The Water Coolest is a free daily business news and professional advice email newsletter created for weekday warriors that is delivered fresh daily at 7 AM EST. You can subscribe at thewatercoolest.com.
Estimated Read Time: 3 minutes and 44 seconds
“ALEXA, WHERE’S THE NEAREST BEST BUY?”
Amazon and Best Buy are planning a partnership to sell Fire TV Edition television sets. Tough break, Circuit City.
Eleven boob tube models made by Toshiba and Insignia will be available in Best Buy stores and on Amazon beginning this summer. Because nothing screams “quality” quite like Insignia.
The partnership creates more synergies than “the Bobs” did and offers up hundreds of brick and mortar Best Buy locations to Amazon. Jeffrey Commerce has forged a similar partnership with Kohl’s (in-store “Amazon shops”).
For every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. Or something like that. Roku shares plummeted on the news.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “Has Jeff Bezos learned nothing about forays into unchartered hardware territory? Two words: Fire Phone.”
The boys in brown are hoping to see green. UPS plans to offer customer deals and discounts via their ‘UPS My Choice Deals’ program. Look out Groupon.
The hope is that this will build loyalty with both retailers and customers. Customers will have access to roughly 500 deals for discounts on their favorite products, like 10% off of Goodyear tires.
And retailers will benefit from an expected uptick in revenue, thus further incentivizing the retailer to ship with UPS instead of FedEx. The program should also speed up deliveries, reduce per unit shipping costs, and improve margins Because, ya know, synergy.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “Call me a skeptic but getting into the deals and discounts game about eight years too late seems like a rare misstep for a company who claims to be so efficient that their trucks never turn left …”
People who grew up in the rust belt are pouring one out for The Bon-Ton. The 164-year-old retailer officially announced it will go quietly into the night (read: seek bankruptcy protection).
CEO Bill Tracy gave it the old college try, attempting to restructure via Chapter 11 and keep the company above water, but ultimately, the old boy had to get taken out to pasture.
The remaining assets, including 200 storefronts, are likely to be purchased by Great American Group and Tiger Capital Group, experts in “winding down” businesses. With both The Bon-Ton and Toys ‘R’ Us raising a white flag within weeks of each other it’s high time to be a vulture capitalist.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “Just when you thought the rust belt couldn’t get any more depressing … retail apocalypse strikes.”
IN OTHER NEWS
- SoftBank failed to report roughly $875M in income stashed in tax havens over the past four years.
- According to Jeff Bezos, Amazon Prime has topped 100M subscribers.
- Cadillac President Johan De Nysschen abruptly announced that he is leaving the General Motors unit. The smart money is on Ludacris to backfill the role.
- Starbucks announced that it will be closed on May 29 to conduct racial bias training at all of its stores after 2 black men were unjustly arrested on video at a store in Philadelphia. This seems like it falls into the too little, too late category.
- The Fed Chair runner-up Kevin Warsh and billionaire hedge-fund manager Stanley Druckenmiller are investing in a new cryptocurrency called Basis.
- US indices were mixed yesterday:
- DOW: -0.16%
- S&P 500: +0.08%
- NASDAQ: +0.19%