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A growing economy coupled with new applications and convenience of online shopping could provide a catalyst to businesses that sell merchandise through online channels.
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Oprah Winfrey is the original influencer. One small business owner describes the transformative experience of making the "O List."
(Bloomberg) -- Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders are taking a victory lap after Amazon.com Inc. and other technology giants leased millions of square feet of office space in New York City -- without the billions of dollars in government support that Amazon tried to negotiate earlier this year.Amazon signed a lease on Friday for 335,000 square feet in the Hudson Yards neighborhood, enough space for more than 1,500 workers. The largest U.S. e-commerce company said it wasn’t getting tax benefits or other incentives.A few weeks earlier, Facebook Inc. leased more than 1.5 million square feet in the city, and the social-networking giant is looking for 700,000 more square feet, according to the Wall Street Journal. Google is also in the midst of a major expansion in the city, adding thousands of employees in coming years.The moves suggest that New York’s deep pool of talented workers is still attracting tech companies even after Amazon abandoned a much larger expansion in the area following fierce public criticism of almost $3 billion in tax breaks and subsidies promised to the company.https://t.co/AC64pG0nZI pic.twitter.com/xzCepkX4AV— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 6, 2019 Ocasio-Cortez, who represents parts of the Bronx and Queens, was a vocal critic of Amazon’s doomed HQ2 deal, and she tweeted that the company’s recent lease proved she was right.Sanders, who has slammed Amazon for warehouse working conditions and the company’s low federal tax rate, weighed in this weekend, too.Their comments were pilloried by some on Twitter, who said that 1,500 Amazon jobs are a fraction of the company’s earlier plan to bring about 25,000 workers to the area.Ocasio-Cortez responded by arguing that Amazon’s larger jobs pledge was longer-term and would have cost the city more.To contact the reporter on this story: Alistair Barr in San Francisco at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tom Giles at firstname.lastname@example.org, Virginia Van Natta, James LuddenFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Amazon.com Inc founder Jeff Bezos said it would support the U.S. Department of Defense as technology companies vie for more defence contracts and the Pentagon seeks to modernize itself. "We are going to support the Department of Defense, this country is important," Bezos said at an annual defense forum at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California. Tech companies have faced challenges when trying to work with the Pentagon.
(Bloomberg) -- Less than a year after Amazon.com Inc. walked away from a planned headquarters in New York, the e-commerce giant has announced a significant expansion in midtown Manhattan.The company signed a lease for 335,000 square feet in the Hudson Yards neighborhood on the west side. The new office will accommodate more than 1,500 workers and is slated to open in 2021, according to an e-mailed statement.“As we shared earlier this year, we plan to continue to hire and grow organically across our 18 Tech Hubs, including New York City,” the Seattle-based company said.Amazon abandoned plans in February to build an additional headquarters in New York’s Long Island City neighborhood following fierce public criticism of tax breaks promised to the company, and concerns about the impact on housing costs and transportation. The move sent shock waves through New York’s real estate community, which worried that the city was becoming inhospitable to business.But recent months have shown that companies are still attracted to New York and its deep pool of talented workers. Facebook Inc. announced that it was leasing more than 1.5 million square feet at Hudson Yards last month. And Google is also in the midst of a major expansion in the city.Amazon said it is not receiving tax benefits or other incentives for its new office, which will be located in SL Green Realty Corp.’s building on 10th Avenue between 33rd and 34th Streets. The outpost will be roughly the same size as the company’s other corporate offices in New York, where it currently has more than 3,500 employees in its tech hub.Dow Jones reported the lease earlier on Friday.To contact the reporter on this story: Noah Buhayar in Seattle at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Craig Giammona at firstname.lastname@example.org, Linus Chua, Stanley JamesFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
It is less likely that Santa alone will drive Wall Street this season as trade tensions persist. Overall, these ETF investing trends should stay strong.
