Circuit City: Back and better than ever?
Does anyone remember Circuit City? For a while there, they were big. Like, all-over-the-map kind of big. Circuit City filled a niche much the same way Best Buy does today. But there’s no accounting for taste: Things change, you become yesterday’s news and before we knew it Circuit City was history. The multimedia chain actually bit the dust twice because they regrouped under new management and mounted a comeback of sorts as an online entity and still imploded.
Well, maybe the third time’s the charm because Circuit City is back and ready to get into the electronics and media arena one more time.
Under new management
In a way, Circuit City is kind of like one of those old Hollywood movie franchises that get resurrected or updated every couple of years: The logic is that there’s a built-in audience so you’re not specifically starting from scratch. So it is with Circuit City.
In this case, according to twice.com, Ronny Shmoel, who purchased the Circuit City brand, name domain and associated trademarks from Systemax in October and formed Circuit City Corporation and Albert Liniado, vice president of business development for the new Circuit City have an ambitious, multi-tiered game plan for the store that calls for retail outlets, web sales, branded and private-label products, licensed kiosks, mobile shops and franchise opportunities, all under the iconic red-and-white banner.
Small but profitable?
An article in the online version of the Richmond-Times Dispatch points out that the new Circuit City will “embrace MAP and UPP pricing, build margins into its private-label assortment, and will stick to a small-box retail format in affordable yet densely-populated real estate markets.”
In the short term, plans call for 50 to 100 corporate-owned stores to be up and running by next year with an additional 100 to 200 franchised locations eventually added. But plans for the new, revamped Circuit City don’t end there. Twice.com explains that other brick-and-mortar offshoots will include “a franchised, 1,500-square-foot Circuit City Mobile concept, and turn-key Circuit City Express sections, offering kiosks, end caps, slot walls and in-store displays.” In terms of merchandise, the Express shops will feature an assortment of conveniently priced headphones and accessories that can be accessed via convenience stores, college bookstores, hardware stores and even pharmacies.
Not your father’s media store
The new Circuit City will be targeted directly at the demographic that counts the most when it comes to technology: the millennials. The Circuit City merchandise menu, according to twice.com, will include pre- and postpaid smartphones, as well as tablets, notebooks, networking equipment, gaming products, headphones, drones, 3D printers, health appliances, and DIY devices, all supplemented by a service desk, electronic price tags and touchscreen terminals that link customers with what is envisioned as a million-SKU selection online.
If history has proven one thing, it’s that you should never throw in the towel on a former champion. Circuit City’s glory days may be behind it, but the potential for even bigger paydays still lie ahead.
This web platform for cannabis is blowing up online distribution
(BUSINESS NEWS) Dutchie, a website platform for cannabis companies, just octupled in value. Here’s what that means for the online growth of cannabis distribution.
The cannabis industry has, for the most part, blossomed in the past few years, managing to hit only a few major snags along the way. One of those snags is the issue of payment processing, an issue compounded by predominantly cash-only transactions. Dutchie, a Bend, Oregon company, has helped mitigate that issue—and it just raised a ton of money.
Technically, Dutchie is a jack-of-all-trades service that creates and hosts websites for dispensaries, tracks product, processes orders, keeps stock of revenue, and so much more. While it was valued at around $200 million as recently as summer of 2020, a round of series C funding currently puts the company at around $1.7 billion—approximately 8 times its worth a mere 8 months ago.
There are a few reasons behind Dutchie’s newfound momentum. For starters, the pandemic made cannabis products a lot more accessible—and desirable—in states in which the sale of cannabis is legal. The ensuing surge of customers and demand certainly didn’t hurt the platform, especially given that Dutchie is largely responsible for keeping things on track during some of the more chaotic months for dispensaries.
Several states in which the sale of cannabis was illegal also voted to legalize recreational use, giving Dutchie even more stomping ground than they had prior to the lockdown.
Dutchie also recently took on 2 separate companies and their associated employees, effectively doubling their current staff. The companies are Greenbits—a resource planning group—and Leaflogix, which is a point-of-sale platform. With these two additions to their compendium, Dutchie can operate as even more of an all-in-one suite, which absolutely contributes to its value as a company.
Ross Lipson, who is Dutchie’s co-founder and current CEO, is fairly dismissive of investment opportunities for the public at the moment, saying he instead prefers to stay “focused with what’s on our plate” for the time being. However, he also appears open to the possibility of going public via an acquisition company.
“We look at how this decision brings value to the dispensary and the customer,” says Lipson. “If it brings value, we’d embark on that decision.”
For now, Dutchie remains the ipso facto king of cannabis distribution and sales—and they don’t show any plans to slow down any time soon.
