Loyalty and Rewards
 
Discover and PayPal Collaboration Gives Cardmembers New Way to Redeem Rewards
 
Discover cardmembers can now use their Cashback Bonus or Miles to pay for purchases at millions of online stores through PayPal, giving cardmembers another convenient and flexible way to reward themselves. All eligible Discover cardmembers can easily pay with their Cashback Bonus or Miles using PayPal when they shop online and in apps. Once cardmembers link their Discover card with PayPal, they can instantly redeem any amount of their rewards on eligible purchases at checkout. Discover also will provide yet another opportunity for cardmembers to earn rewards through their partnership with PayPal in 2020. Starting July and running through August 2020, Discover it and Discover More cardmembers can earn 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases when they shop at PayPal and restaurants if activated.
 
 
Partnerships
 
UnitedHealth Group to Open Medicare Centers Inside Walgreens
 
Walgreens Boots Alliance and UnitedHealth Group’s health insurance unit are opening Medicare services centers inside the pharmacy chain’s U.S. drugstores in select markets under a new partnership. Initially, UnitedHealth’s UnitedHealthcare and Walgreens say they will open 14 UnitedHealthcare Medicare services centers effective in January 2020. “Through these centers, Walgreens customers can learn more about Medicare, meet with service advocates to discuss their UnitedHealthcare plan benefits and even enroll in plans,” the companies said in a joint statement.
 
Health insurance companies continue to build closer ties with pharmacy chains. CVS bought Aetna almost a year ago and Humana for nearly 15 years now has had a partnership selling drug plans with Walmart that involves Humana employees that are embedded into the giant retailer’s stores. In its Walgreens partnership, UnitedHealthcare said it will have an employee in the drugstore to help Medicare beneficiaries get questions answered about their benefits and help them enroll in plans among other things.
 
 
Innovation
 
Edible Arrangements Announces New CBD-infused Product Line 
 
Edible Arrangements has announced it is rolling out a new CBD-infused product line - Incredible Edibles. In a release, the company said that it's using "high-quality, traceable CBD" for a new array of items including smoothies, chocolate-dipped fruit and baked goods. CBD sales are expected to top $5 billion this year, a 700% increase from 2018 according to research released earlier this year. Incredible Edibles claims that CBD sales are projected to surpass $20 billion by 2024. Edible Arrangements is the latest brand to jump on the trend. CBD is found in grocery stores, fancy restaurants and even in a special Carl's Jr. burger.
 
Delivery robots that follow you are on sale this holiday season
 
The first cargo-carrying robot marketed directly to consumers is on sale this holiday season. But how many people are ready to ditch their second car to buy a two-wheeled rover? Amazon, FedEx and Ford have already been experimenting with sending delivery robots to doorsteps. Now Piaggio, the Italian company that makes the Vespa scooter, is offering a stylish alternative - albeit one that weighs 50 pounds and costs $3,250. The robot, named “the Gita” doesn’t require a phone or intrusive people-tracking technology such as facial recognition or GPS. According to the brand’s co-founder, “It basically just locks onto you and tracks you.” Other startups like Starship Technologies have a more conventional business plan for their own delivery robots. The company charges a delivery fee starting at $1.99 if you order its rovers to bring you a Starbucks coffee or a lunch from Panda Express.
 
 
Retail
 
Walmart’s Jet.com will no longer deliver fresh groceries
 
Walmart’s Jet.com arm will no longer deliver fresh groceries, roughly one year after it started offering this option in New York. It will shutter a fulfillment center that it was using to make those deliveries.  Instead, it will focus Jet.com on selling dry goods and other general merchandise. Fresh food had been the smallest part of Jet.com’s business, according to a person familiar with the site’s transactions. Earlier in the week, Walmart’s earnings showed just how strong its grocery business has been and continues to be. While Walmart doesn’t deliver fresh food to Manhattan, the retailer’s massive grocery business has made it less crucial for Jet.com to do the same.
 
 
 
 

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