TIME Brands

McDonald’s May Be Adding Kale to the Menu

Bloomberg—Getty Images A box of chicken nuggets, left, sits beside a portion of french fries at a McDonald's restaurant, operated by McDonald's Holdings Co. Japan Ltd., in Tokyo, Japan, on Jan.7, 2015.

Would you like greens with that Big Mac?

Some industry analysts believe McDonald’s may soon add kale to the menu.

A report from analysts at Janney Capital Markets to clients stated that “McDonald’s U.S. plans to roll out kale as an ingredient in its restaurants at some point in the not-too-distant future,” CNN reports. The fast-food giant plans to incorporate the leafy green in salads, and possibly a smoothie.

A company spokesperson would not confirm the rumors to TIME, only saying: “As we continue to listen to our customers, we’re always looking at new and different ingredients that they may enjoy.”

Steve Easterbrook was appointed CEO of McDonald’s in March, and the company has since rolled out a number of changes that cater to the concerns of health-conscious America. Last week, McDonald’s announced new standards for the chicken offered on its menu, promising that the animals would only be treated with antibiotics for legitimate health reasons. In addition, the low-fat white milk and fat-free chocolate milk “Milk Jug” products, popular Happy Meal items, will be sourced from cows not treated with the controversial growth hormone rbST.

[CNN]

Read next: Why Burger King Dropped Soda from the Kids Menu

 

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TIME Brands

McDonald’s February Sales Decline as New CEO Takes Helm

Cars move past a McDonald's in lower Manhattan on February 9, 2015 in New York City.
Spencer Platt—Getty Images

Restaurant chain reports a sharp drop in domestic same-store sales for February

McDonald’s may have a new CEO, but the fast-food chain’s U.S. sales woes remain firmly in place.

The restaurant chain on Monday reported a sharp 4% drop in domestic same-store sales for February, badly underperforming the 0.7% drop expected by analysts. The decline was due to “ongoing aggressive competitive activity,” according to McDonald’s.

McDonald’s has reported weak results at home for over a year, hurt by changing preferences as so-called fast-casual chains that churn out healthier meals quickly for just a few bucks more than what McDonald’s charges have taken some of the fast-food giant’s business. The company has a new CEO, Steve Easterbrook, who took over the reigns after a relatively short tenure by Don Thompson.

The weak February sales signal that challenges that lie ahead for Easterbrook. McDonald’s has faced calls that the company’s board also needs a shake up, and the company is moving to improve its image by taking high-profile steps, including only serving antibiotic-free chicken, and later this year using milk from cows not treated with an artificial growth hormone.

Overall, McDonald’s same-store sales slid 1.7% across the entire corporation, worse than the 0.3% drop projected by analysts surveyed by Consensus Metrix. Same-store sales slipped 4.4% in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa region but rose 0.7% in Europe.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com.

TIME Retail

These Are the States Smoking the Most Smuggled Cigarettes

cigarettes
Getty Images

Great variation of cigarette taxes between states creates net inflows of smuggled cigarettes for some, while others report net outflows

Tobacco consumption in America has declined consistently since the surgeon general’s office published its first report in 1965. However, more than 18% of adults still identified as smokers in 2013, and in many states, demand for tobacco is high enough to justify large-scale smuggling operations. In New York, a nation-leading 58% of the cigarette market was smuggled in 2013. The share is so high that it hardly fits the description of an underground market.

Cigarette taxes vary greatly between states, and therefore, so do cigarette prices. According to the recent Tax Foundation report, “Cigarette Taxes and Cigarette Smuggling by State, 2013,” this creates arbitrage opportunities for smugglers — that is, the profiting from asset price differences. As a result, some states have net inflows of smuggled cigarettes, while others report net outflows. Based on smuggled cigarettes consumed as a percentage of total cigarettes consumed in 2013, these are the states with the highest cigarette smuggling rates.

Click here to see the states smoking the most smuggled cigarettes

Smuggling can take a variety of forms, from casual smuggling, when individuals purchase cigarettes at a discount across state lines for personal consumption, to commercial smuggling, which could mean large-scale criminal organizations. The severity of these crimes varies considerably, and depending on state regulations, many acts of smuggling go completely unnoticed. For our purposes, cigarette smuggling is defined broadly as an avoidance of cigarette taxes.

