Summary of “Buc-ee’s: The Path to World Domination”

The Bastrop Buc-ee’s opened in 2012, and it has more or less the same relationship to the first Buc-ee’s store that a Boeing 747 has to the biplane the Wright brothers flew at Kitty Hawk.
“We’ll have people come from out of state and say, ‘I was told that we couldn’t go to Texas without stopping here.’ ”. The Buc-ee’s store in Bastrop may be staggeringly oversized in just about every way, but in the Buc-ee’s empire, it’s not particularly special, just one of fourteen enormous stores and not even close to the biggest.
Their regular stores became ever spiffier too, with Aplin enlisting the well-known convenience-store designer Jim Mitchell to help make Buc-ee’s both more welcoming and more profitable.
The Katy Buc-ee’s, which opened in late 2017, has been certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as having the world’s longest car wash.
As Buc-ee’s has become an ever bigger part of Texas, Aplin has gotten more active in the politics of the state.
In the early days of Buc-ee’s, Aplin served on the local school board.
Over the past six years, Buc-ee’s has pursued trademark-infringement lawsuits against a series of smaller convenience stores-Chicks, in Bryan; B&B Grocery, in Uvalde; Irv’s Field Store, in Waller-all of which Buc-ee’s believed had ripped off part of its brand.
Last year, a Buc-ee’s lawsuit against an Atascosa travel center called Choke Canyon made it all the way to trial in federal court, where Buc-ee’s accused its rival of stealing key parts of the Buc-ee’s brand, among them a “Friendly smiling cartoon animal similarly oriented within a circle and wearing a hat pointed to the right” and even Beaver Nuggets themselves, which Choke Canyon passed off as “Golden Caramel Corn Nuggets.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Used Clothing Floods Beacon’s Closet, Courtesy of Netflix’s “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo””

The show is “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” the new reality series from the famed Japanese organizational expert, which was released on Netflix on New Year’s Day.
A kindly sprite in ballet flats and boxy cardigans, Kondo flutters through the homes of harried Angelenos and, with the help of a translator, advises them on how to declutter.
A curly-haired woman nearby in line said that she’d read Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” when it first came out in English, in 2014, and watched the show over the weekend, which prompted her urge to purge.
“My husband’s gonna question why he married me now,” the wife, Rachel, says, as Kondo pulls unruly stacks of clothing from her dresser drawers and heaps them onto the bed for sorting.
When the mover arrived, they struck up a conversation about Kondo.
It’s not about rubbernecking at other people’s pain or shortcomings, as in a show like “Hoarders.” Kondo doesn’t judge her subjects for filling their homes with useless objects.
The promise of the Kondo method is that getting rid of physical clutter might clear mental and spiritual clutter as well.
“I honestly never want to hear the name Marie Kondo again,” she said.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Retail predictions for 2019”

Over the last three years, thousands of stores shuttered-and dozens of companies went bankrupt.
In 2017 alone, 7000 stores closed their doors, and many brands with large retail footprints filed for Chapter 11, including Toys R Us, Gymboree, Payless, Wet Seal, and The Limited.
In 2018, about half as many stores closed as the year before, and in an interest twist, we saw the rebirth of physical retail, with startups developing their own take on stores and large real estate companies rethinking how malls should be designed.
In 2018, many startups recognized that stores could be a huge asset because they have the power to deepen the customer’s relationship with a brand, increasing their lifetime value.
The success of the Austin pop-up has convinced Hedrick to open five more stores throughout Texas in 2019.
Many brands will also use the stores as a place to forge a strong sense of community by hosting talks, parties, and other gatherings there.
In 2018, in the aftermath of so many stores shutting down, many brands felt they needed to get creative to woo customers into stores.
In 2019, brands will need to think of other ways to get consumers into stores.

The orginal article.

