Tag: Buying

Business: News, comments – analysis, buying a business.#Buying #a #business


Business

Amazon delivery scandal Telegraph investigation forces online giant to overhaul treatment of drivers

Liam Fox: I m not a Little Englander, I m a free marketeer

Petrofac beefs up defences amid threat of takeover

Buying a business

Buying a business

Comment: Rolet s departure from the London Stock Exchange is going to end badly

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Be bold but don’t be naive about the money drying up

The sweet smell of success: how a small business grew into a high-end brand

Business Desk

Emirates set to throw Airbus s A380 a lifeline with major order

EU closes in on Google as it prepares second antitrust fine

Van Elle faces boardroom battle as founder seeks return

Unilever s work council threatens strike action over margarine sale

Olympus whistleblower lands TV deal as Japan faces wave of fresh scandals

Amazon delivery scandal: Telegraph investigation forces online giant to overhaul treatment of drivers

Fox control of sky is bad news for UK, warns Neil

Old media braced for showdown with tech giants in the battle for scale

Emirates set to throw Airbus s A380 a lifeline with major order

Olympus whistleblower lands TV deal as Japan faces wave of fresh scandals

Unilever s work council threatens strike action over margarine sale

Van Elle faces boardroom battle as founder seeks return

Landlords tendering for £300m of fire safety contracts – the biggest of their kind in eight years

Retail sales fall for first time in four years as inflation hits Britons in the pocket

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The power struggle behind the Saudi night of the long knives

Liam Fox: I m not a Little Englander, I m a free marketeer

Amazon delivery scandal: Telegraph investigation forces online giant to overhaul treatment of drivers

Trump s $1 trillion challenge: how to rebuild the crumbling land of the free

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Economy

Liam Fox: I m not a Little Englander, I m a free marketeer

Retail sales fall for first time in four years as inflation hits Britons in the pocket

Trump s $1 trillion challenge: how to rebuild the crumbling land of the free

EU predicts eurozone boom but UK gloom in pessimistic forecasts

Markets

Market report: Burberry fall softened by activist investor upping stake

Industrial production smashes expectations but construction sector slips deep into recession

Market report: Takeover talk lifts Tesla supplier Telit Communcations

In charts: the FTSE keeps rising – can it last?

Questor: this is the trust to buy if you are worried that markets have become complacent

Market report: OneSavings Bank benefits from dinner party landlord clampdown

Marks Spencer shares yo-yo as CFO quits and food expansion slows

Small Business Connect

Culture, staff and brand are key for scaling firms

There’s no such thing as being too small to export

Web chat: Small businesses and online learning

Should your business open a second location?

Opinion

Comment: To Netflix the spoils as the old guard is eclipsed

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Comment: Bear as I am, the case is there for this bull market to charge on

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Comment: The economy is growing faster than we think

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Banks and Finance

David Davis says City is very much in my mind as Brexit talks resume

Top LSE investor ramps up revolt to oust chairman and keep CEO

Janus Henderson raises savings target after trimming workforce

Media and Telecoms

Vodafone backs ultrafast broadband for five million in threat to BT

21st Century Fox gets revenue boost from higher advertising sales

AT T told to sell CNN by US regulators

Retail and Consumer

Unilever s work council threatens strike action over margarine sale

Amazon delivery scandal: Telegraph investigation forces online giant to overhaul treatment of drivers

Buying a business

Watch John Lewis s Christmas advert with Moz the monster under the bed

Energy

Have the lights gone out on the Big Six?

National Grid pours investment into US as UK political threat looms

UK hands world s largest oil company Saudi Aramco $2bn loan to secure IPO

Transport

EasyJet hires new chief from rival Tui weeks ahead of McCall s exit

Flybe slims down fleet in effort to address overcapacity

Heathrow chairman hopes expansion scheme s regional hubs could mark a step-change for construction industry

Construction

New Zealand looks to woo thousands of British brickies in lead-up to Brexit

Construction sector returns to growth, but optimism is in short supply

Morgan Sindall bucks construction slowdown to increase forecasts

Utilities

Landlords tendering for £300m of fire safety contracts – the biggest of their kind in eight years

DCC enters US fuel market with £152m acquisition

G4S downgrades revenue forecast amid slow trading in the Middle East and India

Questor

Questor: Compass sticks to the recipe for succession and serves up steady growth

Questor: National Grid is in politically choppy waters, but its index-linked income is precious

Questor: this is the trust to buy if you are worried that markets have become complacent

Questor: there’s plenty of scope for this aviation firm’s undervalued shares to soar

Money

Latest bank transfer fraud victims: We ve lost £113,665 and are now homeless with eight pets

How the Government s inflation trick makes pensioners, commuters and students poorer

Biotech stocks are up 560pc in a decade – and this is how to play the sector for more

BT, Virgin and the biggest broadband firms to provide automatic compensation for poor service

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The best place to start a business – four alternatives to London

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Is your business really as secure as you think?

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How can on-site generation help energy users profit from efficiency?

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Amazon to Buy Whole Foods for $13, buying a business.#Buying #a #business


Amazon to Buy Whole Foods for $13.4 Billion

Buying a business

Amazon agreed to buy the upscale grocery chain Whole Foods for $13.4 billion, in a deal that will instantly transform the company that pioneered online shopping into a merchant with physical outposts in hundreds of neighborhoods across the country.

