ZINIO logo
Bloomberg Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek 12/25/2017

Each issue of Businessweek features in-depth perspectives on the financial markets, industries, trends, technology and people guiding the economy. Get the digital magazine subscription today and draw upon Businessweek's timely incisive analysis to help you make better decisions about your career, your business, and your personal investments.

Read More
United States
Bloomberg Finance LP
50 Issues

in this issue

13 min
the ashley stewart model

“I love the fit. They know how to accentuate curves” Chary Wright knows that for bigger women, shopping for clothes can be rough. Until a few years ago, some mainstream retailers didn’t carry anything larger than a size 12. Stores that did might have stocked only one or two pieces. Or maybe they had plenty but just put out the extra smalls, smalls, and mediums, requiring anyone who needed a different size to ask an always-slender saleswoman, a living, breathing reminder that fashion is for thin people. Wright has spent 18 years making shopping fun for plus-size women. At an Ashley Stewart in a New Jersey shopping plaza, she sells clothes in sizes 12 to 26. She listens to customers who sometimes feel bad about their bodies and, like many women who…

17 min
selling muscles in mumbai

One Friday morning in Mumbai, Madhukar Talwalkar, the 84-year-old director of the largest gym chain in India, enters the 206th and newest branch of his empire and pauses in front of a metal idol. Every Talwalkars fitness center contains a depiction of Hanuman, a monkey-shaped deity who, according to legend, once lifted a mountain. “He is a highly respected god,” Talwalkar says, admiring the figurine. “The god of strength.” Traditional depictions of Hanuman are stout and brawny, but this one is nearly steroidal, with a bulging V-shaped torso and two melonlike biceps. Talwalkar’s sculptor put Hanuman’s head on the body of a winner of the Mr. Maharashtra bodybuilding competition. In the gym’s workout space, a dozen middle-aged Indians labor with trainers, as junior staff mop sweat from the floor. Three coaches…

4 min
coinbase seeks wall street’s trust

“This is not a couple dozen kids in a garage kind of hacking away” A cheer went up in the San Francisco offices of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Inc. when bitcoin surged past $10,000 in November. But the goal of the 225-employee startup has little to do with spiking values. It wants to reinvent finance. In Coinbase’s version of the future, loans, venture capital, money transfers, and stock trading will be done with electronic currency, using Coinbase instead of banks. To get there, Coinbase, already popular with individual traders, needs the legitimacy that comes from persuading big companies to use its platform. And it has to reassure regulators that bitcoin isn’t a market for hackers and money launderers. “How do we get institutional money to flow into this space?” says co-founder and Chief Executive…

17 min
how sodastream makes—and markets—peace

In early December, scattered violence erupted in Israel after President Trump announced that he would recognize Jerusalem as the nation’s capital, abandoning the U.S.’s long-standing neutrality on the city’s status. It wasn’t the orgy of bloodshed between Jews and Palestinians that some had expected, at least not yet. But the hostilities bode poorly for what Trump has described, vaguely, as a coming “ultimate deal” for all of the actors in a conflict that has lasted more than a century. The prospect of peaceful coexistence in the region seems as bleak as ever. Except perhaps in Rahat, a city of 62,000 in the rocky Negev desert. On a fall afternoon, Daniel Birnbaum steers a white Skoda sedan off the highway and up to a complex of four white buildings, one of which…

2 min
peter metcalf

Growing up in the suburbs on Long Island, Peter Metcalf thought exploring the outdoors meant biking around a decommissioned air base near his home. Then a couple of Boy Scouts took him backpacking in the Catskills; by the time Metcalf turned 18, he was the youngest person to complete a first ascent of a major Alaskan peak—the glacial Mount Fairweather, which tops out at 15,325 feet. “Climbing and mountaineering became the focal point of my life,” he says. “It’s what everything else I did was pressure-tested against.” Metcalf’s mania for climbing led him to Chouinard Equipment, founded by the man who went on to start Patagonia Inc., where he worked as general manager. In 1989, after Chouinard Equipment went bankrupt, Metcalf raised about $1 million from “friends, family, future employees, and…

4 min
the amazon of sex toys? not quite

With Sex and the City, Fifty Shades of Grey, and Comedy Central’s Broad City helping catapult sex toys out of the bedroom and into the mainstream, Germany’s Beate Uhse AG—a publicly traded company that a decade ago was Europe’s biggest retailer of erotica—was poised to become its industry’s Amazon or Netflix. After the company filed for insolvency on Dec. 15, it looks more like Radio Shack. In 1962, Beate Uhse, one of a handful of female pilots in Germany’s World War II Luftwaffe, opened what she called the world’s first sex shop, the Institute for Marital Hygiene, in the northern German town of Flensburg. The enterprise revolutionized the sex lives of European baby boomers with condoms, lingerie, and how-to books, eventually growing to more than 300 outlets. It went public on…