Assorted Links Saturday
Americans are pushing back on the warehouse construction boom, and so much more.
The unconventional franchise model behind Chick-fil-A’s success:
As bilateral trade between Mexico and US hits record high, diplomatic relations sink to lowest point in decades: All eyes are now on Mexico’s proposed electricity reform, which threatens the interests of some of the world’s biggest energy companies, many of them in the U.S.
The last word with Mark Williams, Strategic Development Group: As Bob Dylan said in 1964, “The times they are a-changin’.” 2022 will be the most exciting time to be in economic development and site selection—ever!
New vehicle sales plunge as chip shortages, production cuts, low inventories drag on: Back where they’d been in 1979.
Can we 3D print a better face mask? How 3D printing can help mitigate PPE supply shortages in future pandemics.
Four week average of jobless claims makes all-time 55 year series low:
But that’s not the biggest story. Not only are the initial and 4-week averages pandemic lows, with the revisions initial claims last week is the lowest for the entire series going back almost 60 years with the exception of one week – November 30, 1968, which saw only 162,000 layoffs. The 4-week average was even better: this week’s number is the all-time series low, including all of the 1960s back to the series inception in 1966, as shown in the below graph which shows the current week’s numbers normed to 0.
And remember, the US population in the 1960s was only half of what it is now, so as a rate, this is by far the fewest % of layoffs in the population ever recorded. By the way, the revisions also indicate that layoffs were even lower than we thought – significantly below 200,000 per week – in 2018 and 2019.
Walgreens starts RATIONING baby formula as supply chain crunch hits new parents: 29% of the top-selling formulas are out of stock at stores across the US.
The great shift: For the first time in marketing history, misleading people turns out to be bad marketing.
Walmart dangles $110,000 starting pay to lure truck drivers: The retailer has also started training workers from other departments to become truck drivers to grow its in-house fleet.
Americans are pushing back on the warehouse construction boom: Opposition to distribution centers over noise, pollution and truck traffic is growing, complicating efforts to build logistics space.
A holistic approach to strengthening the semiconductor supply chain:
First, the United States should focus on deepening its high-tech collaboration with supply-chain partners such as South Korea, Taiwan, or even Europe. The U.S. should also amend immigration rules to permit more skilled workers to enter the country, augmenting the talent pool during a period of labor shortages and increasing the competitiveness of U.S.-based industry. We recommend this combination of policies rather than the costlier and riskier proposition of reshoring the industry from the ground up. The United States may not return to its 40% semiconductor manufacturing market share from the 1990s, but these policies would nonetheless help boost domestic production from 10-12% of the global market and increase supply-chain resilience while minimizing potential efficiency losses from over-reliance on local manufacturing.
The Costco membership model just keeps working & working:
The epitome of Costco's no-frills strategy is their $1.50 hot dog, which is a staple of the Costco experience and has been keeping customers coming back for 35+ years, charging $1.50 the entire time. Presumably at some point they began losing money with every hot dog sold, prompting the CEO to approach the founder, suggesting they raise the price, to which he was told "if you raise the [price of the] effing hot dog, I will kill you. Figure it out." — they figured it out.
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