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”]

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”]

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”]

Entering A New Industry? 8 Ways To Break In Successfully

It’s never easy to get your foot in the door of a new industry. Whether you’re looking to start a business venture or simply collaborate with a brand in that market, the process of breaking in is a tricky one that must be handled with care: You can’t expect to be welcomed with open arms without proving yourself to industry veterans.

We asked eight members of Young Entrepreneurs Council about what it takes to successfully enter an unfamiliar industry. From making the right connections to offering a prototype or free services, here’s what they had to say.

All images courtesy of YEC members.

Entrepreneurs share tips for entering a new industry.

1. Talk To Industry Veterans, Potential Customers And Advisors

When it comes to getting a firm grasp on a new industry, one of the best ways is to leverage the experience of the veteran entrepreneurs in your industry. If you meet with them and ask many questions, you can learn quickly what it took them years to learn. If you combine this with reading books, the effect compounds. The next step is to meet with customers in the industry to understand their pain points to determine how you can innovate and differentiate yourself in this new space. Write down notes and reflect on the stories you hear to put the pieces of the puzzle together. The last step is to find a problem to solve and make an assumption you can measurably test to validate your business idea and meet advisors who can guide you before you go fully commit yourself. – Dan San, Meural

2. Partner With An Industry Leader

In my career, I have had many opportunities to enter into a new industry I really knew nothing about. Then I developed a mentality I like to call, “don’t buy it, sell it.” Why purchase a product or service you know you can sell, with just a little more knowledge and understanding? If you partner up with the right person or company, not only do you gain access to an unlimited supply of whatever that product or service is, but you also gain access to knowledge that you cannot read in FAQ or terms and conditions. Sometimes, the best way to break into anything when it comes to “the unknown,” is to admit your own ignorance to yourself, bite the bullet, and ask for help or advice. And, anyone will let you sell their products or services in exchange for more information. – Jason Criddle, Jason Criddle and Associates

3. Offer Free Or Discounted Services At First

One awesome tactic to break into new territory is to offer to do the project for free, or at a reduced rate, in exchange for feedback. This allows you to work with a client who will help you understand the industry. You will be upfront that this is your first project for this industry, but you are applying the same knowledge from other industries so it should work out fine. The client is getting great work, but at a discounted rate. You are getting inside knowledge on how to build a better service or platform. If there are any mistakes, both you and the client know this is a first time and so expectations are not as high. It takes a good client to make this work, but can be a success for both parties. – Peter Boyd, PaperStreet Web Design

4. Network With Anyone You Can

The best strategy for breaking into a new industry is to meet people in that industry. Research industry organizations and get involved. Become a member, join a committee, go to the events. Meet your new peers, learn about their work, care about their work and then show them your struggle. People want to help. Obviously, you don’t want to reach out to a potential competitor. However, you can reach out to just about anyone else. The best referrals that I have ever received came from someone random. Not the “big fish” everyone is always trying to meet at networking events. Especially if you are among other business owners, we’ve all been there, ask for help. – Allyson Case, Integro Rehab LLC

5. Be Continually Curious

Who said curiosity killed the cat? Following your curiosity is the key to learning a new industry. We hold the library of Alexandria at our fingertips with the internet today. It has never been easier to become more intelligent than 99 percent of the population on a given subject. I start by going down the Google rabbit hole. I open 10-15 tabs, watch the top rated YouTube videos, add the expert’s names to an Evernote file and circle the subject like a shark. If the idea is to understand autonomous cars, Google the biggest companies, top YouTube videos, “why autonomous cars will change world,” and on you go. Once you start watching experts and realize you know what they are about to say, you’re an expert. – Codie Sanchez, Www.CodieSanchez.com

6. Create Prototypes To Showcase Your Industry Knowledge

I always believe in creating some prototype software to showcase my knowledge and understanding of an Industry. When I wanted to reach out to a transportation industry, I first talked to a few people and figure out the issues they are having. Then based upon the issues, I created a prototype and showcased to C-level executives. It takes around one month to build a prototype, efforts pay off as I can use it to earn business. Don’t be afraid of barging into new verticals, all that is needed is energy to learn and solve problems. There is always a beginning. – Piyush Jain, SIMpalm