A state’s cigarette tax is the largest contributor to the smuggling rate. The tax rate on cigarettes in all but two of the nine states where smuggling is most common exceeded the national average rate of $1.44 per pack. In New York, the tax rate is $4.35 per pack, the highest in the nation. Neighboring Vermont, Pennsylvania, as well as nearby New Hampshire, all had much lower tax rates, as well as net outflows of contraband tobacco.

In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., Scott Drenkard, economist and manager of state projects at the Tax Foundation, as well as the author of the Tax Foundation’s report, explained that in states that have much higher taxes than other states, and not very much separation geographically, the likelihood of smuggling increases dramatically. The problem, according to Drenkard, “is that we have a price prohibition on these products because we’ve taxed them at such high rates in some states.” As in the 1920s, “when you have prohibition you’re going to have bootlegging [and] you’re going to have arbitrage,” Drenkard said. “You have the same economic engines at work that create these black markets.”

In addition to the high tax rate variance between states, there is the added opportunity for smugglers to buy cigarettes in Indian reservations where tobacco is often far less expensive. New York, New Mexico, Arizona, Wisconsin, and Washington are all near Indian reservations that likely influence the smuggling rate considerably.

While smuggling cigarettes was extremely lucrative for many smugglers, large-scale or small, smoking cigarettes was relatively uncommon in all of these states. The percentage of adults who identified as smokers in 2013 exceeded the national smoking rate of 18.2% in only two of the nine states reviewed. According to Drenkard, many states have increased excise taxes in order to generate revenue and bolster failing budgets. State reserves as a percent of general fund expenditures in fiscal 2014 — also known as a rainy-day fund — did not exceed the average for the nation in seven of the nine states with the highest smuggling rates.

For Drenkard, levying such so-called “sin taxes” is extremely problematic. For one, “it makes long-term planning for your budget very difficult, [especially] if you have such a large portion of your revenue coming from an activity that you’re actively trying to discourage.” Many of these states have generated relatively large shares of revenue from a tobacco tax. In 2012, state and local tax revenues accounted for at least 2.5% of total revenue in five of the nine states. By contrast, the national average tobacco tax contribution to revenue was 2.2%.

To identify the states smuggling the most cigarettes, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed smuggled cigarettes consumed as a percent of total cigarettes consumed in 2013 from the Tax Foundation’s February 2015 report, “Cigarette Taxes and Cigarette Smuggling by State, 2013.” Only states with smuggling rates greater than 25% were considered. For the Tax Foundation, a positive percentage is a measure of inflow, while a negative percentage indicates an outflow of smuggled cigarettes. Tax rates, smuggling rates from 2006, and percentage point change data also came from the Tax Foundation. Local tax rates, state and local tax revenue figures, and tax burdens are from the Tax Policy Center and are as of the most recent period available. The percent of adults who smoked in 2013 is from the Kaiser Foundation. Rainy-day funds, or reserves as a percentage of general fund expenditures in fiscal year 2014 were provided by Pew Charitable Trusts.

These are the states selling the most contraband cigarettes.

9. Utah
> 2013 consumption smuggled: 27.3%
> 2013 cigarette tax rate: $1.70 (14th highest)
> Smoking rate: 10.3% (the lowest)
> Pct. point change smuggling rate (2006-2013): 14.5 (6th highest)

More than 27% of all cigarettes consumed in Utah in 2013 were smuggled into the state, the ninth highest percentage among all states. The share of smuggled cigarettes consumed has also risen by 14.5 percentage points since 2006, the sixth largest surge nationwide. The increase is largely due to the state’s cigarette tax of $1.70 per pack, which was not only one of the highest such tax rates in 2013, but it had also increased 145% since 2006 — also one of the largest tax rate changes. As in many other states where smuggling cigarettes is common, criminals often buy cigarettes at a discounted price in nearby states and resell them in Utah. Neighboring Idaho, Nevada, and Wyoming, where cigarettes are taxed at less than $1.00 per pack, all reported net outflows of smuggled cigarettes. The high cost of tobacco may also have helped discourage smoking altogether. Roughly one in 10 Utah adults were smokers in 2013, the lowest smoking rate compared to other states.

