SpaceX gets ready for a do-over, and 4 other business stories you can’t miss today
Welcome to the Summer Friday edition of your daily business rundown. We know a lotta y’all like to check out early on Fridays, so we’re keeping this snappy.
ALL SYSTEMS GO?
SpaceX is going for round two tomorrow. The company was going to make history on Wednesday with its first ever crewed space mission but bad weather forced it to pull the plug just 15 minutes before liftoff. And once again, Saturday’s launch (scheduled for 3:22pm ET) may come down to the wire: The latest weather forecast puts the odds of a go or no-go decision at 50/50 — same as round one. We’ll be watching, holding our breath, crossing our fingers, all day.
RARE IPO SPOTTED IN THE WILD
Going public isn’t easy during a global pandemic, which is why you see so few deals happening of late. But the owner of Peet’s just made a big bet on the durability of coffee, raising $2.5 billion in a listing that values the company at a little over $17 billion.
And there’s a good reason investors are confident about Peet’s: The business gets most of its revenue from coffee consumed at home, and home is the new Starbucks for millions of workers under lockdown. Even when money’s tight, coffee stays on the grocery list because a) it is delicious — the perfect drink, full stop, b) it’s cheap, and c) we just need it right now, OK?
TO THE MAXX
It’s been mostly bad news for retailers lately (see J.Crew, Neiman Marcus, JCPenney, etc) but at least one cult-favorite bargain peddler is poised to emerge relatively unscathed from the corona-recession. TJ Maxx is already seeing customers line up as stores reopen — so many, in fact, that the company had to stop opening on Saturdays because it was too hard to enforce social distancing. (We should note that the chain hasn’t been immune to all the turmoil. It said it lost nearly $900 million last quarter.)
Here’s why shoppers are flocking to the store: TJ Maxx offers steep discounts, which are very appealing at a time when consumers are increasingly frugal. And the vast majority of its stores are in strip malls, an advantage over indoor malls during a public health crisis. The Maxx is also well positioned to scoop up all the clothing that has been sitting on retailers’ shelves and in warehouses the past few months.
TWITTER VS. TRUMP
Our surreal Friday started off like this: Twitter, which for years took a hands-off approach to Donald Trump’s angry missives on its platform, slapped a warning label on one of the president’s tweets because it violated Twitter’s rule against glorifying violence.
That was a first for Twitter, which didn’t remove the tweet but hid it behind a notice. This was just the latest escalation in a feud that began earlier this week and prompted Trump to sign an executive order that attempts to curtail the power of social media platforms.
- Related: Trump says right-wing voices are being censored, but the data tell another story.
THEN SURREAL TURNED SCARY
Early Friday, while many of us were focused on the escalating Twitter-Trump episode, a CNN crew was arrested on live TV. Then released about an hour later. As storytellers, we’re not used to being part of the story, but suddenly our colleagues were very much in the spotlight. Brian Stelter, CNN’s chief media correspondent, summed it up best: “When a journalist is arrested at a protest, the free and fair gathering of the news is arrested, too.” For more on this, read Brian’s analysis here.
IN OTHER NEWS
- American spending collapsed by a record 13.6% in April.
- Clearview AI, the super creepy facial-recognition software company, is being sued by the ACLU.
- Uber disposed of tens of thousands of bikes, sparking a backlash.
- Senators call for an FTC investigation into Instacart tip baiting after a CNN Business report.