Here is a look at the top headlines we've curated this week about the world of retail, technology and work:
👎🏻Status Update: Facebook Loses Billions in Minutes
💵Middle-Class Life Is More Expensive Than Ever
📱Why Retailers Need to Think Like UX Designers
😳Mattel Layoffs Commence
🏡Housing Prices Cooling Off?
☠Best Buy Should Be Dead. They're Not.
👟Vans Skates To Record Year
🍭America's Oldest Candy In Jeopardy?
👎🏻Status Update: Facebook Loses Billions in Minutes | Via: Forbes
To say that yesterday was a bad day for Facebook is an understatement.
When the dust settles later this afternoon, Facebook may be in the dubious running for the largest one-day stock slide in history. Negative headlines from the previous quarter coupled with lower than expected profits culminated yesterday on an earnings call that future MBA students may study.
Earnings calls are the quarter-pole assemblage of executives, traditionally a conference call, where they discuss the last three months with investors and other interested parties. Typical talking points are user growth, revenue growth, and other things that provide the most accurate and timely snapshot of a corporation's financial health.
On yesterday's call, Facebook tried to flip this news in a positive light. Mark Zuckerberg started the call with the fact that some 2.5 billion people — a third of the world's population — now use at least one of Facebook's products each month.
But, it didn't take long for the financial picture to come into focus for some analysts.
When Facebook's CFO started to talk about their finances, the stock started to tumble.
During the call, Facebook's stock dropped precipitously. Within minutes it was down 15%, then 18%, then 24%.
At the stock's lowest point, more than $148 billion of the company's value — significantly more than the entire market cap of IBM ($134 billion) — had been wiped out. It only took 90 minutes.
💵Middle-Class Life Is More Expensive Than Ever | Via: New York Post
“Middle-class life is now 30 percent more expensive than it was 20 years ago,” Quart writes, citing the costs of housing, education, health care and child care in particular. “In some cases the cost of daily life over the last 20 years has doubled.”
That's the sentiments and research from author Anna Quart, who recently published "Squeezed: Why Many Families Can't Afford America."
Quart explores how America’s middle class is being wiped out by the cost of living far outpacing salaries while a slew of traditionally secure professions — like teaching — can no longer guarantee a stable enough income to clothe and feed a family.
📱Why Retailers Need to Think Like UX Designers | Via: Fast Company
A few years ago, I was talking to a designer friend about the pains of shopping in a grocery store. Long before mapping inside of buildings was a thing, I wondered why there couldn't be an app that just created a stop-by-stop guide to deliver all my products without me constantly pinging around the place, to-and-fro.
She responded by saying how that is completely counter-intuitive to their goal of keeping you 'locked' in the store, growing hungrier and making more purchases.
Today, that thinking is not only unthinkable, it will hurt business.
In the 'gotta have it now' world of online shopping, it turns out retailers are starting to shift their thinking. We expect the shopping experience to be 'tailored' to us.
Fast Company explores why some retailers, from Muji to Ikea are embracing design and UX philosophies and treating their customers more like users.
The Big Idea 🤔
Mattel Layoffs Commence | Via: CNN Money
To save money and refocus the company on what's working, Mattel said Wednesday that it's firing more than 2,200 employees, or 22% of its workforce. It said it would close all of its factories in Mexico.
The vast majority of the layoffs are back-office and support roles, the company said. On a conference call with analysts, Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz said the company performed a comprehensive "bottom-up review" to preserve the company's sales-generating and creative capabilities. He said he hopes the company can realign resources toward high-performing toys, improving online sales and developing better toy franchises for the future.
🏡Housing Prices ❄️Cooling Off? | Via: Bloomberg
Existing-home sales dropped in June for a third straight month. Purchases of new homes are at their slowest pace in eight months. Inventory, which plunged for years, has begun to grow again as buyers move to the sidelines, sapping the fuel for surging home values. Prices for existing homes climbed 6.4 percent in May, the smallest year-over-year gain since early 2017, and have gained the least over three months since 2012, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Shares of PulteGroup Inc.fell as much as 4.9 percent Thursday morning after the national homebuilder reported that orders had declined 1 percent from a year earlier, blaming rising mortgage rates.
☠Best Buy Should Be Dead. They're Not. | Via: Bloomberg
Best Buy, the last national electronics chain, is counting on its legion of "Geek Squad" consultants to distinguish it from Amazon, the company’s competitor, partner, and would-be vanquisher. With more than 1,000 big-box stores in North America and about 125,000 employees, Best Buy was supposed to have succumbed to the inevitable. “Everyone thought we were going to die,” says Hubert Joly, who was hired as chief executive officer in August 2012 after profits shrunk about 90 percent in one quarter and his predecessor resigned amid an investigation into his relationship with an employee.
Heard From Around The Web 💬
👟Vans Skates To Record Year | Via: Forbes
It's time for a retail success story.
Hard to imagine, but in the not so distant past, Vans declared bankruptcy.
Now, they've just completed their most successful year on the heels of smart partnerships with Marvel, Nintendo, and even real art -- the Costa Mesa retailer just announced a partnership with the Van Gogh Museum collection.
What separates Vans is that they've always embraced their grungy, punk skater ethos, while catering to an ever-growing legion of Gen-Z and Millennials by allowing them to craft and create their own drool-worthy, Instagram-ready shoes. Their tribe has now grown remarkably large -- big enough to command valuable shelf space next to the Nikes of the world.
Their executive team (VF Corp., the parent company based in Greensboro, North Carolina) also clearly gets what their consumers want, and how to get it to them: “The key element to its growth is having a brand to let young people be who they want to be,” VF president and CEO Steve Rendle said in an interview with Forbes. It’s “enabling creative self expression.”
🍭America's Oldest Candy In Jeopardy? | Via: USA Today
The Massachusetts plant that made the beloved, but often mocked, candy closed Tuesday, the Boston Globe reported. Round Hill Investments announced that it had sold the once-bankrupt Necco, purchased for $17.3 million in May, to another candy maker.
Necco, short for the New England Confectionery Co., is believed to be the oldest continuously operating candy company in the U.S. It traces its roots back to 1847, but adopted the name at the turn of the 20th century.