Talking Points

CVS Health tests self-driving vehicle prescription delivery

CVS Health will join with the Silicon Valley robotics company Nuro on the delivery of medicines via self-driving vehicles.
CVS Health will join with the Silicon Valley robotics company Nuro on the delivery of medicines via self-driving vehicles.Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press/File 2018/Associated Press


Wasabi Technologies raises an additional $30m from investors

Wasabi Technologies, a cloud-storage business, has raised an additional $30 million in equity investments that will be used to build out more data centers and further Wasabi’s expansion. The new infusion of funds brings the total raised for Wasabi, which employs 90 people and is based at the Prudential Center, to $110 million. Wasabi head David Friend said the latest round involved family investment offices that often take more of a longer-term view than venture capitalists; the lead investor was Forestay Capital, overseen by Swiss entrepreneur Ernesto Bertarelli. Friend said some investors were initially nervous about committing more money to Wasabi during the stock market turmoil, but it helped that the company could show it had “record weeks” since the pandemic began. Friend founded Wasabi with Jeff Flowers five years ago; Friend and Flowers might be best known in Boston’s tech circles for launching Carbonite, another data and protection storage firm, in 2005. — JON CHESTO


Hearst veteran named new head of WCVB-TV

Hearst Television has picked a successor to Bill Fine, the president and general manager at WCVB-TV in Needham and, as expected, the company is promoting from within. On Thursday, Hearst announced that Kyle Grimes, who holds a similar position at Hearst’s WGAL-TV in Lancaster, Pa., would take over for Fine at WCVB after he retires this year. Grimes has held several positions within Hearst, moving up the career ladder there over the course of more than two decades. — JON CHESTO



Winston Flowers to close three stores, one in Financial District

Winston Flowers announced that it would shutter three of its retail florist shops on Thursday, citing the economic losses incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The stores that will close are the Federal Street shop in the Financial District, which has been in operation for more than a decade, and shops in Concord and Hingham. Retail flower shops were deemed nonessential businesses at the outset of the COVID-19 outbreak, and thus required to close in an effort to stop the spread of the pandemic. Governor Baker allowed florists to reopen for business for online sales for Mother’s Day, and Winston Flowers was flooded with orders. But for florist businesses that rely so heavily on foot traffic and in-store sales, it seems even a surge in orders was not enough to ensure they could stay in their locations. Several of their other sites are still open for business, including their Boston Design Studio and Winston Flowers & Garden Center in Chestnut Hill. — JANELLE NANOS



CVS to test self-driving vehicles for prescription deliveries

CVS Health will try delivering prescriptions with self-driving vehicles in a test that begins next month. The drugstore chain said Thursday that it will partner with the Silicon Valley robotics company Nuro on the delivery of medicines and other products to customers near a Houston-area store. A CVS spokesman said the prescriptions will routinely be delivered within an hour of being ordered. Customers will have to confirm their identity in order to unlock their delivery after the Nuro vehicle arrives. Nuro has previously started partnerships to test the delivery of pizzas for Domino’s and groceries for Kroger, also in the Houston area. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Bankruptcies in May on par with those in the Great Recession

In May alone, some 27 companies reporting at least $50 million in liabilities sought court protection from creditors — the highest number since the Great Recession. They range from well-known mainstays such as J.C. Penney and J. Crew to air carriers Latam Airlines Group and Avianca, their business decimated as travelers stayed put. In May 2009, 29 major companies filed for bankruptcy, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. And year-to-date, there have been 98 bankruptcies filed by companies with at least $50 million in liabilities — also the highest since 2009, when 142 companies filed in the first four months. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Nissan loses $6.2 billion

Nissan Motor Co. reported a 671 billion yen ($6.2 billion) net loss for the latest fiscal year, the first loss in a decade and the biggest in 20 years. A four-year turnaround plan calls for production to be cut by 20 percent to about 5.4 million vehicles a year, and includes the closing of Nissan’s Barcelona plant in addition to one it is shuttering in Indonesia. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Toll Bros. sees uptick in luxury home orders

Toll Brothers Inc. shares surged after the company posted profit that beat estimates and said deposits on new homes were up in recent weeks, a potential sign of optimism for the luxury housing market. The home builder, which focuses on higher-end customers, has struggled during the pandemic. It reported orders for the second quarter that missed estimates and said the key metric had plunged starting March 16, when much of the economy shut down. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Chevron to cut about 6,000 jobs

Chevron is planning a 10- to 15-percent reduction in its global workforce this year, the biggest cut to head count yet among global oil majors following the COVID-19 pandemic. The cuts equate to about 6,000 of its 45,000 non-gas station employees and may be a precursor to staffing reductions at Big Oil rivals such as BP and Royal Dutch Shell. Until now, layoffs had primarily been felt in the oil-field services sector and among North American independent producers. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Delta to offer buyouts to those nearing retirement age

Delta Air Lines Inc. is offering new programs to entice workers to leave the carrier voluntarily as it expects a large-scale recovery in coronavirus-devastated travel demand to take as long as three years. On Thursday it provided details to workers about an enhanced plan for long-term employees nearing retirement age or who have more than 25 years of service, and a separate program that covers other eligible workers. Delta is in talks with its pilots’ union for a similar early retirement plan, chief executive Ed Bastian said in a letter to employees. Delta joined other US carriers in stepping-up efforts to scale back workforces voluntarily and avoid forced layoffs later this year, when a federal prohibition on airline job cuts expires. More than 40,000 Delta workers earlier accepted voluntary unpaid leaves after the coronavirus pandemic and related travel restrictions curtailed travel demand. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Storied Harrods to reopen in June along with new outlet

Harrods will reopen its flagship London store in June, with social distancing measures in place, and open an outlet shop to sell stock left over from the spring season. The luxury retailer plans to use footfall monitoring technology to limit capacity at its main Knightsbridge store and ensure social distancing can be maintained when it opens on June 15. Specific doors will be designated for entering and exiting the store, which was closed in March as the coronavirus outbreak started to spread in Britain. The new outlet, based in West London’s Westfield mall, has been designed to allow more space for customers, the company said. — BLOOMBERG NEWS