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

Continue reading...

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

Continue reading...

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

Continue reading...

August 28, 2018

A few years ago, many tech industry analysts predicted that the Amazon Echo would soon dominate the growing smart speaker market. After all, the voice-activated device accounted for more than 75 percent of market share as the company moved “tens of millions” of Echo products in 2017 alone. Consumers were also becoming more familiar with Alexa, the virtual assistant designed to answer questions and perform simple tasks like turning the lights on and off. Given these factors plus Amazon’s ever Continue reading

Continue reading...

July 17, 2018

Amazon’s Prime Day has a bit of a misleading name: the e-commerce site’s annual offering of deals actually lasts 36 hours, starting yesterday afternoon and going until midnight tonight. One matter that isn’t up for debate, however, is the promotion’s ability to bring in a lot of money. Analysts expect that this year’s Prime Day will generate about $3.4 billion in sales for Amazon, which would beat 2017’s total by more than $1 billion. But despite this upcoming windfall, so Continue reading

Continue reading...

July 13, 2018

Since its 1997 founding, the Build-a-Bear Workshop has made more than 160 million teddy bears for kids who play a key part in their assembly. The process starts when a child picks an un-stuffed animal from a bin before heading to the stuffing machine to transform their creation into a friend they’ll treasure forever. But customers don’t stop there: they can also purchase a variety of costumes and accessories for their bears. By the time the Build-a-Bear experience is over, Continue reading

Continue reading...

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

Continue reading...

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

Continue reading...

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

Continue reading...

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...