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SQUEE! Etsy is coming to a brick and mortar near you!

Located in New York, and strategically placed inside of Macy’s Herald Square, this first of its kind store offers over 50 products including jewelry, stationary, and household items. Products are on a theme schedule that changes every two months, allowing consumers to stay up to date, and engaged.

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Partnering with Macy’s

Etsy has decided to open its first physical store, similar to what Amazon did last year and Google attempted to do before delay. Located in New York, and strategically placed inside of Macy’s Herald Square, this first of its kind store offers over 50 products including jewelry, stationary, and household items.

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This partnership is Etsy’s largest retail partnership in its entire 11 years, however it isn’t their first go round with big-name stores.  West Elm, Nordstrom, Lou and Gray, and now Whole Foods, have partnered with Etsy at one time or another, so hopes are definitely high.

Etsy, Etsy everywhere

Designers for the store worked extremely hard to make sure the place was not only captivating but relevant to its target market. According to Dana Mauriello, director of seller category growth at Etsy,  “The design team at Etsy, in collaboration with Macy’s, worked hard to bring Etsy’s brand into the space as well. We actually sourced all of the risers and tabletop fixtures from Etsy sellers”.

Designers used 28 different sellers to make sure it was Etsy here, Etsy there, Etsy everywhere; But a true shopping experience wouldn’t be complete without the enthralling Etsy products. Products are on a theme schedule that changes every two months, allowing consumers to stay up to date, and engaged. Right now, the theme is “New York”, and includes sellers like Debbie Aimee and Sara Schiwal of Hook & Matter, and other New York sellers. The store also offers exclusive Macy items like Soledad Proano of Sol del Sur.

Not everyone is happy about it

I can only imagine the excitement from shoppers, and sellers alike. This store offers a physical opportunity that wasn’t there before. For shoppers, that means the chance to see your products in person before purchasing. For sellers, like Aimee and Sara Schiwal, it means a larger target market that now includes Macy goers. Seems like a win, win right?

Right, but only for some. This new store could leave the people who value Etsy’s indie spirited, peer-to-peer intended fundamentals, disgruntled. According to former Etsy seller Grace Dobush, “things have changed in the past decade; Indie craft has grown from a close knit subculture to a giant economy that influences trends in big box stores.”  The change she’s referring to, resulted in an influx of sellers, who have zero concern for quality of product. This means more crafters, without an actual craft, and extremely low competitive pricing. The new store with all of it’s excitement, can mean the same, and attract even more sellers looking for a quick way to make a buck, quality not included.

If you’re in New York…

Regardless, this venture is expected to be a success for the Etsy brand, and Macy’s. Details on whether or not this is a permanent thing or a temporary thing, and just how temporary, have not been released. But with their two month theme change plan, it’s obvious they’ll be there longer than two months. So if you need stationary, or have never shopped at Etsy online, and are in the New York area you should definitely check it out before it’s too late.

I wonder what other e-commerce sites will follow in their footsteps…. will Google finally follow-through and give us the brick and mortar we’ve been hoping for? Only time will tell, until then, happy Etsying!

#EtsyBrickAndMortar

Lauren Flanigan is a Staff Writer at The American Genius, hailing from the windy hills of Cincinnati, with a degree in Marketing from the University of Cincinnati. She has escaped the hills, and currently resides in Atlanta, where you can almost always find her camping at a Starbucks strategizing on how to take over the world.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Dawn

    February 5, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    I hope Macy and other retailers shut them down unexpectedly like they do to their shop owners who have built them (etsy) up to be the company it is today. It is a disgrace the way they treat their sellers…

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Big retailers are opting for refunds instead of returns

(BUSINESS NEWS) Due to increased shipping costs, big companies like Amazon and Walmart are opting to give out a refund rather than accepting small items returned.

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Package delivery people holding deliveries. Refund instead of returns are common now.

The holidays are over, and now some people are ready to return an item that didn’t quite work out or wasn’t on their Christmas list. Whatever the reason, some retailers are giving customers a refund and letting them keep the product, too.

When Vancouver, Washington resident, Lorie Anderson, tried returning makeup from Target and batteries from Walmart she had purchased online, the retailers told her she could keep or donate the products. “They were inexpensive, and it wouldn’t make much financial sense to return them by mail,” said Ms. Anderson, 38. “It’s a hassle to pack up the box and drop it at the post office or UPS. This was one less thing I had to worry about.”

Amazon.com Inc., Walmart Inc., and other companies are changing the way they handle returns this year, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). The companies are using artificial intelligence (AI) to weigh the costs of processing physical returns versus just issuing a refund and having customers keep the item.

For instance, if it costs more to ship an inexpensive or larger item than it is to refund the purchase price, companies are giving customers a refund and telling them to keep the products also. Due to an increase in online shopping, it makes sense for companies to change how they manage returns.

Locus Robotics chief executive Rick Faulk told the Journal that the biggest expense when it comes to processing returns is shipping costs. “Returning to a store is significantly cheaper because the retailer can save the freight, which can run 15% to 20% of the cost,” Faulk said.

But, returning products to physical stores isn’t something a lot of people are wanting to do. According to the return processing firm Narvar, online returns increased by 70% in 2020. With people still hunkered down because of the pandemic, changing how to handle returns is a good thing for companies to consider to reduce shipping expenses.

