From Huff Po:
Americans are more and more frequently turning to apps to order their appetizers... and midday snacks and meals and desserts.
Spurred by the rapid expansion of food-delivery services, online food ordering is set to overtake traditional telephone orders for the first time, according to new data from market research firm NPD. In just five years, the number of online orders has skyrocketed, doubling from around 403 million in 2010 to 904 million by May 2015, Quartz reported.
"Online ordering offers a level of ease and convenience that phone ordering can’t match," a spokeswoman for GrubHub Inc., which owns popular sites GrubHub and Seamless, told The Huffington Post in an emailed statement. "It provides users and restaurants with a quicker, more efficient way to place and process orders."
The company currently processes about 1.6 million orders a week, she said.
More than $1.5 billion in delivery and pickup orders were made last year were via GrubHub Inc., which held 61 percent of the online ordering market. The company takes an average cut of 13.5 percent of all orders made through its system, and revenue is expected to jump to $2.6 billion by 2016.
All of that attention has translated into some serious funding. Food- and grocery-delivery companies garnered more than $1 billion in venture capital injections in 2014, and another $500 billion has been thrown behind the services in the first quarter of this year, according to TechCrunch.
Capitalism that benefits the hungry?
via Huffington Post
From Elite Daily:
Who says there’s only one way to do something? Not Bonobos. The company disrupted the retail market and said, “Hey, there’s gotta be an easier way.” And if there’s anything a guy loves, it’s a way to make life easier.
Traditional retailers are burdened with stocking costs and space constraints, and customers are often overwhelmed with their experiences and frustrated with hearing, “Sorry, we don’t have your size,” about everything they actually want.
Bonobos revolutionizes the way traditional stores function. It’s the e-tailer’s answer to traditional retail – a hassle-free shopping experience with highly personalized customer service.
It offers a full selection of men’s clothing online and invites customers to complimentary Guideshop experiences with stylists to try on the collections in person so they can find the fits and styles perfect for them.
Guys can order clothing off the website, and their purchases are shipped home. They can leave the store bag free.
Shopping has never been so… easy.
This is the first episode of the new series “Disruptive,” which highlights disruptive innovators sponsored by Strayer Education.
From Huff Po:
When Target announced last week that it would be taking a gender-neutral approach to signage in its stores by no longer designating items as being for "boys" or "girls" in certain departments, like toys and bedding, people -- predictably -- freaked out.
As so often happens when a corporation makes a controversial decision these days, the retailer's Facebook page became a place for people to unleash their anger about the decision.
Mike Melgaard decided to take matters into his own hands and posed as a customer service rep for Target by making a fake Facebook account called "Ask ForHelp," which featured the company's unmistakable logo. He then used the account to expertly -- and hilariously -- troll the outraged Facebook users freaking out on Target's page.
"I remember how easy it was as a child to be socially influenced by my peers and the adults around me. Kids are little scientists," Melgaard told The Huffington Post. "They hyper-analyze everything in a way that most adults have long forgotten to do. Do you know how detrimental it is to a little child's development if he or she is too afraid to explore other interests all because society says, 'That's a boy subject' or 'That's a girl thing?' Why put that kind of stress on a child?"
HuffPost chatted with Melgaard about his motivations for impersonating Target on its Facebook page, being a "pot-stirrer" and the overwhelming response he has gotten in this new form of digital activism.
I just see opportunities all of the time to say things and jab at controversial topics. It's definitely in my nature to be a "pot-stirrer" and I usually can mix humor in with any situation I encounter. I saw Sunday night on my Facebook account that Target was moving away from gender-based labels in both the toy and children's bedding sections. Immediately, I knew there would be your typical outraged Americans spouting emotional reactions on their Facebook page. After taking a look, I was literally laughing out loud at my computer. A few more minutes in and it struck me how hilarious it would be to portray myself as a parody customer service rep. So, I did just that and the rest was history. Honestly, it was like striking comedy gold. Every one of these people gave me the ammunition I needed for a great response.
