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Showing posts from November, 2014

This Belt Can Charge Your Phone

Nifty, a technology start-up based in the United Kingdom, is teaming up with clothing designers Casely-Hayford to craft a fashionable belt that will double as a mobile charger.

Online Sales Set Black Friday Record

Mobile and international sales drove online business on Black Friday to a new record level. E-commerce sales surpassed the $2 billion mark for the first time on Friday — far outpacing growth seen on Cyber Monday the past few years, according to data from Adobe Digital Index that tracked more than 350 million visits to 4,500 retail Web sites.

The day hit $2.4 billion in sales, a 25 percent increase from last year when sales reached $1.8 billion. On Thanksgiving, online sales hit $1.33 billion, slightly less than the predicted $1.35 billion. Adobe projects that Cyber Monday sales on Monday will reach $2.6 billion.

The Power of a Simple Act

"All is not lost.  The Power of a Simple Act and a Simple Image."  - DJK
As thousands gathered to make their voices heard during a rally earlier this week, one officer and a young man paused to hear each other out.
This image, shot by freelance photographer Johnny Nguyen, shows Portland Police Sgt. Bret Barnum hugging 12-year-old Devonte Hart during the Ferguson demonstration in Portland on Nov. 25, 2014.

Dressing for Success 2015

You can learn a lot about human behavior and tendencies while on an airplane, especially when you’ve packed on enough miles to circle the globe more than a handful of times. I’m constantly traveling, but people’s style of dress never ceases to capture my attention. Time after time, I encounter more passengers that lead me to wonder if they even bothered getting dressed in the first place.

Mortar & Brick Fights Back

Wal-Mart and Target Take Fight to Amazon for Holiday Sales Macy's CEO says the Internet didn’t appear to be making a dent in the chain’s Thanksgiving weekend foot traffic. 
After losing ground in past years to online competitors over Thanksgiving weekend, brick-and-mortar retailers are striking back by becoming more aggressive in pricing and selling goods on the Web.
The strategy appears to be driving traffic to their sites. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Friday that Thanksgiving was its second-biggest day ever for online sales. TargetCorp. said Thanksgiving was its biggest online day ever, with sales up 40% from a year earlier.

Where to Put 4.5 Million Pounds of Thanksgiving Leftovers

"We sold enough food storage containers to hold 4.5 million pounds of Thanksgiving leftovers and we sold enough towels to line the banks of the Mississippi River.” 

The First Thanksgiving

April Showers bring May Flowers, and Mayflowers bring... Pilgrims
The Pilgrims who sailed to this country aboard the Mayflower were originally members of the English Separatist Church (a Puritan sect). They had earlier fled their home in England and sailed to The Netherlands, to escape religious persecution. There, they enjoyed more religious tolerance, but they eventually became disenchanted with the Dutch way of life, thinking it ungodly, and the funny wooden shoes had termites, and made clunking sounds when they walked.
The pilgrims did NOT wear black and white clothing with huge buckles on their hats, clothes, and shoes. Buckles did not come into fashion until later in the seventeenth century when the Randa Belts & Furnishings division introduced them. Black and white were worn only on Sundays and formal occasions. Women dressed in red, earthy green, brown, blue, violet, and gray, while men wore white, beige, earthy green, and brown. The Randa Trend Team includes more informat…

Omnichannel Has Arrived

Rebecca Minkoff enters her phone number in the Connected Fitting Room at her new store, opting in to link her session to her MyRM account so she can go back and look at what she tried on at a later date.

Retailers are at last beginning to flex their omnichannel muscles.

Omnichannel will become more than just an overused buzzword this holiday season. A series of technological advancements look to link the online and offline experiences in a real way — and this means a lot more than just arming sales associates with iPads. 

Wireless electronic implant delivers antibiotic, then dissolves

Wireless electronic implants deliver antibiotic, then harmlessly dissolves November 25, 2014 Optical (and corresponding IR) images of the dissolution of implant device (top row: powering induction coil with resistor/heater) (credit: Tufts University) Imagine an electronic implant that delivers a drug when triggered by a remote wireless signal — then harmlessly dissolves (no post-surgical infection concerns, no fuss, no muss) within minutes or weeks.

Story of Kohl's, Black Friday and the $5 Toaster

Before the lights had dimmed on Black Friday last year, executives at Kohl’s Corp. were already at work on the deal they would use to pull shoppers into their stores this time around: a $5 toaster.

First the Parade, Then Black Friday

Originally known as the Macy’s Christmas Parade, in 1920 first generation immigrant employees welcomed Santa Claus to Herald Square and enthroned him on the Macy's balcony at the 34th Street store entrance. Over a quarter of a million people attended and the parade became an annual event. In 1924 the parade was rebranded the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and first featured animals from the Central Park Zoo.

How Successful People Stay Calm

The ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance. TalentSmart has conducted research with more than a million people, and we’ve found that 90% of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress in order to remain calm and in control.

