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Since Covid-19 shut his business, he’s made more than 500 shopping trips for senior citizens

He’s had this second job for almost 25 years, but since statewide stay-at-home orders forced him to close his frame shop in late March, it’s become his main source of income.

For the last two months, Dailey, 50, has kept himself busy delivering far more than newspapers. He’s become a lifeline for 120 senior citizens who are afraid to venture out because of Covid-19.

To date, Dailey has made more than 500 trips to the grocery store for them and delivered everything to their homes — for free.

This goodwill effort started when one of his elderly customers asked him to throw the paper closer to her door. A couple days later, while Dailey was in line at the grocery store, the 88-year-old woman popped into his mind.

“If she can’t walk 20 feet to get her newspaper, how is she getting groceries?'” he said. “So, I called her and asked if she needed anything.”

She gratefully accepted his offer and asked for a few items. Minutes later, she called back and asked whether he’d mind picking up some things for her neighbor across the street. After he dropped off their groceries, he had an epiphany.

“I deliver (newspapers) to 450 customers who live in senior developments,” Dailey said. “These are two people who live within a hundred feet of each other who can’t get out to get groceries. What about the rest of them?”

Two days later, all of Dailey’s customers found a note from him tucked in with their newspaper, offering his help.

“I understand during these trying times it is difficult for some to get out of their house to get everyday necessities,” the note read. “I would like to offer my services free of charge to anyone who needs groceries, household products, etc.”

Responses flooded in and word soon spread beyond the customers on his route. Since then, Dailey’s wife, two sons and his mother-in-law have all pitched in by answering the phone and helping with shopping trips.

His 24-year-old daughter, Erin, has become his partner in the effort. They’ve developed a system to keep track of the orders, which average between five to 10 a day. People are asked to fill out a spreadsheet with their contact information, any discount codes they have at various stores, as well as a detailed shopping list.

“For the most part, I try to keep it over e-mail,” Dailey said, admitting that isn’t always possible for his older customers. “Some people don’t have the ability to use technology like e-mail or texting. I have customers where I literally go to their house and pick up the notes off their door.”

After he gets home from his paper route around 7 a.m., Dailey and Erin organize the day’s orders. By 9 a.m., they’re usually at one of their two local supermarkets, where they split up the lists and get to work. Dailey often relies on a few helpful employees to locate any mystery items.

“The other day, I had a list that I was completely overwhelmed with. It had tons of fruits and vegetables and I had no idea what half of these vegetables were,” he said.

Once his car is loaded, they head out to make a round of deliveries. Dailey calls each house when he’s on the way, letting them know the total cost of their items. He drops the groceries in an agreed-upon place — be it the customer’s garage, the trunk of their car or on their doorstep — and picks up a check that reimburses him for the cost of the groceries.

For the last two months, Greg Dailey has been a lifeline for 120 senior citizens who live on his newspaper route.

After a quick lunch at home, they do a second round of shopping and deliveries, usually finishing between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dailey goes to bed early so he can start over again the next morning.

Since starting this routine, they’ve only taken off Easter Sunday. But Dailey says the people he’s helping — he doesn’t like to call them ‘customers’ — make it well worth the effort.

“Some of them, honestly, want to talk. They’re lonely … while others just stand behind their door and give me the prayer hands,” he said. “It just melts your heart. The interaction just eliminates me being tired. It lifts you up and gives you energy because they’re so grateful.”

Joan Coppinger is one of his regulars. She suffers from emphysema, a respiratory disease that puts her at high risk for the virus, so she hasn’t left her home since March. Since her only daughter lives out of state, she says Dailey’s help has been a godsend.

“Without him, I don’t know how I’d get groceries,” she said. “The Instacarts and the people you call are all backed up for weeks.”

“He has a good heart and a great soul. He’s going straight to heaven.”

Dailey hopes to reopen his frame shop in early June, when restrictions are lifted, but knows that as long as Covid-19 remains a threat, there will still be need for his work.

“I thought it would slow down, but I am still getting new people,” he said. “A lot are really scared to go out. I’ve told them, ‘As long as you need me, I’m going to be here.'”

