June 16, 2020

Before the pandemic, Starbucks cafes across the country bustled with people grabbing all sorts of caffeinated beverages before work. With millions of Americans now telecommuting, however, these once crowded coffee houses are not nearly as busy as they used to be. As a result, last week Starbucks announced that it would close hundreds of locations across North America and shift its focus to takeout orders.

“This repositioning will include the closure of up to 400 company-operated stores over the next Continue reading

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A couple of weeks ago, we looked at how Airbnb hosts are struggling after the travel industry came to a standstill due to widespread stay-at-home orders. This video explains in greater detail why the once successful startup was so vulnerable to an economic downturn and what that means for both Airbnb and its hosts in the long term.

Questions:

  1. What factors made Airbnb so successful for nearly a decade?
  2. Do you think Airbnb will be able to recover from this Continue reading
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Before the coronavirus pandemic, takeout and delivery orders made up just a small portion of total sales for most restaurants. With countless customers now homebound, though, to-go business has never been more important for eateries across the country. Many restaurants use apps like Grubhub, Seamless, or DoorDash to handle delivery orders, but these services come with quite a few problems for all their convenience. Besides signing up companies that don’t offer delivery, food startups have also deceived restaurants and Continue reading

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In early March, the movie studio Universal had already spent millions of dollars marketing its upcoming title Trolls World Tour in anticipation of its April 10th release. When the coronavirus pandemic shut down theaters across the nation, though, Universal made the bold decision to release the movie through on-demand platforms like Apple TV and Amazon. The gamble paid off handsomely for the movie studio: after three weeks on the market for $20 per rental, Trolls World Tour brought in more Continue reading

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April 30, 2020

Although many companies remain closed during the ongoing pandemic, some businesses have been able to alter their operations to produce increasingly vital supplies. This video looks at how Dogfish Head Brewery managed to keep its employees on the payroll while also supplying local hospitals with hand sanitizer.

Questions:

  1. How did Dogfish Head Brewery change its operations to make hand sanitizer?
  2. What is the three-step process that Dogfish Head Brewery used to engage with their community during the coronavirus crisis?
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April 10, 2020

Over the last few weeks, shoppers at supermarkets across the country have stocked up on versatile staples like milk, bread, and eggs that are well-suited for hunkering at home. But as many meat and dairy producers ramp up production to satisfy this increasing demand, food companies that serve clients like restaurants and schools are drastically scaling back. With many eating establishments now closed or take-out only due to coronavirus containment, food suppliers have seen demand for their services plummet. As Continue reading

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April 3, 2020

Earlier this year, we looked at how the fitness startup ClassPass grew into a $1 billion company thanks to an innovative business model that allows members to easily find exercise classes in their area. Flash forward just a few months later, however, and ClassPass finds itself in a completely different position due to widespread shutdowns caused by coronavirus containment. As gyms and fitness centers closed across the world in March, ClassPass watched as 95 percent of its revenue disappeared within Continue reading

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March 27, 2020

With movie theaters across the world closed due to coronavirus containment, experts predict that the global film industry could lose as much as $15 billion this year. China shuttered more than 60,000 theaters in January right before the annual Lunar New Year holidays, a boom period that usually brings in $2 billion in box office sales. Meanwhile in the U.S., AMC Theatres recently announced that it has furloughed its CEO and corporate staff after the company closed more than 1,000 Continue reading

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February 27, 2020

On Tuesday, Disney CEO Bob Iger surprised the business world by announcing that he would immediately step down from the top job. After 15 years in charge of the entertainment giant, Iger passed the reins to a company veteran named Bob Chapek who had been overseeing Disney’s theme parks division. Although the news caught many observers off-guard, Iger insists that this plan has been in the works for some time. “It’s only abrupt in other people’s eyes because we haven’t Continue reading

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February 21, 2020

For much of the 19th and early 20th centuries, train travel was the primary mode of transportation for millions of Americans. Once cars and air travel rose to prominence, however, trains fell out of use in the U.S. while other European and Asian nations greatly expanded their railway capabilities. Along with looking at the history of American train travel, this in-depth video examines a modern company that wants to connect the nation with high-speed trains like so many other countries Continue reading

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