 25%REI Co-op Merino Wool Crew Hiking SocksTK$11.79 FROM REIOriginally $16.95 | Save 30%REI Co-op Siesta Hooded 25 Double Sleeping BagTK$132.29 FROM REIOriginally $199.00 | Save 34%REI Co-op Midweight Base Layer Tights (Women's)TK$34.89 FROM REIOriginally $49.95 | Save 30%REI Co-op Midweight Base Layer Half-Zip Top (Women's)TK$38.39 FROM REIOriginally $54.05 | Save 29%REI Co-op Trailsmith Fleece Jacket (Men's)TK$62.89 FROM REIOriginally $89.95 | Save 30%Saxx Quest Long-Sleeve Crew Base Layer (Men's)TK$41.19 FROM REIOriginally $55.00 | Save 25%REI Lifetime Membership$20.00 FROM REIREI Cyber Week FAQsWhat REI deals did we see last year?Last year's Cyber Monday sale at REI featured discounts on everything from snow apparel and hard goods (i.e. ski and snowboard goggles and gloves) to tents, sleeping bags, and hiking boots. We expect to see similar deals this year, as REI is holding not one, but two sales in its current Cyber Week sale, as well as a Cyber Monday sale.When will REI's Cyber Week deals start?REI's Cyber Week sale runs from November 28 through December 6. All available deals are while supplies last, and some availability is even contingent on your location. Is REI holding any other sales?In addition to its Cyber Week sale, REI also ran a Cyber Monday sale on November 29.REI vs Dicks Sporting Goods: Which has better deals?A lot of this depends on what it is you're looking for. If it's sports and fitness gear you're after, Dick's Sporting Goods might have a larger selection of better deals. However, if it's outdoor gear and equipment you want to purchase, REI's Cyber Week sale is the go-to for huge discounts on things like hiking backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, and more. What is REI's return policy?REI has one of the best return policies as it lets shoppers return or replace anything they bought up to a year after purchase. There are, however, limitations on what can be considered an actual return or replacement. For instance, cameras, GPS devices, watches, activity monitors, and bike trainers all come with a 90-day return policy. We recommend checking the receipt of all REI purchases as it will have the exact return policy for the items you buy. You can also return anything bought to a brick-and-mortar REI location, so long as you have the original receipt and any packaging or tags that came with it. How we select the best deals at REIWe only chose products that meet our high standard of coverage and that we've either used ourselves or have researched carefully.We also compare the prices across multiple retailers to ensure the deals listed are the best available. This includes cross-referencing on sites like Amazon and Backcountry but also looking at smaller online retailers and competing sales. Each products' price history plays a vital role, too, as it allows us to better evaluate its true value.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 1st, 2021

BlackBerry (BB) Boosts Automotive Innovation With L-SPARK Tie-Up

BlackBerry (BB) partners L-SPARK to launch phase three of the accelerator program. It aims to boost the development of connected vehicle technology innovation for Canada-based technology companies. BlackBerry Limited BB has extended its partnership with L-SPARK to boost the development of connected vehicle technology innovation for Canada-based technology companies. It is worth mentioning that the entities are currently in the third phase of their joint accelerator program.BlackBerry and L-SPARK, Canada’s largest software-as-a-service accelerator, will select up to six companies to participate in the third cohort of this collaborative project. They will seek the expertise of the National Research Council of Canada-Industrial Research Assistance Program to connect with companies that will gain from the BlackBerry QNX product group on the back of innovative technologies.As part of this initiative, both entities will continue to provide access to BlackBerry QNX technology for small and medium-sized technology enterprises (SMEs), thereby accelerating their digital transformation. As a result, the SMEs can introduce breakthrough products while boosting their businesses in the booming tech sector.Thanks to the success of the first and second cohorts, the partnership aims to bring about a massive revolution in the transportation industry by creating a diverse ecosystem of automotive applications and services. Apart from BlackBerry QNX, SMEs will be able to capitalize on BlackBerry IVY platform. The BlackBerry IVY technology is the latest addition to the accelerator program.BlackBerry IVY was co-created with Amazon Web Services (“AWS”) as part of a multi-year, global agreement in December 2020. It is a scalable, cloud-connected software platform that enables automakers to enhance operations of connected vehicles with BlackBerry QNX and AWS technology, thereby creating customized driver and passenger experiences.It reads vehicle sensor data and captures actionable insights with support for multi-cloud deployments. The trailblazing solution facilitates automotive suppliers and automakers to minimize costs by shifting processing to the edge and reducing raw data transmission. Further, it boosts innovation in the automotive industry while unleashing new business models and revenue streams.On the virtue of such robust characteristics and diligent operational execution, the joint accelerator program by BlackBerry and L-SPARK intends to capture valuable insights and unique ideas from the chosen Canada-based tech startups, in turn, delivering high-impact transportation use cases on the back of in-vehicle data. This will help enhance customer experiences while unleashing the potential of next-gen intelligent connected vehicles.Moving forward, BlackBerry intends to drive healthy revenue growth and increase market share in the industry vertical. With a holistic growth model, focusing on organic and inorganic initiatives, the company continues to invest in product development and go-to-market strategy. Riding on such dynamic business fundamentals, BlackBerry appears well prepared to drive long-term sustainable growth, thereby instilling optimism among investors.BlackBerry currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The Waterloo, Ontario-based company’s shares have returned 71% compared with the industry’s growth of 50% in the past year. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchPTC Inc. PTC is a better-ranked stock in the industry, sporting a Zacks Rank #1. The consensus estimate for current-year earnings has been revised 6.6% upward over the past 60 days.PTC delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 47.8%, on average. The stock has gained 3.6% in the past year. PTC has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 13.7%.ANSYS, Inc. ANSS is another solid pick for investors, carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The consensus estimate for current-year earnings has been revised 2.4% upward over the past 60 days.ANSYS delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 22.7%, on average. It has gained 21.5% in the past year. ANSS has a long-term earnings growth expectation of, inc. CRM also carries a Zacks Rank #2. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has been revised 0.5% upward over the past 60 delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 68.5%, on average. It has returned 18.1% in the past year. CRM has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 16.8%. Zacks’ Top Picks to Cash in on Artificial Intelligence This world-changing technology is projected to generate $100s of billions by 2025. From self-driving cars to consumer data analysis, people are relying on machines more than we ever have before. Now is the time to capitalize on the 4th Industrial Revolution. Zacks’ urgent special report reveals 6 AI picks investors need to know about today.See 6 Artificial Intelligence Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential>>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report, inc. (CRM): Free Stock Analysis Report ANSYS, Inc. (ANSS): Free Stock Analysis Report PTC Inc. (PTC): Free Stock Analysis Report BlackBerry Limited (BB): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 24th, 2021

NY’s biggest landlords adding in-house doctors to tenant amenities

SL Green has signed a concierge medical service at 750 Third Avenue which will provide tenants with healthcare services directly within the building, including COVID-19 testing, vaccinations, annual physicals, treatment for urgent issues, mental health and more. Tenants of neighboring 485 Lexington will also be able to use the Reside... The post NY’s biggest landlords adding in-house doctors to tenant amenities appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. SL Green has signed a concierge medical service at 750 Third Avenue which will provide tenants with healthcare services directly within the building, including COVID-19 testing, vaccinations, annual physicals, treatment for urgent issues, mental health and more. Tenants of neighboring 485 Lexington will also be able to use the Reside Health facility, the company’s second in Manhattan following its opening in TF Cornerstones Carnegie Hall Tower in May. “Forward-thinking tenants are continuing to look for new, more personalized ways to address employees’ needs,” said Steven M. Durels, executive vice president and director of leasing at SL Green.  “Reside provides just that while keeping the whole building healthy and safe. We’re thrilled to welcome them to the building and to continue working with innovative organizations on behalf of our clients.” 750 THIRD AVENUE A team from Colliers arranged the multi-year agreement at 750 Third Avenue for Reside Health. Vice chairman Marcus Rayner and managing director Sam Einhorn exclusively represent Reside for its New York real estate needs. “Reside Health facilities don’t require large footprints and make extremely efficient use of space,” said Einhorn. “Unused lobby or mezzanine space, amenity floors and regular office space can all support a location that will provide landlords with long-term value and tenants with peace of mind.” Founded by Kevin Ryan, one of the country’s leading technology investors and entrepreneurs, and Komal Kothari, a Harvard-trained physician, Reside offers commercial real estate properties a unique health and wellness amenity that many landlords are actively seeking in order to help attract and retain new tenants. “This past year has reminded us just how conscious and careful we all need to be about our health,” said Dr. Kothari. “Reside’s model of providing primary care and wellness services as an amenity is the future of how commercial properties will look after their occupants. By making healthcare more accessible than ever, we help landlords create elevated experiences and safer workplaces in the post-pandemic world.” Building occupants and select other participants will be able to book same-day appointments through Reside’s app, check in electronically, and easily come down for the appointment, with no need for time-consuming travel. Unlike a typical doctor’s office, Reside Health does not have a waiting room, with its new space boasting beautiful, modern design and a spa-like feel. “Every landlord has taken steps to make the work environment healthier, from installing improved HVAC systems to placing sanitation stations around buildings,” said Rayner. “However, forward-looking landlords are using this unique moment in time to differentiate their properties by also implementing world-class health-focused amenities. As the office market continues to mount its comeback, amenities like Reside are a factor that tenants consider strongly when making their real estate decisions.” 750 Third Avenue is a Class A office property that is located just two blocks from Grand Central Station. The 34-story, LEED Silver-certified building is owned and managed by SL Green Realty, and was renovated in 1984. Notable building tenants include FTI Consulting, Ropers, Majeski, Kohn & Bentley and Sompo International. Jake Elghanayan, principal at Carnegie Hall Tower ownership, TF Cornerstone, has called Reside “the healthcare model of the future.” After welcoming the company to his building, Elghanayan said, “Now, workers will be able to see the doctor without the hassle of taking time off of work, sitting in waiting rooms or navigating massive healthcare facilities.” The post NY’s biggest landlords adding in-house doctors to tenant amenities appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyNov 19th, 2021

