October 21, 2021

For months, supply chain problems have led to increased prices and long delays that show no sign of ending anytime soon. As a result, industry analysts are recommending that consumers start their holiday shopping as soon as possible if they want their items to arrive by December. While supplies remain low because of factors like jammed ports and truck shortages, demand is expected to ramp up this holiday season as experts predict a 7 to 9 percent increase in retail Continue reading

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October 13, 2021

Last month, we looked at how air travel has become so complicated during the pandemic that people are turning to travel agents to make sense of the mess. But not even the most experienced agents could have prepared Southwest passengers for the problems that many encountered this past weekend. On Saturday the carrier cancelled more than 1,000 flights and then another 800 on Sunday, followed by 360 more cancellations and close to 1,000 delayed flights on Monday. Southwest apologized for Continue reading

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October 7, 2021

When summer came to a close last year, restaurants across the country scrambled to keep diners eating outdoors even as the weather turned cold. This led to improvised setups with shelters and gas heaters that sometimes brought about more problems than they solved. For example, every night Ellen Yin’s restaurant in Philadelphia would burn through more than 10 propane tanks for their heat lamps, with staff often changing the tanks throughout the evening. “A couple of times I went to Continue reading

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October 5, 2021

More than 3.5 billion people around the world communicate through Facebook and its collection of apps like Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Oculus. But for about six hours yesterday, no one was using these platforms as Facebook disappeared from the Internet. Company representatives said that this outage occurred when “backbone routers that coordinate network traffic” failed and brought services completely to a halt. The total shutdown meant that Facebook could not remotely reset its network, requiring it to send out a Continue reading

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October 1, 2021

For months, supply chains across the globe have become highly disrupted due to a multitude of factors related to the pandemic. From closed factories and clogged ports to a shortage of shipping containers, supply chain snags are harming small businesses and could possibly affect the flow of goods during the Christmas season. And in the immediate term, shipping issues are contributing to rising inflation which then leads to price increases, something that has been felt by consumers across Continue reading

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September 17, 2021

Crocs clogs debuted in 2002 and quickly became a hit with consumers who wanted colorful and leisurely sandals to wear around the house. But soon backlash began to build against this funky foam footwear, as Time magazine in 2010 named Crocs one of the worst inventions ever. Then the pandemic descended on the world and many people stuck in their homes suddenly realized the benefits of wearing inexpensive and comfortable clogs. As a result, Crocs expects sales to increase by Continue reading

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September 10, 2021

Although demand for wine from California’s Napa Valley has never been higher, supply is low across the region after years of drought, wildfires, and then the pandemic disrupted production. This video looks at the inflationary pressures currently weighing on winemakers as they consider whether or not to raise prices on the latest vintages.

Questions:

  1. What inflationary factors are driving winemakers to raise prices on their products?
  2. What are the potential advantages and disadvantages for businesses when they raise prices?
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September 3, 2021

It’s a scenario that plenty of fast food fans have faced before: they pull up to the drive-thru speaker at McDonald’s and ask for their favorite frozen treat, only to hear the reply, “Sorry, but the machine is broken right now.” Responsible for about 60 percent of the chain’s desserts, the McFlurry machine is a vital asset for Golden Arches franchises across the country, even though their unreliability has become something of a running joke. Along with serving as the Continue reading

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September 1, 2021

Over the course of the pandemic, problems with global supply chains have affected companies both large and small, leading some to reconsider their relationships with international manufacturers. Many other businesses are waiting for their products to arrive after weeks or even months of delays. For instance, the toy maker MGA Entertainment said its stock of Rainbow High dolls has been held up overseas due to a shortage of shipping containers. As a result, the company will likely not Continue reading

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August 26, 2021

For years now, many consumers have made an effort to cut down on their use of plastic bags by relying on cotton totes instead. Along with being better for the environment than non-biodegradable, single-use plastic, cotton bags can also serve as walking billboards for any organization that places their logo upon them. As a result, these totes can be spotted in stores the world over, emblazoned with branding from supermarkets, magazines, charities, and radio stations. 

But while cotton bags Continue reading

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