TIME Retail

Target to Cut ‘Several Thousand’ Jobs Over the Next 2 Years

A sign for a Target store is seen in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, Illinois on Feb. 10, 2015.
Jim Young—Reuters A sign for a Target store is seen in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, Illinois on Feb. 10, 2015.

The company is restructuring to save $2 billion

Target announced on Tuesday that it plans to cut “several thousand” jobs over the next two years as part of the retail giant’s restructuring and $2 billion savings plan.

The Minneapolis-based company, which employs 350,000 people globally and has roughly 1,800 box stores, said in a statement it will eliminate the positions while creating “centralized teams based on specialized expertise.”

“The restructuring will be concentrated at Target’s headquarters locations and focus on driving leaner, more efficient capabilities, removing the complexity and allowing the organization to move with greater speed and agility,” the statement continued.

The savings are intended to drive sales and earnings growth as the company recovers from the 2007-08 financial crisis and a major data breach in late 2013, while investing heavily in technology to improve its e-commerce offerings.

TIME technology

New Report Says Apple Is Now the World’s Biggest Smartphone Maker

Apple Samsung Sales
Chris McGrath—Getty Images The Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus at their launch at the Apple Omotesando Store on Sept. 19, 2014 in Tokyo, Japan.

According to data from research firm Gartner

Apple is now the world’s biggest smartphone maker in terms of worldwide sales at the end of last year, according to a new estimate that puts its fourth quarter figures ahead of rival Samsung’s numbers.

While Apple reported worldwide sales of 74.8 million smartphones during the fourth quarter of 2014, a report by research firm Gartner published Tuesday estimates Samsung sold 73 million units during the same period. If accurate — Samsung doesn’t report out its smartphone sales — that would mean Apple overtook Samsung as the world’s top smartphone maker by global sales for the first time since late 2011.

The new figures come on the heels of a recent report by Strategy Analytics that said Apple tied Samsung in worldwide shipments during the fourth quarter, which includes sold and unsold smartphones.

Apple’s strongest sales tend to occur during Q4 due to its fall iPhone releases. Last year’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus offered the sales push Apple needed to beat out Samsung, per Gartner’s data:

But Apple still has a ways to go if it wants to beat Samsung in annual global smartphone sales — a goal that seems possible given how Apple’s annual sales are rising faster than Samsung’s:

Here’s a look at the history of Apple’s iPhone:

TIME Consumers

Why Annoyed Americans Are Signing This Online Petition

Vintage Cell Phone Collection
Jim Golden

People hate robocalls and want them to stop

More than 200,000 Americans have signed a petition asking telecom companies to provide tools for people to block commercial robocalls. Which is about as surprising as 200,000 people signing a petition against legalized murder.

The Consumers Union launched the petition at endrobocalls.com, just a week or so ago. The Federal Trade Commission says that if phone companies want to provide robo-blocking tools, they can. “Americans are fed up with being harassed by robocalls and they are demanding relief,” said Christina Tetreault, staff attorney for Consumers Union, in a statement. “The phone companies need to start listening and provide their customers with effective tools to block unwanted robocalls.”

The Consumers Union is the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports.

In 2014, the FTC received more than 3 million complaints about robocalls. Many of them (you might have heard from “Rachel from account services”) ran afoul of existing laws and regulations, such as the federal Do Not Call list. And many such calls originate overseas, out of the jurisdiction of U.S. authorities. About the only recourse consumers have is blocking numbers, when that’s possible.

In November, attorneys general from 39 states complained to the Federal Communications Commission, asking why phone companies don’t just block the calls. The phone companies responded that regulations forbade them from doing so. So the FTC sought input from the FTC, which in January said

Last month, though the FTC weighed in with an opinion: call–blocking by telcos is just fine since it would “make a significant dent in the problem of unwanted telephone calls.”

Hence the petition. The telcos have argued that blocking calls would run afoul of “common carrier” rules, which in general require them to accept all traffic, regardless of origin (similar to the concept of net neutrality). The FTC says that as long as customers opt-in and request the feature, telcos “can offer call-blocking services to their consumers without violating their common carriage obligations would be in the best interest of American consumers.”

