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Cathy Hotka

Principal
Cathy Hotka & Associates

Nice idea, but what builds added costs into all of this is that women's clothing sizes are a complete mystery. Ordering online can be really frustrating. Should you order a 6 or a 12? It depends. And that boosts shipping costs.

Why this hasn't been addressed before now is a...

Not only did Whole Foods create their category, they carry many more SKUs than their competitors. They can continue to win by adding new items and bragging about them. The overcharging accusations will fade from view soon enough.

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The photo looks a lot like the White House command center on Y2K, where I spent New Year's Eve 1999.

The days of having a VP of Applications be in charge of data security should be long gone. Retail companies absolutely need to step it up, collaborate with governmental resources...

Remember when usury was illegal?

The card will probably be a magnetic draw, encouraging customers to buy even more from Amazon than they already do. But woe to him or her who falls behind on payments. That 25.99% percent interest rate should be a deal-killer (but won't be, for less-than-savvy...

There are a host of reasons not to hire violent ex-offenders. but there are lots of people behind bars for minor drug offenses. We as a society have to be willing to extend a second chance and welcome them back into mainstream society.

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This may work for people who heat things up — the Stouffer's crowd — but for real home cooks who draw inspiration from seeing fresh ingredients, this will be completely unappealing. It might be a hit with Millennial men.

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Chucks have always been cool and uncomfortable, with no support in the footbed. A new, comfy version is going to sell like mad.

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This is a niche market, but a strong one. If you've visited Worth Avenue in Palm Beach you know that there are a number of very profitable small businesses reselling designer clothing.

The stigma around discounting and consignments disappeared during the recession, even among luxury purchasers. And why not?

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Imagine visiting the local T.J. Maxx only to be greeted by someone who tells you that you have to pay $49 to get in. Would you enter?

I'm sure there are people who'll play along, but those of us who are children of Depression-era parents probably won't want to.

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There are several things at work here:

  • The recession trained shoppers to search for lower-priced items and removed the stigma attached to buying at discount.
  • Fast fashion rules. The $9.90 dress I bought from Forever 21 means I didn't have to spend $69 at J.Crew.
  • The structural unemployment attributable to NAFTA persists.
  • Sophisticated...

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