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Showing posts from 2015

Randa Interns - Summer 2105

Each summer Randa offers a 10-week paid internship program in New York City, Chicago, and Bloomfield NJ. Coming to other Randa offices soon.
Internships include rotating management presentations, networking events, breakfast with the boss, and other features.
Here is our new Intern video, available on (careers), Vimeo, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Randa University - Class of September 2015

Woo Hoo.  Another graduating class from Randa U. Logistics.

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Fashion companies are desperate for wearables...

Fashion companies are desperate for wearables to happen. The question is: Will they — and when?
After all the hubbub about them last year, the fact is that wearables still remain relegated mainly to smartwatches and activity trackers, with a growing number of handbags, bracelets and rings that double as accessories with notification devices or smartphone chargers. Except in highly specific-use cases — like doctors wearing Google Glass during procedures or athletes donning smart clothing to track performance — wearables right now are shaping up to be a head fake.
Wearables were the great hopes for a booming new business after Diane von Furstenberg partnered with Google to have the tech giant’s Glass debut during her spring 2013 runway show. But that was three years ago, and despite designer collaborations and efforts to build a corresponding range of optical and sunglass frames for the product, the $1,500 smart glasses amounted to little more than a runway stunt with fashion culture v…

Zac Posen partners with Google

Zac Posen partners with Google to show NYC fashion week's first-ever LED dress
NEW YORK — In a packed auditorium at Industria Superstudio on Tuesday morning, Zac Posen showcased his Zac by Zac Posen diffusion line as the first major show to kick off New York Fashion Week. Posen's final look was unlike anything in any of his past shows — and it dazzled the runway. The one-of-a-kind LED gown literally lit up the catwalk, with lights sparkling under its sheath. 
The gown was created with LED segments that light up in different patterns, which Posen said was inspired by "Los Angeles after dark." The designer created the dress with the help of  Maddy Maxey a fashion engineer and mentor at Made with Code, a Google-backed initiative. It was designed with a circuit infused into the textile to showcase different animations. 

20,000 Homeless Children Start School with Backpacks and Supplies

Randa Accessories is proud to support the New York Chapter of the Volunteers of America with Operation Backpack.

Randa supplied more than product and funding, this year the world's largest men's accessories company supplied the hearts, minds and hands of many of our NY and NJ region associates to help sort, pack and prep backpacks filled with school supplies.

Nearly 23,000 children live in NYC’s homeless and domestic violence shelters. 

One of the most devastating consequences of homelessness is the impact it has on a child's education. 

Each year since 2001, Volunteers of America-Greater New York has been distributing new backpacks filled with grade-specific school supplies to homeless children throughout New York City. 

Fathers Retreat to Cave in Australia

Randa's "Wembley Man Cave" uncovered in Australia, just in time for Father's Day.

Randa Australia has launched a Wembley Man Cave shop. From Dart boards to Grilling Aprons, modern men find the cave, and its contents, comforting and irresistible. 

"Hey Siri, give us a hint." Apple seduces us, again.

The news is out. Only, this time will be different.

National Bow Tie Day - Friday, August 28

Ryan Seacrest’s Growing Macy’s Line

Macy’s celebrity tie-ins have been a mixed bag. For every Jessica Simpson, there’s a Martha Stewart, whose association led to a contentious lawsuit with J.C. Penney. In men’s wear, the store’s relationship with polarizing presidential candidate Donald Trump led to a highly publicized divorce between Trump and former golf buddy — and Macy’s chief executive officer — Terry J. Lundgren.
Ryan Seacrest, Macy’s latest darling, doesn’t seem to have any political aspirations. But the radio and television personality and producer has lofty goals for his branding empire, starting with the expansion of his apparel line, Ryan Seacrest Distinction, which has doubled in sales since its launch at the store a year ago.
For this fall, RSD is expanding beyond suits and furnishings into sweaters, outerwear, scarves, gloves and travel bags. And Seacrest doesn’t plan to stop there.

Overcome Your Fear At Work & At Home

Some amounts of fear and stress can push you just to the level of optimal alertness, behavioral and cognitive performance - productive discomfort. Too much fear can be paralyzing.