Dailey was recently approached by Love-A-Senior, a Florida-based organization that helps senior citizens, and he now plans to help establish a New Jersey chapter of the group. He knows the seniors he currently supports will remain a part of his life going forward.

“Everything’s been from a distance, but I’ve become very fond of a number of them,” Dailey said. “There’s a bond that’s been created.”

“I honestly can’t wait to give these people a hug.”

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Amazon shopping during the coronavirus pandemic: How to be a more ethical consumer

Perhaps nowhere is this conflict more apparent than with Amazon, which has emerged as a vital lifeline for countless families — with so much demand that it is in the process of hiring another 100,000 workers at its distribution centers — even as there have been concerning reports about the safety of its warehouse workers.
Amazon (AMZN)workers at several of its warehouses have protested in recent weeks, alleging the company has mishandled its response to coronavirus. Some of the concerns include what workers say is pressure to work longer hours at some facilities, inadequate social distancing measures, a lack of worker screening for possible coronavirus symptoms and access to protective gear. Amazon is also facing an investigation from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration into its warehouse near Hazleton, Pennsylvania.

“Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our teams,” an Amazon spokesperson told CNN Business on Friday. “To date, we’ve made over 150 significant process changes at sites around the world to ensure the health and safety of our teams.”

For customers who may feel uneasy about these workplace issues but are desperate for household goods, there are a range of options to shop more consciously, from avoiding unnecessary purchases on the platform and tipping Amazon’s grocery delivery workers handsomely to buying more from local stores online. But there are conflicting views on whether the best way to be an ethical shopper at this moment means not shopping from Amazon at all, especially given its position as one of the biggest hirers during a severe labor market crunch.

“If people choose to work at Amazon, we should respect their decisions,” said Peter Singer, an ethics professor at Princeton University and author of “The Most Good You Can Do: How Effective Altruism Is Changing Ideas About Living Ethically.”

The US Department of Labor announced Thursday that about 6.6 million people filed for unemployment benefits in the last week alone, bringing the number of lost jobs during the pandemic to nearly 17 million. Singer highlighted how delivery services are one of the few areas in which businesses are hiring.
But Christian Smalls, the former Amazon employee who partially organized a protest calling for senior warehouse officials to close the Staten Island, New York, facility for deep cleaning after multiple cases of the virus emerged there, advises otherwise. (The company later fired Smalls, citing he did not stay in quarantine after exposure to someone who tested positive.)

“If you want to practice real social distancing, stop pressing the buy button,” Smalls told CNN Business. “You’ll be saving lives. I understand that people need groceries and certain items, depending where you live, are limited. But people are buying things they don’t need and it’s putting workers’ health at risk.”

Although the issue is complex, shoppers who decide to continue using Amazon, or any online delivery platform, can keep a few best practices in mind.

Only buy the essentials

The most important thing customers can do right now is not give in to the temptation to panic buy a bunch of unnecessary items just because it’s easy to do.

“People should not order things they don’t truly need,” said Dania Rajendra, director of ATHENA, a coalition of 52 organizations that closely scrutinize Amazon’s business practices. “It’s true that people are risking their health and their family’s health to make sure consumers have what they need, so shoppers should remember this and only buy something if it’s important.”

An Amazon spokesperson told CNN Business consumers should prioritize items such as household staples, sanitizers, baby formula and medical supplies.

According to Smalls, a processing assistant at his facility, Amazon shoppers are far from following these guidelines. “We sent out so many non-essential items; things like video games, [sex toys] and Amazon Echos,” he said. “It was really frustrating. Boxes don’t magically just show up on doorsteps. People don’t realize what happens behind the scenes to get them to you.”

The debate over what is and isn’t an essential item isn’t just unfolding within households, but inside state governments, too.

The responsibility of deciding which warehouses stay up and running falls on state governments, many of which are being called on to close local facilities exposed to COVID-19. In Kentucky, an Amazon-owned Zappos facility was still operating after the state instituted a shelter-in-place rule, but Governor Andy Beshear stepped in and ordered it to close, citing sneaker returns were not an essential business.

Bulk buying doesn’t help, but no-rush deliveries might

Even conscientious consumers who want to be disciplined about what they order from Amazon, with an eye toward picking a mix of products that are easier for warehouse workers to handle, may have trouble.