Ford adopts flexible working from home schedule for over 30k employees
(BUSINESS NEWS) Ford Motor Co. is allowing employees to continue working from home even after the pandemic winds down. Is this the beginning of a trend for auto companies?
The pandemic has greatly transformed our lives. For the most part, learning is being conducted online. At one point, interacting with others was pretty much non-existent. Working in the office shifted significantly to working remotely, and it seems like working from home might not go away anytime soon.
As things slowly get back to a new “normal”, will things change again? Well, one thing is sure. Working from home will be a permanent thing for some people as more companies opt to continue letting people work remotely.
And, the most recent company on the list to do this is Ford Motor Co. Even after the pandemic winds down, Ford will allow more than 30,000 employees already working from home to continue doing so.
Last week, the automaker giant announced its “flexible hybrid model” schedule to its staff. The new schedule is set to start in the summer, and employees can choose to work remotely and come into the office for tasks that require face-to-face collaborations, such as meetings and group projects.
How much time an employee spends in the office will depend on their responsibilities, and flexible remote hours will need to be approved by an employee’s manager.
“The nature of work drives whether or not you can adopt this model. There are certain jobs that are place-dependent — you need to be in the physical space to do the job,” David Dubensky, chairman and chief executive of Ford Land, told the Washington Post. “Having the flexibility to choose how you work is pretty powerful. … It’s up to the employee to have dialogue and discussion with their people leader to determine what works best.”
Ford’s decision to implement a remote-office work model has to do in part with an employee survey conducted in June 2020. Results from the survey showed that 95% of employees wanted a hybrid schedule. Some employees even reported feeling more productive when working from home.
Ford is the first auto company to allow employees to work from home indefinitely, but it might not be the only one. According to the Post, Toyota and General Motors are looking at flexible options of their own.
Unify your remote team with these important conversations
(BUSINESS NEWS) More than a happy hour, consider having these poignant conversations to bring your remote team together like never before.
Cultivating a team dynamic is difficult enough without everyone’s Zoom feed freezing halfway through “happy” hour. You may not be able to bond over margaritas these days, but there are a few conversations you can have to make your team feel more supported—and more comfortable with communicating.
According to Forbes, the first conversation to have pertains to individual productivity. Ask your employees, quite simply, what their productivity indicators are. Since you can’t rely on popping into the office to see who is working on a project and who is beating their Snake score, knowing how your employees quantify productivity is the next-best thing. This may lead to a conversation about what you want to see in return, which is always helpful for your employees to know.
Another thing to discuss with your employees regards communication. Determining which avenues of communication are appropriate, which ones should be reserved for emergencies, and which ones are completely off the table is key. For example, you might find that most employees are comfortable texting each other while you prefer Slack or email updates. Setting that boundary ahead of time and making it “office” policy will help prevent strain down the road.
Finally, checking in with your employees about their expectations is also important. If you can discuss the sticky issue of who deals with what, whose job responsibilities overlap, and what each person is predominantly responsible for, you’ll negate a lot of stress later. Knowing exactly which of your employees specialize in specific areas is good for you, and it’s good for the team as a whole.
With these 3 discussions out of the way, you can turn your focus to more nebulous concepts, the first of which pertains to hiring. Loop your employees in and ask them how they would hire new talent during this time; what aspects would they look for, and how would they discern between candidates without being able to meet in-person? It may seem like a trivial conversation, but having it will serve to unify further your team—so it’s worth your time.
The last crucial conversation, per Forbes, is simple: Ask your employees what they would prioritize if they became CEOs tomorrow. There’s a lot of latitude for goofy responses here, but you’ll hear some really valuable—and potentially gut-wrenching—feedback you wouldn’t usually receive. It never hurts to know what your staff prioritize as idealists.
Unifying your staff can be difficult, but if you start with these conversations, you’ll be well on your way to a strong team during these trying times.
Opinion Editorials6 days ago
Questions you wished recruiters would answer
Business Entrepreneur23 hours ago
15 tips to spot a toxic work environment when interviewing
Business Entrepreneur5 days ago
Zen, please: Demand for mental health services surges during pandemic
Opinion Editorials6 days ago
6 skills humans have that AI doesn’t… yet
Business Entrepreneur5 days ago
This startup makes managing remote internships easier for all
Tech News23 hours ago
The paradox of CAPTCHAs: Too smart for humans vs AI?
Business Finance7 days ago
India bans cryptocurrency prior to releasing their own
Business Entrepreneur2 weeks ago
Paper Source files for bankruptcy, leaving many small craft businesses in a jam