Credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded the credit rating of Wirepath LLC (corporate name of SnapAV) from B2 to B3 in the wake of their announced acquisition of Control4. The primary reason for the downgrade is due to the fact that SnapAV will be forced to increase their debt by an additional $390 million to a new high of $683 million in order to close on this acquisition.
According to the most recent data from retail industry market researcher Coresight Research, retail store closings just a little over one quarter into 2019 are nearing the total number of store closings for all of 2018. This data includes both those retail companies falling into bankruptcy…and those trimming locations out of their overall footprint while remaining in business.
See more on this stunning report…[Read more…] about Retail Store Closings in Q1/2019 Almost Equals Total for All of 2018
At the urging the industry minister of Japan, the country’s Fair Trade Commission will look at a new program announced by Amazon Japan that some suggest may be anti-competitive in nature. Depending on the Commission’s findings, Amazon may be forced to abandon the idea, which is a form of a consumer rebate program.
See more on Amazon’s troubles in Japan…[Read more…] about Japan Opens Antitrust Inquiry into Amazon
CES 2019 is over the hump, closing tomorrow. But the top tech stories are pretty big and pretty clearly defined – and will be quite exciting, when they appear…someday. The top tech stories include – LG’s rollable, bendable OLED displays, Artificial Intelligence (AI), 5G – the next generation wireless tech, 8K TVs, autonomous vehicles – both car and motorcycle, and Apple & Siri strike back.
See what’s hot at CES 2019 in Vegas, baby…[Read more…] about Top Tech Stories From CES 2019
Mastercard’s SpendingPulse retail shopping survey reports a robust increase of 5.1% for holiday sales this year – well over the expectations of many trying to handicap the shopping season. In fact, according to MasterCard, this is the biggest holiday sales increase in the last six years. But not every category is celebrating. And overall retail trends in 2018 offered some troubling results.
Check out our retail and holiday sales report for 2018… [Read more…] about Retail Struggles Continue; But Holiday Sales are Up
Intros ‘Carbon Collection’ of Home Décor Items
Monoprice, the company most successful at pursuing a low-price, cut-rate strategy in regards to cables, adapters, and accessories, and the bane of many upscale cable companies in the consumer electronics space, has continued to grow and expand, now adding housewares and home goods to their growing assortment.
See more on what Monoprice has been up to recently… [Read more…] about Monoprice: King of Cut-Rate Cables, Expands
Best Buy has launched a corporate rebranding that is both sweeping in style and represents a shocking reversal of course, undoing much of its original mission that was created when founder Dick Schulze, President Brad Anderson and crew launched an entirely new store concept known as “Concept II.” Concept II was a reinvention of their formerly more traditional superstore design to a new warehouse style discount store designed to deliver the “Best Buy” on all things tech. This new branding change is to such a significant degree that even Advertising Age Magazine (AdAge) devoted significant space to an analysis of it.
See more on this surprising reversal of the genesis of Best Buy’s founding concept… [Read more…] about Best Buy Rebranding Reverses Historic Course
Ah…those geeks on Best Buy’s Geek Squad. They’re so cute aren’t they? With their little white shirts, clip-on black ties, and nerdy glasses taped on the nose bridge. You just know that when you give them your misbehaving computer, they’re going to get right to fixing it. But would you hand your computer over to a member of the Geek Squad if you knew he was acting as a kind of paid FBI agent by proxy, one who intends to scour your hard drive and look through your files to find anything possibly compromising to hand over to the FBI…and collect a bounty? Or would you choose a different repair center, one that simply focuses on repairing your computer?
Yes, some Geek Squad members are paid informants for the FBI… [Read more…] about Geek Squad: Nerdy Repair Man or Proxy FBI Agent?
Popular Executive Leaves the Company
Just one week after Amazon made a widely reported purchase of video doorbell maker Ring (for a reported eye-popping $1 billion), we learn that it has made another investment into the smart home space, taking a share of smart thermostat maker Ecobee. Although this was an investment made through their Amazon Alexa Fund and not an outright acquisition, it seems pretty clear that Amazon is getting very serious about the smart home business.
See more on this unexpected development from Amazon… [Read more…] about Amazon Invests in Another Smart Home Startup
Unless you live under a rock, you most likely have heard about Amazon Go, the experimental grocery store that uses technology to allow shoppers to bypass the checkout counter and simply walk out the door with their purchases. Within minutes of leaving, they receive an email of the items they left with, and the receipt with the charges to a card of their (previously registered) choice. The idea is to eliminate a signficant pain point – standing in line for the sometimes time-consuming checkout process.