March 9, 2016

With e-commerce now commonplace, traditional retailers are having a lot of trouble convincing customers to visit their stores. After all, online outlets allow people to order almost anything they need for the best price on the market. Brick and mortar retailers, meanwhile, must rely on promotions and holiday shopping since they can’t compete on price or selection. Even these strategies have become increasingly undependable, however. The most recent Christmas season saw sales rise by just 3 percent. In fact, the Continue reading

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July 30, 2015

Trading commodities is a complicated business. Employees in the industry not only have to possess financial intelligence, they also must be able to seemingly predict the future based solely on projections and estimates. For years traders like these thrived in the “pits” of Chicago and New York’s stock exchanges, shouting about everything from livestock to produce as they searched for deals. These financial foot soldiers eventually became pop culture icons, with frantically yelling floor traders appearing in everything from serious Continue reading

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June 25, 2015

Ownership of private property is one of the United States’ oldest economic principles. But like many other seemingly everlasting ideas, modern technology has enabled companies to put this concept to the test. For instance, a few years ago Keurig’s single-cup coffeemakers became a big hit with consumers. Rather than brew an entire pot of coffee, those in need of a jolt simply place a small pod of grounds into the machine and wait a few seconds for their drink to Continue reading

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June 21, 2015

For many environmentally conscious diners, where their food comes from is almost as important as the food itself. Followers of the “farm-to-table” movement try to avoid items made on industrial-scale factory farms in favor of locally produced, organic goods. Over the years this concept has expanded from the stands at local farmers’ markets and into mainstream foodie culture. But while this concept works for farm-cultivated products like vegetables, beef and poultry, following fish from “ocean-to-table” is trickier to pull off. Continue reading

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June 13, 2015

While nonprofit organizations do the world an immeasurable amount of good, their restrictive structure can prove frustrating for some entrepreneurs. After all in order to stay afloat, many nonprofits depend on the generosity of donors, a source of capital that could suddenly dry up at anytime. That’s why a few startups are combining the social drive of nonprofits with sustainable business models to form benefit corporations, or “B-corps” for short.

On the surface these companies seem like normal firms: they Continue reading

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After years of declining sales, RadioShack finally seemed to be on the way out after filing for bankruptcy protection in February 2015. The electronics retailer had been a mainstay of American commerce for nearly a century, thriving off the sales of niche items like CB radios and pre-iPod portable music players. As technology became more commonplace, however, RadioShack struggled to keep up with the mainstream and settled into stagnation. Executives at the brand tried to reverse this trend by redesigning Continue reading

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April 18, 2015

For years Walt Disney Studios thrived by strategically reissuing its catalogue of animated classics on home video. Starting out on VHS and continuing with DVD and Blu-ray, the company rereleased a movie every seven years, updating the special features and packaging into something new for consumers to purchase. With digital downloads rising and DVD sales on the downturn, however, Disney’s longtime cash cow is starting to run dry. As a result, the Mouse has switched focus to reimagining its past Continue reading

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April 15, 2015

The mission of marketers is to make a product appealing to customers. To accomplish this task, ads often depend on eye-popping visual imagery or memorable music in order to form a quick impression. But as many marketers are beginning to realize, consumers have three more senses to stimulate besides sight and sound. Anything from a pleasing smell to a feeling of warmth can make people more receptive to buy, leading a number of companies to ramp up their sensory marketing Continue reading

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April 2, 2015

To many amateur investors, a company that brings in more than $1 billion in annual sales would seem like a pretty safe bet. But these numbers didn’t impress Wall Street hedge fund manager Whitney Tilson when he noticed them in a report about Lumber Liquidators. From his professional perspective, this small flooring retailer should not have been enjoying such large profit margins. Suspecting that the company was cutting corners in some way, he advised his clients to sell the company Continue reading

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March 1, 2015

Over the last few years, net neutrality has appeared as a subject of debate everywhere from Internet forums to the highest levels of government. As of February 26, 2015 however, the Federal Communications Commission may have ended the discussion once and for all. On that day, the FCC voted to classify Internet providers as public utilities, thus preventing them from extending better service to websites who pay more money. The decision was a victory for the Internet’s many net neutrality Continue reading

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