December 6, 2018

Last week, a crowd of Los Angeles fashion influencers and curious shoppers attended the opening of what they thought would be a new luxury shoe retailer. Surrounded by stilettos on pedestals and golden sneakers, the onlookers marveled at the work of an Italian designer named Bruno Palessi. “I would pay $400, $500. People are going to be like, ‘Where did you get those? Those are amazing,’” said a woman as she tried on a pair of leopard print tennis shoes. Continue reading

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November 30, 2018

Way back in 1856, a California dry-goods merchant named Levi Strauss marveled at a new type of garment created by one of his customers. Working as a tailor in Nevada, the customer had developed a pair of rivet-fastened pants that were far more durable than anything else available at the time. The two soon filed a patent on the product and founded Levi Strauss and Company, the world’s first producer of denim jeans. And while the company continues to thrive Continue reading

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November 27, 2018

Last week retailers kicked off the holiday shopping season with Black Friday, a day once known for “door-busting” deals that sent consumers into a frenzy. And while companies still offer all sorts of markdowns and discounts on the big day, there are noticeably fewer news reports featuring crowds of angry people fighting over televisions. Not only have many Black Friday shoppers started digging for deals online, but also the event itself isn’t as special as it used to be. After Continue reading

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October 30, 2018

Tomorrow night, children across the country will put on costumes and head out in search of as much candy as they can carry. And while many adults will accompany these kids on their sugary quests, plenty of others will be getting into the Halloween spirit without doing any trick-or-treating. After all, in recent years adults have become just as excited about All Hallow’s Eve as the most candy-crazed kids.

In fact, last year half of all Americans purchased a costume Continue reading

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October 26, 2018

We’ve all been there before: you go to the store with a carefully prepared shopping list only to walk out with tons of stuff you had no previous intention to buy. These types of impulse purchases are such a vital source of revenue that some retailers design their store layouts to encourage as much emotion-driven buying as possible. This video looks at how IKEA depends on winding pathways and strategic lighting to do just that.

Questions:

  1. How does IKEA’s store Continue reading
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October 25, 2018

In today’s retail environment, the most successful companies aim to be one-stop shops where customers can purchase everything they need in a single trip. And while modern shoppers might associate this strategy with firms like Walmart and Amazon, experts agree that Sears was the first business to perfect the all-in-one retail plan. Starting out in the late 1800s as a mail-order catalog, the company eventually built thousands of department stores across the country. Consumers at the time had never before Continue reading

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October 23, 2018

Earlier this year, Toys ‘R’ Us announced that it would be closing most of its U.S. stores after filing for bankruptcy in 2017. And while this was certainly bad news for anyone who loved the store “where a kid can be a kid,” it was especially unpleasant for toy manufacturers like Hasbro and Mattel. These companies depended on large holiday orders from Toys ‘R’ Us to fund operations throughout the entire year. Without a big retailer to sell to, though, Continue reading

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October 16, 2018

The Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo has steadily grown into an international brand known for its inexpensive but stylish designs. As you might expect, maintaining this image requires the company to strike a delicate balance between creating interesting products and keeping costs low. That’s why Uniqlo recently announced that robots have replaced 90 percent of the staff at one of its warehouses.

Along with drastically cutting costs, the company’s newly automated warehouse will also be able to operate 24 hours a Continue reading

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October 4, 2018

Amazon’s market capitalization recently hit $1 trillion, placing the e-commerce giant on a level of success shared only with Apple. What’s more, last year the company’s revenue topped out at $178 billion, about a 40 percent increase from 2016. These factors allowed CEO Jeff Bezos to claim the title of world’s richest person as his net worth climbed past the $150 billion mark.

According to critics, though, Amazon’s workers have been largely left out of this bonanza of profit. Continue reading

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September 18, 2018

When someone is looking to buy a new piece of furniture, it can be a struggle to find the right item to fit their personal taste as well as their floor plan. After all, just because something looks good in the showroom doesn’t necessarily mean it will fit in their living room. That’s why a number of home goods companies are integrating augmented reality into their online stores. Using a smartphone camera, the technology allows customers to visualize how a Continue reading

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