Amazon's Effect On Retail Stores

Amazon’s Effect On Retail Stores

Lowe’s Cos. and Home Depot Inc. have built a business away from the online reach of Amazon.

The uniqueness of these two retail businesses will be shown in their second quarter earnings. Analysts are projecting for sales at Lowe’s to rise at 4% while 4.8% at Home Depot. This is according to FactSet’s data. This would mean a minimum of 4% year over year growth for both companies.

The sales decline for other retailers

The gains are where other retailers such as Macy’s Inc., Kohl’s Corp. and Nordstrom Inc. are becoming envious. For each of these retailers, there has been an ongoing decrease with an increasing difficulty for them to attract shoppers to their stores. For Wal-Mart Stores Inc., there is also an expected small sales gain for the 2nd quarter. Target Corp. also expects a sales dip.

The retailers reported an improved trend from earlier this year. However, their business strategies are being overturned by the increase in online shopping like buying sweaters in online stores, such as the, or blenders in online appliance stores instead of visiting physical stores.

The sales increase for home improvement stores

With the favorable real estate trends and increase in property purchases, the turnover in this market is remaining steady. According to Home Depot, millennials are buying homes earlier than usual which means store visits to big chains to purchase paint colors or materials for projects around homes.

Since most of the US homes are aged 30 years or more, homeowners spend more on upkeep according to Home Depot. It also helps that there is a rise in home values and there are low interest rates according to S&P CoreLogic. This means that homeowners regard their homes as investments so they spend more on updating their kitchens or replacing their roofs. These trend allows for the home improvement sectors to grow better than the retail sectors.

Amazon vs. other physical stores

According to the Commerce Department, sales at home improvement stores went up 6.4% through July compared to last year’s same period. According to the same data, online sales are increasing faster up to 10.5% for non-store retailers like Amazon. Amazon doesn’t have a greater edge over most parts of the home improvement market, though. However, Home Depot still faces fierce competition from online stores.

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Rapid Growth Of Smoking Young Africans Due To Plain Packaging

The British American Tobacco or BAT, which is a huge name in the cigarette manufacturing, used to shuttle temporary cinemas all over the six cities that are found in Nigeria in what they refer to as Rothmans Experience It Cinema Tour. It happened in 2002. The company had screenings for various movie titles such as The Matrix and Ocean’s Eleven, among many others that are blockbuster hits for the people of Nigeria. The residents are very excited to see a new concept not familiar to them that emits high quality sound and shows off a wide screen. To everyone who came to watch these blockbusters, BAT gave away packs of the
Rothmans cigarettes free of charge.

That incidence is only a sample of the desperation of the tobacco industry to recruit more smokers in the African continent. Since then, they have doubled their efforts to promote their products. In majority of the countries, the percentages of the total population that are smoking tobacco have decreased since the year 2000 except for those in Africa.

Looking at the data that was gathered by the World Health Organization or WHO, smoking rates have risen in about 27 countries in the world within the last 15 years. Seventeen of these countries can be found in Africa. The country of Congo-Brazzaville has the highest record and the data for last year shows that 22 per cent of the people there are smoking regularly. The last record was at 6 per cent in 2000. In fact, almost half of the men population in Congo is already smoking. The number of smokers in Cameroon has also increased by more than twice the original record – from 7 per cent now 22 per cent of the population is smoking

The low rates of smoking in Africa before are attributed to the fact that majority of the population are in poverty and there is not enough advertising of the tobacco products. This is according to a researcher from University of Cape Town, Hana Ross. The companies found out the cause of these low rates thus they released a new advertisement in Zimbabwe which says that the cigarettes are not made for Americans nor British but for the people of Zimbabwe. With the plain packaging used, people are not aware of the danger it poses.
For packaging solutions, check out the leading company when it comes to packaging materials,

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By Nikki Sanderson Posted in Business
Metropolitan Museum Introduced Interactive Maps

Metropolitan Museum Introduced Interactive Maps

If you have tried wandering around inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art on your own and without depending on a paper guide, you might have found the experience fun. There is now a recent development that will make wandering inside the Museum more fun and it is through interactive maps. The students enrolled in the School Visual Arts under the MFA Visual Narrative program, developed several interactive maps that are very creative. Anyone who is visiting the museum should try out the said maps.