7. Make A List Of Questions You Have, Then Find The Answers

When I want to dive into a new venture, I start going to the bookstore to learn everything and anything on the subject. Then I create a list of what I want to search online and the questions I have pertaining to the venture. Before you know it, I am looking into forums and connecting with people who have already succeeded in the particular venture. I want to be able to learn from them and areas of improvement as well. For example, I was looking to create a new travel app that made it easy for young women to coordinate their travels. I connected with travel agencies, started reading books about travel journeys to get inside the head of a traveler, and reaching out to a network of well-traveled young women. The community of women was how I was able to build traction for the app. – Sweta Patel, Silicon Valley Startup Marketing

8. Connect With Trusted Influencers And Get Their Endorsement

One of the best ways to make your brand or business well-known or respected in any space is to connect with a brand, website, or influencer who is already trusted and has a massive following. This is something we are commonly seeing in the world of social media, and specifically on Instagram, where visual content is king. No matter what it is you have to offer or sell, simple brand association can go a long way when trying to connect with a new audience. The important thing here to remember is that you don’t want to go in too strong and come off as just a paid placement or advertisement. Instead, it should be able to the value provided and blending in with the user experience that is expected from the people or brands they are already following. – Zac Johnson, Blogger

[“Source-forbes”]

RBI’s New Norms On Bad Loans A Wake Up Call For Defaulters, Says Government

Image result for RBI's New Norms On Bad Loans A Wake Up Call For Defaulters, Says Government

Banks will face penalties in case of failure to comply with the guidelines, RBI said.

New Delhi: In a bid to hasten the resolution of bad loans, RBI has tightened rules to make banks identify and tackle any non-payment of loan rapidly, a move the government said should act as a “wake up call” for defaulters. The Reserve Bank of India abolished half a dozen existing loan-restructuring mechanisms late last night, and instead provided for a strict 180-day timeline for banks to agree on a resolution plan in case of a default or else refer the account for bankruptcy.

Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar said the new rules are a “wake up call” for defaulters.

“The government is determined to clean up things in one go and not defer it. It is a more transparent system for resolution,” he said,” he told PTI here.

Under the new rules, insolvency proceedings would have to be initiated in case of a loan of Rs. 2,000 crore or more if a resolution plan is not implemented within 180 days of the default.

Banks will face penalties in case of failure to comply with the guidelines, RBI said.

Financial Services Secretary said the RBI’s decision would not have much impact on provisioning norms for banks.

The revised framework has specified norms for “early identification” of stressed assets, timelines for implementation of resolution plans, and a penalty on banks for failing to adhere to the prescribed timelines.

RBI has also withdrawn the existing mechanism which included Corporate Debt Restructuring Scheme, Strategic Debt Restructuring Scheme (SDR) and Scheme for Sustainable Structuring of Stressed Assets (S4A).

The Joint Lenders’ Forum (JLF) as an institutional mechanism for resolution of stressed accounts also stands discontinued, it said, adding that “all accounts, including such accounts where any of the schemes have been invoked but not yet implemented, shall be governed by the revised framework”.

Under the new rules, banks must report defaults on a weekly basis in the case of borrowers with more than Rs. 5 crore of loan. Once a default occurs, banks will have 180 days within which to come up with a resolution plan. Should they fail, they will need to refer the account to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) within 15 days.

Last year, the government had given more powers to the RBI to push banks to deal with non-performing assets (NPAs) or bad loans.

The gross NPAs of public sector and private sector banks as on September 30, 2017 were Rs.7,33,974 crore, Rs. 1,02,808 crore respectively.

“In view of the enactment of the IBC, it has been decided to substitute the existing guidelines with a harmonised and simplified generic framework for resolution of stressed assets,” RBI said in the notification.

As per the revised guidelines, the banks will be required to identify incipient stress in loan accounts, immediately on default, by classifying stressed assets as special mention accounts (SMAs) depending upon the period of default.

Classification of SMA would depend on the number of days (1- 90) for which principal or interest have remained overdue.

“As soon as there is a default in the borrower entity’s account with any lender, all lenders – singly or jointly – shall initiate steps to cure the default,” RBI said.

