The winds of change are blowing through the heartland – September 30, 2019
Turn and face the strange ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
1. Industries are being forever altered by technology. How are we adapting in Flyover Country? Today, we take a brief look at two industries undergoing change: Retail and music.
2. Today's generation of kids face an exciting and sometimes scary new world, but have more on-the-ball than ever.
3. New ways we show compassion towards vets and seniors.
September 30, 2019
Retail tech gets field-tested in new Mall of America store
It had to happen. Retail labs. They’re popping up everywhere, as retailers test various ways to boost in-store sales with high-tech features like “magic mirrors” (tap on a piece of jewelry and ta-da—you can see how it would look on you), fit-predictor software, and the option to use cryptocurrency. The technologies, similar to certain online shopping conveniences, are intended to help brick-and-mortar stores regain their footing in the “age of Amazon.”
And what better venue for a retail lab than Minnesota’s Mall of America?
Global business consultant McKinsey & Co. has spent the past year working with MOA to develop the Modern Retail Collective, a store that sells fashion and beauty merchandise with a tech-enhanced spin. Four brands are currently participating, but the lineup will change periodically. Providers like RetailNext, Zebra Technologies, and Microsoft will be handling the tech side of things.
It might seem odd for a business consultant to get into the retail biz, but it’s not for the money. McKinsey’s goal is to gather and analyze data that will reveal consumer shopping and buying preferences and identify technologies worth recommending to its corporate clients.
Store customers are told they’re part of a test, so presumably they’re okay with transitioning from mall rat to lab rat.
Nashville's Jammber is changing the way music is managed
Serial entrepreneur Marcus Cobb knew he'd stumbled upon something big after walking out of a record label office in 2014 mired in the music industry's old school inefficiencies. Originally planning on designing a networking tool for creatives, Cobb realized that artists and labels alike badly needed a comprehensive set of modern management tools to navigate a rapidly changing environment.
Study: How interested are children in politics?
Indiana skate park firm designs and builds “skate-able art”
If you grew up glued to your skateboard, the whole world was your skatepark. Broken sidewalks, homemade ramps, the library steps—and far more dangerous challenges that your parents couldn’t (and shouldn’t) imagine.
But skateboarding has evolved beyond backyard half pipes and sometimes risky (and often prohibited) street skating. The global skateboard market size is predicted to reach $2.4 billion by 2025, and the sport is being added to the 2020 Olympics. Best of all, municipal skateparks are popping up everywhere, serving as community hubs and gathering places for avid skaters. The parks do more than provide recreational and social opportunities, though. In many cases, they serve as public art.
Bloomington, IN-based Hunger Skateparks understands both the functionality (the company is “skateboarder owned and operated”) and the aesthetics of the parks they create. The company works with communities and artists to incorporate decorative touches that pay tribute to the local history and culture. For instance, they’re building a flow park in New Albany, IN, that reflects the town’s river heritage with mosaics, integrated colors, stamping, and steel fabrication—a unique, skate-able work of art.
Michigan’s “Heroes to Hives”: Helping vets, helping bees
Michigan State University Extension is offering a program with a twofold mission: to help veterans cope with the mental effects of combat and to help protect honeybees. Yep. Honeybees.
Minnesota funds housing support for seniors
Minnesota is enacting a first-in-the-nation plan to help poor, elderly, and disabled people stay in their homes under its state Medicaid program. The effort will help thousands of people avoid homelessness and costly institutional care. An estimated 7,600 people will gain access to a variety of services. The program will begin next July.
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