November 6, 2018

Today millions of Americans will head out to vote in the midterm elections, and hopefully you’ll be one of them. Of course, not everyone can easily find time during the day to perform this important civic duty. According to a Pew Research Center survey from 2014, 35 percent of respondents said they were registered to vote but couldn’t make it to the polls due to “work or school conflicts.” In that particular election year, only 37 percent of eligible voters Continue reading

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November 2, 2018

Yesterday, we took a look at the thousands of Marriott employees who are currently striking against the hotel chain for improved wages and better working conditions. Shortly after we published that post, though, another major labor action began to take place at one of the world’s largest companies. Starting early Thursday morning, thousands of Google employees in offices across the globe walked off their jobs to protest the search giant’s handling of sexual assault claims.

A week before the walk Continue reading

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November 1, 2018

With about 6,700 hotels operating under 30 brands in more than a hundred countries, Marriott International is by far the world’s largest hotel chain. Last year the company earned profits totaling $1.37 billion as guests from around the globe checked in and out of properties like Sheraton, Ritz-Carlton, and Westin. Over the last few weeks, however, 23 hotels owned by Marriott have not been operating as usual. That’s because since October 8th the employees at these locations have been on Continue reading

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October 30, 2018

Tomorrow night, children across the country will put on costumes and head out in search of as much candy as they can carry. And while many adults will accompany these kids on their sugary quests, plenty of others will be getting into the Halloween spirit without doing any trick-or-treating. After all, in recent years adults have become just as excited about All Hallow’s Eve as the most candy-crazed kids.

In fact, last year half of all Americans purchased a costume Continue reading

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October 26, 2018

We’ve all been there before: you go to the store with a carefully prepared shopping list only to walk out with tons of stuff you had no previous intention to buy. These types of impulse purchases are such a vital source of revenue that some retailers design their store layouts to encourage as much emotion-driven buying as possible. This video looks at how IKEA depends on winding pathways and strategic lighting to do just that.

Questions:

  1. How does IKEA’s store Continue reading
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October 25, 2018

In today’s retail environment, the most successful companies aim to be one-stop shops where customers can purchase everything they need in a single trip. And while modern shoppers might associate this strategy with firms like Walmart and Amazon, experts agree that Sears was the first business to perfect the all-in-one retail plan. Starting out in the late 1800s as a mail-order catalog, the company eventually built thousands of department stores across the country. Consumers at the time had never before Continue reading

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October 23, 2018

Earlier this year, Toys ‘R’ Us announced that it would be closing most of its U.S. stores after filing for bankruptcy in 2017. And while this was certainly bad news for anyone who loved the store “where a kid can be a kid,” it was especially unpleasant for toy manufacturers like Hasbro and Mattel. These companies depended on large holiday orders from Toys ‘R’ Us to fund operations throughout the entire year. Without a big retailer to sell to, though, Continue reading

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October 19, 2018

Although Americans can buy a Coke just about anywhere, no other place seems to make the soft drink better than McDonald’s. And that’s not an accident: the company has had a special connection with Coca-Cola since the burger chain’s founding in 1955. Back then, McDonald’s boss Ray Kroc struck a handshake deal with a local Coke supplier, establishing a close business relationship that continues to this day. “Those two companies helped each other grow and expand around the globe,” said Continue reading

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October 18, 2018

Every day, thousands of huge cargo ships criss-cross oceans delivering products to markets all over the globe. But that’s not the only thing these vessels bring to port: they also emit sulfuric gases and fine particles that settle over cities as smog. In order to combat all this toxicity, a couple of years ago the United Nations passed a resolution to reduce the amount of sulfur content in maritime fuels. According to the guidelines, by 2020 shippers must switch to Continue reading

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October 16, 2018

The Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo has steadily grown into an international brand known for its inexpensive but stylish designs. As you might expect, maintaining this image requires the company to strike a delicate balance between creating interesting products and keeping costs low. That’s why Uniqlo recently announced that robots have replaced 90 percent of the staff at one of its warehouses.

Along with drastically cutting costs, the company’s newly automated warehouse will also be able to operate 24 hours a Continue reading

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