The resolution plan (RP) may involve any actions/plans/ reorganisation including, but not limited to, regularisation of the account by payment of all over dues by the borrower entity, sale of the exposures to other entities/investors, change in ownership, or restructuring.

The notification said that if a resolution plan in respect of large accounts is not implemented as per the timelines specified, lenders will be required to file insolvency application, singly or jointly, under the IBC, 2016, within 15 days from the expiry of the specified timeline.

All lenders are required to submit report to Central Repository of Information on Large Credits (CRILC) on a monthly basis effective April 1, 2018.

In addition, the lenders shall report to CRILC, all borrower entities in default (with aggregate exposure of Rs. 5 crore and above), on a weekly basis, at the close of business every Friday, or the preceding working day if Friday happens to be a holiday.

The first such weekly report shall be submitted for the week ending February 23, 2018, the notification said.

The new guidelines have specified framework for early identification and reporting of stressed assets.

In respect of accounts with aggregate exposure of the lenders at Rs. 2,000 crore and above, on or after March 1, 2018 (reference date), resolution plan RP should be implemented within 180 days.

“If in default after the reference date, then 180 days from the date of first such default,” the notification said.

[“Source-ndtv”]

UM Renegade Duty S First Look Review — A Tough American Cruiser

American Motorcycle manufacturer UM Motorcycles launched the new Renegade Duty S cruiser in India at the Auto Expo 2018. The UM Renegade Duty S is priced at Rs 1.10 lakh ex-showroom (Delhi). The Renegade Duty S is an all-new cruiser with new design language and engine. Let’s find out more about the newly launched UM Renegade Duty S in this first look review.

UM Renegade Duty S First Look Review — Design, Specifications, Features And Images

UM Renegade Duty S Design

The UM Renegade Duty S sports a rugged look with minimalistic body panels. UM is branding the Renegade Duty S as a dual-purpose cruiser which can be ridden both on and off-road. The overall design language revolves around that strategy and features a raw look. The Duty S is finished in a matte green colour which further enhances the looks of the motorcycle.

UM Renegade Duty S First Look Review — Design, Specifications, Features And Images

 

Up front, the UM Renegade Duty S features a classic round headlamp with a blacked out housing. The front mudguard is sleek, and it exposes the front tyre for a butch look. The telescopic front forks get black cover and LED lights and reflectors on either side. The sloping fuel tank design is the key element of the overall design language.

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    UM Renegade Duty S First Look Review — Design, Specifications, Features And Images

     

    The engine, side panels, alloy wheels, muffler and suspension, are blacked out which gives an aggressive look to the UM Renegade Duty S. The step-up seat is wide and large and is very comfortable for both rider and pillion. The rear section also features a chopped mudguard which adds to the raw appeal of the Renegade Duty S.

    UM Renegade Duty S Fact Sheet

    Price Rs 1.10 lakh
    Engine Type Single Cylinder, oil cooled
    Fuel Used Petrol Only
    Engine Displacement 223cc
    Power 16bhp
    Torque 17Nm
    Transmission 5-speed
    UM Renegade Duty S First Look Review — Design, Specifications, Features And Images

     

    UM Renegade Duty S Engine Details

    The new UM Renegade Duty S draws power from an all-new 223cc single-cylinder, an oil-cooled engine which produces 16bhp and 17Nm of peak torque. The engine comes mated to a 5-speed gearbox sending power to the rear wheel via chain drive.

    UM Renegade Duty S First Look Review — Design, Specifications, Features And Images

     

    UM Renegade Duty S Features

    The UM Renegade Duty S is loaded with several premium features such as new analogue instrument cluster with digital display for gear position indicator, odometer and fuel gauge. The motorcycle also gets LED headlight and tail light and also a LED strip on the front forks to improve the visibility at night. The UM Renegade Duty S also sports a ground clearance of 180mm.

    UM Renegade Duty S First Look Review — Design, Specifications, Features And Images

     

    The UM Renegade Duty S is equipped with 41mm telescopic forks at the font and dual-hydraulic spring suspension at the rear. Braking duties are handled by 280mm disc at the front and 130mm drum brake setup at the rear. The Duty S gets 17-inch alloy wheel at the front and 15-inch wheel at the rear.