Menswear Quotes

“Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.”– Gore Vidal, Writer

“A man should look as if he had bought his clothes with intelligence, put them on with care, and then forgotten all about them.”– Hardy Amies, Designer

“Trendy is the last stage before tacky.”– Karl Lagerfeld, Designer

“One pretends to do something, or copy someone or some teacher, until it can be done confidently and easily in what becomes one’s own style”.– Cary Grant, Actor

“It is totally impossible to be well-dressed in cheap shoes.”– Hardy Amies, Designer

“Know first who you are, and then adorn yourself accordingly.”– Epictetus, Philosopher

"A good trick as you get older is to get a thick pair of glasses that have a dark frame. Everything else can droop and slide but that pair of dark glasses stays sharp and crisp. Look at Cary Grant. Look at Vidal Sassoon."– Tom Ford, Designer

"If you're not sure whether it looks good on you, it doesn't."– Scott Omelianuk, Author…

Conspicuous Consumption? Yes, but It’s Not Crazy

Photo CreditTim Cook
"Let me tell you about the rich. They are different from you and me," but they're not crazy... DJK 

"Rich people buy luxury goods for many reasons, but even those seeking to display their wealth can almost always find efficient ways of doing so. "

Automation Makes Us Dumb

"Evidence suggests that our own intelligence is withering as we become more dependent on the artificial variety. Rather than lifting us up, smart software seems to be dumbing us down."

It's Always 9:41 on an iPhone. Here's Why.

January, 2007 and Steve Jobs is taking the stage. It is precisely 9:00 AM in San Francisco. As planned, rehearsed and carefully staged it is 40 minutes later when Apple’s famous CEO states, “One more thing. This is a day I have been looking forward to for two and a half years. Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything." Jobs announces, "Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone." The giant screen behind him flashes an image of the first iPhone. It was 9:42 a.m.

Smart Buttons Activate Tasks on SmartPhones

Flic is a 'smart button' that tells your iPhone to STFUAs far as smart gadgets go, Flic is about as simple as it gets. It's a tiny magnetic button that can be programmed to control various functions of your phone, from silencing an alarm to snapping a photo. Each button can be programmed with three different functions -- initiated by either a single tap, double tap, or push and hold -- and at US$27 they're relatively cheap.

[How can Randa use this concept and technology?  Think of touching your tie bar to take a photo, or your belt buckle to set a reminder, and more... DJK]

Some Retailers Promote Decision to Remain Closed on Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, the open-versus-shut debate has grown even louder.
Walmart, Kmart, Macy’s, Target, RadioShack and many other major retailers are proclaiming that they will be open on Thanksgiving Day to make shoppers happy. But Costco, Marshalls, GameStop and T. J. Maxx are riding the backlash against holiday commerce by boasting that they will not relent: They will remain closed that day to show that they are family-friendly and honoring the holiday.

It's a Special Occasion

"Every time our customers walk through a door it could be the start of a special occasion, and we don’t want to miss it.” - Countess Mara

Amazon is Listening- Literally

At home, when you talk about products or shopping, is listening.Literally listening.
Last week Amazon unveiled a wireless speaker with voice recognition technology similar to Apple’s Siri and OK Google.  Named “Echo” the new product is positioned as a tabletop voice-activated internet search tool.  Ask about the weather in Chicago, the number of ounces in a liter, the capital of Bolivia, or to play Taylor Swift, and Echo responds aloud.

Beware: The Dire Pit of Mediocrity

Mired in Mediocrity[or, is Meh the New Black? DJK]Photo Credit Mark Pernice  WELCOME to the “new mediocre.” It’s not quite the New Look, or the New Deal, but it is the new normal.
At least according to Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, who coined the term a few weeks ago.
She was referring to the global economy, of course, which she thought could use a jolt lest it “muddle along with subpar growth,” but her words, uttered during a relatively small-scale speech at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, have had an impact far beyond the school’s borders and the world of economists (though said economists were very het up about it), reaching into the Twitterverse.
Macroeconomic theory rarely seems to have much to do with the minutiae of everyday life, but in this case Ms. Lagarde’s phrase has a surprisingly resonant application. Suddenly, that free-floating malaise and lack of inspiration everyone keeps complaining about has a name.

As Attitudes Shift, Men’s Jewellery Grows

LONDON, United Kingdom — In the 12 months ending May 2014, sales of men’s accessories grew 9 percent, reaching $13.6 billion and capping a two-year period that saw the category grow 13 percent, according to market research company NPD Group. Ecce Homo! The much-anticipated growth in the men’s accessories market is here. And jewellery has emerged as a crucial category.

For Macy’s, a Makeover on 34th Street

Inside the Guts of Macy’s Herald Square Macy’s Herald Square has been undergoing a luxury makeover. But with a building that is more than a century old, everything from the loading bays to the stockrooms also needs to be overhauled. Video by Erik Braund and Natasha Singer on Publish Date November 1, 2014. Photo by Todd Heisler/The New York Times.
Terry J. Lundgren, the chief executive of Macy’s, strode through the women’s shoe department of the company’s flagship store in Manhattan’s Herald Square, determined to find a bargain.
With the lean build of an athlete and the immaculately coifed gray hair of a television anchor, Mr. Lundgren cased the floor and dashed over to a display table of classic shoes, aimed at women in office jobs.
“Look at this great-looking boot for $69!” he exclaimed, holding out an unadorned black boot with a low heel.
Briskly, he made his way to the area dedicated to mainstream designer shoes. “You can see the price points elevate as we go,” he said, stopping at…

Fuzzy Logic

From Rocky to R.P. McMurphy... throw your hat into the ring.   DJK

I do believe in spooks...

Magic May Lurk Inside Us All How many words does it take to know you’re talking to an adult? In “Peter Pan,” J. M. Barrie needed just five: “Do you believe in fairies?”
Such belief requires magical thinking. Children suspend disbelief. They trust that events happen with no physical explanation, and they equate an image of something with its existence. Magical thinking was Peter Pan’s key to eternal youth.