The FCC is considering whether to issue an order forcing the telcos to make blocking technology available The FTC opinion will surely weigh heavily on that decision. It’s not clear when the decision will be made.

For now, other than making use of the call-clocking features offered by some handsets, consumers can file a complaint with the FCC, which has recently improved its help center.

TIME Money

Here Are the Most Expensive Places to Book a Hotel in the U.S.

Most Expensive CIties to Stay In
Stan Badz—US PGA Tour A course scenic shot at sunrise on the 17th hole during the first round of the Sony Open in Hawaii at Waialae Country Club on January 9, 2014 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

From Butte, Montana., to Panama City, Florida

Planning a spring trip within the United States? You might want to budget a bit more money for a hotel.

The 20 most expensive American cities to stay in are surprisingly scattered across the nation, from Butte, Montana, to Panama City, Florida, according to Hotel.com’s Hotel Price Index, which ranked U.S. metro areas by average nightly hotel prices.

Honolulu, Hawaii, tops the list ($236), with New York, New York, in second ($221), and Boston, Massachusetts, and Miami, Florida tied for third ($187).

Click on the map below to take a closer look at all 20 cities:

For other rankings based on hotel prices, check out Hotel Price Index’s full report.

 

TIME Apple watch

The Apple Watch Might Actually Cost a Fortune

Apple Watch PRice Cost
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images The new Apple Watch is displayed during an Apple special event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts on Sept. 9, 2014 in Cupertino, Calif.

Some estimates are much higher than previously thought

Better start saving up if you want to buy an Apple Watch.

Investment firm Piper Jaffray estimated Monday that the entry-level Apple Watch (called “Apple Watch Sport”) might actually cost most people around $450 instead of the $349 that Apple has officially said—when you take into account customizable features like the watch case, data storage and wrist strap.

Apple hasn’t yet announced a price for the mid-range Apple Watch (called simply “Apple Watch”), which is stainless steel and features a sapphire crystal screen, but Piper Jaffray estimates it could start around $499 to $549 and go up to $650, again depending on customizable features.

The heaviest price speculation has been around the high-end, 18-karat gold Apple Watch (dubbed “Apple Watch Edition”). Analysts have previously estimated these watches could start around $4,999, but Piper Jaffray estimates they could actually cost around $7,500, taking into account luxury wrist straps made from precious metals.

Most of Apple Watch’s specifics—but not all—have remained unknown since the device was unveiled last September. More information about the gadget is expected to be revealed at Apple’s March 9 event, while the watch will go on sale in April.

 

TIME Apple watch

Tim Cook Just Revealed More Apple Watch Secrets

Tim COok Apple Watch
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images Apple CEO Tim Cook shows off the new iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch during an Apple special event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts on Sept. 9, 2014 in Cupertino, Calif.

We're getting a clearer picture of all the device might do

The full range of Apple Watch features has remained unknown since the device’s unveiling last September. Now it seems CEO Tim Cook has dished out a few additional details.

The Apple CEO briefed Apple Store employees in Berlin regarding several specific Apple Watch apps, 9to5Mac reports. Apple is working with “some of the best hotels in the world”—including Starwood Hotels, which previously announced its Apple partnership—to allow Watch users to unlock room doors. Additionally, Apple Watch users will be able to order at food chains including Panera Bread.

Cook also reportedly said that third-party fitness apps will be available on the Apple Watch, which isn’t too surprising given the device’s emphasis on health tracking.

Apple’s March 9 event is expected to focus heavily on the Watch. Cook told the employees that Apple has already invited over 100 developers to design and test out Apple Watch apps, which may suggest that the wearable’s apps could be the star of the upcoming event.

The Apple Watch will be released in April.

[9to5Mac]

Read next: This Feature Could Save the Apple Watch

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME People

And the World’s Richest Man Is…

Bill Gates Forbes
Bloomberg via Getty Images Billionaire Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, smiles before an interview with Bloomberg Television at the Sibos financial services conference in Boston, Mass. on Oct. 2, 2014.

Forbes' annual rich list is out

Microsoft founder Bill Gates is still the world’s richest man.