Strong decision-making skills will give you a leg up in the job search — here"s how to show them off

To highlight these skills during a job interview, share personal examples of team achievements and tough decisions you've made in the past. Decision-making skills will not only help you thrive at work, but navigate your career in a meaningful way.Kathrin Ziegler/Getty Images Decision-making skills are crucial in all phases of your career, from interviewing to managing. When making a decision, define the problem and then assess the costs and benefits to find an ideal solution. Show off your decision-making skills in the job search by demonstrating them in your résumé, cover letter, and interview. Whether you're a first-time intern or president and CEO, decision-making is a crucial component of success at every rung on the career ladder. Companies rely on top talent to keep the business moving with quick, thoughtful decisions — from small, individual choices about the best way to tackle your to-do list to major strategic overhauls that affect the entire organization."Different employers look for various skills and strengths depending on their job requirements, but all organizations seek decision-making skills," said executive career consultant Susan Peppercorn. Recruiters and hiring managers are looking to assess decision-making skills for just about every role they need to fill. Your ability to develop and maintain those skills, and also show them off as a candidate, can make or break your chances at landing that dream job — and then, of course, determine whether or not you succeed in it.What are decision-making skills and why are they important at work?Decision-making skills hinge on your "ability to see, understand, and articulate the outcomes of actions," said executive coach Debbie Radish-Respess. They help you quickly and efficiently analyze a situation so you can choose paths that will ultimately lead to the best possible outcomes.Radish-Respess had to fine-tune her own decision-making skills in her years working in human resources, five of which she spent as a VP, before transitioning into executive and leadership coaching. One of the things she learned is that it isn't enough to simply know which decision to make; you also have to be able to communicate potential outcomes in order to convince other team members and leaders that your choices are the most sound. When an employee is able to do both, all aspects of the business (from financial to operational to interpersonal) benefit."Whether it's a question of deciding which candidate to hire, which consultant to use, what project to implement or product to develop, having the capacity to make the best decision is critical for an organization's success," said Peppercorn, who has become a bit of a decision-making expert herself, building her own business guiding professionals in their careers. "Employees who can demonstrate the ability to identify all the options and compare both cost and effectiveness have an advantage over those who can't."But it's not just about the company. It's also about you. Decision-making skills are crucial in helping you figure out what jobs you even want — and in successfully going after those opportunities. In other words, these skills will help you land jobs, thrive at work, and enable your team and organization to meet goals, sure. But they'll also help you navigate your career and steer it in the directions that are meaningful and fulfilling for you.When do you need decision-making skills in your career?There are countless work-related scenarios in which decision-making skills come in handy. One of the first is the hiring process — on both sides.Hiring managers are constantly having to evaluate the qualifications each candidate has and which set of skills might be a better fit for the role that needs to be filled, Radish-Respess says. At the same time, candidates are typically doing the same thing — assessing whether or not a position and company are right for them. The decision-making skills of everyone involved in a typical job search scenario could mean the difference between an engaged and productive employee, and a person who is miserable in a job they merely took for a paycheck.From choosing the right format for your résumé to selecting a contractor to help complete your next project, decision-making skills are a crucial component to succeeding in both the job search and your career.Other common work-related scenarios where decision-making comes into play might include:Organizing a team and assigning roles and responsibilitiesMaking a go-no-go decision on a projectDetermining which strategy to use to meet company goals and how to execute itCreating a work-from-home policySelecting board membersPicking when — and what — to delegateResponding appropriately to an upset customerFixing a production problem as soon as it's discoveredWhat steps can you use to make any decision?Peppercorn explains that there are six important steps in the decision-making process:1. Define the problem, challenge, or opportunityThe decisions we make in our day-to-day lives and careers are most often responses to problems or opportunities we may be presented with. For instance, if you're searching for a job, your problem may be narrowing down current opportunities. Or if you're assembling a team for a new project, your problem may be choosing team members who will work well together.Whatever the situation may be, you first need to identify what the goal of the decision is. When responding to an upset customer, for example, the goal is probably to have them leave the conversation feeling like their problem has been resolved or their voice has been heard. Whereas if you're creating a hybrid work strategy, your goal may be to balance employee happiness, productivity, and collaboration.Before you start exploring different steps and strategies, make sure you're clear on what you're trying to achieve — and let that objective guide you throughout the rest of the process.2. Generate several possible solutions or responsesOnce you've defined the problem, challenge, or opportunity your decision will hopefully address, you can begin to think about possible solutions. In the job search, this could mean establishing a list of available job openings in your career field. And on the job, it could mean first pulling together the list of people who are available for your project.How you develop that list of solutions depends entirely on what your goal may be, but in most cases it involves looking at the decision that needs to be made from as many angles as possible and allowing yourself the time to brainstorm options — either alone or in a group.You might want or need to get input from others while in the early stages, Radish-Respess says. "Decisions may be based on a client outcome, an organizational strategy, or a department project," she explained, and you'll need information and insights from your colleagues. Plus, we aren't always equipped to recognize our own biases or limitations, but a team approach can help to ensure you explore all avenues.In some cases, you may also have to ask yourself if you have the authority to make this decision on our own. For example, you may need to bring your supervisor into the decision-making process and make a judgment about when. Perhaps you need to turn to your boss at the very beginning to confirm you're reaching for the right goal or to ask them to be involved in the brainstorming phase or you may be able to simply share your suggested solution for approval.3. Evaluate the costs and benefits, or pros and cons, associated with each optionOnce you've generated several possible ways forward, it's time to examine each one more closely. Evaluating your options could be as simple as creating a pro/con list for each or as detailed as designing a scoring metric that allows you to rate each choice based on your pre-determined list of desires.When it comes to looking for a job, for example, it doesn't usually make sense to apply to every opening you find. Not only are there likely to be at least a few that aren't a good fit, it's also harder to tailor your résumé and personalize your cover letter when you are applying to 50 jobs as opposed to five. So instead of taking your initial list and applying everywhere, you'd be better off taking some time to narrow down your options and to apply only to the positions that you might be the best fit for. You might select three to five things you are looking for in your next role (salary, location, flexibility, etc.) and then rank all potential openings based on those categories.Similarly, if you were looking to put together a team for an important project, look at the qualifications of each candidate available to join your team, and consider carefully how those skills might fit together in different combinations. For each potential grouping, you might go through a checklist of the skill sets you need, consider how those employees would work together, and weigh the benefits of each worker's participation against the cost of them deprioritizing other tasks.4. Select a solution or responseIn a perfect world, the obvious answer would appear after a little evaluation. And sometimes, that's exactly what happens: One choice is clearly better than all the others.In the real world, however, you're often faced with choices that have comparable appeals and drawbacks. For instance, you might be offered two jobs: one in the exact field you want to work in, but for about $10,000 less a year than you want to make, and the other offering your goal salary, but with the caveat being that you would have to relocate. Neither choice fulfills everything, but both provide something, at which point you have to decide which one comes closest to being what you want. This may mean you have to drill your original pros and cons list down further, ranking each category by level of importance to you. Or it could mean adding additional categories you hadn't initially considered, like room for growth or position prestige.You may have to keep tweaking your evaluation methods until the right decision becomes clear — or at a certain point, you may have to simply select one path and move forward with it.5. Implement the option you've chosenWhen making important decisions, it is always important to commit. Don't allow yourself to look back at the other options you could have chosen, or to what-if yourself into inaction and failure. Instead, commit to the choice you've settled on and focus on implementing the steps necessary to make it a success.6. Assess the impact of the decision and modify the course of action as neededOf course, committing doesn't mean you can't course-correct when necessary. What seemed like your dream job could turn out to be a nightmare if your direct supervisor is a bully. And what appeared to be the perfect solution for an upset customer could backfire if they've been offered the same solution in the past and aren't satisfied.Give yourself room to monitor your progress and to switch lanes if necessary. That doesn't mean looking back. It just means starting from where you're at and finding another way to get to where you want to be if your current choice isn't getting you there.What are some examples of decision-making skills?As you work through the decision-making steps, you may wonder what types of skills actually make a person a strong decision maker. Here are a few of the key skills you'll need:Problem-solving: Understanding the variables that influence the decision is crucial, as is understanding the impact of each decision you might make, Radish-Respess says. Being able to evaluate and solve a problem is the basis for making most decisions.Judgement: Of course, you can't adequately evaluate anything without sound judgment. The ability to look at a situation clearly, identify potential problems and solutions, be aware of potential biases, and predict outcomes and repercussions will help you make better decisions.Intuition: Trusting your instincts can be a good start, Radish-Respess says. Our instincts are often based on our real-life experiences and the lessons we've learned along the way. We don't always have a lot of time to make decisions, and in those moments when quick thinking is necessary, our intuition can be incredibly valuable.Teamwork: Collaboration, trust, and respect help teams make critical decisions, Radish-Respess says. When focusing on client deliverables, for instance, you must work with the client, and often other team members, to figure out what the client is looking for, how to best meet their needs, and how to improve the overall quality of the project. So many decisions you make at work require input from colleagues and approval from above as you work toward shared goals, and strong working relationships can help make the process as smooth and effective as possible, even when you disagree.Emotional intelligence: Like intuition, our emotions can often serve as a guide for where we need to go. When you're hit with a burst of excitement, or a sudden wave of panic, it can be worth listening to those emotions and following them where they may lead. But it goes beyond self-awareness. When you're working with a team to make an important decision, being attuned to others' emotions and reactions can help you gather the right information, evaluate the options, and ultimately select a way forward.Time management: Scheduling, project management, and deadlines help decision-makers address the most pressing issues, challenges, and projects in a timely manner, Radish-Respess says. When you know what your deadline is, you can identify the steps necessary to reach your goal on time. This also allows you to track your progress and speed up or slow down your decision-making process as necessary. Because let's be honest: Your well-thought out decision loses all value if you make it too late to matter.How can you improve your decision-making skills?It's one thing to recognize the importance of decision-making skills, it's another entirely to evaluate and improve your own. But that's exactly what you need to do if you want to hone this skill set into an asset you can rely on both on and off the job.The best ways to improve your decision-making skills often involve seeking out learning opportunities, Radish-Respess says, such as:Taking a decision-making course: Believe it or not, there are online courses for everything these days, including soft skills like decision-making. You can look for options on Udemy, Coursera, and LinkedIn Learning, and other online learning platforms.Working with a coach: If you're looking to tackle a really major decision or are otherwise hoping for more personalized guidance, you might consider turning to a career coach who's an expert in helping people with job search strategy, for example, or even to a decision coach more specifically.Reflecting on past decisions: When reflecting on past decisions, Radish-Respess suggests asking yourself some important questions: What did I do well? What decision could I have made instead of the one I did make? How many options were available that I didn't take into consideration at the time? What did I like about the result? What did I not like about the result?Practicing: The more you flex your decision-making skills, the more confident you will become in your ability to make those important decisions when the time comes. Like anything else, these are skills you have to use in order to grow and maintain them. Even if you're an entry-level employee, you can practice your decision-making skills by approaching your boss with proposed solutions instead of just presenting them with the problem or challenge. They may not always agree, but you'll learn immensely from the process.Asking questions and getting input from others: As part of your practice, don't be afraid to ask for help and advice — whether it's from your manager or someone else involved in a particular decision or from a trusted colleague or mentor whose decision-making skills you admire. Hearing how others would approach a particular decision will help inform how you might do so in the future.How do you show off your decision-making skills during the job search?Your decision-making skills are something you should be flaunting while searching for your next job (and if you're still looking for roles to apply to, you can find hundreds of thousands of job openings on The Muse!). After all, hiring managers and recruiters are looking for employees who possess exactly the abilities you've worked so hard to gain. You can put them forward when you're:Building your résuméNumbers are important, Radish-Respess says. Any percentages, dollars, time frames, or numbers of clients served that can demonstrate the value of your decision-making skills should be highlighted here.In other words: You don't want to simply write "excellent decision maker" on your résumé. You want to actually show what that means in terms of results wherever possible. And you can do that by writing quantified bullet points that highlight not just duties but also accomplishments.Personalizing the cover letter"Cover letters provide an opportunity to address the posted job description with a short anecdote that shows your decision-making skills and how they align with the needs of that company," Radish-Respess said.So let's say the job description calls for someone who can think quickly under pressure. This would be a perfect place to tell a story about a time you had to do just that, relying on your decision-making skills to guide you.Nailing the interviewYou can use your cover letter to paint a picture, and then your interview to connect the dots, further detailing how your decision-making skills have benefited you and your employers in the past.One of the best ways you can show off your decision-making skills at the interview phase is by providing examples of how you've used them in the past, Radish-Respess says. "Did you perform an interview with a client to get a better understanding of their needs and therefore [increase] a project scope and revenue?" she asked. "Did you lead a team in which you chose the members?" And in doing so, did your team successfully complete their goals or work together in a way that was notable?Keep those examples in mind and throw them out liberally in response to interview questions that focus on past successes — such as behavioral questions that prompt you to "tell me about a time when…"If the hiring manager's decision-making skills are as strong as yours, they'll recognize what a mistake it would be to let another company scoop you up.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytNov 18th, 2021

