The Daily Valet. - 3/7/24, Thursday

Thursday, March 7th Edition
Cory Ohlendorf  
By Cory Ohlendorf, Valet. Editor
With all the deliveries we get these days, we need better "box management" skills.

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Today’s Big Story

Target Takes on Amazon


The fancy big box retailer is launching an unlimited rush shipping subscription to rival Prime



Target used to be the stylish underdog. Remember those days? They were tiny in comparison to Walmart and other big box retailers, but over the decades they’ve gotten stronger, savvier and even more stylish. The old joke is that you go into a store for one or two things and leave with a bagful of items you didn’t even know you wanted. Well business is about to be even better.

First of all, they’re planning on opening an additional 300 stores around the country. But their big play will be digital, as this week the company announced Target Circle 360, a $99 annual subscription that will offer free, unlimited delivery and rush shipping on online orders.

According to The Verge, the new plan arrives at a time when the lines between ecommerce and brick-and-mortar are blurrier than ever. Both Target and Walmart pull from nearby brick-and-mortar stores and warehouses for online orders. Meanwhile, Amazon’s vast network of warehouses and fulfillment centers means there’s always a delivery hub nearby. Target may not be able to compete with Prime on delivery, but it can still lure away some of its customers by offering a similar membership. Especially for those who prefer to support a company like Target instead of Amazon.

As for the details of the plan, new customers can score a discounted rate of $49 for the first year (available until May 18th). Subscribers will receive free same-day delivery in as little as one hour for goods available through its in-house delivery service, as well as discounted prices and 30 extra days to return products. When you compare it to Amazon (which costs $139 per year, but includes additional benefits like Prime Video) or Walmart ($98 per year, plus some discounts at local gas stations), it’s tempting. But once you’re sucked into the Amazon vortex, is it too hard to remove yourself fully?

The original Target dog who debuted in a 1999 commercial was American Kennel Club Champion Kingsmere Moondoggie, known as "Smudgie".

Alabama Fast-Tracks IVF Legislation


Alabama governor signs bill giving immunity to patients and providers, but experts say more work is needed

Alabama lawmakers moved quickly to approve legislation on Wednesday that protects in vitro fertilization clinics from lawsuits in response to an uproar sparked by last month’s state Supreme Court ruling that found frozen embryos have the rights of children under the state’s wrongful death law. Republican Governor Kay Ivey signed the bill into law as expected minutes later.

The bill gives legal protection for fertility clinics, at least three of which paused IVF treatments after the court ruling to assess their new liability risks. Doctors from Alabama Fertility said the bill’s passage will allow them to resume embryo transfers as early as today. But a law professor told CNN that there “is a lot of ambiguity in the language” in the legislation “that if I was advising a clinic, would give me great pause before resuming treatment.”

Republicans in the state legislature proposed the immunity bill as a way to get clinics reopened, but have refused to take up a bill that would address the legal status of embryos. Last week, House Democrats proposed legislation stating that a human embryo outside a uterus could not be considered an unborn child or human being under state law. They argued that this change in law would be the most direct way to deal with the issue, however Republicans have not brought the proposal up for a vote.

Dig Deeper:
The Washington Post's Ruth Marcus points out how pushing 'fetal personhood' could ultimately backfire for its proponents.


Which platform delivered millions to investors in 2023?

Masterworks just wrapped up another banner year, selling over $21.9M of paintings in 2023 and delivering the proceeds to investors. Talk about a Happy New Year.

The Battle for Votes Begins


After Haley officially dropped out, her supporters were seen as the key to tipping the general election

Early Wednesday, Nikki Haley announced that her 2024 campaign is over, but the fight to win over her supporters has just begun. With former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden essentially set in stone as their parties’ respective nominees, the Haley voting bloc has a choice to make.

And according to NBC News, the two candidates’ initial pitches to these voters couldn’t sound more different. On Truth Social, Trump posted that Haley (who was his former U.N. ambassador), “got TROUNCED,” adding that “Much of her money came from Radical Left Democrats, as did many of her voters.” Biden, meanwhile, praised Haley in a statement for having the “courage” to run against Trump and expressed hope that the two “can find common ground” on a variety of key issues.

Haley campaign spokesperson Olivia Perez-Cubas highlighted the differences between the Biden and Trump statements, posting on X: “A tale of two statements...” Experts told Axios that winning over Haley’s supporters, especially in suburban areas in battleground states, could be key to winning the general election.

Exit polling in North Carolina, which Biden narrowly lost to Trump in 2020, indicated that 80% of Haley voters wouldn't necessarily vote for the GOP nominee in November.

Car Industry Told to Dial Back Use of Touchscreens


New safety guidelines just might kill an ‘annoying’ modern automotive trend

Car makers in Europe are being encouraged to stop using touchscreens for basic functions like turn signals and wipers in an attempt to promote safer driving. As reported by the Times, the European New Car Assessment Program (NCAP)—an independent and well-regarded safety body for the automotive industry—is set to introduce new rules in January 2026 that will require the vehicles it assesses to have physical controls to receive a full five-star safety rating.

MotorTrend points out that changes required of automakers for the European auto market could translate to changes on U.S. market cars as well, at least from European automakers, or future U.S. regulations could follow with similar physical control requirements. They also say that, at the moment, it seems to be a bit of a “Wild West situation for interior vehicle designers, so it's smart for the safety and regulatory bodies to put the foot down and draw the line somewhere.”

After all, minimalist design is cool and uncluttered, but isn’t it easier and certainly more satisfying to manipulate physical controls, which often can be done without needing to look at whatever you're touching? A few knobs and buttons won’t kill you, but not having them possibly could.

Not News:
New data finds that Americans think car dealerships rip them off. But there are gaps between what customers experience and how they feel.


The Surprising Asset That (Handily) Beat Stock Market Darlings


Invest in blue-chip paintings for just a fraction of the cost



What's one investing secret that billionaires like Jay-Z and Ken Griffin know that you don’t? A market whose prices grew at an annualized rate of 18.2% from 1984 to 2022, outpacing the S&P 500, and stocks like Berkshire Hathaway and Walmart: Basquiat.

That’s right, the market for Jean-Michel Basquiat’s art. And now, for the first time, everyday investors are getting in on the action.

Thanks to Masterworks, the award-winning platform for investing in blue-chip art. When Masterworks sells a painting–like the 20 it's already sold–investors can realize a return.

All of their offerings are limited, and shares can sell out in just minutes, but Daily Valet. readers can skip the waitlist with our exclusive link.

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NOTE: Past performance is not indicative of future returns, investing involves risk. See disclosures

Morning Motto

Fear can be good motivation.


Expect nothing, appreciate everything.




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