The talk around the coffee machine

THE END OF MINI TOILETRIES

Intercontinental Hotels who own Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza hotels will be eliminating those cute mini shampoos, conditioner, shower caps, soaps, and lotion beginning in 2021. So no more collecting little mini bottles of stuff from the hotel. It’s not like we can’t afford to bring our own, they are just cute. I always hated opening them and collected them and put them in a basket in the guest bathroom, and didn’t want anyone to open them, silly I know. I thought they were the cutest thing to put in the bath. But I can see the push to stop with the plastics is important. And now the hotels are having meetings about what are we doing about our carbon footprints.

COLLEGE ADMISSIONS

After the fall out over the college admissions scam, there is another one afoot that falls this side of being legal. Wealthy families transferring guardianship of the kids to a relative or friends so the children can be treated as independent and qualify for financial assistance. It is barely legal and hardly ethical and now is being touted by some college consulting firms. It is being investigated by the Department of Education. You know, the truth is these kids grew up privileged and now you want to claim the need for financial aid. The anger here is what about the kids who really need financial aid. Same thing with wealthy parents paying to get their kids in school, hey if they don’t measure up too bad. It would seem regardless of the situation, someone has a scam going somewhere.

THE DIAMOND SQUEEZE

If you’re in diamonds, business is hard. What was once a highly lucrative trade—especially if you could become part of a small, elite group of companies that traded directly with diamond giant De Beers—has become a struggle as margins have compressed. In some cases, buyers and middlemen have been forced to sell the gems at a loss. That’s due to both slipping demand from the end customer, and banks that are less willing to extend financing to the industry, and wonder if this is part of the new lab diamonds becoming so popular that even DeBeers has the lab pink and blue and white diamonds.

OFF PRICE RETAILERS

Off-price retailers were stealing customers from the “regular retailer” but even that has changed. Now they are all competing with each other and the off-price stores find themselves on the downside. Now everyone including Amazon has their own off-price to compete with the brick and mortar off-price stores with their own promotions. Earnings per share are expected to drop off this year Off-price retailers have had quite a streak, soaking up sales, and most of it was siphoned off the department stores, whether the economy is good or bad, but all good things must come to an end. There will always be those who will continue to shop at the off-retail because they feel they are getting the best items at the best price.

MACY’S TO OPEN 25 NEW BACKSTAGE STORES

Most of the backstage stores are found within Macy’s but have different buying and distribution channels. The idea is to bring fun to the hunt and great deals to the Macy’s location. Backstage is dedicated to value and newness. shoppers will find an amazingly-priced assortment of recognizable brands and trends each visit. Frequent deliveries ensure there is always a new reason to come in and shop.” Sounds like someone is headed for being overstocked on a lot of stuff no one wants. This idea has been viewed by those in the industry as Macy’s sawing off its own legs. They are not too far off the track as Nordstrom has learned from opening The Rack, as it has been erosive to Nordstrom. One would think Macy’s might have observed this and voted against Backstage, but everyone thinks they can build a better mousetrap.

Thank you, Forbes and Retail Dive,