Category: Business

Best Buy Launches First Store Giving Shoppers A Digital-First Experience



Image via Best Buy

 

Following in the footsteps of Amazon, Best Buy has announced its first small-format, digital-first store for customers seeking a new shopping experience. 

The new 5,000 sq ft space, which is located in Monroe, North Carolina, will feature a curated selection of the retailer’s best-selling products and the beloved Geek Squad, though this time, you’ll be able to select your products and get shopping advice digitally while roaming the store.

Upon entering the shop, customers will be greeted by a seven-foot-tall digital display, presenting the latest deals and instructions on how to use the digital services. 

This includes the ability to just scan the QR code on an item with your smartphone, with the order immediately picked up by a staff member and sent to the pickup counter for you to retrieve later to complete the purchase. 

If checking out at a cashier seems too much of a hassle, the store is also offering customers the choice of mobile self-checkout, allowing you to scan items’ barcodes with the Best Buy app and submit payment information via your smartphone for extra convenience. 

Of course, while shopping, customers might encounter difficulties or want advice on which products to purchase. Instead of having to flag down an assistant, you can now chat with an expert via video chat, so there’s always someone on standby to answer your queries. 

“For those shoppers who prefer not to use these digital options, our trusted Blue Shirts will still be available to help just like at any other Best Buy store,” the company promises tech-adverse customers. 

“We’re excited to learn more as we test this new store format, and like all pilots, expect to make adjustments along the way.” 

 

 

 

[via TheStreet and Best Buy, cover image via Best Buy]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/419675/Best-Buy-Launches-First-Store-Giving-Shoppers-A-Digital-First-Experience/

Royal Caribbean Is First Cruise Liner To Explore Elon Musk’s Starlink Internet

Photo 125761052 © Pressfoto | Dreamstime.com

 

Will fast, actually tolerable internet speeds on cruise ships finally become a reality? Royal Caribbean Group is working with SpaceX’s Starlink network to bring coverage on board, according to a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filing first noted by PC Mag

 

Starlink launched with a goal to extend high-speed broadband access into remote and underserved parts of the world. It certainly held to its promise when Russia invaded Ukraine, keeping Ukrainians connected when local infrastructure was damaged.

One major caveat: Starlink service on moving vehicles, including planes, hasn’t passed federal approvals yet. Until then, Elon Musk’s satellite internet network will continue assessing Royal Caribbean’s ships to determine the feasibility of its network on the vessels. The project is still in its “experimental phase,” a Royal Caribbean Group spokesperson tells USA Today.

Royal Caribbean Group—which owns Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Silversea Cruises—calls this potential transition “a true next-generation solution” for its fleets. It’s therefore urging the FCC to green-light Starlink applications across ships, planes, trucks, and other forms of transportation.

With Starlink’s ability to reach low-coverage areas, a partnership with cruise liners sounds like the natural next move. Plus, as per PC Mag, Starlink has the bandwidth to propel existing Wi-Fi speeds on ships from 3–5 Mbps to 50–250 Mbps.

It seems great on paper, but it’s not perfect. As of May 24, “Starlink does work on vehicles in motion, including planes, but not yet reliably,” Musk tweeted.

 

For Royal Caribbean, a tie-in with Starlink could bring forth a different sort of stability for its internet service. Citing satellite services on the receiving end of “attrition, bankruptcies, and consolidation,” the cruise conglomerate now desires a service provider that can hold up on its own.

 

[via Insider and USA Today, cover photo 125761052 © Pressfoto | Dreamstime.com]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/419079/Royal-Caribbean-Is-First-Cruise-Liner-To-Explore-Elon-Musk-s-Starlink-Internet/

YouTube Now Lets Viewers Shop Directly From Short Videos

[Click here to view the video in this article]



Image via YouTube

 

YouTube has introduced a new avenue of e-commerce by allowing users to shop directly from its Shorts videos.

 

Glossier is the first brand in this venture to feature this new ability as it promotes its newest eyeliner, the No. 1 Pencil.  

 



Image via YouTube

 

Shorts, which are short-form clips captured in a portrait view, are YouTube’s answer to TikTok’s infinite scrolling. Taking this feature an extra step, YouTube has now provided the ability to shop through videos. With brands taking to social media to boost their presence and marketing, the addition of e-commerce to this new preferred format of consuming media is a long time coming.  

 

On each video that promotes the eyeliner is a hashtag, #WrittenInGlossier, that directly links the viewer to the merchant’s website, where they can buy the product. People are invited to create videos of them using Glossier products and to upload them as a Short with the hashtag used. 

 

The campaign to promote shopping on Shorts, called Shoppable Shorts Challenge, premiered on June 8 and will run up till June 23. The sale is part of YouTube’s second Beauty Festival. To promote the challenge, Glossier has also recruited the help of singer Kehlani via a Short on its YouTube channel.  

