Sunday, June 28, 2015

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.

Friday, June 19, 2015

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. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

This origami-style battery could double the life of wearable gadgets

A battery you can fold up and put, well, pretty much anywhere.

If you own a smartwatch - or indeed a smartphone - then you'll know that battery performance on modern-day gadgets isn't quite what it could be. With these devices so central to our daily lives, scientists from all over the world are working on smaller, better-performing batteries, and a team of engineers from Arizona State University in the US and Jinan University in China is the latest to show off their progress.

The innovation here isn't so much the material used in the batteries - it's the same lithium-ion compound that makes up the smartphone batteries of today - but the way in which it's put together. Based on origami and kirigami (where paper is cut as well as folded), this new battery style can be extended and retracted like a car antenna, even while it's powering a device.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Randa World Tour: 24 Offices & 11 Countries, in 5 minutes

View the Randa World Tour - 2015 and "stay connected."

Barriers to Entry Will Be Breached

Barriers to Entry Will Be Breached

This weekend I read Amanda Foreman’s fine article in the Wall Street Journalentitled, “Why Walls Rarely Keep Enemies Out.

From U.S. Federal government firewalls to the Great Wall of China, from ancient Rome to the unassailable crenelated walls of Troy, Ms. Foreman describes how insurmountable barriers are usually surmounted, often with clever and surprising ease - think about the Trojan Horse and recent theft of government information.

Siege of Lachish

Sleep Better, Yet Be Alert

The concept of false expectations, regarding protective walls, applies to business “barriers to entry.” Business barriers, designed to prevent competitors from entering your market or model, are expensive to build, provide a false sense of confidence, and are breached in drawn out battles that drain resources and yield disappointing outcomes.  These barrier are frequently rendered useless by new technologies, alternative stratagem, or simply choosing an unanticipated point of entry.

The best companies often take a different strategy; they leapfrog beyond their own hard-earned well-fortified castles to build greater palaces on higher plains.  

Monday, June 15, 2015

Sticky Fingers: The Rolling Stones, Levi's and Randa

Sticky Fingers Album Cover Levi's Jeans & Belt, working zipper

As the Rolling Stones prepared recently to rerelease “Sticky Fingers,” their classic 1971 album featuring hits like “Wild Horses” and “Brown Sugar,” the manufacturing process hit a snag: The functional zipper from Andy Warhol’s bulging blue jean album cover, recreated for some new deluxe editions, was taking longer than expected to produce, Universal Music announced, pushing back the release to this Tuesday.

The  orginal Sticky Fingers cover, designed by Craig Braun, featured a working zipper (on a pair of Levi's held up by a double-pronged Levi's belt) and introduced the Stones "Lips & Tongue" logo.

The rest is triple-platinum history.

More, here.

Friday, June 12, 2015

J.Crew Men's Business is Thriving; Can Women's Learn From Their Formula?

J.Crew's Embattled Women's Side Could Learn From Its Thriving Menswear

There was a period of time when it seemed like J.Crew, helmed by Mickey Drexler and Jenna Lyons, could do no wrong. Its business was booming, its clothes were viewed as fashion-forward and stylish (even FLOTUS was behind them), and Drexler himself was being being described as something like a retail god. (Remember that CNBC special, J.Crew & The Man Who Dressed America?)
But latelythings have taken a darker turn. On WednesdayJ.Crew announced it had laid off 175 employees, mostly designers located in its New York headquarters. On a larger scale, thanks to a leveraged buyout by two private equity firms a few years ago, the brand is now saddled with $1.5  billion in debt. Its financial issues haven't been helped by the fact that J.Crew's women's clothes have been the recent subject of much documented consumer backlash—in part for being too trendy, too much the singular vision of Lyons herself (particularly one disastrous sweater called the Tilly). Now the finger-pointing has started in the wake of an earnings report that revealed sales were down 5 percent this quarter compared to the same quarter last year. Who's to blame? The rise of fast-fashion, athleisure, and Uniqlo?

