Small Business Saturday isn’t a novelty anymore – independent retailers depend on it

Here are the expectations for Small Business Saturday

Here are the expectations for Small Business Saturday   8:32 AM ET Fri, 23 Nov 2018 | 02:10

For Mackenzi Farquer, Small Business Saturday is a big deal.

The owner of Queens, New York-based Lockwood gift shop, which sells kitchenware, clothing and paper goods, says there’s often barely room to stand in her locations on the retail holiday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

“It’s our busiest day of the year,” Farquer says. “I think people in this neighborhood especially are trained to know that this the day to come out and shop at small businesses. They are not only coming for holiday shopping, they also want to be here to support us.”

And those shoppers show their support in a big way — that day alone accounts for some 8 percent of Lockwood’s overall holiday sales. “It’s at a fever pitch and growing every year,” she says.

Small Business Saturday, now in its ninth year, is sponsored by American Express and encourages consumers to get out and shop “small” supporting local retailers and restaurants in person and online. Last year, nearly $13 billion was spent on that day alone, a slight dip from 2016.

This year, data from Amex and the National Federation of Independent Business finds some 83 percent of consumers say they plan to do at least some of their holiday shopping at a small independently owned retailer or restaurant either in person, or online. Nearly 6 in 10 consumers nationwide say they are aware of the shopping holiday, and among them, 80 percent plan to shop at independent retailers that day.

Small business owners working in bakery together

John Lund/Marc Romanelli | Blend Images | Getty Images

Meanwhile, data from CNBC and SurveyMonkey’s Small Business Saturday poll finds some 44 percent of consumers say they will patronize a small business on the day this year, up slightly from 2017, and 58 percent say they will shop in person. Overall this season, 28 percent said they will spend less while 14 percent said they will spend more.

This year, American Express has also expanded the holiday to Puerto Rico for the first time and is sponsoring events including popup shops with Etsy, campaigns to support female-owned businesses and more.

“Small Business Saturday is a great chance to drive awareness and keep small businesses top of mind,” said Raina Moskowitz, Etsy’s SVP of people, strategy and services. “Mass retailers play a great role in convenience and price, but when you shop from a small business, there is a story behind what you are buying. so it’s more personal and thoughtful, especially for the holiday season.”

Small business owners like Mackenzie Farquer are gearing up for Small Business Saturday, when shoppers are encouraged to patronize small, local retailers.

Kate Rogers | CNBC
Small business owners like Mackenzie Farquer are gearing up for Small Business Saturday, when shoppers are encouraged to patronize small, local retailers.

Heather Parker sells dog bow ties, leashes and other gifts online and at her shop Crew LaLa in Charleston, South Carolina. It’s her fifth year participating in Small Business Saturday, and each year sales have doubled, Parker said. Last year, the day accounted for 12 percent of the company’s overall holiday season sales, and even brought in new, repeat customers.

“Last year 40 percent of our customers from Small Business Saturday were first-time customers,” Parker said. “Of that 40 percent, 65 percent actually turned into returning customers.”

The store even has to bring in extra employees for the weekend and the rest of the holiday season.

“We have to beef up for it because we get such a response from Small Business Saturday,” Parker said. “Having a day that really shows support … is really inspiring. It helps us and kind of fuels us for the rest of the year.”

Here are the expectations for Small Business Saturday

Here are the expectations for Small Business Saturday   8:32 AM ET Fri, 23 Nov 2018 | 02:10

For Mackenzi Farquer, Small Business Saturday is a big deal.

The owner of Queens, New York-based Lockwood gift shop, which sells kitchenware, clothing and paper goods, says there’s often barely room to stand in her locations on the retail holiday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

“It’s our busiest day of the year,” Farquer says. “I think people in this neighborhood especially are trained to know that this the day to come out and shop at small businesses. They are not only coming for holiday shopping, they also want to be here to support us.”

And those shoppers show their support in a big way — that day alone accounts for some 8 percent of Lockwood’s overall holiday sales. “It’s at a fever pitch and growing every year,” she says.

Small Business Saturday, now in its ninth year, is sponsored by American Express and encourages consumers to get out and shop “small” supporting local retailers and restaurants in person and online. Last year, nearly $13 billion was spent on that day alone, a slight dip from 2016.

This year, data from Amex and the National Federation of Independent Business finds some 83 percent of consumers say they plan to do at least some of their holiday shopping at a small independently owned retailer or restaurant either in person, or online. Nearly 6 in 10 consumers nationwide say they are aware of the shopping holiday, and among them, 80 percent plan to shop at independent retailers that day.

