Pandemic

Cardboard box prices skyrocket as COVID-19 pandemic causes spike in online orders

The value of the humble cardboard box is on the rise, with demand for deliveries and online shopping not slowing down as the coronavirus pandemic nears an end.

Materials needed to make cardboard boxes, called corrugate, cannot be produced quickly enough, and facilities like Welch Packaging in Elkart, Indiana are feeling the impact of triple the work and not enough supplies.

“We’re operating three shifts, full time,” Welch Packing Vice President Andy Reith told FOX Business’ Jeff Flock. “And we run about eight million square feet every day.”

In 2020 alone, the industry produced more than 407 billion square feet of corrugated material due to heightened demand – enough to completely cover the states of Connecticut and New Jersey.

AMAZON SCORES RECORD SALES FOR ANY THREE-MONTH PERIOD EVER

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Reith explained that the bottleneck holding back

Read More

Dog Fashion for Your Pandemic Puppy Goes Luxury

ON A RECENT sunny day, a French bulldog named Hector took a walk with his owner to a café near their home in Los Angeles. As usual, Hector wore his $380 French leather “Dorró” collar and $520 “Tascher” leash, both in beige. That day he left his $680 “Colombo” harness at home, although it’s one of his favorites. All are made by Pagerie, the high-end dog accessories company launched by his owner, Mandy Madden Kelley, a lawyer turned fashion influencer turned entrepreneur. According to Ms. Madden Kelley, a neighbor walking a cat (this was Los Angeles, after all) stopped and asked where Hector’s accessories came from. “It literally looks like it’s Hermès or something,” the admirer said.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

Would you invest in designer dog accessories? Join the conversation below.

For Ms. Madden Kelley—a New Zealander who blogs about motherhood, beauty and, yes, dogs—it was a gratifying moment. “I

Read More

Did the Pandemic Permanently Shift Consumer Habits Towards Online Buying?

Last year, consumers flocked to online retailers as the pandemic closed non-essential brick-and-mortar stores. Now that a year has passed, and we are beginning to get vaccinated, will consumers continue their online shopping habits in 2021 and beyond? On a Fool Live episode recorded on Jan. 19, Fool contributors Jason Hall, Danny Vena, Brian Withers, and Fool analyst Dylan Lewis discuss the trend in e-commerce and whether buying habits have permanently changed.

Jason Hall: Our next question here, this comes from Brian Withers. I think this is really good. Brian, you’re asking, “With e-commerce, have consumer habits permanently changed toward online buying?” Tell us what you mean.

Brian Withers: Yeah, a number of the companies that are in the e-commerce business, Shopify (NYSE:SHOP), Etsy, I think even Wayfair management has come out and said that, I think it’s a little bold, that consumer habits have

Read More

Costco 4Q profits rise, helped by pandemic shopping habits

ISSAQUAH, Wash. (AP) — Warehouse retail chain Costco Wholesale said its fourth-quarter profits rose slightly from a year ago, its profits weighed by wage premiums paid to employees during the pandemic.

In a quarter during which Costco saw a surge of online shopping, the company based in Issaquah, Washington, said it earned $951 million, or $2.14 per share. That’s compared to a profit of $931 million, or $2.10 per share, in the same period a year earlier.

But the results were below analysts’ expectations, pushing the Costco’s stock down about 2% in after-hours trading.

The average estimate of 13 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $2.42 per share in the latest quarter.

Costco said the premium COVID-19 pay for its employees trimmed its profits by 41 cents per share.

Costco has been one retailer that has mostly benefited from the pandemic, as stay-at-home Americans stocked up

Read More