Cineplex Inc. Reports Third Quarter Results

Positive adjusted EBITDAaL across all business segments as guests return to theatres and entertainment venues nationwide TORONTO, Nov. 11, 2021 /CNW/ - (TSX:CGX) - Cineplex Inc. ("Cineplex" or the "Company") today released its financial results for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2021. Unless otherwise specified, all amounts are in Canadian dollars. "Our business has turned a corner, and we are pleased to report adjusted EBITDAaL of $10.8 million for the quarter, as well as positive quarterly adjusted EBITDAaL across all business segments for the first time since the pandemic began," said Ellis Jacob, President & CEO, Cineplex. "Our entire theatre circuit and entertainment venues are open nationwide and attendance levels continue to grow as capacity restrictions ease across the country and guests return. We continued our prudent approach to cost management and reduced our average monthly net cash burn to $2.9 million during the quarter, down from $24.0 million in Q2 2021." "Now more than ever, we are providing every guest with a great entertainment experience and are taking proactive steps to increase visitation. In support of this strategy, during the quarter we introduced our new subscription program - CineClub, which has received an overwhelmingly positive response. We also launched our new brand platform – Where Escape Begins – to welcome guests back to the theatre experience and remind them of what they've been missing for so long." "Looking ahead, we remain confident in our solid financial position and disciplined cash management processes supporting the continued recovery of our businesses. We are encouraged by the strong pipeline of upcoming film product and the signs of a return to normalcy that we are all craving. Canadians want to reconnect and recharge with family and friends, and we will continue to capitalize on that pent up demand." Third Quarter Financial Results 2021 2020 Period over Period Change (i) Total revenues (ii) $ 250.4  million $ 61.0  million 310.3 % Theatre attendance 8.3  million 1.6  million 429.2 % Net loss from continuing operations (iii) $ (33.6)  million $ (121.2)  million -72.3 % Net loss from discontinued operations $ —  million $ —  million NM Net loss (iii) $ (33.6)  million $ (121.2)  million -72.3 % Box office revenues per patron ("BPP") (iv) $ 11.38 $ 9.30 22.4 % Concession revenues per patron ("CPP") (iv) $ 8.58 $ 7.37 16.4 % Adjusted EBITDA (iv) $ 48.6  million $ (28.9)  million NM Adjusted EBITDAaL (iii) (iv) $ 10.8  million $ (46.7)  million NM Adjusted EBITDAaL margin (iii) (iv) 4.3 % (76.6) % 80.9 % Adjusted free cash flow (iv) $ (5.8)  million $ (77.3)  million -92.6 Adjusted free cash flow per common share of Cineplex ("Share") (iv) $ (0.091) $ (1.221) -92.5 Earnings per Share ("EPS") from continuing operations - basic and diluted (iii) $ (0.53) $ (1.91) -72.3 % EPS from discontinued operations - basic and diluted $ — $ — NM EPS - basic and diluted (iii) $ (0.53) $ (1.91) -72.3 % Year to Date Financial Results 2021 2020 Period over PeriodChange (i) Total revenues (ii) $ 356.7  million $ 365.8  million -2.5 % Theatre attendance 9.8  million 12.3  million -19.9 % Net loss from continuing operations (iii) $ (226.9)  million $ (393.6)  million -42.3 % Net loss from discontinued operations $ —  million $ (5.0)  million NM Net loss (iii) $ (226.9)  million $ (398.6)  million -43.1 % Box office revenues per patron ("BPP") (iv) $ 11.23 $ 10.23 9.8 % Concession revenues per patron ("CPP") (iv) $ 8.39 $ 6.86 22.3 % Adjusted EBITDA (iv) $ 1.6  million $ (23.8)  million NM Adjusted EBITDAaL (iii) (iv) $ (104.5)  million $ (116.9)  million -10.6 % Adjusted EBITDAaL margin (iii) (iv) (29.3) % (31.9) % 2.6 % Adjusted free cash flow (iv) $ (150.5)  million $ (131.3)  million 14.6 % Adjusted free cash flow per common share of Cineplex ("Share") (iv) $ (2.376) $ (2.074) 14.6 % Earnings per Share ("EPS") from continuing operations - basic and diluted (iii) $ (3.58) $ (6.21) -42.4 % EPS from discontinued operations - basic and diluted $ — $ (0.08) NM EPS - basic and diluted (iii) $ (3.58) $ (6.29) -43.1 % i. Period over period change calculated based on thousands of dollars except percentage and per share values. Changes in percentage amounts are calculated as 2021 value less 2020 value. ii. All amounts are from continuing operations. iii.  2021 includes expenses related to the Cineworld Transaction in the amount of $4.1 million (2020 - $0.5 million) for the third quarter and $9.1 million (2020 - $2.8 million) for the year-to date. iv. Adjusted EBITDA, adjusted EBITDAaL, adjusted EBITDAaL margin, adjusted free cash flow per common share of Cineplex, BPP and CPP are measures that do not have a standardized meaning under generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP").  These measures as well as other Non-GAAP financial measures reported by Cineplex are defined in the 'Non-GAAP Financial Measures' section at the end of this news release. KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE THIRD QUARTER OF 2021 The following describes certain key business initiatives undertaken and results achieved during  the third quarter of 2021 in each of Cineplex's core business areas: FILM ENTERTAINMENT AND CONTENT Theatre Exhibition Reopened its entire circuit of theatres as of July 17, 2021. The reopening included Cineplex's 161 theatre locations, encompassing 1,656 screens across Canada including 18 VIP Cinemas locations. Cineplex reported box office revenues of $94.1 million an increase of $79.6 million or 547.7% compared to the $14.5 million reported in the prior year period. This was primarily due to an increase in attendance, as a result of the theatre reopenings and the strength of the release of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. BPP was $11.38, an all-time quarterly record for Cineplex and an increase of $2.08 or 22.4% when compared to the prior year due to new releases and premium offerings in the current period as compared to the prior period which focused on discounted pricing for older and more classic film products. Opened Western Canada's first standalone VIP Cinemas at Cineplex VIP Cinemas Brentwood in Burnaby, British Columbia on July 7, 2021. Launched CineClub, Canada's first of its kind movie subscription program providing members with benefits accessible across Cineplex's businesses nationwide including Cineplex theatres, the Cineplex Store and LBE venues. Theatre Food Service Cineplex reported theatre food service revenues of $70.9 million, an increase of $59.4 million or 515.9% compared to $11.5 million reported in the prior year period, primarily due to a significant increase in theatre attendance as a result of the reopening of theatres coupled with an increase in CPP. CPP was $8.58, an all-time quarterly record for Cineplex and an increase of $1.21 or 16.4% when compared to the prior year, due to product mix, modest price increases and film product that appealed to frequent movie-goers. Alternative Programming Alternative Programming (Cineplex Events) featured multiple concerts including K-pop concert BLACKPINK: The Movie, André Rieu's 2021 Summer Concert: Together Again, RUSH Cinema Strangiato and Oasis Knebworth 1996. Digital Commerce Total registered users for Cineplex Store increased by 23% as compared to the prior year period, in addition to a year-over- year increase of 19% in device activations. Cineplex Store continues to benefit from Premium Video On Demand ("PVOD") and Premium Electronic Sell Through ("PEST") releases. MEDIA Cinema media revenue doubled to $6.6 million when compared to the prior year period, mainly driven by the reopening of theatres during the quarter resulting in increased pre-show and show-time advertising revenue. AMUSEMENT AND LEISURE Amusement Solutions Reported third quarter revenues of $53.3 million, an increase of $40.1 million or 302.8% compared to the prior year amusement revenues of $13.2 million as a result of P1AG route locations reopenings in Canada and the United States. Location-based Entertainment The Rec Room reported third quarter revenue of $21.8 million, an increase of $16.7 million or 325.0% compared to the prior year period. The increase was due to the reopening of LBE businesses in the third quarter combined with the opening of two additional LBE locations in July 2021, compared to closed or significantly reduced operating restrictions in the prior period. Opened British Columbia's first location of The Rec Room in Burnaby on July 5, 2021. Opened The Rec Room in Barrie, Ontario, on July 26, 2021. With these openings, Cineplex has 10 locations of The Rec Room and three Playdiums across Canada. LOYALTY Membership in the SCENE loyalty program remained flat during the period ended September 30, 2021. Announced the upcoming launch of Scene+, an expansion of the Scene program, which will provide members with more reward options and ways to earn and to redeem points. CORPORATE On September 30, Cineplex commemorated National Truth and Reconciliation Day by creating and running a Pre-Show and media spot for the Orange Shirt Society to help raise awareness for their charity and mission. OPERATING RESULTS FOR THE THREE AND NINE MONTHS ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 2021 Total revenues Total revenues for the three months ended September 30, 2021 increased $189.4 million (310.3%) to $250.4 million as compared to the prior year period. Total revenues for the nine months ended September 30, 2021 decreased $9.1 million (2.5%) to $356.7 million as compared to the prior year period. A discussion of the factors affecting the changes in box office, food service, media, amusement and other revenues for the period is provided below. Non-GAAP measures discussed throughout this MD&A, including adjusted EBITDA, adjusted EBITDAaL, adjusted store level EBITDAaL, adjusted EBITDAaL margin, adjusted store level EBITDAaL margin, adjusted free cash flow, theatre attendance, BPP, premium priced product, same theatre metrics, CPP, film cost percentage, food service cost percentage, concession margin per patron and net cash burn are defined and discussed in Non-GAAP measures section of this news release. Box office revenues The following table highlights the movement in box office revenues, theatre attendance and BPP for the quarter and the year to date (in thousands of dollars, except theatre attendance reported in thousands of patrons and per patron amounts, unless otherwise noted): Box office revenues Third Quarter Year to Date 2021 2020 Change 2021 2020 Change Box office revenues $ 94,114 $ 14,531 547.7 % $ 110,430 $ 125,560 -12.1 % Theatre attendance (i) 8,272 1,563 429.2 % 9,835 12,279 -19.9 % Box office revenue per patron (i) $ 11.38 $ 9.30 22.4 % $ 11.23 $ 10.23 9.8 % BPP excluding premium priced product (i) $ 10.21 $ 8.47 20.5 % $ 10.13 $ 9.22 9.9 % Same theatre box office revenues (i) $ 93,514 $ 14,475 546.0 % $ 109,810 $ 124,588 -11.9 % Same theatre attendance (i) 8,243 1,555 430.1 % 9,803 12,162 -19.4 % % Total box from premium priced product (i) 30.4 % 28.3 % 2.1 % 28.9 % 28.6 % 0.3 % (i) See Non-GAAP measures section of this news release.   Box office continuity Third Quarter Year to Date Box Office Theatre Attendance Box Office Theatre Attendance 2020 as reported $ 14,531 1,563 $ 125,560 12,279 Same theatre attendance change 62,275 6,688 (24,160) (2,358) Impact of same theatre BPP change 16,764 — 9,382 — New and acquired theatres (i) 600 29 601 29 Disposed and closed theatres (i) (56) (8) (953) (115) 2021 as reported $ 94,114 8,272 $ 110,430 9,835 (i) See Non-GAAP measures section of this news release.  Represents theatres opened, acquired, disposed or closed subsequent to the start of the prior year comparative period. Third Quarter and Year to Date Third Quarter 2021 Top Cineplex Films 3D % Box Third  Quarter 2020 Top Cineplex Films 3D % Box 1 Shang-Chi and The Legend Of The Ten Rings √ 17.7 % 1 Tenet 37.2 % 2 Free Guy √ 9.9 % 2 The Spongebob Movie: Sponge On The Run 14.3 % 3 Black Widow √ 9.9 % 3 Unhinged 9.6 % 4 The Suicide Squad 7.6 % 4 The New Mutants 8.4 % 5 Jungle Cruise √ 7.3 % 5 After We Collided 4.8 %   Year to Date 2021 Top Cineplex Films 3D % Box Year to Date 2020 Top Cineplex Films 3D % Box 1 Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings √ 15.0 % 1 1917 8.6 % 2 Free Guy √ 8.4 % 2 Bad Boys For Life 7.7 % 3 Black Widow √ 8.4 % 3 Jumanji: The Next Level √ 6.8 % 4 F9: The Fast Saga 7.2 % 4 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker √ 6.4 % 5 The Suicide Squad 6.5 % 5 Sonic The Hedgehog 5.7 % Third Quarter and Year to Date Box office revenues increased by $79.6 million to $94.1 million during the third quarter of 2021 as compared to $14.5 million recognized in the prior year period. The increase in revenues is due to the reopening of theatres across Cineplex's circuit during the beginning of the quarter as strict operating restrictions across Canada were eased. Theatres in Ontario, which represented 42% and 44% of Cineplex's total locations and screens in the third quarter of 2021 and 2020, respectively, were permitted to reopen on July 16, 2021 after extended periods of closures. Box office revenue generated during the current quarter represented 53% of box office revenues generated during the third quarter of 2019, when operations were at normal capacity levels. The pent-up demand for social experiences resulted in a significant increase in theatre attendance further contributing to the increase in box office revenues compared to the prior year period. The quarter included the release of the Marvel Studios highly anticipated Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings which has set the all-time record for a Labour Day opening weekend and the biggest domestic gross since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. Cineplex's BPP for the period was $11.38, an all-time quarterly record for Cineplex which was mainly due to price increases in select key markets and increases in VIP theatre locations and screens which drive higher per patron spend. When compared to the prior year period, BPP increased $2.08, or 22.4% from $9.30 due to new releases and premium offerings in the current period as compared to the prior period which focused on discounted pricing for older and more classic film products. Box office revenues for the nine months ended September 30, 2021 were $110.4 million, a decrease of $15.1 million or 12.1% compared to the prior year. The decrease in box office revenues was primarily due to the decrease in attendance as a result of the government mandated restrictions that have kept theatres closed or operating below full capacity for a majority of the period. Prior year figures include the first quarter of 2020 prior to the pandemic related closures. Food service revenues   The following table highlights the movement in food service revenues, theatre attendance and CPP for the quarter and the year to date (in thousands of dollars, except theatre attendance and same theatre attendance reported in thousands of patrons and per patron amounts): Food service revenues Third Quarter Year to Date 2021 2020 Change 2021 2020 Change Food service - theatres $ 70,945 $ 11,519 515.9 % $ 82,506 $ 84,262 -2.1 % Food delivery - theatres 2,599 2,409 7.9 % 10,053 5,433 85.0 % Food service - LBE 6,402 1,479 332.7 % 7,089 8,250 -14.1 % Food delivery - LBE 25 61 -58.5 % 106 144 -26.6 % Total food service revenues $ 79,971 $ 15,468 417.0 % $ 99,754 $ 98,089 1.7 % Theatre attendance (i) 8,272 1,563 429.2 % 9,835 12,279 -19.9 % CPP (i) (ii) $ 8.58 $ 7.37 16.4 % $ 8.39 $ 6.86 22.3 % Same theatre food service revenues (i) $ 70,383 $ 11,537 510.1 % $ 81,918 $ 83,611 -2.0 % Same theatre attendance (i) 8,243 1,555 430.1 % 9,803 12,162 -19.4 % (i) See Non-GAAP measures section of this news release. (ii) Food service revenue from LBE and delivery is not included in the CPP calculation.   