Small business owners working in bakery together

John Lund/Marc Romanelli | Blend Images | Getty Images

Meanwhile, data from CNBC and SurveyMonkey’s Small Business Saturday poll finds some 44 percent of consumers say they will patronize a small business on the day this year, up slightly from 2017, and 58 percent say they will shop in person. Overall this season, 28 percent said they will spend less while 14 percent said they will spend more.

This year, American Express has also expanded the holiday to Puerto Rico for the first time and is sponsoring events including popup shops with Etsy, campaigns to support female-owned businesses and more.

“Small Business Saturday is a great chance to drive awareness and keep small businesses top of mind,” said Raina Moskowitz, Etsy’s SVP of people, strategy and services. “Mass retailers play a great role in convenience and price, but when you shop from a small business, there is a story behind what you are buying. so it’s more personal and thoughtful, especially for the holiday season.”

Small business owners like Mackenzie Farquer are gearing up for Small Business Saturday, when shoppers are encouraged to patronize small, local retailers.

Kate Rogers | CNBC
Small business owners like Mackenzie Farquer are gearing up for Small Business Saturday, when shoppers are encouraged to patronize small, local retailers.

Heather Parker sells dog bow ties, leashes and other gifts online and at her shop Crew LaLa in Charleston, South Carolina. It’s her fifth year participating in Small Business Saturday, and each year sales have doubled, Parker said. Last year, the day accounted for 12 percent of the company’s overall holiday season sales, and even brought in new, repeat customers.

“Last year 40 percent of our customers from Small Business Saturday were first-time customers,” Parker said. “Of that 40 percent, 65 percent actually turned into returning customers.”

The store even has to bring in extra employees for the weekend and the rest of the holiday season.

“We have to beef up for it because we get such a response from Small Business Saturday,” Parker said. “Having a day that really shows support … is really inspiring. It helps us and kind of fuels us for the rest of the year.”

[“source=gsmarena”]

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority to invest $50 billion in India, says Suresh Prabhu

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority to invest $50 billion in India, says Suresh Prabhu

Union minister for commerce and industry Suresh Prabhu on Friday said that the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, a sovereign wealth fund owned by Emirate of Abu Dhabi, will invest USD 50 billion in India, especially into infrastructure and food processing capacity, according to a Times of India report.

Speaking at the inaugural function of the annual venture capital summit in Panaji, Prabhu announced that the agreement has been signed on Thursday. Abu Dhabi-based sovereign wealth fund is interested in investing in India in a big way, he added.

According to the agency, Prabhu had also asked the International Finance Corporation to help attract other sovereign funds and pension funds to invest into India.

The Commerce Minister said that India is a top investment destination in the world today. Twenty states have their Startup policy. Suresh Prabhu stated that infrastructure is the sector where India is developing at a faster rate and this is creating lots of opportunities for investors.

He further remarked that India is one country where almost every citizen is an entrepreneur and where 600 million farmers and retailers take enormous risks. The fragmented Indian agricultural holdings provides great opportunity for startups to bridge the productivity gap by providing solutions using cutting edge technology like AI and drones.

Suresh Prabhu also declared Goa as the permanent venue for the Annual Global Venture Capital Summit. The Summit will take place in Goa on the first Friday of December every year.

Edited by Chitranjan Kumar

source =.”businesstoday”

CAI trims cotton crop estimate for 2018-19 to 340 lakh bales

The Cotton Association of India on December 7 lowered its November estimate of the cotton crop by three lakh bales to 340.25 lakh bales for the 2018-19 season.

The decline in cotton crop estimate is mainly due to unfavourable weather conditions, CAI said in a statement.

Last month, the association had estimated cotton output at 343.25 lakh bales for the 2018-19 season, which began on October 1.

CAI reduced the crop estimate for Gujarat by three lakh bales, Maharashtra by one lakh bales and Telangana by 1.50 lakh bales.

However, it increased the crop estimate for Haryana by one lakh bales and upper Rajasthan, lower Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh by 50,000 bales each.

The association has projected total cotton supply during October and November at 95 lakh bales, which consists of the arrival of 70 lakh bales up to November 30, imports of two lakh bales and the opening stock at the beginning of the season as on October 1, that the CAI has estimated at 23 lakh bales.

Further, the association has estimated cotton consumption during October and November at 54 lakh bales, while the export shipment of cotton up to November 30, at 10 lakh bales.