 

 

YouTube and Google are looking to bank on the high viewership of Shorts and to provide a new approach to marketing. Google reported an estimated 30 billion views on Shorts per day. Around 55% of advertising executives have stated that a shoppable function on a platform has broadened brand awareness, according to insights from Marketing Dive. This opens up a new audience reach for brands and content creators and YouTube continues to provide new ways of monetization to its creators.  

 

 

 

[via The Drum and Marketing Dive, cover image via YouTube]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/419048/YouTube-Now-Lets-Viewers-Shop-Directly-From-Short-Videos/

Netflix’s Potential Roku Takeover Drives Surge In Interest For Device Maker



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Talks of Netflix potentially buying Roku caused the streaming device maker’s stocks to jump from US$93 to US$105.10 on Wednesday, with its share closing at US$103 that day, Fortune reports.

 

Furthering the rumors, Roku also closed its windows for employees to trade stock. This usually happens only when companies are about to release game-changing information relating to their business model, or to prevent insider trading. 

 

So, why would streaming giant Netflix want to acquire Roku? It’s no secret by now that Netflix is thinking about adding advertisements to its platform as revenue falls and competitors rise. A drop in its subscribers may also be what is pushing the company to turn to advertisements.

 

Advertisements will most likely be introduced as a cheaper tier for those who are patient enough to sit through them. According to Insider (via TechRadar) Roku has reported earnings close to seven times in profits from advertisements than they do from the actual sales of their streaming boxes—an attractive number to say the least.  

 

Roku also manufactures hardware streaming players that are in competition with Netflix.

 

With Roku’s apt ability and skills to add advertisements to streaming shows, it’s no wonder Netflix seems heavily interested in buying it over. If the merger does go through, this would herald the beginning of ads on Netflix.  

 

 

 

[via Hypebeast and TechRadar, Photo 241955354 © Rafael Henrique | Dreamstime.com]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/419015/Netflix-s-Potential-Roku-Takeover-Drives-Surge-In-Interest-For-Device-Maker/

Spotify Introduces Free Premium ‘Spotify For Work’ Plan For Office Workers

Image via Spotify

 

With hybrid work moving into the corporate regime, some employees might find that listening to background sounds helps them reach a productive flow state. Lo-fi music is among some of the preferred genres for focus, as are ASMR and podcasts.

A whole trove of these exists on Spotify, and users are in no doubt tapping into this collection to enliven their daily commute and work. The free tier, however, comes ridden with advertisements, and users who don’t want to hear a commercial right after being put in melancholy by Olivia Rodrigo’s Driver’s License might have to upgrade to a Premium subscription.

When employees are made to pay for something they deem essential for work, it’s almost akin to getting them to cough up wages for a parking lot. Spotify is thus introducing a free premium plan as a job perk to accompany your free snacks and access to a pool table.

Spotify for Work is starting as a benefit for global professional services firm Accenture and its offices in Sweden, Latvia, and Lithuania, as part of a partnership between both companies. With that being said, Spotify foresees more collaborations with interested companies in the future.

The program entitles employees to a free Spotify Premium account, which can be accessed not just during work hours but the entire day too—keeping workers company on commutes and at times of rest, as well.

“We see a big potential in Spotify for Work on a global scale,” shares Jan Jendeby, managing director at Accenture. “It’s a great way to give employees a desired service so they can enjoy all the audio content available on the platform.”

If you’re a boss interested in bringing this work perk to the office, Spotify is reviewing registrations sent to its spotifyforwork@spotify.com inbox.

 

 

[via Android Police and Spotify, cover image via Spotify]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/418752/Spotify-Introduces-Free-Premium-Spotify-For-Work-Plan-For-Office-Workers/

Etsy Sellers Are Going On Strike To Protest Fee Hikes

Photo 222115714 © Michael Vi | Dreamstime.com

 

Thousands of artists who rely on Etsy to sell their work are staging a strike as fees become too burdensome to bear.

 

The campaign, planned for April 11, will see full-time crafters place their stores on “vacation mode” and stop selling wares for a full week. This way, the marketplace will experience a noticeable plunge in transaction fees.

 

April 11 is when Etsy will officially increase fees from 5% to 6.5%, forcing merchants to cough up an additional 30%. The announcement for the spike was made in February, the same time Etsy touted unprecedented profits for shareholders.

 

As Fortune points out, the protest isn’t legally a “strike”—since it’s being launched by non-employees—but that’s the closest word independent creators have in mind as the platform remains a significant part of their livelihood.

Shop owner Kristi Cassidy calls the move “the final straw” for many sellers, as quoted by Mashable in an interview. Cassidy has started a petition with fellow members calling Etsy to “cancel the fee increase.” At the time of publishing, the page has amassed over 35,000 signatures by Etsy sellers intending to join this boycott.

