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Tag Archive 'business'

Retailers on Thanksgiving

The desire to be open on Thanksgiving is an artifact of the “race to zero” nature of retail. As is common in a mature industry, major retailers are focused on being the low cost provider (De Kluyver & Pearce, 2012). Major retailers have tried to push the success of Black Friday to earlier and earlier times in the hope of catching early holiday dollars. Naturally, this has spilled over into Thanksgiving as retailers push this envelope.

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Bad International Strategies

The story of EBay in China is about as straight-forward as it gets. In 2004, EBay decided to begin operations in China. Envisioning a threat, the Chinese e-commerce Alibaba decided to counter EBay with an auction site of their own. In the hope of gaining market share, EBay began heavily advertising on websites and billboards. This was their first mistake. Alibaba, realizing that Chinese customers prefer TV advertising, invested heavily in that medium. Additionally, Alibaba tailored their auction site to the needs of Chinese consumers, while EBay continued to use Western concepts that did not fit as well with Chinese culture. Finally, Alibaba focused on customer satisfaction (Wang, 2010).

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Emoji-based marketing is clearly aimed at Internet users. A poll conducted in February 2015 found that nearly 50% of US Internet users over the age of 18 use emojis (Wegert, 2015). My first instinct was that this was aimed at a younger market segment, but then I remember that my mother uses an emoji in every single text she sends.

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Target Selling Booze

Target serving liquor in their store runs the same risk as any other vendor might. This move will require the store to hire specialized employees to operate what is, essentially, a bar. When Whole Foods made this move in 2011, they worked very hard to ensure the bar did not overtake the carefully cultured atmosphere of the store (Horovitz, 2011). Target will need to do the same, and ensure the bar atmosphere does not distract from the shopping atmosphere of the store. That being said, Whole Foods has found that adding a beer and wine bar in their stores has increased sales. It has the tendency to attract new shoppers, and also encourages them to spend more time, and thus money, in the store.

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[QFD] Hiring and Managing Employees

Culture Shock is a very real dilemma and can impact expatriates in any country. Cultural training should be the number one priority for any employee planning to live overseas. Even cultures that share similarities can be shockingly different when the unwary are fully emerged. Cultural training should focus not only on making the expatriate aware of cultural differences, but also train them how to navigate the differences. Additionally, language training is very important for anyone working in a company where the language is different. Even if the company uses English (in the case of a US company) as a primary language, if the rest of the country uses something different, the future expatriate must be ready.

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