Walmart is quietly making ready to enter the metaverse

A shopper carries a bag in front of a Walmart store in San Leandro, California on Thursday, May 13, 2021.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Walmart appears to be venturing into the Metaverse with plans to create its own cryptocurrency and collection of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.

The major retailer filed several new brands late last month declaring its intention to manufacture and sell virtual goods including electronics, home decor, toys, sporting goods and personal care products. In a separate filing, the company said it will offer users virtual currency as well as NFTs.

According to the US Patent and Trademark Office, Walmart filed the applications on Dec. 30.

A total of seven individual applications were submitted.

A spokesman for Walmart did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Source: Tanning Intellectual Property

“They’re super intense,” he said Josh Gerben, Trademark Attorney. “There’s a lot of language in there, which shows there’s a lot of planning going on behind the scenes about how they’re going to approach cryptocurrency, how they’re going to address the metaverse and the virtual world that seems to be coming or that’s already there.”

Gerben has been saying that ever since Facebook announced that it would change its company name to Meta, signaling its ambitions beyond social media, companies have rushed to figure out how to fit into a virtual world.

Source: Tanning Intellectual Property

Nike filed a number of trademark applications In early November, the company previewed its plans to sell virtual branded sneakers and apparel. Later that month it was said it would be merging with Roblox to Create an online world called Nikeland. It’s in December bought virtual sneaker company RTFKT (pronounced “artifact”) for an undisclosed amount.

“Suddenly everyone is saying, ‘This is getting real and we need to make sure our intellectual property is protected in space,'” Gerben said.

gap also started selling NFTs its iconic logo sweatshirts. The apparel maker said its NFTs range in increments from about $8.30 to $415 and come with a physical hoodie.

Both now under armorAdidas and Adidas NFT debuts sold out last month. They are now fetching sky-high prices on the OpenSea NFT marketplace.

Gerben said that clothing retailer Urban Outfitters, Ralph Lauren and Abercrombie & Fitch have also filed trademarks in recent weeks stating their intention to open some sort of virtual store.

A report by CB Insights outlined some of the reasons why retailers and brands want to enter into such ventures, which can potentially provide new revenue streams.

The launch of NFTs allows companies to tokenize physical products and services to reduce online transaction costs, it said. And for luxury brands like Gucci and Louis Vuitton, NFTs can serve as a form of authentication for tangible and more expensive goods, CB Insights noted.

Gerben said that as more consumers become familiar with the Metaverse and the items stored on the blockchain, more retailers want to create their own ecosystem around it.

According to Frank Chaparro, director of crypto information services company The Block, many retailers are still reeling from being late to e-commerce, so they don’t want to miss opportunities in the metaverse.

“I think it’s a win-win for any company in retail,” Chaparro said. “And even if it turns out to be just a fad, just trying something weird like giving some customers an NFT in a sweepstakes doesn’t do much reputation damage.”

— CNBC’s Melissa Repko contributed to this reporting.

We’re making ready for a fourth wave of Covid from Europe: Emirates president

The Emirates president said he saw a fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic coming from Europe affecting the airline.

In conversation with CNBC in Dubai Airshowsaid Emirates President Tim Clark, “I see a fourth wave coming and we have all sorts of concerns about what could happen.”

“We have to look very carefully because when the European markets – which have already started to open up on a large scale – are going the other way, we have to deal with that … we are very good at avoiding problems, and we’ll just do what we have to, ”he told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble.

The WHO warned against this earlier this month Europe was again the epicenter of the Covid pandemic. The largest economy in the region, Germany currently reports around 50,000 new coronavirus cases every day, and France has also reported an increase in cases. Austria, meanwhile, is expected to shortly Imposing lockdown restrictions on millions of unvaccinated people to curb the increasing number of infections.

Airlines have hoped that the Dubai Air Show will mark a turning point for the industry after a devastating period. It’s the first major aerospace exhibition since the coronavirus pandemic began, when travel restrictions around the world decimated the industry.

The International Air Transport Association said last month that the The global aviation industry is projected to lose nearly $ 12 billion over the next year. IATA, which represents nearly 300 airlines that operate more than 80% of the world’s air traffic, added that the industry’s losses in 2020 were worse than originally thought, at $ 137.7 billion.

However, Clark said Emirates is already seeing a significant pickup in demand and is starting to turn a profit.

“We are recovering with a high degree of robustness,” he said. “Demand is coming back at such a pace that we honestly have trouble delivering the resources because we have too few pilots, no cabin crew and pretty much everything. But there’s no shortage of demand, it’s a really good story. “

Clark highlighted the difficulty Emirates faced in hiring enough staff to meet that demand after hiring many people amid the pandemic.

