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This basket consists of brick and mortar who have lost considerable market share to online competition.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- With Congress set to tackle the next phase of economic relief this month, Thursday's jobs report provided more evidence of how much permanent damage is being done to the labor market by the coronavirus pandemic. The number of workers being permanently laid off continues to grow even as millions of Americans who were furloughed have gone back to work.Expectations for how long it will take to get the labor market back to where it was at the beginning of the year are fluid, but some, such as San Francisco Federal Reserve President Mary Daly, are saying it could take the economy a half-decade to recover even after the public-health crisis ends. If it does take that long, that would represent a failure by Congress and fiscal policy makers to learn the hard lessons of the past decade. In an environment of low inflation and low interest rates, fiscal stimulus can and should be used much more aggressively to support workers and the economy.The job of economic policy makers during the next year should be twofold. First, to keep households, businesses, and state and local governments afloat for the duration of the crisis. Thanks to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (Cares) Act the U.S. has done a good job of that so far for households. The results are more mixed for businesses, while state and local governments need much more support than they've gotten so far. After the pandemic is over and it's safe to fully reopen the economy, which may be during the next presidential term, more aggressive fiscal policy will be crucial.The end of the Covid-19crisis, which is at best an early 2021 story, might sound like a long way off, but we're at the point in the election cycle when both political parties are coming up with their agendas. The country's 17 million unemployed workers deserve to know that this president or his successor and Congress will mount a robust response to unacceptably high levels of unemployment.That's why it's dangerous and wrong for Daly and others to put forth the low expectations of a prolonged multiyear recovery for the jobs market. If there's one lesson we should have learned from the Great Recession and the slow expansion that followed, it's that budget deficits, growth in the national debt and monetary expansion undertaken by the Fed did not create runaway inflation or dollar debasement as the pessimists feared. There was scope for both fiscal and monetary policy to be used more assertively to support the labor market and the economy.The Fed does seem to have learned its lesson. Unlike in 2009, when the yield on 10-year Treasuries was more than 3% as investors anticipated an eventual tightening of monetary policy, there's no such expectation today. Fed Chairman Powell said last month that the central bank isn't "even thinking about thinking about raising rates." Fed policy makers have also talked about the value of using fiscal policy to support the labor market, recognizing that monetary stimulus has its limits.Fiscal policy doesn't have the same limits. An extreme example would be World War II, when the U.S. government increased its headcount by 50% between 1940 and 1942. We've seen with the Cares Act that when Congress is sufficiently motivated it can approve trillions of dollars in spending, send checks to households and supplement the income of workers who have been furloughed or laid off as a result of the pandemic. The constraints are political, not economic.Assuming there's a vaccine sometime between the end of the year and the spring of 2021, which still seems plausible, a goal for the next administration should be to restore employment to early 2020 levels by the 2022 midterm elections through payments to households, government spending and hiring directly. Since the onset of the pandemic we've seen companies such as grocery chains, Target, Walmart and Amazon recruit tens or hundreds of thousands of workers quickly, driven by rising demand. There's no reason other employers wouldn't do the same in amid a strong economic rebound.It's possible the U.S. will fall short: maybe too many small businesses will fail during the next six months or inflation makes an unexpected return that calls aggressive stimulus plans into question. But the reason for falling short shouldn't be that Congress didn't try hard enough or didn't appropriate enough money. There's no moral hazard here that demands a cautious approach by policy makers. This should be about the government pumping as much money into the economy as it takes to make workers whole for a crisis that wasn't their fault. Resigning the U.S. to a recovery that eats up a half-decade isn't acceptable.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Conor Sen is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He has been a contributor to the Atlantic and Business Insider.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Uber Technologies Inc.’s deal to acquire Postmates Inc. isn’t just about the need for consolidation in the food-delivery industry. The company also has its eyes on a bigger prize: nabbing business from Amazon.com Inc. and Walmart Inc. in the local commerce market.Early Monday, and following reports of a deal last week, Uber announced it was buying Postmates for $2.65 billion in an all-stock transaction. A combined Uber Eats-Postmates would vault the company to second place in the U.S. food-delivery market with total share of about 30%, versus DoorDash’s 45% share, according to the latest Second Measure data. I previously wrote about how Uber should acquire Postmates, even though the option wasn’t as ideal as its failed merger with Grubhub, as it would still move the needle for the company by rationalizing the overly promotional industry environment and generating significant cost synergies. And in fact, Uber confirmed Monday that the merger would result in more than $200 million annualized savings after the first year, primarily through cuts in marketing and administrative expenses. Uber shares rose 6% following the acquisition news.But as important as the merger is in creating a bigger player with the chance of improving profitability and increasing scale, it also opens the door for an even more important longer-term opportunity to compete with big retailers for all categories in local commerce, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told investors on a call Monday. He explicitly called out Amazon and Walmart.Uber Eats has experimented with non-food deliveries. Earlier this year, the company expanded partnerships with supermarkets and local stores in a small number of markets to deliver groceries and certain essential items. But the merger will help to accelerate such efforts because of Postmates’ advanced technology platform, which offers better capabilities for batching orders together and increasing efficiencies. “The vision for us is to become an everyday service,” he said. Postmates is a “great step along that vision” of delivering anything to consumers homes within a couple hours.The Postmates’ website offers more clues on this future. The upstart already delivers groceries, alcohol and drug-store items in some markets, so for the combined company, grocery may be the best area of focus to start. But Postmates’ platform also can be used for other retail products such as home goods as well. Investors should take note of this, especially given Uber management’s clear message that the deal has much deeper ramifications beyond food delivery. As the pandemic is structurally boosting the trends towards all things digital, the deal may pay bigger dividends for Uber — and make Postmates less of a consolation prize.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tae Kim is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. He previously covered technology for Barron's, following an earlier career as an equity analyst.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
If corporations return to higher tax levels, the most logical area to cut would be staff, says RBC Capital Markets analyst Scott Ciccarelli. Home Depot, Lowe’s, Walmart, and Best Buy might streamline.
