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JCPenney reviving their old catalog hoping to boost home goods sales

(Business News) JCPenney is digging into their old bag of tricks to help online users shop better by using offline tools to get them online so they’ll buy offline items online.

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Reviving the old catalog concept

Last week we learned that JCPenney will be closing around 40 of their stores. This week, the company is making business headlines again for reviving their print catalog, an idea that was ditched five years ago. The catalog was let go and attention was focused strictly on an online catalog. It will now be making a comeback because of data showing that many online sales were driven by inspiration from print ads.

The new catalog book will consist of 120 pages and will be sent out in March to select customers. It will also be featuring items from their home collection. The Wall Street Journal reported that catalog mailings hit a peak in 2007 with 19.6 billion, fell, and then resurged again in 2013 with 11.9 billion.

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The decision to bring back the catalog was made by CEO Mike Ullman with the intent to help revitalize the brand after issues came about from former CEO Ron Johnson.

Catalogs are now more like “lifestyle magazines”

Prior to Johnson’s reign, Ullman was CEO for the first time and was, ironically, the one to make the call to eliminate the catalog. However he decided to bring it back after losing customers because of a lack of exposure to print. The initial catalog was released in 1963 and JCPenney released three “Big Books” annually, some coming in at over 1,000 pages. After Sears stopped releasing their main catalog in 1993, JCPenney was the go-to catalog.

With the combination of online shopping and the recession, catalog became the first place for retailers to cut costs. JCPenney released their last “Big Book” in 2009 and then phased out the remainder of their catalogs. However the catalogs have been found to be beneficial, and Kurt Salmon reports that 31 percent of online shoppers have a catalog with them.

J. Crew, Sak’s Fifth Avenue, and Bloomingdale’s have been following suit and are now sending out catalogs. Catalogs have transitioned with the times and are now more of “lifestyle magazines” where customers can be inspired by the brand and the models.

The ultimate goal? Home goods sales

This move could pose as a step in the right direction for the company. While fourth-quarter results have yet to be released, JCPenney reported earlier this month that their holiday sales were greater than expected. Their overall goal is to send catalogs to their previous home shoppers in hopes that their sales in the home goods department, which has been known to be their strongest department, will again surge.

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Staff Writer, Taylor Leddin is a publicist and freelance writer for a number of national outlets. She was featured on Thrive Global as a successful woman in journalism, and is the editor-in-chief of The Tidbit. Taylor resides in Chicago and has a Bachelor in Communication Studies from Illinois State University.

Business News

New company beats Amazon with next morning delivery?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Amazon has a new competitor in South Korea: Coupang, with faster shipping than Prime.

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What if I told you Amazon Prime’s, 1-3 day guaranteed delivery time isn’t the fastest e-commerce service the world has to offer? You would think I’m lying right?

Coupang, one of the world’s fastest delivery services located in South Korea, allows you to order any item, anytime before midnight, promising that it will be at your doorstep by 7am! (I wasn’t lying!) With 70% of its employees living within a 10 minute radius of a Coupang center, 80% of residents residing in populated cities and 95% of it’s population owning a smartphone, South Korea has become the perfect e-commerce epicenter. Coupang employees over 10,000 people who together deliver 99.3% of all orders within 24 hours. Imagine it’s Tuesday night, you’re falling asleep and suddenly remember you forgot to get your wife a present for her 50th birthday tomorrow. You have two options: accept your fate of being put in the dog house for three long weeks, or quickly order a few great items off Coupang’s website that’ll be delivered BEFORE she even wakes up!

Like Amazon, Coupang allows its customers to create a profile, store desired products in a list, and check out using your saved payment method. Half of South Korea’s total population of 51.6 million has installed Coupang’s app with a surge of people trying Coupang for the first time during stay at home orders due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The company struggled to meet fulfillment demands, especially those including PPE, household cleaning products, and children’s necessities. While many companies are struggling to stay afloat, Coupang is quickly adapting to meet consumer demands. In March, the company opened a new logistics center to expand its overnight/same day delivery services and is currently working to reach an even broader population.