Theatre food service revenue continuity Third Quarter Year to Date Theatre Food Service Theatre Attendance Theatre Food Service Theatre Attendance 2020 as reported $ 11,519 1,563 $ 84,262 12,279 Same theatre attendance change 49,698 6,688 (16,311) (2,358) Impact of same theatre CPP change 9,210 — 14,521 — New and acquired theatres (i) 562 29 562 29 Disposed and closed theatres (i) (44) (8) (528) (115) 2021 as reported $ 70,945 8,272 $ 82,506 9,835 (i) See Non-GAAP measures section of this news release.  Represents theatres opened, acquired, disposed or closed subsequent to the start of the prior year comparative period. Third Quarter and Year to Date Food service revenues are comprised primarily of concession revenues, which includes food service sales at theatre locations and through delivery services including Uber Eats and Skip the Dishes. Food service revenues also include food and beverage sales at The Rec Room and Playdium. Food services revenues increased by $64.5 million or 417.0% mainly due to an increase in theatre food service revenues of $59.4 million or 515.9% to $70.9 million, during the third quarter of 2021. The increase in food service revenues is due to the reopening of theatres and LBE businesses across Canada as restrictions have eased, resulting in an increase in both attendance across Cineplex's businesses and consumer spend. CPP increased $1.21 or 16.4% to $8.58 in the current period, an all-time quarterly record. Product mix, modest price increases to Cineplex's core food service products, additional VIP theatre locations and film product targeted towards adult demographics have contributed to the increase and all-time quarterly record CPP. Food service revenues from LBE venues increased by $4.9 million or 332.7% to $6.4 million when compared to the prior year period. The increase in revenues is primarily due to the reopening of LBE businesses across Canada and the opening of two additional The Rec Room locations in Burnaby, British Columbia and Barrie, Ontario. Food service revenues for the nine months ended September 30, 2021 were $99.8 million, an increase of $1.7 million or 1.7% compared to the prior year. The increase in food service revenues is primarily driven by the significant increases in theatre food service revenue recognized during the reopening period of Cineplex's business compared to extended closure periods experienced in the prior year. Media revenues The following table highlights the movement in media revenues for the quarter and the year to date (in thousands of dollars): Media revenues Third Quarter Year to Date 2021 2020 Change 2021 2020 Change Cinema media $ 6,640 $ 3,334 99.2 % $ 10,951 $ 22,200 -50.7 % Digital place-based media 7,420 9,491 -21.8 % 21,584 30,662 -29.6 % Total media revenues from continuing operations $ 14,060 $ 12,825 9.6 % $ 32,535 $ 52,862 -38.5 % Media revenues from discontinued operations — — — % — 602 -100.0 % Total media revenues $ 14,060 $ 12,825 9.6 % $ 32,535 $ 53,464 -39.1 % Third Quarter and Year to Date For the three months ended September 30, 2021, total media revenues from continuing operations increased $1.2 million or 9.6% to $14.1 million in the third quarter compared to the prior year period. Uncertainty with respect to the timing and success of theatre reopenings and continued changes to the film release schedule constrained the return of advertisers to cinema media. Despite that, cinema media increased $3.3 million doubling revenue as compared to the prior year. The increase to cinema media revenues was partially offset by a $2.1 million or 21.8% decrease in digital placed-based media revenues due to lower hardware sales, and creative and digital media revenues. For the nine months ended September 30, 2021, media revenues from continuing operations were $32.5 million, a decrease of $20.3 million or 38.5% compared to the prior year. The decrease is primarily due to a $11.2 million decrease in Cinema media revenue due to theatre closures and limited new releases subsequent to the first quarter of 2020, ultimately resulting in a sharp decline in show-time and pre-show advertising revenue. Digital place-based media revenues decreased $9.1 million primarily due to lower media hardware sales and media revenue, further contributing to the overall decrease in total media revenues. Amusement Revenues The following table highlights the movement in amusement revenues for the quarter and the year to date (in thousands of dollars): Amusement revenues Third Quarter Year to Date 2021 2020 Change 2021 2020 Change Amusement - P1AG excluding Cineplex exhibition and LBE (i) $ 35,473 $ 9,564 270.9 % $ 68,478 $ 48,212 42.0 % Amusement - Cineplex exhibition (i) 2,709 119 NM 2,980 2,327 28.0 % Amusement - LBE 15,137 3,553 326.1 % 17,919 13,765 30.2 % Total amusement revenues $ 53,319 $ 13,236 302.8 % $ 89,377 $ 64,304 39.0 % (i) Cineplex receives a venue revenue share on games revenues earned at in-theatre game rooms and XSCAPE Entertainment Centres.  Amusement - Cineplex exhibition reports the total of this venue revenue share which is consistent with the historical presentation of Cineplex's amusement revenues.  Amusement - P1AG excluding Cineplex exhibition and LBE reflects P1AG's gross amusement revenues, net of the venue revenue share paid to Cineplex reflected in Amusement - Cineplex exhibition above. Third Quarter and Year to Date Amusement revenues increased $40.1 million, to $53.3 million during the third quarter of 2021 compared to the prior year period. The quarterly increase in revenues was primarily due to the reopening of P1AG US and Canada route locations at FECs and theatres. For the year to date, amusement revenues increased $25.1 million or 39.0% when compared to the prior year period. The increase was due to strong reopening of P1AG US route locations at FECs where restrictions and closures were lifted earlier than in Canada, theatres and increased equipment sales when compared to the prior year. The opening of two additional The Rec Room locations in Burnaby, British Columbia and Barrie, Ontario during the quarter also contributed to the increase in amusement revenues. Other revenues  The following table highlights the other revenues which includes revenues from the Cineplex Store, promotional activities, screenings, private parties, corporate events, breakage on gift card sales and revenues from management fees for the quarter and the year to date (in thousands of dollars): Other revenues Third Quarter Year to Date 2021 2020 Change 2021 2020 Change Other revenues from continuing operations $ 8,916 $ 4,962 79.7 % $ 24,622 $ 24,996 -1.5 % Other revenues from discontinued operations (i) — — NM — 199 NM Total other revenues $ 8,916 $ 4,962 79.7 % $ 24,622 $ 25,195 -2.3 % (i) Other revenues generated by WorldGaming Network LP. Third Quarter and Year to Date The quarterly increase in other revenues from continuing operations is primarily due to the resumption of the recognition of breakage revenues relating to gift card sales as the business reopened and redemptions grew, and increases in digital commerce sales. The year to date decrease in other revenues from continuing operations was primarily due to lower digital commerce sales and breakage revenues relating to gift cards which were lower due to fewer opportunities for redemption. In addition, the prolonged shutdown reduced other ancillary revenues generated from theatres, such as venue rentals. This was partially offset by increases in revenue generated from SCENE. Film cost  The following table highlights the movement in film cost and the film cost percentage for the quarter and the year to date (in thousands of dollars, except film cost percentage): Film cost Third Quarter Year to Date 2021 2020 Change 2021 2020 Change Film cost $ 45,838 $ 7,261 NM $ 52,684 $ 63,771 -17.4 % Film cost percentage (i) 48.7 % 50.0 % -1.3 % 47.7 % 50.8 % -3.1 % (i) See Non-GAAP measures section of this news release. Third Quarter and Year to Date Film cost varies primarily with box office revenues and can vary from quarter to quarter usually based on the relative strength of the titles exhibited during the period, impacted by film cost terms which vary by title and distributor. The increase in film cost in the third quarter over the prior year period was mainly due to the full reopening of theatres that commenced at the beginning of the quarter and new releases including Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Free Guy. In the prior year period, there were a limited number of theatres open operating at significantly reduced capacities, resulting in a less meaningful comparison of film cost percentages. The lower film cost percentage in the third quarter and year to date reflects the outsized weighting of the fewer films released in 2020. Cost of food service The following table highlights the movement in cost of food service and food service cost as a percentage of food service revenues ("concession cost percentage") for both theatres and LBE for the quarter and the year to date (in thousands of dollars, except percentages and margins per patron): Cost of food service Third Quarter Year to Date 2021 2020 Change 2021 2020 Change Cost of food service - theatre $ 14,612 $ 3,210 355.2 % $ 18,631 $ 24,141 -22.8 % Cost of food service - LBE 1,750 470 272.3 % 2,010 2,537 -20.8 % Total cost of food service $ 16,362 $ 3,680 344.6 % $ 20,641 $ 26,678 -22.6 % Theatre concession cost percentage (i) 19.9 % 23.0 % -3.1 % 20.1 % 26.9 % -6.8 % LBE food cost percentage (i) 27.2 % 30.5 % -3.3 % 27.9 % 30.2 % -2.3 % Theatre concession margin per patron (i) $ 6.87 $ 5.67 21.2 % $ 6.70 $ 5.01 33.7 % (i) See Non-GAAP measures section of this news release. Third Quarter and Year to Date Cost of food service at the theatres varies primarily with theatre attendance as well as the quantity and mix of offerings sold. Cost of food service at LBE venues varies primarily with the volume of guests who visit the location as well as the quantity and mix between food and beverage items sold.  The quarterly increase in cost of food service is primarily due to higher food service revenue with the restricted reopening of theatres throughout the majority of the current quarter, compared to closures of theatres and LBE locations that remained in effect for a majority of the prior period. The year to date decrease in cost of food service is due to the impact of prolonged mandatory closures and operating restrictions placed on Cineplex's theatres and LBE locations leading to a decline in the year to date attendance, resulting in lower cost of food sales. The quarterly and year to date decrease in theatre concession cost percentage when compared to the prior year is due to higher costs resulting from extended closure periods of theatres in 2020 resulting in lower volume of food sales and increased reserves on concession inventory. Depreciation and amortization  The following table highlights the movement in depreciation and amortization expenses during the quarter and the year to date (in thousands of dollars): Depreciation and amortization expenses Third Quarter Year to Date 2021 2020 Change 2021 2020 Change Depreciation of property, equipment and leaseholds $ 25,543 $ 27,241 -6.2 % $ 77,523 $ 86,303 -10.2 % Amortization of intangible assets and other assets 2,754 3,134 -12.1 % 8,018 9,793 -18.1 % Sub-total - depreciation and amortization - other assets $ 28,297 $ 30,375 -6.8 % $ 85,541 $ 96,096 -11.0 % Depreciation - right-of-use assets 25,151 30,539 -17.6 % 77,206 100,257 -23.0 % Total depreciation and amortization $ 53,448 $ 60,914 -12.3 % $ 162,747 $ 196,353 -17.1 % Third Quarter and Year to Date The quarterly depreciation of property, equipment and leaseholds decreased $1.7 million, or 6.2%, to $25.5 million during the third quarter of 2021 compared to the prior year period, and year to date decreased $8.8 million, or 10.2%, to $77.5 million compared to the prior year. The decrease was due primarily to fully depreciated property, equipment and leaseholds. The quarterly and year to date decrease in amortization of intangible assets and other assets as compared to the prior year periods is due to fully amortized intangible assets. The quarterly and year to date decrease of $5.4 million and $23.1 million, respectively, in depreciation of right-of-use assets is primarily due to modifications to lease agreements as a result of COVID-19 which reduced the corresponding right-of-use asset and related depreciation recognized. Impairment of long-lived assets, goodwill and investments The following table highlights the movement in impairment of long-lived assets and goodwill during the quarter and the year to date (in thousands of dollars): Impairment of long-lived assets and goodwill Third Quarter Year to Date 2021 2020 Change 2021 2020 Change Impairment of property, equipment and leaseholds $ — $ — NM $ — $ 33,949 NM Impairment of right-of-use assets — — NM — 50,610 NM Impairment of goodwill — 65,634 NM — 154,129 NM Impairment of long-lived assets and goodwill $ — $ 65,634 NM $ — $ 238,688 NM Third Quarter and Year to Date Cineplex generally performs its annual test for impairment of goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets in the fourth quarter, in accordance with the policy described in its annual consolidated financial statements. Assessment of impairment for long-lived assets, including property, equipment, leaseholds, right-of-use assets, intangible assets and goodwill ...Full story available on»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaNov 11th, 2021