(Bloomberg) -- Peloton Interactive Inc. has been pilloried online and punished on the stock market following the release of a holiday ad for its stationary exercise bike that was deemed culturally insensitive. But the backlash could be a good thing for the company in the long run.The commercial, which features a woman documenting a year in her life with the Peloton bike her male partner gave her, struck some viewers as out of touch -- suggesting the already thin “Grace from Boston” was undergoing a strenuous workout in order to lose weight for the guy. The video, released about a month ago, went viral on social media, eliciting a scathing parody by comedian Eva Victor and prompting Peloton to close comments on the official YouTube video.As the internet buzz seemed to hit a peak earlier this week, Peloton’s stock fell 9%. But some experts say the increased attention could end up boosting sales. The shares were up 3.7% on Friday in New York.“They might benefit more because people are looking it up and learning more about it,” Laura Ries, president of advertising consultancy firm Ries & Ries, said. It’s still a short-term bump for a company that has historically been largely successful with marketing, with a total member base of 1.6 million people including more than 560,000 who have one of the proprietary bikes or treadmills plus a fitness subscription, according to Peloton’s most recent quarterly report. The official Peloton ad on the company’s YouTube channel has been seen by more than 3.6 million people.The controversy comes at a crucial time for the New York-based company, which is new to market scrutiny after listing shares in September, as it seeks to capitalize on the all-important holiday sales season and expand in new markets like the U.K. and Germany. The shares had gained 27% since its initial public offering before the wave of internet commentary dragged it down on Tuesday. The company is also facing increased competition in the booming at-home fitness market, especially among workout apps. Nike Inc., Aaptiv Inc. and apps like Kayla Itsines’s Sweat with Kayla have all gained followings for exercise programs available on a user’s phone.Peloton has been punished by Wall Street for its focus on growth over profitability. The company sells a stationary bike starting at about $2,000 and a treadmill that costs about $4,000, in addition to a basic “connected fitness” subscription plan at $39 a month for those pieces of hardware, and the separate digital apps that don’t require equipment. Its loss narrowed in the three months ended Sept. 30 to $49.8 million.The stock surged almost 10% last Friday after the company was reportedly seeing strong demand on Black Friday. And earlier this month, Peloton lowered the price of its digital subscription app to $12.99 a month from $19.49 in conjunction with the launch of new apps for Amazon’s Fire TV and the Apple Watch, a move that could entice new users. JMP Securities analysts raised their price target on the stock after the subscription reduction, saying it “broadens Peloton’s reach, improves conversion, and reduces purchase friction.” Ronald Josey, a JMP analyst, said there are “a lot of good things going on” at the company and that people will continue to buy the bike and other products despite the controversy.According to the most recent earnings report, Peloton expects its user base to grow to 680,000 or more by the end of its second quarter thanks to holiday sales and New Year’s resolutions.Scott Galloway, a professor of marketing a the NYU Stern School of Business, said the commercial itself is tone deaf and borderline offensive. But “in this attention-driven economy, anything that gets attention is arguably a positive,” he said in an interview. “It’s bringing Peloton into the social discourse on very regular basis, which is what ads are supposed to do.” If Peloton had to do it again, Galloway said, “I’d argue they probably would.”(Updates shares in third paragraph. A previous version of the story corrected a company error in the subscription price.)To contact the reporter on this story: Julie Verhage in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Mark Milian at firstname.lastname@example.org, Molly Schuetz, Anne VanderMeyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Let's talk about the popular Expedia Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPE). The company's shares saw a decent share price growth...
A slew of advanced data breaches is expected to increase the demand for cloud security offerings in the coming years. The prospects are prompting cloud service providers to up the ante in this space.
Alibaba (BABA)-backed AutoX applies for testing its self-driving vehicles, without in-car driver backup, thereby stirring competition in the autonomous-vehicle tech space.