ALSO READ: The Cities Where No One Wants to Drive

8. Texas
> 2013 consumption smuggled: 27.4%
> 2013 cigarette tax rate: $1.41 (22nd highest)
> Smoking rate: 15.9% (5th lowest)
> Pct. point change smuggling rate (2006-2013): 12.6 (8th highest)

While the cigarette tax rate of $1.41 per pack in Texas was slightly lower than the national average rate of $1.44 per pack, the tax rate rose 244% between 2006 and 2013, the third highest increase nationwide. The spike may be especially shocking to Texas residents, who are perhaps more accustomed to relatively low taxes. Texas residents paid just 7.5% of their average personal income in state and local taxes in 2011, nearly the lowest nationwide. Tobacco smuggling is on the rise. More than 27% of all cigarettes consumed in the state were smuggled in 2013, up nearly 13 percentage points from 2006, a larger increase than in all but a handful of states. While Texas’ smuggling rate was among the highest in the country, the smoking rate was not especially high. Less than 16% of Texas adults smoked in 2013, one of the lowest smoking rates in the country.

7. Wisconsin
> 2013 consumption smuggled: 31.2%
> 2013 cigarette tax rate: $2.52 (7th highest)
> Smoking rate: 18.7% (21st lowest)
> Pct. point change smuggling rate (2006-2013): 18.1 (3rd highest)

Cheaper cigarettes in comparatively low tobacco tax states are within reach of Wisconsin residents and businesses. Indiana and Missouri, for example, which both reported net outflows of smuggled cigarettes, and have lower tax rates, are less than a day’s drive from Wisconsin. With a 2013 cigarette tax rate of $2.52 per pack — the seventh highest rate nationwide — many people in Wisconsin likely purchase tobacco elsewhere. In 2013, more than 31% of all cigarettes consumed in Wisconsin were smuggled into the state, also the seventh highest share compared with all states. Despite the smuggling problem, however, Wisconsin’s tax revenue from tobacco grew by 115.8% between 2002 and 2012, higher than the national growth rate of 93.6%. By 2012, tobacco tax revenue accounted for more than 4% of total state revenue, the third highest proportion nationwide.

6. California
> 2013 consumption smuggled: 31.5%
> 2013 cigarette tax rate: $0.87 (18th lowest)
> Smoking rate: 12.5% (2nd lowest)
> Pct. point change smuggling rate (2006-2013): -3.1 (23rd highest)

The high frequency of cigarette smuggling did not prevent local and state tobacco tax revenues from growing substantially in most other states. California’s revenue from tobacco taxes shrank by nearly 19% between 2002 and 2012, however, nearly the largest decrease in the nation. The state’s exceptionally low cigarette tax rate of $0.87 per pack in 2013 — unchanged from 2006 — likely accounts in part for the decline in revenue. The state’s nation-leading sales tax of 7.5% is likely a greater factor contributing to smuggling opportunities. More than 31% of all cigarettes consumed in California were smuggled in 2013, the sixth highest share nationwide. Yet, Californians are among the the least likely to pick up smoking, with 12.5% of adults reporting a smoking habit, nearly the lowest smoking rate.

ALSO READ: Cities Where Crime is Plummeting

5. Rhode Island
> 2013 consumption smuggled: 32.0%
> 2013 cigarette tax rate: $3.50 (2nd highest)
> Smoking rate: 17.4% (16th lowest)
> Pct. point change smuggling rate (2006-2013): -11.2 (6th lowest)

In 2006, more than 43% of all cigarettes consumed in Rhode Island were smuggled into the state, the highest share nationwide at that time. By 2013, smuggling had become less common, dropping by 11.2 percentage points, one of the larger drops in the nation. The state’s cigarette tax increased by 42% over that period as well, to $3.50 per pack, the second highest such tax rate in the country. Rhode Island adults were less likely to be smokers than most Americans. Yet, 4.6% of the state’s total revenue in 2012 came from tobacco taxes, the second highest share in the country and more than double the national tobacco tax contribution of 2.2%. Smuggling cigarettes is perhaps further encouraged by Rhode Island’s sales tax rate, which at 7.0% at the beginning of 2014 was second only to California. The proximity of New Hampshire, which reported the largest net outflow of smuggled cigarettes nationwide, and does not have a sales tax, likely presents even more opportunities to bootleg tobacco.

