The combination of a down economy, the pandemic and election uncertainty are causing the youngest consumers, Generations Y and Z to be pulling back on spending. That does not bode well for retailers in the run-up to the holiday season.

Bloomberg news announced in September that the U.S. unemployment rate was 7.9 percent, more than double what it was last year. But among those ages 16 to 24 that straddle Generations Y and Z, the unemployment rate is a staggering 13.5 percent, according to data from the Labor Department released last week.  

A new Piper Sandler survey suggests that teen spending hit its lowest levels in two decades. While it is hardly surprising that they spent less on food and events during the coronavirus pandemic, even apparel spending was down 11% from last fall. And there is plenty of reason to suggest things could get worse among our youngest spending cohorts. This is particularly troubling given that it was younger spenders that powered the economy out of the 2008 recession.   

Easing the Pay Pain

Retailers are working overtime to reengage the Generation Z demographic, which still wants to touch and feel the goods. Eighty-one percent of this cohort group prefer the instore experience, according to buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) leader Afterpay. As a result, retailers and the fast-growing BNPL industry are mounting a multifront, seasonal attack aimed at this valuable consumer, on and offline.

Two major announcements hit the wires on October 6th introducing new relationships between two major BNPL players with a couple retail powerhouses. First, Australian based Afterpay which claims 10 million active users globally, announced a partnership with Simon Property Group to promote in-store shopping ahead

Customers can find a vast range of goods at Walmart (NYSE:WMT). Starting next week, they will be able to put a health insurance policy in their shopping cart, too.

The big retailer announced Tuesday that it is launching Walmart Insurance Services, a licensed brokerage, on Thursday, Oct. 15. The unit, which is licensed in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, will begin by selling Medicare insurance plans. The start date is no accident, as that is the beginning of Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period (which runs through Dec. 7).

In that initial stage, Walmart Insurance Services will sell Medicare plans from a variety of well-known providers, including but not limited to Humana, Anthem, and UnitedHealth Group‘s UnitedHealthcare. The company says more might be added in the future.

Stethoscope atop US currency and insurance claim form

Image source: Getty Images.

The initial concentration on Medicare plans is in character for Walmart, which for years has been resolutely focused on budget-conscious customers. Accordingly, the company played up the potential money-saving aspects of its new service, citing recent research from eHealth indicating that one in 10 Medicare beneficiaries has a plan that is the most cost-effective in terms of out-of-pocket spending.

“Helping customers select the right Medicare insurance plan to meet their needs aligns with Walmart’s mission of helping people save money and live better,” the company wrote in the press release announcing the new service.

On Tuesday, Walmart’s shares fell by 0.8%. This, however, bettered the S&P 500 index, which declined by 1.4% on the day.

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  • The Social Capital SPAC led by billionaire Chamath Palihapitiya is acquiring Clover Health in a $3.7 billion deal that’ll take the health insurance company public. 
  • In 2021, Palihapitiya projects the company will grow its membership roughly five times what it was this year.
  • Clover Health president and chief technology officer Andrew Toy said that projected growth largely comes from the potential participation in a new Medicare program that’s yet to be finalized. 
  • For more stories like this, sign up here for Business Insider’s daily healthcare newsletter.

Social Capital’s Chamath Palihapitiya is looking to acquire the health insurance company Clover Health via a SPAC. 

The special-purpose acquisition company Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. III will merge with Clover in a $3.7 billion transaction that’s slated to close in 2021, the companies said in a statement.

Clover offers private health-insurance plans for seniors, a product called Medicare Advantage. Competition is fierce for the more than 24 million Americans enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans, and for the thousands signing up daily as they turn 65. Startups like Clover are facing off against industry giants like UnitedHealthcare, Humana, and Aetna.

In a tweet Tuesday, Palihapitiya laid out his expectations of growth for Clover. By 2021, Clover’s membership is projected to be 273,000 people, roughly five times what it was at the middle of this year. Clover. That in turn would lead to revenue of $880 million, roughly double the company’s 2019 figures. Bloomberg News first reported that Clover was in talks to go public via the SPAC earlier on Tuesday.

The rapid expansion contrasts with the slower growth Clover has seen over the past few years.

Clover enrolled 39,400 members in 2019, 10,000 more than the year before. It signed on 54,400 people this year, according to Business Insider’s reporting. As of the

Analysis Finds Past Presidential Elections Had Little Impact on Home Sales

Redfin Forecasts $6.2M Homes Sales in 2020, the Most Since 2006

SEATTLE, Oct. 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — (NASDAQ: RDFN) — Twenty-two percent of homebuyers and sellers said the upcoming presidential election is impacting their plans to buy or sell a home, according to an August survey from Redfin (www.redfin.com), the technology-powered real estate brokerage. That’s down from 32% in November 2019, per a similar Redfin survey. The drop from last year is likely due to the pandemic, which seems to be outweighing the election as a factor for homebuyers and sellers.


Redfin Logo (PRNewsfoto/Redfin)

Thirteen percent of respondents said the election is making them more hesitant to buy or sell a home, down from 20% in November 2019. Nine percent of respondents said the election is making them less hesitant to buy or sell a home, down from 12% in November. Election concerns are unlikely to have a major impact on the housing market, partly because a portion of those people will move forward with their plans to buy and/or sell once the election has passed. The survey included more than 1,400 U.S. residents who plan to buy or sell a home in the next 12 months.

Alisha Pruitt, a Redfin agent in Silicon Valley, said she doesn’t expect this year’s upcoming presidential election to impact real estate activity.

“Almost all the buyers I work with ask how the election could impact their home purchase,” Pruitt said. “I don’t have a crystal ball, but presidential elections have never seemed to affect the housing market much in the six election cycles I’ve been a real estate agent. The pandemic is having a much bigger impact, with low mortgage rates motivating buyers who want more space to work from

Walmart is entering the health insurance business, just in time for those signing up for Medicare open enrollment this fall.

The Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer announced Tuesday the opening of Walmart Insurance Services to “assist people with enrolling in insurance plans—and simplify what’s historically been a cumbersome, confusing process.”

“We want customers to feel confident in selecting a Medicare plan that best fits their needs, budget, and lifestyle,” David Sullivan, general manager of Walmart Insurance Services, said in a statement. “And we want to be a trusted partner on their health care journey.”

WALMART TO TEST DRONE DELIVERY OF COVID-19 TEST KITS

Walmart Insurance Services, a licensed insurance brokerage, will begin selling Medicare insurance plans during this year’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), which runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7.

The agency, which is licensed in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., will provide Medicare plans (Part D, Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Supplement plans) offered by Humana, UnitedHealthcare, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Amerigroup, Simply Health, Wellcare (Centene), Clover Health and Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

Medicare Advantage plans cater to Americans who are older than 65 and those with disabilities.

WALMART TO HIRE 20,000 WORKERS FOR HOLIDAY RUSH

According to Sullivan, only 1 in 10 Medicare beneficiaries is enrolled in a plan that saves them the most on out-of-pocket spending.

“Helping customers select the right Medicare insurance plan to meet their needs aligns with Walmart’s mission of helping people save money and live better,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

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The company said Tuesday that “more carriers may