WEC Energy's (WEC) board of directors is set to increase annual dividend rate by 7.2%, in sync with its target of a dividend payout ratio of 65-70% of earnings.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- One consequence of America’s Cyber Monday shopping binge is the imminent arrival of $9.4 billion worth of merchandise on the nation’s doorsteps. And that will cue the annual cries of frustration about porch pirates — along with a raft of local news stories on how to evade them, and a few viral tales of consumers attempting to spook them with booby-trapped packages or glitter bombs.The fixation on thwarting porch pirates is understandable. (I, for one, will confess to being irrationally angry recently when a $27 baby onesie was swiped from my front stoop.) But it is also a flawed way of thinking about a legitimate and persistent problem with e-commerce.The problem is not just theft. It is that shipping giants such as United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp., as well as big retailers, are not moving fast enough to make delivery of online orders more flexible and to turn over more control to shoppers.Consumers and neighborhood associations should spend less time trying to answer the question, “How can we create a world where expensive goods can sit on my doorstep for hours and not get stolen?” Instead, they should be asking, “How can we make it so that expensive goods are not left on my doorstep in the first place?”UPS and FedEx, to be fair, have made strides toward giving customers more options. Each has a network of thousands of access points where shoppers can pick up packages, including at ubiquitous stores such as Dollar General or CVS Pharmacy. Both shippers have apps that allow residents to provide delivery instructions for a driver.Retailers, too, are getting more creative. Amazon.com Inc. now offers the option of choosing a single day each week for all of your recent orders to arrive, making it easier to ensure you’ll be home when your haul is delivered. And both Amazon and Walmart Inc. are piloting services that rely on smart-home technology that allows a driver one-time, secure access to your home.Surely such a service, or some variation of it, will become commonplace within a decade. (After all, there was once a time when it was creepy to get in a stranger’s car, but thanks to Uber and Lyft that’s now ordinary.) For now, though, the choices for consumers are underwhelming or confusing — or, in some cases, both.For example, UPS and FedEx both trumpet the convenience of letting you reroute an in-progress shipment to an access point. But online shoppers aren’t able to fully take advantage because retailers can put restrictions on packages preventing the recipient from redirecting them. This is likely a well-intentioned anti-fraud tactic, but it means access points aren’t the reliable solution they’re cracked up to be.And retailers aren’t always great at steering customers toward desirable secure options. Amazon, for example, routinely tries to nudge me at checkout to try a pickup point that is a 30-minute drive from my home, even though there is a Whole Foods Market with Amazon lockers in walking distance.But there are bigger ideas that could do even more to ensure package security. What if UPS or FedEx were to more routinely provide narrower time windows for drop-offs, or to allocate more workers for nighttime deliveries when nine-to-fivers are likely to be at home? What if retailers allowed customers to choose their shipping provider at checkout, which might force shippers to compete for their loyalty?Such changes would further complicate the “last-mile” delivery challenges the industry has been addressing for decades, and would likely add costs. But these are the same logistics experts and retailers that were able to make speedy two-day delivery standard. It’s not unreasonable to expect them to innovate their way to giving shoppers more choice.Even if it’s difficult, improved delivery flexibility is a far better remedy for porch piracy than other headline-grabbing approaches. Police departments have experimented with planting bait packages on doorsteps that are outfitted with GPS trackers, potentially allowing them to catch individual thieves. Texas has a new law on the books that makes package theft punishable by up to 10 years in prison.Never mind that there are already laws against theft. These kinds of punitive measures are not useless, but they are likely to be helpful only in a limited area for a limited period of time.The more productive approach is to focus on reducing the unsecured supply of porch treasures. And no one is better equipped to attack that problem than the retailers and shippers. So shoppers should raise their expectations of these companies and demand that they do more.To contact the author of this story: Sarah Halzack at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Newman at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Sarah Halzack is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She was previously a national retail reporter for the Washington Post.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Manchester United have signed a partnership deal with Alibaba - the Chinese e-commerce company. Under the arrangement, aimed at raising the Premier League side's profile in the world's second-largest economy, Alibaba will provide club content on its online video platform Youku.com. The deal will also lead to the creation of a Manchester United store on Alibaba's business-to-consumer platform Tmall.com, the club said.
Premier League soccer club Manchester United have agreed a partnership with e-commerce giant Alibaba in an effort to extend the club's engagement with fans in China. The deal will see Alibaba provide club content on its online video platform Youku and develop a future club store on the company's business-to-consumer platform Tmall.com. The deal is the latest move by United to engage with the Chinese market following the launch of a Chinese language app and plans for "experience centres" across the country.
