Often much less maligned than its retail warehouse counterparts, Costco has developed a sort of cult following among thrifty shoppers and supporters of workers' rights alike.
You may have heard that the first Costco warehouse opened in Seattle and that their Kirkland brand was originally supposed to be "Seattle Signature." Perhaps you're also aware that the company spends no money on advertisements, instead hoping programs like their "treasure hunts," which feature steep but limited-time discounts on luxury -- and occasionally outlandish -- items, will keep customers coming back. Although Costco's current CEO, Craig Jelinek, claims he never touches the pizza, the super large and cheesy slices have become an American cult favorite.
Of course, their food courts are also famous for other items, like the hot dog and soda combo which has kept its price of $1.50 for almost three decades. Costco regularly rotates their partnerships with alcohol companies so this doesn't appear to be currently available, but there was a time when you could buy an actual "single barrel" of Jack Daniels' whiskey for $8499.99.
Other non-alcoholic "treasure" purchases in the past have included wedding dresses and a $1 million engagement ring. Costco has been called the "anti-Walmart" by publications from The New York Times to Gawker, and this is largely because of the way Costco compensates its employees.
Despite the sagging economy and challenges to the industry, Costco pays its hourly workers an average of $20.89 an hour, not including overtime (vs.
Costco works through contracting companies like Club Demonstration Services for help with certain store functions. Reports have said people from these third-party contractors count for up to 10 percent of in-store Costco workers, though this number is unconfirmed.
Founder Jim Sinegal was once served as executive vice president for merchandising at one of the original wholesale retailers, FedMart, and became the protege of its chairman, Sol Price. If you're feeling particularly morbid about society's future, you can always go to Costco's Emergency Kits & Supplies page to order things like the "Emergency Cube," which provides over 30,000 servings of food with a shelf life of 25 years. In late 2013, Costco accidentally labeled a "small percentage" of its Bibles as "fiction," which set off an uproar. According to IMDb, the apple pie from iconic '90s movie "American Pie" was purchased at Costco. Tiffany & Company: In February of 2013, the jewelry company filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit because Costco was selling rings labeled "Tiffany engagement rings," despite the jewelry not being authentic. Apple: Costco stopped carrying Apple products in 2010, after only being allowed to sell the iPod in stores and being barred from selling any Apple products online. Coca-Cola: After Coca-Cola failed to give Costco the price they wanted, the retailer took all of the soda off their shelves in 2009. Starbucks: Starbucks once failed to pass along savings to Costco after a price cut in coffee beans, which led the warehouse to threaten to pull all of their coffee products from their stores.
Costco makes an attempt to hire managerial and higher-level positions from within the company. Costco employs lead wine buyer Annette Alvarez-Peters, who is considered one of the most powerful wine buyers in the world and oversees the retailer's massive wine business.
Much like the liquors mentioned above, the Kirkland wines are usually just less-expensive versions of other well-respected wines.
In this graphic design tutorial, we’ll create a poster with light grunge features centered around a Nike shoe. The focus of our work is the product (the shoe); this is why we will create a soft, unobtrusive background with the goal of making the piece focus into the subject.
Place the texture’s layer between the shoe layer and the default white Photoshop Background layer.
After you have added the Color Overlay layer style, reduce texture layer’s Opacity to around 30%. Since the Blend Mode of the original texture layer is set to Overlay, we need to set the Blend Mode of the duplicated layer back to Normal. Next, grab the Burn Tool (O) from the Tools Panel to darken parts of the floor; in particular, we want to darken the bottom corners.
The floor is still too prominent — we want it to be more blended with the textured background. Tip: If you prefer, use a layer mask and a black brush on the floor layer to achieve the same result.
To complete the floor, create a new layer on top of it, select a black, large, soft brush and paint over the corners to darken them. For the light effect, start by creating a new layer that is immediately above the background layers. Then use a big, white soft brush and click once on the canvas with the Brush Tool (B) to create the light effect.
