FedEx Canada set to close ALL retail office locations, HUNDREDS of jobs lost

Shipping giant FedEx has announced they will be closing all 24 FedEx office stores throughout Canada. According to this City News report, hundreds of jobs will be lost.

FedEx is closing its Office stores in Canada after 32 years in the country.

Spokeswoman Stacey Sullivan says FedEx Office will close its 24 stores, a manufacturing plant in Markham, Ont., and its head office in Toronto.

The move will result in the loss of 214 jobs, but will not affect FedEx’s shipping business in Canada, she said, adding the decision was made after assessing current and future business prospects.

Eighteen of the stores are in Ontario, five in B.C. and one in Nova Scotia. The closings are to begin in August.

FedEx Office shops offer a range of business services including copying and printing, sign making, office supplies sales and packaging services.

The stores are also used as pick-up and drop-off sites for FedEx shipping.

Is the ELD Mandate Going to Destroy Small Trucking Businesses

The infamous ELD mandate the government proposed made quite an impact on the trucking industry before it was even implemented. If you are a company trucker or own your own business you are likely already familiar with the term. The industry is experiencing a significant growth with a tendency for improvement (as you can learn here: http://gotruckcapital.com/uncategorized/interesting-facts-us-trucking-industry/). However, truckers fear ELD mandate might change the positive predictions regarding the industry.

The Electronic Logging Device (ELD) is a piece of technology that is supposed to log the truckers’ hours electronically, replacing the log books truckers used up until now. The mandate requires all truckers to switch to ELDs by mid-December.

Many truckers fear how this change might impact the rates, the capacity, service levels and the trucking industry in general. Small trucking business owner particularly fear the ramifications of this new mandate, as this technology means a tighter grip on their working hours. Small truckers were largely independent up till now, but suggest that this mandate might mean the government will have a tighter grip on their operations.

How Do ELDs Work?

Truckers are already familiar with the procedure of logging their working hours and submitting these to the authorities if asked. This system is set to make sure drivers don’t go out on the road for more than 10 hours per day, as it may compromise their safety.

This mandate was completed in early 2016, giving truck owners almost two years to adapt to the changes. The ELDs are linked with the truck’s computer. This allows them to monitor the engine and whether it’s running or at rest. Therefore, the concept of ELDs is aimed towards keeping the drivers safe.

At least, that’s the official version.

Why Are Drivers Opposing This Mandate?

Medium and large companies are already working on implementing the new logging devices into their fleets, and so far the results are positive. However, it’s the small companies and owner-operators that take issue with this system.

The main issues small companies have with the mandate are the cost of adding ELDs to their trucks, as well as numerous privacy concerns. Adding an ELD to a truck costs around $600 and has a monthly subscription fee. This means more monthly expenses for truckers who try to make ends meet after paying for repayment rates, maintenance, and other fees.

The ELD will also limit their hours of operations, which will impact their earnings. Owner-operators tend to work longer hours to deliver a haul, and with ELD that will not be possible.

How Will It Affect the Trucking Industry?

Since the mandate was first presented, a lot of owner-operators threatened to hang their keys before they switch to ELDs. This will definitely make the truck driver deficit that’s plaguing the industry even worse.

However, it is mainly truckers near retirement who are less likely to meet the new mandate. While this is certainly a great loss for the industry, there are still a lot of young truckers willing to embrace the change and make it work for them.

Furthermore, as the number of companies producing ELD increases the price is going to be more affordable for the average driver. The FMCSA also announced that they are working on developing a mobile app that can be used instead of the ELD. Both will significantly reduce the impact the new mandate has on a trucker’s budget.

SLOW DEATH: Sears inks $200 million credit line from CEO Eddie Lampert’s hedge fund

Sears, the company that refuses to die has secured a $200 million dollar lifeline according to this CNBC report.

Sears Holdings has landed a fresh line of credit, valued at $200 million, from its CEO Eddie Lampert’s hedge fund, according to a Monday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

On July 13, Lampert’s ESL Partners entered into a short-term line of credit loans, which carry a maturity date of 151 days and a fixed interest rate of 9.75 percent per year, Sears said.

“This facility is intended to provide the Company with the flexibility to generate additional liquidity on an as-needed basis,” Sears CFO Rob Riecker said in a statement.

