August 9, 2023

When Charles Rao first opened a New York City tavern in 1896, there’s no way he could have known his small business would eventually grow into a multi-billion dollar brand. After his family converted the bar into an Italian restaurant, however, Rao’s fame steadily grew throughout the 20th century. In fact, the eatery got so busy during the 1970s that longtime regulars were awarded “table rights” that turned into treasured family heirlooms. For everybody else, though, it became nearly impossible Continue reading

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August 4, 2023

The YouTube star Jimmy Donaldson, better known as MrBeast, is the video-sharing platform’s most popular creator, boasting more than 172 million subscribers and counting. Donaldson has parlayed his massive success on YouTube into numerous other businesses, including food brands like the snack line Feastables and MrBeast Burger. He co-founded the latter in 2020 after partnering with Virtual Dining Concepts, a company that specializes in serving food through “ghost kitchens.” These ventures take up residence in the kitchens of established restaurants Continue reading

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August 2, 2023

Experts estimate that as many as 80,000 American retail stores will close over the next five years as companies like Forever 21, JCPenney, and Neiman Marcus struggle to stay afloat. That’s not the case for the British retailer Primark, however, which has 18 locations in the U.S. with plans for a lot more to come. This video looks at how the company became a multibillion dollar brand in Europe by sticking to brick-and-mortar stores stocked with high quality items at Continue reading

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June 23, 2023

From 2011 to 2021, the value of Rolex watches outperformed real estate and stock markets as well as commodities like gold. This video looks at the risks and rewards of the $20 billion used watch industry, from soaring demand and big price tags to small margins and extensive counterfeiting.

 Questions:

  1. Why are counterfeit products harmful to luxury brands like Rolex?
  2. How does high demand for Rolex encourage counterfeiters to produce knockoffs?
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June 21, 2023

The Instant Pot first hit the market in 2010 and quickly gained a following of dedicated users who took every opportunity to praise the pot’s pressure cooking and slow cooking abilities. Sales climbed throughout the decade as word-of-mouth spread, and then the Instant Pot truly became a blockbuster during the pandemic. Sales of multicookers and air fryers doubled in 2020 as millions of homebound people searched for ways to make easy meals in their kitchens. 

Customers certainly got what Continue reading

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On rideshare apps like Lyft and Uber as well as platforms like Airbnb, customers are encouraged to rate their overall experience out of five stars. The general goal of these ratings is to inform both the company and future customers about an individual’s performance on the job. After all, if an Uber driver keeps their car dirty or swerves all over the road, then the rider can leave a low rating to reflect their subpar experience. Then again, that’s how Continue reading

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In 2017, English pop star Ed Sheeran got hit with a legal complaint alleging that the melody of one of his most popular songs was copied from another tune. According to plaintiffs in the lawsuit, his 2014 hit “Thinking Out Loud” resembled the Marvin Gaye classic “Let’s Get It On” to such a degree that it infringed on the latter song’s copyright. Sheeran vehemently denied any wrongdoing and challenged the suit, which lingered in court for years due to the Continue reading

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April 26, 2023

On Sunday, the once mighty home goods retailer Bed Bath & Beyond declared bankruptcy after years of poor sales and mounting debt. The company will start closing its 360 locations today and has stopped accepting the big blue coupons that made the brand famous in better days that have long gone. In recent times, Bed Bath and Beyond faced increasingly choosy consumers who avoided the retailer in favor of competitors with better selections and e-commerce capabilities. The company enjoyed a Continue reading

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April 21, 2023

For a few months every year, legions of Girl Scouts across America set out on entrepreneurial adventures to sell classic cookies like Thin Mints, Samoas, and Tagalongs. This video looks at the $800 million Girl Scout cookie operation, which aims to teach kids valuable business lessons and people skills that remain for a lifetime.

Questions:

  1. How do the Girl Scouts use scarcity to increase demand for cookies every year?
  2. How has e-commerce changed the Girl Scout cookie selling experience?
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March 30, 2023

The video below takes a long look at Li-Lac Chocolate, the oldest chocolate house in New York that thrives by doing things the old fashioned way. Along with observing their unique production processes, this video examines how Li-Lac made it through the pandemic to continue its century-long tradition.

  1. What value do the antique chocolate molds owned by Li-Lac Chocolates give to the company?
  2. How did the pandemic affect business at Li-Lac Chocolate?
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