Where does this leave J.Crew’s menswear business—a side of the company that, under the direction of Frank Muytjens, has notably steered away from the hyper-trendy, fast-fashion fringe? Very healthy, as it turns out. A former employee told us that while the men's side is not without its issues, relatively speaking it is very much outperforming the women's. Why is that? Here, we break down the ways J.Crew men's business has maintained stability within the retail market, and how its women's business could crib a thing or two from the other side.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Neck-Deep in Ways to Knot a Man’s Tie

Does any article of clothing provoke more ambivalence than the necktie?
It represents the greatest sartorial freedom a man can have, the one chance to festoon himself with any color and pattern, from grayish to garish. Yet it’s the garment most identified with the duty, work and restraint of a desk job.

A few years ago, style-conscious men rediscovered the necktie as a way to bring a bit more care and elegance to their appearances. Since then, though, men have discovered a cornucopia of other doodads — bow ties, pocket squares, tie pins, novelty belts, fedoras, bowlers, bracelets, rings and more — so that even a flamboyant necktie now looks unadventurous.

But the Internet has made accessible a vast hoard of necktie arcana, exhuming dozens of old knots and cooking up dozens of new ones.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Randa to Stimulate 30% Growth in Belt Market - Aided by New Lab

New York, NY (June 9, 2015) – Randa, the world’s largest belt company, cut the ribbon today on its Belt Lab, a unique initiative headquartered at its Chicago showrooms. Acting as both a catalyst for interactive discussion and a showroom for best practices, The Belt Lab is available to retailers, industry leaders, brand owners, and suppliers by invitation only. The Lab’s appointment schedule is fully booked through August.

Randa produces belts for eight of the top ten brands in the world, including Levi’s, Dockers, Tommy Hilfiger, Columbia Sportswear, Dickies, and Kenneth Cole. Over 30 million belts are received, processed and shipped each year, from the company's New Orleans distribution center, alone. Randa owns the largest belt factory in the Western Hemisphere, Guatemala-based Tata Belt Manufacturing. In addition Randa has facilities in Toronto, Mexico City, London, Como, Johannesburg, Melbourne, and Shanghai.

“Our company has created the Belt Lab to use our expertise and leadership as leverage to take advantage of the growing men’s accessories business.” Terry Tackett, president of belts and furnishings. “More importantly, and out of necessity, the Belt Lab will grow more than our share of the market; it will grow the entire market.”

Saturday, June 6, 2015

13 Habits of Exceptionally Likeable People

Too many people succumb to the mistaken belief that being likeable comes from natural, unteachable traits that belong only to a lucky few—the good looking, the fiercely social, and the incredibly talented. It’s easy to fall prey to this misconception. In reality, being likeable is under your control, and it’s a matter of emotional intelligence (EQ).

In a study conducted at UCLA, subjects rated over 500 adjectives based on their perceived significance to likeability. The top-rated adjectives had nothing to do with being gregarious, intelligent, or attractive (innate characteristics). Instead, the top adjectives were sincerity, transparency, and capacity for understanding (another person).

These adjectives, and others like them, describe people who are skilled in the social side of emotional intelligence. TalentSmart research data from more than a million people shows that people who possess these skills aren’t just highly likeable, they outperform those who don’t by a large margin.

We did some digging to uncover the key behaviors that emotionally intelligent people engage in that make them so likeable. 

Here are 13 of the best:

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Latest Happenings with Ryan Seacrest Distinction

Photograph from Macy's American Icon
Ryan Seacrest Distinction approaches its one year anniversary at Macy's with great success.

Ryan Seacrest Distinction "sells like crazy," said Terry Lundgren, Macy's Chairman & CEO.

The excitement regarding the brand continues to grow, and the iconic product, RSD neckwear, is expanding to over 600 Macy's stores this fall. Sweaters, outerwear, hats, gloves and scarves will be available at 150 Macy's doors this fall. 

America has spoken; they want Ryan Seacrest as their personal fashion curator.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Lying in Business Negotiations is Widespread. Is it Effective?

"This… is my final offer..." 
According to a study by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, "this is my final offer..." is the most commonly uttered phrase in any business negotiation.  90 percent of the time, the statement is completely untrue. 
 To Lie, or Not to Lie, That is the Question
  • Is it ok to lie during business negotiations?  
  • Isn’t negotiating a zero sum game, with winners and losers, with points scored by out-maneuvering your opponent?
  • How about a "white" lie, or exaggeration? Is it ok to stretch the truth?
  • And, since most parties seem to lie to some extent during negotiations, isn’t lying required to keep a level playing field?