Afraid of spiders?How about standing up and making a presentation?Terrified when your boss asked you into her office?Afraid to say "hello" to that attractive person at the bar?
Too much fear and anxiety is counter-productive and debilitating. This is true at work, at home, in public speaking, at a bar, or on the battlefield.

Treasure Aisle: Where Scarcity Trumps Abundance

Several retailers are throwing core principles of microeconomics and traditional retailing thinking overboard, and reaping great bounties in the process.
Should we say farewell to the anchor concepts of “Supply and Demand” and “Scarcity and Choice?

Web Retailers, Now With Stores, Teach New Tricks

At a Bonobos store in New York City, shoppers can browse and try on sizes, but still need to order online.
Retailers have been stealing ideas from online rivals about how to run websites for years. Now they are borrowing ways to run brick-and-mortar stores.
In Manhattan Beach, Calif., Macy’s Inc.revamped its swimsuit and workout sections this spring to display only samples, a strategy used by online retailers that have opened physical stores.
Instead of stuffing racks with every size and style in these departments, Macy’s displayed only one item of each style. Shoppers used an app on their mobile phones to alert Macy’s sales staff of the style and size they wanted to try on and that item was sent to a specified dressing room.

The Day The Beatles Reinvented The Rock Concert

August 15, 1965 - Shea Stadium, New York City.It was fifty years ago today, Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play.

Fences created to protect fans from Mets' foul balls, now protected four British performers from screaming American teenagers.
Never before had an outdoor sports stadium contained a sold-out crowd for a concert.

Stores Suffer From a Shift of Behavior in Buyers

Decorating a window at an American Apparel store. Some retailers are struggling as shoppers prioritize experiences over goods.Credit Kendrick Brinson for The New York Times 
As Americans spend more money on doing things, not buying things, department stores are losing out.
A rebound in overall spending at retailers, which grew 0.6 percent in July from the previous month, has eluded department stores, where sales dropped 0.8 percent.
Department stores made up one of just two categories tracked by the Commerce Department where spending declined, the latest in a choppy performance from them this year. Spending at electronics and appliance stores also fell 1.2 percent in July.
Data released by the Commerce Department shows that American consumers are putting what little extra money they do have to spend each month into eating out, upgrading their cars or fixing up their homes, as well as spending on sports gear, health and beauty. Spending at restaurants and bars has jumped more than 9 pe…

The Emotions That Make Us More Creative

Artists and scientists throughout history have remarked on the bliss that accompanies a sudden creative insight. Einstein described his realization of the general theory of relativity as the happiest moment of his life. More poetically, Virginia Woolf once observed, “Odd how the creative power brings the whole universe at once to order.”
But what about before such moments of creative insight? What emotions actually fuel creativity?
The long-standing view in psychology is that positive emotions are conducive to creativity because they broaden the mind, whereas negative emotions are detrimental to creativity because they narrow one’s focus. But this view is too simplistic for a number of reasons.

Virtual Reality: More Real Than Real?

What would you do if you could do absolutely anything? Seriously, stop for a second and picture it. 
Imagine yourself there. Feel yourself there.
Soon, Virtually Reality (VR) will provide this option, according to an article by Jason Ganz, posted on Virtual Reality Can Unleash the Greatest Wave of Creativity in Human History “By combining the radical discoveries in psychology’s understanding of happiness with the astounding advances in virtual reality technology, we will finally have the ability to create peak emotional experiences on demand.”

Think Tank: Generation Z, the Next Big Retail Disruptor

Generation Z, the teens and tweens coming of age today, are not just another Millennial story. Far from it. They are more self-aware, more self-reliant and more driven than the generation they follow. Intuitively innovative, uberproductive, goal-oriented and realistic, they are growing to be savvy consumers. Businesses hoping to connect with them need to understand who they are and how they are about to turn today’s market on its head.