The stock at the end of November 2018 is estimated at 31 lakh bales, including 27 lakh bales with textile mills and the remaining four lakh bales estimated to be held by Cotton Corporation Of India (CCI) and others (MNCs, traders, ginners among others).

The total cotton supply till end of the season is estimated at 390.25 lakh bales of 170 kg each, which includes opening stock of 23 lakh bales at the beginning of the season, cotton crop for the season at 340.25 lakh bales and imports of 27 lakh bales, which are estimated to be higher by 12 lakh bales, compared with the import figure of 15 lakh bales estimated for the 2017-18 crop year.

The CAI has estimated domestic consumption for the season at 324 lakh bales, while the exports at 53 lakh bales, which is lower by 16 lakh bales against the exports of 69 lakh bales estimated during last year.

The carry-over stock at the end of the 2018-19 season is estimated at 13.25 lakh bales.

[“source=moneycontrol].

This sell-off was caused by a computer-driven ‘footrace,’ Jim Cramer says

Sell-off caused by computer-driven 'footrace,' says Jim Cramer

Sell-off caused by computer-driven ‘footrace,’ says Jim Cramer   11 Hours Ago | 01:10

As CNBC’s Jim Cramer watched stocks nosedive in Tuesday’s trading session, one thing became abundantly clear to the longtime market-watcher: it “was all about the rise of the machines.”

The major averages all fell more than 2 percent as a possible slowdown signal in the bond market and lingering trade fears rattled investors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 800 points intraday.

Some attributed the dramatic declines to a lack of buyers, but Cramer already knew the culprits: complex algorithmic programs set up by professional money managers to sell when the odds of future market losses increase.

In other words, when an event that often precedes a recession occurs — in Tuesday’s case, short-term interest rates trading above long-term rates in a so-called yield curve inversion — some trading algorithms will automatically begin selling securities because the chances of an economic slowdown just got higher.

Cramer, host of “Mad Money,” drew a comparison with football. Some plays can seem very risky, but when you consider the percentage chances of them going right, there’s no choice but to implement them in the field. These programs make the same kind of calculation.

So, when the two-year and the five-year yield curves inverted on Tuesday, some hedge funds’ programs automatically sold the S&P 500, which tends to fall in times of economic weakness, and others automatically sold shares of the big banks, which suffer when long-term rates are lower, Cramer said.

“Why? Because historically, this situation has produced negative results for the bank stocks and these hedge funds are trying to get out ahead of others who fear those negative results but just don’t know they’re going to fear them. It’s a footrace,” he explained. “This curve, as they call it, overrides whatever you hear about good employment or consumer balance sheets or robust lending. It’s predictive.”

Worse, the charts are signaling more pain ahead: based on Cramer’s analysis, many hedge funds likely sold the S&P 500 when it dipped below its 200-day moving average because, in the past, that move tended to bring more downside.

“Here’s the problem: there are now so many hedge funds using the same algorithm, same programs [that] there simply aren’t enough investors willing to take the other side of the trade. If we all know that stocks go down on certain triggers, then who the heck would want to buy stocks?” Cramer said.

“That’s how you get a day like today, where the market goes into free-fall,” the “Mad Money” host continued. “When the percentages are against you and the algorithms are in charge, … nobody wants to try to be a hero and bet against them.”

[“source=cnbc”]

Sunil Gavaskar questions BCCI over Dhoni, Dhawan absence from Ranji Trophy

Sunil Gavaskar, MS Dhoni

Sunil Gavaskar said for MS Dhoni to be in prime form, he needs to play more cricket. (Reuters Photo)

MS Dhoni’s recent form has been a point of worry for some time now and especially with the World Cup not too far away. Dhoni has already quit Test cricket and recently, he was not even picked for Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) against West Indies and Australia, signalling perhaps a goodbye to the shortest format too.

Dhoni is no more the finisher he was once was and in fact these days, the former India captain even struggles to time the ball perfectly. However, Dhoni does not wish to test his abilities in the ongoing Ranji Trophy for Jharkhand with reports stating that he does not wish to block a spot in the Jharkhand team as he doesn’t play Test cricket anymore.

Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar, who represented Bombay at the domestic circuit, feels the next few months will be crucial for Dhoni with the World Cup fast approaching.

“He (Dhoni) didn’t play the T20Is against Australia, before that he didn’t play the West Indies Tests, and then he is not playing the Test series against Australia. So, he last played in October and will next play in January, which is a huge gap. But if he doesn’t do well on tours of Australia and New Zealand, then there will be more questions asked on his place in the World Cup,” Gavaskar told India Today.