For the rest of the list, please go to 24/7WallStreet.com.

TIME Companies

RadioShack Files for Bankruptcy

A RadioShack store location sits empty of customers on Feb. 3, 2015, in Richardson, Texas.
Tony Gutierrez—AP A RadioShack store location sits empty of customers, Feb. 3, 2015, in Richardson, Tx.

Troubled electronics retailer will turn space in 1,750 of its stores over to Sprint.

After struggling for years as electronics shoppers shifted online, RadioShack filed for bankruptcy on Thursday, marking an ignominious end for the 94-year-old retailer that had sold the first mass-market computer.

RadioShack, based in Fort Worth, Tx., will sell up to 2,400 of its U.S. stores to General Wireless, an affiliate of Standard General, a hedge fund that led a rescue loan for the retailer last year. General Wireless will then set up “stores within stores” at 1,750 of those locations for wireless network operator Sprint.

“This agreement would allow Sprint to grow branded distribution quickly and cost-effectively in prime locations,” Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure said in a statement. Under the terms of the deal, Sprint would effectively operate a “store within a RadioShack store”, occupying about one-third of the retail space at each. Sprint employees will sell mobile devices and plans on all Sprint brands including Boost and Virgin Mobile.

The rest of the retail outlets locations will be sold at bankruptcy auction.

RadioShack, which filed for bankruptcy in Wilmington, Del., had been the pre-eminent electronics store for decades, selling CB radios and cables and connectors, but had trouble finding its niche in the smartphone era. In its most recent quarter, sales fell 16%, while its quarterly loss — the 11th in a row — swelled to $161.1 million from a loss of $135.9 million a year ago.

RadioShack said in its Chapter 11 filing that it had $1.2 billion of assets and $1.39 billion of debts. The company said that a lender group led by DW Partners has agreed to give it a $285 million loan to operate while in bankruptcy.

The liquidation of Circuit City Stores in 2009 was expected to give other electronics retailers some breathing room, but Amazon.com kept eating away at their market share.

For a link to the all court filings pertaining to the bankruptcy case, click here.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.

TIME Food & Drink

These Are the Beers Americans No Longer Drink

bar-beer
Getty Images

Major beer brands can still point to the last recession as a contributing factor to their current slump, in addition to beer price dynamics

This post is in partnership with 24/7 Wall Street. The article below was originally published on 247WallSt.com.

American beer sales have been trending downwards in recent years. After peaking at nearly 219 million barrels in 2008, total U.S. shipments have declined since, reaching just 211.7 million barrels in 2013.

The recent drops in beer sales have been especially pronounced at many of the nation’s top brewers. Total shipments of both Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors have slumped as several of their major brands have lost substantial market share. According to data provided by Beer Marketer’s Insights, American sales of seven major brands, including Budweiser, declined by more than 20% between 2008 and 2013.

According to Eric Shepard, executive editor at Beer Marketer’s Insights, major beer brands can still point to the last recession as a contributing factor to their current slump. “The people that got hit hardest in the economic recession were your mainstream beer drinkers — lower- to mid-income males, 25 to 34 [years old],” Shepard said.

Another key factor in the weakening sales has been price dynamics. “Beer prices were increased more aggressively over the last five years than wine and spirits,” Shepard said. Many people in the industry believe that, as a result, some customers replaced buying beer with the now relatively less expensive wines and spirits, he explained.

Several other products were also gaining at the expense of big brand-name beers, Shepard noted. While some customers have been moving to wine and spirits, others were switching to imported beer, particularly Mexican imports. Indeed, in the five years through 2013, shipments of Mexican brands Dos Equis and Modelo Especial more-than doubled. Similarly, he added, “Some [drinkers] are moving to craft [beer]. Clearly, there’s been a trade-up in the industry.”

