After Covid-19, big retailers now own 90% of the online pet food market. Can a new organization help small pet shops hang on?

An illustration of a pack of dogs surrounding and growling at two dogs. One dog is a doberman wearing a collar with the Chewy logo, the other dog is a bulldog wearing a collar with the Amazon logo. The two dogs are sitting on top of a mountain of dog treats.

As the cold darkness of winter set in and the calendar flipped to a second year of Covid life, Kaite Giordano, a fourth-grade teacher in New York City and the mother of seven-year-old James, made a major decision. To break free from the doldrums, their Brooklyn household needed to expand.

This originally ran at The Classical in 2013. I dusted it off, updated it a bit, and present it here because I think it captures Mom, Dad and my childhood in their own unique ways. Thinking a lot on those days gone by.

R.I.P. to all three.

Down five runs…

After another week of pandemic and economic whiplash — these books can help you get comfortable with unpredictability

A businessman reading on his digital tablet while standing near a window, next to his filled bookshelves.

In the current climate of uncertainty, mainlining Twitter while trying to forecast impossible economic (and health) scenarios is not going to lift you from the morass of anxiety. Nor is it particularly useful. In fact, it’s a constant reinforcement of “negativity bias,” the hardwiring of our brains to seek out…

Inside the surreal and lucrative two-sided marketplace of mediocre famous people

“Who’s the most famous person on the planet?” asks Steven Galanis. “Someone we would want to book?”

It’s a bitterly cold January evening in Chicago, and we’re huddled at a whiteboard inside the nearly empty headquarters of Galanis’ company, Cameo, a fast-growing startup that peddles personalized celebrity videos.

“Uh, Leonardo…

An aging population, a trade war, and now a pandemic have left the Chinese working class reeling

A woman worker assembles earphones for export in a factory in Suining in southwest China’s Sichuan province on Dec. 17, 2019.

On March 2, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released a report entitled “Coronavirus: The World Economy at Risk.” The report is heavily focused on China and how the country’s projected slow growth of under 5%, due to stagnating industrial production and consumer demand — and the outbreak…

Black customers and business owners have long loved the franchise, but does it love them back?

In 1979, McDonald’s ran a print ad aimed squarely at the African American marketplace. The headline read “Do Your Dinnertimin’ at McDonald’s” and let black customers know “you don’t have to get dressed up” and “there’s no tipping.” The ad resurfaced a few years ago and took a proper fisking…

The Nobel-winning economist and New York Times opinion columnist talks to Marker about tax cuts, trade wars, his new book, and more

In 2011, the Department of Defense released “CONPLAN 8888–11,” a lengthy detailed 31-page plan for battling the impending zombie apocalypse that was “not actually designed as a joke.” An article at History.com explained it was a training exercise with three goals in mind. “First, create and uphold a defensive plan…

In 2016, New York City’s biggest circus went bankrupt. Here’s how the new owners are bringing it back.

As the lights flashed and the music pulsated, I took a swig of Irish whiskey from my plastic balloon-animal dog tumbler and said to my wife, “There is nooooooooo way Doogie Howser is going to take a run at the Wheel of Death.”

I was wrong. Neil Patrick Harris himself…

Patrick J. Sauer

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