Monthly Archives: November 2016

Big Business Afraid of Trump Paris Accord Pullout

This diagram shows ten indicators of global warming: Seven of these indicators would be expected to increase in a warming world.

This diagram shows ten indicators of global warming: Seven of these indicators would be expected to increase in a warming world.

Some of America’s largest businesses are worried enough about global warming to send off an open letter to the president-elect, Donald Trump, urging him not to flee from the agreement signed in Paris to slow down climate change.

The three-hundred companies include 72 which bring in more than $100 million in annual revenues. Among the more famous companies who are signatories to the letter are: Dannon, DuPont, eBay, Gap, General Mills, Hewlett Packard, Hilton, Intel, Kellogg, Levi Strauss, Mars, Monsanto, Nike, Patagonia, Staples, Starbucks, The Hartford, Tiffany and Vail Resorts. And that is just the beginning.

The letter was also sent to members of Congress and President Obama. Part of the letter reads:

“We want the U.S. economy to be energy-efficient and powered by low-carbon energy… Failure to build a low-carbon economy puts American prosperity at risk.”

According to Victor Lipman, writing for Forbes, climate change is not just an environmental issue, but it is also a management issue. Climate change poses “major long-term risks to natural resources, agriculture, supply chains, infrastructure, and multiple business operations.”

Lipman went on to explain that this crucial issue was “conspicuously ignored” during the election campaign. This is why now business leaders are worried about some of the things Trump said about climate change in the past. He has hinted, and more than hinted, that the science behind climate change predictions is false, and he has also voiced the possibility that he would have the United States abandon the agreement signed in Paris.

“Elections change our leadership but they don’t change reality,” said Matthew Hamilton. He is the director of sustainability at Aspen Skiing Company. His statement was part of the open letter.

Adam Kanzer, managing director at Domini Social Investments LLC said, “Long-term stable financial returns are dependent upon a stable and resilient climate.”

Greencore Buying US Food Company Peacock

Still live by Pompeian painter around 70 AD.

Still life by Pompeian painter around 70 AD.

Patrick Coveney took over the Irish food company Greencore in March 2008. At that time the company did not even earn  one penny of revenue in the United States. The CEO saw his mandate as changing that, in a big way.

Coveney got going right away with several strategic acquisitions, organic growth, while constantly speaking about launching a business in the US to eventually be worth one billion dollars.

With Greencore’s announcement of the $746 million acquisition of Peacock Foods, based in Illinois, Coveney’s target seems utterly reachable. The deal is expected to gain approval before the end of the year.

This deal is certainly a big one for Greencore. It is by far their largest takeover to date. Their next biggest was a $113 million deal when it bought British sandwich maker Uniq in 2011.

In the revenue department, the change is certainly “transformational.” The company’s US revenue will expand by a factor of five when Peacock is integrated into the firm. The acquisition of Peacock will add 2 million square feet of manufacturing space, 1,150 new employees, and some important customers like Dole, Tyson and KraftHeinz.

The company’s US business now accounts for about 15 percent of total revenues. After the acquisition US revenues will be about 45 percent of Greencore’s overall business.

Single’s Day is the World’s Biggest Buying Day

Photo courtesy of Chrionexfleckeri1350

Photo courtesy of Chrionexfleckeri1350

If Cyber Monday and Black Thursday are among your favorite days of the year, and you crave for more buying-at-a-discount action, then Single’s Day is for you!
Scheduled for November 11 every year, it is the Chinese version of Cyber Monday, only bigger, much bigger.

With the help of Alibaba, the Chinese version of Amazon, only bigger, much bigger, Single’s Day has become huge. It is by far the planet’s busiest shopping day, giving consumers giant discounts on items as varied as cars and clothes, for 24 hours.

Alibaba is not the only outlet taking part. There are hundreds of other companies that do not want to be left out of the cyber-spending orgy, and offer many products at bargain basement prices as well.

So why is the American consumer so in-the-dark about Single’s Day? (By the way, Single’s Day began in the 1990s and originally had nothing to do with shopping.) Some say they are afraid to add another crazy shopping day to the already crowded fall shopping schedule which begins with Black Thursday.

“All retailers are laser-focused on ramping up for the period from Black Friday to Christmas,” says Danny Silverman, head of product strategy at ecommerce analytics firm Clavis Insight. “To participate in Singles’ Day would sap sales from that critical period.”

In the US November 11 is also Veteran’s Day and is already associated to a certain extent with promotions attached to that holiday.

Some US stores do participate in Single’s Day, such as Walmart, Macy’s, Gap, Target and Costco, but only for their overseas consumers, mostly through Alibaba’s shopping websites Tmall and Taobao. Costco was the top seller on TMall Global on Singles Day in 2015, selling about $3.14 million worth of merchandise in just one hour.

Sales last year on Alibaba amounted to $14.3 billion, and this Single’s Day there is an expectation that $20 billion worth of products will be sold on just that one day. Compare that with what Americans spent on Cyber Monday and Black Thursday combined last year: $5.8 billion online.