Posts Tagged ‘retail’

Walmart To Replace Janitors With Robots

December 11, 2018

Walmart To Replace Janitors With Robots

“The world’s largest retailer is rolling out 360 autonomous floor-scrubbing robots in some of its stores in the U.S. by the end of the January, it said in a joint statement with Brain Corp., which makes the machines. The autonomous janitors can clean floors on their own even when customers are around, according to the San Diego-based startup.”

–“Robot Janitors Are Coming to Mop Floors at a Walmart Near You,” Pavel Alpeyev, Bloomberg

That means Walmart will retrain its janitors as cashiers and open more checkout lines, right? Ha.

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The Birth of the Price Tag

November 20, 2018

For centuries buying something meant haggling, negotiating with shopkeepers to get a lower price. As a result, the same goods cost different people different prices. In the mid-19th century, U.S. Quakers came to believe that charging people different amounts for the same item was immoral, so they started using price tags which, if not more moral, are more efficient.

An NPR Planet Money video.

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NYC Hot Dog Stand License: $289,500. Per Year.

September 20, 2018

Licenses for a New York City hot dog stand can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. There are 3,100 hot dog stand licenses in New York City, and there’s a 20 year waiting list for them. The licenses, not the hot dogs.

A “Half as Interesting” video from Wendover Productions

Update:

“‘Unjust and immoral’: street vendors call on New York City to issue more permits,” Erin Durkin, The Guardian

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Nutella Riots Rock France

January 26, 2018

Nutella Riots Rock France

While French President Emmanuel Macron talked trade in Davos, back home the République was rocked by retail riots. The Intermarché supermarket chain slashed the price of Nutella by 70%, causing chaos across the country. Customers fought, employees were punched, les flics were called.

The French really love that chocolate hazelnut spread on their baguettes in the morning. They consume 26 percent of world Nutella production.

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2017: Have a Lethal Christmas!

December 17, 2017

Have a Lethal Christmas!

Francis X. Clines in the New York Times:

“For the single-day binge of gun sales measured annually after Thanksgiving, the F.B.I. received 203,086 requests for background checks. This is the most ever in a single day, topping last year’s Black Friday high of 185,713 requests. (No immediate tweets from President Trump, the candidate of the National Rifle Association, that this is huge in making America great again.)

There were undoubtedly even more guns actually sold, since an F.B.I. request can cover a buyer’s multiple purchases. All seasonal evidence indicates that AR-15 assault rifles, the battlefield knockoffs familiar to so many Americans in the relentless tales of mass shootings, will be under many Christmas trees. ‘Bang for the buck!’ enthused the blog post of one seasonal shopper. ‘I picked up a Bushmaster carbine with rebate for around $400 … I couldn’t be happier.’”

More:

“Guns were Black Friday must-haves, going by the FBI’s record 203,086 background-check requests,” Cleve R. Wootson Jr., Washington Post

Related:

“Sandy Hook mom slams Trump for hosting NRA head on anniversary of shooting,” Jacqueline Thomsen, The Hill

“Americans Don’t Really Understand Gun Violence,” David Bernstein, The Atlantic

“America’s gun problem, explained,” German Lopez, Vox

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Big Savings!

November 24, 2017

Big Savings!

The Friday after Thanksgiving or ”Black Friday“ is reserved by global corporations for whipping Americans into a frenzy of over-consumption.  Millions camp out and line up for hours hoping for bargains. Most end up buying things they don’t need at prices they can’t afford.

Save big today. Don’t buy a single thing. If you want to spend something, spend the day with friends and family. Spend time at the library; borrow a book and spend time reading it. Spend time making something. You’re not what you buy. You’re not a “consumer.” You’re a human being.

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Walmart Back-to-School Special

August 10, 2017

Walmart Back-to-School Special

“Walmart has condemned a display inside one of its stores that appeared to market firearms as back-to-school items. The company said Wednesday it was working to identify which of its stores put up the exhibit.

A photo of a sign reading ‘Own the school year like a hero’ was placed directly above a glass case filled with guns. Photos of it spread like wildfire on social media.

— “Walmart apologizes for sign marketing guns as back-to-school items,” Jackie Wattles, CNN

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Top image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Cyber Cafés of 1996

January 5, 2017

At the end of the last century, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and nobody owned a laptop or cellphone, early humans paid money to rent desktop computers and drink Jolt Cola in public accommodations known as cyber cafés. Let us return to those thrilling days of yesteryear (via Mental Floss) to visit the best cyber cafés of 1996:

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Image (“Au Cyber Café, after Jean Béraud”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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From the North Pole Fulfillment Office

December 25, 2016

From the North Pole Fulfillment Office

Greetings Occupant:

We have reviewed your Naughty/Nice Statement for calendar 2016. A coal-filled stocking will serve as your Notice of Naughtiness. If you are not in receipt of same, enjoy your gifts and have a happy holiday.

Sincerely,

North Pole Fulfillment Office Staff

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Image (“Santa’s Spreadsheet, after Haddon Sundblom”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,NotionsCapital.com

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It’s Beginning ….

December 5, 2016

It’s Beginning ….
On the shelves of Retail America, it began to look like Christmas the day after Halloween. The perfume and electric shaver ads began appearing a few weeks later, and we’ve already had two weeks of commercial-heavy seasonal TV specials. Try to dig yourself out of the blizzard of consumerist frenzy.
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