The acquisition, announced Friday, is a reflection of both the sheer magnitude of the grocery business — about $800 billion in annual spending in the United States — and a desire to turn Amazon into a more frequent shopping habit by becoming a bigger player in food and beverages. After almost a decade selling groceries online, Amazon has failed to make a major dent on its own as consumers have shown a stubborn urge to buy items like fruits, vegetables and meat in person.

Buying Whole Foods also represents a major escalation in the company’s long-running battle with Walmart, the largest grocery retailer in the United States, which has been struggling to play catch-up in internet shopping. On Friday, Walmart announced a $310 million deal to acquire the internet apparel retailer Bonobos, and last year it agreed to pay $3.3 billion for Jet.com and put Jet’s chief executive, Marc Lore, in charge of Walmart’s overall e-commerce business.

“Make no mistake, Walmart under no circumstances can lose the grocery wars to Amazon,” said Brittain Ladd, a strategy and supply chain consultant who formerly worked with Amazon on its grocery business. “If Walmart loses the grocery battle to Amazon, they have no chance of ever dethroning Amazon as the largest e-commerce player in the world.”

The idea of Amazon, a company founded 23 years ago on the premise of shopping from the comfort of a computer screen, moving forcefully into the crowded field of brick-and-mortar retail, with its limitations on selection and lack of customer reviews, once seemed ludicrous. But in the past several years, the company has dabbled with stores, opening or planning more than a dozen bookstores around the country.

Amazon Is Trying to Do (and Sell) Everything

The company’s $13.4 billion deal for Whole Foods is the latest signal of Amazon’s ambitions to have a hold on nearly every facet our lives — like the computer servers that power our favorite websites and the food we eat.

Buying a business

In Seattle, it recently opened two grocery drive-through stores where customers can pick up online orders, along with a convenience store called Amazon Go that uses sensors and software to let shoppers sail through the exits without visiting a cashier.

The addition of Whole Foods takes Amazon’s physical presence to a new level. The grocery chain includes more than 460 stores in the United States, Canada and Britain with sales of $16 billion in the last fiscal year. Mikey Vu, a partner at the consultancy Bain Company who is focused on retail, said, “They’re going to be within an hour or 30 minutes of as many people as possible.”

Founded in 1978 in Austin, Tex., Whole Foods is best known for its organic foods, building its brand on healthy eating and fresh, local produce and meats. It has also long been caricatured as “Whole Paycheck” for the high prices it charges for groceries. That conflicts with a core tenet of Amazon, which has made low prices part of its mission as a retailer.

Analysts speculated that Amazon could use its $99-a-year Prime membership service, which gives customers free, two-day shipping and other benefits, to offer Whole Foods customers a better price on groceries, as it does for books in its bookstores. The stores could also serve as an advertisement to get more customers to sign up for Prime; in September the financial firm Cowen Company estimated that Prime had 49 million subscribers in the United States, representing about 44 percent of households.

Amazon has been on a multiyear offensive to open warehouses closer to customers so it can deliver orders in as little as two hours, and Whole Foods stores will further narrow Amazon’s physical proximity to its shoppers. The stores could become locations for returning online orders of all kinds. Amazon could also use them to cut delivery times for online orders.

The $13.4 billion deal, which does not include net debt, immediately raised questions about whether Amazon’s experiments with automation, like the cashier-less checkout technology it is testing in its Amazon Go store, could eventually lead to job losses at Whole Foods stores.

“Amazon’s brutal vision for retail is one where automation replaces good jobs,” Marc Perrone, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, said in a statement. “That is the reality today at Amazon, and it will no doubt become the reality at Whole Foods.”

Drew Herdener, a spokesman for Amazon, said it has no plans to use the Amazon Go technology to automate the jobs of cashiers at Whole Foods and no job reductions are planned as a result of the deal. Whole Foods workers are not unionized.

The move to buy Whole Foods is a further sign of the outsize ambitions of Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive and founder, who came under fire from Donald J. Trump during the presidential campaign last year, when Mr. Trump said Mr. Bezos had a “huge antitrust problem because he’s controlling so much.”


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Amazon is buying Whole Foods for $13, buying a business.#Buying #a #business


Amazon is buying Whole Foods for $13.7 billion

Buying a business

Amazon is making a big bet on physical stores and the business of food.

The online retail giant announced Friday that is buying organic grocery chain Whole Foods ( WFM ) for $13.7 billion in cash. The deal values Whole Foods at $42 a share, 27% higher than where the stock was trading Thursday.

Amazon ( AMZN , Tech30) said Whole Foods stores will continue operating under that name as a separate unit of the company. Whole Foods CEO John Mackey will stay on to lead Whole Foods, which will keep its headquarters in Austin, Texas.

The deal shows Amazon’s interest in moving into the business of operating traditional brick-and-mortar stores, even as many retailers that have been crippled by Amazon’s growth have announced a series of store closings.

It also shows Amazon’s growing interest in groceries. The company has its own delivery service, AmazonFresh, and is experimenting with a “click and collect” model, letting customers buy groceries online, then pick them up in person.

The supermarket business, like many other parts of retail, has been hit hard by increased competition from Amazon itself, as well as Walmart ( WMT ) .

Grocery giant Kroger ( KR ) said Thursday that its profits for the year would be lower than Wall Street expected, sending its stock plunging nearly 20%.

Then Kroger’s stock plummeted 13% further on Friday after the Amazon-Whole Foods detail was announced.