According to Smalls, it’s nearly impossible for a shopper to control what happens inside the warehouse when they place an order. Items are not necessarily organized by certain categories, like they are in a grocery store. That means just because you order a few similar items or a bunch of products at one time doesn’t mean it’ll be any easier on the backend — or that they’ll even ship together.

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed this process to CNN Business, noting it implemented a “random stow and pick” approach about 15 years ago. At the time, it was considered counter-intuitive to how warehouses were traditionally run — for example, toys are not stored with other toys; books are not with other books. But the company said its system has proved efficient over the years and saves its associates time.

Smalls said it doesn’t matter if you order one thing or 17,000 items because it goes through the same process; from receiving to packing to sortation and other buildings. “You’re still putting people at risk,” he said. “One product touches about seven people before it ever gets to your home.”

Perhaps one of the easiest ways shoppers can alleviate some of the stress at warehouses is to choose no-rush delivery. Amazon is incentivizing shoppers to delay arrival dates for digital credits that are redeemable for Amazon Prime downloads, e-books and audio books, and other offerings.

A little kindness can go a long way

Beyond evaluating your spending habits, Patricia Campos Medina, a worker rights advocate and co-director of the Union Leadership Institute at Cornell University, said shoppers can write to governments, which are relying on groups like warehouse employees to keep the economy afloat, demanding workers have the right supplies and equipment to stay protected.

“This is a powerful time for consumers to make a change by demanding how certain workers are treated,” she said. “If Amazon warehouse workers get sick, we will never flatten the curve. If we don’t take care of everyone, we are not taking care of ourselves.”

She also encouraged people to write to Amazon and ask for a broader policy to receive items in one package versus multiple shipments. Sometimes you can request to lump shipments together at checkout; sometimes you cannot.

And for those who continue to shop at Amazon, a little can go a long way in making a meaningful improvement to a delivery person’s job.

“I’d encourage people to set up hand sanitizer and wipes by your front step,” Rajendra said. “Delivery people don’t typically have access to these things, and they can wash their hands outside. It’s also a great time to leave snacks, water and a note saying how much you appreciate them.”

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What the pandemic means for your Easter food shopping

Last year, about 80% of Americans planned to celebrate the holiday, according to the National Retail Federation. In 2019, most people said they planned to spend the day with family and friends and cook a holiday meal.

But people may still want to cook for themselves or their families.

“We are likely to see people still wanting to commemorate Easter in some way,” said Katherine Cullen, senior director of industry and consumer insights for the National Retail Federation’s research team. She noted that the 80% figure has generally held steady “regardless of where consumer confidence is.”

That’s good news for the food companies and retailers that typically get a boost in sales around the holiday. This year, they’re trying to make sure that shoppers are able to get traditional Easter foods, despite the tumultuous time. Still, shoppers may have to plan further ahead than usual or spend a little more.

Here’s what to expect if you plan to cook at home this Easter.


For Honey Baked Ham, Easter is an important time.

“Easter is one of our highest selling volumes times of the year,” Jo Ann Herold, the company’s chief marketing officer, told CNN Business in an email. She added that “demand remains positive for our retail products including ham and turkey.”

This year, Honey Baked is offering $10 off to customers who pick up their hams from stores between April 3 and April 8, ahead of the April 12 holiday.

“We are extending what is typically a 3-day high-volume period to span over 8 days,” explained Dan McAleenan, senior vice president of store operations. By spreading the shopping period out, Honey Baked hopes to reduce crowding in stores. It’s also offering delivery via Uber Eats, limiting the amount of customers who can enter stores, holding special hours for senior citizens and taking other measures to try to keep customers and employees safe.

Meat producer Smithfield Foods is also taking steps to ensure that shoppers are able to get ham this Easter.

The company has added more than 13 million pounds of bone-in and spiral hams this year to meet customer demand, John Pauley, the company’s chief commercial officer of packaged meats, told CNN Business in an email.

He added that the company is also shipping out hams earlier than usual to make sure they arrive on time and working with its retail partners to make sure hams are available online and for pickup.


