January 7, 2020

The holiday season is the most important time of the year by far for the nation’s retailers, with many earning as much as 40 percent of their annual sales during that period. Fortunately for them, 2019’s holiday sales increased by 3.4 percent compared to the previous year. Retailers are especially relieved since Thanksgiving arrived six days later than it did in 2018, which took away crucial time that companies could have used to drive sales. 

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November 26, 2019

If you have plans to travel this week for Thanksgiving, then you should already know that you won’t be the only one. According to experts, a record number of travelers will either fly or drive at least 50 miles to celebrate the holiday. As a result, the nation’s airports and highways will be jammed with travelers, inevitably leading to widespread traffic and plane delays. 

The trade organization Airlines for America estimates that a record 31.6 million people will fly Continue reading

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October 29, 2019

In mid-September, nearly 50,000 General Motors employees represented by the United Auto Workers union went on strike after failing to reach an agreement with the company. Staffers walked picket lines for more than a month as they fought for improved wages, benefits, and job security. Then last week the standoff finally ended as the union struck a deal with management that partially gave in to some of the workers’ demands.

For instance, employees are now guaranteed a 3 percent pay Continue reading

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October 10, 2019

In 2018 Americans spent an average of 27 minutes commuting one-way to work, an increase of about two minutes since 2009. While that may not sound too significant, it causes commuters to spend 20 more minutes per week on the road. That adds up to 17 additional hours a year compared to just a decade ago. In total, the average American worker spent 225 hours commuting in 2018, amounting to more than nine calendar days. 

Analysts attribute this recent Continue reading

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October 4, 2019

In recent years food delivery startups like Postmates and Doordash have grown into multi-billion dollar operations by bringing takeout from all sorts of places directly to customers’ doors. But these companies don’t just service restaurants: people can also order everyday items from Walgreens or 7-Eleven and receive them hours later. Of course, consumers are more familiar with Postmates and Doordash as takeout services, not grocery delivery companies. 

As a result, both startups are brokering deals with retailers and supermarkets Continue reading

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September 19, 2019

On Wednesday, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a landmark labor law that guarantees wage and benefit protections for gig economy workers. The primary targets of this legislation are the state’s many Uber and Lyft drivers who are currently classified as independent contractors. When the new law comes into effect next year, the state will reclassify these contracted workers as regular employees entitled to a minimum wage, sick days, and other benefits. 

“Today the so-called gig companies present themselves as Continue reading

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September 17, 2019

On Monday around 48,000 General Motors employees walked off their jobs and onto picket lines after the United Auto Workers failed to reach a new agreement with the company. Along with improved pay and health benefits, the striking workers also want to keep plants open to ensure job security. “Our members have been very clear about what they will and will not accept from this contract,” said UAW Vice President Terry Dittes. “We are standing up for fair wages, we Continue reading

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August 8, 2019

A couple of weeks ago, we posted a video about the rise of rush shipping and its effect on the environment. Along with impacting the health of the planet, the recent push to deliver products as fast as possible has also altered the balance of power in the shipping industry. Over the past few years, Amazon has developed its own delivery network of trucks and planes in order to decrease its dependency on outside shipping firms. As a result, Continue reading

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July 26, 2019

For major online retailers like Amazon and Walmart, few matters are more important than quickly shipping products out to customers. But while free two-day shipping has largely become the norm in e-commerce, all those packages moving across the country can have a major impact on the environment. This video looks at the ecological effects of rush shipping and how retailers could seek to limit its use in the future. 

Questions:

  1. In what ways does rush shipping harm the environment? Continue reading
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Although some brick and mortar retailers are managing to thrive in the age of e-commerce, many others haven’t been able to compete against rivals like Amazon. This includes a good portion of America’s once mighty malls that now either struggle to keep tenants or have shuttered completely. In an ironic twist, however, abandoned malls are currently being purchased by Amazon and other companies to serve as product distribution centers. This video details why the location and size of Continue reading

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