Inside a 6-hour e-commerce livestream in China

by Jennifer Pak Jan 16, 2020
Eva Wang and Sam Tian quit their jobs to make a go of it selling on Alibaba's Taobao livestreaming service.
Sam Tian and Eva Wang during a livestream show. The couple quit their ad sales and teaching jobs last year to become Taobao influencers.
Courtesy of Sam Tian
The Season

For retailers, holiday shopping was strong. But the way we shop is changing.

by Sean McHenry Jan 6, 2020
We followed three small business retailers throughout the holiday shopping season. Here's the final word on how it went.
A UPS worker sorts packages to be loaded onto a delivery truck at the UPS sort facility in South San Francisco, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Workplace Culture

E-commerce continues to change the nature of seasonal work

by Meghan McCarty Carino Dec 2, 2019
There are fewer seasonal retail jobs, but hiring in warehousing and transportation have picked up the slack.
A woman works at a distribution station at an Amazon fulfillment center in Staten Island in February 2019.
Johannes Eiselle/AFP via Getty Images

Back-to-school shopping is moving online

by Erika Beras Aug 6, 2019
One professor suggests kids are missing out on the "experiential dimension" of the start of a new school year.
Shoppers peruse notebooks and other back-to-school items in a Wal-Mart store in 2003 in Rolling Meadows, Illinois.
Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Retail sales up, retail stores down

by Mitchell Hartman Jul 16, 2019
Gains by online merchants often come at the expense of brick-and-mortar stores.
A "closing sale" sign stands outside one of the last few open stores at the Schuylkill Mall in Frackville, Pennsylvania. The mall closed in 2018.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Amazon's 1994 launch offered "proof of concept" for e-commerce

by Ben Bradford Jul 5, 2019
Amazon opened as an online bookstore. But chief executive Jeff Bezos always wanted to sell more than books.
An Amazon company timeline starts with the founding in 1994 at the Amazon Fulfillment Center on August 1, 2017 in Robbinsville, New Jersey.
Mark Makela/Getty Images

What Blackstone's purchase of $18 billion worth of warehouse space tells us about e-commerce.

by Amy Scott Jun 3, 2019
For online retailers, urban warehouses are the key to same-day delivery.
Packages are prepared for delivery at a warehouse in 2014.
Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Invest in Marketplace today

Ask not what Marketplace can do for you, but what you can do for Marketplace.

Walmart reports a great holiday quarter

by Erika Beras Feb 19, 2019
Booming e-commerce, robust toy sales, and grocery pick-up and delivery powered the retailer to one of its strongest quarters in years.
Divided Decade

Divided Decade: How the financial crisis changed retail

by Tommy Andres Dec 20, 2018
A decade later, everything is still on sale.
American consumers have gotten used to deep discounts that started during the Great Recession.
iStock / Getty Images

In this Texas Hill Country town, "tradio" is vital for commerce

by Andy Uhler Dec 13, 2018
It's entertainment, gossip and a window into rural American life.
KNEL 95.3 FM is a local radio station in Brady, Texas.
Andy Uhler/Marketplace

We’re here for you.

As COVID-19 reshapes our economy, our newsletter will help you unpack the news from the day.