Shares of other retailers with a big presence in groceries, such as Target ( TGT ) , Costco ( COST ) , SuperValu ( SVU ) and Sprouts ( SFM ) , plunged as well.

And Walmart was down 5%, despite announcing another online commerce deal of its own Friday. It bought men’s apparel company Bonobos.

But Amazon’s stock rose 3% on the news. Investors don’t seem too concerned by how much the company is spending. A warning of a possible credit downgrade by ratings agency S P Global Ratings didn’t hurt Amazon either.

S P said that Amazon may need to take on more debt as a result of the acquisition. But Amazon finished the first quarter with $21.5 billion in cash and securities on its balance sheet — and only $7.7 billion in long-term debt.

Amazon’s deal for Whole Foods also further demonstrates the financial might of the Jeff Bezos-led company, whose market value is greater than that of the 12 largest traditional general retailers combined.

“Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy,” said Bezos.

Whole Foods, founded in 1978, is widely credited with helping to make organic food go mainstream. The company now has about 87,000 employees and more than 460 stores — mostly in the U.S. But Whole Foods has also expanded to Canada and the U.K.

The company has been moving aggressively in big cities, targeting millennial shoppers with a store format called 365 by Whole Foods Market that, like rival Trader Joe’s, has lower prices than the ones found at core Whole Foods stores.

High prices, of course, have been a problem for Whole Foods. The company is often derisively referred to as Whole Paycheck since the company charges a pretty penny for spelt and quinoa.

The company was accused of overcharging customers by regulators in New York City in 2015 and that had a huge negative impact on Whole Foods. Sales plunged for several quarters.

And the company became the butt of jokes by late-night comedians. HBO’s John Oliver did a savage skit about the company’s high prices. (HBO, like CNNMoney, is owned by Time Warner.)

Oliver ran a mock commercial showing, among other things, a block of ice with an avocado balanced on top for $25.99, a pomegranate that listened to NPR for $64.99, and tilapia wearing yoga pants for $84.99.

Mackey eventually wound up apologizing to customers. But the damage was done.

Sales growth at Whole Foods has slowed and profits have yet to return to levels before the price scandal. That may be one reason why Whole Foods was willing to sell to Amazon.

It will be interesting to see if Amazon — which has a reputation for keeping prices low — will turn Whole Foods into more of a bargain retailer as well.

It’s also worth noting that Whole Foods stock did not move much higher than $42 on Friday — the price that Amazon agreed to pay. That could be a sign that Wall Street does not expect a bidding war for the company that would push the sale price higher.

So it looks like Bezos will inherit the bad PR baggage that comes with Whole Foods. I wonder if it’s too soon for people to ask Alexa where they can find stalks of asparagus in a bottle of water for $6.


Tags : , ,

Buying Local: How It Boosts the Economy, buying a business.#Buying #a #business


Buying Local: How It Boosts the Economy

“Buy Local” you see the decal in the store window, the sign at the farmer’s market, the bright, cheerful logos for Local First Arizona, Think Boise First, Our Milwaukee, and homegrown versions across the states. The apparent message is “let’s-support-local-business”, a kind of community boosterism. But buying close to home may be more than a feel-good, it’s-worth-paying-more-for-local matter. A number of researchers and organizations are taking a closer look at how money flows, and what they’re finding shows the profound economic impact of keeping money in town and how the fate of many communities around the nation and the world increasingly depend on it.

At the most basic level, when you buy local more money stays in the community. The New Economics Foundation, an independent economic think tank based in London, compared what happens when people buy produce at a supermarket vs. a local farmer’s market or community supported agriculture (CSA) program and found that twice the money stayed in the community when folks bought locally. “That means those purchases are twice as efficient in terms of keeping the local economy alive,” says author and NEF researcher David Boyle. (See the top 10 food trends of 2008.)

Indeed, says Boyle, many local economies are languishing not because too little cash comes in, but as a result of what happens to that money. “Money is like blood. It needs to keep moving around to keep the economy going,” he says, noting that when money is spent elsewhere at big supermarkets, non-locally owned utilities and other services such as on-line retailers “it flows out, like a wound.” By shopping at the corner store instead of the big box, consumers keep their communities from becoming what the NEF calls “ghost towns” (areas devoid of neighborhood shops and services) or “clone towns”, where Main Street now looks like every other Main Street with the same fast-food and retail chains.

According to Susan Witt, Executive Director of the E.F. Schumacher Society, “buy local” campaigns serve another function: alerting a community about gaps in the local market. For instance, if consumers keep turning to on-line or big-box stores for a particular product say, socks this signals an opportunity for someone local to make and sell socks. This is the way product innovations get made, says Witt. “The local producer adds creative elements that make either the product or materials used more appropriate to the place.” For example, an area where sheep are raised might make lambs wool socks and other goods.

The point is not that communities should suddenly seek to be self-sufficient in all ways, but rather, says Boyle, “to shift the balance. Can you produce more locally? Of course you can if the raw materials are there, and the raw materials are often human beings.”

And what about that higher cost of local goods? After all, big-box stores got to be big because their prices are low. Susan Witt says that the difference falls away once you consider the increase in local employment as well as the relationships that grow when people buy from people they know. (Plus, one could argue, lower transportation, and therefore environmental, costs, and you know what you’re getting which as we’ve recently seen with suspected contamination in toys and other products from China, can be a concern.)

