“With omicron landing in the US, do retailers actually need the vaccine mandate?” by Daphne Howland via Retail Dive

“With omicron landing in the US, do retailers actually need the vaccine mandate?” by Daphne Howland via Retail Dive

andreswd via Getty Images The National Retail Federation won a stay against the government’s plan to have big companies immunize or test their employees. That squanders a chance to thwart the pandemic, experts say. As the omicron variant of COVID-19 made headlines over the Thanksgiving-Black Friday weekend, President Joe Biden instituted new travel restrictions from eight countries and urged people to get immunized. A week later, as the new strain was discovered in the U.S., he announced a multi-faceted plan to get a better grip on the pandemic. The initiatives include, among other steps, encouraging immunization boosters for adults and vaccinations for children; developing vaccines for kids under five; expanding testing; strategizing best practices to keep schools and businesses open; developing new vaccines if omicron proves resistant; and calling on companies to ensure their workforces are vaccinated. The last reflects the recognition of the workplace as a vector for the disease. Notably absent, however, was Biden’s attempted mandate for companies of 100 or more to either check their employees’ vaccination status or test them weekly if they’re unvaccinated — a requirement blocked in recent weeks after the National Retail Federation and other groups challenged it in court. According to the CDC, nearly 60% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, though community transmission remains high. Reported cases were already resurging before the news of another mutation. Omicron, which by Sunday had been reported in a third of the states in the U.S., is a variant that appears to carry “an increased risk of reinfection” and “may have a growth advantage,” according to the World Health Organization. On Friday, as first reported by the New York Times, a group of scientists, noting that their data is very early, said that omicron in South Africa...
“What should retailers do about angry reviews?” by Tom Ryan via Retail Wire

“What should retailers do about angry reviews?” by Tom Ryan via Retail Wire

A university study finds that while the general assumption is that an abundance of helpful reviews — whether positive or negative — is ultimately more influential in driving purchases, anger in negative reviews is not helpful. Across six laboratory experiments, researchers from Georgia Tech and the University of South Florida found that angry reviews are typically discounted by consumers as less helpful than non-angry reviews, but they counterintuitively influence consumers’ attitudes and choices to a greater extent. “Platforms usually use helpfulness-based sorting to order reviews, presumably because of the assumption that ‘helpful’ reviews are more persuasive in shaping customer decisions,” said Han Zhang, a professor at Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business. “However, we provide an emotion-based exception to this assumption and suggest that sorting based solely on helpfulness votes may be less effective than intended.” The findings highlight the importance of monitoring reviews on a regular basis and acting as quickly as possible to address angry reviews. For e-commerce platforms, providing instructions or advice, such as encouraging reviewers to take their time and provide real data to back up their claims, was suggested to reduce the number of angry reviews. Prof. Zhang explained, “The notion that ‘too much anger’ can reduce the perceived value of a review is reflected in guidelines of some review platforms: e.g., guidelines at TripAdvisor (2019) explicitly discourage reviewers from ‘ranting.’ Given that participants in our studies consistently perceived angry reviews as ‘irrational’ and ‘unhelpful,’ this advice appears sound.” Previous research has shown that the quantity of reviews can be more important in driving conversion than the quality because volume makes the business appear more trustworthy and...
“A LOOK AT SOME OF SKATEBOARDING’S GREATEST DISPLAYS OF FILMING” by Justin The Intern via Jenkem Mag

“A LOOK AT SOME OF SKATEBOARDING’S GREATEST DISPLAYS OF FILMING” by Justin The Intern via Jenkem Mag

To some skaters out there, filming might seem like a pretty simple task. First, you have to buy a half-decent camera with a fisheye, and then all you really have to do is keep the skater in the frame and make sure the colors aren’t too blown out. Easy, right? Maybe, but when you start to really focus on the technique, you start to see there’s a big difference between the regular Joes and skateboarding’s elite filmers. To shine some light on the real lens tacticians out there, we’ve compiled a list of some standout maneuvers that filmers have pulled off that others couldn’t (or wouldn’t) for the sake of keeping themselves and their camera safe. Feel free to bitch and moan in the comments about what clips we forgot to include. BRIAN PANEBIANCO – SABOTAGE X DC Philadelphia is a city of history. From the founding fathers to Rocky Balboa to the DC team, Philly has seen it all. In the new Sabotage x DC video, Brian Panebianco kicks off his own part by doing a Varial Heel while filming Kevin Bilyeu at Muni. Everything about it oozes a calculated maneuver that might be the coolest most nonchalant thing a filmer has ever done; baggy sweatpants, bulky Lynxes, and a somehow perfectly caught varial heel. This clip was good enough to earn Brian his place in Boil The Ocean’s “Filmers Who Rip on the Board Hall of Fame” and a spot on this list. JACOB HARRIS – ATLANTIC DRIFT: TOM KNOX Everybody remembers this part because Tom Knox performs some of the smoothest skating on some of the roughest ground. But Jacob Harris’ filming often goes...
“Will overstocking get retailers through the holidays?” by Tom Ryan via Retail Wire

