Wednesday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Publix made as much money as Nike in 2018
If Publix’s sales are any measure, “Where shopping is a pleasure” is now as potent a motto as “Just do it.” In its annual report for 2018, Lakeland-based Publix reported revenues of $36.1 billion — a 4.4 percent increase from 2017. Those sales put it about on par with Oregon-based global shoe giant Nike, which reported $36.4 billion in sales at the end of its most recent fiscal year, which ended in June. More from the Miami Herald.
SpaceX attempts to land powerful triple rocket tonight
SpaceX’s beefy Falcon Heavy rocket is scheduled to launch tonight from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center followed by an attempt to land the triple-rocket system. The launch window opens at 6:35 p.m. and closes at 8:32 p.m. The powerful rocket built to send people to Mars will carry the Arabsat-6A communications satellite into orbit. A backup launch window is set to open Thursday at 6:35 p.m. More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Walmart plans estimated $173 million in Florida store construction, improvements and innovations in 2019
Building on its commitment to save customers time and money in new ways, Walmart expects to spend an estimated $173 million this year in Florida through the opening and remodeling of 34 stores, as well as the launch and continued expansion of several customer-focused innovations. Read more and see a list of planned new locations and remodels here.
JetSmarter to be sold to billionaire's Dubai jet service
Fort Lauderdale-based private jet service JetSmarter is being acquired by Dubai-based Vista Global, the companies announced Wednesday. A purchase price was not disclosed. JetSmarter, founded in 2012 by then 26-year-old University of Florida graduate Sergey Petrossov, established a headquarters in downtown Fort Lauderdale in 2016. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the Miami Herald.
Housing vouchers ending for Hurricane Michael survivors
Hundreds of residents in the county hardest hit by Hurricane Michael are losing housing vouchers that allowed them to stay at hotels in the aftermath of the Category 4 storm. The state of Florida has appealed the decision to end the vouchers and is asking for an extension of three more months. More from the AP.
It’s not unusual for retired professional athletes to enjoy productive careers in other fields after their playing days are done. Some, however, like Magic Johnson, go on to attain nearly as much fame as businesspeople as they did as superstar performers. But leaps like that don’t just happen. They take professionals like Paige Thomas, founder and CEO of Elevate Branding in Ybor City, to pull off.
» More from the Business Observer.
Uber drivers wrap cars with Tampa Bay photos as tourism promotion
Tampa Bay’s tourism agency has embarked on a new advertising frontier: Turning Uber and Lyft cars into roving billboards promoting the region. Visit Tampa Bay and marketing startup Carvertise have teamed up to push the destination on ads wrapped around ride-share vehicles in busy northern cities.
» Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.
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