    UM Renegade Duty S First Look Review — Design, Specifications, Features And Images

     

    UM Renegade Duty S Rivals

    The UM Renegade Duty S is the latest cruiser from the American brand, and it features a new design language and engine. The Renegade S is pitched as a dual-purpose cruiser which can handle a bit of off-roading as well. The UM Renegade Duty S rivals the likes of the Bajaj Avenger series.

    UM Renegade Duty S First Look Review — Design, Specifications, Features And Images

     

    DriveSpark’s Thoughts On The UM Renegade Duty S

    The UM Renegade Duty S spots an all-new design which leans towards rugged looks with minimalistic body panels. The raw look of the Renegade Duty S is the highlight of the motorcycle. The new engine and several new features add a premium touch to the UM Renegade Duty S. With an affordable price tag; the Renegade S will be a tough competitor to the Bajaj Avenger series.

    [“Source-drivespark”]

    Hero XPulse First Look Review — A Pulsating Adventure Motorcycle

    Hero XPulse First Look Review — Design, Specifications, Features And Images

    World’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer Hero MotoCorp has unveiled the XPulse adventure motorcycle at the Auto Expo 2018. It is also India’s first 200cc dual-purpose motorcycle targeted towards young and thrill-seeking riders. The motorcycle looks to be in its production form and will replace the Impulse in India. We bring you the first look review of the Hero XPulse, the most affordable adventure bike in the country.

    Hero XPulse Design

    The overall design of the Hero XPulse is of a typical adventure bike with a tall stance and minimalistic body panels. Up front, the Hero XPulse features a full-LED headlamp, a windscreen to avoid wind buffeting and a high-set beak-shape fender. The adventure motorcycle also gets knuckle guards to protect the levers in case of a fall.

    Hero XPulse First Look Review — Design, Specifications, Features And Images

     

    The Hero Xpulse features a simplistic fuel tank design with no additional bodywork. There are not much body panels, and the design is clutter free. The single-piece seat is sculpted for lower ride height and the slightly front set foot pegs offers a commuters riding posture which is good for an adventure motorcycle. The enduro-style foot pegs add to the raw look of the Hero XPulse.

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      Hero XPulse First Look Review — Design, Specifications, Features And Images

       

      The tail section of the Hero XPulse sports an LED tail light, but the large plastic rear mudguard feels out of place and does not go well with the adventure styling. The upswept exhaust enhances the looks of the motorcycle and also has impressive water wading capacity. The XPulse also gets a rear luggage rack. The bike also gets a skid plate to protect the engine during off-roading.

      Hero XPulse Sheet

      Expected Price Rs 1.12 lakh
      Engine Type Single Cylinder, oil cooled
      Fuel Used Petrol Only
      Engine Displacement 200cc
      Power 18.1bhp
      Torque 17.2Nm
      Transmission 5-speed
      Hero XPulse First Look Review — Design, Specifications, Features And Images

       

      Hero XPulse Engine Details

      The Hero XPulse draws power from an all-new 200cc air-cooled, fuel injected engine producing 18.1bhp and 17.2Nm of peak torque. The engine comes mated to a 5-speed gearbox. The same engine does the duty on the recently unveiled Xtreme 200R naked street fighter. But Hero might tweak the power output accordingly to suit the XPulse adventure motorcycle.

      Hero XPulse First Look Review — Design, Specifications, Features And Images

       

      Hero XPulse Features

      The Hero XPulse is a modern adventure tourer with a host of features. The XPulse sports a new fully-digital instrument cluster, full-LED headlamp, clear lens turn indicators and sleek LED tail light. The prominent feature of the XPulse is the first-in-segment turn-by-turn navigation system which is extremely useful for a touring motorcycle. The motorcycle also gets off-road button tyres which enhance the looks of the Hero XPulse.

      Hero XPulse First Look Review — Design, Specifications, Features And Images

       

      The suspension duties on the Hero XPulse are handled by telescopic forks at the front with the travel of 190mm and ten-step adjustable gas-charged mono-shock suspension at the rear with the travel of 170mm. The motorcycle is equipped with a 21-inch front wheel and 18-inch rear wheel with a ground clearance of 220mm. The XPulse features disc brakes at both the ends.