Craft beers have largely bucked the overall downtrend in beer sales. From 2008 to 2013, shipments of craft beer rose by 80.1% to a total of more than 16 million barrels, or 7.6% of the U.S. beer market. While the craft beer category now outsells Budweiser, it remains a relatively niche market. For comparison, the nation’s top-selling brand, Bud Light, shipped 38 million barrels in 2013, accounting for 18% of all beer shipped.

While the last few years have been difficult for many large brewers, they, too, have been introducing new products that combine well-known brand names with new concepts that appeal to consumers. In recent years, Anheuser-Busch has introduced Bud Light Platinum, a higher alcohol content beer with a sweeter flavor; Bud Light Ritas, a margarita-inspired malt beverage; and Shock Top, its own take on craft beer. As of last year, these three brands had captured 2% of the overall beer market.

To identify the seven beers Americans no longer drink, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed figures provided by Beer Marketer’s Insights for all brands with more than 1 million barrels shipped in 2008. All of these seven brands reported a 20% or more decline in shipments in the five years through 2013.

These are the beers Americans no longer drink.

7. Miller High Life
> Sales loss (2008-2013): -21.2%
> Brewer: MillerCoors
> Barrels shipped (2013): 4,000,000

Shipments of Miller High Life declined by 21.2% between 2008 and 2013, from more than 5 million barrels to 4 million barrels last year. High Life, known for its tagline as “The Champagne of Beers,” has been in production since 1903, although during prohibition the brand was used to market non-alcoholic drinks. While the brand is now over 110 years old, ownership of Miller Brewing has changed hands several times. In 1970, Miller was bought by cigarette maker Philip Morris. In 2002, Philip Morris, now called Altria, sold most of its stake in Miller to South African Breweries, which then changed its name to SABMiller. In 2007, SABMiller and Molson Coors Brewing merged their U.S. operations in a joint venture called MillerCoors.

6. Miller Lite
> Sales loss (2008-2013): -22.6%
> Brewer: MillerCoors
> Barrels shipped (2013): 13,700,000

Miller Lite states that it is “the original light beer,” having launched the category in 1975. Miller Lite’s ad campaign to introduce Miller Lite to the American consumer included the now famous tagline “Great Taste, Less Filling.” Even after sales declined by 22.6% from 2008 through 2013, Miller Lite remains an industry heavyweight, shipping 13.7 million barrels last year, or 6.5% of all U.S. beer shipments. Yet, Miller Lite remains far smaller than rivals Coors Light and Bud Light, which shipped 18.2 million and 38.1 million, respectively. These two brands alone accounted for 26.6% of the U.S. beer market in 2013.

5. Budweiser
> Sales loss (2008-2013): -27.6%
> Brewer: Anheuser-Busch InBev
> Barrels shipped (2013): 16,000,000

Budweiser is one of the most famous brands in the world. Created in 1876, Budweiser quickly established itself as a national brand through, at the time, innovative production and distribution methods. These included introducing pasteurization to the beer industry as well as refrigerated rail cars. Today, Budweiser is owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, which was formed after Belgian brewer InBev acquired American beer titan Anheuser-Busch for $52 billion in 2008. The sale of an iconic American brand to a foreign company initially caused some outrage. However, Americans themselves are drinking far less Budweiser than in years past. Shipments of the brand fell nearly 28% between 2008 and 2013.

For the rest of the list, please go to 24/7WallStreet.com.

TIME Brands

Coca-Cola Is About to Start Selling a New Protein-Packed Milk

In this Friday, Jan. 23, 2015 photo, Fairlife milk products are on display in an Indianapolis grocery store.
Michael Conroy—AP In this Friday, Jan. 23, 2015 photo, Fairlife milk products are on display in an Indianapolis grocery store.

It's lactose-free and packed with 50% more protein than regular milk

Coca-Cola announced plans Tuesday to distribute a premium protein-packed milk under Minute Maid’s Fairlife brand across the U.S. next month.