There’s also the matter of local/regional resilience. Says Witt: “While now we’re largely a service-providing nation, we’re still just a generation away from being a nation of producers. The question is: what economic framework will help us reclaim those skills and that potential.” Say, for example, the exchange rates change or the price of oil rises (and it has started to creep up, if not at last summer’s pace) so that foreign-made goods are no longer cheap to import. We could find ourselves doubly stuck because domestic manufacturing is no longer set up to make all these products. While no community functions in isolation, supporting local trade helps “recreate the diversity of small businesses that are flexible and can adjust” to changing needs and market conditions, says Witt. (Read “How to Know When the Economy Is Turning Up.”)

Another argument for buying local is that it enhances the “velocity” of money, or circulation speed, in the area. The idea is that if currency circulates more quickly, the money passes through more hands and more people have had the benefit of the money and what it has purchased for them. “If you’re buying local and not at a chain or branch store, chances are that store is not making a huge profit,” says David Morris, Vice President of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a nonprofit economic research and development organization based in Minneapolis and Washington, D.C. “That means more goes into input costs supplies and upkeep, printing, advertising, paying employees which puts that money right back in the community.”

One way to really make sure money stays in the community is through creating a local currency. Christian Gelleri, a former Waldorf high school teacher in the Lake Chiem area in Germany, has launched a regional currency, the Chiemgauer, equivalent in value to the Euro. According to Gelleri, the Chiemgauer, accepted at more than 600 businesses in the region and with about $3,000,000 Euros worth in circulation, has three times the velocity of the Euro, circling through the economy an average of 18 times a year as opposed to 6. One reason for the fast turnaround is that the Chiemgauer is designed to encourage spending: there is a 2% demurrage fee for holding onto the bills beyond three months.

As an economic principle, velocity has been considered a constant. According to Gelleri, it was stable in the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s but starting in the ’80s velocity has decreased as more money has been diverted to the financial sector. This scenario may benefit financial centers, but money tends to drain away from other places. Gelleri says that both the Euro and the U.S. dollar have slowed way down. “In the last several months velocity has declined sharply because there’s less GDP and more money,” he says. “The money doesn’t flow. More money is being printed, but it’s not going into circulation.”

As the nation limps through the recession, many towns and cities are hurting. “Buy-local” campaigns can help local economies withstand the downturn. Says Boyle: “For communities, this is a hopeful message in a recession because it’s not about how much money you’ve got, but how much you can keep circulating without letting it leak out.”


Tags : , ,

Amazon is buying Whole Foods for $13, buying a business.#Buying #a #business


Amazon is buying Whole Foods for $13.7 billion

Buying a business

Amazon is making a big bet on physical stores and the business of food.

The online retail giant announced Friday that is buying organic grocery chain Whole Foods ( WFM ) for $13.7 billion in cash. The deal values Whole Foods at $42 a share, 27% higher than where the stock was trading Thursday.

Amazon ( AMZN , Tech30) said Whole Foods stores will continue operating under that name as a separate unit of the company. Whole Foods CEO John Mackey will stay on to lead Whole Foods, which will keep its headquarters in Austin, Texas.

The deal shows Amazon’s interest in moving into the business of operating traditional brick-and-mortar stores, even as many retailers that have been crippled by Amazon’s growth have announced a series of store closings.

It also shows Amazon’s growing interest in groceries. The company has its own delivery service, AmazonFresh, and is experimenting with a “click and collect” model, letting customers buy groceries online, then pick them up in person.

The supermarket business, like many other parts of retail, has been hit hard by increased competition from Amazon itself, as well as Walmart ( WMT ) .

Grocery giant Kroger ( KR ) said Thursday that its profits for the year would be lower than Wall Street expected, sending its stock plunging nearly 20%.

Then Kroger’s stock plummeted 13% further on Friday after the Amazon-Whole Foods detail was announced.

Shares of other retailers with a big presence in groceries, such as Target ( TGT ) , Costco ( COST ) , SuperValu ( SVU ) and Sprouts ( SFM ) , plunged as well.

And Walmart was down 5%, despite announcing another online commerce deal of its own Friday. It bought men’s apparel company Bonobos.

But Amazon’s stock rose 3% on the news. Investors don’t seem too concerned by how much the company is spending. A warning of a possible credit downgrade by ratings agency S P Global Ratings didn’t hurt Amazon either.

S P said that Amazon may need to take on more debt as a result of the acquisition. But Amazon finished the first quarter with $21.5 billion in cash and securities on its balance sheet — and only $7.7 billion in long-term debt.

Amazon’s deal for Whole Foods also further demonstrates the financial might of the Jeff Bezos-led company, whose market value is greater than that of the 12 largest traditional general retailers combined.

“Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy,” said Bezos.

Whole Foods, founded in 1978, is widely credited with helping to make organic food go mainstream. The company now has about 87,000 employees and more than 460 stores — mostly in the U.S. But Whole Foods has also expanded to Canada and the U.K.

The company has been moving aggressively in big cities, targeting millennial shoppers with a store format called 365 by Whole Foods Market that, like rival Trader Joe’s, has lower prices than the ones found at core Whole Foods stores.

High prices, of course, have been a problem for Whole Foods. The company is often derisively referred to as Whole Paycheck since the company charges a pretty penny for spelt and quinoa.

The company was accused of overcharging customers by regulators in New York City in 2015 and that had a huge negative impact on Whole Foods. Sales plunged for several quarters.

