June 26, 2018

The e-commerce site Etsy is almost entirely powered by millions of independent sellers who offer everything from vintage clothes to freshly made slime. A good number of these entrepreneurs make their living by selling stuff on the site, which explains the anger that many of them felt towards a recent policy change at the company. Instead of collecting a transaction fee of 3.5 percent of sales, Etsy now plans to take a 5 percent cut of both sales and 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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Lately the news has been full of headlines about the U.S. potentially imposing tariffs on goods from countries like China. These articles are typically followed by stories saying that other nations could place their own tariffs on American goods, thus potentially setting the stage for a “trade war.” This video explains exactly what happens during a trade war and how they can affect economies around the world.  

  1. What are some reasons why a country would want to impose a 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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Since the release of Fortnite Battle Royale last summer, the video game has grown from a modest success into a global phenomenon with more than 40 million active players. At one point in March, 3.4 million people were playing Fortnite at the same time, making it by far the most popular video game currently on the market. The concept behind it is simple enough: 100 players parachute onto an island to fight until there’s only one person or team left Continue reading

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With more than 26,000 locations nationwide and thousands more around the globe, Subway ranks as the world’s largest restaurant chain. Despite its size, though, the sandwich giant has shown some signs of decline recently. Along with three consecutive years of falling sales (including a 4.4 percent drop in 2017), foot traffic in Subway restaurants has plummeted by 25 percent since 2012. In fact, insiders estimate that as many as one-third of the company’s locations are not profitable.

To combat this Continue reading

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Famous for its sugary Slurpees and Big Gulp soft drinks, 7-Eleven allows people to grab a quick snack and get back on the road without a second thought. Although this business model has served the chain well since the 1940s, recent changes in consumer behavior have executives worried that 7-Eleven could be falling behind its competitors. According to the leading trade association of the convenience industry, the nation’s more than 155,000 convenience stores sold $53.3 billion worth of prepared foods Continue reading

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April 30, 2018

American millennials’ tastes have turned many markets on their heads. From choice of food to the ways companies structure leadership, this large generation makes its preferences known. One trend companies are considering is how millennials tend to prefer amazing experiences rather than accumulating “things.” How can companies adapt traditional products and services to appeal to millennials?

As we know, people of all generations share experiences from travel, life events, and plain everyday life on social media. However, to earn Continue reading

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April 26, 2018

Americans spend roughly $30 billion each year on food for their dogs. As millennials have grown to be the top dog-owning demographic, they’re changing the way our furry friends eat. The growing trend, at first created for humans and now for pets, is to increase foods’ nutritional value while also keeping food sources environmentally sustainable.

American dogs are the fifth highest consumers of meat in the world. In addition, pets are responsible for 64 million tons of greenhouse gasses each Continue reading

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April 6, 2018

Industrial robots were once so dangerous that factory employees could not work in the same room as them due to safety concerns. This video shows just how far technology has come since those early years, with today’s soft-handed robots able to pick up delicate items like fruit or plush toys.

Questions:

  1. Why have items like apples traditionally been difficult for robots to handle? How does modern “soft-robotics” address this problem?
  2. Do you think robots could eventually displace much of the Continue reading
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