The maps were developed through the partnership of Met MediaLab, Mapping the MET which is web-based and Professor Tim Szetela, the curator of the museum. The interactive maps are consists of eight media maps that are using data that have been gathered by the students from different galleries that are housed inside the permanent collection area of the museum.

Each of the interactive maps is featuring the drawings of the students whose arts are selected. Most of these maps come with basic information regarding the history of the collection. The result shows new artworks that will enable the visitors to see the collections as well as the architecture of the building in a different perspective.

One of artworks that stood out is the project created by Rosa Chang which shows more of the one color that is always consistent inside the rooms of the museum – the indigo. Visitors will be able to see the 200 or more artifacts that are dyed with indigo. All of these she discovered in her own and she sketched them and posted all of them on her website. On the same site is the mapping she had done with the domination of the color in every gallery and categorized them depending on the plant source. She also made a world map wherein users will be able to know more about the countries where the object came from. This will make the people see why the museum has a large collection of artworks that are of color Indigo that came from Japan.

Interactive maps as well as illustrated maps are a fun and creative way to see places in a new perspective.

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By Nikki Sanderson Posted in Tech

Here’s How You Can Throw A Birthday Party That Stands Out

Birthdays are a special event in every person’s life. Birthdays signify that one has survived another year on earth and opening up new opportunities for growth. Birthdays are meant to be celebrated and no one would blame you if you want to throw a killer party on your birthday.

If you desire to throw a birthday party that stands out, then here some helpful tips that you may want to check out.

  1. Use a creative theme. If you want a party that would standout, then you should definitely use a theme. Through a themed party, you would be taking your guests into a whole other world. You can recreate your favorite movie, a book, or you can just opt to go for classic party themes.
  2. Use eye catching décor. To achieve a party that stands out, you would need to use colors that would standout. Go for vibrant colors on your table settings. You should know that you don’t have to buy lots of expensive decorative materials. Just make the simple things vibrant such as your plates, your napkins, etc. When it comes to the décor, you can buy a lot of inexpensive decors online with reputable suppliers like Paper Mart.
  3. Make a guest list. This guest list would help you keep track of all of the people you have invited and their RSVPs.
  4. Choose a suitable venue. If you plan to invite a huge number of people, then you should definitely choose somewhere other than your house. You would need a place that would fit all your guests as well as room for all the activities you have planned.
  5. Customize your invitations. Yes, everything will be much easier via email. However, custom invitations are more convincing and they add a personal touch.
  6. Food & Activities. You should never forget the food. Make sure that your guests are properly fed and satisfied. Try to make the food complementary to the theme. Activities are also important because they keep the guests engaged.
  7. Never forget to give your guests party favors to tell them how much you appreciate their presence in your party.
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By Nikki Sanderson Posted in Tips

All About Ribbons

Ribbons are decorative as well as very useful fabrics which are almost infinite in their texture, variety and color. Modern ribbons are being manufactured form different sorts of fabric, from satin to velvet and event to synthetics like rayon and nylon. They are printed, patterned, braided, woven and are decorated with sequins or pearls or shaped like ric-rac. Some are also edged with metal so that they can be easily molded and shaped and then crafted into motif ribbons. Ribbon is usually classified by the textile industry as narrow fabric.


