Amazon’s Prime Day, potentially the biggest gift buying period of 2020, is running into intensified retail competition.

Kohl’s, J.C. Penney, Walmart, Target and Bed, Bath & Beyond are among those retailers triggering huge savings, new products and conveniences like contactless curbside pickups, and speedy deliveries, either in tandem with the Amazon promotion or a few days ahead, all to encourage consumers to get some holiday shopping done early, and distract them from the savings lure of Prime Day.

They’re also reminding consumers about the safety precautions being undertaken to reduce the risk of getting infected by the coronavirus. This year, consumers are most concerned about contracting the virus while inside stores. But they are also worried that retailers will run out of the gifts they want to buy most, since many retailers have bought conservatively for the fourth quarter, and that they won’t get their gift purchases delivered on time for the holidays.

Mostly retailers are promoting decorative home, cozy and comfortable casual clothes and accessories; home office supplies, home entertainment, kitchen-related products, electronics, games and computer equipment because of the lifestyle changes as a consequence of COVID-19. While showcasing their discounted items, retailers are reminding consumers of the safety precautions they’ve installed to make their stores safe to shop.

Due to the pandemic, Amazon this year reset Prime Day to Tuesday and Wednesday this week, as opposed to July, when it has been staged since 2015. It’s for Amazon Prime members only. Due to the delay closer to Christmas and the profound and continuing shift toward online spending, versus spending at brick-and-mortar stores, Prime Day is expected to generate robust double-digit growth this year. It’s been a key impetus to the earliest-ever onset of holiday gift promoting across the retail industry. In recent years, the holiday push for many

JPMorgan Chase said Thursday it will extend billions in loans to Black and Latino homebuyers and small business owners in an expanded effort toward fixing what the bank calls “systemic racism” in the country’s economic system.

The New York bank said it is committing $30 billion over the next five years toward programs that include earmarking more money for getting Black and Latino families into homeownership and providing additional financing to build affordable rental housing units.

“Systemic racism is a tragic part of America’s history,” said JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon in a statement. “We can do more and do better to break down systems that have propagated racism and widespread economic inequality.”

The bank, which has $3.2 trillion in assets, said it expects the $30 billion to help finance 40,000 additional mortgages for Black and Latino households, another 20,000 loans that will refinance mortgages and help construct 100,000 affordable rental units. Additional funds will go to finance 15,000 small business loans to Black and Latino-owned businesses.

There will also be programs to place 1 million customers in low-cost checking and savings accounts, partly by opening new branches in minority-majority neighborhoods.

Black households are several times more likely to be what is known as unbanked, meaning they do not have a primary checking account with a traditional bank, or underbanked, where households still rely on high-cost financial services like check cashing, pawn shops and payday loans.

Since the death of George Floyd, a Black man killed while in police custody in Minneapolis in May, large US banks have made public efforts to address the disenfranchisement of Black and minority communities within the financial system.

In the immediate aftermath of Floyd’s death, JPMorgan announced a commitment of $1.75 billion toward programs they said would help address racial inequalities. But since then,

Greene King called on the government to provide support to prevent further pub closures and job losses. Photo: PA
Greene King called on the government to provide support to prevent further pub closures and job losses. Photo: PA

Pub company Greene King has announced plans to axe around 800 jobs and shut 79 of its pubs after business declined due to the introduction of 10pm hospitality curfew.

A spokeswoman for Greene King said: “The continued tightening of the trading restrictions for pubs, which may last another six months, along with the changes to government support was always going to make it a challenge to reopen some of our pubs.

“Therefore, we have made the difficult decision not to reopen 79 sites, including the 11 Loch Fyne restaurants we announced last week.

“Around one-third will be closed permanently and we hope to be able to reopen the others in the future.”

WATCH: What are the new COVID-19 measures for pubs?

The UK’s largest pub retailer and brewer runs about 1,700 managed pubs and 1,000 tenanted venues across the UK. The company said they are “working hard with our teams to try and find them a role in another of our pubs wherever possible.”