The Future Of Fashion: Why Robots Will Rule The Runway

Robots are inspiring, modeling, manufacturing and designing Fashion.
You may not be aware of the robots around you, or that they are seamlessly, and essentially, integrated into all facets of the fashion industry.
From concept to manufacturing, iteration to delivery, and profoundly impacting “style” itself, robotics and artificial intelligence are influencing and transforming the fashion industry. 

70 Buck Chucks: Converse and Chuck Taylor

How a $30 billion giant resisted killing the goose, and in the process uncovered a golden egg.
Chuck Taylors were once considered a performance shoe, worn by Wilt Chamberlin in 1963, when he scored 100 points in a single game. Today, they are an anti-fashion, anti-establishment statement.
Nike purchased a bankrupt Converse in 2003, for $305 million. At the time Converse was generating annual revenues of $205 million and Nike's sales were over $10 billion.
Last year, Converse sold 270,000 pairs of Chuck Taylor sneakers... every day. That's 100 million pairs of "Chucks."

This Computer Reads Your Friends Better Than You Do

We generally think of robots and computers as task-centric machines; dedicated to reading instructions, not personalities. We attribute computers with the possession of artificial, and perhaps “IQ,” intelligence, but certainly not “emotional” intelligence.
According to recent studies conducted at Stanford University and the University of Cambridge, artificially intelligent computers can assess a person’s feelings more accurately than can humans - with the possible exception of the subject’s spouse.

Is It Really Lonely At The Top?

The very nature of power and its psychological effects often leave the powerful feeling lonely at the top.”  The debate continues...
M. Ena Inesi of London Business school and Adam D. Galinsky of Kellogg Graduate School of Business, published an article in the Wall Street Journal supporting the adage, "It is lonely at the top."

Sour Milk? The Carton Cap Will Tell You

Using 3-D printing, scientists create a sensor; no need for power
People have used 3-D printing to make things as different as hamburgers and small houses. Now scientists have employed this new technology to create a canary in a coal mine. It may not sing, but it doesn’t have to die to do its job. 
The canary in this case is a milk-carton cap that can tell when milk is going sour. As a wireless device that needs no power, it also serves as a prototype for a wide range of unpowered sensors that might someday detect all sorts of contaminants. Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, and National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan developed the device to demonstrate the potential of 3-D printing for creating electronics.

With Footprints On The Moon, The Sky Is Not The Limit

Forty-six years before NASA whizzed past Pluto, mankind landed on the moon: July, 1969.
The Risk of Flying Too High vs. Flying Too Low
As Seth Godin aptly points out in his book “The Icarus Deception,” (Portfolio, 2012) the Icarian story has been filtered to show that flying too high is hubris and must be punished. Most of us know the story: Icarus has wings made from wax and feathers, he is warned not to fly too close to the sun, he flies too high, the wax melts, and down he goes...
However, the complete myth includes warnings from Daedalus, Icarus’ father, to avoid flying too low, where Icarus could be hit be archers or grabbed by sea creatures; this part of the story is lost in cultural translation. For pilots both literal and metaphorical, it is far more dangerous to stay low to the ground, than to fly high to the sky. Planes can hit mountains or buildings, they can't collide with the sky.
American mythology admires the rare hero who transcends the status quo and reaches beyond …

Consumer Spending: Where Does Her Money Go?

Consumer Spending: Where Does Her Money Go? When it comes to how and where consumer dollars are spent, not all income levels are created equal.
According to an analysis of expenditures in three income tiers, the average annual spending on key categories such as food, housing, transportation, cell service, health care and apparel reveals some consumer demographics dole out more money on certain goods and services than others.

Frenzy Around Shopping Site

Frenzy Around Shopping Site Harks Back to Dot-Com Boom
Online marketplace Inc. has almost no revenue, years of likely losses in its future and a strategy that includes underpricing mighty Inc.on millions of items. Jet also has perhaps the highest valuation ever among e-commerce startups before their official launch.
That is no contradiction in Silicon Valley, where investors keep pouring money into audacious business experiments filled with big-splash potential. Jet is the buzziest e-commerce arrival of the current boom, with $225 million in capital raised in the past year and a timer on its website counting down the seconds to Tuesday’s opening of Jet to the public.
More than just about any other current startup, Jet seems reminiscent of the dot-com boom era, when e-commerce companies assumed giant losses before breaking into the black.

