Magic Leap’s possible death throes have little to do with COVID-19

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The Florida-based company’s problems are 10 years in the making. The bill has come due. It now appears that the augmented reality company Magic Leap is at risk of imploding. The Florida-based company reportedly laid off half of its employees on April 22. A new report from The Information’ s Alex Heath on Tuesday says the company is now looking for new funding, or a buyer, and if it can’t find either it will lay off the rest of its staff by June 21. Read Full Story

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Airbnb lays off 25% of its workforce in a dramatic retrenchment for the COVID-19 era

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In a memo to staff today, CEO Brian Chesky said Airbnb’s 2020 revenue is expected to be less than half of what it was last year. Refocusing its efforts for a travel ecosphere that will be dramatically and permanently reshaped by the coronavirus pandemic, Airbnb plans to lay off almost 1,900 employees, or about 25% of its workforce—a substantial downsizing for what was seen as one of the world’s most valuable startups only a few short months ago. Read Full Story

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Breaking: Casper lays off 78 corporate employees, winds down Europe business

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The embattled mattress startup is the latest brand to announce layoffs during the COVID-19 crisis, releasing a third of its HQ staff and closing its Europe business. Casper is the latest direct-to-consumer startup to announce significant layoffs in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. Today, the six-year-old brand laid off 78 employees from the corporate team, which makes up 21% of its total corporate workforce. The company is also winding down its European operations and its 31-person headquarters in Germany, according to a person familiar with the matter. The other employees who were laid off came from various departments, including marketing and product development. According to a statement from the company, this will result in “more than $10 million in annualized savings, and are part of the company’s overall focus on achieving profitability.” Greg Macfarlane, Casper’s CFO and COO, will depart the company in May. Read Full Story

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New study shows digital engagement is key to post-pandemic ecommerce customer retention

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30-second summary: COVID-19 has accelerated consumers’ shift to online shopping around the world, making digital strategy critical to retailer success, both now and in the future Analyzing these behavior trends yields insights about elevated retention risk, the primacy of mobile, shifts in purchase motivation, and in what drives brand affinity The holiday season will see many consumers planning to spend less, and to support local small retailers, so digital marketers must adapt Best-practice marketing strategies are now mission critical: Focus on customer relevance through personalization, seamless cross-channel experiences, and empathetic messaging across the lifecycle, or consumers will move on As the summer winds down, many of us are holding our breath in anticipation of another wave of pandemic-related headlines, guidelines, and obstacles to business as usual. The only thing we seem to be able to count on is change. That’s certainly the case in the retail industry, which has experienced …

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Former Google recruiter: Here’s how to ace a remote job interview

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Just because you’re in the comfort of your own home doesn’t mean it’s okay to dial into a remote job interview wearing an old pair of sweatpants. Experts predict that more than half of US jobs are at risk because of coronavirus, as companies lay off staff and put in place hiring freezes. But many–the likes of Slack, Apple, and Microsoft—are still looking to build out their teams. Read Full Story

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Texas says stores can reopen, but will they? Here’s how some brands are redesigning their spaces

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There will be a lot less browsing and a lot more disinfecting. On the evening of March 13, Neighborhood Goods opened its boutique in Austin, Texas, as part of a planned 2020 expansion. The startup brings together digital brands such as Dollar Shave Club, Rockets of Awesome, and Rec Room, and the next day, its store was filled with customers even as CEO Matt Alexander was getting news alerts of the coronavirus’s spread in the United States. By lunchtime, after less than a day in business, he decided to shutter the store. Read Full Story

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Preparing E-Commerce for the Post-COVID Bounce Back

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Posted by MrLukeCarthy COVID-19 has switched up life as we know it, and it’s unlikely to stop doing so for some time. E-commerce shopping is a perfect example of how things have changed, and in a number of ways. If you feel like Shopify has been dropping huge, disruptive news bombs practically each week now, you’re right! And who’d have guessed that in the UK, the exclusively online supermarket, Ocado, is now worth more than brick-and-mortar grocers Morrisons, Sainsbury's, and Marks and Spencer combined. The speed of transformation in e-commerce since the COVID-19 outbreak (an already fast-paced industry) has been savage. Supply chains are under strain for many brands selling online (especially where demand is high and supplies are low). How do you best manage expectations and maximize every opportunity to sell to your target audience? With your consumers now relying on the world of online shopping more than ever, …

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‘I’ve never cried so much’: Kith/Kin chef Kwame Onwuachi on closing his D.C. restaurant

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The James Beard Award-winning chef takes us inside his decision to close his restaurant and lay off his staff in response to COVID-19. For Fast Company’ s new Restaurant Diaries series, we’re asking chefs, restaurateurs, and other food-world entrepreneurs to take readers inside their businesses at this critical moment for the industry. They are on the frontlines of responding to the economic impact of COVID-19. Here’s what it’s like. Read Full Story

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