While it might be nice to keep the makeup or batteries for free, don’t expect to return that new PS5 and get to keep it for free, too. According to WSJ, a Walmart spokesperson said the company lets someone keep a refunded item only if the company doesn’t plan on reselling it. And, besides taking the economic costs into consideration, the companies look at the customer’s purchase history as well.

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Google workers have formed company’s first labor union

(BUSINESS NEWS) A number of Google employees have agreed to commit 1% of their salary to labor union dues to support employee activism and fight workplace discrimination.

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Google complex with human sized chessboard, where a labor union has been formed.

On Monday morning, Google workers announced that they have formed a union with the support of the Communications Workers of America (CWA), the largest communications and media labor union in the U.S.

The new union, Alphabet Workers Union (AWU) was organized in secret for about a year and formed to support employee activism, and fight discrimination and unfairness in the workplace.

“From fighting the ‘real names’ policy, to opposing Project Maven, to protesting the egregious, multi-million dollar payouts that have been given to executives who’ve committed sexual harassment, we’ve seen first-hand that Alphabet responds when we act collectively. Our new union provides a sustainable structure to ensure that our shared values as Alphabet employees are respected even after the headlines fade,” stated Program Manager Nicki Anselmo in a press release.

AWU is the first union in the company’s history, and it is open to all employees and contractors at any Alphabet company in the United States and Canada. The cost of membership is 1% of an employee’s total compensation, and the money collected will be used to fund the union organization.

In a response to the announcement, Google’s Director of People Operations, Kara Silverstein, said, “We’ve always worked hard to create a supportive and rewarding workplace for our workforce. Of course, our employees have protected labor rights that we support. But as we’ve always done, we’ll continue engaging directly with all our employees.”

Unlike other labor unions, the AWU is considered a “Minority Union”. This means it doesn’t need formal recognition from the National Labor Relations Board. However, it also means Alphabet can’t be forced to meet the union’s demands until a majority of employees support it.

So far, the number of members in the union represents a very small portion of Google’s workforce, but it’s growing every day. When the news of the union was first announced on Monday, roughly 230 employees made up the union. Less than 24 hours later, there were 400 employees in the union, and now that number jumped to over 500 employees.

Unions among Silicon Valley’s tech giants are rare, but labor activism is slowly picking up speed, especially with more workers speaking out and organizing.

“The Alphabet Workers Union will be the structure that ensures Google workers can actively push for real changes at the company, from the kinds of contracts Google accepts to employee classification to wage and compensation issues. All issues relevant to Google as a workplace will be the purview of the union and its members,” stated the AWU in a press release.

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Ticketmaster caught red-handed hacking, hit with major fines

(BUSINESS NEWS) Ticketmaster has agreed to pay $10 million to resolve criminal charges after hacking into a competitor’s network specifically to sabotage.

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Person open on hacking computer screen, typing on keyboard.

Live Nation’s Ticketmaster agreed to pay $10 million to resolve criminal charges after admitting to hacking into a competitor’s network and scheming to “choke off” the ticket seller company and “cut [victim company] off at the knees”.

Ticketmaster admitted hiring former employee, Stephen Mead, from startup rival CrowdSurge (which merged with Songkick) in 2013. In 2012, Mead signed a separation agreement to keep his previous company’s information confidential. When he joined Live Nation, Mead provided that confidential information to the former head of the Artist Services division, Zeeshan Zaidi, and other Ticketmaster employees. The hacking information shared with the company included usernames, passwords, data analytics, and other insider secrets.

“When employees walk out of one company and into another, it’s illegal for them to take proprietary information with them. Ticketmaster used stolen information to gain an advantage over its competition, and then promoted the employees who broke the law. This investigation is a perfect example of why these laws exist – to protect consumers from being cheated in what should be a fair market place,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney.

In January 2014, Mead gave a Ticketmaster executive multiple sets of login information to Toolboxes, the competitor’s password-protected app that provides real-time data about tickets sold through the company. Later, at an Artists Services Summit, Mead logged into a Toolbox and demonstrated the product to Live Nation and Ticketmaster employees. Information collected from the Toolboxes were used to “benchmark” Ticketmaster’s offerings against the competitor.

“Ticketmaster employees repeatedly – and illegally – accessed a competitor’s computers without authorization using stolen passwords to unlawfully collect business intelligence,” said Acting U.S. Attorney DuCharme in a statement. “Further, Ticketmaster’s employees brazenly held a division-wide ‘summit’ at which the stolen passwords were used to access the victim company’s computers, as if that were an appropriate business tactic.”

The hacking violations were first reported in 2017 when CrowdSurge sued Live Nation for antitrust violations. A spokesperson told The Verge, “Ticketmaster terminated both Zaidi and Mead in 2017, after their conduct came to light. Their actions violated our corporate policies and were inconsistent with our values. We are pleased that this matter is now resolved.”

To resolve the case, Ticketmaster will pay a $10 million criminal penalty, create a compliance and ethics program, and report to the United States Attorney’s Office annually during a three-year term. If the agreement is breached, Ticketmaster will be charged with: “One count of conspiracy to commit computer intrusions, one count of computer intrusion for commercial advantage, one count of computer intrusion in furtherance of fraud, one count of wire fraud conspiracy and one count of wire fraud.”

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