In order to achieve this result, we need to determine what colors to use by sampling parts of the shoe with the Eye Dropper Tool (I) and we also have to play with their colors to match shoe colors. Open this texture in Photoshop and double-click on the default white Background layer to unlock it. Grab the Magic Wand Tool (W), select the white area by clicking on a white area in the canvas (which should automatically select all white areas), and hit Delete to remove the background. Finally, create a layer mask on the paint shape, grab a soft, black brush and then use the Brush Tool (B) to erase a small area on the right side of the paint shape so that it looks as if it belongs to the shoe. Finally, for the last paint effect, I’ve applied the same adjustment layer used for the Bottom White Paint.
Select the shoe layer and create a layer mask on it by clicking on the Add layer mask button at the bottom of the Layers Panel.
Create a new layer below the shoe layer; we will add a soft shadow effect for the shoe on this layer.
Finally, reduce the layer Opacity until you’re satisfied with color contrasts in your composition. To style it a bit, I just added the Design Instruct logo and some cursive text for my site’s name (WeGraphics) on the bottom right part of the scene.
In this Photoshop graphic design tutorial, we went over a method for creating a lightly-grunged product ad poster featuring a colorful Nike shoe (which you can replace with your own product).
Sebastiano Guerriero is a 23-year-old Italian Graphic Designer who's spent the last two years studying graphics by himself. Thanks for stopping by Sneh, are we going to see elements of this in your Project 365 at LBOI?
Sebastiano Hello, I would like to know how to download the image of the page that I could download nike. Go to any conference these days and some whip-smart technogeek will declare that you must, “innovate or die,” and then dazzle you a wide array of case studies to illustrate the point. Put more simply, while strategy creates concrete plans for achieving objectives, innovation is about discovery, we never quite  know where we’re going until we get there.

Clearly, we need to develop frameworks for innovation that are separate from, although compatible with, strategy.
Competency:  Every organization has its own history and set of capabilities which determine its innovation competency. Tim Kastelle, who researches innovation, has built a powerful framework based on competence and commitment that will help you climb the ladder from laggard to world-class innovator. Strategy:  As every manager knows, resource allocation is a critical strategic element and therefore needs to be an integral part of aligning innovation to strategic objectives. Management:  Even the most competent firm which is able to deploy resources wisely still needs to manage innovation effectively. Defining a managerial approach to innovation starts with developing a better understanding of the problem you need to solve.
Unfortunately, some problems aren’t so easy to frame, like how to create a viable alternative to fossil fuels. Who is best placed to solve it?:  Once Jobs defined the iPod problem, it was clear that he needed to find a disk drive manufacturer who could meet his needs and, once he did, he built one of the most successful products in history.
Basic Research:  When you’re aim is to discover something truly new, neither the problem nor the domain is well defined.
Breakthrough Innovation:  Sometimes, although the problem is well defined, organizations (or even entire fields of endeavor) can get stuck. Disruptive Innovation:  The most troublesome area is disruptive innovation, because its value isn’t always immediately apparent.
Disruptive innovations generally target light or non-consumers of a category, so they require a new business model and have high failure rates. One thing that is especially confusing about innovation is that great innovators tend to be quite diverse and different from each other. The Innovation Management Matrix can help here as well, because upon a little reflection it becomes clear that successful innovators tend to focus on one area of the matrix.
Basic Research:  While most basic research happens in academic institutions, some businesses can excel at it as well. Xerox’s PARC division, on the other hand, shows both the potential and the pitfalls of basic research. Breakthrough Innovation:  There are those rare souls who are capable of making major breakthroughs, but usually only early in their career. That’s why many firms are turning to open innovation platforms such as Innocentive, which allow outsiders to solve problems that organizations are stuck on. Sustaining Innovation:  While everybody agrees that Apple is a superior innovator, the truth is that they rarely produce anything truly new. Disruptive Innovation: While every new Apple product turns heads, when Google comes out with something most people won’t even understand what it is much less how they’ll make money on it. 3M, the company that pioneered scotch tape and post-it notes, derives up to 30% of its revenue from products launched in the past 5 years.
