July 23, 2015

What do the United States of America, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Kingdom of Tonga all have in common? Aside from being decidedly long-named nations, none of these three countries requires employers to provide their staff with time off for holidays or vacation. In fact, the U.S. is the only advanced economy in the entire world without such a requirement. As a result, American workers have seen their vacation time shrink from an annual average of 20.3 days Continue reading

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Modern retailers stock so many items that consumers can usually buy whatever products they want whenever they want them. Still, a number of companies utilize limited-run sales and exclusive partnerships with brands in order to generate buzz about their business. Target is one of the biggest users of this strategy, teaming up with more than 150 companies in one-off joint ventures since 1999. The retailer’s latest gimmick sale brought them together with the clothing and lifestyle brand Lily Pulitzer, a Continue reading

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After years of declining sales, RadioShack finally seemed to be on the way out after filing for bankruptcy protection in February 2015. The electronics retailer had been a mainstay of American commerce for nearly a century, thriving off the sales of niche items like CB radios and pre-iPod portable music players. As technology became more commonplace, however, RadioShack struggled to keep up with the mainstream and settled into stagnation. Executives at the brand tried to reverse this trend by redesigning Continue reading

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In an earlier issue of the newsletter, we took a look at the methods that Chinese authorities use to curb the production of counterfeit merchandise. For the most part, these measures focused on reporting knockoffs of big names like Nike and Gucci. But combating pirated products isn’t solely the problem of multinational brands. For instance, in 2012 Jeff Sasaki took his iPhone accessory company Element Case to a Hong Kong trade show. When he arrived at the convention, he found Continue reading

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Over the last few years, large retailers have become increasingly vulnerable to attacks by hackers looking to steal important company and customer data. In order to prevent these breaches, stores across the nation are upgrading to new credit card readers that scan an embedded chip rather than the card’s magnetic strip. Each transaction on a chip-card receives its own unique code, making shopping safer for consumers and companies alike. 575 million of these new cards are expected to land in Continue reading

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March 3, 2015

For years, Walmart has been criticized for not adequately sharing its success with its employees. After all, the retailer is not only the largest private employer in the U.S. but also the largest retail chain in the world. With so much capital at its disposal, critics have long argued that Walmart has enough resources to spend on its staff. And now at long last it appears the retailer agrees. Last month Walmart announced a plan that will raise the wages Continue reading

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February 23, 2015

Like many other brick-and-mortar retailers, GameStop’s long-term financial health depends on how much damage the Internet can ultimately do to its bottom line. For years, though, the video game retailer seemed almost immune to the effects of web retail. Prices remained competitive thanks to the company’s dependence on reselling used games and consoles while its knowledgeable sales staff ensured that regular customers stayed happy.

Still, many experts are predicting that GameStop will go the way of Blockbuster sooner or later. Continue reading

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February 13, 2015

With a consumer pool of more than one billion people, India has become the next big expansion destination for companies around the world. While some businesses are still working the bugs out of their strategies for the subcontinent, other operations have hit the ground running and quickly grabbed up market share. Domino’s, for instance, now sells more pizza in India than anywhere else besides the U.S. thanks to its savvy combination of local and Western tastes. On the other hand, Continue reading

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December 19, 2014

Fitting rooms provide brick and mortar clothing retailers with one of their few advantages over online outlets. After all, consumers are more likely to purchase an item that they have actually tried own versus something they’ve only seen on a screen. But that doesn’t necessarily mean people will buy everything they bring with them into the changing room. In fact, many consumers will simply give up on an item if it doesn’t fit them immediately.

In order to reverse these Continue reading

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