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Publishers scramble to sign ‘Reddit rally’ authors: sources

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Publishers scramble to sign 'Reddit rally' authors: sources

The media world is salivating over the “Reddit rally.”

As Hollywood moves to write the screenplay, Big Apple book publishers are scrambling to sign authors to cover the bizarre trading phenomenon, sources said.

At least three proposals are circulating for book deals on how cheap stocks like GameStop added billions to their market valuations overnight in a trading frenzy fueled by small investors hoping to make money while giving the middle finger to Wall Street.

While it’s unclear whether any publisher has yet inked a deal, several journalists are being courted, source said, including Nathaniel Popper, the New York Times reporter who wrote “Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money,” published by HarperCollins; the Wall Street Journal team of Julia-Ambra Verlaine and Gunjan Banerji, who scored the first exclusive with Keith Gill, the Reddit trader known as “DeepF–kingValue” who led an army of average Joes to drive up the price of GameStop; and Brandon Kochkodin, a Bloomberg editor who told how small investors used Reddit forum WallStreetBets and no-fee apps like Robinhood to inspire a market-moving stampede that caught Wall Street off-guard — losing smart-money investors billions in the process.

On Thursday it emerged that Jaime Rogozinski, the founder of WallStreetBets, has sold his life story to director Brett Ratner’s film production company as Hollywood also scrambles to tell this fascinating tale, which is still playing out as GameStop’s shares dropped 42 percent Thursday to close at $53.50, and are now down 89 percent from their all-time high last week of $483.

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Sweetgreen salad chain files for IPO

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Sweetgreen salad chain files for IPO

Salad chain sweetgreen said on Monday it had confidentially filed for an initial public offering in the US, hopeful of strong investor interest as demand for plant-based food products surges globally.

The company, which counts tennis star Naomi Osaka as its youngest investor, was valued at $1.8 billion after a funding round earlier this year, according to media reports. T.Rowe Price, Lone Pine Capital and D1 Capital Partners are among sweetgreen’s other investors.

California-based sweetgreen, which was founded in 2007 and has more than 100 stores in the US, did not reveal more details about the size of the proposed IPO.

Plant-based food companies have attracted investor attention over the past few years, particularly as more people gravitate to healthy and environment-friendly food.

Much of the demand is being led by millennials and generation Z consumers, who are more than willing to spend on sustainable products that are also healthy.

About 65 percent of Gen Z consumers are in favor of plant-based foods, sweetgreen says on its website.

Last year, plant-based retail sales in the US hit $7 billion, up 27 percent year-on-year, according to a report by the Good Food Institute and the Plant-Based Foods Association.

Swedish oatmilk maker Oatly Group AB, which went public last month, closed nearly 53 percent above its IPO price on Friday. Plant-based burger maker Beyond Meat was also up 16 percent this year.

Sweetgreen is home to such options as the Kale Caasar, Peach Burrata, and Harvest Bowl Houson, and Cashew Pesto Sweet Potato. The chain is the brainchild of three college students looking for healthier diet options.

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Victoria’s Secret will change its name amid rebrand

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Victoria’s Secret is tweaking its name as it revamps its business

Victoria’s Secret — which has been aggressively overhauling its brand during the past year to appeal to a more diverse range of customers — likewise plans to tweak its name.

The lingerie giant said Monday it will be renamed Victoria’s Secret & Co. when it splits off from L Brands in August and becomes an independent, publicly-traded company.

The change comes amid a flurry of news around the quickly transforming business, which last week unveiled a new marketing campaign and collection — VS Collective — featuring seven women including soccer star, Megan Rapinoe, 17 year-old American skier, Eileen Gu and tech investor and actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas.

Its famous “Angels,” which over the years have included supermodels Heidi Klum, Tyra Banks and Gisele Bundchen, will be phased out of the company’s marketing after years of complaints that it excluded women with more natural looks and normal body types.

(L-R) Models Lily Aldridge, Karlie Kloss, Adriana Lima, Doutzen Kroes, Candice Swanepoel, and Behati Prinsloo walk the runway at the 2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at Lexington Avenue Armory on November 13, 2013 in New York City.
(L-R) Models Lily Aldridge, Karlie Kloss, Adriana Lima, Doutzen Kroes, Candice Swanepoel, and Behati Prinsloo walk the runway at the 2013 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show at Lexington Avenue Armory on Nov. 13, 2013 in New York City.
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The company also announced last week a new board of directors, of which six of the seven directors are women.

“This is an exciting time for all of us at Victoria’s Secret,” chief executive Martin Waters said in a statement. “The progress we have made over the last year underscores our commitment to driving profitable growth, creating new opportunities for our talented associates and evolving our brand and product to reflect the diverse experiences, passions and perspectives of our our customers.”

Victoria’s Secret & Co. also will encompass the company’s Pink brand — which is focused on teens and women in their twenties.

Victoria's secret logo
Victoria’s Secret stores in recent months have been improving their profitability by slashing costs and scaling back discounts on lingerie.
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L Brands also owns Bath & Body Works, which will become an independent company in August as well. Its name will remain the same.

The Ohio-based company founded by billionaire Les Wexner, which has also been boosting profits at Victoria’s Secret by slashing costs and scaling back discounts, has seen its stock surge 69 percent year to date versus an 11-percent increase in the S&P 500.

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EEOC files lawsuit over worker fired for refusing to be fingerprinted

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EEOC files lawsuit over worker fired for refusing to be fingerprinted

A Minnesota man refused to leave fingerprints — and got fired for it.

As a result, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing a Minnesota firm on behalf of Henry Harrington, of Mound, who was sacked for refusing the company’s requirement to be fingerprinted on religious grounds, the Star Tribune reported Friday.

The EEOC suit against AscensionPoint Recovery Services, a debt recovery company, was filed this week.

AscensionPoint had requested that workers be fingerprinted as a result of a background check requirement of one of its clients, according to the EEOC.

Harrington, 37, however, told AscensionPoint in July 2017 that having his fingerprints captured was contrary to his Christian beliefs. He was fired the same day.

The suit seeks back pay for Harrington from the time he was fired, and other financial compensation for “emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life and humiliation.”

“An employee should not have to choose between his faith and his livelihood,” Gregory Gochanour, the EEOC’s regional attorney in the Chicago District Office, said in a statement.

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