According to Sam and Jim Commenting on things that irk us off, make us laugh out loud or just seem too weird too believe According to Sam and Jim: It's A (retail) Economy Stupid

Friday, August 3, 2012

It's A (retail) Economy Stupid

Sam and I relate to my niece’s recent facebook comment that she was astonished to see Halloween and Christmas things at Michael’s-Arts & Crafts already. It is astonishing how much earlier retailers put out their seasonal stuff. You begin to wonder why they don’t just leave it out all year. I mean there’s one mattress company constantly advertising on TV that says it has a sale of some kind going on all the time. What would be the difference? (Okay, I’m tempted to say “sleep on it,” but I won’t). But I guess if you’re going to make crafts for the holidays you need to wake up and get going.

Retailing does seem to be the heartbeat of America, doesn’t it? It’s the economy stupid! Remember?

Did you see where Avon’s net income is down 70%? Wow! The company reportedly has struggled for the last three years to show a profit and it ain’t happening. Well, heck, that’s probably because there aren’t that many women at home anymore and it’s kind of difficult to leave a catalog on an office worker’s desk without it winding up in the round file. Someday soon Instead of “Avon calling,” the company’s slogan will be, “Avon falling.” But hey, once the company is defunct maybe your bottle collection will become more valuable.

Then Sam and I read that Supervalue, owner of Albertson’s grocery stores (and others), is reorganizing in order to prop up its sales. And Chick-fil-A one if those fast-food restaurants could falter soon if a boycott against them turns out to be successful. Apparently the restaurant executives have taken a stand on same-sex-marriage. They’re against it. So SSMAs (same sex marriage advocates) are trying to talk people out of eating at Chick-fil-As. The company has a couple of saviors however; Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor and a Baptist minister, and Billy Graham still eat there.

The worst business model failure, however, probably is the United States Post Office. The Service is projected to default on $5.5 billion, due to be paid this week for employee health benefits, and another $5.6 billion due in September. I don’t remember those kinds of problems before Congress allowed the P.O. to be run like a private enterprise. Do you? The problem may be that we don’t write and mail letters anymore. We send out emails now, which are faster, cheaper and easier. Who needs to send a written letter to someone when you can just text him or her on the phone? Maybe instead of haggling over whether to raise or cut taxes, Congress should levy a “mail tax” on everybody to bail the P.O. Out. You know, tax each of us the price of a first-class stamp once a week. Sam and I bet that would cure the problem. Of course, you couldn’t call the charge a tax or people would get all upset.

On the other hand, Apple’s Mountain Lion sales - the latest operating system - for Mac users is selling like hotcakes - at only $20 a download for all of a buyer’s personal computers. Now that’s retailing. Chrysler (who?) showed a profit this past quarter too. A profit of $436 million is a big turnaround from last year’s $370 million loss. Apparently the car company DOES have a Hemmi in it.

Last but not least, Sam and I read with interest that Sec. State Hilary Clinton has warned African nations to beware of Chinese bearing gold (no, not Olympic gold). Hil thinks the Chinese want to pillage the African nation’s natural resources. You think? But isn’t that like the pot calling the kettle black? Didn’t we pillage the Middle East oil countries for decades?

Here’s recommended reading for anyone who thinks we’re always the good guys. Check out Confessions of An Economic Hit Man by John Perkins (no relation).

Three bags of poop on bad economic news. I guess Sam and I will hold off on our planned IPO. 

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