Liz Cheney slams "un-American" and "dangerous" claims that Jan. 6 was a "false flag operation"

"It's the same kind of thing that you hear from people who say that 9/11 was an inside job, for example," Cheney said of Jan. 6 "false flag" accusations. Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming. Olivier Douliery/Pool via AP Rep. Liz Cheney on Sunday blasted "false flag" allegations regarding the Jan. 6 insurrection. During an appearance on "Fox News Sunday," Cheney flatly rejected "lies" about Jan. 6. Cheney called out Tucker Carlson for his streaming docuseries on Fox Nation which she said is a platform for "lies." Rep. Liz Cheney on Sunday equated allegations that the January 6 insurrection was a "false flag operation" meant to target supporters of then-President Donald Trump to individuals who believe that the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, were "an inside job."During an appearance alongside Democratic House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina on "Fox News Sunday," the Wyoming Republican dismissed assertions that the Capitol riot was pushed by the "deep state," which originates from a debunked conspiracy theory that a clandestine network of officials are seeking to undermine the duly-elected government.When host Chris Wallace asked the congresswoman if there was any truth to such claims, she immediately replied: "No, not at all."Cheney, who has been among the most vocal conservatives to refute Trump's debunked election claims surrounding the 2020 presidential election, is one of two Republicans - alongside Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois - serving on the January 6 select committee investigating the insurrection."It's the same kind of thing that you hear from people who say that 9/11 was an inside job, for example. It's un-American to be spreading those kinds of lies, and they are lies," Cheney said. "We have an obligation that goes beyond partisanship and an obligation that we share - Democrats and Republicans together - that we understand every single piece of the facts about what happened that day and to make sure the people who did it are held accountable.""To call it a false flag operation - to spread those kinds of lies - is really dangerous," she added.Wallace did not specifically say where the allegations originated, but Cheney in late October tweeted out a statement criticizing conservative host Tucker Carlson, who has a new docuseries, "Patriot Purge," which is airing on the Fox streaming service Fox Nation."It appears that @FoxNews is giving @TuckerCarlson a platform to spread the same type of lies that provoked violence on January 6," the congresswoman wrote. "As @FoxNews knows, the election wasn't stolen and January 6 was not a 'false flag' operation."In a trailer for the docuseries, an individual says: "False flags have happened in this country ... one of which may have been January 6th."The docuseries has drew condemnation from Kinzinger, along with longtime Fox News correspondent-at-large Geraldo Rivera.In recent weeks, the January 6 select committee has accelerated the pace of its oversight, issuing a slew of subpoenas requesting documents and testimony from individuals in Trump's professional orbit.The panel conducted its first hearing in July, which featured testimony from four officers who spoke of their experiences protecting lawmakers and staffers from insurrectionists who breached the Capitol complex.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 7th, 2021

How to download Roblox on a Windows PC and join millions of users on the gaming platform

To download Roblox on a PC, you need to be running Windows 7 or newer. The gaming platform is also available on Mac, iOS, Android, and Xbox One. Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images To download Roblox on a PC, you need to be running Windows 7 or newer. Roblox is a popular gaming platform with more than 30 million daily users. Roblox is also available on iOS, Android, Xbox One, and macOS. Visit Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories. Roblox is a popular gaming platform with more than 30 million daily users. It offers an array of virtual experiences or games that you can partake in, create, and share with friends, and most of the platform's content is created by other users. If you are interested in checking out the free-to-play app, you will have to install it. Here is how to install (and play) Roblox on a Windows PC. Quick tip: To play Roblox on a PC, your computer will need to be running at least Windows 7 or newer. It's also available for Mac, iOS, Android, and Xbox One. How to download Roblox on a Windows PC1. Go to If you don't have a Roblox account, go ahead and create one here by filling out the sign-up form. If you have an account, sign in using the Log In button. Sign up or log in. Insider 3. Once you are logged in, select the game that you want to play by clicking on it. Select a game. Insider 4. Click the green play button. Click the green play button. Insider 5. Click on the Download and Install Roblox button that appears. This will download the installation file to your computer. Click Download and Install Roblox. Insider 6. Click the installation file to install Roblox.Note: If you are running the file from outside of your web browser, then you will need to double-click it to install.7. Click the green OK button in the pop-up window.8. Back on the webpage, click the Join button. Click the Join button. Insider 9. In the pop-up that appears, click Open Roblox to start playing the game. Click Open Roblox. Insider Quick tip: If you are using Google Chrome, you can skip step 9 after the first time by clicking the checkbox called Always allow to open links of this type in the associated app.How to redeem a Roblox gift card in 2 different ways, so you can buy in-game accessories and upgradesHow to delete a Roblox account if you're concerned about your child's engagement with the online gaming platformHow to update 'Minecraft: Bedrock' or 'Java' on a computer, console, or phoneHow to download new Minecraft maps and add them to your gameRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 5th, 2021