“Will overstocking get retailers through the holidays?” by Tom Ryan via Retail Wire

Big box retailers are pulling forward orders earlier than normal and aggressively investing in core items as supply chain bottlenecks threaten to lead to empty shelves over the holiday season. In many cases, inventories are up double-digit percentage points compared to last year’s pandemic-depressed levels and also up over the same period in 2019. Target inventories at the close of the second quarter were up 26 percent year over year. John Mulligan, COO, told analysts Target’s inventories are “well-positioned” to drive holiday sales against record year-ago gains, although the situation is not optimal. “Our guests are still seeing empty shelves on some occasions,” he said. “In some of those situations, we’ve simply sold beyond our expectations, and our team is working quickly to secure additional quantities. In other cases, the vendors themselves are facing constraints in their ability to deliver product. And we’re collaborating with them to address these constraints together, securing as much product as possible on behalf of our guests.” Speaking last week at Goldman Sachs’ conference, Lowe’s CFO David Denton said the home improvement chain has placed bigger orders for high-demand items and its inventory position is in better shape than it was six to 12 months ago. At Best Buy, inventories at the second quarter’s end surged 55 percent year over year and 23 percent versus two years ago. CEO Corie Barry told analysts merchants worked strategically to bring in as much inventory as possible during the quarter with actions like acquiring additional transportation, pulling up product flow and adjusting store assortment based on availability. She said, “There will continue to be challenges, particularly as it relates to congested ports...
“SKATEBOARDING IS FASHION – NYFW, The Olympics, Pants, and ZZ Top” by Anthony Pappalardo of Artless Industria®

“SKATEBOARDING IS FASHION – NYFW, The Olympics, Pants, and ZZ Top” by Anthony Pappalardo of Artless Industria®

Last week, I attended a panel discussion celebrating the release of Kyle Beachy’s new title The Most Fun Thing: Dispatches from a Skateboard Life at the McNally Jackson Seaport book store in Manhattan. The panelists included Beachy, Jessica Edwards, Noah Johnson, Willy Staley, Alexis Sablone and moderator, Steve Rodriguez. Throughout the spirited discussion, two key topics emerged: The Olympics and pants. The latter has become an in-joke/trope of #SkateTwitter, spawning various threads, fit checks, and general discourse but as I left the event and walked through the Seaport I dug a bit deeper into the Olympics and Pants, talked into my phone as a form of notetaking, and now, the morning after the Met Gala, seems like the perfect time to discuss these events. This is how my New York Fashion Week began. The core idea of gawking at rich people and celebrities’ clothes is banal. In fact, most people who attend events during New York Fashion Week are not fashionable nor do they care about fashion. Several years ago I attended an event held in a SoHo storefront where ZZ Top performed sponsored by a whiskey brand. I noticed an older gentleman at the bar who—like most of the older people in attendance—was wearing a very ostentatious outfit. I did not care about his clothes as I was fairly sure it was James Goldstein, a businessman who attends 100 NBA games a year. Like Spike Lee, he’s a superfan but he doesn’t yell as much. I politely approached him and we talked about the Boston Celtics before I went outside to smoke a marijuana cigarette with some people...
“Ending prices that end in 99 cents” by Al McLain and 29 Retail Experts via Retail Wire

“Ending prices that end in 99 cents” by Al McLain and 29 Retail Experts via Retail Wire

Retailers might want to rethink doing away with prices that end with “.99” if they believe the results of new research from researchers at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business. The study found that setting prices “just below” round numbers (i.e., $19.95, $19.97 or $19.99 instead of $20) can make consumers less likely to spend to upgrade to a more expensive version or size of the product or service. In a coffee stand experiment done on campus, the researchers changed prices hourly, offering a small coffee for 95 cents, or a larger cup for $1.20. Every other hour they would change the offering to $1 for a small cup or a larger cup for $1.25, so both sizes of coffee cost more. When using the latter pricing scheme, 56 percent of customers upgraded to the larger size, versus 29 percent who did so with the first pricing scheme. The researchers concluded that while the just-below price makes a product seem like a bargain, it also makes the step up to the premium product seem too expensive. “Going from $19.99 to $25 may seem like it will cost more than going from $20 to $26, even though it is actually less,” lead author doctoral student Junha Kim said in a statement. “Crossing that round number threshold makes a big difference for consumers.” Students in a lab study were also more likely to choose a costlier car or apartment options when base prices were just above round numbers, rather than just below. The study appears to indicate a shortcoming in the theory around charm pricing, or psychological pricing, that holds that goods priced using...