      Hero XPulse First Look Review — Design, Specifications, Features And Images

       

      Hero XPulse Rivals

      Currently, the entry-level adventure motorcycle segment does not have many players in the Indian market. The only offering is the Royal Enfield Himalayan, but with a bigger 400cc engine. The Hero XPulse will be the most affordable bike in the segment with a 200cc engine. KTM is also planning to launch the 390 Adventure which should spice up the things in the entry-level adventure bike segment.

      Hero XPulse First Look Review — Design, Specifications, Features And Images

       

      DriveSpark’s Thoughts On The Hero XPulse

      The Hero XPulse is an adventure motorcycle with a simple design and advanced features. The XPulse will replace the popular Impulse which was retailed with a 150cc engine. The Hero XPulse will be a game-changing product in the country with its features and design. Hero MotoCorp is expected to launch the XPulse in India by the end of 2018 or early 2019 with a price tag of around Rs 1.2 lakh ex-showroom.

      [“Source-drivespark”]

      Global smartphone sales fall for the first time in more than a decade

      A customer purchases the new iPhone X at an Apple store on November 3, 2017 in Palo Alto, California.

      A customer purchases the new iPhone X at an Apple store on November 3, 2017 in Palo Alto, California.

      Global smartphone sales fell by 5.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017 — the industry’s first decline since 2004, according to a study from research firm Gartner.

      Chinese smartphone makers Huawei and Xiaomi were the only vendors in the top five to experience year-over-year growth in the quarter, respectively by 7.6 percent and 79 percent.

      “Upgrades from feature phones to smartphones have slowed down due to a lack of quality ‘ultra-low-cost’ smartphones and users preferring to buy quality feature phones,” said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner. “Replacement smartphone users are choosing quality models and keeping them longer.”

      “While demand for high quality, 4G connectivity and better camera features remained strong, high expectations and few incremental benefits during replacement weakened smartphone sales,” Gupta said.

      Samsung maintained the number one spot for global sales, growing market share from the fourth quarter of 2016, despite a 3.6 percent dip. Apple sales fell 5 percent year over year and Oppo sales fell 3.9 percent.

      All five top vendors grew in global market share in the fourth quarter of the 2017, widening the gap between the leaders and the rest of the industry.

      Smartphones sales for all of 2017 increased by 2.7 percent from the previous year to 1.5 billion.

      [“Source-cnbc”]

      Byron Sharp’s new ‘marketing’ textbook is a fiery trip down under

      That’s not a marketing textbook. This is a marketing textbook. Or so Byron Sharp might say.

      After university, my first full-time job in 2002 before I became a reporter was as a staff assistant at the Beacon Hill Institute, an economic think tank at Suffolk University in Boston. The organisation – like the executive director, economics department chair Dr David Tuerck – has an extremely libertarian and laissez-faire point of view.

      One day, when the staff were having some beers after work, I asked him why the department’s textbooks and institute’s reports did not give equal consideration to all other economic systems – such as socialism and communism – as well.

      “Communism doesn’t work,” he replied. “It’s been proven. There is no reason to consider it. Would we offer competing ideas to the theory of gravity just to be neutral?”

      All professors must decide how to educate the next generation. Should they be neutral and let students make up their own minds or advocate for the positions that they think are wise and correct?

      Some years later, when I studied and then went into marketing after my time in journalism, I read marketing textbooks such as those by Philip Kotler that took the neutral approach. As usual, the theories, models, and case studies were typically presented from various sides without opinion.

      Now, Sharp, the director of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science at the University of South Australia, has done something similar to what my former boss does. He recently released a new edition of his Marketing: Theory, Evidence, Practice textbook and, upon request, sent me a copy for review.

      “Current textbooks don’t cover important issues like media, shopping, and metrics – things that marketers have to know about to do their jobs,” he told me in an interview. “They also tend to be ‘theory’ heavy, such as on the product life cycle, and short on facts and patterns.”

