March 9, 2021

As dining rooms closed across the country in 2020 because of the pandemic, restaurants started focusing their efforts on takeout and drive-thru orders. Many companies added new technology and logistical plans for their takeaway operations that will likely remain in place after the pandemic is over. For instance, Starbucks sent employees with hand-held devices through lines of cars to gather orders quickly and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. New Chipotle locations will feature “Chipotelanes” where customers Continue reading

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March 5, 2021

The wholesaler Costco is one of the most successful retailers in the country due in large part to its unique approach to doing business. This video looks at the strategies that Costco uses to keep prices low while still offering many items in bulk.

Questions:

  1. How does Costco’s membership plan drive its business? 
  2. Why are items at Costco kept on pallets rather than laid out neatly on shelves like in supermarkets?
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March 4, 2021

In recent years, tech giants like Google have faced increasing scrutiny from international legislators and privacy advocates for tracking users across the Internet. Companies take this information and use it to personalize advertising based on someone’s previous browser history. Faced with building opposition to these potentially invasive practices, Google announced this week that it would stop using and investing in tracking technologies. 

“If digital advertising doesn’t evolve to address the growing concerns people have about their privacy and how Continue reading

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March 2, 2021

The coronavirus pandemic caused millions of people to lose their jobs last year and file for unemployment benefits, which were expanded several times through federal legislation. Now, many Americans are discovering that they owe taxes on these payments that were vital for them to make ends meet. For example, Erika Rose of Los Angeles has been on unemployment insurance since the start of the pandemic and has spent the winter stretching every penny to pay rent and utilities. When she Continue reading

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February 25, 2021

A couple of weeks ago, Texas’ power grid failed after a historic snowstorm and cold snap overwhelmed the state. As millions struggled without electricity or heat, those who had power potentially faced exorbitant electric bills because of changes Texas made to its utility system more than 20 years ago. Back then, much of the state switched from using regulated utilities to a deregulated market where customers could choose from a variety of power providers. As a result, nearly 60 percent Continue reading

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February 23, 2021

In February 2020 during a regular season NBA game, Lebron James performed a two-handed windmill slam dunk that he afterwards said was a tribute to the late Kobe Bryant. A clip of James’ dunk placed side-by-side with a nearly identical one of Bryant’s from 2001 quickly went viral and can be easily found from multiple sources on YouTube. Then again, you could also do what social media entrepreneur Jack Settleman did in January: pay $47,500 for a clip of the Continue reading

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February 19, 2021

The recent frenzy surrounding GameStop stock caught even the most careful market observers by surprise as shares in the struggling retailer skyrocketed to unbelievable levels only to fall again soon after. This video looks at how regulators at the SEC are looking into the matter and the possible consequences that could fall on companies like Reddit and Robinhood. 

Questions:

  1. Why is the SEC investigating the recent stock market volatility surrounding GameStop and other companies?
  2. Do you think federal regulators Continue reading
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February 16, 2021

After millions of Americans either lost work or saw their incomes drop during the pandemic, many started side businesses as a way to make up for lost revenue. In fact, last year new business applications increased by 24 percent compared to 2019, reaching their highest level on record. The retail sector comprised 54 percent of new businesses as many people used platforms like Shopify to sell products online. Founded in 2006, Shopify provides entrepreneurs with e-commerce tools that can handle Continue reading

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February 11, 2021

As last year came to a close and news about Covid-19 vaccinations became more optimistic, companies across the country hoped that a quick vaccine rollout would allow them to reopen offices as early as spring 2021. That rapid rollout still has not come to pass, though, causing many businesses to push back their office-reopening plans until September at the earliest. In the meantime, millions of employees will continue to work remotely until the pandemic is finally under control.

For example, Continue reading

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February 9, 2021

Despite the circumstances surrounding the pandemic, this year’s Super Bowl managed to hit some familiar notes as Tom Brady lifted the trophy for a seventh time and companies once again spent big on high-profile ads. According to USA Today’s Ad Meter, the night’s big winner was Rocket Mortgage, whose two commercials featuring comedian Tracy Morgan took the top spots in the annual poll. Amazon and M&M’s humorous ads took third and fourth while Toyota’s uplifting spot featuring Paralympian Jessica Long Continue reading

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