“You talk about supply chain disruptions, you talk about gross distortions in the labor markets,” he said, adding that he expected some sense of normalcy to return towards the end of 2022 and beginning of 2023 … the heat will come out of the situation. I hope anyway. “

Another potential headwind for airlines is higher oil prices. The demand shock triggered by the Covid pandemic led to a drop in Brent prices to USD 20 per barrel; they are over acting now $ 80 a barrel.

But Clark said he wasn’t worried. “Of course $ 80 – we’ve been there before. We were way higher than that, ”he added. “Right now we can do it. It’s everyone’s guess what will happen. I think we have about 15 months of turmoil but we will be fine.”

– CNBC’s Leslie Joseph contributed to this report.

Australia Qantas getting ready for worldwide flights from December, CEO says

Australian airline Qantas expects international flights to the US, UK and parts of Asia to resume by Christmas, CEO Alan Joyce said Thursday.

Since March last year it is Australia has closed its borders for most foreign visitors and Exit ban for residents unless they had valid reasons.

“We know there is tremendous demand. People don’t want another Christmas isolated from their families, let alone internationally, however [also] in Australia, “Joyce said on CNBCs”Squawk Box Asia. “

An increase in local Covid-19 cases in recent months forced the Australian states and territories to tighten restrictions, including Interstate Travel Restrictions and advice on staying at home in risk areas.

Joyce said Qantas plans its operations on the assumption that Australia’s two most populous states – New South Wales and Victoria – will lift most of their border restrictions to the rest of the country by December 1.

This would be followed by the assumption that international border restrictions will be relaxed if more Australians are vaccinated. “And by Christmas, markets like Singapore, Great Britain, Japan and the USA will also open …” he added.

Qantas has not killed any passengers since the beginning of the “jet era” in the 1950s.

Scott Barbour | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Vaccines are crucial

Australia’s vaccination rates are also rising after a slow rollout at the beginning.

Information compiled by the online publication Our World In Data showed that almost 25% of the population were fully vaccinated as of August 24, compared with just under 6% at the end of June. Australian government data showed that on Wednesday 32.3% of people over 16 – or around 6.6 million people – were fully vaccinated.

The Australian Government wants to fully vaccinate between 70% and 80% of its population before international border restrictions are relaxed. This means that gradually international entries and exits to and from so-called “safe” countries will be allowed and the requirements for fully vaccinated visitors coming to Australia will be reduced.

“The government has said they think this is a sensible plan. They don’t have a crystal ball but they think this is likely to happen, ”Joyce said, adding that he expects Qantas to fire out of all cylinders after the borders reopen.

Qantas does not expect international routes to countries with lower vaccination rates – such as Indonesia, South Africa or the Philippines – to begin until April next year at the earliest.

No more layoffs

Like most airlines and travel companies around the world, Qantas took a hit when the coronavirus pandemic resulted in an almost complete collapse in demand for air travel.

As part of restructuring efforts last year, the airline had to lay off nearly 10,000 people out of a total workforce of around 32,000 before the pandemic, Joyce told CNBC.

We believe that is all it takes [layoffs] because the vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel.

Alan Joyce

Managing Director, Qantas

“It was heartbreaking to see a lot of great people leaving, but it was necessary to restructure the business so it could recover from Covid,” he said.

“We believe it is no longer necessary because the vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel,” he added when asked if Qantas could possibly fire more people.

Yet more than 8,000 Qantas employees, mostly from international operations, have been laid off – that is, as long as they remain employed, they will not be paid until operations resume.


The airline reported earnings on Thursday for the fiscal year that ended June 30.

  • Statutory after-tax loss of 1.73 billion Australian dollars (1.25 billion US dollars) was lower than the previous year’s reported loss of 1.96 billion Australian dollars.
  • Consolidated sales were A $ 5.93 billion, 58% less than last year.

Qantas stock rose 3.29% on the back of earnings reports on Thursday.

Joyce told CNBC that Qantas expects to lose A $ 20 billion in revenue by the end of this year due to the pandemic.

Elsa now not hurricane, Miami-Dade getting ready as rental collapse search continues

Probability of storm winds from Hurricane Elsa

Source: NOAA

Elsa weakened to tropical storm strength, but continued plowing towards Haiti and the Dominican Republic on Saturday, a day after reaching the Caribbean island states of Barbados and St. Vincent.

The long-term forecast showed it was sailing towards Florida as a tropical storm until Tuesday morning, but some models would carry it to the Gulf or the Atlantic coast.