The lactose-free milk will contain half the sugar of regular milk, 50% additional protein and 30% greater calcium, reports USA Today. Customers will be able to choose among whole milk, fat-free, chocolate and reduced-fat options with prices ranging from $3.98 to $4.20.

“I hope it’s Coke’s next billion-dollar brand,” said Fairlife CEO Steve Jones.

Coca-Cola’s decision to increase the milk’s protein content corresponds with an increased demand for protein among consumers. Data shows 71% of shoppers seek more protein in their diet, according to findings from market-research firm NPD Group.

Coca-Cola is hoping its premium milk will help boost sales, as fresh or pasteurized milk retail volume sales declined by 3% last year. Sales of carbonated beverages are also falling.

[USA Today]

TIME Companies

RadioShack May Sell Off Stores As Bankruptcy Looms

US-BUSINESS-RADIO SHACK
SAUL LOEB—Getty Images A RadioShack consumers electronics store is seen in Falls Church, Virginia, Dec. 30, 2014.

Reports suggest troubled retailer is in talks to sell half of its more than 4,000 stores to Sprint

Troubled electronics retailer RadioShack is reportedly close to filing for bankruptcy and is in talks to sell half of its more than 4,000 stores to Sprint while shuttering its remaining locations.

That’s according to Bloomberg, which cites anonymous sources in reporting that the Fort Worth, Texas-based retailer is close to a deal that would see the RadioShack locations sold to Sprint operated under the wireless carrier’s name. Under those terms, the deal would represent the end of RadioShack’s existence as a stand-alone retailer once the rest of its locations are closed. The deal is not yet finalized and could still fall apart, or the two companies could agree on a co-branding arrangement, Bloomberg’s report noted.

In January, The Wall Street Journal reported that the 94-year-old RadioShack was preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection by February after reporting losses in each of the last 11 quarters. The chain reported worse-than-expected losses in September and required help from hedge fund Standard General, which led a financing that helped RadioShack continue operating through the holiday season.

Now, the Journal reports that Standard General, which became RadioShack’s biggest shareholder last year, is in talks to be the lead bidder in the troubled chain’s potential bankruptcy auction. The Journal cites anonymous sources in reporting that Standard General could become the so-called stalking horse, or the first bidder, in a court-supervised auction of RadioShack’s assets. The hedge fund could also potentially purchase a slimmed-down RadioShack that has fewer stores, the paper said.

RadioShack’s stock fell during Monday’s trading session and is down nearly 90% in the past year.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.

TIME Brands

Fast-Fashion Apparel Giant H&M Opening More Stores as Profit Soars

Shoppers And Retail Economy As German Investor Confidence Jumps
Bloomberg—Getty Images Pedestrians carry Hennes & Mauritz AB (H&M) branded shopping bags in Mannheim, Germany, on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015.

Swedish retailer says its profit leapt 17% in 2014, plans 400 new stores

Hennes & Mauritz AB, more commonly known as H&M, has announced plans to open 400 new stores in 2015, a move that comes after the Swedish retailer reported profit leapt 17% for the latest year. Here are the most important points from the retailer’s latest earnings report.

What you need to know: H&M, a major powerhouse in the world of retail, is accelerating store opening plans in 2015 and intends to open an additional 400 stores on top of the 3,511 locations it already operates. In 2014, H&M opened 379 new stores. The new store openings for this year will mostly occur in China and the U.S., although H&M said it will debut in several new markets this year, including South Africa, India, and Peru.

The U.S. is the company’s second-largest sales market after Germany, and an important growth market. H&M opened 51 stores in the U.S. last year — that’s more than any other market outside China, where 86 stores were added. Sales in the U.S. leapt 26%, among the better-performing markets for the year ending on Nov. 30, although H&M’s sales grew broadly across all major markets.

H&M is a fast-fashion purveyor that turns around trend designs quickly, taking away business from teen-focused retailers and other rivals that take a longer time to respond. Sales growth in the U.S. has far outpaced those reported by Gap, for example, while teen retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch have seen their businesses suffer a bruising decline as tastes have changed in favor of H&M and rival Forever 21.