And the company became the butt of jokes by late-night comedians. HBO’s John Oliver did a savage skit about the company’s high prices. (HBO, like CNNMoney, is owned by Time Warner.)

Oliver ran a mock commercial showing, among other things, a block of ice with an avocado balanced on top for $25.99, a pomegranate that listened to NPR for $64.99, and tilapia wearing yoga pants for $84.99.

Mackey eventually wound up apologizing to customers. But the damage was done.

Sales growth at Whole Foods has slowed and profits have yet to return to levels before the price scandal. That may be one reason why Whole Foods was willing to sell to Amazon.

It will be interesting to see if Amazon — which has a reputation for keeping prices low — will turn Whole Foods into more of a bargain retailer as well.

It’s also worth noting that Whole Foods stock did not move much higher than $42 on Friday — the price that Amazon agreed to pay. That could be a sign that Wall Street does not expect a bidding war for the company that would push the sale price higher.

So it looks like Bezos will inherit the bad PR baggage that comes with Whole Foods. I wonder if it’s too soon for people to ask Alexa where they can find stalks of asparagus in a bottle of water for $6.


Tags : , ,

Buying Local: How It Boosts the Economy, buying a business.#Buying #a #business


Buying Local: How It Boosts the Economy

“Buy Local” you see the decal in the store window, the sign at the farmer’s market, the bright, cheerful logos for Local First Arizona, Think Boise First, Our Milwaukee, and homegrown versions across the states. The apparent message is “let’s-support-local-business”, a kind of community boosterism. But buying close to home may be more than a feel-good, it’s-worth-paying-more-for-local matter. A number of researchers and organizations are taking a closer look at how money flows, and what they’re finding shows the profound economic impact of keeping money in town and how the fate of many communities around the nation and the world increasingly depend on it.

At the most basic level, when you buy local more money stays in the community. The New Economics Foundation, an independent economic think tank based in London, compared what happens when people buy produce at a supermarket vs. a local farmer’s market or community supported agriculture (CSA) program and found that twice the money stayed in the community when folks bought locally. “That means those purchases are twice as efficient in terms of keeping the local economy alive,” says author and NEF researcher David Boyle. (See the top 10 food trends of 2008.)

Indeed, says Boyle, many local economies are languishing not because too little cash comes in, but as a result of what happens to that money. “Money is like blood. It needs to keep moving around to keep the economy going,” he says, noting that when money is spent elsewhere at big supermarkets, non-locally owned utilities and other services such as on-line retailers “it flows out, like a wound.” By shopping at the corner store instead of the big box, consumers keep their communities from becoming what the NEF calls “ghost towns” (areas devoid of neighborhood shops and services) or “clone towns”, where Main Street now looks like every other Main Street with the same fast-food and retail chains.

According to Susan Witt, Executive Director of the E.F. Schumacher Society, “buy local” campaigns serve another function: alerting a community about gaps in the local market. For instance, if consumers keep turning to on-line or big-box stores for a particular product say, socks this signals an opportunity for someone local to make and sell socks. This is the way product innovations get made, says Witt. “The local producer adds creative elements that make either the product or materials used more appropriate to the place.” For example, an area where sheep are raised might make lambs wool socks and other goods.

The point is not that communities should suddenly seek to be self-sufficient in all ways, but rather, says Boyle, “to shift the balance. Can you produce more locally? Of course you can if the raw materials are there, and the raw materials are often human beings.”

And what about that higher cost of local goods? After all, big-box stores got to be big because their prices are low. Susan Witt says that the difference falls away once you consider the increase in local employment as well as the relationships that grow when people buy from people they know. (Plus, one could argue, lower transportation, and therefore environmental, costs, and you know what you’re getting which as we’ve recently seen with suspected contamination in toys and other products from China, can be a concern.)

There’s also the matter of local/regional resilience. Says Witt: “While now we’re largely a service-providing nation, we’re still just a generation away from being a nation of producers. The question is: what economic framework will help us reclaim those skills and that potential.” Say, for example, the exchange rates change or the price of oil rises (and it has started to creep up, if not at last summer’s pace) so that foreign-made goods are no longer cheap to import. We could find ourselves doubly stuck because domestic manufacturing is no longer set up to make all these products. While no community functions in isolation, supporting local trade helps “recreate the diversity of small businesses that are flexible and can adjust” to changing needs and market conditions, says Witt. (Read “How to Know When the Economy Is Turning Up.”)

Another argument for buying local is that it enhances the “velocity” of money, or circulation speed, in the area. The idea is that if currency circulates more quickly, the money passes through more hands and more people have had the benefit of the money and what it has purchased for them. “If you’re buying local and not at a chain or branch store, chances are that store is not making a huge profit,” says David Morris, Vice President of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a nonprofit economic research and development organization based in Minneapolis and Washington, D.C. “That means more goes into input costs supplies and upkeep, printing, advertising, paying employees which puts that money right back in the community.”

One way to really make sure money stays in the community is through creating a local currency. Christian Gelleri, a former Waldorf high school teacher in the Lake Chiem area in Germany, has launched a regional currency, the Chiemgauer, equivalent in value to the Euro. According to Gelleri, the Chiemgauer, accepted at more than 600 businesses in the region and with about $3,000,000 Euros worth in circulation, has three times the velocity of the Euro, circling through the economy an average of 18 times a year as opposed to 6. One reason for the fast turnaround is that the Chiemgauer is designed to encourage spending: there is a 2% demurrage fee for holding onto the bills beyond three months.

