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7. Barnes & Noble reverses strategy, plows on with tablet business
Not content with its traditional brick-and-mortar stores, Barnes & Noble dipped its feet into the tablet and e-reader pool just at the right time to drum up competition against its main rival, Amazon.
But after a difficult quarter where the Nook tablet division saw its revenues drop by 34 percent, the company announced it was "limiting risks associated with manufacturing" by no longer manufacturing color Android-based tablets. The move would see the firm instead focus on their core business of e-readers.
A few months later, the bookselling giant changed its mind. In "doing a Whitman," the new chief executive reversed the decision by the company's predecessor and kept the full breadth of devices on store shelves.
8. Apple unravels retail chief John Browett's store policy changes
Apple retail chief John Browett's resignation couldn't come any sooner for the technology giant. The company spent six months following his "departure" unraveling some of the store-changing policies he implemented, which were considered radical and in some cases simply way off the mark — at very least in hindsight.
The Cupertino, Calif.-based company retail outlets are considered the ultimate retail experience, with dozens of other retailers following suit with aesthetically welcoming store designs. But some of the decisions made by Browett during his tenure downright frustrated leadership, and that ultimately reflected on Apple customers, according to reports. His efforts to cut costs would see employee events cut and staff training reduced, which in the end impacted how Apple retail store staff interacted with customers.
It was almost a year after Browett resigned before a new retail chief was installed. Apple probably just needed space to breathe. Burberry chief executive Angela Ahrendts took the job as Apple senior vice president for retail and online stores in October 2013.
9. Uber retreats on Hurricane Sandy cab price hike in New York City
In what was a profit-driving and borderline heartless thing to do amid natural disaster and chaos on the streets of New York City following the landfall of Hurricane Sandy, Uber reversed a decision bumping its prices soon after the storm hit.
New Yorkers were already faced with limited transport and downed infrastructure. On-demand car service startup Uber to the rescue, many thought. Wrong. The company doubled its car service pricing, citing increased demand in the city, in the aftermath of Sandy. Citing "surge pricing," the company said it raises prices when the demand for cars is higher than usual. The company said in a blog post the service "would become essentially unusable" if it didn't put the surge pricing in effect. But of course, New Yorkers left without power and running water didn't see it quite that way.
Despite nearly breaking the bank, which it may have deserved after its ill-thought out decision, the company backtracked a day later. The company said it reconsidered its position while, "we figure out more sustainable ways to keep supply up while the city is in need."