January 19, 2024

The German company Aldi is the fastest growing grocery chain in the U.S., expanding at a rate of about 100 stores a year. The following video explains how Aldi keeps prices low by stocking a limited number of products and designing stores for maximum efficiency. 

Questions:

  1. How do Aldi’s store layouts help the company keep expenses low?
  2. Why does Aldi stock significantly fewer products than most supermarkets?
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January 17, 2024

For decades, snack brands like Lay’s chips have emphasized the craveability of their products, declaring “Betcha can’t eat just one” to customers across countless marketing campaigns. But a growing number of Americans are challenging the validity of this classic slogan thanks to appetite-controlling drugs like Ozempic and Mounjaro. These pharmaceutical brands are quickly becoming big hits with consumers who want to reduce their compulsive eating habits, especially frequent snacking. According to one user, her grocery bills dropped by 20 percent Continue reading

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January 3, 2024

According to the consultancy firm McKinsey, most mid-sized businesses have an average lifespan of about 18 years as companies change hands and markets evolve. That makes the achievement of the cymbal maker Zildjian all the more impressive: for more than four centuries, the company has served countless musicians across a wide variety of styles and eras. Along with providing a comprehensive overview of Zildjian’s storied history, the video below also examines the company’s fascinating production process and quality control procedures. Continue reading

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December 13, 2023

In 2022, the cafe chain Panera launched its Charged Lemonade brand, the company’s answer to energy drinks like Red Bull and Monster. The large, 30-ounce version of the beverage contains 124 grams of sugar and 390 milligrams of caffeine, which some customers do not realize when they order the drink at the counter. In fact, a pair of recent lawsuits filed against Panera claim that two people have died as a result of drinking several Charged Lemonades without knowing about Continue reading

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December 1, 2023

The Chinese e-commerce giant Shein (pronounced Shee-In) controls more than 40 percent of the U.S. fast fashion market, with more than $8 billion in sales last year. This video explores how the retailer consistently churns out cheap shirts and dresses, which includes accusations of labor exploitation that has tarnished Shein’s image with some shoppers.

Questions:

  1. How does Shein’s “small batch” production strategy differ from other clothing companies? 
  2. How has Shein tried to recover its reputation with U.S. consumers? Do Continue reading
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November 17, 2023

With nearly 2,000 stores across the U.S., more than 75 percent of Americans live within ten miles of a Target. These brick and mortar locations have become surprisingly valuable assets for the company’s e-commerce business, with more than 95 percent of online orders originating from Target stores. This video goes into detail about the retailer’s logistical operations, including the local sortation centers Target is investing in to keep up with increasing demand. 

Questions:

  1. How does Target utilize nearly 2,000 Continue reading
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November 10, 2023

In the past few months, we’ve looked at a couple of instances where bad weather had a big impact on businesses. While luxury picnic planners kept a close watch on forecasts to avoid rainouts, harsh conditions in Europe devastated the harvests of olive oil producers, leading to price increases. Of course, event planning and commercial agriculture aren’t the only industries affected by bad weather. In fact, this autumn has been disastrous for one of the season’s most wholesome enterprises: Continue reading

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November 8, 2023

If you’ve taken an over-the-counter (OTC) nasal decongestant recently, you may have been upset to discover that it did not do much to relieve your clogged sinuses. In fact, recent studies by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) show that most OTC decongestants work no better than a placebo. This video explains in detail how store shelves became filled with useless cold medicine, and ways that the FDA are working to make things right.

Questions:

  1. Why do most OTC decongestants Continue reading
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November 1, 2023

For six weeks, members of the United Auto Workers have been on strike against General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis, parent company of the car brands Chrysler, Jeep, and Ram. Demanding significant wage increases and improved job security, the union employed a bold strategy of slowly expanding its labor action to more plants as time progressed. After starting at three factories owned by each of Detroit’s Big Three automakers, the UAW gradually added more locations to the strike, confounding management and Continue reading

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October 20, 2023

This video looks at the evolving operations of North America’s largest landfill operator, WM. Using capital provided by federal subsidies, the waste management company is investing in tech that could change the future of trash disposal, from sophisticated scanners that sort recycling to capturing methane gas to convert into fuel.

Questions:

  1. Why is WM upgrading its operations to include more automation as well as methane gas extraction? 
  2. Do you think WM’s operational upgrades will make the company more sustainable Continue reading
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