“This adjustment to our capital structure demonstrates that Sears Holdings will continue to take actions to generate liquidity and manage our business while meeting all of our financial obligations.”

Sears’ stock surged 9 percent higher Monday morning following this news. Shares are now up more than 32 percent from one month ago. This, compared with a loss of nearly 40 percent over the past 12 months.

In 2017, Sears has been trimming its real-estate portfolio — shuttering unprofitable stores — and making moves, such as opening smaller locations that only sell mattresses and appliances, to stay afloat.

Dwindling foot traffic across American malls is dragging many department stores down with it.

Earlier this year, media shy CEO Lampert sat down for an interview with the Chicago Tribune in which he said the retailer is “fighting like hell” to battle negative headlines and pessimism regarding Sears’ ability to continue.

Average FICO score hits an all-time high

When it comes to credit, Americans are faring better than ever.

For the first time, the average national credit score has reached 700, according to FICO, developer of one of the most commonly used scores by lenders. FICO scores range from 300 to 850.

Your credit score plays a big role in daily life. It can determine the interest rate a consumer is going to pay for credit cards, car loans and mortgages — or whether they will get a loan at all.

Average credit scores most recently bottomed out at 686, during the housing crisis when there was a sharp increase in foreclosures. They have steadily ticked higher since then, according to Ethan Dornhelm, vice president for scores and analytics at FICO. Now scores are at an all-time high.

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Sears to close 43 more stores

Sears is closing another 43 struggling stores.

Sears Holdings — the parent company of Sears and Kmart — announced on Friday that it will shutter eight of its namesake Sears department stores and 35 Kmart locations, adding to the list of 236 stores Sears has announced plans to shut down in 2017.

With the newest round of closings, Sears Holdings is poised to close down about 20% of its locations.

The company said in a blog post that the store closures are part of an ongoing effort to “focus on our best stores and return to profitability.”

“This is part of a strategy both to address losses from unprofitable stores and to reduce the square footage of other stores because many of them are simply too big for our current needs,” Chief Executive Officer Eddie Lampert said in the post.

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As Amazon sales soar and retail bankruptcies rise, industry execs remain ‘bullish’

While the retail industry has largely shifted to online in recent years, Tom McGee, CEO of the International Council of Shopping Centers, believes there is room for different kinds of product consumption.

“I think in a couple years we’ll stop talking about online vs. physical and we’ll talk about retail and retail will be you know multiple channels but they’ll really operate in a really synergistic way,” McGee said during an appearance on the FOX Business Network Monday.

At the forefront of the industry is Amazon (AMZN), which is launching its third annual Prime Day from 9 p.m. Monday to 3 a.m. Wednesday – a 25% longer window than it was last year.

Despite Amazon’s success, McGee says it does not completely dictate the industry’s future.

“Amazon has had incredible success but you know Amazon’s an $80 billion retailer in North America…$80 billion compared to almost $5 trillion of retail sales, I mean there’s a huge amount of sales that happen in this country that don’t happen because of Amazon but Amazon is clearly influencing the industry and driving it to change.”

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Here’s How Far Sears Holdings Has Fallen in 5 Years

When Sears Holdings (NASDAQ:SHLD) reported its first-quarter 2012 results, it saw a drop in overall sales, a decline in same-store sales, and negative earnings. The company reported that revenue decreased $270 million to $9.3 billion while same-store sales declined by 1.3% — 1% at Sears and 1.6% at the company’s Kmart locations. The company lost $0.31 per share from continuing operations, but offset that by selling $233 million in assets, producing $189 million in profits.

Selling off assets to make up for sales and revenue shortfalls would become standard operating procedure for the chain over the next five years, but in 2012, then-CEO Lou D’Ambrosio probably had no idea that the worst was yet to come. In fact, in the Q1 2012 earnings release he made comments that sound a lot like what current CEO Eddie Lampert says about each quarter now.

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Is Uber Killing the Limo Rental Industry?

The all popular app has created a kind of chaos in the transportation industry. All of the sudden just anyone could offer driving services at lower prices that registered and professional organizations and individuals ever could. This left a big mark on the transport industry as a whole, as reported by The Washington Post.

The number and the stringency of regulation which are in place for regular limo services cannot be compared to next-to-nothing regulation Uber is subjected to. This is why limo companies need to be smart, to adapt in order to survive this difficult time. Here are some useful tips which could ensure that your limo business stays afloat and competitive.