While that’s not a viable solution for most companies, many firms are trying to achieve the same effect on a smaller scale with innovations days, hackathons and innovation labs, where employees are encouraged to think beyond existing lines of business. So it’s important to develop an effective innovation portfolio that has one primary area of focus, but also pursues other quadrants of the matrix as well and builds synergies between varied approaches.
In the final analysis, innovation has little to do with flashy conference presentations or exciting case studies. I like the use of Google, Apple and Netflix, which may be very soon the next Kodak, Blockbuster, or US Steel. I believe more companies need to read your article on a regular basis to remind them they need to be innovating. I’d be keen to know your views on innovation management technologies, and collaborative innovation management. We are strong believers in collaborative innovation management, which is why our small start-up that created a collaborative decision making tool specifically to address the benefits of collaborative, social decision making and advances in technology.
Hexigo is an outcome-driven collaborative innovation platform, that turns ideas and innovation and discussions into real outcomes!
Ket point is that leaders and management must believe this improvement process is important. SWING Integrator enables you to produce highly formatted, professional documents with Notes data in MS Office or OpenOffice*. Have you ever tried to achieve a degree of fine layout control and accurate printing required for business forms and documents? To edit the document later, only a single click on the document icon is needed to launch the authoring application and open the document. Office documents created by SWING Integrator can be converted to PDF with a single click, and optionally attached to an email. Easily merge an MS Word or OpenOffice Writer template with contact data from your contact management database (see how).
A central place where all document templates are managed ensures consistency of all business documents. When it comes to changes in document layout, there is no need for a programmer to intervene. SWING Integrator dynamically assembles Word documents using Notes data and user-defined rules that dictate when certain text and graphics are to be included or excluded. Enable business users to save reusable content such as standard clauses, product information, legal statements, and any other combinations of text and graphics to the Integrator’s Content Library.
These reusable fragments can either be inserted manually to a Word document while it is being edited (see screenshot), or template authors can create templates with dynamic inserts, so the documents automatically include certain reusable content (e.g. For example, a sales team can reduce manual repetitive tasks in creating sales proposals, by using a library of RFP questions and answers. Multivalue fields can be optionally expanded into multiple table rows in Word and Excel, and collapsed when they are saved back to Notes.
Develop Lotus Notes client-based applications, as well as Domino Web applications with consistent functionality. Once SWING Integrator has been plugged into the database (see how), it seamlessly integrates within it, becoming totally transparent to end-users. SWING Integrator provides you open design elements for easy customization and localization using Domino Designer.
But if you're one of these wholesale superfans, how much do you truly know about the company?
But if you're a true die-hard fan of the shopping mecca, you'll need to read on for the true treasures.

Nobody really considers Costco to be a "pizza chain," but with more than 400 stores in the United States, all but a couple with food courts, it is one the biggest pizza sellers in the country.
Sam's Club ended up selling the same thing so this wasn't exactly an exclusive, but the Walmart-owned brand sold the barrel for more than $1100 more than Costco's price.
Walmart founder Sam Walton wrote in his book "Made In America" that he named his company Walmart because of the "mart" in FedMart. Price started FedMart in San Diego during the early 1950s and would also end up creating another warehouse store called Price Club in 1976, which Costco would eventually buy. For those who don't remember, the scene features actor Jason Biggs violating an apple pie, only to have his father walk in and catch him in the act.
Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz reportedly called Costco owner Jim Sinegal and asked, "Who do you think you are? Some people who started working on the floor have even been subsidized by the company to get their graduate degrees.
