Radio Atlantic: Bricks, Clicks, and the Future of Shopping

The ‘retail apocalypse’ is upon us, they say. In the United States, 2017 saw emptied malls, shuttered department stores, and once-iconic brands falling into bankruptcy. Yet retail spending continues to grow, in strange new directions that could have significant effects. What will shopping look like in the future? How will these changes reverberate throughout the country? Atlantic editor Gillian White joins our hosts to discuss.

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“The 4 Reasons Why 2017 Is a Tipping Point for Retail” (Derek Thompson, November 16, 2017)
“All the Ways Retail’s Decline Could Hurt America’s Towns” (Alana Semuels, May 2017)
“The Future of Retail Is Stores That Aren’t Stores” (Joe Pinsker, September 14, 2017)
“How to Rebuild After the Retail Apocalypse” (Richard Florida, December 23, 2017)
“How Dollar General Became Rural America’s Store of Choice” (Sarah Nassauer, Wall Street Journal, December 15, 2017)
Futureface (Alex Wagner, 2018)
“The Appropriate Weight of Grief” (Michael Zadoorian, ART + marketing, May 6, 2016)
“The Lesson of the Moth” (Don Marquis)
…read more

Source:: <a href= target="_blank" title="Radio Atlantic: Bricks, Clicks, and the Future of Shopping” >The Atlantic – Business

Summit draws 14k for celebration of Utah tech scene

SALT LAKE CITY — Titans of innovation, both Utah-grown and from across the country, helped launch day one of the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit Thursday, and the 14,000-plus in attendance where no less amped for it than any arena-rock show.

Executives and board members from Silicon Slopes, a nonprofit advocacy group for the state’s tech sector, were particularly ecstatic with the turnout, which almost tripled the 5,000 who attended the debut gathering last year.

“We’re all now witnessing the biggest tech event in Utah history,” Silicon Slopes Executive Director Clint Betts told the morning audience. “The people in this room believe that a world-class tech summit, and a world-class tech community, could be built in Utah and I believe we proved that today, don’t you?”

Utah’s technology and innovation industry has evolved into an economic powerhouse, contributing to ongoing economic prosperity and fueling the lion’s share of the state’s nation-leading job growth rate of over 3 percent. The success of local tech ventures is also outsized for the market, as noted by Silicon Slopes board member and Qualtrics founder/CEO Ryan Smith.

“We could be seeing four IPO’s in the state of Utah this year,” Smith said. “For our size, that’s unbelievable.”

The state’s tech sector can trace its roots back to innovators that predate the dawn of the internet, like Novell and Wordperfect, but the modern iteration is proving to be a more vibrant ecosystem. Companies finding high levels of success are helping seed further ventures in a sort of self-replication process that’s growing the slate and impacts of tech-focused Utah businesses.

One of those examples is the path of serial entrepreneur and Domo founder/CEO Josh James, who previously built web analytics company Omniture, which he would go on to sell to Adobe in a move that brought Adobe to Utah. Now, Domo is thriving and …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News

Amazon says thanks, no thanks, to Utah’s HQ2 proposal

SALT LAKE CITY — While over 200 cities, states and provinces responded to the $5 billion/50,000 job carrot dangled by Amazon’s secondary headquarters proposal back in December, all but 20 got the stick Thursday — including Utah — when the company released its short list of finalists.

The call for proposals for the so-called HQ2 incited a scramble enticements and incentive offerings from prospective hosts for the new campus, but Utah’s approach, led by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, was one in keeping with state entities’ penchant for prudence. GOED Executive Director Val Hale told the Deseret News in September, shortly after the HQ2 news became public, that Utah would be taking a measured approach in assembling its proposal.

“We don’t get flashy and our incentives are never the most lucrative,” Hale said. “We protect the taxpayer by not paying companies up front. We’ll always be fundamentally based on post-performance.”

Hale, who was attending the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit Thursday, was pragmatic about the negative outcome for Utah.

“Certainly, there’s a lot of disappointment,” Hale said. “But, looking at the short list we can see that the cities were of much larger populations than we have here and almost all were on the East Coast.”

Hale added that he did get a call Thursday morning from Amazon reps who said they were “very impressed” with Utah’s proposal and noted their appreciation for the work that went into it.

Some reaction on Amazon’s decision to exclude Utah from the list of finalists from other local tech leaders attending the summit on Thursday:

• Dave Elkington, founder/CEO of InsideSales:

“It could have been good but look, we’re doing some great things here with up-and-coming companies in a lot of different areas. I think we’re going to be more than OK without them. Great things are happening here.”

• Cydni Tetro, …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News

Amy Iverson: Amy Iverson: No more signatures for credit card purchases, and it’s still safer than ever

You are at the checkout at the grocery store. You pay with a credit card, and the machine asks for your signature. At this point, do you A) actually sign your name, B) mark an ‘X,’ C) write your first initial with a long squiggle after it or D) just scribble.

It is a rare shopper who actually tries with any sincerity to write an actual signature at these point of sale machines.

I purchased the bulk of my Christmas gifts online and — surprise — never signed my name once when using my credit cards. That’s why we should all be shouting hallelujah that credit card companies are doing away with the inane in-store signature ritual all together.

Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover have announced this April that in-store signatures will become optional. The companies say this is the next step to enhancing security and convenience at the point of sale.

Convenient? For sure. But I’m guessing some readers may wonder if eliminating the signature may mean it could be easier for someone else to steal your card and use it.

Let me explain why that is nonsense. In the two years since Visa switched to EMV chip technology in the United States, fraud has declined 66 percent at stores with EMV chip-enabled readers.

Some people might still be a bit fuzzy on how the chip cards work. Each time a shopper uses a card at a chip-activated terminal, it generates a one-time code that approves the transaction.

You may also hear the term “tokenization.” This is the process of replacing the account number with that one-time code, called a token. Visa says this feature is virtually impossible to duplicate in counterfeit cards.

Discover says these new methods for transactions, like tokenization, multi-factor authentication and biometrics are …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News