In addition to the campaign site, there are also Instagram and Reddit channels dedicated to an “Etsy strike.”

“Increasing seller fees by 30% after two years of record sales is nothing short of pandemic profiteering. After the planned increase, our fees as sellers will have more than doubled in less than four years,” organizers of the petition lament.

Ludicrous fees aren’t the only thing Etsy users have been frustrated about. In their terms, they also urge the company to “crack down” on resellers who are hawking mass-produced goods and therefore diluting the value of the handicrafts market; stop threatening artisans’ ‘Star Seller’ status when handmade goods cannot be fulfilled quickly; and to implement a support system that isn’t run by bots.

 

“Etsy can’t bill itself as a folksy, handmade utopia while AI bots terrorize sellers whose livelihood depends on reaching buyers on the platform,” campaigners detail.

The platform has since defended the fee increase, telling media outlets that the new structure will allow it to boost marketing efforts and support for sellers.

 

 

 

[via Mashable and Fortune, cover photo 222115714 © Michael Vi | Dreamstime.com]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/418342/Etsy-Sellers-Are-Going-On-Strike-To-Protest-Fee-Hikes/

TIME Magazine Reveals The ‘Most Influential’ Companies Of 2022

Image via TIME

 

TIME Magazine has once again named 100 of the propellers that shape society’s ways of living and thinking, a yearly tradition recognizing “extraordinary impact” in the technology, healthcare, entertainment sectors, and more, around the world.

 

Usual suspects in the TIME100 Most Influential Companies list include “titans” Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Meta (formerly Facebook), Netflix, Disney, IBM, Walmart, and Nvidia. Healthcare giant Pfizer has also been acknowledged for “reducing risk” amid the blazing pandemic.

 

There are the “leaders” Spotify, for trailblazing the modern music industry; Airbnb, for being among the first to provide temporary housing for refugees around the world; Upwork, for leading the pack in helping individuals find flexible work; Calm, for providing mental health resources at users’ fingertips; Impossible Foods, for inspiring a meatless future; and Sotheby’s, for being the first major auction house to launch a virtual gallery in the metaverse and driving mainstream interest in non-fungible tokens.

Then there are “innovators” Rivian, for shaking up the EV industry; SoFi, for redefining banks; Moderna, for democratizing medical access; NoTraffic, for developing the first AI-powered traffic signal platform; Grammarly, for enabling users to write with more clarity; and Peanut, a social network aimed to connect women facing different stages of pregnancy.

Missing from the extensive lineup, though, is the headline-making Tesla—which in the past year has pulled its weight in the fields of energy and electric vehicles by launching a universal EV charger, supplying energy packs to California to counter wildfire outages, among other feats.

 

However, Tesla’s run-ins with authorities regarding its self-driving feature, wonky solar panels, and a feature allowing drivers to play in-car games while on the road could have penalized its shot at making the 2022 list. TheStreet also posits, half-jokingly, that since CEO Elon Musk was named the magazine’s Man of the Year in 2021, it might have decided to save the limelight for other deserving names.

 

Image via TIME

 

Triple covers for the special issue spotlight actor Mindy Kaling for her work as founder of media company Kaling International, which fights for representation for “the inner lives of women of color that have long been missing from TV”; Andy Jassey, successor to Jeff Bezos as Amazon CEO; and music producer Bang Si-Hyuk with the members of South Korean boyband BTS, standing in for their internationally groundbreaking talent agency HYBE (formerly Big Hit Entertainment).

 

You can check out the full list of 100 influential companies here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[via TIME and TheStreet, images via TIME]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/418275/TIME-Magazine-Reveals-The-Most-Influential-Companies-Of-2022/

Belgium Officiates Four-Day Workweek, Right To Ignore Bosses After Hours



Image ID 55693098 © via Sjankauskas | Dreamstime.com

 

Employees in Belgium will soon be able to opt for a four-day workweek following significant labor reforms announced by the country’s coalition government this week.

In addition to not having to stick to a Monday to Friday job schedule, workers will be given the right to switch off work devices and need not respond to work-related messages after hours without consequences.

“We have experienced two difficult years. With this agreement, we set a beacon for an economy that is more innovative, sustainable, and digital,” said Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo.

“The aim is to be able to make people and businesses stronger,” he added.

A government spokesperson told Euronews Next that employees will be allowed to work four days a week for up to six months. After the trial period, they can choose to continue with the new arrangement or return to a regular five-day workweek.

“The period of six months was chosen so that an employee would not be stuck for too long in case of a wrong choice,” the spokesperson said.

Apart from the new four-day week, employees can request flexible work schedules as well. Companies are now required to provide schedule updates at least one week in advance to allow for workers’ plans.