Believe it or not, right before Coupang received a $2 Billion investment from SoftBanks, its founder, Kim Bom debated walking away from it all. Bom founded the company in 2010, receiving the investment in 2018 and is expected to pursue an IPO by the end of 2020. So for all of you entrepreneurs wondering if you should give up on that decade long dream…DON’T. Coupang went from selling a few hundred items each day to 3.3 million. Now that’s what you call entrepreneurism!

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Business News

Google plans to pay publishers for content (a little too late)?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Google will finally pay publishers for news, but only a few, and they have to meet Google standards.

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I mean…could you get any greedier Google? (Chandler Bings voice).

After years and years of pressure and complaints from publishers that Google’s search feed doesn’t properly recognize them or the news they work so hard to report, Google has finally announced that they will begin to pay publishers for content. But only some.

WHAT A LOAD OF BS.

According to the News Media Alliance, Google profited 4.7 BILLION in 2019 as a search engine for the news industry. So now, not only is Google fleecing its content providers and the writers who are working to create material for them, but it’s quite likely that Google’s algorithm is pushing paid news to the top of its search feed. What does this mean for users? It means that for one, you will see what they want you to see, but most importantly, it means that Google HAS the money to pay its publishers but chooses not too!

Google’s announcement to start paying publishers excludes all publishers outside Brazil, Germany, and Australia. Even within the countries that Google closed a deal with, there are many that do not meet its “high quality content” requirement for a paid position. The problem with all this nonsense is that we stopped letting the news come from others like us, and instead, according to the U.S News Media Alliance, the news is entirely owned by a handful of companies. You may have 635 channels on your TV, but if you google…or maybe you should duck duck go it, you’ll find that all those channels lead back to one huge organization.

SO WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?

Google has definitely been pressured to make some big changes, and while paying publishers is a good first step in the right direction, is it enough to make up for years of damage?

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Business News

International start up turns LinkedIn profiles into resumes

(BUSINESS NEWS) Rezi is an AI driven app that can turn LinkedIn profiles into resumes within minutes. Save time and optimize your chances of getting noticed.

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If you have already put work into creating your LinkedIn profile, you can parlay that into a resume with a plug-in download and a few clicks thanks to the AI-powered resume builder, Rezi. The company started as a weekend project in 2015 by CEO and Founder, Jacob Jacquet, to address the challenges his recently-graduated friends were having with writing hirable resumes.

According to the Rezi website, the company began by studying resumes and how they interacted with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), which companies use to manage online applications. Rezi wanted to educate job seekers on ATS while developing resources to create optimized resumes. This effort began as a resume template offered on a WordPress site. Once it hit Reddit with an explanation of the success of the resume, it quickly gained traction. Rezi then decided to focus on the South Korean job seeker market and became the most recognizable global startup in Seoul, according to the Rezi website.

The company’s next step was to go the direction of software as a service (SaaS) and support job seekers who wanted to make a resume in minutes. Rezi now offers a free plug-in version where users can transform their LinkedIn profile into a resume.

They also offer AI keyword targeting which helps users write resumes tailored to the job description for which they are applying by giving you keywords to include from a pasted job description that would best accommodate ATS filters. In addition to resume keywords, Rezi can also identify formatting errors such as missing bullet points, buzzwords, and useful content. Flexible formatting tools allow users to customize resume aesthetics such as font size, line height, and zoom level right within the app. The Rezi Score tool will then give instant feedback to guide resume formatting.

They also offer professional resume writers to edit resumes and provide suggestions and tips to improve content. One of the most unique features of this offering is that Rezi offers a private, updated, and sharable link to your resume. Users can get started for free but monthly plans range from $3-$9 and quarterly plans from $8-$89.

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