Retail sales are expected to rise 3.1% this year, according to an NRF forecast issued Wednesday, as oil prices remain low and consumers gain the confidence to spend more of the money they've been saving at the pump. Non-store sales are set go grow between 6% and 9%, according to the forecast.
A recent study of professional e-mail use showed that the best performers in a company had 36% stronger internal network ties than their colleagues, underscoring the importance of building relationships in sales. Meanwhile, extroverted individuals with 52% larger networks than average tended to be high performers as well.
Students crave feedback, asserts Elyse Scott, a retired English teacher. In this article, she writes about the pros and cons of rubrics and offers 11 ways -- including the use of sticky notes -- teachers can foster better one-on-one communication and build trust with students.
Hedge funds are eager to short securities backed by subprime auto loans, but few banks are willing to make such transactions. Banks say new laws make such deals difficult. They also worry that their reputations would be tarnished if they participated in the deals.
Today's category management has become stagnant and is too product-focused and narrow for today's consumers, according to a report by FMI, Deloitte Consulting and Winston Weber Associates. Eighty-five percent of retailers have made no changes or only moderate changes to their category management processes, while 100% of respondents in the study said at least some change is needed in category management. "We are calling for an industry transformation to adapt to today's new consumer," said Mark Baum, FMI's chief collaboration officer.
A study in the British Medical Journal found that a patient-to-nurse ratio of no more than six patients per nurse is associated with 20% lower patient mortality than when each nurse is responsible for at least 10 patients. Findings also show a 17% reduction in mortality with lower patient-to-nurse ratios in surgical wards.
Twitter has launched an algorithm that prioritizes certain tweets at the top of timelines based on factors such as engagement, activity on the site and mentions. Users can opt in to use the feature, and the rest of their timelines will appear in the normal time-based way.
Gwen Stefani will film a four-minute music video and Target commercial live on a Los Angeles soundstage during the Grammy Awards next week. The retailer, which last year debuted a live performance/commercial by Imagine Dragons during the music awards show, is billing the new effort as "the first music video ever created on live television."
A Kickstarter campaign is underway for Immersit's bases, which move and vibrate. They go under the legs of a chair or couch to make the furniture vibrate and move up and down and side to side to augment the experience of watching a movie at home. The company claims its kit can recognize what movie is playing and add motion accordingly.
Pfizer said it will establish a new division by integrating Allergan's ophthalmology and aesthetics products to its consumer health product line upon the completion of its $160 billion purchase of Allergan. The new global specialty and consumer brand division will operate under Pfizer's innovative products unit. The acquisition is expected to be completed in the second half of this year.
LightSquared has a new identity -- Ligado Networks -- and plenty of spectrum, but the company has yet to win regulatory approval to deploy those frequencies. CEO Doug Smith said Ligado, which recently emerged from bankruptcy, is considering its business options. "Our plan is to build a business here and to put the spectrum to use," Smith said.
Long Beach, Calif., is using a public-private partnership to build a new $530 million city hall, port headquarters, library and park. The project includes two 11-story buildings, and the city will pay for the projects over 40 years. A $390 million courthouse in Long Beach was also built using P3.
The US Supreme Court has voted 5-4 to temporarily bar the government from implementing President Barack Obama's plan to cut emissions from coal-fired power plants. The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is set to hear arguments June 2. American Wind Energy Association CEO Tom Kiernan said the stay "does not mean the Clean Power Plan has been overturned; to the contrary, we are confident that once the courts carefully consider the merits of these cases, the Clean Power Plan will stand."
Easterwood Airport in College Station, Texas, is set to receive $4 million in federal grants. The money will be used to improve the Transportation Security Administration checkpoint area and add a cafe to the secure side of the facility.
American Airlines offers a concierge service, Five Star Service, that can be purchased as an amenity. Chris Chamberlin tested the service in Los Angeles and New York, and concluded that "American Airlines' VIP service makes travelling as effortless as possible for seriously high flyers -- on departure, at least."