A surge in demand drove up egg prices in March.
A surge in demand for eggs has sent prices through the roof in recent weeks. To keep up with the shopping frenzy, retailers ordered more eggs than usual, depleting egg producers’ Easter supply.

Farmers can’t instruct their hens to lay more eggs to meet a sudden rush on eggs. But that doesn’t mean that customers won’t be able to find eggs this Easter.

Some institutional egg buyers, like restaurants or cafeterias, are closed. That means that some of those eggs could be redirected to grocery store shelves.

“It does look like the supply side is starting to catch up a little bit,” said Brian Moscogiuri, director and egg analyst at Urner Barry, a commodity market research firm, adding that “prices are finally starting to stabilize.”

Plus, people who stocked up on eggs a few weeks ago might not come back for more now. “Consumers have a lot of inventory in their own refrigerators,” he said. Because of that, producers “likely won’t need that same Easter inventory that they were projecting.”

But, Moscogiuri warned, “we could still see a run on eggs.”

Shoppers should still be able to find eggs for Easter, but they might be pricey. And customers might not be able to buy as much as they want. Some retailers have been limiting sales of eggs to prevent more hoarding. Others might raise prices, either because they’re paying more for eggs or to try to ration supply, noted Moscogiuri.


Just Born makes more than two billion Peeps a year.

Easter is particularly important for niche candy manufacturers, said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, a research and consulting firm.

“It’s really important for Peeps,” he said, because the colorful marshmallow chicks and bunnies are so tightly linked with Easter. Other candy makers, like Hershey (HSY) or Mars, sell their products throughout the year and on holidays like Halloween and Valentine’s Day.
Although people tend to buy perishable food items like ham or eggs just a few days before holidays, they may shop for more shelf-stable goods, like chocolate, ahead of time. And because candy sellers tend to extend their seasons as much as possible, shoppers have been seeing Easter candy on shelves since February.

Under these circumstances, that’s an advantage — especially for Peeps maker Just Born, which has temporarily closed its production facilities in Pennsylvania.

“Thankfully, all of our production was pretty much done, already shipped and on its way to retailers even before the plant closed,” said Matt Pye, senior vice president of sales and marketing.

Just Born makes more than two billion Peeps a year, he said, and most of them are for Easter. It also makes Mike And Ike, Hot Tamales and Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews. The company expects to make most of its Easter Peeps sales right around now.

“The two weeks before any holiday, especially for candy, are the most important,” Pye said.

This year, sales are down up to 12% compared to last year, according to national retailers who sell Peeps, said Pye. That could be because Easter is earlier this year than last, which means there’s a shorter shopping period between Valentine’s Day — the most recent big candy holiday — and Easter.

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Online shopping can be worse for the environment than driving to a store

It may sound counterintuitive, but the more eco-conscious way to shop is going to a physical store rather than by making purchases online from companies that don’t have physical stores, according to a new report Tuesday in Environmental Science & Technology, a peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the American Chemical Society.

In the study, researchers estimated that shopping at brick-and-mortar stores for frequently bought items such as toilet paper, shampoo and toothpaste, often results in less greenhouse gas emissions than ordering the products from a company that only sells through the internet.

The main reason is because of how people shop online: Many buy items online frequently — but they only buy a few items per purchase.

“When they shop in a store, they aggregate these purchases in a single bulk purchase,” noted Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a PhD student in Environmental Science at Radboud University in the Netherlands. He’s one of six researchers who worked on the year-and-a-half long study.

Frequent online purchases produce more packaging waste, and online items tend to come from different distribution centers. Both factors result in higher greenhouse gas emissions per item, said Shahmohammadi.

The team modeled their research on the movement of goods from the factory all the way through to the end consumer.

They then specifically focused on the part of the retail supply chain called “the last mile” delivery: the distance between a store to a customer, or in the case of online shopping, the distance between the distribution center for the goods to the customer.