The 8 best online flower delivery services we tested in 2021

Fresh flowers make a thoughtful and easy gift. We ordered 33 bouquets from 15 brands to find the best flower delivery service. Table of Contents: Masthead StickyFresh flowers are a thoughtful way to commemorate any occasion - they also make great last-minute gifts.We ordered 33 bouquets from 15 well-known brands and had them delivered to 10 testers all over the country.UrbanStems is our top pick for its quality and options, including plants, dried bouquets, and subscriptions.Whether it be a holiday, a milestone, sympathy, or just because, sending fresh flowers is a thoughtful way to let someone know you're thinking of them. And it's easier than ever: a plethora of online delivery services have streamlined the process down to a couple of clicks. There are now dozens of these merchants out there, with a wide array of options - fresh bouquets, live plants, dried or preserved arrangements, subscriptions, and more - all at varying price points. While our reporters and editors have used nearly every one of these services to send loved ones bouquets over the years, we wanted to know exactly how they stack up against one another. To find the best flower delivery service, we ordered 33 arrangements from 15 popular brands, sending the flowers to Insider Reviews team members all over the country. Our goal was to find a service that delivers the freshest, most attractive flowers that arrive on time no matter your location. You can read more about our methodology, and find out more about what services didn't make the cut here.Here are the best online flower delivery services in 2021Best flower delivery service overall: UrbanStemsBest flower delivery service for farm-fresh flowers: Farmgirl FlowersBest flower delivery service for custom arrangements: FloracracyBest flower delivery service for same-day delivery: FTDBest flower delivery subscription: BloomsyBoxBest flower delivery service for preserved roses: RoseBoxBest flower delivery service for fresh roses: Roses OnlyBest flower delivery service for dried bouquets: East Olivia Best flower delivery service overall Lauren Savoie/Maria Del Russo/Rachael Shultz/Insider UrbanStems makes some of the most stunning bouquets we've found and offers something for everyone, with a diverse selection of fresh flowers, dried flowers, plants, gifts, and subscriptions.  Price range: $45 to $185Delivery area: Lower 48 statesSame-day delivery: Yes, in New York City and Washington, D.C. onlyNext-day delivery: YesShipping: $10 to $15, depending on delivery date and methodPros: Lots of options to choose from, including dried bouquets and plants; attractive floral designs in a range of styles, sizes, and pricesCons: Some testers noted flowers lasted a few days less than other brandsUrbanStems offers a robust selection of modern, fresh bouquets, along with dried flowers, plants, candles, chocolate, and subscriptions. It's a great one-stop shop to find something that feels unique to your recipient. We tried the Juliet, Luna, and Double the Pink Champagne fresh bouquets, along with the Aspen dried bouquet and Claude plant. Everything arrived on time and in excellent condition. The arrangements were some of the freshest, most attractive bouquets we tested, and were filled with lively, creative blooms in a range of colors.The bouquets lasted a little over a week — average for fresh-cut flowers — and the dried bouquet and plant are still going strong. The site is also very easy to navigate and lets you filter by occasion, color, price, and more.Read our full review of UrbanStems. Best for flower delivery service for farm-fresh flowers Lauren Savoie/Connie Chen/Insider Farmgirl Flowers offers unique and playful arrangements that change with what's in season and with many blooms sourced from California farmers.Price range: $42 to $250Delivery area: Lower 48 statesSame-day delivery: NoNext-day delivery: Possible, but not guaranteedShipping: $25Pros: Whimsical, in-season blooms; each bouquet is unique; moderately priced; offers some rare flowers; some florals are grown in the US Cons: Surprise bouquets not ideal if you have specific flowers you want to include or avoid; some customers report wilting or short-lived bloomsIf you're after an arrangement that looks like it was recently plucked from the garden, Farmgirl Flowers offers inventive and playful bouquets based on what's in season. Farmgirl's flagship offerings are the Fun Size, Just Right, and Big Love bouquets (formerly Mini, Midi, and Maxi). You don't get to choose what you receive; instead, Farmgirl puts together a bouquet based on what's available and in season. The company's website and social media give you an idea of what to expect, but every bouquet is slightly different, giving it a special, unique feel. I received a Just Right and a Big Love, and had another Just Right sent to a tester in California. I love that the arrangements had a whimsical, wild shape to them, and they were gorgeous from every angle. The Just Right and Big Love both appeared the same size when I first received them, but after a few hours in water, the Big Love's closed buds opened up to create a fuller bouquet. If you want your bouquet to include (or avoid) certain flowers, Farmgirl also offers a few dozen specialty bouquets, including some rare blooms like flower breeder David Austin's Juliet and Patience roses. Best flower delivery service for custom arrangements Lauren Savoie/Connie Chen/Insider Floracracy's custom arrangements are a unique way to mark life's meaningful moments, and make gifting flowers feel incredibly personal and special. Price range: $155 to $350Delivery area: Lower 48 statesSame-day delivery: NoNext-day delivery: YesShipping: IncludedPros: Completely customizable arrangements, online tool helps you choose the right arrangement, beautiful presentation and packaging, thoughtful extras like a petal pressing book and mini shears, letter writing serviceCons: Online tool can be a bit tricky to navigate, lots of packaging (though most is compostable or recyclable), few budget optionsIf you really want to wow your giftee with something special, a custom arrangement from Floracracy is perhaps the most personal flower gift you can buy. Every aspect of the design can be customized, from the shape, to the colors, to the blooms. If you're not sure where to start, the company's design tool walks you through a quiz that lets you select the intended recipient, occasion, and meaning you wish to convey, and then makes a recommendation for you. Each flower is paired with a meaning from the company's thorough research of historical flower symbolism. You're also given the option to write a letter yourself or have the company write one for you based on information you provide.The arrangements we received from Floracracy were the most lush and vibrant we've ever seen from a flower delivery service. Each arrangement comes with a coordinating vase, a handbound book for pressing petals, and an illustrated card with each of the flowers and their meaning. Our blooms lasted almost three weeks; longer than any other arrangement. While this service is pricier and requires some of your time to design, it makes for a truly meaningful and memorable flower gift. Read our full review of Floracracy here. Best flower delivery service for same-day delivery Lauren Savoie/Jenny McGrath/Insider FTD offers hundreds of bouquets, gifts, and plants for delivery in all 50 states and 150 counties, with many options for same-day arrival.  Price range: $40 to $225Delivery area: All 50 states, 150 countriesSame-day delivery: YesNext-day delivery: YesShipping: Starts at $17.99 and varies based on delivery date and order totalPros: Orders filled by local florists; a large selection of bouquets, plants, and giftsCons: Experience can vary based on which florist fills your order, designs are more traditional and less modernWhen you need to send flowers fast, a floral wire service is your best option. Florists' Transworld Delivery Service (FTD) has been in the flower delivery business for more than 100 years and partners with local florists to fufill and deliver orders in all 50 states and more than 150 countries. In many cases, you'll also have the option of same-day delivery. The arrangements lean toward more traditional colors and flowers, instead of more modern or unique designs.Compared to other similar floral wire services, both my testers and I had the better experience with FTD. The bouquets and plants we received were fuller, fresher, and in better condition than blooms from 1-800-Flowers. Of course, since orders are typically filled by local florists, your experience may vary depending on who ultimately fills your order.If you need to send flowers quickly, internationally, or to hard-to-reach places, FTD is the best same-day service we've found.Read our full review of FTD. Best flower subscription Lauren Savoie/Insider BloomsyBox offers a la carte bouquets and plants, but its wide variety of subscription plans are where the service really shines.   Price range: $45 to $70Delivery area: Nationwide, except Puerto Rico and HawaiiSame-day delivery: N/A for subscriptionsNext-day delivery: N/A for subscriptionsShipping: Included in cost of subscriptionPros: Multiple weekly and monthly plans to choose from, offers month-to-month and prepaid plans, bouquets are gorgeous, a la carte bouquets and plants availableCons: Don't get to choose which flowers are in your bouquet, which might not be a good option for those with allergies or petsFlower subscriptions are a great way to brighten someone's day on a more frequent basis — or to liven up your own home with regularly-scheduled blooms. BloomsyBox offers a robust fleet of weekly and monthly subscription options at reasonable prices. You can pay month-to-month or save a few dollars by prepaying for 3-, 6-, or 12-month subscriptions. While the retailer also sells a la carte bouquets and plants, we think it's subscriptions offer the best value.I tried BloomsyBox's priciest subscription: its NYBG Collection. Each bouquet in the subscription curated by the New York Botanical Garden's floral experts and features blooms that are in season. A portion of the subscription goes to supporting the NYBG's plant science and conservation efforts.I'm two bouquets into my 3-month subscription and so far, everything has been stunning. It's a nice treat each month when I get an e-mail in my inbox saying my bouquet is on the way. April's bouquet featured white and purple lilies with a bunch of lush greenery, while March's selection was a springy mix of pink roses and purple veronica. I highly recommend BloomsyBox's subscriptions to anyone looking for a bit of floral cheer on a regular basis. Best flower delivery service for preserved roses Lauren Savoie/Maliah West/Hannah Freedman/Insider Preserved roses are incredibly popular and can last more than a year with proper care. We love Rosebox for preserved roses because of its robust selection of arrangements, vases, and colors.Price range: $89 to $1,119Delivery area: All 50 statesSame-day delivery: Yes, in Manhattan onlyNext-day delivery: YesShipping: $0 to $30, depending on delivery date and order totalPros: More than 20 rose color options, many container types, smell and look like fresh roses, can last a year or longer with proper careCons: Don't have the same feel as real rosesIf you've been on Instagram lately, chances are you've seen these trendy preserved roses somewhere on your feed. Usually packed into boxes or displayed in a classic ball arrangement, these flowers are incredibly popular with influencers and celebrities. We tested three preserved rose brands and found the quality very similar. Ultimately, we chose RoseBox as the best preserved roses for its diverse range of color and display options. We particularly liked that its plentiful display containers had discreet branding or none at all, unlike other preserved rose brands that their cover containers (which can't be separated from the flowers) with logos.  