Black Friday Re-Imagined

Black Friday Re-Imagined

November 2, 2020

Has Black Friday been upstaged by a new October shopping day?

Retailers are looking for ways to drum up demand.  They are also seeking creative capacity alternatives to fill it and distribution channels to get merchandise delivered in a timely way.

Some retailers envision encouraging more online shopping with Black Friday deals available online instead of only in-store to cater to shoppers still leery of big crowds and pandemic concerns.  Others plan to take it a step further with a new holiday, dubbed “10.10 Shopping Festival,” invented by those who want to shift sales even earlier than usual, in this case to October 10.

The 10.10 shopping day occurred a few days prior to Amazon’s Prime Day on October 13 and 14, which was expected to reach $10 billion in sales, up 40% over July 2019’s Prime Day.


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This post is based on the Fox Business article, Black Friday 2020: Coronavirus pandemic shopping trends force retailers to rethink holiday shopping, by Michael Bartiromo, September 28, 2020; the Fortune article, Amazon Prime Continue reading

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Disruptions to Tea Supply Chain

Disruptions to Tea Supply Chain

October 21, 2020

Disruptions to the global tea supply chain, from the movement restrictions of the pandemic to weather issues, are causing serious supply problems with tea.

These disruptions, coupled with an increase in tea consumption at home for its health benefits, have resulted in a 50% surge in wholesale prices of tea, a 1.7% cost increase in packaged tea bags, and a 9.6% price increase in liquid tea.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the Forbes article, Here Is Why Your Next Cup Of Tea Will Cost More Money, by Lana Bandoim, September 24, 2020, and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: Shutterstock / Tatyana Soares

Discussion Questions:

1. What areas of the tea supply chain are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Guidance: The pandemic affects the entire tea supply chain.  The lockdowns disrupted tea leaf-picking during the spring harvest season.  They also delayed shipments by a month.

2. What factors have contributed to a rise in tea prices?

Guidance: The factors include a shortage of tea supply and a surge in tea demand.  Tea supply is Continue reading

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Forecasting Halloween During a Pandemic

Forecasting Halloween During a Pandemic

September 20, 2020

Tricky forecasting leaves chocolate companies wondering how candy sales will fare this Halloween.

Mars’ time horizon for planning for the Halloween season spans two years, yet no one could have known how different things would be this year because the pandemic.  For Hershey, Halloween spending comprises ten percent of annual sales.

No one is sure right now if “self-consumption,” when people buy Halloween candy to eat themselves rather than to distribute to others, will be enough to fill the gap of sales lost from trick-or-treating.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the Fortune article reposted to Yahoo Finance, How scary will a COVID-19 Halloween be for candy companies?, by Beth Kowitt, August 29, 2020, and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: Shutterstock / Sandy Morelli

Discussion Questions:

1.   What role does aggregate planning play in the current availability of candy for Halloween of 2020?

Guidance: Many companies have a long planning horizon.  In part this may be to ensure adequate supplies of materials and resources when it comes time to manufacture product to meet demand. In addition, manufacturers need to Continue reading

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