As an economic principle, velocity has been considered a constant. According to Gelleri, it was stable in the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s but starting in the ’80s velocity has decreased as more money has been diverted to the financial sector. This scenario may benefit financial centers, but money tends to drain away from other places. Gelleri says that both the Euro and the U.S. dollar have slowed way down. “In the last several months velocity has declined sharply because there’s less GDP and more money,” he says. “The money doesn’t flow. More money is being printed, but it’s not going into circulation.”

As the nation limps through the recession, many towns and cities are hurting. “Buy-local” campaigns can help local economies withstand the downturn. Says Boyle: “For communities, this is a hopeful message in a recession because it’s not about how much money you’ve got, but how much you can keep circulating without letting it leak out.”


Tags : , ,

Amazon is buying Whole Foods for $13, buying a business.#Buying #a #business


Amazon is buying Whole Foods for $13.7 billion

Buying a business

Amazon is making a big bet on physical stores and the business of food.

The online retail giant announced Friday that is buying organic grocery chain Whole Foods ( WFM ) for $13.7 billion in cash. The deal values Whole Foods at $42 a share, 27% higher than where the stock was trading Thursday.

Amazon ( AMZN , Tech30) said Whole Foods stores will continue operating under that name as a separate unit of the company. Whole Foods CEO John Mackey will stay on to lead Whole Foods, which will keep its headquarters in Austin, Texas.

The deal shows Amazon’s interest in moving into the business of operating traditional brick-and-mortar stores, even as many retailers that have been crippled by Amazon’s growth have announced a series of store closings.

It also shows Amazon’s growing interest in groceries. The company has its own delivery service, AmazonFresh, and is experimenting with a “click and collect” model, letting customers buy groceries online, then pick them up in person.

The supermarket business, like many other parts of retail, has been hit hard by increased competition from Amazon itself, as well as Walmart ( WMT ) .

Grocery giant Kroger ( KR ) said Thursday that its profits for the year would be lower than Wall Street expected, sending its stock plunging nearly 20%.

Then Kroger’s stock plummeted 13% further on Friday after the Amazon-Whole Foods detail was announced.

Shares of other retailers with a big presence in groceries, such as Target ( TGT ) , Costco ( COST ) , SuperValu ( SVU ) and Sprouts ( SFM ) , plunged as well.

And Walmart was down 5%, despite announcing another online commerce deal of its own Friday. It bought men’s apparel company Bonobos.

But Amazon’s stock rose 3% on the news. Investors don’t seem too concerned by how much the company is spending. A warning of a possible credit downgrade by ratings agency S P Global Ratings didn’t hurt Amazon either.

S P said that Amazon may need to take on more debt as a result of the acquisition. But Amazon finished the first quarter with $21.5 billion in cash and securities on its balance sheet — and only $7.7 billion in long-term debt.

Amazon’s deal for Whole Foods also further demonstrates the financial might of the Jeff Bezos-led company, whose market value is greater than that of the 12 largest traditional general retailers combined.

“Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy,” said Bezos.

Whole Foods, founded in 1978, is widely credited with helping to make organic food go mainstream. The company now has about 87,000 employees and more than 460 stores — mostly in the U.S. But Whole Foods has also expanded to Canada and the U.K.

The company has been moving aggressively in big cities, targeting millennial shoppers with a store format called 365 by Whole Foods Market that, like rival Trader Joe’s, has lower prices than the ones found at core Whole Foods stores.

High prices, of course, have been a problem for Whole Foods. The company is often derisively referred to as Whole Paycheck since the company charges a pretty penny for spelt and quinoa.

The company was accused of overcharging customers by regulators in New York City in 2015 and that had a huge negative impact on Whole Foods. Sales plunged for several quarters.

And the company became the butt of jokes by late-night comedians. HBO’s John Oliver did a savage skit about the company’s high prices. (HBO, like CNNMoney, is owned by Time Warner.)

Oliver ran a mock commercial showing, among other things, a block of ice with an avocado balanced on top for $25.99, a pomegranate that listened to NPR for $64.99, and tilapia wearing yoga pants for $84.99.

Mackey eventually wound up apologizing to customers. But the damage was done.

Sales growth at Whole Foods has slowed and profits have yet to return to levels before the price scandal. That may be one reason why Whole Foods was willing to sell to Amazon.

It will be interesting to see if Amazon — which has a reputation for keeping prices low — will turn Whole Foods into more of a bargain retailer as well.

It’s also worth noting that Whole Foods stock did not move much higher than $42 on Friday — the price that Amazon agreed to pay. That could be a sign that Wall Street does not expect a bidding war for the company that would push the sale price higher.

So it looks like Bezos will inherit the bad PR baggage that comes with Whole Foods. I wonder if it’s too soon for people to ask Alexa where they can find stalks of asparagus in a bottle of water for $6.


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Buying a business: Starting a business advice and business ideas #business #simulation


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Buying a business

Buying an existing business can be a successful route to becoming your own boss. Take a look at the steps involved in finding, valuing and buying a small business to decide if buying a business is the right direction for you.

How to start a business: What you need to know

  • Buying a business: Cafes and coffee shops

  • Buying a business: Tea rooms

    Key topics

    Startups answers the key questions you should ask before starting your own business

    David Soskin tells us about how he took over Cheapflights.co.uk

    Why buying a failing business may leave you in difficulties too

    Latest on Startups

    Useful business start up tools

    Forum post of the week

    Want to run a more profitable business?

