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10 brands like Volvo, JCP, Nook will disappear in 2014

Magazines, cars, and even retailers are in danger of not surviving past 2014, a new report indicates, as many brands are still in hot water, even as the economy slowly improves.

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10 brands that look to be in trouble

Each year, 247WallSt.com identifies 10 important brands sold in America that they predict will disappear before 2014. This year’s list is filled with companies being torn down by innovation, competition, and financing. The take an in depth look at the state of 10 brands in trouble by analyzing sales, losses, market share, public disclosures that may indicate a parent brand will sell the company, sold companies, bankruptcies, loss of customers, and so forth.

The 24/7 analysts claim the following ten brands will disappear in 2014 based on their research:

Rank: Brand: Top Reason it Will Disappear:
1 JCPenney As Macy’s, Target, and Amazon.com are seeing healthy growth, JCPenney has had a lot of drama in recent years, seeing dramatic sales losses that many speculate are insurmountable.
2 Nook Despite a lifeline from Microsoft’s massive investment, the Nook just doesn’t appear to be able to withstand competition from Amazon’s Kindle or the iPad, not to mention e-reader sales are declining overall in favor of tablet computers.
3 Martha Stewart Living Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. has three divisions: publishing, broadcasting and merchandising. Broadcasting and merchandising look great, but publishing is in the tank and is seeing massive losses and abysmal ad sales. Having already shuttered Everyday Food and Whole Living magazines, Living could be next or at least taken out of print and put online only.
4 Living Social The coupon phase is dying, and competition is tight. Amazon.com wrote down their $175M investment in Living Social by $169M last year and the company lost $50M in the first quarter of this year alone versus a $156M profit in the first quarter of 2012.
5 Volvo As of April, Volvo’s market share has plummeted to 0.3 percent and sold only 19,571 vehicles in the U.S. last year, down 8 percent in a market where sales are trending up overall. In addition to that, several Chinese Volvo dealers committed fraud and the brand is generally thought to be in trouble.
6 Olympus Having dwindled to only 7 percent of the market and three straight years of losses, pledging to stop issuing dividends to investors until they are back in the black, which they and others don’t project will be soon.
7 WNBA With attendance and tv viewership in the dump, the brand will not likely survive current WNBA advocate and NBA commissioner David Stern’s retirement in 2014, and as profitability diminishes and teams disappear, the writing is on the wall.
8 Leap Wireless T-Mobile and Sprint have snatched up all of the small wireless companies, but no one seems to want Leap Wireless whose shares are down 90 percent in the last five years. They won’t be able to build a comparable 4G network or pay debts, and is likely headed for bankruptcy.
9 Mitsubishi Motors With the biggest decline in sales of any brand in America last year, selling only 60,000 units, mostly lower-priced, this company could exit the U.S., particularly after being ranked third from last in the new J.D. Power vehicle dependability survey.
10 Road & Track Hearst bought this famous auto magazine in 2011 and also owns Car & Driver, both of which have seen a dip in ad sales, but Road & Track has been hardest hit. Both headquartered in the same city, consolidation of the brands is a possibility.

Which of these brands will have what it takes to turn things around, or will 2014 see the death of some very old brands alongside a few startups that may not hold up to the test of time?

The American Genius is news, insights, tools, and inspiration for business owners and professionals. AG condenses information on technology, business, social media, startups, economics and more, so you don’t have to.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Greg Fleischaker

    June 5, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    That’s amazing that they make a list every year of companies that they think will disappear before 2014. I bet that was a really difficult list to make 20 or 30 years ago, but will probably be pretty easy in 2015 when they get to look at the past year or two.

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Business News

Unify your remote team with these important conversations

(BUSINESS NEWS) More than a happy hour, consider having these poignant conversations to bring your remote team together like never before.

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Cultivating a team dynamic is difficult enough without everyone’s Zoom feed freezing halfway through “happy” hour. You may not be able to bond over margaritas these days, but there are a few conversations you can have to make your team feel more supported—and more comfortable with communicating.

According to Forbes, the first conversation to have pertains to individual productivity. Ask your employees, quite simply, what their productivity indicators are. Since you can’t rely on popping into the office to see who is working on a project and who is beating their Snake score, knowing how your employees quantify productivity is the next-best thing. This may lead to a conversation about what you want to see in return, which is always helpful for your employees to know.

Another thing to discuss with your employees regards communication. Determining which avenues of communication are appropriate, which ones should be reserved for emergencies, and which ones are completely off the table is key. For example, you might find that most employees are comfortable texting each other while you prefer Slack or email updates. Setting that boundary ahead of time and making it “office” policy will help prevent strain down the road.

Finally, checking in with your employees about their expectations is also important. If you can discuss the sticky issue of who deals with what, whose job responsibilities overlap, and what each person is predominantly responsible for, you’ll negate a lot of stress later. Knowing exactly which of your employees specialize in specific areas is good for you, and it’s good for the team as a whole.

With these 3 discussions out of the way, you can turn your focus to more nebulous concepts, the first of which pertains to hiring. Loop your employees in and ask them how they would hire new talent during this time; what aspects would they look for, and how would they discern between candidates without being able to meet in-person? It may seem like a trivial conversation, but having it will serve to unify further your team—so it’s worth your time.