“This would benefit those who wish to spend more time with their children,” said Labor Minister Pierre-Yves Dermagne, who noted that the flexibility would be helpful for separated or divorced parents sharing co-parenting duties.

However, many employers in the country may not take so kindly to the news, as per the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium, which speaks for over 50,000 corporations.

“Instead of creating more possibilities for employees, what we see is that the government provides for a number of additional conditions which will very likely discourage employers,”

aid the Federation’s Director Monica De Jonghe, as per Fortune

Nonetheless, the reforms could be a step forward in the right direction of encouraging a better work-life balance, especially as the line between office and home has blurred even more during the pandemic.

 

 

 

[via Euronews Next and Fortune, cover image via Sjankauskas | Dreamstime.com]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/417779/Belgium-Officiates-Four-Day-Workweek-Right-To-Ignore-Bosses-After-Hours/

Fortune Names The World’s ‘Most Admired’ Companies Of 2022



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Amid growing skepticism, Big Tech continues to draw fascination across industries. However, the past year has seen an upswing in respect for the health sector too, helped by dramatic efforts in the treatment of COVID-19.

 

On Wednesday, Fortune magazine announced its 2022 list for the World’s Most Admired Companies. The research, compiled with organizational consulting firm Korn Ferry, encompasses insights from 3,700 corporate executives, directors, and analysts in 52 industries based on nine criteria, including “investment value and quality of management and products to social responsibility and ability to attract talent.”

 

The usual suspects, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft, topped the ranking respectively for the third year running. Encouragingly, more firms on the medical front lines are being revered as “All-Stars.” These include Pfizer—the co-developer of one of the best COVID-19 vaccines—which shot up to fourth-place despite never having appeared in the peripherals of multiple industries previously; and Danaher—inventor of COVID tests and drug-development equipment—which made its top-50 debut on the 37th spot.

 

 

The top 10 all-stars are as follows:

 

1. Apple

2. Amazon

3. Microsoft

4. Pfizer

5. Walt Disney

6. Berkshire Hathaway

7. Alphabet

8. Starbucks

9. Netflix

10. JPMorgan Chase

 

Apple, which momentarily became the world’s first trillion-dollar company early this year and has sustained its place in the number-one spot on Fortune’s list for the 15th consecutive year, is lauded by industry experts for its emphasis on quality, product design, talented personnel, and consistent financial position. Its role in innovation is expected to grow, too—the company is reported to be expanding into mixed reality as a major category, and it’s also purportedly working on a car. Most recently, it has made day-to-day life more accessible for iPhone users by enabling Face ID that works with face masks.

 

Despite having swept up some controversy regarding the way it treats employees, Amazon ranked first in innovation. Its cashier-free, ‘Just Walk Out’ technology has been replicated by other grocery stores. The company is also working with Verizon to bring satellite broadband to rural areas. Its association with the Jeff Bezos-led space company Blue Origin hasn’t hurt its reputation for out-of-the-world invention either.

 

Microsoft, whose Teams software has helped connect the workforce in the era of remote and hybrid work, is praised for its excellent management quality under the leadership of CEO Satya Nadella, who took over the role in 2020.

 

Disney, which placed fifth on the overall ranking, reigns as the leader of the entertainment industry for the 19th year in a row. In the last few years, it has ensured to bring more representation to its programming. Not to mention, the Disney+ streaming platform—a victor in a time when theaters are seeing a decline in business—will continue to solidify its position in the realm of entertainment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You can explore the full report of World’s Most Admired Companies here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[via Fortune, cover image 176589934 © Info849943 | Dreamstime.com]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/417571/Fortune-Names-The-World-s-Most-Admired-Companies-Of-2022/

Belgian Workers Will No Longer Have To Respond To Calls After Office Hours



Image ID 174056446 © Tero Vesalainen | Dreamstime.com

 

A proposed law in Belgium will ensure that civil servants no longer have to respond to calls or texts from their bosses after office hours. 

 

Aptly named the ‘Right to Disconnect’, the new rule will be introduced from February 1 by the Green Party’s Minister of Civil Service, Petra De Sutter, as reported by local newspaper De Morgen.

The memo, as seen by the daily paper, states that superiors can only contact workers outside of working hours “in exceptional and unforeseen circumstances, and where action is required that cannot wait until the next working period.” 

More importantly, it ensures that employees “should not be disadvantaged” should they actively choose not to respond to texts or emails outside of work.

According to Vice, De Sutter is lobbying for these rules to be turned into legislation in order to fight “excessive work stress and burnout.” She hopes the initiative will allow employees “better focus, better recuperation, and a more sustainable energy level.”

However, this law will only apply to the 65,000 federal civil servants in the country, and does not extend to employees working for other corporations. The Brussels Times reported that Laurens Teerlinck, spokesperson for Federal Labor Minister Pierre-Yves Dermagne, did hint that there could be a similar bill in the works for the private sector.