Duplicate the texture layer by right-clicking on its layer in the Layers Panel and choosingDuplicate Layer in the menu that appears. In order to affect only the paint (and not all the layers that are below the Gradient Map adjustment layer), create a clipping mask (Layer > Create Clipping Mask) on the adjustment layer.
Secondly, I’ve added a Gradient Map adjustment layer going from a dark grey (#525252) to a lighter grey (#e6e6e6). Once the mask is created, you can use a black, soft brush for the Brush Tool (B) to erase parts of the shoe without losing any pixels (which is great if you want to modify your work, go back to its original state, or if you make a mistake — just delete the layer mask). He's the author of WeGraphics, a blog that publishes graphic design tutorials, articles about Graphic Design, and graphic design freebies.
It’s not just about using lots of fancy colors and shapes, this works well because the effects are very dynamic and match with a sporty theme. Everybody wants to be the next Apple, Google or Netflix, nobody wants to be the next Kokak, Blockbuster or US Steel. From a Notes form or view, a user selects an Office template, and SWING Integrator populates the document fields and properties with corresponding Notes data, according to the Template Setup document.
Complex tables, positioning images, headers and footers, or TOC might be an issue in Notes, but not in Word or Writer. When a Notes document is saved and closed, the corresponding Office document is saved into it and closed also. The good news is that in-place editing works consistently in the Notes client as well as in the Web browser (MS Internet Explorer), removing the need for an external upload component. Take advantage of advanced features in Excel such as PivotTables, conditional styling, and drilldown to analyze Notes data from your applications.
An authorized business user can use the familiar Office authoring tools to redesign the structure and style for business documents and reports.
The dynamic templates with user-defined rules react to customer data to produce a letter specific to that customer and situation. No third-party product installation is needed, and users are unaware of any additional component. Its look-and-feel can be adjusted to individual preferences, or changed to comply with any application standards. Although the barrel is kind of hard to top, Costco's Kirkland brand has also made interesting alcohol partnerships, such as an official version of luxury scotch The Macallan. This appears to mostly involve the workers who hand out the much sought after free samples.
In 2013, Costco pulled Coca-Cola from their food courts and replaced it with Pepsi after a similar price disagreement. In an aim to keep a consistent employee culture, Costco actually doesn't hire business school graduates, according to the Bloomberg Businessweek profile from 2013. Great projects are realized in collaboration with several creative minds specialized in different matters, all under the direction of an art director.
If you want to work with a similar image, go to NikeiD and create your own pair of shoes to feature in your poster, or you could even use your own favorite sneakers. In this way, you have more control, you can create depth, and you can tweak individual shadow layers to produce interesting outcomes. Set a gradient going from black (#000000) to white (#ffffff) and then switch the adjustment layer’s Blend Mode to Overlay. The background has textures, but Sebastiano worked with it to make sure it doesn’t take away from the foreground, and the paint adds dynamism to the product and matches its vibrant colors. Thanks for sharing, I am new to photoshop and this is a big help in understanding the balance and level layers.
This way document production can be automated in applications, from one-page letters to complex contracts and sales proposals.
Cheese and CiCi's, and far more than the roughly 265 locations of California Pizza Kitchen. What makes these Kirkland partnerships special is that they sell for much cheaper than the brands usually go for themselves. Small firms, on the other hand, generally contract out a single graphic designer and give them detailed instructions on how create their ad poster design. For example, you can reduce the Opacity of each layer at different values so that the shadow looks more realistic.
If you feel like their food court pizza doesn't make Costco a true pizzeria, then maybe their "Pizza Hotline," which allows customers to call in pizza orders ahead, will convince you. Eighty-eight percent of Costco employees have company-sponsored health insurance; Walmart says that “more than half” of its do.
Even just a few details can make the difference between them looking longer or looking away quickly.
Costco workers with coverage pay premiums that amount to less than 10 percent of the overall cost of their plans. It treats its employees well in the belief that a happier work environment will result in a more profitable company.

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