“As you grow older and if there is a gap in your [competitive] cricket, your reflexes will slow down. If you play any form of cricket at the domestic level, you get an opportunity to play long innings, which serves as a good practice for you.”

Shikhar Dhawan, who was off-loaded from the Indian squad after a below par Test series against England, has also chosen to stay away from representing Delhi cricket in the Ranji Trophy this season.

“We shouldn’t ask Dhawan and Dhoni ‘why you are not playing domestic cricket’. We should in fact ask the BCCI and selectors that why are they allowing players to skip domestic cricket when they are not on national duty. If the Indian team has to do well, players have to be in prime form and for that they have to play cricket,” Gavaskar said.

[“source=indiatoday]

‘Opportunity fund’ managers favor urban areas, commercial real estate

The Architectural Team and Stephen Chung

Commercial real estate in large urban areas will be the big winner from the tax scheme aimed at boosting investment in needy areas, according to an analysis released in November.

But who most benefits from commercial real estate deals remains up for debate.

Fund managers raising capital through the Opportunity Zone incentive programs are most focused on commercial real estate and multifamily housing, primarily in the Northeastern U.S., the National Council of State Housing Agencies said.

NCSHA reviewed public information on 34 such “Opportunity Funds,” and found that commercial real estate is the investment focus of 24 of them. Multi-family residential development is the focus of 23.

Ten of the funds focus on the Northeast, and five specifically target New York. Only two funds refer to investment in rural areas.

As previously reported, Opportunity Zones are pitched as a win-win, but some housing observers worry that they may funnel investment dollars to areas that are already in the process of gentrifying, accelerating that process and leaving behind areas that need the most help.

Many sources told MarketWatch that investors will see real estate as a more easily understandable means of putting their money to work than other programs such as education or labor.

[“source=cnbc”]

Even at $6, Snap’s stock still isn’t a bargain, Cramer warns: ‘It’s an ill-advised decision to buy’

Snap still isn't a bargain, even at $6, says Cramer

Snap still isn’t a bargain, even at $6, says Cramer   6:48 PM ET Fri, 30 Nov 2018 | 00:51

Snap Inc.’s stock price may have fallen to just over $6 a share — down about 70 percent from where the stock started publicly trading — but even this low price shouldn’t fool investors, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Friday.

“Do not be tempted by Snap’s $6-and-change share price. It’s not a bargain,” he warned. “At more than five times next year’s sales [estimates], you could argue it’s actually fairly expensive. And, of course, there are some alarming long-term trends here.”

For Cramer, host of “Mad Money,” the most worrisome thing about the Snapchat parent is its cash generation. When Snap went public in early 2017 with nearly $1 billion on its balance sheet, that was the last thing investors were worried about, but lately, “Snap’s cash hoard has been slowly dwindling,” he said.

Since the second quarter of 2017, when Snap had $3.24 billion in cash, its cash balance has declined by double digits every quarter, falling to $1.4 billion as of its latest quarterly report.

Worse, the company’s cash from operating activities — what its core business earns, minus some major expenditures — has been shrinking by bigger and bigger amounts. And while some of that money is being invested in growth, most of it is funding the social media company’s day-to-day operations, Cramer said.

“As we’ve watched the company struggle and the stock go into freefall, I’ve started to wonder if Snap has enough money,” he said. “Just keeping the lights on at Snapchat is costing these guys a fortune. That’s not good.”

While Snap currently has no debt, a business that drains cash instead of generating it presents a “huge problem,” the “Mad Money” host continued.

The proximate cause, he explained, is that Snap spends a fortune on the cloud: with hundreds of millions of users uploading and downloading Snapchat content every day, the parent company has to pay for the digital space.

And even though Snap’s management laid out some lofty goals for the year ahead, namely turning a profit and stemming the company’s free cash flow losses, Snapchat’s total number of daily active users is now declining, Cramer warned.

“Snap’s growth is evaporating before our very eyes,” he said.

Add in Snap’s slowing revenue growth — up 44 percent in the latest quarter, down from 72 percent in the year prior and 285 percent at the IPO — and some high-level executive departures, and Snap’s future looks murky to Cramer.

“Until Snap gives us some reason to believe in a turnaround, it’s an ill-advised decision to buy the stock,” he concluded.

Shares of Snap ended Friday’s trading session up 1.72 percent at $6.51, dipping slightly in after-hours trading.

[“source=forbes]

Cramer’s game plan: A week defined by trade talks and employment

Trade talks and the latest data on U.S. employment will color the week ahead for the stock market, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Friday as stocks rallied on high hopes for a U.S.-China trade deal at the weekend’s G-20 summit.