Greene King called on the government to “step in and provide tailored support to help the sector get through to the spring and prevent further pub closures and job losses.”

UK prime minister Boris Johnson faced a barrage of warnings over the threat to firms and jobs after he unveiled fresh COVID-19 measures for England including a 10pm shutdown for hospitality venues.

UK pub owners expressed their anger with the government, as more than 1,000 publicans signed an open letter to chancellor Rishi Sunak pleading for more support and urging the government to rethink the 10pm curfew.

READ MORE: Pubs and city centre firms warn new coronavirus rules could be a ‘fatal blow’

In the letter organised

Five years after “dieselgate” emissions cheating revelations rocked the car industry, ex-Audi CEO Rupert Stadler on Wednesday became the first top executive to stand trial in Germany.

Stadler, 57, appeared before the Munich district court to answer charges of fraud, falsifying certifications and false advertising.

He wore a face mask as a precaution against the coronavirus as he arrived but then took it off in court.

With him in the dock are former Audi and Porsche manager Wolfgang Hatz and two Audi engineers, all charged with fraud.

German car giant Volkswagen — whose subsidiaries include Porsche, Audi, Skoda and Seat — admitted in September 2015 that it had installed software to rig emissions in 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide.

No senior executive has been convicted so far in connection with the 'dieselgate' scandal in Germany No senior executive has been convicted so far in connection with the ‘dieselgate’ scandal in Germany Photo: AFP / RONNY HARTMANN

The so-called defeat devices made the vehicles appear less polluting in lab tests than they were in real driving conditions when they spewed out toxic gases way beyond the legal limit.

Not a single senior executive has been convicted over the scam in Germany, although two VW employees have received jail terms in the United States.

Intense media interest in the Stadler case coupled with social distancing requirements led court officials to move proceedings to a larger room in a justice building outside the city centre.

The complex trial is expected to last until December 2022.

Prosecutors opened the proceedings by reading aloud the indictment, which is more than 90 pages long.

If found guilty, the accused face up to 10 years in jail.

Former Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler denies accusations that he knew of plans to defeat pollution testing devices Former Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler denies accusations that he knew of plans to defeat pollution testing devices Photo: AFP / CHRISTOF STACHE

Volkswagen has always insisted that the diesel trickery was the work of a

Five years after “dieselgate” emissions cheating revelations rocked the car industry, ex-Audi CEO Rupert Stadler on Wednesday becomes the first top executive to stand trial in Germany.

Stadler, 57, faces charges of “fraud, falsifying certifications and false advertising”, according to the indictment that will be read out before the Munich district court.

He will be in the dock alongside former Audi and Porsche manager Wolfgang Hatz and two Audi engineers, all facing the same charges.

German car giant Volkswagen — whose subsidiaries include Porsche, Audi, Skoda and Seat — admitted in September 2015 that it had installed manipulating software in 11 million diesels worldwide.

The so-called defeat devices made the vehicles appear less polluting in lab tests than they were in real driving conditions, allowing the vehicles to emit toxic gases far beyond the legal limit.

No senior executive has been convicted so far in connection with the 'dieselgate' scandal in Germany No senior executive has been convicted so far in connection with the ‘dieselgate’ scandal in Germany Photo: AFP / RONNY HARTMANN

Not a single senior executive has been convicted over the scam in Germany, although two VW employees have received jail terms in the United States.

Intense media interest in the Stadler case coupled with coronavirus precautions have led court officials to move proceedings to a larger room in a justice building outside the city centre.

The complex trial is expected to last until December 2022.

If found guilty, the accused face up to 10 years in jail.

Former Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler denies accusations that he knew of plans to defeat pollution testing devices Former Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler denies accusations that he knew of plans to defeat pollution testing devices Photo: AFP / CHRISTOF STACHE

Volkswagen has always insisted that the diesel trickery was the work of a handful of lower-level employees acting without the knowledge of superiors, although prosecutors dispute this.

Stadler had been Audi’s chief executive for 11 years when he was arrested in June 2018.