“After advice from the social partners, a proposal should be discussed, alongside the four-day workweek and regulations for evening work. There will be more information on this over the course of this month,” the spokesperson said. 

Fingers crossed you’ll never have to reply to an “urgent” email at 10pm ever again!

 

 

 

[via Vice and The Brussels Times, cover image via Tero Vesalainen | Dreamstime.com]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/417295/Belgian-Workers-Will-No-Longer-Have-To-Respond-To-Calls-After-Office-Hours/

UAE Becomes First Nation To Shorten Five-Day Work Week



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In recent years, many countries have trialed the idea of a four-day work week with varying levels of success. The radical change has received overwhelming support in nations including Scotland, Iceland, and Japan, though none have officially implemented it yet.

Earlier this week, the United Arab Emirates became the first country to officially decree a national workweek shorter than the usual five days we’re accustomed to. Beginning next year, companies in the nation will work four and a half days, with the weekend from noon on Friday through Sunday.

According to My Modern Met, this change is an even bigger one for firms in the Middle East, as employees typically work from Sunday through Thursday, with Friday being an off day for religious observance of Muslim prayers.

“Adopting an agile working system will enable the UAE to rapidly respond to emerging changes and enhance wellbeing in the workplace,” said a statement from the Emirates News Agency.

“From an economic perspective, the new working week will better align the UAE with global markets, reflecting the country’s strategic status on the global economic map. It will ensure smooth financial, trade, and economic transactions with countries that follow a Saturday/Sunday weekend, facilitating stronger international business links and opportunities for thousands of UAE-based and multinational companies.”

In addition to aligning the country with others in the world, the government believes the longer weekend will promote a better work-life balance for employees. To facilitate the change, Friday prayers at mosques will be held at 1.15pm instead of at noon, giving staff enough time to wrap up work at midday. Companies will be encouraged to give staff more flexibility, such as the option to work from home on Fridays.

At the moment, the shift only applies to federal employees, though those in the private sector are expected to follow suit. Several universities will also be adjusting their schedules to fit with the new workweek.

#UAE announces today that it will transition to a four and a half day working week, with Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday forming the new weekend.

All Federal government departments will move to the new weekend from January 1, 2022. pic.twitter.com/tQoa22pai9

— UAEGOV (@UAEmediaoffice) December 7, 2021

[via My Modern Met, cover image via Saletomic | Dreamstime.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/417013/UAE-Becomes-First-Nation-To-Shorten-Five-Day-Work-Week/

Democrats Announce ‘Stopping Grinch Bots Act’ To End Holiday Gift Scalping



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House and Senate Democrats have teamed up to introduce the ‘Stopping Grinch Bots Act’, which aims to put a stop to algorithms purchasing entire inventories of holiday gifts before reselling them at scalpers’ prices.

The bill was announced by Representative Paul Tonko of New York, Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Senator Charles Schumer of New York, and Senator Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico.

“These bots don’t just squeeze consumers, they pose a problem for small businesses, local retailers, and other entrepreneurs trying to ensure they have the best items in stock for their customers,” said Representative Tonko.

“Our Grinch Bots Act works to level the playing field and prevent scalpers from sucking hard-working parents dry this holiday season. I urge my colleagues to join me in passing this legislation immediately to stop these Grinch bots from stealing the holiday,” he continued.

These ‘Grinch bots’ work by using software algorithms to automatically purchase entire sites’ inventories, and because they’re digital, they move quicker than any regular human would be able to.

According to CNET, in recent years, these bots have become so advanced that they can even bypass security measures set up by online retailers.

Notably, this same bill had been brought up back in 2018 but wasn’t passed then. While it’s unclear if this time will see it be put into action, it’s certainly time lawmakers did something about the unscrupulous resellers who deprive others of reasonably-priced gifts in favor of inflated price points.

[via CNET, cover image via Molly100 | Dreamstime.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416859/Democrats-Announce-Stopping-Grinch-Bots-Act-To-End-Holiday-Gift-Scalping/

Dollar Tree Announces First-Ever Base Price Increase To $1.25 Nationwide



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After pricing all its products at US$1 for the last 35 years, Dollar Tree has officially announced it will soon be increasing its prices to US$1.25 nationwide.

The brand had previously stated it was trialing different price points above the dollar mark due to rising costs and inflation, and it appears to have settled at a quarter more.

The new price point will be rolled out in stores starting in December, with it expected to be implemented in all outlets by the end of March 2022.

“Lifting the one-dollar constraint represents a monumental step for our organization and we are enthusiastic about the opportunity to meaningfully improve our shopper’s experience and unlock value for our stakeholders,” said Dollar Tree President, Michael Witynski.

By increasing its price point by 25 cents, the brand will be able to “materially expand its offerings, introduce new products and sizes, and provide families with more of their daily essentials,” the company explained.