They analyzed the carbon footprint of the “last mile delivery” for the three most prevalent types of shopping channels in the United Kingdom — physical stores, “brick & clicks” (when people order online and a physical store delivers the items to them), and “pure players” (strictly online sellers). Included in the three models were greenhouse gas emissions estimates from number of products bought, transportation, warehouse storage, delivery and packaging activities.
Global food waste twice as high as previously estimated, study says

The analysis showed that total greenhouse gas footprints per item purchased were higher from physical stores than those from bricks & clicks purchases in 63% of the shopping events but lower than those of pure players in 81% of shopping events in the United Kingdom. In the United States, greenhouse gas emissions from shopping at physical stores were also estimated to be higher than from the brick & click channel, and lower than the pure play channel, on average.

“This pattern holds true in countries where people mostly drive,” said Shahmohammadi. “It really depends on the country and consumer behavior there.”

Walmart vs. Amazon

Walmart (WMT), the world’s largest retailer, employs all three retail models to serve its customers through its website, more than 4,700 stores in the US and its brick & click model.

“Which channel is most efficient in terms of carbon emissions? There is no single answer to that question, because our customers’ lives and purchase patterns are dynamic,” Walmart said in a 2017 company report titled “The Emissions Implications of Modern Retailing: Omnichannel vs. Stores and Online Pure-Plays”.

“Sometimes they sprint to the store to purchase a last-minute toy for a birthday party, and sometimes they stock up on groceries. Sometimes they need it now, and other times next week will do. The better question is: When is each channel most efficient in terms of emissions.”

Walmart said it has extensively studied the greenhouse gas emissions implications of all three retail channels and has efforts in place to curb them. Among them, it provides electric vehicle chargers at more than 100 of its store locations and it works with suppliers to reduce emissions from its global supply chain.
Amazon (AMZN), the world’s largest online retailer, said sustainability is an ongoing commitment at the company. Last year, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced a broad plan to fight climate change, including meeting the Paris climate agreement 10 years early, which will make the company carbon neutral by 2040.

As part of that agreement, the retailer said it has ordered 100,000 new electric delivery vehicles and plans to start using them in the last mile delivery of packages to customers by 2021. It expects 10,000 of them to be on the road in the next two years and all in operation by 2030, “saving millions of metric tons of carbon per year.”

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Celebrity Entertaiment

‘Supermarket Sweep’ reboot hosted by Leslie Jones coming to ABC

Good news nostalgic game show fans!

ABC has officially nabbed the highly anticipated “Supermarket Sweep” reboot with “Saturday Night Live” alum Leslie Jones as host, ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke announced Wednesday, according to Entertainment Weekly.

“I’ve always dreamed of being on ‘Supermarket Sweep,’ ” the 52-year-old comedian said in a statement.

The frenetic Black Friday shopping spree meets “Jeopardy!” show follows three teams of two contestants each as they race through supermarket aisles to see who can grab the most valuable goods before time expires. If that wasn’t challenging enough, shoppers are periodically quizzed on their knowledge of store merchandise.

“The original version was one of my all-time favorites,” says Burke, who is confident that the Jones-hosted reincarnation will appeal to an “entirely new generation of viewers.”

Jones’ new gig couldn’t have come at a better time. After getting turned down as host years ago, she was tapped for both emcee and executive producer roles in August — mere hours after it came out that the comedian had left “SNL.”

“Being able to bring the iconic game show back to life on ABC is my ultimate redemption story!” says Jones.

Despite providing Leslie a showbiz lifeboat, the game show reboot had yet to find a TV home until being picked up by ABC. It’s a fitting acquisition — “Supermarket Sweep” originally aired on ABC from 1965 to 1967. It resurfaced on Lifetime from 1990 to 1995, and then the now-defunct Pax network from 2000 to 2003. The shopping show has also made a splash worldwide with 13 international iterations, reports Variety.

The “Supermarket Sweep” revamp will join an impressive roster of other ABC-acquired reboots, including “Match Game,” “Press Your Luck,” “Card Sharks,” “To Tell the Truth” and “The $100,000 Pyramid.”

Details surrounding the reality show remain sparse, however production on the 10-episode series will begin this spring with the release date to be revealed later.

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Record online sales give short U.S. holiday shopping season a boost: report

(Reuters) – U.S. shoppers spent more online than in retail stores during the shortest winter shopping season in the past six years, with online sales hitting a record high, a report by Mastercard Inc (MA.N) showed.