The last crucial conversation, per Forbes, is simple: Ask your employees what they would prioritize if they became CEOs tomorrow. There’s a lot of latitude for goofy responses here, but you’ll hear some really valuable—and potentially gut-wrenching—feedback you wouldn’t usually receive. It never hurts to know what your staff prioritize as idealists.

Unifying your staff can be difficult, but if you start with these conversations, you’ll be well on your way to a strong team during these trying times.

This story was first published in November 2020.

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Business News

How to apply to be on a Board of Directors

(BUSINESS NEWS) What do you need to think about and explore if you want to apply for a Board of Directors? Here’s a quick rundown of what, why, and when.

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What?
What does a Board of Directors do? Investopedia explains “A board of directors (B of D) is an elected group of individuals that represent shareholders. The board is a governing body that typically meets at regular intervals to set policies for corporate management and oversight. Every public company must have a board of directors. Some private and nonprofit organizations also have a board of directors.”

Why?
It is time to have a diverse representation of thoughts, values and insights from intelligently minded people that can give you the intel you need to move forward – as they don’t have quite the same vested interests as you.

We have become the nation that works like a machine. Day in and day out we are consumed by our work (and have easy access to it with our smartphones). We do volunteer and participate in extra-curricular activities, but it’s possible that many of us have never understood or considered joining a Board of Directors. There’s a new wave of Gen Xers and Millennials that have plenty of years of life and work experience + insights that this might be the time to resurrect (or invigorate) interest.

Harvard Business Review shared a great article about identifying the FIVE key areas you would want to consider growing your knowledge if you want to join a board:

1. Financial – You need to be able to speak in numbers.
2. Strategic – You want to be able to speak to how to be strategic even if you know the numbers.
3. Relational – This is where communication is key – understanding what you want to share with others and what they are sharing with you. This is very different than being on the Operational side of things.
4. Role – You must be able to be clear and add value in your time allotted – and know where you especially add value from your skills, experiences and strengths.
5. Cultural – You must contribute the feeling that Executives can come forward to seek advice even if things aren’t going well and create that culture of collaboration.

As Charlotte Valeur, a Danish-born former investment banker who has chaired three international companies and now leads the UK’s Institute of Directors, says, “We need to help new participants from under-represented groups to develop the confidence of working on boards and to come to know that” – while boardroom capital does take effort to build – “this is not rocket science.

When?
NOW! The time is now for all of us to get involved in helping to create a brighter future for organizations and businesses that we care about (including if they are our own business – you may want to create a Board of Directors).

The Harvard Business Review gave great explanations of the need to diversify those that have been on the Boards to continue to strive to better represent our population as a whole. Are you ready to take on this challenge? We need you.

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Business News

Age discrimination lawsuits are coming due to the pandemic – don’t add to the mess

(BUSINESS NEWS) Age discrimination is spreading despite intentions to help, and employers need to know how to proceed in this unprecedented era.

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Ageism void

Before the pandemic, age discrimination was prevalent in workplaces. The EEOC reports that in 2018, about 6 out of 10 workers aged 45 years and older say they experience discrimination on the job.

A 2015 survey found that 75% of older workers found age an obstacle in job hunting. COVID-19 made the situation much worse.

Not only do older workers deal with discrimination, but they are at a higher risk of developing serious complications from the virus. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, older workers were hit the hardest by job loss during the pandemic, which is unusual during a recession. As offices reopen, employers need to be careful to avoid age discrimination in rehiring.

Lawyers expect age discrimination lawsuits to increase.

Last September, Harris Meyer published an article in the ABA Journal that predicted a “flood of age discrimination lawsuits” from the pandemic. Employers who have good intentions by keeping older employees out of the workplace to protect their health are still guilty of age discrimination.

What can employers do to avoid age discrimination?

It may be fine line between making sure you don’t discriminate based on age while offering ADA accommodations. The first thing employers should do is to know what laws apply based on their location. Some states exempt employees over 65 from returning to the workplace out of safety fears, meaning that those employees can still get unemployment. Other states are cutting benefits if employees don’t return to work, regardless of age.

There are some jurisdictions that have passed legislation about which workers have the right to be recalled. Next, review your own policies and agreements with laid off and terminated employees. You may want to consult legal counsel to make sure you’re covering your bases.

As you rehire, whether you’re bringing back former employees or hiring new team members, do not make hiring decisions based on age. Keep good documentation about your decisions to terminate certain employees. If you are citing poor performance, make sure to have a record of that. Don’t terminate older employees who have bigger salaries just because of lower sales. Monitor your words (and that of your hiring team) to avoid bias in hiring and firing.

Provide accommodations or not?

According to the SHRM, “Workers age 40 and older are protected from bias by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; however, that law doesn’t require employers to make accommodations for safety concerns.”

Still, employers can provide flexibility for workers, but it largely depends on the type of job. Reaching an accommodation for an office worker will be much easier than accommodating a sanitation worker.

Employers should assume that workers aged 40 and older can return to work. When the need for help is raised by the employee, enter negotiations for accommodations. Don’t initiate the conversation, and absolutely avoid any references to age.

Know that the environment may change as the pandemic continues to affect workers.

Be thoughtful about your hiring practices moving forward to avoid costly litigation from age discrimination.

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