Summary of “When the Closest Grocery Store Is a Dollar Store”

“While dollar stores sometimes fill a need in cash-strapped communities, growing evidence suggests these stores are not merely a byproduct of economic distress,” the authors of the brief write.
While dollar store might not be causing these inequalities per se, they appear to be perpetuating them.
When a dollar store opened up in Haven, Kansas-subsidized through tax breaks by the local government-sales at the the nearby Foodliner grocery store dropped by 30 percent, The Guardian reported earlier this year.
A dollar store NIMBY movement has been gaining traction.
In Chester, Vermont, for example, residents argued in 2012 that allowing dollar stores to come to town “Will be the beginning of the end for what might best be described as Chester’s Vermontiness,” per the New York Times-a statement that itself perhaps signals the class and race associations dollar stores have come to embody.
In Buhler, Kansas, the mayor saw what happened to surrounding grocery stores in neighboring Haven and rejected the dollar store chain, also citing a threat to the town’s character.
More recent efforts have used zoning tweaks to limit dollar stores, whose small footprint usually lets them breeze past restrictions big-box stores cannot.
In Mendocino County, California, dollar store foes passed legislation restricting chain store development writ large.

The orginal article.

Summary of “To Cut Taxes, Big-Box Stores Use ‘Dark Store Theory'”

Born of the post-recession retail apocalypse and spread by a cottage industry of “No-win, no-fee” tax consultants, dark store theory could foreshadow an even larger threat to local finances-a weakening of the basic social contract underpinning the property-tax apparatus that keeps cities and towns afloat.
A tax agent from Chicago filed an appeal on behalf of Sam’s Club, arguing that the store was worth just $7.2 million, based on the low sales costs of a handful of second-generation big box locations scattered around the state.
In a real estate market that’s oversaturated with retail closures, bankruptcies, and vacancies galore, they insist, no one wants a big box store anymore.
The vast majority of dark store appeals brought by big boxes-many of which ask for write-downs of 50 percent-are being settled for a lower valuation, probably in the ballpark of 85 percent, Thomas Hamilton, a professor of real estate at Roosevelt University, told me.
Dark store theory appeals have been incessant, and small towns feel outgunned.
What if every national chain store around successfully slashed their obligations using dark store theory and similar arguments? According to an analysis by the Wisconsin League of Municipalities, the average homeowner across seven cities could wind up paying an extra $385 per year in property taxes.
Dark store theory has “Largely withstood judicial scrutiny, leading to hundreds of store devaluations and to hundreds of millions of dollars in estimated lost tax revenue to local governments,” according to a January 2018 report by S&P Global Ratings, which warned investors of the risk the issue poses to municipal budgets.
Dark store theory may be bigger than big boxes: As challenges spread geographically, city administrators fear the tactic will catch on among other property classes, with fast food outlets, banks, grocery stores, and office buildings deploying similar arguments in an effort to slash their tax obligations.

The orginal article.

Summary of “In Amazon Go, no one thinks I’m stealing”

In January, megaretailer Amazon opened its first cashierless convenience store in Seattle called Amazon Go. You use the Amazon Go app to scan yourself into the store, grab what you want and walk out without needing to check out at a register.
“The Amazon Go shopping experience is designed for all customers to get good food fast,” an Amazon spokesperson told me.
So I decided to give Amazon Go a try during a recent work trip to Seattle for the Smart Kitchen Summit.
I downloaded the Amazon Go app and connected it to my Amazon account.
Though Amazon Go’s concept is all about not having cashiers, there were still plenty of Amazon employees in the store, easy to spot in their orange shirts.
I grabbed one of the orange Amazon Go bags and began to make my way around the perimeter of the store.
Amazon Go isn’t going to fix implicit bias or remove the years of conditioning under which I’ve operated.
In the Amazon Go store, everyone is just a shopper, an opportunity for the retail giant to test technology, learn about our habits and make some money.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Sears’s ‘radical’ past: How mail-order catalogues subverted the racial hierarchy of Jim Crow”

