A two year stint for Ron Johnson ended as the former Apple executive was sent packing after not being able to pull off a transformation that would have put JC Penny back in the black. Johnson’s plan of turning JC Penny into a discount retailer and foregoing sales and gimmick promotions did not endear itself to long time customers and this caused sales to wane with current customers and did not bring in the new blood as was expected.
The radical changes that were put in place were either not radical enough or just too radical as many did not see the allure of the new marketing schemes in place. Although the idea failed, interim CEO, Mike Ullman, will continue to implement some of the discounted plans as well as team up with major brands like Joe Fresh and Levis Strauss to bring back credibility to the nationwide retailer. Whatever moves are actually made, JC Penny plans to test market those before a full bore implementation so as not to chase loyal customers away some more.
JC Penny Going Private
JC Penny is in a bit of a cash crunch due to a loss of market share and is looking for access to new capital. New vendors and extreme as well as costly store modifications are putting a bit of a pinch on the company as both require payment in a relatively quick manner.
T-Mobile is still working around the clock to pull off the merger with Metro PCS in order to shore up a segment of the mobile phone industry that caters to a different market than the big boys like Verizon and AT&T. T-Mobile is currently # 4 in the mobile phone market. Should T Mobile merge with Metro PCS it would give them a larger and more broad base of those users that are using that level of next generation LTE network. That level of LTE is a mite slower but not something that most would consider an issue when it comes to significant savings on their mobile bills.
As to offering a cheaper iPhone 5 with no contract, T Mobile has a unique plan. Paying only $100.00 upfront for the iPhone 5 and $20.00 a month thereafter appeals to a vast array of demographics and their usage plans top off at $70.00 monthly. This combination of low down payment and low monthly payments in addition to the low monthly usage plans could save the customer as much as $480.00 over a two year period making it the cheapest price for an i Phone 5 in the marketplace today.
Granted the two moves of T Mobile merging with Metro PCS and their offering a great deal for an Apple iPhone5 may not be perfect but they could do wonders for T Mobile’s place in the mobile phone marketplace.
Business travel was in the doldrums along with the economy for a while but it seems that we will be seeing more business people taking to the road once again.
With business travel under 2% growth for the year 2012 according to the Global business travel association, airlines, hotels and convention centers were all affected negatively. Business travel is expected to see over a 5% increase in growth this year and many businesses are looking to make that money spent more productive that in years past. The ‘three martini get he deal closed half in the bag’ lunch has been replaced with more conventional meetings at a variety of clients in the same city and more is being accomplished during these business trips for that very reason.
This change in business travel is also making life better for convention management companies as they are able to plan better due to fewer last minute bookings as planning is well ahead of schedule and also are able to go back to the larger venues that they have used in the past; more attendees mean mean larger venues and the larger budget allows for more perks at the conventions.
Business travel is no longer a buyers market.
Hotels in convention areas will also benefit as they are not only filling up more they are also able to charge a premium for their rooms. Supply and demand for premium rooms, reservations at the better restaurants and car rentals are all heavily supported by this mini boom in business travel and the benefit trickles down into the service sector in the employment industry as well.
Can Blackstone Group, a private equity firm, really by Dell Inc with it’s 14.25 bid? Seems there is more to it than what meets the eye as Blackstone Group is still seeking the money to support that bid in the form of partnerships. Same can be said for Carl Icahn’s bid for Dell Inc.
Michael Dell, the founder of Dell Inc, is not entirely behind Blackstone’s bid either as it seems he prefers a bid by Silver Lake Partners @ 13.65 per share to take Dell Inc private and Silver Lake is already funded which surely gives them the edge in this highly watched take over situation. Southeastern Asset Management is Dell’s largest shareholder and that group likes and supports both Icahn and Blackstone but without financial partners those two entities may both be dead in the water.
The biggest question mark in this whole scenario is whether Blackstone or Icahn can turn Dell Inc back into the cash cow it once was and that will not be an easy trick to pull out of their hats.
New Zealand’s Junior Golfer, Lydia Ko, left another $43,000.00 on the table in Mission Hills, California last weekend. The amateur golfer, who moved to New Zealand as a child to pursue a career on the LPGA tour, ended up at 2 under for the season’s first major on the LPGA tour and was thrilled to have placed in the top 25.
Among other titles, Ko, just 15 years old, won the Canadian Open which, if she were a professional as opposed to an amateur, would have paid her a whopping $300,000.00. For most of us that would be tough to let slide. Foregoing all these winnings is not an issue with Ko and her parents as they see the bigger picture for her long term career and expects to have a long and health life on the world’s largest stage for a professional lady golfer.
Golf Week Amateur Rankings
On the Golf Week Amateur Rankings, Ko is holding strong to the top spot with American, Ashlan Ramsey, The Silent Assassin, nipping at her heels in second place. Ramsey also Continue reading
The latest unemployment numbers are astonishingly bad as over 500,000 people have stopped looking for jobs, 88,000 have only been added to the employment rolls and unemployment is up to 7.6% nationwide.
Although the employment figures were expected to be much better than those unfortunately what actually happened is something that could affect the US economy in a very bad way as many people have just plain given up looking for work.
President Obama’s plan to increase the amount of available Continue reading
Lots of movement and activity in the sports world and with Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees canning Scott Boras and replacing him with Jay-z, the music icon and sports agent. The news surprised many and comes with Cano about to negotiate a new multi-year contract with the Yankees that should top 100 Million Dollars.
Darrius Heyward-Bey, the underachieving receiver, signed a one year deal that could max out at 3 Million Dollars with the Indianapolis Colts. The deal only guarantees about half that Continue reading
Dell, the most prolific manufacturers of computers in the USA, is kicking around how to go private in a 274 page filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The acquisition would be a whopping 24.4 Billion Dollar Deal and is the largest of it’s kind just ahead of Berkshire Hathaway’s acquisition of Heinz.
With sales in the computer industry slowing and the trend for computer sales not expected to pick up, Dell has been fighting tooth and nail for an ever decreasing market share. The offer to go private, financed by Chief Executive and Founder Michael Dell along with Silver Lake Partners is actually Continue reading
Home ownership restrictions are now in place in China to help curb what could be a property market bubble situation. Fearing a problem with home prices increasing too quickly, Beijing put a limit on single people to only own one home in their local areas as well as increasing the required down payment for second homes for all people. Shanghai is also planning on raising interest rates for second home buyers in addition to Continue reading
The tale of two conglomerates going in different directions showed up in drastic salary adjustments for 2 CEOs. While Larry Merlo, the CEO of CVS Drug Stores, got a 44% increase to 20.3 million dollars a year, the beleaguered CEO of Sears, Louis D’Ambrosio took a hit to the tune of a 90% pay cut down to $1.3 Million per filings with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC). Sears lost close to 500 Million Dollars Continue reading