      The Ehrenberg-Bass Institute aims to be “the home of evidence-based marketing” and uses its methods to answer questions such as “Are big brands dying?” and “Does the iPhone defy the double jeopardy law?”

      Sharp, whose previous work includes How Brands Grow, includes many of the institute’s findings in his textbook. Of course, the book contains all of the material that these texts always have. But what makes this one different is that it advocates for opinionated and controversial ideas on a wide variety of topics.

      If you agree with Sharp, the book will be the best thing to come out of Australia since Kylie Minogue. If you disagree, the proclamations will paint with too broad of a marketing brush and leave a bad, Vegemite-like aftertaste. Regardless, the book’s assertive tone adds some Jungle Rain chilli sauce fire to the usually dry material in marketing textbooks.

      Note: the paperback version of the text is 796 pages. For brevity, I will focus on the book’s take on some of the topics that I have discussed in this column over time.

      Consumer behaviour is mindless and habitual

      In an early chapter, the textbook discusses how everyday people – those who do not work in marketing – approach brands.

      The findings: most purchasing is mindless repeat-buying. Loyalty programs do not work. Buyers do little research themselves, even with the internet today. Product loyalty comes naturally with use because people gravitate towards the same brands to simplify their lives.

      “Many marketing textbooks tend to gloss over these facts about habitual buying, overemphasising rational decision making and thinking,” the text states. “For the majority of brand buying and store choice, habit and convenience drive our behaviour.”

      There is a cafe close to my flat in Tel Aviv where I eat lunch, hold meetings, write columns and prepare conference presentations in my work as a marketing speaker. I have gone there for almost three years now – longer than all of the workers and managers except for the owner.

      Why did I go there the first time? It was close. The food was good, the people were nice, and it was not too loud to work, so I kept going back. One day last year, the manager told me that I would get a 10% discount every time. As a consumer, I took the offer and thanked her kindly. But as a marketer, I knew that I would cost them 10% in unearned revenue with every order. I would have continued to go there without the discount.

      In a larger example, I usually fly on Turkish Airlines for conferences and clients because I think the company has the best lounge and business class in the world. Of course, I joined the loyalty programme. But I would have continued to fly with them without getting a free flight once in a while and costing them unearned revenue.

      Secondly, many marketers – especially in the digital world – believe that consumers want to have “relationships” with brands, that people often research products extensively before purchasing, and that brands should take positions on the political and cultural issues of the day.

      The text implies or outright states that all of those ideas are utterly wrong: “Marketers have to accept that our brand is a small part of the lives of most of our customers.”

      We need “sophisticated mass marketing”

      One of the battles in marketing is between the ideas of segmentation versus penetration.

      In basic terms, segmentation aims to divide the market into some number of targeted customer groups based on sets of characteristics. Penetration argues that the best results come from broad and repetitive mass marketing to anyone who might be relevant. Segmentation tends to create individual marketing mixes for each group while penetration will usually use take a one-size-fits-all approach.

      For those who might not know, Sharp is one of the fiercest advocates of penetration.

      “Segmentation encourages managers to think of differences rather than look for bigger commonalities or look for ways to be inclusive,” the textbook states. “This is anti-scale and potentially anti-growth, and could reduce competitiveness.”

      “Brand-specific segments generally do not exist – rival brands usually compete as perfectly interchangeable options in what for them is a single, unsegmented mass market. There is no support for the idea that competing brands each appeal to a unique subset of users that look different from the customer bases of competitors. Unfortunately, few marketers are aware of this fact.”

      Sharp also criticises the use of database-driven targeting to focus on the customers who purchase the most. “The logic is wrong: marketing efforts should not be concentrated on the heaviest, most profitable customers, but on those who collective will have the biggest differential reaction.”

      A common idea is that 20% of customers are responsible for 80% of revenue and that marketers should focus on that smaller group. But in the textbook’s opinion, the key to growth is not to focus on getting existing customers to purchase more but on convincing those who are not customers to buy a product one time. This idea informs many of the book’s ideas on numerous topics.