Almost all of RoseBox's 90+ products can be customized with 21 or more different rose color options. One of our testers opted for turquoise, while others opted from more classic red and pink varieties. Preserved roses are expensive, no matter what brand you choose. A single preserved rose will cost you anywhere from $44 to $89, which is the same price as a full-sized bouquet from most of our other top picks. Expect a medium-sized array of preserved roses to cost about $300. That said, they can end up being an economical alternative to buying flowers every week. We're eager to see if our arrangements live up to their purported longevity. Best flower delivery service for fresh roses Lauren Savoie/Katie Decker-Jacoby/Insider As the name implies, Roses Only sells just one product but it does it remarkably well, delivering some of the most pristine, stunning, long-stemmed roses we've ever seen.Price range: $65 to $669Delivery area: All 50 states and internationally to the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Singapore, and AustraliaSame-day delivery: Yes, in New York City and Los Angeles onlyNext-day delivery: YesShipping: $19.95Pros: Stunning roses; beautiful presentation; long-lasting flowers; available in quantities from six to 100Cons: Limited product and color choices.Roses are such a big seller that I made sure every arrangement I received as part of this guide included at least some of them. Having seen the spectrum of what's out there, I can confidently say that Roses Only delivers the most pristine, long-lasting roses I've found.So much care is put into the delivery: the cartoonishly perfect long-stemmed roses (which you can order in quantities of six to 100) come packaged in a long, elegant box with a linen ribbon, and every rose has its own water reservoir to ensure it arrives pristine. The roses themselves are flawless, with big velvety petals. They lasted about two weeks and gradually opened up until each bud was about the size of my palm. At about $8 per flower, Roses Only sells some of the most expensive roses out there, but if it's just fresh roses that you're after, no flower delivery service does it better. Best flower delivery service for dried bouquets Lauren Savoie/Insider Fresh flowers have a short lifespan but dried florals from East Olivia can last for years with proper care and feature inventive colors and textures not found in traditional fresh bouquets. Price range: $55 to $225Delivery area: All 50 statesSame-day delivery: NoNext-day delivery: NoShipping: $12.99Pros: Unique and inventive designs, each arrangement comes with a coordinating vase, options change seasonally, arrangements can last a year or longer with proper careCons: Order processing can take up to five business days, limited edition collections can sell out quicklyNo matter how pretty the bouquet, fresh flowers will all eventually wilt. Dried bouquets are a good solution for those who love the look of florals but hate the upkeep. Some of the most creative and beautiful preserved arrangements we've seen come from East Olivia.The offerings change seasonally, but at the time of our testing the brand featured a winter collection and Valentine's Day collection, both featuring ornamental grasses and filler flowers dyed dreamy pastel colors. We tried The Rose from the winter collection and The Harper (currently out of stock) from the Valentine's Day collection. Each bouquet comes fully arranged and delicately packaged with its own matching ceramic vase. The Rose features miscanthus, pampas grass, ruscus, helecho fern, and bunny tails in varying shades of pink, set in an ivory porcelain vase. It currently lives in my office, where it makes me smile every time I walk past it. I love knowing that I'll get many, many months of enjoyment out of it. The fact that East Olivia's collections change with the season makes each arrangement feel special and limited edition. Order processing can take up to five business days, so you'll want to plan ahead if you plan on gifting one of these dried arrangements, especially considering the limited edition collections can sell out quickly. What else we tested Caitlin Petreycik/Lauren Savoie/Insider We tested 12 brands for our guide to the best flower delivery services. Here are the ones that didn't quite make the cut.What else we recommend and why:Ode à la Rose (starting at $56): Ode à la Rose makes beautiful, minimalist bouquets often consisting of just one to three flower types. The bouquets we received from Ode à la Rose were breathtaking, and this service is a fantastic option if you live in New York City, Philadelphia, or Chicago where you can choose from a wider selection of arrangements and have the option of same-day delivery. However, the selection is limited, especially for nationwide delivery (only 10 bouquets were available for delivery to Boston).Venus Et Fleur (starting at $44): This preserved rose brand delivered fresh-smelling, attractive roses. We loved the quality of the blooms and the creative options available on the site. However, we wished there were more container options; especially those that don't have Venus Et Fleur branding so prominently displayed.Bouquet Box (starting at $99): Bouquet Box offers you a chance to hone your flower arranging skills with a kit of flowers and instructions for arranging them. It's pricey compared to other comparable services, but I really enjoyed the experience and the instructions. I felt like a learned a skill and got a great bouquet; plus, I still use the shears, thorn-stripper, vase, and grid from my welcome kit for my own flower arrangements.Pomp (starting at $75): Pomp just launched this summer and features sustainably-grown flowers from the owners' farms in Colombia. The roses are the stand-out option. We're looking forward to seeing Pomp's selection expand as the brand grows.Fresh Sends (starting at $55): Fresh Sends offers two products: a "regular" or "full" bouquet. You don't know what sort of arrangement you'll be receiving; the offerings change daily. While this is a great option if you struggle with decision fatigue (and the packaging was really fun), the "full" bouquet was quite small for $85.What we don't recommend and why:The Bouqs Co. (starting at $39): Compared to other services we tried, bouquets from the Bouqs were notably smaller and less full. My grand Santa Cruz'n arrangement was supposed to have 120 blooms, but actually came with about half that and several stems were wilted. The packaging also wasn't very protective; my flowers were zip-tied directly to the shipping box with only a single sheet of paper laid over them for protection. Our California tester had a similar experience; her bouquet arrived small and wilted. While we hoped that our experience was an outlier, other review sites have also noted a dip in the quality of Bouqs bouquets in recent years.Rosepops (starting at $32): This preserved rose brand sends its arrangements packed in lidded boxes. When it arrives, you remove the lid and pull on the box strings to "pop" the roses up above the lid of the box for presentation. The popping mechanism was unique (and nice for storage). However, our testers thought the large and prominent logos on all the containers cheapened the presentation, and the website isn't intuitive to navigate.1-800-Flowers (starting at $34.99): While the selection is robust (I counted 53 bouquets available for same-day delivery in my area), the website is a bit tricky to navigate. The bouquet I received was skimpier and less impressive than others from similar services. Our Seattle-based tester noted that the orchid she ordered wasn't packed very well for shipping, and a lot of the gravel and soil in the container was spilled when it arrived. Our flower delivery service testing methodology Lauren Savoie/Insider To find the best flower delivery service, we conducted hands-on testing of every brand in this guide. We ordered two to three arrangements from each brand, evaluating the selection, ordering, and delivery process. We sent bouquets to testers in different parts of the country — including New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, Seattle, rural Colorado, and suburban Connecticut — to see if quality and delivery time varied based on location. In all, we tested 32 bouquets from 15 brands. Here's what we looked for in the best flower delivery service:Ordering: We scrutinized the ordering process of each service, noting whether the website was simple to navigate, what the product selection was like, and how easy it was to place an order. We also looked at shipping options and estimated delivery times.Delivery: We noted whether the arrangements arrived when they said they would (all did), evaluated packaging, and looked at the condition of the flowers when they first arrived. Testers across the country compared notes; we found delivery times and quality consistent across the country.Quality of flowers: We looked for full bouquets of lively-looking flowers that matched the description and photo of the arrangement we ordered online. We read all care instructions and followed them meticulously, noting how long the flowers remained fresh enough to display. Consistency: A good flower service should deliver quality blooms no matter the location of your recipient. Our testers across the country took photos and detailed notes about delivery and bouquet quality to compare experiences. Check out related guides How to keep fresh-cut flowers alive longerThe 8 best chocolates in 2021, according to a professional chocolatierThe best wine subscriptions in 2021The best Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, and other sparkling wines for any budget Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 2nd, 2021