    More from Startups


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  • Buying a business – Canada Business Network #sell #your #business


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    Buying a business

    Buying a business can take time, energy and a fair bit of research. It can be less risky and more affordable to purchase an existing business than to start one from scratch, but it is important that you do your homework to ensure that you buy the right business for you, and that you pay a fair price for it.

    On this page:

    Where to find a business to buy

    Businesses for sale are often advertised in print media and online, but sometimes business opportunities can be misleading. Make sure to do your due diligence before you take action. Try trade publications or commercial investment magazines, or talk to a broker who specializes in a specific industry. Networking at business events can help get the word out that you are looking to buy.

    Find buyers or find a business to buy based on algorithms allowing you to find the best match based on skills and goals.

    Looking to buy or sell an existing business in Ontario? Use this online marketplace to find available businesses that match your search criteria.

    What kind of business should I buy?

    If you buy an existing business, you have two choices: franchise, or traditional (independent) business. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.

    • Proven track record This is an established business with a proven concept; there is less risk and less initial capital required than with starting something brand new. Similarly, when it comes time to sell, you may have an easier time finding prospective buyers for a known entity.
    • Built-in customer base People know what to expect from your business because they know the brand, and trust the product or service.
    • Setup, support and training Having a parent company means having the infrastructure and processes in place, from equipment to uniforms to corporate advertising, rather than having to develop them on your own. Other franchisees can also be a source of support.
    • Set of rules and regulations to follow When you operate a franchise, you have less control over the operations than if you own an independent business; you also have to pay a percentage of your revenues to the parent company, which reduces overall earnings.
    • More control and responsibility You have the autonomy to set your own rules, but the success or failure of the business rests solely on your shoulders.
    • No fees or royalties You keep all of your earnings without sharing any of the profits.
    • More opportunity and risk You can sometimes find a business that may not be doing well but has potential. If you are willing to do the work, you may reap the rewards; you must be prepared if things don t turn out as planned.

    Evaluating a business

    Before deciding to buy a business, you should evaluate its condition and potential. Think about the following things:

    • What is the physical location of the business like? Is the office, warehouse, plant or retail space in good shape? What about any equipment or inventory?
    • If it s an online business, how well-designed is the website? Is it secure? Are there any metrics to study?
    • Does the business have a good reputation? You can check online for customer reviews.
    • How visible and easily accessible is the business? Is it located in an urban or rural area? You will have to consider expenses like increased shipping costs if you are farther away from your suppliers and customers.
    • Are the products or services generating revenue? Are sales increasing, decreasing or are they flat?
    • Does the business have a good working relationship with its suppliers and bank?

    If a business is doing poorly, examine what the potential causes are. It may be a case of poor management, or inadequate resources. If you think you can turn it around and make it profitable, you could stand to gain from your investment; on the flip side, you are taking a big risk if it doesn t work out.

    If a deal seems too good to be true, chances are, it probably is. Learn how to determine what type of business you should buy.

    Know your options when buying a business. Consider the pros and cons of each business type, situation and stage.

    If you need to know the value of your business, learn about the different approaches to business valuation.

    What is a fair price to pay for a business? Read this article to learn how to estimate the value of a business.

    Protect yourself when buying a business. This article outlines the steps you need to take before signing on the dotted line.

    Determining how much to pay for the business

    As a buyer, it all comes down to knowing what you can afford before negotiations start. You should be flexible in your negotiations, but also keep your budget and the value of the business in mind.

    What is the value of the business?

    • You will have to determine the value of assets such as the building, equipment and products.
    • Further factors to consider are the business financial statements, annual reports and intellectual property (for example, patents and trade-marks).
    • Other valuable assets to any business are its reputation, customer lists, and quality of personnel.

    Talk to clients who buy directly from the business. It is better to find out the reputation of a business before you sign on the dotted line. Banks are more receptive to a business that has a proven track record.

    Find out how to access funding for your business.

    Final considerations

    • Take your time and verify all of the information you are given before you commit yourself.
    • Buy a business in an industry you know well and with products or services you are comfortable selling.
    • Buy based on the return on investment and not only the price. You don t want to leave yourself short of funds for future expenses.
    • Investigate suppliers, clients and the reputation of the business before you buy.

    If you are buying a business and its inventory and assets, learn about some of the requirements, changing ownership and GST/HST considerations.

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    Buying an Internet Business – Why 2016 is the Year to Buy #business #names

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    Buying an Internet Business Why 2016 is the Year to Buy

    The start of a new year is always a natural time of year to make plans for the future. be it personally or professionally. It’s a good time to take stock of previous experience and think about what’s taking place in the world. Indeed, you don’t have to look too far for predictions posts at the moment, the internet is positively awash with musings about the year ahead with many exciting internet marketing trends predicted (mobile, the internet of things and as ever, more content marketing!)

    Strangely though there is not much in the way of thoughts on business buying in 2016,particularly for buying an internet business. so I’ve put some thoughts together on why 2016 is potentially a very timely year to buy.

    Buying an internet business – macro favors the opportunist

    There’s so much uncertainty in both the US and global economy at the moment that you can carve a pretty convincing argument either way for economic collapse or prosperity in 2016 (presumably that’s how Wall Street analysts keep in business come high or low…)

    I think though that when it comes to small business ownership there is strong cause for optimism this year. Consumer confidence has continued to climb through 2016 to the mid 90 s. Good news for consumer facing e-businesses.