In addition, according to CBS News, Dollar Tree will be bringing back some “customer favorites” that were previously discontinued due to price restraints.

The company said feedback for the change has been “overwhelming positive,” and that the price hike will also go towards increasing wages for its employees.

“Our Dollar Tree pricing tests have demonstrated broad consumer acceptance of the new price point and excitement about the additional offerings and extreme value we will be able to provide,” said Witynski.

[via CBS News, cover image via Georgesheldon | Dreamstime.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416790/Dollar-Tree-Announces-First-Ever-Base-Price-Increase-To-1-25-Nationwide/

‘Soft, Squishy Toys’ Come Out Tops This Holiday Season Due To Shipping Squeeze



Image via photo ID 184036374 © Svetlana Day | Dreamstime.com

It’s no mystery that, over the last couple of decades, a lion’s share of the toys sold in the US and around the world are made in China.

It hasn’t ever really been a problem to get the goods shipped to their destination countries, and this process is described by toymakers Basic Fun chief executive Jay Foreman as “set it and forget it.”

But this year isn’t the same as others, as the world still struggles to get back on its feet from the effects of the pandemic. Supply chain shortages have hit many industries from fizzy drinks to sneakers, and it may not come as a surprise that the toys sector has felt its effects, too.

This isn’t great timing—although it’s never really going to ever be for this sort of things—because more than a year of the pandemic has meant that customers are more likely to want to go all-out this season. A survey by PWC has indicated that customers may spend an average of US$1,447 on gifts this year thanks to extra savings. This is up 20% from last year.

However, ‘out of stock’ signs and empty shelves are almost certain to put a damper on the spending mood.

Shipping containers are among the things that we’re currently seeing a shortage of. Hence, the cost of a 40-foot container from Shanghai to Los Angeles spiked 238% this August, according to CNN. This saw the spot rate of booking a single container reach US$10,229.

But as the end of the year’s festive season draws closer, time has felt tighter than ever. Many decisions relating to holiday sales have to be made by September in order to be fulfiled in time. So, Foreman decided that the best thing to do for the company was to focus on selling “small, squishy toys” this year.

In terms of Basic Fun’s approach, this would mean a pivot away from its Tonka Trucks, and a priority given to smaller toys like Cutetitos, which are little stuffed animals wrapped in a blanket to resemble a burrito.

Essentially, scaling back on large-sized items in favor of being able to fit more of smaller-sized units into the same amount of space.

For example, US$150,000 worth of Mash’ems—soft collectibles depicting popular characters—and US$100,000 worth of Cutetitos can fit into the same container that would be able to take just US80,000 worth of Care Bears and US$40,000 worth of Tonka Trucks.

That’s not to say that these larger toys won’t be available come year end, but it’ll just mean that costs will have to be raised to facilitate them reaching US shores.

“It’s a simple case of how much sales volume fits in the container when containers are hard to come by,” Foreman tells CNN. “I’d rather sell fewer trucks and not have to raise the price exponentially because I’ll sell trucks again next year.”

Other solutions include retail giants like Walmart and Target chartering their own ships to ensure goods come in time. Of course there’s also the option of air freight, but that will come at greater cost to the consumers—and the environment.

[via Yahoo, Image via photo ID 184036374 © Svetlana Day | Dreamstime.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416231/Soft-Squishy-Toys-Come-Out-Tops-This-Holiday-Season-Due-To-Shipping-Squeeze/

Clubhouse App Updates & News

Clubhouse App Updates & News

Clubhouse App Updates & News
— Read on mawebwales.wordpress.com/2021/10/09/clubhouse-app-updates-news/

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Donald Trump’s company ‘in talks to sell Washington DC hotel to Joe Biden donor’s firm’

Former President Donald Trump’s family real estate company in reportedly in discussions to sell Trump International Hotel Washington, DC (Pictures: …

Donald Trump’s company ‘in talks to sell Washington DC hotel to Joe Biden donor’s firm’

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Clubhouse News – latest updates to the Clubhouse app!

Hi all, Welcome to another Clubhouse News post. Please find the latest updates to the clubhouse app. The audio only social media platform, is …

Clubhouse News – latest updates to the Clubhouse app!

Clubhouse News – latest updates to the Clubhouse app!

Hi all, Welcome to another Clubhouse News post. Please find the latest updates to the clubhouse app. The audio only social media platform, is …

Clubhouse News – latest updates to the Clubhouse app!

Clubhouse News – latest updates to the Clubhouse app!

Hi all, Welcome to another Clubhouse News post. Please find the latest updates to the clubhouse app. The audio only social media platform, is …

Clubhouse News – latest updates to the Clubhouse app!

Clubhouse News – latest updates to the Clubhouse app!

