June 22, 2018

In recent years, millions of consumers have grown accustomed to the convenience of online shopping. Along with enjoying wide selections and free home delivery, e-commerce customers often don’t pay sales tax for items purchased online. However, that last fact could soon change thanks to a new Supreme Court ruling.

The decision reverses a previous ruling that prevented companies from collecting sales tax in states where they had no physical presence. Given that online retailers aren’t constrained by borders, though, a Continue reading

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June 21, 2018

After a lot of legal wrangling, AT&T and Time Warner recently received permission to proceed with a long-awaited corporate merger. But they aren’t the only media companies looking to combine forces: Disney plans to buy Fox, so long as Comcast doesn’t beat them to the punch. This video takes a look at what these mergers mean for the companies themselves as well as consumers.

Questions:

  1. Why are major media companies starting to join forces through corporate mergers?
  2. How do you Continue reading
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June 19, 2018

Given that airlines charge thousands of dollars for seats in business class, they try to make the experience as luxurious as possible for their premium passengers. On Etihad Airways, for instance, wealthy fliers can stay in a three-room “residence” that includes a private bathroom and double bed. While other carriers can’t quite match that level of extravagance, they strive to provide passengers with first-class amenities like upscale blankets and fine tableware.

The only problem is that these items don’t remain Continue reading

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June 14, 2018

In last year’s hit “Bodak Yellow,” the rapper Cardi B starts the song off by bragging about wearing expensive “red bottom” shoes. While those unfamiliar with fashion might not understand the lyric, fans of fancy footwear know there’s only one brand she could be talking about: Louboutin. Since the early 1990s the company has made high-priced stilettos that all feature bold red-colored soles. With the most basic pair going for more than $650, Louboutin shoes stand as symbols of luxury Continue reading

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June 12, 2018

Although founded in the 1950s as the International House of Pancakes, for more than 40 years consumers have known the breakfast chain better as IHOP. For most companies, gaining this kind of brand recognition with a simple acronym would be a dream come true. Last week, however, IHOP announced that its “P” was changing into a “b,” lowercase and all. And yesterday the chain revealed the meaning behind the switch: it turns out the “b” stands for “burgers.”

The announcement Continue reading

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Late last year, Snapchat unveiled a number of changes to the design of its immensely popular photo and video sharing platform. The idea behind the switch was to separate content produced by a user’s friends from content made by media companies and celebrities. In practice, however, this amounted to Snapchat splitting their users’ feeds in two.

The social media reaction to the redesign started out negative and only got worse as time passed. Along with the more than 1.25 million Continue reading

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In the Understanding Business profile for Chapter 8, we looked at how Denise Morrison brought a lifetime of business experience to her role as CEO of the Campbell Soup Company. She landed the job in 2011 just as the company was ready to undergo some major changes. Rather than continuing to use unhealthy, processed ingredients, under Morrison’s leadership Campbell’s began to focus on developing more organic options. “We believe we need to participate in this, so you can either lead Continue reading

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With more than 28,000 locations around the globe and a valuation of $44 billion, Starbucks ranks as the second-most-valuable brand in fast food. Along with its many cafes, the chain also sells a range of retail products from beans and coffee pods to pre-packaged versions of its bestselling drinks. In fact, Starbucks’ line of consumer goods does so well that the Swiss food conglomerate Nestle recently purchased the rights to the company’s retail division for $7.15 billion.

According to analysts, Continue reading

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From picking up apples to distressing jeans, automation is spreading to almost every business you can imagine. And if you happen to live in the Boston area, you could swing by the new restaurant Spyce today and have your lunch prepared by robots. This automated eatery is the result of a partnership between a group of young engineers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and renowned chef Daniel Boulud. Together these intrepid entrepreneurs claim they have created “the world’s Continue reading

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About five years ago, the residents of a small village in Peru discovered that a nearby mountain had suddenly burst into color. The snow that once capped the mountain had melted away, revealing a marvelous spectrum of multicolored soils on its peaks. Word about the “Rainbow Mountain” soon spread throughout Peru and then the world, instantly transforming this remote region into a bustling tourist destination.  

Local guides lead about 1,000 hikers to the site every day, charging $3 per Continue reading

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