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.
Don’t have 3 minutes and 52 seconds to read The Water Coolest? Listen on all of your favorite podcast outlets in 2 minutes or less.
Dick’s Sporting Goods bucked the recent trend of successful retail earnings, announcing “below-average” sales figures in Q2. And they say size doesn’t matter. Same-store sales were down as much as 4% during the year.
There were two culprits largely responsible for the disappointing performance. First, Under Armour decided to go all “open relationship” on Dick’s by extending its product offering to mid-tier retailers like Kohls. Then, after 17 people were killed in a Florida High School shooting the “sports authority” restricted gun sales to those 21-years and older.
The company remains optimistic that it’s a grower, not a show-er, however. The sporting apparel store’s shares are up 24% on the year and like any smart business it is creating a partnership with The Rock, er, Dwayne Johnson via Under Armour.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “I’m not worried about the surprise decline. Dick’s will rise again.”
FEEL THE BERN
Ganging up on Amazon and Jeffery Commerce has been a bi-partisan effort as of late. Both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have been publicly shaming the little bookstore who could. Albeit, for very different reasons.
Bernie’s bone to pick? That Amazon fosters an unsafe workplace (“seven Amazon workers have died on or near the job since 2013” according to Sanders) and doesn’t pay a livable wage in its fulfillment centers. Larry David’s doppelganger is sponsoring a bill that would force employers to pitch in if its employees need government assistance.
The Vermont Senator pursuing liberal legislation isn’t exactly noteworthy. Amazon clapping back is, however, as the e-tailer has been historically mum on political criticism. Amazon’s rebuttal came, somewhat ironically, as its market cap inches towards $1T.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “Who knew trolling Amazon would be the one thing that Republicans and Democrats could agree on?”
SurveyMonkey is making it official. After testing the waters back in June by filing confidentially, the online survey company publicly filed for an IPO in the U.S.
The initial offering clocks in at $100M, which will likely fluctuate as analysts get to doing what they do best. SurveyMonkey most recently landed funding from Tiger Global, ICONIQ Capital and Social+Capital Partnership worth $250M, valuing the company a $2B valuation.
Like any good tech company, SurveyMonkey still isn’t profitable after more than 19 years in business. While they claim 600k paying customers, the company posted net losses of $27.18M on $121M in earnings in the first half of 2018. The company was able to narrow their losses from 2016 to 2017, however … so they’ve got that going for them.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “Online survey tools are great, but why not just post your questions to your Facebook friends? In my experience, that’s always been the best way to get calm, level-headed responses.”
IN OTHER NEWS
- Need proof that this trade war has gotten out of hand? Look no further than Lynchburg. Jack Daniels will be raising prices due to cost hikes stemming from rising tariffs. American bourbon has been targeted by China, the EU, and Mexico in retaliation for tariffs on aluminum and steel set by the Trump administration.
- Dfinity, a blockchain startup dubbed the ‘world computer’ has raised $102M in a funding round headlined by Andreessen Horowitz and Polychain Capital. The company will use the cash to hire employees and build toward its eventual goal of creating a decentralized cloud computing network to rival current cloud computing giants. *cough* Amazon *cough*
- As controversy swirls around the National Enquirer, Credit Suisse is doing its best to weasel its way out of leading a deal to refinance $425M worth of debt for the tabloid’s parent company, American Media. We have a feeling Deutsche Bank would jump at the opportunity.
You can subscribe at thewatercoolest.com.