Hi all, Welcome to another Clubhouse News post. Please find the latest updates to the clubhouse app. The audio only social media platform, is …

Clubhouse News – latest updates to the Clubhouse app!

Free Online Jewellery Shop Wales

We are offering YOU a chance of a lifetime to have your own Free online jewellery shop! Join our unique online jewellery community created by JESPER …

Free Online Jewellery Shop

WelshBiz Blog featuring Welsh Business News

Visit the Charm Jewellery Shop Wales – Online…

Visit the Charm Jewellery Shop Wales Online…

Visit the Charm Jewellery Shop Online…


— Read on mikearmstrong.me/visit-the-charm-jewellery-shop-online/

WelshBiz Blog featuring Welsh Business News

Announcing Adweek’s Acquisition of Social Media Week

Since 2009 we’ve made it our mission to help you, our loyal community members, play a pivotal role in an engaged and elevated conversation on the impact of social media on marketing, media and culture.

Today, we are thrilled to continue this mission and share that Social Media Week will become part of Adweek. Toby Daniels, who founded Social Media Week in 2009, will join Adweek as Chief Innovation Officer, while also overseeing the SMW business. “Joining forces with Adweek represents an opportunity to work with a world-class team, accessing a full spectrum of capabilities which will not only help to extend the Social Media Week brand and offering but also help us better serve our community and our partners. We are ecstatic to have found a home and strategic partner in Adweek, a company we have long admired for its first-class journalism and coverage of our industry, its dedication to fostering community and its events and awards, which are the gold standard in our industry”, said Daniels in a statement.

“The SMW acquisition is an important step forward in deepening our connection with these influential and rising marketers,” shared Adweek CEO Jeff Litvack in the official press release, which you can read in full here. “Social media has always been a critical way for brands to reach and interact with their consumers and 2020 has further thrust it into the spotlight.”

“In 2020, the pandemic, the rise of Black Lives Matter, and a socially distanced world reinforced the demand for real-time social engagement and the criticality of social media as a marketing platform,” added Adweek’s Chief Content Officer Lisa Granatstein. “We’re excited to supersize our social media programming with next-level insights and best practices to help our audience continue to capitalize on these seismic consumer and marketing trends.”

SMW entered unchartered territory when we went virtual in 2020. We held our first virtual conference in May with more than 10,000 attendees and 175 hours of content and quickly followed this pivot with the launch of SMW+, a live and on-demand platform for marketers looking to level up their careers, none of which would have been possible without your support.

Under Adweek, we will continue to expand our virtual presence beginning with #SMWNYC, kicking off May 4–7, 2021. The theme of this year’s flagship conference is “Reinvention: Rebuilding the Systems of Social Media Marketing for a Better Future” Plus, we will continue to invest in SMW+ and are eager to share more incredible content, shows, and series and grow the audience over the course of the year.

We look forward to delivering you world-class experiences under our new leadership and the opportunity to share this exciting journey with each and every one of you.

The post Announcing Adweek’s Acquisition of Social Media Week appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2021/01/announcement-adweek-acquires-social-media-week/

Announcing Adweek’s Acquisition of Social Media Week

Since 2009 we’ve made it our mission to help you, our loyal community members, play a pivotal role in an engaged and elevated conversation on the impact of social media on marketing, media and culture.

Today, we are thrilled to continue this mission and share that Social Media Week will become part of Adweek. Toby Daniels, who founded Social Media Week in 2009, will join Adweek as Chief Innovation Officer, while also overseeing the SMW business. “Joining forces with Adweek represents an opportunity to work with a world-class team, accessing a full spectrum of capabilities which will not only help to extend the Social Media Week brand and offering but also help us better serve our community and our partners. We are ecstatic to have found a home and strategic partner in Adweek, a company we have long admired for its first-class journalism and coverage of our industry, its dedication to fostering community and its events and awards, which are the gold standard in our industry”, said Daniels in a statement.

“The SMW acquisition is an important step forward in deepening our connection with these influential and rising marketers,” shared Adweek CEO Jeff Litvack in the official press release, which you can read in full here. “Social media has always been a critical way for brands to reach and interact with their consumers and 2020 has further thrust it into the spotlight.”

“In 2020, the pandemic, the rise of Black Lives Matter, and a socially distanced world reinforced the demand for real-time social engagement and the criticality of social media as a marketing platform,” added Adweek’s Chief Content Officer Lisa Granatstein. “We’re excited to supersize our social media programming with next-level insights and best practices to help our audience continue to capitalize on these seismic consumer and marketing trends.”

SMW entered unchartered territory when we went virtual in 2020. We held our first virtual conference in May with more than 10,000 attendees and 175 hours of content and quickly followed this pivot with the launch of SMW+, a live and on-demand platform for marketers looking to level up their careers, none of which would have been possible without your support.

