Thursday, August 24, 2017
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Helen Tupper: Busy lives require better goal-setting

Do you ever feel like days, weeks or even months go by when you’re not sure what you’ve really achieved or what your hard work has been in service of? I have learned that there are specific ‘tricks’ in goal setting and in how you go about achieving your goals that can increase your likelihood to actually complete them. Armed with these tricks, you can stop yourself getting stuck on autopilot and increase your sense of achievement and fulfilment. Setting better goals First, you need to focus on how you can set your goals, and yourself, up for success. I think about this in terms of how ‘zoom-in’ and ‘zoom-out’ goals work together. All too often, this is where people stop. Rather than fixating on the end goal, I can take confidence in knowing that if I complete each of these weekly steps, in five months I’ll be pressing submit. Instead, set a maximum of three active goals to work on and have a bank of other goals you can swap in when you’ve achieved them. Instead of fixating on how much better you’ll be/look/feel when you finally achieve your goal, focus on the positive benefits of the steps you’re taking towards your goals today. To go back to my MBA dissertation goal, one way I could enjoy each step of progress would be to work alongside my fellow students or to work outdoors in my garden, rather than stuck in my study on my own.

Trump’s Bruising Tweet Highlights Amazon’s Lingering Tax Fight

Online retailer doesn’t collect sales tax from merchants Supreme Court may revisit 1992 ruling establishing precedent President Donald Trump waded into a longstanding scrap between online retailers and their brick-and-mortar rivals with a Twitter posting Wednesday about Inc. and taxes. Despite a 1992 Supreme Court ruling that established the precedent for exempting online retailers from sales taxes, various states have enacted “Amazon laws” to tax online sales the same way that brick-and-mortar sales are taxed. At the federal level, several bipartisan bills have been introduced to allow states to mandate collection of the taxes, with the most recent one re-introduced this year and endorsed by Amazon. Independent merchants that list items on Amazon’s web store pay the company a sales commission as well as fees for packing and stowing products. Merchants who pay Amazon to stow and pack their products don’t know precisely where their inventory is stored, since they delegate that to Amazon, Thomson said. Amazon is somewhere between those two.” When asked about Trump’s tweet on Wednesday during a call with reporters, Target Corp. Chief Executive Officer Brian Cornell declined to comment beyond saying “We’re full taxpayers.” Getting rid of the online tax exemption would help the retail industry, according to Craig Johnson, president of consulting firm Customer Growth Partners. “It’s not as big of an issue as it used to be,” Johnson said. Revisiting Ruling The Supreme Court ruling said states couldn’t require out-of-state retailers to collect sales taxes from consumers unless those retailers had a physical presence -- through branches, warehouses or employees -- where the consumers were located. The ability for states and local governments to collect revenue hasn’t kept up with the proliferation of online shopping. “States are going to try many different tactics as part of their strategy to capture tax revenue from online sellers,” he said.


You Probably Live Near A Walmart, So It’s Depending On In-Store...

You Probably Live Near A Walmart, So It’s Depending On In-Store Pickup For Growth. Instead, the company wants to draw customers to its stores with pickup towers or grocery pickup points, or dispatch store employees to make deliveries. Towers of E-Commerce Dominance During today’s quarterly earnimgs confefence call, Walmart CEO Doug McMilon was pleased with the company’s increased sales growth. Its comparable store sales just keep increasing, and Walmart is using those online sales, which include grocery orders for pickup, to bring customers to the store. Or at least the parking lot. This is a practical matter. That means stopping by one is usually convenient, and changes the way that the company approaches e-commerce compared to its competitors. This year, the retailer is going hyper-local, storing more than a million supply lists for teachers, delivering full sets of school supplies to customers’ doorsteps (or local Walmart store) even before the academic year begins. A long way for Amazon to go We know that Walmart and Amazon are locked in a battle for national sales dominance, so it’s notable that while Amazon is working hard to expand its private label offerings and its food offerings, it has an obvious role model in Walmart. Amazon’s biggest brand in sales, the private-label electronics line AmazonBasics, sold $210 million in the first half of the year.

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Asda returns to sales growth but brand recovery is still some...

Asda returns to sales growth but brand recovery is still some way off. Asda returned to sales growth in its second quarter for the first time in three years as investments in price and the store experience convinced shoppers to return. Like-for-like sales (excluding petrol) were up 1.8% in the three months to 30 June, with Asda claiming one of its most successful Easter trading periods ever with total sales up 16%. Even without Easter, comparative sales would still have been up 1.1%. Doug McMillon, CEO at Asda’s parent company Walmart, says he is “encouraged” by the return to sales growth and that investments in price and store experience are resulting in shoppers visiting more often and increasing their basket sizes. “There’s still much more to be done, but we’re clearly headed in the right direction,” he says. Asda has been the worst performing of the big four supermarkets for a number of quarters. Asda will also need to focus on building up its brand. Its Index score, which measures a range of metrics including quality, impression and reputation, has barely inched up over the past year and it has a score of 14.9, putting it in ninth place in a list of 25 supermarket brands and behind all its major competitors. Only in terms of value does it beat its main rivals, coming in third with a score of 23 but still well behind Aldi on 46.7 and Lidl on 43.2.