You know, at first this was just for fun. Something for my friends and I to laugh at. That being said, it seems as if I got really lucky and opened up some kind of gem here. Even when first seeing Target's headline, I assumed that this was maybe a movement for transgender people (which I would've equally supported). Of course, I did my due diligence and found out what this was really about and it had nothing to do with the topic. So, I guess in a way, I used humor to open up awareness over a subject which I wholeheartedly agree with. Am I a digital activist? I don't know, I just think I'm "Mike" and I do what I do. If people want to call me a digital activist, that's cool with me. *Insert smiley face*
I just want to say thank you to everyone for all of this support. Sure, it's just a "15 minutes of fame" kind of thing, but I really hope to make this into something much more. I love the community that spawned out of this one little trolling instance. Sometimes I get a little scared that our world is going to take a turn for the worst. Seeing people react the way they did off of this subject really leaves me with a newfound hope to keep us all on a good path. I would want nothing more than to be a part of that.
Finally, though Melgaard's fake Target account was shut down less than a day after he created it, the company offered this cheeky, not-so-subtly supportive response to his work in a Facebook post of its own on Thursday:
From Market Watch:
Not many people like shopping for underwear or taking out the trash. But would you pay someone to do it for you?
These are the latest ideas from Silicon Valley, where tech startups are getting even more self-indulgent after launching on-demand grocery shopping and laundry services. These granular, tightly focused startups don’t seem to offer much and appear to have little chance of surviving.
UnderClub sends subscribers one pair of underwear per month for $22, including shipping, and customers who sign up for a year in advance — $228, including shipping — get one pair of underwear for free. Buyers take a style and size questionnaire but the result may be a slight surprise, since UnderClub sends “personalized matches based on your style and fit,” in a daintily wrapped package.
Targeted to women, UnderClub was founded by Katie Fritts, who got the idea while she was an MBA graduate student at the University of California at Berkeley.
“Between school, internships, and exploring my new city, walking three blocks to the laundromat on a Thursday night was a tough sell when competing options included meeting friends out for dinner or a drink,” Fritts said on UnderClub’s website.
UnderClub says it offers specific brands such as Natori and Commando, but the company did not immediately respond to a query about its funding, business model or future plans. It’s worth noting that many styles of Commando underwear are available on Amazon.com AMZN, +0.66% AMZN, +0.66% starting at a price of $15.39; Natori can be found on Amazon at prices as low as $7, with free shipping available through Amazon Prime.
First written about by 7X7 and the San Francisco Chronicle, UnderClub appears to have launched its service last fall. A competitive advantage is not clear, except that it ships a personalized package, as if customers are receiving an unexpected gift.
Trashday is another idea trying to attract customers with a recurring service, though it may or may not be launching as a real company. Its website, which says, “You never have to worry about taking out the trash again,” asks potential customers to sign up with a few details about their trash pick-up service.
Its pricing appears to be cheaper than a similar service offered by the local Recology garbage company for seniors and others who want help getting their trash bins out to the curb. Trashday says background-checked “helpers” will put trash cans on the curb for collection starting at $20 a month for one to three cans in the San Francisco neighborhoods of Noe Valley, Castro, Lower Haight and the Mission.
Since MarketWatch wrote about Trashday, the company posted the story on its website, but a message went unanswered. Signing up on Trashday’s website has not resulted in any follow-up information.
These crazy ideas seem likely to be just flashes in the pan and lacking in long-term viability, especially in the event of any economic downturn in the San Francisco Bay Area. But whether they are pointing to a tech startup bubble ready to pop is the bigger question.
They definitely need a new video...
From BDC Wire:
Imagine a place where you brag about being a shoplifter publicly, where you can post tips, tricks, and stories of theft to be easily viewed and shared by hundreds of other like-minded thieves.
Crazy, right? Well, here’s the thing: That place is very, very real.
