– The Washington Post
Since the recession ended, visits to U.S. restaurants had been growing steadily at around 1 percent a year, according to market research firm NPD Group, giving these dining companies ever more opportunities to pull down dollars. But 2016 was different. Restaurant visits declined slightly, according to NPD. And there are fresh signs of trouble for established restaurants.
– The Cornell Sun
Prominent lawyers, professors, corporate managers and union leaders gathered at Cornell University this week for a roundtable discussion on the direction of hospitality, labor and employment relations under President Donald Trump’s administration. They concluded that Trump is trending to be not very different than what was seen in the last couple of Republican administrations.
– The New York Times
Amazon is exploring the possibility of selling custom-fit clothing, tailored to the more precise measurements of customers, and it has considered acquiring clothing manufacturers to further expand its presence in the category. If there are tipping points in retail – moments when shopping behavior swings decisively in one direction – there’s a strong case to be made that apparel is reaching one now, with broad implications for jobs, malls and shopping districts.
Starbucks Corp. peddles pink unicorn frappucinos. Ikea’s food operations go from a fun way to keep up shoppers’ stamina to a fast growing division offering much more than meatballs. Amazon enters the hyper-competitive meal-kit market. All these stories are part of the same phenomenon. Food — and the business of food — has become central to contemporary culture. Filling a primal physical need turns out to be a perfect match for the digital age. The question is why.