April 3, 2024

Credit card firms provide both consumers and businesses with a convenient way to handle payments that eliminates the need to deal with large amounts of cash all the time. Still, this service doesn’t come for free: not only can customers rack up large amounts of interest on their credit card bills, companies also must pay a fee for every transaction they make. These “swipe fees” can add up quickly. Last year alone, U.S. merchants paid $101 billion in swipe fees Continue reading

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March 29, 2024

Although meal kit services like HelloFresh and Blue Apron both enjoyed a boom in business during the pandemic, only one of those companies continues to thrive today. The video below explores the growing dominance of HelloFresh in the meal kit industry even as it struggles to keep customers, who mainly tend to cancel their subscriptions once the sign-on deals end. 

Questions:

  1. What are the benefits and drawbacks of HelloFresh’s strategy of using discounts to attract customers?
  2. Why is it Continue reading
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March 27, 2024

If you enjoy pouring maple syrup over your pancakes on a Saturday morning, then you have Canada to thank for it. The North American nation accounts for 75 percent of the world’s maple syrup production, with the vast majority coming from the province of Quebec. Along with serving as home for 90 percent of Canada’s maple syrup industry, Quebec is also the location of the country’s syrup reserve. This facility is designed to hold as much as 133 million pounds Continue reading

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March 22, 2024

The world of plush toys is not typically known as a hotbed of conflict, but that all changed last month when two big names in the industry clashed in court. The legal battle began when the parent companies of Squishmallows sued Build-A-Bear Workshop, alleging that its new “Skoosherz” line looked suspiciously squishy. “If a picture is worth a thousand words, comparing the Squishmallows original products to Build-a-Bear’s copycats speaks volumes,” said Moez Kaba, an attorney representing Squishmallows’ parent companies Kelly Continue reading

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March 19, 2024

With more than 51 million monthly active users in the United States, the Chinese e-commerce outlet Temu has expanded significantly in recent years thanks to its huge selection of cheap goods. This video looks at the platform’s low-price strategy and how it’s winning customers the world over in spite of reports of poor quality products and possible ethical issues.

Questions:

  1. Why do you think Temu’s business model is appealing to customers?
  2. Which e-commerce strategy do you think is most effective Continue reading
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March 13, 2024

Earlier this year, we posted a video looking at the potential consequences that Boeing could face as a result of a door explosion on an Alaska Airlines flight. While that video primarily explored the business ramifications of this terrifying incident, last week the public learned about the first legal repercussions against Boeing. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Justice Department (DOJ) is investigating the aviation firm to see if it has complied with the requirements of a settlement made Continue reading

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March 8, 2024

On February 1st, Universal Music Group (UMG) allowed its licensing deal with TikTok to expire after accusing the platform of providing insufficient payments to artists. In an angry letter, the music giant said that the video-sharing app was “flooded with A.I.-generated recordings,” which diluted the pool of potential revenue for legitimate artists. As a result, TikTok removed all music affiliated with UMG from its platform, a drastic move that escalated in severity last week. After failing to make any progress Continue reading

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March 6, 2024

Last week, tens of thousands of AT&T customers lost cell phone service for about seven hours in a nationwide outage. While some feared that the company’s network went down because of a cyberattack, AT&T clarified that the outage was caused by “the application and execution of an incorrect process used as we were expanding our network.” Of course, the reason for the failure did not really matter to people who were unable to use their phones during an important time Continue reading

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March 1, 2024

While high-profile AI platforms like ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Image Creator may grab lots of headlines, millions of people already interact with AI on a regular basis in ways they may not expect. This video looks at how machine-learning techniques are built into everything from email to Spotify and why it’s important for consumers to stay aware of the growing ubiquity of AI in their everyday lives.

Questions:

1. Why do you think many consumers are unaware of the prominence of Continue reading

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February 28, 2024

Public companies use earnings calls to share information about their recent performance with shareholders and the media. News from these announcements rarely leaves the confines of the business press, but that was not the case yesterday when social media users heard an earnings call comment about the fast food chain Wendy’s. CEO Kirk Tanner mentioned that the company was planning to test “more enhanced features like dynamic pricing and day-part offerings along with AI-enabled menu changes and suggestive selling.”

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