Florida officials have also warned the potential impact of winds could hamper search and rescue operations the collapsed condo in Surfside, Florida.

“Our business continuity management department expects this to happen and is making the necessary preparations to protect a large part of the equipment. They could possibly host an event with the building, ”said Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Friday.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava signed a local state of emergency on Saturday that will allow the county to mobilize resources if necessary while search and rescue operations continue in the rubble of a partially collapsed 12-story residential complex.

“The path is still very uncertain, but we continue to monitor closely and if there is a potential impact on Miami-Dade, we are ready,” said Cava during a press conference.

The Category 1 storm was located approximately 40 miles southeast of Island Beta in the Dominican Republic and was moving west to west at 11 a.m. EST on Saturday, at 29 mph, according to the US National Hurricane Center (NHC). The agency reported maximum sustained winds of 70 mph as the tropical storm, which had been a Category 1 hurricane the previous Saturday, weakened as it approached Hispaniola and Cuba.

The NHC warned that conditions would likely worsen in the coming hours. Elsa’s forward speed was expected to decrease later on Saturday, while the maximum wind speeds would stay about the same through Sunday or Monday.

DeSantis told reporters on Saturday the state was preparing for a large tropical storm that includes isolated tornadoes, storm surges, heavy rains and flash floods.

“We hope the storm doesn’t have much runway to gain that speed and strength before it hits our peninsula,” he added.

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Maharashtra getting ready for third wave, Aaditya Thackeray says

After being the richest state at the epicenter of a devastating second wave, India is already taking steps to prepare for a possible third wave, according to its tourism and environment minister.

The western state of Maharashtra, home of the Indian financial capital Mumbai, has so far reported more than 5.4 million cases, including over 82,000 deaths from Covid-19, according to the Ministry of Health. It is the most severely affected state in the country to date.

Since last month, ministers of state, including Prime Minister Uddhav Thackeray, have been discussing various ways to respond to an impending third wave that could potentially occur sometime between September and October, Aaditya Thackeray told CNBC. “Road signs Asia” on Tuesday.

“We are preparing for three important things for the third wave,” said Thackeray, who is also the prime minister’s son.

First, the state medical response, currently led by a task force composed of 11 doctors who have put together standard operating procedures for Maharashtra’s administrative and medical responses. Thackeray said the state was examining which demographic characteristics could be affected in a third wave – especially children and young people, who were largely spared from the two previous waves.

Passengers from Uttar Pradesh queue for the Covid test upon their arrival at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus on May 16, 2021 in Mumbai, India.

Satish Bate | Hindustan Times | Getty Images

The state is making greater efforts to ensure adequate hospital beds, oxygen supply and intensive care units.

Second, it also opts for social guidelines like the need to wear multiple masks, Thackeray said.

“The third, of course, is business response. Because industry has to go, work has to go on. So we’re trying to prepare for this third wave,” he added.

India’s Covid situation

India’s daily reported cases have declined since hitting a record high of over 414,000 new infections in a 24-hour period on May 7. Some have suggested that the second wave may already have peaked.

On Monday, new cases fell below 300,000 for the first time since April 21. However, the death rate remained above 4,000 for the last three consecutive days, including Tuesday, when at least 4,329 other deaths were reported. Experts have suggested India’s deaths are heavily under counted.

Medical experts have said India’s best way to counter future waves is to vaccinate as many people as possible. The country has already given more than 184 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines, but much of that is just a first dose. Currently, people over the age of 18 can be vaccinated.

Reports suggest The rate of vaccination has slowed as states strive to secure supplies. India’s Minister of Health Harsh Vardhan said in a statement Saturday that the country will have 516 million doses by July, including the shots already administered, and that number will rise to 2.16 billion doses between August and December.

Thackeray said Maharashtra is trying to get as many vaccines as possible for the state. Municipal companies in large cities like Mumbai are also self-procuring. He explained that logistics pose a challenge to the state’s plans to vaccinate people in rural or densely populated areas.

“In terms of planning and setting vaccination rules, almost everything is there. We’re just waiting for supplies,” he said. Maharashtra accounts for just over 10% of all vaccine doses given in India to date, according to data Ministry of Health data.

“The medical belief in the state is that if we want to prevent a third wave – which we believe is possible from September to October – we need to vaccinate as many people as possible to protect them,” Thackeray added.

The state has also extended its lockdown to the end of the month when non-essential activities are restricted. Thackeray said the reopening will depend entirely on how many Covid-19 cases are reported in Maharashtra and that it would still be slow and staggered.

