From the renewed success of American movie theaters, to the continued impact of Sears' bankruptcy, here's the biggest stories we're reading this week in the world of commerce, retail, and technology. And, if you're curious what city is garnering headlines for its renewal, resurgence, and growing job scene, check out story number 9 below.
Election season means more employees will be heading to the ballot box, and to do so, they'll need to juggle with employer scheduling. About 44% of U.S. firms are offering the perk to their employees for the Nov. 6 midterm elections, compared to 37% during the 2016 election, according to the Society for Human Resources Management. Additionally, 400 companies have signed on to efforts to boost voter turnout through ElectionDay.org and Time to Vote.
Read more via: Bloomberg
Earnings reporting season is underway, and analysts are eager to hear from executives about how an escalating trade war between the U.S. and China is impacting their businesses. A common theme is that they are ready to relocate supply chains if the cost of importing Chinese goods becomes prohibitive. Read via: Bloomberg
Is the convenience store of the future being minted right now in Portland? Named after an heirloom tomato, Green Zebra is the brainchild of Lisa Sedlar. She quit her job running upscale grocer New Seasons Market and cashed in her daughter’s college savings to open her first location five years ago in Portland, Oregon. The chain, currently raising a $10 million round, now has three stores (a fourth will open soon) and by 2020 plans to have 23 west coast locations from Los Angeles to Seattle and $100 million in sales. A reporter from Forbes recently visited to see how Green Zebra is changing the convenience store game.
Read more at Forbes
Movie-goers who want an elite theater experience, including subscription perks through AMC or MoviePass, and luxury service (which can include alcohol and reclining loungers) have helped boost ticket sales. There's also been an uptick in people looking to take advantage of discounted days and matinees. Read via: Axios
With high overlap in home appliances, lawn and garden equipment and tools, Home Depot (HD) and Lowe’s (LOW) are poised to pull in a sizable chunk of Sears’s business. The closures could mean $157 million in new sales annually for Home Depot and $129 million for Lowe’s. Each could see a slight boost to same-store sales, a key retail metric that measures sales at stores open longer than a year.
Read more: Yahoo! Finance
Mall owners are asking a New York bankruptcy court to crack down on Sears' "going out of business" signs in an attempt to curb the impact of the retailer's downfall. In a recent court filing, a group of landlords laid out their requests for Sears' upcoming store closures in 12 of their malls. The mall owners requested that the court limit the size, wording, and style of its closing-down sale signs. "A store closing sale or liquidation detrimentally impacts the Centers, as well as the surrounding individual tenants," the mall owners said in the court filing.
Read more analysis at Business Insider
Target has big plans for the upcoming holiday surge: Shipping, staffing, and toys. The retailer feels primed and ready for the shopping season and will be rolling out the red carpet, so to speak. They'll be offering
Read more at CNBC
A funny thing happened on the way to the retail apocalypse. Stiffening competition, surging online advertising costs and cheap mall space have prompted these so-called digital natives (Casper, Warby Parker) to embrace what they call “offline” in a big way. In their push to become retail’s next household names they’re venturing beyond the coasts and major cities into suburban America. It’s also an acknowledgement that 90 cents of every retail dollar in the U.S. is still spent at a physical location, and industry watchers don’t expect it to fall below 75 cents until the middle of next decade.
Read more at Bloomberg
Move over Hoboken and Oakland, America's next hottest city is Worcester, Mass. Located about 47 miles from Boston, the city is feeding off Boston's success and could find itself as an intriguing case study in redevelopment. The city is especially hot right now for tech, biomedical and specialty manufacturing businesses. And the types of services that come with that kind of boom. City officials have moved forward with $2.6 billion in recent construction — new housing, as well as retail and restaurant space. And Worcester is finally growing, after losing residents for much of the past century.
Read more at NPR
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