Under Adweek, we will continue to expand our virtual presence beginning with #SMWNYC, kicking off May 4–7, 2021. The theme of this year’s flagship conference is “Reinvention: Rebuilding the Systems of Social Media Marketing for a Better Future” Plus, we will continue to invest in SMW+ and are eager to share more incredible content, shows, and series and grow the audience over the course of the year.

We look forward to delivering you world-class experiences under our new leadership and the opportunity to share this exciting journey with each and every one of you.

The post Announcing Adweek’s Acquisition of Social Media Week appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2021/01/announcement-adweek-acquires-social-media-week/

Cardiff Business News – Cardiff firm looks to Rise & Thrive from Covid and asks you to join them by tking part in their global business summit…

Online Welsh Business Conference / Global Business Summit – & 3 Mega Pre-Summit Global Business Networking Events by Cardiff Business Networking Company, Introbiz

Welsh Business News - Welsh Business Conference

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2020 marks the year of Introbiz’ first Online Global Business Summit, taking place from 25th – 27th November.

As one of Wales and the UK’s most ambitious, recognised business networks, established for nearly 12 years, and bringing over 7000 visitors to our annual exhibitions & events with global leading entrepreneurs, such as Grant Cardone & Lord Sugar, and connecting with Sir Richard Branson & other leading global entrepreneurs at Necker Island events etc, the COVID epidemic has only fuelled our mission to take the world by storm, even further this year.

Having built up 12 years’ worth of experience in providing industry-leading events, COVID put a stop to these in March 2020, when the whole country went into Lockdown, thus putting an end to the full year’s schedule of real-world networking events and businesses expo’s already booked in. Introbiz MD’s Paul Smolinski & Tracey Smolinski were faced with a difficult decision. Do they shut up shop and wait for the Pandemic to be over, or do they innovate, pivot, and look to rise and even thrive from the enforced situation. Being the optimistic fighters that they are, they chose the latter and switched their business to an online model as soon as the UK lockdown began.

Introbiz switched the membership and events model from real-world events to online events & online membership and continued on with their weekly events, utilising the zoom platform as their new venue of choice. Since March 16th, 2020 we have hosted over 50 online events with over 40 global speakers and sports stars that have pulled in thousands of visitors to our weekly online events. On top of providing networking opportunities, they decided to leverage their previous relationships, with best-selling entrepreneurship authors and educators such as Brian Tracey, Les Brown, Sharon Lechter, Dr. John Demartini, Jairek Robbins & Tom Ziglar, to not only speak at their events, but to provide leading world-class training and knowledge, and live Q&A sessions to get real-time answers and expertise to the real-time problems.

This successful pivot has inspired Paul & Tracey to create a Global Online Business Conference to create a global opportunity that is appropriately named; “Rise To Thrive”.

The “Rise To Thrive” Introbiz Global Summit is going to be one of THE online business events of 2020; offering current clients and the wider business community a virtual networking breakfast experience, and the opportunity to meet and greet global entrepreneurs and like-minded business owners like never before. We will be graced by the presence and wisdom of over 35 of the world’s most renowned names such as Les Brown, Sharon Lechter, John Demartini, Brian Tracy, Jariek Robbins, Tom Ziglar along with new additions such as; Rob Moore, Alec Stern, Camilita Nutall, Forbes Riley, Bob Burg, and Evan Carmichael, to name just a small handful over the three days.

Introbiz anticipates welcoming people from all walks of life to join the Online Business Summit, including our existing clients from professional services, hospitality, real estate, motor trade, leisure & tourism, and third sector to connect and to learn about the universal laws of health, wealth, success, relationships and connections.

Throughout COVID, Introbiz’ main aim has been to keep the economic wheel turning and to ensure that Welsh businesses remain inspired to connect, collaborate, network, and grow, and we hope that this one-off event will be a demonstration of finding the gift in adversity. Having reached over 25 countries so far, we aim to bridge the borders of our world through entrepreneurial spirit and progressive action.

Founder and MD of the Global Summit, Paul Smolinski says; “We are proud to bring over 30 world-class global entrepreneurs and speakers to the Welsh, UK and global stage during these tough times, and are confident that business owners will be inspired and educated in many strategies to help them to pivot and grow out of these uncertain times”.

We invite you to join us at our first Online Summit to get inspired and get connected.

Get your free tickets to the Online Business summit here: https://introbiz.co.uk/the-introbiz-global-summit/ and to the networking events here: https://introbiz.co.uk/networking-events/

Watch the promo video, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PD54A_L5ks

This Cardiff Business News Press Release is by Introbiz UK Ltd on 21/10/2020. For more about Introbiz please visit: www.introbiz.co.uk and for media enquiries please feel free to contact Introbiz Global Summit Founder & MD Paul Smolinski or Introbiz Founder & MD Tracey Smolinski on 02920 291002.