Getting ready to wed? Don’t overlook the cash speak – The Leaven Catholic Newspaper

Chris Donnelly, a member of the Sacred Heart Parish in Tonganoxie, recently retired as regional president of the Country Club Bank. He speaks to The Leaven about what conversations couples should have about money when looking at marriage. LEAVEN PHOTO BY KATHRYN WHITE

It rarely happens when they are just dating. But there are good reasons for couples to thoroughly discuss their approach to money before getting engaged. The Leaven spoke to retired banker Chris Donnelly, who brings in the added perspective of recently seeing his three children marry.

Q. There are many things that can cause arguments in a marriage, but one of the perennials is money. What is important to know about your own approach to money before getting married?

A. You need to know where you are financially. If you don’t know where you are, no one else can either. It is important to live within your means. You need to know how much money you have each month and prioritize your expenses, working on the most important articles first.

Items like groceries, rent or mortgage, health care, and utility bills are top priorities. When you’ve covered all of the priority expenses, you’ll save for the future. You never know what the future will bring, so you need to be prepared. Once you’ve done this, you can consider spending on things that aren’t important to life.

Question: What should a couple tell each other about their money habits and when should they start this discussion?

A. Every couple should make a money plan before getting married. Full disclosure of your finances is important in any relationship. Identify and share your income and expenses ahead of time so you can create an expense plan for the time after your marriage. You want to avoid financial surprises. Marriage is a full-time partnership. Partners should share everything, including financial goals and dreams. When both partners are heading in the same direction financially, it is easier to prepare for the future.

Question: What major financial discussions should couples have when dating? Should they talk about the lifestyle they would like to have, their priorities and goals, their commitment to their community and the charities they support?

A. You should discuss your total income, expenses, and current debt. It’s important to know things like the number of monthly loan payments and other expenses. Excessive debt or loan payments can strain the family budget. Many people want a good lifestyle without really knowing what can support their income. The couple must first know their income and expenses. You shouldn’t live beyond your means.

Question: Of course, a discussion about children while dating is warranted. What should this discussion include?

A. Children are important to be included in your budget. You need to think through the stages of your children’s lives. Things like day care, health insurance, clothing, and extra food are important elements that you need to include in your monthly budget. Think ahead to estimate and budget the additional costs for one or more children before having children. You can see what your financial situation will be like before you actually have your first, second or third child.

Also, be sure to add a future college or tech school savings plan. Helping your child with minor or no student loans can help advance their future family financial plans.

Question: What are the pros and cons of having separate checking accounts and dual income couples when they are married and continue to manage their finances separately? Is it something you recommend?

A. Everything in marriage is a partnership. The two become one. Separate accounts for handling can create the feeling of hiding something or an imbalance. If you plan ahead, you both know the full financial picture so there shouldn’t be any hidden plans or costs.

I recommend keeping a joint account to show where all the money is going each month. Husbands and wives do many things together. You should also participate in everyday family finances.

Question: How about debt? Would you recommend the original borrower to pay them off, or should it be a common financial goal?

A. If you get married, it’s “for better or for worse”. This means that you take your partner with all the good and bad he brings to the table. You should develop a financial plan in advance that includes how you will jointly make the loan payments. When the two of you manage all of the debts brought up on the table, there is no question where that debt fits into the financial picture. Guessing what your spouse is doing with their money can cause serious problems.

Question: What should young married couples know about taxes?

A. Every couple should know how to properly prepare their taxes each year as taxes are a required expense. Tax issues can raise serious family concerns. You should add taxes to your family budget just like you would add food or rent. Knowing how to properly file your tax returns can save you money too.

Question: How should couples discuss whose job is being prioritized or how to deal with pay differentials, etc.?

A. By sharing all aspects of each other’s income and expenses, and establishing a budget and goals for the future, the couple can set priorities, including job requirements. If neither partner is willing to make sacrifices, the financial plan is much more difficult to achieve.

Question: How can couples stay on the same page in terms of spending, saving, and achieving their financial goals even in a busy life?

A. Couples should discuss their financial plan and goals frequently. Life is a series of changes and curveballs. Ignoring financial discussions is a bad idea. When both partners know where they are financially, it is much easier to look into the future.

Chris Donnelly recently resigned from his position as Country Club Bank Regional President. Prior to that, he was President and CEO of the Bank of the Prairie in Olathe. He and his wife, Susan, are members of the Sacred Heart Parish in Tonganoxie, where he serves on the ward finance council and where he and Susan jointly led the ward capital’s campaign.