In October, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Miami Division, granted a partial victory to MONAT Global by striking down a claim from the plaintiffs for injunctive relief. Though the ruling judge, Darrin P. Gayles, did not allow the plaintiffs’ specific request to move forward, he denied the company’s motion to dismiss the case altogether.
Herbalife Nutrition has agreed to pay a $20 million fine to the Securities and Exchange Commission to settle charges that the company made false and misleading statements in its regulatory filings over a six-year period—between 2012 and 2018—related to its business operations in China, where multi-level marketing is illegal. The statements in the filings indicated that Herbalife paid compensation to service providers in China based on a system of hours worked; however, the SEC alleged the company used its global genealogy system to calculate pay based on commissions for eligible downline purchases. Herbalife consented to the SEC order without admitting or denying the commission’s findings.
Utah-based ARIIX and Florida-based LIMU merged in August, adding LIMU’s 30,000 distributors and customers to ARIIX’s field. ARIIX’s 2018 sales topped $220 million, a 24 percent increase over the prior year.
Continuing to address treatment claims made by CBD companies, the FTC has announced it sent warning letters to three companies. Regulators have not revealed the identities of the CBD companies that received the warnings, though the agency has revealed the substance of the warning letters which include an explanation that it is illegal to advertise a product that can prevent or cure a disease without reliable scientific evidence to back up the claims. The agency reported that the claims made by the companies included such terms as “works like magic” and that the products relieved pain better than prescription opioid painkillers. One of the companies had made claims that its product was clinically proven to treat diseases such as Alzheimers and schizophrenia. The FTC has asked the companies to notify the agency of the actions they have taken to remedy these concerns.
Youngevity continues to add to its global portfolio with the acquisition of BeneYOU, whose assets include nail wrap brand Jamberry, health and wellness and skincare brand Avisae, and health and wellness brand M.Global. According to Steve Wallach, Youngevity’s founder and CEO, the brands will be added to Youngevity’s existing portfolio within its direct selling business segment, which allows for cross marketing of all brands.
In October, President Trump introduced two new executive orders designed to restrain the reach of government agencies and create more accountability among the agencies. The orders require actions such as creating an easily searchable database for all guidance documents utilized by the agencies, thus rendering illegal the practice of keeping some guidance hidden from the public. Additionally, the orders prohibit the agencies from enforcing rules they have not made publicly known in advance. The orders also instruct the agencies to identify the particular statutes or regulations that authorize the penalty they seek, and that all enforcement standards have to be clear in advance of enforcement.
In October, Walgreens conducted the very first drone-based delivery from a store to a local customer in Christianburg, Virginia. The delivery included Tylenol, Halls cough drops, tissues, Emergen-C and bottled water. Walgreens partnered with a subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet, called Wing Aviation. This delivery made Walgreens the first retailer to offer on-demand drone delivery of products. The location was selected by the aviation company. Customers in the selected area have more than 100 products to choose from for drone delivery, as well as six pre-packs.
Despite having fewer days available, online seasonal sales in the U.S. are expected to increase 13 percent, exceeding $136 billion this season, according to an analysis by Salesforce. The report is based on a survey of more than 10,000 consumers and major e-commerce sites. The 2019 holiday shopping season between Thanksgiving and Christmas is six days shorter than 2018’s.
During the 2019 holidays, Best Buy will be offering free next-day delivery on orders of $35 or more, and free standard shipping with no minimum threshold. Thousands of the company’s products sold online will be eligible for the special shipping. Best Buy is joining many retailers attempting to speed up their delivery times, including Amazon, Walmart and Target.
More store closings will begin on Dec. 2, leaving the total number of stores in the Sears/KMart chain at 182. The chain cites the difficult retail environment as its primary reason for the store closures.