Ribbons appeared when people started to create fabrics. They are considered to be among the oldest adorning or decorative materials. People always have looked for ways in order to personalize their household goods and clothing. When all of the textiles were handmade, those materials with the finest threads were considered to be the most expensive. However, the simplest and most coarse textiles that are made from plain colors can actually be made very elegant and that it can also be used in decorating. During the Middle Ages, various peddlers travelled across Europe in order to sell exotic ribbons. Renaissance and Medieval patrons bought ribbons that are woven with silver and gold thread and made from silk as well as other rare fabrics from the East. During the 1500s, the modern ribbon used today came into being. At first, ribbons were identified with luxury especially during the sixteenth century when the English Parliament tried to make wearing ribbons a thing of the nobles only. The ribbons were also identified with different orders of merit. The Knights of the Garter wore broad blue sashes even up to this day while the Knights of Bath wore red.

During the seventeenth century, the ribbons tool over the fashion world. Both the clothing of women and men were also extravagant and that every accessory from bonnets to gloves was full of ribbons of different forms. A length of silk ribbon could be given as gift in decorating clothes and are used in curling and braiding hair, for brightening linens, for ornamenting furniture and baskets.

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Mattress Recycling Initiative

Before the year 2015 ends, the state of California has joined forces with two other states in an initiative to recycle second hand mattresses as well as box springs. The program was termed as Bye Bye Mattress and it will help residents from California to leave their old mattresses into the designated collection sites that are part of the program. Selected recycling facilities also participated as drop-off points. These drop-off transactions are all free.

If you are living in Idyllwild, the closest collection point wherein you could leave your used mattresses and box springs is the CR&R waste site which is located in Perris. The address is 1760 Goetz Road. If you want to know more about other collection points, check out the list at

Local residents who are interested to participate may also leave their used mattresses at the Idyllwild Transfer Station. According to the senior regional vice president of CR&R, Alex Braicovich, the waste site does not have the means to recycle the mattresses at the site but it will still participate as a collection point for free of charge.

This recycling initiative, Bye Bye Mattress, is the brainchild of the Mattress Recycling Council which is a nonprofit organization. This was established by the mattress industry itself in order to develop as well as lead all the recycling program that is required by the law announced last 2013.

According to a statement released by the president of Mattress Recycling Council, Ryan Trainer, the program itself is a cost-effective way in order to answer the long standing problem. The program which was started in California was made possible with the use of the waste-collection sites that are already in operation.

As of today, the program has around 40 solid-waste sites that are included in the list of participating collection points. The Council is expecting that the number will continue to rise in the early months of 2016. The Council is also working to create partnerships with hotels and mattress retailers and universities in order to divert their used mattresses to the program instead of the solid-waste stream.

If you have recycled your old mattress and is looking for a new mattress in Perth, check out

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How Domain Names Affect Companies

Alphabet, the latest parent company by Google, has adapted a new website at They are not the only company that has started using their chosen extension as Reliance Industries or RIL has announced that they will be using the .JIO domain extension. They have various departments and business ventures and the company is planning on using around 200 brand new domain names along with their new extension such as polymers.JIO and retail.JIO.

This is the latest game changer when it comes to strategizing your own market – web address extensions. Domain extensions are those endings found on website’s name such as .com and .org. a few years back, the only generic choices up for grabs when choosing are 22 website extensions as well as country code extensions.

It was only last year when the ICANN or Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers gave permission to entrepreneurs and brands to make the domain extensions that they desire. Because of this recent change, many business startups as well as companies are not inclined to make do with domain names that are misspelled and some are vowel-less. As they are given free reign, they will be able to create their own domain name that will best represent the brand and set it apart from among others.

Upon selecting the new domain extensions for a company, they will be able to secure it to make sure they have brandable domain names that are perfect for each company. When it comes to contextual sense, it is only right to choose a domain extension that the brand can relate to such as the non-profit organization spearheaded by Lady Gaga, Born This Way Foundation. The original domain name and extension was and was recently switched to which makes it shorter and easier to remember. Not to be last, McDonald’s have also acquired a domain that says it all –

With this recent change, the new option to create your own domain extensions has a huge positive effect to all brands, businesses as well as individuals all over the world that are trying to make it big in the competitive online world of business.

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By Nikki Sanderson Posted in Business