(Bloomberg) -- As protests jolt Hong Kong business, organizations from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. to universities are adapting by going digital, switching to video-conferencing app Zoom to conduct online investor briefings and virtual lectures.Zoom Video Communications Inc. joins a number of internet services that have taken off since the unrest began over the summer, from mobile messenger Telegram to work-at-home apps. In a financial hub that thrives on face-to-face deal-making and power lunches, Zoom helps fill a void created by transport disruptions and concerns about personal safety.Hong Kong’s business community leans on the app’s features, which include slide-sharing and support for up to 1,000 call participants, to carry on cross-border communications and with mainland China, where WhatsApp, Telegram and Google alternatives are banned. There’s a local version of Zoom that’s compatible, which is why the app’s downloads in Hong Kong soared 460% in November, after an escalation in protest violence first triggered a spike in September, according to researcher Sensor Tower.Read more: Zoom’s Eric Yuan, the CEO Who Made Videoconferencing Bearable“As schools continue to be in lock-down mode, we’ve had to move our lectures online to minimize disruption,” said Cheung Siu Wai, a professor at Hong Kong Baptist University, adding Skype has been another option.Now valued at $19 billion, Zoom’s shares have almost doubled since listing on the Nasdaq this year. It’s unclear how the spike in downloads may translate into revenue growth for Zoom, founded by Chinese emigrant Eric Yuan, who now resides in California.The company has various pricing tiers and recently added HSBC to a roster of paying clients that includes Uber Technologies Inc. and Zendesk Inc., underpinning 85% growth in revenue to $167 million in the October quarter. Representatives for the company, which is backed by investors including Salesforce.com Inc., Tiger Global and Qualcomm Inc., declined to comment on how the Hong Kong protests have affected its business.”With the periodic traffic disruptions, our colleagues have no choice but to use video-conferencing apps,” said Derek Chan, co-founder of Master Concept, a Hong Kong-based cloud service provider.To contact the reporters on this story: Carol Zhong in Hong Kong at email@example.com;Lulu Yilun Chen in Hong Kong at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at email@example.com, Vlad SavovFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Weeks after his billion-dollar bailout of WeWork, SoftBank Group Corp's founder and CEO Masayoshi Son reiterated his belief in an instinct-led investing style, in a discussion with Alibaba Group Holding Inc's co-founder Jack Ma. SoftBank owns 26% of China's Alibaba, with its origin in a $20 million investment in 2000, and the stake is now worth more than the Japanese firm's market capitalization. Son on Friday said the decision to invest in Alibaba was driven by a gut feeling.
(Bloomberg) -- iDreamSky Technology Holdings Ltd. is in exclusive talks to buy rival gaming firm Leyou Technologies Holdings Ltd. for about $1.4 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.iDreamSky, which counts Tencent Holdings Ltd. among its shareholders, is seeking co-investors to help finance the transaction, the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private. Potential partners could include private equity firms as well as other gaming companies, the people said. The Shenzhen-based firm is working with Credit Suisse Group AG on the deal, they said.Leyou has risen about 16% this year, giving it a valuation of around HK$7.8 billion ($996 million). Shares of IDreamSky have plunged more than 30% since its debut last year, valuing the company at about HK$5.8 billion.There hasn’t been any final decisions as talks are ongoing and the companies could still decide against a transaction, the people said. Representatives for iDreamSky and Credit Suisse declined to comment, while a representative for Leyou didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.Leyou, listed in Hong Kong in 2011, has developed the free shooting games Warframe and Dirty Bomb. It’s also working with Amazon.com Inc. to co-produce a video game based on the popular fantasy series “The Lord of the Rings.” Other upcoming games are Civilization Online and Transformers.In September, Leyou said that it was holding preliminary talks with potential investors on possible transactions, which may lead to a public takeover. Bain Capital, CVC Capital Partners and KKR & Co. as well as other gaming companies were among bidders for Leyou, Bloomberg News reported last month.Last week, Leyou updated the progress in a filing that its controlling shareholder Charles Yuk had entered into a memorandum of understanding to sell about 69.2% stake to an unidentified potential buyer. The company granted a 21-day exclusivity period to the potential purchaser to conduct due diligence and try to reach a formal agreement.As part of any potential deal, Yuk would acquire the company’s interests in certain offices in the iconic Lippo Centre in Hong Kong and enter into an agreement to provide financing to help develop certain games, according to the filing.iDreamSky, listed in Hong Kong about a year ago, had 57 games including 16 role-playing games on its platform as of June 30, according to its interim report. It has exclusive publishing rights in China for popular titles including Subway Surfers and Temple Run.Michael Chen, its co-founder and chief executive officer, is iDreamSky’s largest shareholder with a 25.92% stake, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Tencent Mobility, a unit of the Chinese technology giant Tencent, owns about 18.6% as the second-largest holder.To contact the reporter on this story: Manuel Baigorri in Hong Kong at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Fion Li at email@example.com, Jonas BergmanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.