Consumer Catch-Up: Jewelry retailer to close 150 stores, new online child protections proposed, fast food 'hiring parties'

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Diamond jewelry retailer announces 150 stores closing
Signet Jewelers, the world's largest diamond jewelry retailer, is set to shutter another 150 stores this fiscal year.

Signet Jewelers operates about 3,300 stores as the parent company of retailers like Kay Jewelers, Zales, and Jared the Galleria of Jewelry. But with their recent quarterly earnings statement, they also announced the closing of the stores.

Virginia C. Drosos, CEO, said in a statement that the company did not finish the year as strongly as expected "due to a highly competitive promotional environment, continued consumer weakness in the U.K., and lower than expected customer demand for legacy merchandise collections that impacted our holiday fourth quarter results."

By the end of the fiscal year in February 2020, Signet Jewelers expects to have reduced its store base by 13% over the past three years. Signet Jewelers closed 262 stores last year.

New legislation proposed to keep children safe online, limit exposure to extreme content
Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) will soon announce new proposed legislation with the goal of keeping children safe online.

The Kids Internet Design and Safety (KIDS) Act aims to close the gap left by current child-protection laws such as the 1990 Children's Television Act, which do not address the technological realities of today's Internet and social media. "While kids' technology use and media consumption have exploded in recent years, our laws have failed to keep pace," said Sen. Markey.

The KIDS Act proposes limiting marketing and commercialization toward children, reigning in the algorithms that push extreme content in front of kids, requiring that platforms provide guidance on kid-healthy content, and increasing transparency and enforcement.

Sen. Markey previously spearheaded the Children's Online Privacy Protect Act of 1998 (COPPA) and the Do Not Track Kids Act.

Taco Bell is hosting "hiring parties" to attract new employees
Taco Bell is thinking outside the bun when it comes to hiring new employees.

In response to a tight labor market and low unemployment rates, the fast food chain is throwing "hiring parties" to entice potential workers. These parties feature free food, swag, and social media-friendly photo opportunities - and of course, on-the-spot job interviews.

Taco Bell held test runs of these parties last year at four different restaurants in Indianapolis over the course of two days. They got almost 75 in-person applications, and an additional 300 online applications after news of the event spread online. Taco Bell plans to expand with nearly 600 hiring parties nationwide between April 22 and 27.

Taco Bell, which is owned by Yum Brands, stated that it wants to create 100,000 new jobs by 2022.

Written by Simone Chavoor

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