      Sharp argues that marketers should not be over-targeting and instead do “sophisticated mass marketing”. The text’s 11-step process for doing so can be summarised by the idea of segmenting only when absolutely necessary – when the differentiating characteristics relate directly to buying behaviour. Men and women, for example, buy different clothes, so that differentiation is usually important. Location and income, in contrast, are usually less relevant.

      “Segments that are non-intuitive, complicated, or mysterious are unlikely to be of practical value,” the text states.

      The reality of online versus offline

      In this column and at marketing conferences, I frequently discuss the merits and drawbacks of direct response versus advertising. In terms of long-term ROI, Sharp’s textbook argues for advertising.

      “While the likes of direct mail offers or programmatic buys online appear to give high returns on investment numbers, they typically skew to those who already buy the brand and are thus inefficient to underpin a strategy of growth,” the text states. “So, for most marketers interested in growth, mass marketing is more cost-effective than targeted approaches.”

      Sharp, for example, writes that television advertising costs two to three cents per person, which seems to be a reasonable expense when the alleged fraudin online display advertising is taken into account.

      Further, Sharp’s textbook states that as for online retailing, “in some categories, it seems to have reached its peak”. In the UK, one chart reports, only 24% of households shopped online for groceries in 2014. Those households shopped online an average of 14 times that entire year. That does not bode well for those who insist that marketers should be digital-first or even digital-only.

      In the chapter of media mixes, the text notes that Australians watched 20.7bn minutes of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro on traditional television compared to 325m on digital video and 68m on social media. That is billions compared to millions. Clearly, television is not dying.

      In addition, the chapter lists the pros and cons of various traditional and digital media – as well as a section on the aforementioned online ad fraud. Sharp is dismissive of “earned media” on networks such as Facebook – the unpaid posts that reach a company’s followers – because “research showed that such earned media was not of high quality as it only allowed brands to reach their most heavy buyers – which were the easiest audience to reach anyway.”

      What the book misses

      No textbook is perfect, and each one will always demonstrate the biases of the author – especially in this case. That being said, there are a few issues that I would like to see addressed in future editions.

      The book is heavily biased towards marketing in fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies. Most of the examples involve large consumer brands even though, in one example, Forrester estimates that the B2B e-commerce market in the US will be twice the size of B2C e-commerce by 2020. Most of the B2B examples are small blurbs at the end of sections or chapters. Furthermore, Sharp’s textbook does not discuss marketing in the high-tech, SaaS, or startup worlds– where the practices, for better or worse, are often radically different.

      Public relations is barely mentioned. There are entire chapters or large sections devoted to the advertising, personal selling and direct response tactics within the promotional mix, but PR is mentioned almost as an afterthought on only a few pages. And when PR is discussed, it is only in the context of media relations and publicity – even though that is only one type of PR. (Too many marketers think PR and publicity are the same things.)

      While Sharp discusses social media and search engine advertising, I am still waiting for a textbook that covers “organic” search engine optimisation. It is an important topic because, in one analysis by Moz co-founder Rand Fishkin using data from marketing analytics platform Jumpshot, 95% of the clicks that follow Google US searches are in organic results and 5% are in search advertising. An analysis of the top 10,000 websites in the world by SEMrush, a competitive marketing intelligence platform, found that 87% are in organic results and 13% in search advertising. I will probably wait for such a textbook for a long time because while most marketers understand the principles of media mixes and advertising waste, few know about technical SEO concepts such as schema code and robots.txt files. (For a primer, see this prior column of mine.)

      Many of the case studies consist of Australian brands. Examples are easier to understand when the companies are known, so the textbook might be less valuable for the men at work who are not from the Land Down Under. However, it is undoubtedly a culturally positive thing for people to have more knowledge about Australia than what comes from Crocodile Dundee movies.

      I have always argued that marketers of all experience levels should read less of the fluff in the blogs of too many marketing companies and more trade publications and quality textbooks. Sharp’s new tome certainly qualifies. But just remember that his strong opinions are not the only ones out there.

      The Promotion Fix is an exclusive biweekly column for The Drum contributed by global marketing and technology keynote speaker Samuel Scott, a former journalist, consultant, and director of marketing in the high-tech industry. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Scott is based out of Tel Aviv, Israel.

      [“Source-thedrum”]