President Donald Trump is planning to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Buenos Aires, Argentina gathering on Saturday to discuss what has amounted to an ever-escalating trade war between the two nations. Next Friday, a Labor Department report on U.S. job creation will bookend what Cramer expects to be an “exciting” week for stocks.

“Between Trump’s meeting with President Xi over the weekend and the employment number on Friday, there’s a whole lot going on next week. Let’s just hope it’s not too exciting,” the “Mad Money” host said.

With Saturday’s market-defining meeting in mind, Cramer turned to his game plan for the week ahead:

Monday: Coupa Software

Spending-focused cloud player Coupa Software reports earnings on Monday. The Federal Reserve’s slight step back from its initial plans for raising interest rates created a better environment for growth stocks like Coupa’s, Cramer said.

“Speaking of the Fed, I sure wish they’d start thinking not just about the raw data interpretation, but also about outfits like Coupa, which save companies a fortune … by cutting back on people — the most expensive part of a business — and allowing them to rely on software to handle procurement,” he said.

“That means all of these cloud-based enterprise software companies are inherently deflationary,” Cramer continued. “So [Fed Chair Jerome] Powell might want to listen in on Coupa’s conference call, which, by the way, I expect to be a good one.”

Tuesday: Dollar General, Autozone, HD Supply, Toll Brothers

Dollar General: Cramer expected a strong earnings report from Dollar General, which will issue its quarterly results Tuesday morning.

“The best-performing portions of retail this week were the bargain basement operations: Ollie’s, TJX and Burlington Stores. Dollar General fits that bill,” he said. “I see an upside surprise coming.”

Autozone: Auto parts retailer Autozone will also report earnings. Cramer is a fan of the company’s share buyback program, which he said was as good a reason as any to buy Autozone’s stock after its report.

“Even if the company delivers slightly off numbers, just a little bit of slippage, it’s usually a great buying opportunity,” he said. “These days, people are keeping their cars longer and longer, which means they need more maintenance and spare parts, a real boon to all of these … auto parts companies.”

HD Supply: HD Supply’s earnings will give Cramer a sense of how small businesses are faring in this country because the company provides industrial services to roughly 500,000 smaller-scale professional customers.

“It’s all part of the pastiche that I like to put together to take the temperature of the economy in real time,” he said.

Toll Brothers: Homebuilder Toll Brothers will add to that pastiche. Cramer expected the company’s earnings report to “tell a tale of both strength and weakness.”

“Remember, I’m not saying the economy overall is weak, I’m saying it’s weaker than it’s been, and one of the reasons is the slowing housing market,” he explained. “I bet Toll confirms my view, particularly on the coasts.”

Wednesday: Lululemon Athletica, Five Below

Two Cramer-fave retailers, Lululemon and Five Below, will report earnings on Wednesday. The stocks of both companies have been struggling of late, Lululemon’s “in sync with … the rebellion against high-priced apparel” and Five Below’s on worries about trade with China, Cramer said.

“I think both sell-offs are overblown at this point,” he argued. “However, I’m mindful of how hard it is to own retailers right now, [now] that people think the economy’s shifting to a lower gear.”

Thursday: Kroger, Broadcom

Kroger: The largest U.S. supermarket chain will also issue its quarterly results. The “Mad Money” host harbored concerns about the company’s slew of formidable competitors.

“While I think, certainly, that Kroger can spin a good yarn about remodeled stores, that merely makes it an OK house in a very bad neighborhood,” he said. “I’m going to have to say no, thank you.”

Broadcom: After Wednesday’s closing bell, investors will get results from chipmaker Broadcom. Cramer said there was a lot to be learned from the company’s conference call.

“I want to know about its quizzical acquisition … of a software company called CA that works with mainframes, not to mention the exposure to China, 5G and Apple, although the latter is not to be named,” he said. “At most, you make some cryptic reference, say, [to] a major customer. Still, there’s a lot to learn from Broadcom.”

Friday: Non-farm payrolls

On Friday, Cramer will be eyeing the U.S. Labor Department’s non-farm payroll report, which measures job creation and is a key indicator for the Fed when it comes to raising interest rates.

“I think it will give us our last strong set of employment numbers — because I think it’s tailing off — giving the Fed [the] justification … that it needs for one more tightening, December tightening, before it waits to see how its rate hikes have impacted the economy,” Cramer said. “Now that Powell has chosen prudence over dogma, there’s a good chance this once red-hot economy can get the soft landing that it so sorely deserves.”

[“source=cnbc”]