Man Killed By Robot: Part 2

Recently I wrote an article entitled, "Man Killed By Robot: Get Used To It."

The title refers to a worker who was recently killed by a robot at a Volkswagen assembly line. The premise of my article involved the inevitable proliferation of "smart machines" and "artificial intelligence," and the need to discuss related opportunities and challenges.  
Many people commented, and emailed, their concerns regarding intelligent "killer robots."  Their fears, for now, are unwarranted. 

We're at that stage, where our expectations have outrun the reality of the technology.
Following is commentary from John Markoff, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who covers science and technology for The New York Times. His most recent book is the forthcoming "Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots."

Why Tesla Goes Beyond Insane, To Ludicrous

The electric glide goes beyond insane. And, why it matters.Last year, Tesla’s fully electric car Model S featured a renowned “Insane” mode, allowing the car to speed from 0 to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds.  That’s “insanely” quick. Porsche Cayenne Turbo quick.  McLaren 570S quick.
Now, the Model S is getting a “Ludicrous” upgrade. The new Ludicrousspeed will deliver 0-60 in 2.8 seconds
How quick is ludicrous?  Quicker than a Lamborghini Huracan, quicker than a Ferrari 458, and just as fast as a $2.5 millionBugatti Vernon. The Tesla does not have an internal combustion engine, it runs on battery power, and it sells for $125,000. "It’s faster than falling,”  according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, acceleration that fast pins you to the seat at over 1G. "It’s like having your own private roller coaster.” The phrase “Ludicrous Speed” derives from the Mel Brook’s film, "Spaceballs."  Use it when “Light Speed” is not fast enough.

Stop Communicating & Start Persuading

As successful marketers, and brand alchemists, we must recognize that we're really in the persuasion business. Our goal is topersuade customers to purchaseour products and services.
Our tools include advertising, social media, packaging, fixtures, ecommerce, and omni-channel marketing. And, each point of customer contact is an opportunity for persuasion requiring a specific tool.
Engaging in persuasion is very different from communicating or advertising. A sign on the side of the road that says "speed limit 55 miles per hour" is communication.But a highway patrol car on the side of the road is much more persuasive.A sign that says EXIT is communication.A person yelling FIRE is persuasion.

The 10 Best Things to Snag from Designers at New York Fashion Week: Men's

Why The Stanford Prison Experiment Matters To You

The Powerful Influence of Your Expectations
As an undergraduate psychology student, I studied the widely-taught “Stanford Prison Experiment.”

The experiment became a classic case study and a cultural phenomenon. A fictional movie of the same name, based upon true events and released by IFC Films, is due to be released later this week.

An understanding of this experiment is valuable to business leaders, career counselors, and employees alike.

Lego - More Than Another Brick in the Wall

Lego Tries to Build a Better Brick
Toy maker Lego used 77,000 metric tons of petroleum to manufacture 60 billion bricks and other pieces for its sets in 2014.
By Loretta Chao - Wall Street Journal
Danish toy maker Lego A/S is giving its colorful bricks their first makeover since 1963. But it will take 15 years and, if the company can help it, you won’t be able to tell the difference. 
Executives are assembling a team of scientists to find a bio-based alternative to the petroleum-based plastic that has been used to make its bricks for decades because the popular building blocks are a significant contributor to the company’s carbon footprint.

100 Years of Men's Fashion and Accessories

See 100 Years of Men's Fashion in Three Minutes
Lately, video evolution shorts are allover the Internet. It makes sense. They're an easy way to compress a ton of information into a short time. Now Mode Studios, the people who brought you "100 Years of Women's Fashion," have released "100 Years of Men's Fashion." In three minutes you can see how much style has changed over the century for men.

