Latest Podcast: Gig Worker Change Considered by Department of Labor


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Gig Workers Change Considered by DOL

Last month, the Department of Labor proposed a change to the way it determines the classification of independent contractors. If it eventually becomes law, the rule change would have a lasting effect on the gig economy and gig workers. Kashyap Deorah, CEO of HyperTrack, talks about the balancing act in front of the DOL.

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How Alen Expanded from DTC/Ecomm Onto Lowe’s Shelves

For 16 years, Alen has been selling its a top-rated air purifiers on Alen.com and Amazon. Now the company has expanded into retail, with product in 300+ Lowe’s stores, with potential for expansion. Alen has seen sales climb 210% growth since 2020. The CEO and the COO of Alen talk about the company’s growth and channel approach.

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Ocean Shipping Reform Act: Rework Container Fee Assessment

The Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 is intended to promote U.S. exports and make ocean transport more competitive, efficient and economical. But a requirement that invoices list the date of container accessibility is proving to be a fly in the ointment. Bryn Heimbeck of Trade Tech Inc. explains efforts to address the inequity.

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One Broker’s View: Let’s Lift OT Exemption for Truckers

Companion bills in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate aim to amend the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act, removing the overtime exemption for truckers. Predictably, it’s opposed by shippers and rail carriers, and supported by unions, trucking associations and safety groups. A spokesman for a major auto carrier explains why he supports it.

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Putting Kroger and Albertsons in Context

Last week Kroger announced it was acquiring Albertsons for $24.5B, a major deal on the order of Amazon buying Whole Foods in 2017 that immediately reshaped the power structure in grocery. Neil Saunders, managing director and retail analyst at GlobalData Retail, helps us put the deal in context in our latest MCM CommerceChat podcast.

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Kroger’s 84.51° Labs: Pushing the Boundaries of Data Science

Kroger and its data arm, 84.51°, have launched a Science and Technology Solutions team. The focus is on delivering science and technology solutions that revolutionize customer engagement in retail. Andrew Cron, Chief Scientist and SVP of Science, and Barbara Connors, VP of Strategy and Acceleration at 84.51°, explain more in this podcast.

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Amazon Aggregators: One Player’s View on the Shifting Space

Amazon aggregators have become much more selective with brand acquisition and they’re watching the bottom line, while forming alliances with non-Amazon marketplaces. They’re also affected by inflation and consumer spending. Max Firsau, co-founder of Accel Club, shares his thoughts about the space and explains his model.

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Amazon, iRobot and the Smart Home Data Play

Amazon has purchased iRobot, naturally raising some privacy concerns about the use of consumer data in combination from Roomba, Alexa and Ring devices. It also fits in nicely with Amazon’s bigger ambition to own the smart home market. Jason Boyce, founder and CEO of Avenue7Media, discusses this as well as antitrust concerns.

The CHIPS Act and Retail

The CHIPS act, which passed Congress in late July, sets aside $52B in subsidies and tax credits to boost domestic production and R&D, helping reduce our dependence on China’s semiconductor dominance. In this MCM CommerceChat podcast, Spencer Shute, a consultant at Proxima, helps us understand the importance for retail.

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The Changing Face of Scarcity

While scarcity has always been a tool used to drive desirability and prestige, inflation and supply chain issues have been changing consumers’ relationship to it. In this MCM CommerceChat podcast, Katie Thomas of the Kearney Consumer Institute, explains the changing nature of scarcity, and how to watch for the scarcity tipping point.

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