The Swedish company IKEA is famous across the globe for its meatballs and its wide array of furniture that customers must assemble at home. This video looks at how the retailer encourages sales by creating the “IKEA effect” with its winding floor plan that causes customers to snake through a series of product showrooms. 

Questions:

  1. What sort of strategies does IKEA use to keep costs low?
  2. How does the “IKEA effect” encourage customers to purchase furniture and home goods?
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March 5, 2021

The wholesaler Costco is one of the most successful retailers in the country due in large part to its unique approach to doing business. This video looks at the strategies that Costco uses to keep prices low while still offering many items in bulk.

Questions:

  1. How does Costco’s membership plan drive its business? 
  2. Why are items at Costco kept on pallets rather than laid out neatly on shelves like in supermarkets?
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December 3, 2020

Black Friday began years ago as a one-day event where retailers across the country slashed prices to attract holiday shoppers into stores. Then the deals began to stretch into the weekend, then into Thanksgiving itself, and finally this year holiday sales spilled online into more than a weeklong extravaganza. With many retailers either remaining closed for indoor customers or open at limited capacity, experts expect that e-commerce will drive sales for many companies this holiday season.

Although foot traffic at Continue reading

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November 12, 2020

Since the 1990s, on November 11th Chinese retailers led by the e-commerce giant Alibaba have celebrated Singles Day with an abundance of discounts and deals. Initially started as a sort of anti-Valentine’s Day and celebration of singlehood, over the years Singles Day has grown into one of the globe’s biggest sales events. In fact, Alibaba said that consumers purchased more than $75 billion worth of products on its site during yesterday’s festivities. 

This massive haul represents a 26 percent Continue reading

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Retail sales plummeted during the coronavirus lockdown, which is bad news for more people than just business owners. This video shows how retailers drive economic growth by creating a ripple effect of sales across many different sectors.

Questions:

  1. How do retail sales help drive economic growth?
  2. Why have online retailers seen sales skyrocket during the pandemic?
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February 6, 2020

As the country’s largest department store chain, Macy’s has hundreds of locations nationwide and earned more than $25 billion in sales in 2018 alone. Still, the last few years have not been easy for the retailer as more consumers turn to e-commerce outlets like Amazon for their shopping needs. Meanwhile, discount retailers like TJ Maxx and fast-fashion brands like H&M are also winning over shoppers with wide selections and great deals. After struggling to keep up with all of this Continue reading

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January 23, 2020

In 1933 Nathan Glickberg opened a fruit and vegetable stand in Manhattan before eventually moving into a nearby storefront. His grandson Howie expanded the store in the 1970s, adding more groceries and specialty items as well as a new name: Fairway. In the years since, the store became a staple for many New Yorkers drawn by Fairway’s low prices and wide selection of quality products. Then in the early 2000s a private equity firm bought a controlling stake in the Continue reading

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January 7, 2020

The holiday season is the most important time of the year by far for the nation’s retailers, with many earning as much as 40 percent of their annual sales during that period. Fortunately for them, 2019’s holiday sales increased by 3.4 percent compared to the previous year. Retailers are especially relieved since Thanksgiving arrived six days later than it did in 2018, which took away crucial time that companies could have used to drive sales. 

To make up for Continue reading

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November 14, 2019

Earlier this year, McDonald’s spent $300 million acquiring a data analysis and artificial intelligence startup called Dynamic Yield. Along with providing the fast food chain with tons of information about its operations, this new technology will also help the company upgrade its growing fleet of self-ordering kiosks. Customers can place orders on these large touchscreens rather than wait in line, which the company claims improves efficiency and increases sales. As a result, McDonald’s wants to place these machines in as Continue reading

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