December 2, 2021

In years past, the day after Thanksgiving marked a singular bonanza of sales as retailers held literal “door-buster” events that attracted crowds of determined customers desperate for deals. The rise of e-commerce gradually changed the holiday sales game, however, with companies now largely opting to spread sales throughout the season rather than concentrating on one day or weekend. As a result, this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales slowed down for the first time in history while overall retail Continue reading

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November 23, 2021

The 2020 edition of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was unlike any in the event’s 97-year history: limited to just one block, no marching bands, and no crowds of cheering spectators. This Thursday, though, the big balloons and bands will largely be back as Macy’s continues one of the longest running promotional efforts in business. The brief video below from 2019 looks at the history of the parade and the various ways it has both evolved and stayed the same Continue reading

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November 18, 2021

Last year’s Thanksgiving was an unusual one: with travel restrictions largely in place and mass vaccinations still months away, fewer people traveled home to see their families for the holiday. According to AAA, however, that will not be the case in 2021 as the transportation agency expects 6.4 million more people to travel than in 2020. Lifted restrictions as well as clearly defined safety procedures for air travel have made many Americans confident about taking a trip for Turkey Day, Continue reading

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November 16, 2021

The pandemic completely upended the concept of work in the U.S., resulting first in mass layoffs as companies closed down followed by mass resignations when businesses returned. This video looks at how the first problem may have led to the “Great Resignation” as workers continue to leave their jobs and companies struggle to attract talent.

Questions:

  1. Why have employment rates in travel and hospitality struggled to return to pre-pandemic levels?
  2. What are some of the causes of the Great Resignation? Continue reading
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November 11, 2021

The September premiere of the latest season of American Crime Story generated tons of press for the Emmy-winning FX show, but unfortunately the network could not transform that media attention into viewership. Despite being one of the most acclaimed dramas in recent years, American Crime Story ranks 15th in the ratings and generates next to no chatter on social media. Of course, that’s likely because this television show only airs on TV: due to a previous agreement with Netflix, American Continue reading

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November 9, 2021

Birchbox launched in 2010 with a business model that was quite novel at the time: for a recurring fee, the company shipped small samples of beauty products to customers every month. The idea was to recreate the experience of shopping at a department store’s makeup counter where customers try out a variety of items before deciding what to buy. Once the subscriptions started rolling in for Birchbox, so did venture capital investment, with the startup raising nearly $100 million in Continue reading

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November 4, 2021

While shoppers managed to buy most of their treats this Halloween despite the current supply chain crisis, unfortunately the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday will be a bit trickier. Like many other consumer products, nearly every component of the traditional Turkey Day dinner will be more expensive than ever before. For example, an executive chef in Arkansas said that he paid over 20 percent more for 25 pasture-raised turkeys than he did in 2020. And according to Norman Brown, director of sweet Continue reading

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November 2, 2021

As debates in Washington about raising the debt ceiling once again make the news, this video provides a comprehensive and straightforward explanation of the U.S. national debt. Along with examining the sale of government bonds, the video also considers whether or not the country should retain the debt limit. 

Questions:

  1. How does the sale of bonds benefit both investors and the government? 
  2. Do you think the U.S. should continue to maintain a debt limit? Why or why not?
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October 29, 2021

While supply chain problems are bringing uncertainty to the upcoming Christmas season, retail analysts are optimistic that Halloween will be a vast improvement over 2020. Last year, the pandemic largely prevented kids from trick or treating and discouraged many adults from having costume parties, leading to a multi-billion dollar drop in retail sales during the spooky season. With an increasingly vaccinated population and lifted restrictions across the country, though, sales from 2021’s Halloween festivities are expected to increase by 20 Continue reading

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October 26, 2021

In April, the tech giant Apple made a change to its privacy policy that prohibits advertisers from tracking users without their consent. Analysts predicted that this decision would lead to major changes in the $100 billion mobile ad market led by social networks like Facebook and Snapchat. These fears were confirmed for the latter last week when Snapchat announced that the policy prevented it from measuring the reach of its mobile ads, sending its stock price tumbling by 25 percent. Continue reading

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