June 12, 2024

Although some consumers are becoming wary of the rising cost of fast food, there’s one product that a growing number of people are willing to splash extra cash on: candles. Over the last year, Americans have spent $222 million on candles at upscale department stores and beauty retailers as well as online outlets. Sales of candles that cost more than $75 have increased by 25 percent, representing a small but expanding segment of the market. For instance, the singer Continue reading

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The fast food industry has long depended on affordability as one of its key selling points, offering customers quick meals that are easy on their wallets. Those days might be in the past, however, as inflation and other factors have sent fast food prices soaring in recent years. According to Finance Buzz, average prices at the country’s most popular chains have increased by as much as 100 percent over the last decade. The 31 percent rise in inflation over the Continue reading

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Demand for gold has been rising across the globe, defying economists’ expectations and sending prices soaring to new heights. The video below looks at how the gold trade has changed in recent years as everyday consumers enter the market alongside major investors. Costco, for example, sells $200 million worth of gold bars every month to members on the lookout for what they consider to be stable investments.

Questions:

  1. Why have gold prices been rising across the globe recently?
  2. Do you Continue reading
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Memorial Day represents the start of summertime for many Americans, who often use the long weekend to hit the road and go on a trip. According to AAA, that statement will ring especially true this year as a record number of travelers will trek across the country over the coming days. Between Thursday and Monday, an estimated 43.8 million people will travel at least 50 miles, marking a four percent increase over 2023. In fact, this weekend could equal the Continue reading

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When Apple releases a new iPad, the company tends to spend big on a slick commercial that shows off the device’s new features. Product launches like these can garner lots of attention from both consumers and tech media, which hopefully then turns into sales for Apple. This time around, though, the tech giant’s latest iPad ad started trending on social media for all the wrong reasons. The spot centers on a trash compactor-like machine that crushes an array of creative Continue reading

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In the late 1990s, the seafood chain Red Lobster was one of the fastest growing restaurants in the nation as it earned billions of dollars in annual revenue from more than 700 locations. As the years went by, though, poorly planned promotions and wider economic factors took their toll on the company. This video looks at how the pandemic and an endless shrimp promotion brought Red Lobster to the brink of bankruptcy.

Questions:

  1. How did Red Lobster’s endless shrimp promotion Continue reading
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Business is all about giving the customer what they want, but sometimes it can be difficult to figure out exactly what that is. Some brands get to know their fans by giving them a platform that directly asks for their input, providing companies with much-needed ideas while customers feel included in the development process. For example, in 2008 Lego launched its initiative Lego Ideas where builders submit original designs to be evaluated among a wider community of enthusiasts. If an Continue reading

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The fashion company Zara became a multi-billion dollar force in the industry thanks to its unique ability to churn out stylish clothing at low prices. Of course, critics of the Spanish firm would not likely call its business model “unique”: Zara has long been accused of ripping off its designs from luxury fashion houses. Those days might be in the past, however, as the company looks to reinvent itself as a high-end brand working with some of the world’s top Continue reading

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A few weeks ago, we examined TikTok’s uncanny ability to provide entrepreneurs with major marketing opportunities at the expense of brand control. The potential downsides of the latter became clear last week when President Biden signed a bill into law that could ban the social network in the U.S. Under the provisions of the bill, which passed both the House and Senate with considerable support, TikTok’s Chinese parent company ByteDance has 270 days to sell the app to an American Continue reading

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April 26, 2024

More than one third of Americans cannot afford to pay an unexpected $500 cost out of pocket, so they must often use alternative ways to settle their debts. This video examines the options available to people who need money fast, from overdraft fees that can stack up over time to payday loans that quickly become predatory.

Questions:

  1. What are the benefits of maintaining an emergency fund for unexpected costs?
  2. Why are payday loans considered predatory? Do you think government regulators Continue reading
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