    Investment levels always tell you something about the market’s sentiment toward both the economy and small business growth. Whilst you shouldn’t always follow the herd it’s important to note we operate in an economy based largely on consent, so if everyone else is investing it’s a good sign for personal acquisitions. US venture capital investment continue to grow year over year, and 2015 saw the largest amount of investment dollars.

    Lastly, borrowing is an essential component for acquisition and growth and it’s refreshing to see that whilst SBA lending softened a little in 2014 to $3.8bn (from $4.0bn in 2013), the lender is anticipating a huge boost in 2015 to $4.8bn. If you’re looking to debt finance an internet business acquisition, 2016 could well be the year to do it.

    A word of warning though, it can still be quite difficult to secure debt financing for online business acquisitions. SaaS businesses and recurring revenue models that have at least three years of history tend to be the most successful candidates for funding, though cash buyers will continue to have pole position in 2016. If you want to learn about alternative finance options you can read How to Buy a Website with Finance .

    Surging internet growth continues

    The nice thing about most internet trends is that they almost always face upwards which makes the old Chinese proverb of “the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is now” true at the start of almost every year.

    E-commerce continues to be one of the biggest areas of internet growth and eMarketer expects the global E-commerce industry to increase another $263bn in 2015 to $1.763trn (yes trillion), all boding very well for site owners and potential business acquirers.

    Content sites will not miss out on a continued surge in internet usage as multi-device and particularly mobile usage make the web a major source of advertising dollars. Internet advertising revenues continue to rise with spending up across every single sector. from 5% YoY in entertainment to 20% YoY in retail. Digital advertising revenue is now worth more than $40bn in the US alone (as of 2014), second only to TV, and rising at 15% per annum (5x faster than any other medium).

    It’s not just the growth opportunities that are appearing in the internet investment landscape, the risk factors are somewhat fading too. Many online business acquirers are cautious of pending Google algorithm updates particularly when looking at websites with high search traffic (and they are wise to be). With the last 18 months seeing an unprecedented amount of algorithm changes. things have now started to calm and the industry is expecting a smoother runway in 2016.

    That’s not to say there won’t be movement but there is much less concern over 20% single-day traffic falls as we saw with the Penguin and Panda rollouts in 2013 and 2014. The good news for site buyers is that investors now have the pick of sites that are still standing after the updates and they also have some runway ahead before Google consider another major algorithm update.

    Mobile is an explosive opportunity

    A major part of the trends above is the continued penetration of smartphones across the US, Western Europe and Asia as well as the proliferation of multi-device. Multi-device ownership is increasingly commonplace in developed markets with 1 in 4 smartphone owners in the US and EU5 also owning a tablet.

    Almost every internet marketing predictions post is citing mobile’s importance this year and its clear from listings at FEI that site owners who have mobile-optimised their sites (at the least) or built new service or content offerings around mobile, are very well positioned for selling. With Google putting greater emphasis on the mobile user experience, potentially even incorporating “mobile-friendliness” into its search ranking algorithm, mobile-friendly is now essential.

    Digi-Capital predict 61.3% CAGR of revenue growth in mobile app revenue (ex-gaming) to 2017 which is a staggering growth rate and a huge growth opportunity for buyers of e-businesses and apps in 2016 and beyond. Advertisers worldwide are recognizing the increasing penetration of mobile and its impact on consumers, and in response, plan to spend more than $64bn on mobile ads in 2015. 60% higher than 2014.

    Favorable industry trends

    Thomas and I wrote about industry trends at the end of 2015 and we think they are aligning positively for buyers. Whilst there’s undoubtedly more buyers in the industry than ever before, the market is formalizing and this can only be a good thing for raising industry standards amongst brokers, sellers and other industry participants alike.

    An exciting new development has been the launch of Escrow’s new domain name holding service in 2014 which has dramatically increased the scope for creatively financed deals in 2016. With domain(s) held in Escrow during the deferred consideration period there is much less fear about payment default, which warms sellers to the idea of earn outs, holdbacks and other financing methods. All of this is great news for buyers looking to stretch out their funds or structures deals for lower risk.

    Speaking of formalisation, the website buying industry definitely embraced content marketing in the past few years and we have seen a marked increase in content posting by brokers, marketplaces and industry commentators alike. Centurica now publish an annual website buying report and its co-founder Justin Gilchrist also published an in-depth primer on business buying.

    FEI published a free Guide to Buying an Online Business to help educate buyers on how to run through the process successfully and to raise awareness about the asset class. In short, there’s never been more quality information available about internet business buying which is great news for new and seasoned buyers alike.

    Buying an online business?

    Download our free 83-page guide to buying and learn all you need to know

    If not now, when?

    So there are a lot of good reasons why 2016 presents a unique opportunity to buy an internet business. But the truth is, every year gives advantages over the previous year. So, if you’re waiting for the perfect time, then you’ve perhaps already waited too long. The right time to buy a business is now! Don’t wait for any arbitrary date like January 1st.

    Instead, commit to your plan and get started right now. Yes, 2016 will be a great time for buying a business but so is today .

    David Newell

    David is the Brokerage Director at FE International. Starting out as an investment banker, he moved online to use his transaction experience for website brokerage. At FE International, he spends his time speaking with buyers, executing deals and working on raising industry standards to encourage more investments. In 2014 he closed more than $6m in sales and wrote a book on buying internet businesses for investors new to the space.


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