CNN: They built their businesses on Instagram. Then the platform changed

CNN: They built their businesses on Instagram. Then the platform changed. “As Instagram increasingly prioritizes videos and recommended posts in users’ feeds in an effort to keep pace with rival TikTok, some small businesses that were built on the platform are having a harder time reaching their followers and facing declining engagement, and say they’re worried about the future of their businesses.”

Input Magazine: Inside the subreddit dedicated to busting shoplifters

Input Magazine: Inside the subreddit dedicated to busting shoplifters. “Because others don’t understand the thrill of busting shoplifters, people like [Alex] McLeod are increasingly turning to Reddit to find people who do. He’s one of the many shoplifting-prevention staff employed by corporations across North America who’s joined r/LossPrevention, a 55,000-member hub for corporate employees battling crime.”

Clare Herald: New website showcases life of Brendan O’Regan

Clare Herald: New website showcases life of Brendan O’Regan. “Brendan O’Regan’s many achievements include setting up the world’s first duty-free airport retail outlet at Shannon Airport. In economic terms, he initiated Ireland’s first programme of foreign direct investment in manufacturing, based on a favourable enterprise climate. Internationally, he is acknowledged as the father of the €70 billion a year airport duty-free business.”

Automakers take a new approach to selling cars: gourmet restaurants, track drives (ABC News)

ABC News: Automakers take a new approach to selling cars: gourmet restaurants, track drives. “Auto shows were once a marquee event for automakers — a way to let interested buyers see, sit in, touch and get acquainted with the latest models. With many companies pulling out of shows over exorbitant fees and the COVID pandemic canceling shows all over the world, automakers are taking a new approach to win over customers: Haute cuisine and experience centers.”

‘There’s more here than we even imagined’: Historic Beale Street store Abe Schwab’s being ‘digitized’ (Commercial Appeal)

Commercial Appeal: ‘There’s more here than we even imagined’: Historic Beale Street store Abe Schwab’s being ‘digitized’. “Established in 1876 and located at its current home since 1911, the A. Schwab dry goods store, souvenir shop, soda fountain, haberdashery and hoodoo emporium in the heart of the Beale Street entertainment district might be considered a museum of history and culture even if it did not, in fact, contain exhibits of antique artifacts and vintage photographs within the hoarder’s heaven of its cluttered, colorful, multi-level interior.”

New York Times: How a Dollar General Employee Went Viral on TikTok

New York Times: How a Dollar General Employee Went Viral on TikTok. “Before March 28, [Mary] Gundel’s TikTok page was a mix of posts about hair extensions and her recent dental surgery. Now it is a daily digest dedicated to fomenting revolt at a major American company. She’s trying to build what she calls a ‘movement’ of workers who feel overworked and disrespected and is encouraging Dollar General employees to form a union.”

ABC News: US retail spending slows as inflation starts to bite

ABC News: US retail spending slows as inflation starts to bite. “Retail sales increased 0.3% after registering a revised 4.9% jump from December to January, fueled by wage gains, solid hiring and more money in banking accounts, according to the Commerce Department. January’s increase was the biggest jump in spending since last March, when American households received a final federal stimulus check of $1,400.”

Korea Times: Cultural artifact-inspired merchandise gets makeover

Korea Times: Cultural artifact-inspired merchandise gets makeover . “Traditional souvenirs filling the shelves of Korean museum shops have long been stereotyped as items that lack practicality and that often fail to go well with interior decor, due to their faithful yet outdated designs. Once purchased or gifted, it isn’t unusual for these products to be tucked away in a corner of a room, slowly forgotten as they gather dust. However, a recent string of makeovers of state-run museums’ relic-inspired merchandise have added a feeling of freshness to the shop’s vitrines.”

The Verge: Apple Stores drop mask requirements for customers in several states

The Verge: Apple Stores drop mask requirements for customers in several states. “Apple will no longer require customers to wear masks in a number of Apple stores across the US, including in Ohio, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, Georgia, and other states that have recently dropped local mask mandates, according to a report by Bloomberg. Employees at Apple stores will still be required to wear masks regardless of vaccination status, however.”

Philadelphia Inquirer: Only four Kmarts are left in the U.S. and two are in New Jersey

Philadelphia Inquirer: Only four Kmarts are left in the U.S. and two are in New Jersey. “Ben Schultz, 23, was too young to have experienced Kmart’s powerful hold on American retailing. Plus, he said, ‘my family was more of a Target family.’ In his teen years, Schultz worked at a McDonald’s in a parking lot in front of a Kmart. ‘On my lunch break I would wander around there [the Kmart],’ he said. ‘There weren’t many people in there.’ Now a graduate student in public history at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, Schultz has become an expert on Kmarts and the company, putting together a spreadsheet and a map of every Kmart — when it opened and when it closed, with the address and other information.”

Associated Press: December retail sales slip after a record holiday season

Associated Press: December retail sales slip after a record holiday season. “Americans overlooked shortages, spiking prices and uncertainty over the omicron variant to break spending records during the critical holiday shopping season. But figures released Friday show that after spending robustly early in the holiday season, consumers sharply slowed their purchases from November to December.”

DCist: Some D.C. Trader Joe’s Workers Call The Company’s COVID Practices Into Question

DCist: Some D.C. Trader Joe’s Workers Call The Company’s COVID Practices Into Question. “There are fewer health and safety protocols at Trader Joe’s now than at any point in the pandemic, according to multiple grocery store workers at the Union Market location — despite unprecedented COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. (Two of the four workers who agreed to speak with DCist/WAMU asked not to be named because they feared retribution at work or had privacy concerns.) Vaccination reduces their risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19, but workers still hope to avoid exposure or infection, partly because quarantine could mean losing wages.”