Uber Technologies Inc on Tuesday further expanded delivery offerings, launching an app-based grocery service in several Latin American and Canadian cities, with the United States to follow later this month. The company's latest foray into the delivery space is in partnership with Cornerstore, a Chilean online grocery provider that Uber holds a majority stake in since October. Customers in Canada's Montreal and Toronto, eleven Brazilian cities, including in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, four Chilean cities, Colombia's Bogota and Peru's Lima will be able to order groceries from local stores and chains through the Uber Eats app.
U.S. President Donald Trump criticized the Washington Redskins for reviewing their team name on Monday, as top retailers continued to pull the NFL franchise's merchandise from shelves. Under mounting pressure from sponsors and racial justice advocates, Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder said on Friday the team would rethink its controversial name, with Major League Baseball's Cleveland Indians following suit. "They name teams out of STRENGTH, not weakness, but now the Washington Redskins & Cleveland Indians, two fabled sports franchises, look like they are going to be changing their names in order to be politically correct," Trump said in a tweet.
More retailers joined Nike in pulling Washington Redskins merchandise from their online shops after the team said Friday it would undergo a thorough review of its name.
Monkey labour to harvest coconuts for commercial products "is almost non-existent" in Thailand, the commerce minister said on Monday, after British retailers announced bans on products campaigners say use the animals in their production. Waitrose, Co-op, Boots and Ocado vowed not to sell products that used monkey labour, while Morrisons has already removed Thai products amid an appeal by Prime Minister Boris Johnson's fiancée Carrie Symonds. Symonds on Friday backed a call to supermarkets to stop selling Thai coconut products over accusations of monkey "slaves" by the rights group People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) published in the Telegraph newspaper.
Walmart joins Tribeca Enterprises to bring drive-in movies to parking lots in August, plus films and comedy shows to the Rose Bowl through July.
Asian shares rallied to a four-month high on Friday on robust U.S. payrolls data and a brisk pickup in Chinese service sector activity, but a surge in coronavirus cases in the United States kept a lid on stronger gains. Mainland Chinese shares, which were among the best performers over the past month, extended gains, with the Shanghai composite index hitting a high last seen in April 2019. China's services sector expanded at the fastest pace in over a decade in June, the Caixin/Markit services Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) showed, as the easing of coronavirus-related lockdown measures revived consumer demand.
Asian stocks were likely to track a firmer Wall Street session on Friday after strong U.S. jobs data although growing Sino-U.S. tensions and a worrying surge in coronavirus cases is likely to cap gains. E-mini futures for the S&P 500 rose 0.14%. "While June data reflected a big improvement in the U.S. labor market, the recent sharp acceleration in new virus cases plus the prospect of an end to unemployment benefits by the end of July are two big layers of uncertainty," said NAB Markets analyst Rodrigo Catril, adding that the uptick in U.S. cases could mean extended headwinds for the labor market.
Walmart (NYSE: WMT) is stepping up as so many other major corporations have during the COVID-19 pandemic. The retailer announced it will be working with Tribeca Enterprises, a Robert De Niro backed media company, to transform 160 of its store parking lots into drive-in movie theaters for 320 total showings across the country this summer. It has also teamed up with celebrities to create Camp by Walmart to, as the company said, "bring summer fun to kids across the country through a new camp designed for the internet."
Walmart (WMT) closed the most recent trading day at $119.21, moving -0.4% from the previous trading session.
The U.S. State Department warned top American companies including Walmart Inc, Apple Inc and Amazon.com Inc over risks faced from maintaining supply chains associated with human rights abuses in China's western Xinjiang province, according to a letter seen by Reuters on Thursday. "It is critical that U.S. companies and individuals be aware of the large-scale human rights abuses perpetrated by the PRC government in Xinjiang," Keith Krach, Undersecretary of State for economic growth, energy and the environment wrote on July 1.
Alison Bodor, American Food Institute Pres & CEO, joins The First Trade to discuss the frozen food industry and how its faring amid this pandemic.
