June 18, 2019

For most of the 20th century, American consumers relied on small local shoe stores to fulfill all of their footwear needs. Then big sporting goods retailers arrived on the scene followed by sophisticated online operations like Zappos. Although this increased competition forced some independent outlets to close, many others managed to survive thanks to their high level of service. At Colburn Shoe Store in Maine, for example, employees remember exactly what size shoe their customers wear as well as their Continue reading

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June 14, 2019

In 2013 the photo sharing app Ever launched with the slogan “Make memories” as it invited people to store their pictures on the startup’s cloud-based platform. Millions of users took the company up on its offer and shared their “best moments” on Ever over the years. According to a recent report from NBC News, however, Ever’s sentimental marketing doesn’t mention a key part of its business plan. All photos stored on the app are used by the company to Continue reading

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June 13, 2019

The last few years have not been good for Claire’s, the mall-based retailer known for its adolescent-focused cosmetics and accessories. In early 2018 the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after it accrued more than $2 billion in debt. Although Claire’s eventually emerged from bankruptcy, the end of the year also brought an unwelcome announcement from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). According to the federal agency, Claire’s had been under investigation since 2017 for “high levels of asbestos” Continue reading

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June 11, 2019

On Sunday night CBS aired the 73rd Annual Tony Awards, one of the most important evenings in American theater. But while this prestigious ceremony has been compared to Broadway’s version of the Oscars, the Tonys don’t attract nearly as large of an audience as Hollywood’s big night. For instance, 30 million people watched the Academy Awards in February compared to just 6 million viewers for Sunday’s show. Although Broadway continues to enjoy strong box office sales, many theaters have had Continue reading

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For more than a decade, the British chef Jamie Oliver has been world famous for his global empire of restaurants and campaigns against junk food. But while he remains committed to using his platform to promote healthy eating, his name doesn’t appear to hold the same branding power as it once did. A few weeks ago, the celebrity chef announced that 22 of his 25 U.K. eateries would close after the Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group filed for bankruptcy protection. Although Continue reading

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Although share prices of Uber have not dropped significantly since its terrible first two days, the ride-hailing company is still a long way off of its initial $120 billion valuation. Its competitor Lyft has had a similarly unimpressive IPO, disappointing many investors who hoped both companies would debut strongly on the market. But while these firms are performing well below Wall Street’s expectations, one new tech stock is dazzling shareholders and making competitors pay attention.

Since hitting the market Continue reading

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On Friday we looked at how Uber drivers around the world went on strike in the lead up to the company’s highly anticipated initial public offering (IPO). In the years before it debuted on the New York Stock Exchange, Uber was once valued at more than $120 billion by private investors. But just a few days into its IPO, however, the company is now worth about half that amount. On its first day of trading, Uber shares opened at $3 Continue reading

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Starting in the late 1990s, Atlanta business owner Frank Reiss struggled to keep his small bookstore in operation. Along with the growing dominance of Amazon, he also lost much of his lucrative rare book business to the online auction house eBay. Reiss considered closing his beloved A Capella Books in the early 2000s until his father suggested that hosting events with authors could turn things around for the better. The plan worked: A Cappella sold more than 500 books Continue reading

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March 28, 2019

From metal water bottles to sustainable comforters, green-minded companies have created a wealth of options for today’s eco-friendly consumers. But while many of these products are good for the environment, they’re often too expensive to make a big impact on the marketplace. For instance, a startup named LARQ sells a stainless-steel water bottle with an ultraviolet light in the cap that purifies any water poured through it. Although this product is meant to serve as an alternative to $2 plastic Continue reading

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March 19, 2019

For years fashionable firms have depended on Instagram to showcase their goods to the social network’s more than 1 billion monthly users. Along with helping companies develop into stylish brands, the photo-sharing platform also serves as a key source of traffic to online stores. For instance, a designer can post a photo of a new dress and attach a link where customers can go to purchase it.

Now Instagram plans to take that concept to the next level by allowing Continue reading

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