A lesser-known aspect of Sears’s 125-year history is how the company revolutionized rural black Southerners’ shopping patterns in the late 19th century, subverting racial hierarchies by allowing them to make purchases by mail or over the phone and avoid the blatant racism that they faced at small country stores.
While country stores were one of the few places where whites and blacks routinely mingled, store owners fiercely defended the white-supremacist order by making black customers wait until every white customer had been served and forcing them to buy lower-quality goods.
“A black man who needed clothing received a shirt ‘good enough for a darky to wear’ while a black family low on provisions could have only the lowest grade of flour,” historian Grace Elizabeth Hale wrote in an essay published in “Jumpin’ Jim Crow.: Southern Politics from Civil War to Civil Rights.”
There isn’t enough data available to determine exactly how much black customers contributed to Sears’s bottom line during the Jim Crow years.
Still, Southern merchants clearly felt threatened by the competition from mail-order department stores: As catalogues for Sears and Montgomery Ward made their way into more and more homes, local storekeepers began circulating rumors that the companies were run by black men.
By the turn of the century, some merchants were even encouraging people to bring in their catalogues for Saturday night bonfires and offering bounties of up to $50 for people who collected the most “Wish Books,” historians Stuart and Elizabeth Ewen wrote in “Channels of Desire: Mass Images and the Shaping of American Consciousness.” In response, Sears published photos of its founders to prove that they were white, while Ward offered a $100 reward in exchange for the name of the person who had started a rumor that he had mixed black and white ancestry.
Up until the middle of the 20th century, the company followed Jim Crow laws in its Atlanta department store, Bitter Southerner noted, meaning that black employees could work only in warehouse, janitorial and food service positions.
For a significant portion of U.S. history, the Sears catalogue offered black shoppers something that they couldn’t find anywhere else: dignity.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to store your fruits and vegetables the right way”

Garlic Store at room temperature in an open container, to allow air circulation.
It’s fine to store garlic next to its buddy, the onion.
Store them in a paper bag – more breathable than plastic – in a coolish spot, such as a pantry.
Tomatoes Stem side up or down? Refrigerator or countertop? The debate continues, but North Carolina tomato expert Craig LeHoullier, author of “Epic Tomatoes,” says the evidence in favor of storing standard-size tomatoes stem side down, which Cook’s Illustrated magazine advised in 2008, is scant at best.
As long as tomatoes are fully ripe, a few days in the fridge won’t ruin their flavor – and it will extend their shelf life.
So let whole tomatoes ripen on the counter, then store them stem side down on a plate in the refrigerator.
Cut tomatoes do better in an airtight container so they don’t pick up any off-flavors.
Let tomatoes come to room temperature before serving.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A monday morning in a supermarket”

Walking in the store, a reflective ceiling gives the space a light-blue glow.
When you’re a morning regular at a grocery store, you see plenty of familiar faces.
Then there are my fellow morning shoppers, shuffling down the empty aisles, enjoying the quiet calm of a space that’s usually frantic.
In the back of the store, over an array of chicken breasts, I heard the familiar mutterings of someone both lost and in a hurry.
“I comparison shop between [the] stores.” Morning shopping at this pace is a breeze.
“Store’s empty, baby can act crazy, and he’s not in anybody’s way!” she laughed.
Dolah is hopeful that he can responsibly run a store and serve the changing community.
The entire morning I was there, I saw an older man going in and out of the freezer in the back of the store.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The last Blockbuster: ‘I’m proud that we’ve survived'”

Standing unpretentiously in the car park of a petrol station at a busy intersection in Oregon, this Blockbuster is the last one still open in the US. Over 10 years ago, the Blockbuster chain, known for short-term rentals of films on video cassette and DVD, numbered 9,000 stores around the world.
The store in Bend, Oregon, is a franchise and became the last one after two independent locations in Alaska shut down in July.
The best stories are about the parents who bring their kids and are like: “This is what we used to do, we used to grab a movie and take it around.” Or the ones talking about how they had their first dates going to Blockbuster.
We have a beautiful grass in front of our store and three weeks ago there wasn’t a path to the Blockbuster sign like there’s now – yellow, worn out grass from everybody taking their pictures.
It doesn’t matter what colour of skin, religion or political affiliation, everybody in the world has a happy feeling when they think about Blockbuster and it brings us all together.
A woman who had managed a Blockbuster store in California came with her family and it was like we were long-lost friends.
All the media hype has actually reminded people that we’re here and we’ve had more customers coming in saying “Hey, we want to support you, we want to keep our last Blockbuster in Bend.” That’s been really wonderful.
The elements of a traditional Blockbuster have all been kept: yellow walls, candy machines, even the computer system with its blue screen.

The orginal article.