All posts by beixixu2017

Chicago’s new Riverwalk is expected to serve more tourists

By Beixi(Bessie) Xu

Tomorrow is the official opening of Chicago’s Riverwalk summer activites, many free events are open to public from 9 a.m to 9 p.m.

The new Riverwalk is a 1.25-mile promenade through the whole city from lake shore drive to Lake street along the south bank of the Chicago river. It is a good place for tourists to enjoy the architecture, and vendors along the Riverwalk are expecting to have better summer sales.

​Photo at top: Tourists are enjoying the city on Chicago’s new Riverwalk.(Beixi Xu/MEDILL)​

Pilsen store uses new media to sell vintage items

By Beixi Xu

With more than 400 thrift stores in Chicago, some owners are trying new methods to reach an audience and break free from the pack. ​​Pilsen Vintage and Thrift is the largest store of its kind in the Pilsen community. Two years ago, the owner began to use social media and now has over 2,000 followers on Instagram and Facebook.​

​Photo at top: Owner Paul Guizar arranges a rack of clothes at Pilsen Vintage and Thrift.(Beixi Xu/MEDILL)​

Chicago Mosaic School pieces together art and students

By Beixi(Bessie) Xu and Wenjing Yang

The Chicago Mosaic School is the first non-profit mosaic arts school in the U.S. CMS gives artists, teachers and students a place to explore all facets of the craft.

The school has graduated more than 3,000 students and lets participants collaborate and create sustainable Mosaic Art for public or commercial spaces.

Real Good Juice is enjoying really good sales

​​ By Beixi(Bessie) Xu

In Chicago there’s a cold press juice company that is very successful. Given its growth, it is living up to its name, Real Good Juice. It’s only been open for two years, and is expanding rapidly.

​Photo at top: Organic drinks in Real Good Juice Southport store.(Beixi Xu/MEDILL)​

Gasoline prices expected to keep rising this summer

By Beixi(Bessie) Xu

According to a recent AAA survey, the national average gas price will go up 40 cents per gallon this summer, peaking near $2.70. In Chicago, analysts expect prices to rise even more, surpassing $3 per gallon.

Drivers in downtown Chicago are noticing the rising price of gasoline, but aren’t overly concerned just yet.

​Photo at top:Drivers are pumping gas in BP gas station on LaSalle Street.(Beixi Xu/MEDILL)​

Explosive Ulta Beauty will open 100 more stores

By Beixi Xu

Gina Torres, a Chicagoan who works in Home Depot, just finished shopping in Ulta Beauty’s North Avenue store.​

“I am a fan of the store, and I get my cosmetics here, today I got my new eyeliner,” said Torres. “I live not far from here, only three to five miles. I usually drive here, and the parking is free in this area.”

Based in Bolingbrook, Ulta Beauty Inc. is the largest national beauty retailer featuring cosmetics, fragrances, skin and hair care products and salon services. As of Jan. 28, 2017, Ulta Beauty operates 974 retail stores across 48 states and offers more than 20,000 products from over 500 well-established and emerging beauty brands through its website.

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Chinese entrepreneurs still find success in Chicago

By Beixi (Bessie) Xu

In Chicago there’s a Chinese online food ordering platform that became known for its modest $1 delivery fee. All the co-founders and employees are Chinese, it delivers meals of 26 Asian restaurants, mostly in Chinatown, and after just two years, it already has 12,000 users, 90 percent of them Chinese. This is Chowbus.

It was launched by Linxin Wen, now 27, then a graduate student in public administration who objected to paying higher meal delivery fees. “At that time I was a master’s student in Illinois Institute of Technology. When I ordered food I found the delivery fee in Chicago is ridiculous. I spent $5 to $10 for each meal. At that time I figured out there should be some way to reduce the high delivery fee,” Wen recalled.

The staff of Chowbus is all Chinese, all young and full of passion.

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In Japan, Chinese take jobs to serve Chinese visitors

By Beixi (Bessie) Xu

When you walk on Tokyo’s street, it is not surprising to see store signs in Chinese, hear a Chinese accent or see Chinese names on the name tags of waiters or store clerks. In nearly every store one sees Chinese clerks who speak Mandarin to help Chinese shoppers pick out their favorite products.​

Chinese signs in the shopping area near the Shibuya subway station.

There were 674,879 Chinese living in Japan last year, ten times as many as in 1984, according to Japanese government data.

Yan Lu, a 27-year-old from Hebei province, works in Zoff, a glasses shop near the big Omotesandou subway station.
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Best Buy shares drop on revenue decline

By Beixi(Bessie) Xu

Shares of Best Buy Co., Inc. slumped 4.5 percent Wednesday after the company reported a big jump in fourth quarter earnings but a decline in revenue.​

“Their sales were negative last quarter, and I think people got nervous that in a long run their sales are still going to go away to other competitors,” said Brandon Fletcher, senior analyst at AllianceBernstein, in a phone interview. “The numbers of assets they have are not useful to those sales, and will inevitably cause the stock to continually go down.”

Best Buy’s net income in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 28 jumped 37 percent to $607 million, or $1.91 per diluted share, from $479 million, or $1.40 per diluted share, in the year-earlier quarter. The consensus estimate was $1.66, according to Zacks Investment Research.
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Target earnings slump, shares plummet

By Beixi (Bessie) Xu

Target Corp.’s net income decreased 37 percent in the fourth quarter from the prior-year period due to a progression of changes in its business model. The earnings fell short of analysts’ expectations, sending the shares tumbling 12.2 percent Tuesday.​

The stock decline was due to the “significant reduction in guidance and increased risk from shift in business strategy,” wrote Claire Chamberlin, an analyst at Stifel Financial Corp., in a note. “The stock market is inline with historical averages and a discount to big-box retail peers, and I believe is appropriate given weak fundamentals and the noted shift in business strategy.”

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