Diversify

Limo companies which only have cars and limos have been hit the hardest by the rise of Uber. Some others, like Presidential Limo DC, have a diverse fleet of cars, transporter vans and buses. This helped protect these companies from the worst of the impact. Most limo companies have had to adapt since and diversify into new markets and find new sources of revenue. Creating or using the niche markets such as dedicated wine or beer tours or shuttle services is a good way to power through the turbulent period.

Create a Mobile App

Limo companies are facing a mobile app, so the outdated phone or website-based approach is no longer enough. People live fast and use their smartphones for just about everything. If they are planning to go somewhere, they are much more likely to pick up their phone and tap an app a few times, rather than googling a website of a limo rental company, visiting the website and then finally ordering a car. Simplicity and speed are the key advantages of dedicated apps, and it is the advantage Uber has had from the start. Some limo companies are investing money into their own apps in a bid to increase visibility and revenue.

Play your strengths

Limo rental services should to their best to emphasize the advantages of renting a limo over hiring an Uber. For a start, traveling in a limo brings a certain level of class and luxury which Uber cannot hope to match. Most vehicles in the fleets of limo rental agencies are equipped with a full bar, entertainments systems and other amenities. Even the cumbersome regulations imposed by the federal government may serve as an excellent marketing point. These vehicles must be safe, whereas with Uber you can never know how roadworthy the car is. The same applies to the drivers. Professional drivers go through rigorous training and testing, something Uber drivers are not obligated to do.

Make cancellation simpler

With most traditional limo services, cancellation is notoriously difficult and it requires notification hours in advance. Uber, on the other hand, offers instant cancellation, quickly and effortlessly. This is just another example of how Uber is in tune with the new lifestyle of people. When you are constantly on the move, your plans can change quite rapidly. You do not want to be anchored down by the obligation to know hours in advance when and where you will go. Some limo rental companies have gotten the message and have significantly shortened the obligatory cancellation time to under an hour, which makes it much more accessible.

The rise of Uber is nothing more than an example of how capitalism works. A revolutionary new technology has appeared, and everyone else needs to adapt or ultimately fail. Fortunately, limo companies are resilient and their management and owners have stepped up to the challenge and they have begun to incorporate some of Uber’s strategies into their business models, ensuring the continued survival of limo rental industry.

Reach out to Presidential Limo DC at:
2100 M St. NW # 170-193 Washington DC 20037
703-347-6900

The running list of 2017 retail apocalypse victims

It’s no secret the retail industry is undergoing a transformational period that has many scaling back physical operations, shuttering stores, reorganizing mounting debt loads and in some cases ending up in bankruptcy court.

Distressed bond issuers in the U.S. retail and apparel markets are nearing recession levels, tripling in the past six years, according to a report released by Moody’s Investors Service. The report found 13.5% of Moody’s retail and apparel portfolio is distressed, compared to 16% during the Great Recession. Debt maturities are also headed toward record levels over the next five years and retailers are filing for bankruptcy at a record rate.

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U.S. auto sales fall for fourth straight month in June

According to this Reuters report auto sales have fallen for the fourth straight month.

Major automakers on Monday reported a fourth consecutive month of lower U.S. new vehicle sales for June and came in below analyst expectations, despite hefty consumer discounts and looser loan terms, providing fresh evidence that 2017 will fall short of last year’s record year for the industry.

Automakers’ shares rose, however, as retail sales to consumers were relatively stable at the U.S. automakers, with General Motors Co (GM.N) asserting that the industry was set for a stronger finish to the year.

Industry consultant Autodata put the industry’s seasonally adjusted annualized rate of sales at 16.51 million units, which was the lowest rate since February 2015. It came in below Wall Street expectations of 16.6 million vehicles and 2 percent lower than the June 2016 figure.

U.S. consumers continued to shun passenger cars in favor of larger pickup trucks, SUVs and crossovers. Passenger car sales were also hurt as some automakers, including GM, have moved to reduce relatively low-margin sales to rental agencies.

The U.S. auto industry has been bracing for a downturn after hitting a record 17.55 million new vehicles sold in 2016. A glut of nearly new used vehicles poses competition for new vehicle sales and automakers have relied increasingly on consumer discounts and loosened lending terms.