April 15, 2013

zaraThe years following the start of the recession have not been kind for much of the retail industry. For the clothing company Zara, however, the downturn has been something of a blessing. The Spanish brand came to global prominence in the 1990s as its affordable but fashionable looks started to arrive at stores on foreign shores. Today the company brings in more than $9 billion annually from 1,600 locations as shoppers the world over turn to Zara’s lower price tags Continue reading

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April 10, 2013

rbullEver since The Colgate Comedy Hour premiered in the 1950s, companies have been happy to stamp their names across a variety of entertainment ventures. For some modern companies, though, simply being the sponsor of an event no longer has the same appeal. After all, nearly every form of mass entertainment features a sponsor of some type. Whether it’s TV, concerts or sporting events, consumers are constantly bombarded with the names of corporate benefactors, making it difficult for some brands to Continue reading

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April 7, 2013

budTo most American beer drinkers, there’s only one Budweiser. Go to the Czech Republic, however, and you might be in for a bit of surprise. Since 1895 the brewing company Budejovicky Budvar has been making a beer called Budweiser. And no, they didn’t just rip the name off from the iconic AB Inbev brand. The brewery operates in a region of the Czech Republic called Budweiser, where people have been brewing beer since 1295. In fact, the region’s proud brewing Continue reading

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April 5, 2013

swissWhen the credit crisis hit in 2008, much of the public’s ire fell on the Wall Street executives who earned enormous salaries as the financial system crumbled. Legislators and activists demanded that the country’s corporations revert to more reasonable pay packages, especially those companies who received government bailouts. Nearly five years later, however, little has been done to curb outsized executive compensation. Well, at least in the U.S.

Switzerland, on the other hand, recently voted for legislation that aims to Continue reading

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April 3, 2013

 

In the eyes of many Occupy Wall Street sympathizers, the people who run America’s biggest companies are untouchably wealthy power brokers. However, this viewpoint fails to take into account the startling effect that the recession had on job security across the spectrum. One need not look further than the fate of former Groupon CEO Andrew Mason. After a string of failures, the board elected to part ways with the company’s founder. In his farewell statement to staff, Mason cheekily Continue reading

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March 25, 2013

 

foamSome products in our society become so commonplace that it can be difficult to remember a time when they weren’t around. The oversized foam finger proudly waved at sporting events across the nation certainly fits that description. But the world had to wait until 1977 for this iconic product’s first iteration. A Texas woodshop teacher named Geral Fauss cut the first big digit out of poster board in anticipation of his high school’s upcoming football game against a heated Continue reading

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March 20, 2013

yarnAs long as there are offices, there will be conflicts between management and staff. Still, no business can hope to succeed without a successful working relationship between these two occasionally combative entities. Managers will always need motivated employees to work hard and achieve the company’s goals, and employees will always need managers to set those goals and pay them for their efforts to meet them. Indeed, this seeming imbalance of power is why some staffers inevitably come to resent their Continue reading

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March 15, 2013

By now, the perks available to employees at Silicon Valley’s hottest startups and established tech giants are the stuff of legend. Google staffers can enjoy their breaks either by eating a free gourmet lunch in the commissary or by receiving a relaxing massage from one of the company’s in-house masseurs. YouTube employees can walk down the stairs to their next meeting or they could take a ride on the story-high slide instead. And if a Twitter programmer doesn’t want to Continue reading

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March 5, 2013

With economic recovery proceeding at a sluggish pace, many companies are operating on razor thin margins that can be easily disrupted. For instance, business got so slow at the plastics company Saint-Gobain last fall that executives cut worker hours by 40 percent. Although this type of story has become all too common since 2008, a federal government-funded work share program ensured the company’s staff didn’t lose their entire income. Thanks to the additional funds, Saint-Gobain’s employees recouped 70 percent of Continue reading

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