The big number: Profit for the full year after taxes totaled 19.98 billion Swedish kroner ($2.4 billion in U.S. currency), up 17% from a year ago. H&M gave an early indication that sales growth will continue to remain strong early in 2015, with sales up 15% in December and expected to rise 14% in January.

What you might have missed: H&M also unveiled a plan to launch a new beauty concept with an initial debut in about 900 stores and online beginning this fall. The new concept will comprise of a range of make-up, body care, and hair care items, and will replace H&M’s current own-brand cosmetics line. H&M didn’t say much about the line, or why it was changing its strategy in beauty, although the move is the latest step by the apparel chain to diversify its product range.

H&M last year debuted a sport-focused line, and also expanded the amount of shoes it sold in some of its stores. Sportswear, which has been an increasingly popular apparel trend that has boosted results for Nike and Under Armour in the U.S., has lured H&M, Forever 21, and other rivals that haven’t traditionally focused on that category. For example, H&M’s U.S. online store lists 124 items for women under sportswear, selling a range of clothes meant for the gym or even to be worn more casually, and not necessarily for athletic purposes. That’s a dominant trend in retail today, as yoga pants take the place of jeans for everyday wear (in one of many examples).

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com.

TIME Brands

Yahoo to Spin Off Alibaba Stake

Deal would let the Internet portal cash in on its stake while paying minimal taxes

Yahoo plans to spin-off its multi-billion dollar stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba into a separate company in an effort to cash in on its investment in the company tax-free.

The proposed transaction, which Mayer released today in conjunction with Yahoo’s fourth quarter earnings, will create an independent company called SpinCo. This publicly traded entity will absorb all of Yahoo’s 384 million Alibaba shares, worth $40 billion. Those shares will then be distributed to Yahoo’s investors.

The move comes amid pressure on Yahoo by activist shareholder Starboard Value to sell the Alibaba stake while paying minimal taxes.

When Alibaba went public last September, it marked the largest IPO of all time. Yahoo sold $9.4 billion worth of Alibaba shares in the IPO. Since then, Yahoo shareholders have argued that the company’s stake in Alibaba is worth more than Yahoo itself.

Since taking the CEO job over two years ago, Marissa Mayer has coasted on Yahoo’s fortuitous early investment in Alibaba. The company has returned $9.7 billion in proceeds from that investment through share repurchases. After this spin-off, that figure will total $50 billion. “This level of capital return is historic, especially for a company of our size,” Mayer said in a statement.

In the release, she touted the expertise of Yahoo’s tax lawyers in executing the complex transaction.

SpinCo will own a 15.4% stake in Alibaba.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com.

TIME Brands

There’s Still Time to Get Your Free Burrito from Chipotle Today

Restaurant Chain Chipotle Warns Climate Change Could Force Guacamole Off The Menu
Joe Raedle—Getty Images A Chipotle restaurant is seen on March 5, 2014 in Miami, Florida.

But you have to order their "sofritas" first

Chipotle really, really wants you to try its new tofu.

On Monday, Jan. 26th, the Mexican chain is offering free food for customers who order their new organic tofu Sofritas. Here’s the deal: All you have to do is buy one of their entrees made with the vegan-friendly protein today, bring your receipt back to any Chipotle location from Jan. 27 through Feb. 15 and you’ll get a free burrito, burrito bowl, salad or tacos.

It’s basically a buy-one, get-one-free kind of thing — but, hey, a free burrito is a free burrito no matter when you redeem it.

So what exactly are you buying in order to get that free size-of-a-small-baby burrito? In Chipotle’s own words, Sofritas are made “organic tofu from Hodo Soy that we shred and then braise with chipotle chilis, roasted poblanos, and a blend of aromatic spices. The result is a delicious, spicy tofu that will give vegans and carnivores something they both will love.”

Keep in mind that should you dislike Sofritas, you can use your next-time “freebie” for anything on the menu — if supplies are still in store. (Those deliciously spicy carnitas are still off the menu at about a third of Chipotle’s locations.)

This article originally appeared on People.com.

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