Man Killed By Robot: Get Used To It

Last week, a robot on an automotive assembly line killed a worker at a factory in Germany. 
The man was installing the robot at a Volkswagen assembly line when the robot gripped and pressed him up against a metal plate, crushing his chest.
It’s not the first time a human has been killed by a robot. That distinction occurred 36 years ago, in 1979, when a Ford Motor Company employee was killed in a Flat Rock, Michigan, plant.
And, it will not be the last time a human is killed by a robot. 
As robotics continue to proliferate and infiltrate our economy and our households the incidence of human injury and death at the "hand" of robots will only increase. Statistics can, and will, lie. (see my article "Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics.")

Avoid the Pitfalls of Pirates & Pioneers

A group of ambitious, and unskilled, adventurers get lost in the Swiss Alps. Days later, tired and hungry, one of the hikers discovers a map buried deep in their backpack. The anxious and weary group finds their way to safety. After celebrating, someone takes a closer look at the map and realizes that it's a map of the Chilean Andes, not the Swiss Alps."

A Family Business 1,300 Years Old. What Does the Future Hold?

Randa is a fairly old business, by North American standards.  It was founded in 1910. Throughout its history it has been owned and managed by the same family.

Houshi Ryokan was founded in 718. It is one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

46 generations have managed the ryokan in its 1,300 years. 

Filmmaker Fritz Schumann profiles the current caretakers, Zengoro and Chizuko Houshi, as they struggle to determine the ryokan's future after the death of their only son. Their daughter, Hisae, helps with the family business—and has reluctantly went along with her parents' attempts to arrange suitors—but admits that she's dreamt of other careers. "It is a heavy burden on my mind," she says...

Everything That Can Be Invented Has Been Invented

In 1889, Charles H. Duell was the Commissioner of US patent office. He is widely quoted as having stated that the patent office would soon shrink in size, and eventually close, because…  "Everything that can be invented has been invented.”

My Industry Got Hacked. Yours is Next

Hackers solve problems, and occasionally create them, by identifying weaknesses in long-established systems. They have successfully disrupted industries, from retail and music to transportation and publishing.  Even the residential garbage pick-up business is being hacked.
Sean Parker*, the poster child for Hackers, recently wrote a great article, "Philanthropy for Hackers" for the Wall Street Journal.  He got me thinking.

By definition, hacking is disruptive to companies and industries: So are wildfires to forests and ice-ages to dinosaurs.  By eradicating old growth, disruption promotes new growth in its place.
My industry, that of fashion products sold through retail channels of distribution, has been hacked. I would like to put some flesh on those bones.

Here is a partial list of "hacks" to my industry. These disruptions have been driven by technology, data, radical business models, and exploitation of vulnerabilities in the value chain. These disruptions have …

Feeling Overworked and Burned-Out? Use It!

It turns out that mental exhaustion from overwork can unleash creativity. 
Mental exhaustion, according to a recent study by Rémi Radel at the University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis, leads to a reduction in mental inhibition.  
Although inhibition is essential for day-to-day activities such as problem-solving and focusing on tasks, it stifles creative thinking by "gating out eccentric thoughts and ideas." 

Uninhibited minds, on the other hand, can unleash our creative genius. This according to an article in Scientific American by Madhuvanthi Kannan, a postdoctoral researcher of neurobiology at Yale University. "Overworking Your Brain."
“Creative people can turn down the volume of inhibition to let novel ideas inspire them, and then, turn the volume back up to put their ideas to meaningful use.”
We spend most of our day creating and enforcing barriers to distractions and attempting to avoid task saturation. At some point, it’s ok to just surrender.

Congratulations Randa University Graduates, Class of June 2015

Randa congratulates our June 2015 graduates of Randa University, NOLA. 

A diverse class that included associates from Randa offices in Canada, Chicago, Bloomfield NJ, New York and MCG' s West Coast Field Team. 

Randa: Work somewhere awesome.

Customers Seen Buying More Than Shopping

Customers in stores are more prepared to buy,having researched their purchase online. “Once customers are in the store, retailers must keep in mind that customer in-store behavior has shifted from ‘discovery’ to ‘final purchase decision,’” according to Sarah Wallace, content marketing manager for TimeTrade.