Why America’s Corporate Boards Keep Failing to Diversify

Corporate America is making some gains in expanding its commitment to diversity. According to a new study from The Conference Board, 2021 marks the first time that a majority of S&P 500 companies—59%—have disclosed the racial makeup of their boards. The increased transparency is widely considered an important step in advancing equity and inclusion. At… Corporate America is making some gains in expanding its commitment to diversity. According to a new study from The Conference Board, 2021 marks the first time that a majority of S&P 500 companies—59%—have disclosed the racial makeup of their boards. The increased transparency is widely considered an important step in advancing equity and inclusion. At the same time, The Conference Board’s study found that even with these increased efforts, from the S&P 500 companies that disclose this data, more than 75% of their board members identify as white. Another recent study from Spencer Stuart confirmed this same finding: while S&P 500 companies are adding more people of color to their boards, more than three-quarters of them are white and 70% are men. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Last December, Nasdaq filed a proposal with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to advance diversity on corporate boards. In August 2021, more than nine months later, the SEC approved the rules. Now, all Nasdaq-listed companies are expected to disclose board-level diversity annually. Their boards will also be expected to have two directors from underrepresented groups, including one who is female and another who is either an ethnic minority or LGBTQ+; companies that fail to meet this standard will be required to explain in writing why they do not or if they are taking an alternate approach to meeting diversity expectations. Some have opposed the measures, including the two Republicans on the SEC. Commissioner Hester Peirce registered her opposition in a lengthy statement that, among other things, argued that the new requirements “encourage discrimination and effectively compel speech by both individuals and issues in a way that offends protected Constitutional interests.” Others, such as Harvard Professor Jesse Fried, refuted Nasdaq’s claims that diverse boards are linked to enhanced financial performance, arguing that they do not result in higher stock prices, “the outcome investors actually care about.” Two groups have already filed challenges against these new rules. On October 5, The National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative think tank, submitted a petition to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. This followed an earlier petition filed by the Alliance for Fair Board Recruitment in opposition to the decision. The Alliance has a history of opposing diversity measures: This past July, after California announced its own mandates to help diversity corporate boards, the Alliance took legal action against the state, calling the measures “unconstitutional and patronizing social engineering.” While many have debated Nasdaq’s proposal and although many continue to do so, what’s missing is a larger conversation about board diversity. Rather than focusing on symptoms and which band-aids to apply, perhaps it’s time to ask a more pressing question: Why are corporate boards failing to become more diverse? In 2020, the Institutional Shareholder Service’s ESG division found that underrepresented ethnic and racial groups make up only 12.5% of corporate boards. This proportion does not reflect the composition of America, 40% of which is made up of ethnic and racial minorities. Moreover, the 12.5% number reflects a mere 2.5% jump since 2015. Despite claims to change, corporate boards have remained overwhelmingly white. They have remained overwhelmingly male, too. In Deloitte’s 2017 study on Women in the Boardroom, women—who make up more than half the world’s population—made up less than 15% of board seats at the largest companies and less than 4% of board chairs. Two years later, the same study found that women held only 16.9% of board seats globally and 5.3% of board chairs. These are marginal gains in an industry clamoring for more diverse representation. To quote the authors of a 2021 study by the Alliance for Board Diversity and Deloitte, “progress has been painfully slow.” The greatest obstacle to board diversification is outmoded approaches to board recruitment. Typically, boards rely on their own networks to recruit for positions in their boards. And our networks are not socially neutral. For instance, the 2013 American Values Survey found that 75% of white Americans have “entirely white social networks without any minority presence.” Juxtapose this with Deloitte’s 2021 report on board diversity, and it comes as no surprise that about 80% of board directors in the Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 are white. This also helps explain their finding that the fastest growing underrepresented group in these boards is white women. In addition to their relatively low numbers, 36% of underrepresented directors serve on multiple Fortune 500 boards, a “recycle rate” far higher than their white counterparts. The industry’s overreliance on a select few individuals who meet their diversity goals reveals a deeper recruitment problem. In addition to expanding their networks, leaders must also expand their definition of who will bring value to their boardroom. Until that happens, our pools will remain limited—and the ocean will remain largely untapped. We hear this refrain often when working with corporate boards to help them diversify. There just aren’t that many candidates to choose from. But there’s an affinity bias here that remains unchecked. Board members have a bias towards what a good board member looks like, and too often, it looks a lot like what they have seen before. This does not just refer to visible attributes that reflect our own; we measure value based on what we have known to be valuable. The challenge, though, is that our outlooks are limited by our experiences. Acknowledging our affinity bias is the first step to recruiting and retaining diverse talent. If we can recognize our own barriers to valuing diversity, then we can begin working to remove those barriers. This step requires us to look within, honestly and openly, and identify how our biases might be driving our behaviors and our decision-making. A second practical step is to appreciate what the research bears out: that different kinds of diversity bring value to a boardroom. To truly unlock value, corporate boards must expand their views of what diversity means. Instead of focusing on single aspects that directors can offer, they must begin balancing the unique skillsets, perspectives, and cognitive approaches that each director brings to the table. Third, in recognizing their biases and in expanding their views of diversity, corporate boards must look to expand their recruiting pipelines. There’s not a talent gap. There’s an equity gap. The reason we have difficulty finding people from marginalized groups for corporate boards is encoded in the way we refer to them: they are marginalized. Board directors have to make the concerted effort to go beyond their existing networks in order to recruit diverse talent. Change comes slowly, yes, and institutional change is even slower. But change is inevitable, and our future course is clear. So the only outstanding question is this: Will corporate leaders have the courage to lead change, or will they remain stuck in the past?.....»»

Category: topSource: timeOct 29th, 2021