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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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
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November 30, 2017

Although many retailers enjoyed a sales boost during Thanksgiving Weekend, no other company can rival Amazon’s stellar start to the holiday season. The e-commerce outlet brought in 45 percent of all online purchases on Thanksgiving along with nearly 55 percent of Black Friday’s total Internet transactions. Plus, Amazon announced that Cyber Monday was the company’s biggest sales day ever, boasting that customers had purchased “hundreds of millions of products” throughout the weekend.

Along with putting Amazon’s huge influence with customers Continue reading

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November 28, 2017

Last week we took a look at how analysts were lowering their expectations for Black Friday, which is traditionally the country’s biggest annual shopping event. While retailers managed to generate about $5 billion in sales on the day, this year’s take was decidedly lower than in years past. In some cases store traffic was non-existent, leading at least one newscaster to vent their frustrations about the poor turnout on air. But while some brick-and-mortar stores stayed empty, Continue reading

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November 16, 2017

For decades Black Friday has served as the country’s symbolic start to the holiday shopping season. Each year local news teams honor the event by turning their cameras onto the post-Thanksgiving crowds who gather in front of stores and wait patiently for the doors to swing open. Once inside, some deal-seeking shoppers frantically seek out products before anyone else can get to them, occasionally leading to arguments or even fights.

Of course, this perspective on Black Friday may be more Continue reading

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November 7, 2017

Even though November has just begun, stores across the country are already starting to roll out the tinsel and turn on the carols in preparation for the Christmas shopping season. So as the retail world gets into the yuletide spirit, you may as well do the same and start thinking about what sort of gifts your family and friends would like to receive this year. Perhaps they’re the kind of people who would enjoy spinning a silver-plated yoyo? Or maybe Continue reading

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