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

Continue reading...

April 10, 2018

Paying with a credit card is an almost entirely electronic process except for one notable step: the signature. Although this final part of the transaction is meant to provide another layer of security, many consumers quickly squiggle something down on the line just to get the procedure over with. Then there are people like Doug Taylor, who goes the extra mile by signing his receipts with a doodle of a little dog wagging its tail. “It gets a laugh, most Continue reading

Continue reading...

March 30, 2018

As anyone who’s ever worked in retail knows, dealing with unpredictable work hours can be a frustrating experience. At the Gap, for instance, schedules must be posted 10 days in advance but can change quickly if the staff must prepare for big events like sales promotions or visits from executives. Even during standard operating times this system is far from perfect, with employees uncertain if they’ll work the same shifts from one week to the next. “I don’t count on Continue reading

Continue reading...

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

Continue reading...

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

Continue reading...

February 13, 2018

In 1912 Leon Leonwood Bean sold his first 100 pairs of boots to local hunters, promising that the footwear would “give perfect satisfaction in every way.” Soon enough, though, 90 customers brought their boots back after the bottoms became separated from the tops. While Bean nearly went bankrupt providing refunds, he knew that he had to stick to his word in order to regain his customers’ trust. As a result, people continued to support his business, which eventually grew from Continue reading

Continue reading...

February 9, 2018

Last week, we looked at how property owners are trying to combat the decline of shopping malls by appealing to non-retail tenants like gyms and fitness centers. This video provides more background on this downward spiral, showing footage of American malls thriving in their heyday as well as the decaying, abandoned structures that some have become. But the video isn’t entirely doom and gloom: it also gives a lot of screentime to an Atlanta-area shopping center called Plaza Fiesta that Continue reading

Continue reading...

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

Continue reading...

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

Continue reading...

December 1, 2017

During the upcoming holiday season, analysts estimate shoppers will spend more than $100 billion online. The majority of these purchases will likely be made on Amazon, which has attracted millions of loyal customers over the years through perks like free two-day shipping. But while undoubtedly convenient, quick shipping is far from environmentally sustainable. This video outlines the problem while also offering a few potential solutions.

Questions:

  1. How does Amazon’s free two-day shipping program cause more trucks to end up on Continue reading
Continue reading...