A community of skilled purported shoplifters has quietly banded together on Tumblr, using the blogging platform to communicate using the hashtag #liftplay.
They’re a gang–a group of covert, organized, self-proclaimed criminals who work together to steal and extort things for personal gain. They’re an intricate and interconnected group of people who are using the blogging platform, whose content restriction is notoriously loose, to prop up their community.
Spend enough time in the #liftplay tag on the blogging platform and you’ll see that this massive group of alleged thieves have streamlined the process of making a fully-functioning shoplifting blog.
Here’s how it’s done, in a nutshell:
Step 1: They find other users in the #liftplaying community and follow as many as possible.
The community has cycled through several names. Before “liftplaying” it was “liftshopping,” “five finger discount,” “liftblr” (not to be confused with the fitness community of the same name), and originally just straight-up “shoplifting.” They diligently protect their identities by rebranding themselves, changing the name of their community, and switching up the hashtags they use to archive their posts in order to fly under the radar of those not in the community.
They reblog posts like these to track down users who are still active in the community, since using the hashtag isn’t the most efficient way to find them–many users think using tags to archive posts makes them too vulnerable, too easy to find.
Once they’ve followed other liftplayers, they post their first haul. That’s step 2.
That’s the main focus of these blogs, after all. Hauls are posts detailing their latest shoplifting spree(s). They build status, give web presence, and offer bragging rights.
It’s simple: People neatly arrange and then photograph each item they stole and add a caption detailing the brand, price, and description of each item.
There’s a grand total dollar value of everything they stole at the end of the post. Some coyly refer to this as the amount “saved” rather than the amount taken, insinuating that theft is the new way to pinch pennies. Typical totals go from the 100-dollar range to upward of $1,000. The biggest single haul we came across in the #liftplay tag totaled around $8,000.
Blog owners will often keep a running tally of how much they have “saved” to date. Some of these totals surpass $10,000.
In Massachusetts, any theft with a commercial value of over $250 is a felony. This would make nearly all these purported shoplifters subject to felony charges in Massachusetts, were they apprehended in the state. Detective Steven Blair of the Boston Police Department says shoplifters can now be held accountable for all crimes committed statewide–a change made in the past year, deviating from older laws that only allowed charges for crimes committed locally. This new setup makes it easier to catch people like liftplayers who go to different areas, outlets, and malls to avoid suspicion and prosecution.
But, unsurprisingly, none of these bloggers publicly post their whereabouts, and these kinds of laws vary from state to state.
So, moral of the story: They never say their name, where they’re from, or any other pertinent personal information. This is what could get them nailed.
They do, however, feel enough of a sense of security to tell each other just what they did to avoid being caught. Which brings us to the next phase in establishing yourself as a liftplayer....
To read the rest on BDCWire click here.
*Regarding the title of this post if you are a Smiths fan you know all to well where it comes from! Being a Smiths fan myself, I couldn't resist. For those that are not familiar, the line comes from 80's English rock band The Smiths and their N.A.T. anthem called "Shoplifters of the World Unite." For your retro enjoyment here is the original video:
From Huff Po:
No, no, no, no, no.
Herry He's Store, a China-based retailer sold on Aliexpress.com, is the most recent offender. Instead of making what might have been the obvious choice (using a model that actually fits into the leggings), instead, the store had a thin woman squeeze both her legs into one pant leg. Yes, really.
As Mic writer Michelle Garcia pointed out, it's not as if the brand didn't have access to a larger model. Additional photos show the pants displayed on a person that appears to wear one leg on each side. "It wasn't enough to just show this larger model wearing these pants?" she asked.
The photos not only misrepresent what the product would actually look like on someone if they purchased them, but they are a pretty lousy sales tactic, too. We're not sure who would jump on the opportunity to buy a pair of leggings that is basically saying: check out this skinny woman who could wear one half of your pants on both legs!
The Huffington Post reached out to Herry He's Store for comment and did not hear back by the time of publication.