FILE PHOTO: Shoppers make their way through Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, decorated for the holidays, in Arlington, Virginia, U.S. December 23, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

The holiday shopping season is a crucial period for retailers and can account for up to 40% of annual sales. But this year, Thanksgiving, which traditionally starts the U.S. holiday shopping period, was on Nov. 28, a week later than last year’s Nov. 22, leaving retailers with six fewer days to drive sales between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

“Due to a later than usual Thanksgiving holiday, we saw retailers offering omnichannel sales earlier in the season, meeting consumers’ demand for the best deals across all channels and devices,” said Steve Sadove, senior adviser for Mastercard.

E-commerce sales this year made up 14.6% of total retail and rose 18.8%, according to Mastercard’s data tracking retail sales from Nov. 1 through Christmas Eve.

Overall holiday retail sales, excluding auto, rose 3.4%.

The last shortened shopping season was in 2013, when retail chains and delivery companies scrambled to get packages to shoppers in time for Christmas.

Since then, retailers have invested heavily to provide same-day delivery, lockers for store pick-up and improve their online presence as they battle against retail giant Inc (AMZN.O) for market share.

“E-commerce sales hit a record high this year with more people doing their holiday shopping online,” Sadove said.

Consumers also benefited from a low unemployment rate and rising wages, even as global uncertainty and trade tensions have hit business investment.

The data showed sales at department stores fell 1.8% and online sales growth of 6.9%, emphasizing the importance of click-and-collect and online ordering.

The apparel category registered stronger-than-expected e-commerce growth, Mastercard’s data showed, with online sales rising 17%.

The holiday season was challenging for retailers after Amazon expanded its free return policy to include products that were not previously eligible, giving consumers until January to return even small purchases bought on the website.

The National Retail Federation had forecast U.S. holiday retail sales over the two months to increase between 3.8% and 4.2%. That compares with an average annual increase of 3.7% over the past five years.

The SpendingPulse report tracks spending by combining sales activity in Mastercard’s payments network with estimates of cash and other payment forms but excludes automobile sales.

Reporting by Nivedita Balu; additional reporting by Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru; Editing by Dan Grebler

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Celebrity Entertaiment

The movie and TV fashion that sparked a shopping frenzy in 2019

If you see something, buy something! Check out some of the most inspirational (and shoppable) fashion moments from TV and film in 2019.

Chris Evans’ ‘Knives Out’ sweater

The white knit sweater that launched a thousand tweets is surprisingly wearable, and there are so many similar versions out there if you’re in the market to look as cozy as Captain America. (See them all here).

Brad Pitt’s Hawaiian shirt and tee

Brad Pitt in "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood."
Brad Pitt in “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood.”©Columbia Pictures/courtesy Eve

Leave it to Brad Pitt to make dad’s Hawaiian shirt sexy. In “Once Upon A Time in Hollywood,” his chill stuntman character Cliff effortlessly rocks a yellow button-up and a Champion logo tee — and GQ dudes everywhere demanded they have ’em too.

Palm Wave Men’s Hawaiian Shirt Aloha Shirt, $32 to $39 at; Champion shirt, $12.99 at

Aidy Bryant’s green clogs

Aidy Bryant and Lolly Adefope in "Shrill."
Aidy Bryant and Lolly Adefope in “Shrill.”Allyson Riggs / Hulu

“Saturday Night Live” star Aidy Bryant became a funny fashionista with her sit-com “Shrill,” wearing many peppy, flattering frocks. But viewers were crushed when they learned the clothes are mostly custom-made. However, they were still able to scoop up her fab green clogs.

Rachel Comey clogs, $435 at

Elizabeth Holmes’s turtleneck

Elizabeth Holmes in 2015.
Elizabeth Holmes in 2015.Getty Images

Yes, she’s real. But the disgraced Theranos entrepreneur entered the homes of millions through the TV in the documentary sensation, “The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley” — and they loved her creepy turtleneck. Reports surfaced this fall that there was a shortage of her Steve Jobs-style shirt because Holmes was such a popular Halloween costume.

