November 29, 2016

Thomas8047This past weekend the holiday shopping season kicked off with a bang as millions of Americans sought out Black Friday deals both in stores and online. While brick and mortar sales rose about 8 percent from last year, online outlets saw sales increase by 11 percent. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), this spike in e-commerce can be credited to the more than 108 million consumers who shopped online over the weekend. Meanwhile, approximately 99 million people visited physical Continue reading

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November 17, 2016

DavidSteadmanWhile the holiday shopping season in the U.S. doesn’t officially kick off until next week, Chinese retailers are already counting their profits from the phenomenon known as Singles Day. Founded in the 1990s by a group of college students celebrating their bachelorhood, the November 11 holiday has since morphed into a nationwide shopping spree. This year the online retailer Alibaba brought in nearly $18 billion in sales, far more than what the entire American retail industry earns during Black Friday Continue reading

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October 28, 2016

JeffKramerFor most people, the Halloween season is about creepy costumes and candy rather than shopping. But even though the retail sales of All Hallow’s Eve can’t compare to the December holidays, Americans still manage to spend a scary sum of money at the end of October. The National Retail Federation estimates that this year consumers will spend as much as $8.4 billion preparing for Halloween, amounting to an average of $82.93 per shopper.

Costumes account for $3.1 billion of this Continue reading

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October 21, 2016

PaulBicaThe remote region of Cape Breton in Nova Scotia, Canada, is not known for its bustling population. Just 130,000 people live on the 4,000 square-mile island, with 1,000 others leaving each year for the past two decades. As the population steadily drops, many Cape Breton natives have worried about the future of the island’s tight knit communities. Among these concerned citizens was Jim and Ferne Austin, local entrepreneurs who operated the Farmer’s Daughter Country Market in sleepy Whycocomagh, Nova Scotia, Continue reading

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October 7, 2016

DamianSFor those who have spent years ordering items from online retailers like Amazon, setting foot inside a store can sometimes seem like taking a trip back in time. But while the shift away from brick-and-mortar locations has utterly changed industries like music and clothing, grocery stores have remained largely the same since the dawn of the digital revolution. After all, most people still prefer to examine food in person before they buy it.

But that hasn’t stopped a collection Continue reading

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October 6, 2016

BargainmooseIn the 2000s, clothing brands like Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle and Aeropostale were kings of the mall. These retailers rose to prominence by making preppy clothes with large logos that broadcast a certain prestige to the world. After all, teenage customers wanted to make sure everyone knew that they shopped at cool stores. Companies made this message easy to receive by placing an enormous emphasis on branding, thus making the logo even more important than the design of their Continue reading

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April 29, 2016

A few years ago, we took a look at the confusing nature of “sell by” dates printed on food packaging. Many often assume that these numbers show when a particular item will spoil and thus become inedible. On the whole, however, sell by dates indicate when food starts to become less flavorful, not dangerous to eat. As a result, each year thousands of people as well as supermarkets toss tons of otherwise edible food into the trash.

While changing the Continue reading

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April 7, 2016

Ever since e-commerce started rising in prominence, the value of the retail showroom has diminished significantly. After all, consumers no longer need to visit a store to see what types of products are available for purchase. Not only does a quick search on Amazon accomplish this goal within seconds, but the site also provides helpful resources such as customer reviews and recommendations. Nevertheless, the online retail model doesn’t work the same way for all products. Consumers on the whole still Continue reading

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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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January 18, 2016

For years the post-Thanksgiving shopping bonanza known as Black Friday commanded the attention of the nation. Even if people didn’t leave the comfort of their couches, they likely watched in awe as a procession of news reports detailed the long lines forming outside of stores and the chaos that ensued when they opened. But these once standard scenes of retail madness are becoming increasingly rare. Although Americans’ love affair with holiday shopping shows no sign of stopping, customers may have Continue reading

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