Worth $79.2 billion, Gates kept his spot at the top of the 2015 Forbes Billionaires List, while Mexican business magnate Carlos Slim Helu, worth $77.1 billion, clocked in again at No. 2. Warren Buffett, worth $71.3 billion, swapped places with Spanish fashion exec Amancio Ortega, worth $66.4 billion, with Buffett in No. 3 and Ortega in No. 4.

While the richest stayed the richest, the 1,822 other billionaires on Forbes‘ list contained new 290 newcomers, with 71 of these newly minted billionaires coming from China. The list also features a record-breaking 46 billionaires under the age of 40, including first-time billionaires Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, 38, and the founder of the health tech company Theranos, Elizabeth Homes, 31, the youngest self-made woman on Forbes‘ list.

Check out the full list at Forbes.

Read next: The Super-Rich Have a Racial Wealth Gap, Too

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Careers & Workplace

Why We Need More Mothers at Work

businesswoman-briefcase-baby-stroller
Getty Images

I wish I had known five years ago, as a young, childless manager, that mothers are the people you need on your team

I still am embarrassed by this memory. Five years ago I walked into an office on the twenty-fifth floor of the Manhattan headquarters of Time Inc. (which owns Fortune.) I was there to meet with Time.com’s then-managing editor and pitch a partnership idea, but once I took a seat and surveyed the endless photos of her small children spread across the airy space, I decided this editor was too much of a mother to follow up on the idea.

I still went through with my proposal, but I walked out sure I would never talk to her again. She wasn’t the first and only mother whose work ethic I silently slandered. As a manager at The Huffington Post and then The Washington Post in my mid-twenties, I committed a long list of infractions against mothers or said nothing while I saw others do the same.

  • I secretly rolled my eyes at a mother who couldn’t make it to last minute drinks with me and my team. I questioned her “commitment” even though she arrived two hours earlier to work than me and my hungover colleagues the next day.
  • I didn’t disagree when another female editor said we should hurry up and fire another woman before she “got pregnant.”
  • I sat in a job interview where a male boss grilled a mother of three and asked her, “How in the world are you going to be able to commit to this job and all your kids at the same time?” I didn’t give her any visual encouragement when the mother – who was a top cable news producer at the time – looked at him and said, “Believe it or not, I like being away from my kids during the workday… just like you.”
  • I scheduled last minute meetings at 4:30pm all of the time. It didn’t dawn on me that parents might need to pick up their kids at daycare. I was obsessed with the idea of showing my commitment to the job by staying in the office “late” even though I wouldn’t start working until 10:30am while parents would come in at 8:30am.

For mothers in the workplace, it’s death by a thousand cuts – and sometimes it’s other women holding the knives. I didn’t realize this – or how horrible I’d been – until five years later, when I gave birth to a daughter of my own.

Within her first week, I became consumed by the idea that my career was over. It was almost as if my former self was telling me I was worthless because I wouldn’t be able to continue sitting in an office for 10 hours a day. And I certainly wouldn’t be able to get drinks at the last minute.

I was now a woman with two choices: go back to work like before and never see my baby, or pull back on my hours and give up the career I’d built over the last ten years. When I looked at my little girl, I knew I didn’t want her to feel trapped like me.

I read Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, thinking it would motivate me. It only depressed me more. To me, the message was clear: put up with the choices made by a male-dominated work culture if you want to succeed. I re-read Anne Marie Slaughter’s piece on “Why Women Can’t Have It All.” It just painted another reality that I had contributed to until it became my own problem.

While I was on maternity leave from NowThis News (a startup funded by members of The Huffington Post team), still wrestling with these thoughts, I was approached by my now co-founder, Milena Berry. She told me she had an idea to launch a company that would match women in technical positions they could do from home. I decided to quit my job and leave journalism, realizing this startup had enormous potential for the one billion women entering the workforce over the next ten years.

If the developer placements worked, then other fields might follow. By enabling women to work from home, women could be valued for their productivity and not time spent sitting in an office or at a bar bonding afterwards. Mothers could have a third option that would allow them to either remain in the workforce or be a part of it even from areas with few job options.

