It's a new year of Shiftonomics!

We've been hard at work curating the best headlines and articles about the world and future of work.

We rely on word-of-mouth to help make our newsletter to the inboxes of your colleagues and friends. At the end of this newsletter, you can check out our referral program that offers up some cool swag in exchange for sharing the newsletter. We've also included our newest video about Branch Messenger - the employee self-service app that we have built to help hourly, shift workers easily see their schedules and swap shifts with employees.

Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter. We truly appreciate it!

News ⚡️####

🚀 Defying Expectations, Kohl's Raises Guidance on Strong Holiday Shopping | Via:

What a difference a quarter and a major holiday shopping surge will do for a company. Just last November Kohls shares fell when quarterly results revealed that merchandising costs rose and that despite a strong back-to-school season, sales were hampered by dual devastating hurricanes.

Fast forward to this week, and Kohls lifted guidance on the news of a successful holiday shopping season. Sales rose for the Milwaukee-based retailer 6.9 percent sending stocks soaring early this week. Kohl's shares are up nearly 40 percent over the past 12 months, well ahead of the 6% increase the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has experienced over the same period. Just as Kohls has seen success this holiday, other retailers have not experienced similar fortunes. Despite moderate holiday season success, American Eagle, Macy's, and J.C. Penney all saw their stock decline this week.

Amazon Taps Local Retailers | Via:

In 2017, local was big for Amazon. More than 300,000 American small and medium-sized businesses joined the ranks of the Amazon Marketplace joining a powerful network that is represented by retailers in every United States state and more than 130 countries.

“More and more small and medium-sized businesses are choosing to join the Amazon Marketplace and sell alongside Amazon to reach customers around the world,” said Peter Faricy, VP for Amazon Marketplace. “Entrepreneurs and small business owners are succeeding on Amazon, and reinvesting in their local communities, efforts which create jobs and support local suppliers.”

The Big Idea 🤔 (3)####

🌨 🌩 Retailers Eye in the Sky | Via:

Local television meteorologists are typically the most visible element of weather. But, there's an entire cottage industry of weather predictors who are assembled at the ready to help American retailers navigate the previously unpredictable weather forecasts. That's where Weather Trends International steps in -- helping assist American retailers better understand how weather can impact consumer demands. If you've ever run to the store looking for gloves and booties before a big winter blast, this is exactly the firm you hope that store has obtained to help ensure shelves stay full of the gear you need. Take that, supply and demand!

The Outlier in Outdoor Retail | Via:

In a sea of North Face jackets and Patagonia pullovers, Outlier is well, an outlier. Founded by Abe Burmeister and Tyler Clemens in 2008, Outlier is known mostly as an underground apparel maker aimed at those obsessed with technology (read: nerds). They don't do sales as much as they do "experiments" -- products pushed to their consumers via email lists and featured on Instagram live. Early on at Outdoor Retailer, a major textile exhibition, they learned the major players were buying the best, cheapest fabrics and components for clothing. Outlier focused on snapping up the materials nobody else honed in on -- Military fabrics, equestrian fabrics, industrial fabrics. Wired features the fascinating story of how Outlier is becoming cool while helping you stay warm.

A Temporary Thing | Via:

Initially designed as a study to evaluate and quantify the gig economy, researchers made the discovery that there was an astounding change in alternative work: independent contractors, freelancers, temporary employees, and call center workers. The decline of conventional full-time work has impacted every demographic. Because of the gains in technology, it's never been easier to do work remotely from anywhere -- whether that's a home office or a beach.

Heard Around The Web 💬

🔌 Circuit City...Is Back? | Via:

They're Baaaaaack? This week, the former parts and pieces of Circuit City assembled for an announcement at CES in Las Vegas. And from all appearances, this won't be your father's Circuit City. Focusing on e-commerce, the company released a statement last week saying they have plans for “a dynamic, social-focused e-commerce site” as well as “various concepts of innovative retail stores.”

In addition, the newly-revamped retailer will include augmented reality and video chat with tech support and a virtual personal shopping assistant supported through a partnership with IBM Watson’s artificial intelligence platform. Circuit City is also working with the company Skinny IT to provide home installations of products bought online. This will be a very interesting story to follow this year as we begin to learn how Circuit City will enter the consumer electronics retail space with its mix of future-forward thinking (AR, social media) and brick-and-mortar concepts.

📚 Books We're Reading####

⏰ Timing is Everything | Via:

January is when we collectively get into a tizzy over what resolutions we've self-determined to adopt in an effort to be better, exercise more, check email less, and eat better. Science doesn't need to tell us that most of these resolutions fail before the third week of January. Instead, what if we focused on timing? Best-selling author Daniel Pink's new book, "When" looks at the science of when we do things. Turns out that daily routines and planned scheduling are beneficial to how we work. Pink an expert in management and motivation, describes his book as not so much a how-to manual for making the most of our lives but a “when-to” guide.

Have you claimed your free Shiftonomics swag yet?
Visit Shiftonomics to learn more! Find out what's waiting for you!