No Longer The Aisle of Lost Toys

No Longer The Aisle of Lost Toys

January 8, 2021

What’s old is new again!  Toy makers have enjoyed strong sales as nostalgic parents remember their own childhood favorites and purchase them for their kids.

By October 2020, sales had climbed 18% year-over-year, driven by classics like Barbie, Legos, Lincoln Logs, Lite-Brite, Hot Wheels, and a host of board games and puzzles.

In contrast to other market segments that have suffered in the pandemic, parents looking for open-ended play options that get their kids off their computers and smart phones are willing to spend on toys to keep them busy.


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This post is based on the Washington Post article, Mattel forecasts holiday season growth as toy demand surges, by Abha Bhattarai, October 29, 2020; the CNBC article, Mattel forecasts holiday season growth as toy demand surges, by Reuters, October 22, 2020; the New York Magazine article, The Holiday Toys to Buy Before They Sell Out, According to Toy Experts, by Liza Corsillo, December 17, 2020; and the YouTube videos in the Continue reading

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Stay-At-Home Improvements Mean Appliance Shortages

Stay-At-Home Improvements Mean Appliance Shortages

December 16, 2020

A surge in home improvement projects and new home construction has created a strong demand for appliances from refrigerators to washing machines. As a result, manufacturers, retailers, shippers, and raw materials suppliers are struggling to keep up with the strong demand.

Amid item shortages, retailers like Lowe’s are shifting from in-store showrooms to direct-to-customer deliveries.


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This post is based on the Business Insider article, Kitchen appliances and washing machines are in short supply as families stuck inside turn to home-improvement projects, by Graham Rapier, October 23, 2020; the Consumer Reports article, How to Get a Deal During the Appliance Shortage, by Tobie Stanger, December 10, 2020, and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: Corbis/Superstock

Discussion Questions:

1. How does the surge in demand of appliances affect inventory management for manufacturers such as Whirlpool?

Guidance: Appliance manufacturers maintain a low level of inventory to begin with. The level of inventory has remained low despite high production, resulting in order backlog and item shortages.

2.  How does the surge in demand of appliances affect its supply chain?

Guidance Continue reading

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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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