In 1873, Colgate got its start by selling toothpaste stored in glass jars. Then about 20 years later the company began using collapsible tubes for storage, making it the first oral hygiene brand to do so. Colgate didn’t change much in the century that followed this revolutionary packaging decision, even after Palmolive purchased the company in the 1950s. And while it has since introduced new products like electric toothbrushes, Colgate’s central mission remains focused on selling as much toothpaste as Continue reading

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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 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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March 16, 2018

As we saw yesterday with the sad state of Toys ‘R’ Us, the last few years have not been kind to brick-and-mortar retailers. The rise of online commerce has encouraged an increasing number of consumers to do their shopping at home, leaving many companies worried that they could be the next to go under. But while this is a new feeling for some, others like independent bookstore owners have had to deal with such fears for a long time. Continue reading

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March 15, 2018

Last year, we looked at how Toys ‘R’ Us filed for bankruptcy after struggling for more than a decade with increasing competition and crushing debt. And while its future didn’t seem particularly bright at the time, the retailer at least had a plan in place to stay afloat in the short term. Along with taking out a massive loan to buy stock for the Christmas season, the company also claimed it had no plans to close any stores.

This relatively Continue reading

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February 1, 2018

For decades, malls served as community hubs where people could shop, see a movie, or grab some food all in one convenient location. But the rise of e-commerce and social media caused malls to decline both as retail and recreational centers, leading many to look like ghost towns today. In fact, experts predict that one in every four malls could go out of business by 2022.

In an effort to stay open, mall owners across the country have started appealing Continue reading

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January 2, 2018

For many traditional retailers, 2017 was not a good year. Along with the more than 20 chains that filed for bankruptcy, established brands like Sears and J.C. Penney also announced that they’d be closing hundreds of locations. Unfortunately, the outlook doesn’t look much better for 2018. As Amazon continues to disrupt the industry by dominating e-commerce, experts predict that more bankruptcies and store closings could be on the way. “I think the early part of next year will be Continue reading

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November 30, 2017

Although many retailers enjoyed a sales boost during Thanksgiving Weekend, no other company can rival Amazon’s stellar start to the holiday season. The e-commerce outlet brought in 45 percent of all online purchases on Thanksgiving along with nearly 55 percent of Black Friday’s total Internet transactions. Plus, Amazon announced that Cyber Monday was the company’s biggest sales day ever, boasting that customers had purchased “hundreds of millions of products” throughout the weekend.

Along with putting Amazon’s huge influence with customers Continue reading

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November 28, 2017

Last week we took a look at how analysts were lowering their expectations for Black Friday, which is traditionally the country’s biggest annual shopping event. While retailers managed to generate about $5 billion in sales on the day, this year’s take was decidedly lower than in years past. In some cases store traffic was non-existent, leading at least one newscaster to vent their frustrations about the poor turnout on air. But while some brick-and-mortar stores stayed empty, Continue reading

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October 12, 2017

jurgen-appeloWhile Amazon has been an online retail powerhouse for years now, in 2017 the company showed the business world what a truly dominant force it could be. Along with buying Whole Foods during the summer, Amazon’s name came up constantly as the media discussed how the online outlet had upended the traditional retail industry. But despite all the talk about Amazon’s growing supremacy, the company still can’t compete in one of retail’s most lucrative sectors: fashion.

That’s not to Continue reading

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