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Peloton’s Rapid Rise Is Threatened by Its Slow Delivery

“It’s like telling somebody you’re going to get a puppy and now you’re not,” Ms. Sinclair said. She gets frustrated now when she sees ads for Peloton and articles about the company’s founders and their lifestyles, she said. “They grabbed all of our money, and here they are getting put on the cover of the magazine,” she said. “They can’t even give us our goods.”The outrage has worsened in response to apparent glitches that some buyers say have allowed them to snag earlier delivery times by obsessively clicking a link in rescheduling emails. In …

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Is Inflation About to Take Off? That’s the Wrong Question

The warnings that higher inflation lurks around the corner are starting to show up everywhere.They are appearing in some business surveys, with companies looking to raise prices as they prepare for a post-pandemic economy. They are showing up in the bond market, where price moves in the last few months imply that big-money investors expect consumer prices will start to rise faster. And they are apparent in the news media, from magazine covers to financial news segments.But inflation itself is not showing up: The Consumer Price Index in December showed only a 1.4 percent rise in what Americans paid …

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Retail Sales Drop in December for Third-Straight Month

Consumer spending fell for the third-consecutive month in December, confirming what many economists had predicted would be a disappointing holiday season for many retailers and restaurants.Retail sales fell 0.7 percent last month, the Commerce Department said on Friday, as the economic recovery showed signs of stalling and virus cases surged across the country, prompting shoppers to avoid stores amid a new wave of restrictions.For the second-straight month, the drop was worse than what most economists had predicted, showing that the deterioration of the broader economy in the final quarter of 2020 was deeper than expected.“In one line: grim,” is …

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Netflix Announces 2021 Film Slate

Last month, Disney revealed an enormous trove of new content for its streaming service, Disney+. That followed WarnerMedia’s announcement that all 17 of its films this year would be available on HBO Max the same day they debuted in theaters. And on Tuesday, Netflix — the biggest streaming service of them all, with 195 million subscribers worldwide — announced its 2021 film slate: some 70 movies featuring Academy Award winners, box office stars and a reminder of its power in a Hollywood that has been irrevocably changed during the pandemic.The normally secretive company made the announcement with the help of a fast-paced trailer. Ryan …

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How To Spend in 2021

Maybe you learned you enjoyed driving to the beach more than flying with your toddlers for a vacation. Maybe ordering out a few more nights a week was a lifesaver after a busy day. Maybe you want to keep contributing to a charity you came across.“Heading into 2021, we can use this information to reshape our budget into a template that prioritizes the spending we most enjoy,” said Kevin Mahoney, a financial planner based in Washington, D.C., who focuses on millennial money issues. “And we can continue to minimize or forgo those expenses that we’ve learned we can …

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The Vegas Chapels Are Open, and Waiting

For couples seeking a quickie wedding, or a whimsical one, Las Vegas is ready.On some days, the line at the city’s famed Marriage License Bureau — where the engaged need nothing more than photo IDs and a $77 fee — wraps around the block.The bureau closed for six weeks at the start of the pandemic, but since reopening in late April, it has churned out licenses from 8 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week, including holidays. That license is the ticket to a legally valid marriage at one of the city’s dozens of chapels, which offer fast, budget-conscious …

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What Giant Skeletons and Puppy Shortages Told Us About the 2020 Economy

America has Zoom towns.Many middle-class millennials who lingered on the housing market’s sidelines for years reported that the pandemic had hastened their buying plans. They have been lured by the Fed’s pandemic-tied interest rate cuts, which have made mortgages cheap, and by the prospect of more space.Business & EconomyUpdated Dec. 23, 2020, 8:59 a.m. ETSome millennials, freed from office buildings by remote work arrangements, seem to be aiming for cities where single-family homes are relatively affordable — what some writers have labeled “Zoom” towns. People roughly ages 21 to 40 have accounted for a huge share of home purchase loans in places …

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What 2020 Was Like for People in the Retail Industry

The retail industry was in the midst of a transformation before 2020. But the onset of the pandemic accelerated that change, fundamentally reordering how and where people shop, and rippling across the broader economy.Many stores closed for good, as chains cut physical locations or filed for bankruptcy, displacing everyone from highly paid executives to hourly workers. Amazon grew even more powerful and unavoidable as millions of people bought goods online during lockdowns. The divide between essential businesses allowed to stay open and nonessential ones forced to close drove shoppers to big-box chains like Walmart, Target and Dick’s and worsened …

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Hot Chocolate Bombs: Another Food Trend for 2020

“It’s something that we can control in a place during the pandemic when we have been out of control,” she said. “We don’t know when it’s going to end.” The hot chocolate bomb offers a gratification that we can wrap our hands and minds around. “We know something’s going to happen instantaneously. And so, that’s exciting, and we get to master it.”For Julie Dugdale, 41, a freelance writer in Denver, who was recently given a set of the hot chocolate bombs, the treats feel, indeed, like an antidote to the world’s current chaos.“It’ …

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Here Are 5 Small Businesses That Thrived During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Small businesses were devastated in 2020. They have pivoted so frequently to deal with state-mandated shutdowns, new customer needs and pandemic safety protocols that many aren’t sure what direction they’re facing anymore. Nine months into the coronavirus crisis, more than a quarter remain closed, at least temporarily, according to data from Opportunity Insights, a research group at Harvard University.But for some industries, it has been a banner year. Small-business owners serving customers who are trapped at home, shopping online and seeking outdoor adventures have tallied record sales.Success during a crisis can be uncomfortable. “I can’t say …

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