Heattech turtleneck, $19.90 at

Laura Dern’s red satin gown

Laura Dern in "Big Little Lies."
Laura Dern in “Big Little Lies.”HBO

Renata’s no wallflower on “Big Little Lies,” and she sure proved it on the Season 2 premiere. Laura Dern wore a burgundy lamé wrap gown with a thigh-high slit during a magazine photoshoot, and it became the dream dress of high-end fashion fans everywhere.

Roland Mouret belted wrap-effect lamé gown, $688 at

Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s jumpsuit

Phoebe Waller-Bridge in "Fleabag."
Phoebe Waller-Bridge in “Fleabag.”Steve Schofield

‘Fleabag’ steamrolled into pop culture with iconic characters like The Hot Priest. But it’s also making its mark in fashion. When Waller-Bridge wore a plunging black jumpsuit in the Season 2 premiere of the show, London-based retailer Love quickly sold out of the hot $50 item.

Sleeveless wide leg keyhole jumpsuit, $50 at

Ali Wong’s glasses

Keanu Reeves and Ali Wong in "Always Be My Maybe."
Keanu Reeves and Ali Wong in “Always Be My Maybe.”Doane Gregory / Netflix

It’s not often that a leading lady wears glasses throughout a film, but Ali Wong rocks a slew of sassy frames in her Netflix movie “Always Be My Maybe,” and Tweeters were all about tracking them down.

Arise white gold glasses, $600 at

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Celebrity Entertaiment

The best ‘Star Wars’ gift ideas for Christmas 2019

Please them, you will, with these “Star Wars” treasures.

Whether you’re looking for a gift for a kid obsessed with “The Mandalorian” breakout star “The Child” (aka Baby Yoda) or a grown-up lifelong fan, there’s tons of must-have merch available from the “Star Wars” universe.

Hot picks this year include a Pat McGrath makeup set, the always-classic LEGO set of a droid commander and enough kitchen swag to turn you into a Jedi’s chef.

And with Disney+’s “The Mandalorian” in full swing, there’s more material than ever to spread the love this holiday season.

Here’s a look at this year’s most coveted “Star Wars” gifts, for adults and kids.

Best “Star Wars” gifts for kids

It’s the plush that broke the internet. Baby Yoda plush toys ($24.99) are now available for pre-order — though you won’t be getting it before Christmas. Hey, there’s always the Baby Yoda Black Market!

baby yoda

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This suitcase isn’t just for intergalactic travel. The hard-sided Darth Vader 28-inch spinner luggage from American Tourister is $129.39 at Walmart.

Buy Now

Build your own droid commander, LEGO style ($199.99). This set comes with a “coding” component that will put kids’ STEM knowledge to good use.

Buy Now

Princess Leia gets the Barbie treatment courtesy FAO Schwarz. The collectible Princess Leia doll ($100) comes styled with the princess’ iconic side buns.

Princess Leia

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Best gifts for lifelong fans

Swarovski’s collectible Star Wars crystals include this 1.25-inch-high Master Yoda ($179), crafted with 291 light-reflecting facets.

master yoda

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Complete the collection: This museum-quality 4-foot-tall R2-D2 ($7,500) has meticulous detail, and swivels, beeps, gurgles and whistles like the movie original.


Buy Now

A Disney+ subscription ($6.99 to $12.99 per month) is this generation’s box set: Not only is the whole “Star Wars” library available, but it’s the only place to watch the ongoing series, “The Mandalorian.

disney + movies

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Makeup brand Pat McGrath announced the upcoming launch of its 6-item makeup collection inspired by the characters of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” which will be in theaters Dec. 20. The cosmic-colored collection is expected to go live in mid-December on Pat’s site.

Some kind of Force will be strong after finishing a drink from this barware. “Star Wars” whiskey glasses ($44.95) are etched with Darth Vader and come with ice molds in the shape of Vader. Bottoms up!

star wars whiskey glasses

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Best gifts for “Star Wars” foodies

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge — The Official Black Spire Outpost Cookbook” ($25.99) features innovative recipes (including many plant-based options) from the Disney parks’ newest land.

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They’re the R2-D2s of the cooking world. Five different special-edition Instant Pots ($79.95 to $119) are available from Williams Sonoma, as well as several “Star Wars”-themed Le Creuset pots — some more subtle than others. Check out the full collection here.

