Afternoon Coffee: Target and Wal-Mart Fight Cotton Scandal, Bitcoin Value Surges Post-Election

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Retailers Target and Wal-Mart are taking a bruising for selling bedsheets purportedly made of Egyptian cotton that supplier Welspun may have woven with lower-quality cotton blends. Investigators at Target discovered the discrepancy after analyzing sheet fibers under a microscope and tracking their journey through the global supply chain. The analysis revealed that 750,000 of Target’s “Egyptian cotton” sheets contained no Egyptian cotton at all.    

Blockchain and Trump’s America

The election of Donald Trump had a noteworthy effect on bitcoin, according to Digital Trends. The cryptocurrency’s value surged to $738 overnight and settled $726 Wednesday morning last week, a 3% rise from the previous day’s price of $708. While bitcoin’s value is known to be somewhat unpredictable, interest in it seems to be picking up again as blockchain, the technology underlying bitcoin, becomes the hot topic in fintech and supply chain-related technologies.     

Imports Hint at Inflation

Import prices rose in October, a sign of firming inflation driven by higher fuel costs, the Wall Street Journal reported. The import-price index rose 0.5% from a month earlier, the Labor Department said Tuesday, topping a rise of 0.3% projected by economists. The strengthening price of oil, which rose to more than $50 a barrel in October, appeared to be the main driver, with import prices outside of petroleum down 0.1% over the month.

Free Rat with Purchase

And finally, clothing store Zara, a subsidiary of Inditex, is facing a lawsuit after a New York woman said she found a dead rodent sewn into a dress she bought from the retailer. The woman discovered the additional material when she wore the dress to work and noticed a “pungent odor” along with an odd sensation that “felt like a string brushing against her leg,” CNN wrote. Zara, which manufactures clothing in countries including Spain, Portugal, Turkey and Morocco, said it is looking into the matter.

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