Consumer brands across all categories are now in the spotlight as to where they stand on social issues. Then, just as businesses were starting to get back to their regularly scheduled marketing, the wave of long-overdue protests and conversations began in support of Black Lives Matter. Consumers expect transparency, accountability, and action.
Yahoo Finance’s Brian Sozzi and Alexis Christoforous discuss the current state of retail with Forrester Retail Analyst Sucharita Kodali.
Just ahead of the Fourth of July weekend, Walmart announced a partnership with Tribeca Enterprises (most notably the purveyors of the film festival of the same name) that’s set to convert 160 store locations into makeshift drive-in movie theaters. The move is an extension of the existing Tribeca-led Drive-In program that has already announced events for a handful of cities, including Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Seattle and Arlington, Texas, with help from IMAX and AT&T. The Hollywood Reporter has a bit more detail about the new initiative. Walmart Drive-In follows a number of smaller scale initiatives that have helped the largely extinguished category see a resurgence as consumers are understandably wary of returning to an indoor theater experience as COVID-19 continues to spike across the country.
Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) is a special case. Although BYND stock is a food stock, it trades like a tech stock.Source: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com I wrote in June it was priced well beyond fundamentals. It still is. This is despite two sharp plunges that have it trading 17% below its June 11 price.Beyond Meat opened for trade July 2 at about $145 per share. That's a market cap of $8.8 billion for a company with 2019 revenues of $297 million and no profits. The valuation is beyond belief … it's beyond beyond. Even if it's made with plants, it's just hamburger! (OK, sometimes it's sausage.)InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsYet analysts like TV's Jim Cramer keep pounding the table for BYND stock. He insists a deal with Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) to sell its products in China is a game changer.But at 30 times revenue? Beyond HappyBeyond's success and prospects have everyone pushing the happy button. The company's products are already available at Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) and YUM! Brands' (NYSE:YUM) KFC chain. * 7 Utilities Stocks to Buy With Reassuring Dividends CEO Ethan Brown says the novel coronavirus pandemic is a unique opportunity for the company to scale and get its costs below those of farm-raised beef.Price has become the objection to products like Beyond's burgers. Brown knows that and is addressing it. The Alibaba link means Beyond will soon open a plant in China. Its new value pack is priced at $1.60 per burger. That's within 20% of the real thing. It's what Brown calls a "ruthless business strategy."Getting into China is also a big deal. So is the grocery store packaging, which takes Beyond past its roots in restaurants and food service. Target (NYSE:TGT) and Walmart (NYSE:WMT) are both selling the value pack for this weekend's cookouts. Trouble Ahead?But not all is wonderful in Beyond's universe.McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), for instance, would be a huge "get" for the plant-based protein company. It had been testing Beyond's patties in Canada, calling the result a "P.L.T," for plant, lettuce and tomato. But that test ended in April with no fanfare, no announcement and no plans to bring it back. It was like the big audition where the director just said, "Thank you, next" and you have no idea what went wrong.This, along with the stock's price, caused some to push the panic button. Barclay's dropped its rating from buy to sell, noting its continued reliance on restaurants for sales.It's not that McDonald's is divorcing itself from Beyond Meat. The company sells plant protein in many markets, like Finland, India and South Africa. But a full rollout in North America, where it has almost 14,000 outlets, would require an enormous commitment. It may just not be ready for that. Or it may be looking at other suppliers. There are dozens to choose from including Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN), Kellogg (NYSE:K), Hormel Foods (NYSE:HRL), Nestle (OTCMKTS:NSRGY) and Kroger (NYSE:KR). The Bottom Line on BYND StockSince coming public in April 2019, BYND stock has traded for as much as $235 per share and for as little as $55, during the worst of the lockdown.If I had been smart enough to buy at the IPO, or at that March low, I would be taking profits right now.It's not that I doubt the future of meatless meat. I just think it will be a competitive market. Beyond must do more than get its costs below that of beef and pork. Its brand must beat other, larger companies trying to do the same thing. Brown's strategy isn't ruthless, it's essential to success.While Beyond Meat has first mover advantage, as MySpace once did, it has yet to prove what I call "second-mover" advantage, like Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). The pioneer proves the market, the winner exploits it. Do that, and you'll be a giant, my son.Dana Blankenhorn has been a financial journalist since 1978. His latest book is Technology's Big Bang: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow with Moore's Law, essays on technology available at the Amazon Kindle store. Follow him on Twitter at @danablankenhorn. As of this writing, he owned shares in FB and BABA. More From InvestorPlace * Why Everyone Is Investing in 5G All WRONG * America's 1 Stock Picker Reveals His Next 1,000% Winner * Revolutionary Tech Behind 5G Rollout Is Being Pioneered By This 1 Company * Radical New Battery Could Dismantle Oil Markets The post Beyond Meat Stock Needs 'Second-Mover' Advantage to Be a Real Winner appeared first on InvestorPlace.
The ODP Corporation (NASDAQ: ODP), a leading provider of business services, products and digital workplace technology solutions through an integrated B2B distribution platform, today announced the release of its 2020 Corporate Sustainability Report, incorporating sustainability information for Office Depot, CompuCom and Grand & Toy.