Star wars instant pots

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Cyber Monday was the biggest shopping day in Amazon’s history

Amazon rarely releases exact numbers, but it said Tuesday that shoppers ordered “hundreds of millions” of products between Thanksgiving and Monday. It said customers bought more items around the world on Monday than on any other day in Amazon’s two-plus decades of existence. Cyber Monday has been Amazon’s top sales day for several years, outpacing the previous Prime Day and Black Friday.

Shoppers ordered a record number of Amazon devices over the past four days. The Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick 4K, were among the most popular items, the company said.

The five-day shopping extravaganza was popular for toys. Amazon (AMZN) said customers worldwide purchased more toys this Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined than ever before. Hasbro (HAS), LEGO Star Wars Darth Vader’s Castle and a “Frozen 2” edition of Monopoly were the bestsellers.
In the United States, the top items sold were the Instant Pot Duo80, a DNA kit from 23andMe, L.O.L. Surprise! toys and the iRobot Roomba. Amazon also said its fashion items had its biggest sales day ever globally with a Carhartt beanie hat and a Champion hoodie being most popular.
Whole Foods, which is owned by Amazon, also broke its all-time record for turkeys sold during the Thanksgiving season for the third year in a row.

The holiday wasn’t completely rosy for the company. A small number of people protested outside of CEO Jeff Bezos’ apartment in New York City about working conditions in its factories, according to multiple reports.

Amazon’s success over the holidays echos larger industry trends. Cyber Monday notched a total of $9.2 billion in sales, according to Adobe Analytics, a spike of nearly 17% over last year. Shopping on smartphones accounted for 33% of those sales, an increase of 46% compared on the same day in 2018.

“Consumers capitalized on deals and ramped up spending, especially on smartphones, where activity increased on days when shoppers were snowed or rained in,” said John Copeland, head of marketing and consumer insights for Adobe, in a press release. He added that retailers started sales earlier this year to combat the shorter holiday shopping season.

Black Friday grew nearly 20% year over year and notched $7.4 billion in sales and Thanksgiving raked in $4.2 billion in sales, an increase of 14.5% over 2018.

Shoppers have increasingly shifted their shopping online. Brick-and-mortar store sales on Black Friday dropped 6.2% compared to 2018, according to data from ShopperTrak. But foot traffic in stores increased 2.3% on Thanksgiving Day compared with last year, according to the firm.

“There is no longer one way to shop on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday,” said Brian Field, senior director of global retail consulting for ShopperTrak.

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Breaking New

‘Tis the season: Quotes from shoppers ahead of America’s biggest shopping day

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Stuffed with turkey after Thanksgiving feasts, shoppers headed out to stores across the United States in a quest to score the best Black Friday discounts, with early promotions marking the start of a condensed holiday shopping season.

People shop at Macy’s Herald Square during early opening for the Black Friday sales in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., November 28, 2019. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

The following are quotations from shoppers ahead of America’s biggest shopping day.


“I like to get a little head start and see what kinds of deals are coming for Black Friday.”


“There were people here since 4 o’clock … I had to wait in line to get in… I feel bad. They should limit what people can get. People got six TVs in their car … they should have set a limit, like two per family – give everyone a chance to get things.”


“We’ve waited for a month or so to get a new car seat.”


“Right now it’s just warming up – a lot of people are looking more for TVs and electronics so everything’s still smooth … it’ll be about the same tomorrow. I used to miss spending Thanksgiving with my family, but not as much now. I’ve done this three years.”


“I don’t expect that many people tomorrow … they’ll know we’ve run out of the main products with the deals like the TVs … I thought it’d be so crowded you couldn’t even walk. I haven’t heard of any fighting, any arguments.”


“I had a Thanksgiving party yesterday, so coming out tonight is no problem.”


“We’re traveling on vacation … looking for a real good deal.”


“My kids were in the (Macy’s) parade … We’re actually going to have Thanksgiving dinner here.”


“I’m heading back to Kentucky tonight and wanted to try to get some souvenirs and Christmas presents here.”

Reporting by Melissa Fares, Andrew Kelly and Shannon Stapleton in New York, Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles and Richa Naidu in Chicago; Editing by Nick Zieminski

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