All the tools exist for remote work – Slack, Jira, Skype, Trello, Google Docs. Research shows remote workers can be more productive. Furthermore, millennials – with or without kids – want that flexibility, a Harvard study found.

With the help of an awesome team that’s 50 percent moms from around the world, Milena and I are building PowerToFly around our lives as mothers. We’ve processed over a million dollars in paychecks for women who work from home across five continents and that number is growing fast. The stories we hear are thrilling.

Before we found Nedda, our CTO, she was commuting to London from her home in Bulgaria every week. Nedda’s daughter would hide in her suitcase on Sunday nights in an attempt to be with her mother during the week. Now she gets picked up from kindergarten by her mom everyday. Nedda traded a very expensive 10-hour weekly commute (not including time on the London tube) for a 30-minute walk with her child each afternoon.

I wish I had known five years ago, as a young, childless manager, that mothers are the people you need on your team. There’s a saying that “if you want something done then ask a busy person to do it.” That’s exactly why I like working with mothers now.

Moms tell me when a project can be done and they give me very advanced notice when they have to take time off work. If they work from home, it doesn’t matter if a kid gets sick. Yes, they might not be able to Skype with me as often through that day, but they can still be productive because they can work from home while keeping an eye on their child. (And, like me, many have childcare. There’s no way you can work from home without support, usually from another woman.) Moms work hard to meet deadlines because they have a powerful motivation – they want to be sure they can make dinner, pick a child up from school, and yes, get to the gym for themselves.

But, I know there are still a lot of people like my 28-year-old self – they undervalue mothers’ contributions because they count hours logged in the office and not actual work. Most mothers lose if that’s the barometer for productivity.

It’s time to break that cycle, and it starts with the people doing the hiring. The way I acted in my twenties had a lot to do with denial. If I didn’t embrace or recognize the mothers on my team, then I didn’t have to think about what my future would be like. I see the same behavior in young women I talk to who are in charge of hiring, especially in the tech space. They are hard liners – and passionate lecturers – about women being in the office so they can be part of the company’s “culture”.

They don’t realize how that “culture” pushes women out because it’s too often set up around how men bond. Many of these young women are just toe-ing the company line. I don’t begrudge them. I feel sorry for them.

They’re hurting their future selves. Just like I did.

These women can help pave the path for their future selves if they start acting like allies rather than deniers. Instead of just smiling and saying you’re sorry that a mom can’t join for office drinks, ask her if she’d rather do lunch. If there’s a comment you over hear that disparages a mother because she wasn’t at her desk at 7pm, then speak up and point out that she was their at 8:30am, or completely available on Skype of Slack at 7pm.

There are so many ways we can support each other as women, but it starts with the just recognizing that we’re all in different positions at different times in our lives.

One thing is clear. Motherhood is the future for most women. Over 80 percent of us will become mothers by the age of 44, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. So embrace your future and support it at work!

Now I know who I am. I’m a mother who can manage a large team from my home office or on a business trip, raise money, and build a culture for women to succeed. I’ve never been more productive, satisfied and excited about my future and my daughter’s. I wish I had recognized this years ago.

For that, I’m sorry to all the mothers I used to work with. Which brings me back to that managing editor I dissed at Time. Her name is Cathy and she has three kids. The deal never went through for a variety of reasons that included editorial fit, but we started talking six months ago. Cathy recently joined PowerToFly as our Executive Editor. She has taught me a lot about how to be more productive than I was before motherhood. I’m now looking for more Cathys to join PowerToFly because I know they can manage households, multiple schedules and very high business goals.

Katharine Zaleski is the Cofounder and President of PowerToFly, the first global platform matching women in highly skilled positions across tech and digital that they can do from home, or in an office, if they choose.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com.

TIME Careers & Workplace

5 Words to Include in Your Email Subject Lines (and 4 Words to Avoid)

email-inbox-screen
Getty Images

The most effective emails treat the subject line like a caller ID

The Muse logo

This post is in partnership with The Muse. The article below was originally published on The Muse.

