America’s Empty Shopping Malls

Over the holiday (read: gift-buying) season, some of us were very confident in what each of our recipients wanted and just bought everything online with a couple of clicks. No stress, no hassle. The rest of us normal people likely found ourselves in our local shopping mall at some point. Did you notice anything odd about the mall you went to? A disorganized department store, disheveled displays, a food court restaurant or two shut down? In my case, the entire movie theater attached to the mall boarded up? Sure, shopping malls have their advantages: you get a variety of products Continue reading America’s Empty Shopping Malls

Brandless Part 2: Tasteless Or Ostentatious?

This week’s post will be about my review of the food I ordered from Brandless, along with my revised thoughts on this quirky online company. For context, my previous post about Brandless can be found here. My classmates and fellow writers on this blog helped clarify for me why this website gives us such an odd feeling, and what it says about the consumption behaviors of millennials today. But first, my review. Last Wednesday, I made an order on Brandless’s website. They offer a $3 shipping cost on your first order, compared to the regular $9 shipping. (Once I placed Continue reading Brandless Part 2: Tasteless Or Ostentatious?

Demand Without a Brand: Online Grocery Store Eliminates “Brand-Tax”

You may have heard of Brandless, the e-commerce startup launched this year. The San Francisco-based company, founded by entrepreneurs Tina Sharkey and Ido Leffler, flaunts online groceries and essentials with an enticingly simple pricing model: everything is $3 or less. Why is it called Brandless? The inspiration for this online grocery store, Sharkey says, was the so-called “brand tax” (additional costs for shipping, warehouse space, etc.) on traditional consumer packaged goods (CPGs). In addition, Sharkey makes the claims that millennials don’t want to buy their parents’ brands and that there is an overwhelming variety of choices in grocery stores today. Continue reading Demand Without a Brand: Online Grocery Store Eliminates “Brand-Tax”

SoundCast – Episode 3: Black Friday

Royalty free music credits go to Bensound (www.bensound.com) for the opener, and “Up on a Housetop” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Full transcript (with links): NICKY: Hello and welcome to episode number three of Soundcast, the Econ Department’s official Podcast. I’m one of your hosts, Nicky Smit. COLE: And I’m host number two, Cole Driscoll, and have we got a topic for today. You guessed it, Black Friday. NICKY: And Cyber Monday and Thanksgiving and all these other days with big sales. There’s something of interest happening here, Black Friday sales went down. C: And so did in-store sales on Thanksgiving. This Episode Continue reading SoundCast – Episode 3: Black Friday