Sending an email is the easiest and least intrusive method for making requests within teams. But it’s precisely because email is so effortless that it can be a complete waste of time. Firing off a vague email that doesn’t clearly tell recipients what they should do or why your ask is important will only create more work for everyone.

The most effective emails treat the subject line like a caller ID and use words that get to the point immediately.

Here are some dos and don’ts for word choice that will get your message across clearly and keep you from annoying (or confusing) your co-workers:

1. When There Are Tasks to Complete

Don’t Write: Etc.

Do Write: The, This, or These

Your teachers in grammar school were right—be specific! Even if your email is following a recent conversation or meeting, it’s likely going to get filed as something to do later. When your recipient is ready to read it, seeing “Staff meeting follow-up etc.” won’t be helpful. Instead, be clear about what you need and write: “Please resolve these questions from staff meeting” or “The report discussed in staff meeting.” Think of your subject like pre-writing a to-do list item so it’s easy for that box to get checked.

2. When You’re Sharing Another Email

Don’t Write: “FWD:”

Do Write: Help

This one always makes me think of the ’90s, when it was common to see emails that went something like this: “Fwd: fwd: fwd: fw: Send this to 10 people and this will be your lucky day!” Unless you really are sending chain letters at work (seriously, don’t), you’re probably just sharing something that someone else wrote that you want your co-worker to read or do something about. In that case, do her a favor and write “Could you help me decipher this?” or “Looks like the client needs help.” Sure, you may have planned to write that message in the body of the email, but the subject is a much better place if you want it to get noticed quickly.

3. When You’re Trying to Be Personal

Don’t Write: Hey

Do Write: You

Sending a “Hey” in an email subject line is the same thing as texting “We need to talk” to a friend or someone you’re dating. Don’t do it! You’ll make the recipient suspicious of whatever will come next, and you may end up waiting a while for a response because it may never get opened. Since you might actually need to chat about something personal or private, try “When do you have time for a 15-minute chat?” This approach takes the edge off and puts the power in the recipient’s hands to choose a time that works for him.

4. When You Need it Now

Don’t Write: Urgent

Do Write: Today

When time is short and the pressure is high, “urgent” is a word that can only produce panic. And panicking is the last thing a person responsible for a task should do. If you have enough time to recognize the need and send an email, you also have the time to give advance notice that “This needs to be your first priority today.” If it truly is urgent, make a phone call or in-person visit instead.

5. And One More Bonus Phrase

Last but not least is a phrase that we all say to end our emails but may rarely use to directly address our co-workers: “Thank you.” A short, simple message of appreciation will go a long way in strengthening the bonds between you and your team members. It says that you recognize their efforts and value their roles. And it sure beats a trust fall.

More from The Muse:

Read next: 10 Ways to Write Better Emails (and Just Maybe Change the World)

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TIME Automotives

Here’s Why the Apple Car Is Making Auto Executives Nervous

Apple Unveils iPhone 6
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images Apple CEO Tim Cook shows off the new iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch during an Apple special event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts on September 9, 2014 in Cupertino, California.

Apple and Google’s automotive projects are keeping longtime carmakers on their toes, with the two tech companies set to put their significant capital and technological savvy behind electric or driverless vehicles. Google has already made a driverless car, while Apple is rumored to be working on an electric vehicle of its own.

“If these two companies intend to solely produce electric vehicles, it could go fast,” Volkswagen AG Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn said at the Geneva International Motor Show, Bloomberg reports.

Apple plans to push an electric car into production as early as 2020, and Google said in January that it aims to have a self-driving car on the road within five years. Automakers usually need at least five to seven years to develop a car, sometimes longer.

Automakers Tesla Motors and General Motors are working against the tech companies on a tight timeframe to produce an electric vehicle than can go more than 200 miles on a single charge and cost less than $40,000. “The competition certainly needs to be taken seriously,” Stefan Bratzel, director of the Center of Automotive Management at the University of Applied Sciences in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany, told Bloomberg.

Traditional automakers are hoping to work with Apple and Google, perhaps by assisting with their supply chains or production, Bloomberg reports. Those two areas could be weaknesses for non-automotive companies looking to enter the field.

[Bloomberg]

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