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The Biz Roundup January 16

Now, if only they can just figure out how to make money from all this increased traffic . . .

MySpace, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s international media conglomerate News Corp, told Reuters that its jobs site has seen a big rise in traffic during the past year — particularly after the onset of the financial meltdown.

The number of unique users between the ages of 21 and 34 visiting the jobs site rose to more than 160,000 in November 2008 from about 83,500 in the same period a year ago, according to numbers that MySpace provided to Reuters on Thursday.

MySpace is not the only one. LinkedIn late last year saw membership jump to 31 million from 18 million at the beginning of 2008 as people used the business networking site to seek connections for jobs that are increasingly harder to come by.

(“Financial crisis ate your job? Try MySpace,” Reuters, January 16) And that means what, exactly? LinkedIn and MySpace are free with near-zero click-through rates. I admit, free to 31 million is a whole lot more than free to 18 million, but where’s the beef?


Bankruptcies hit the letter “G”

Retailers Goody’s and Gottschalks (GOTT.PK) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week, joining a growing list of store chains hit hard by a year-long recession.

The regional department store chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on January 14. Based in Fresno, California, the company said it had negotiated $125 million in debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing from a group of lenders led by GE Capital, a unit of General Electric Co (GE.N).

Privately held family apparel retailer Goody’s said in a court filing on January 13 that it again filed Chapter 11 and that it plans to liquidate its remaining 282 stores. The move comes less than three months after it emerged from bankruptcy.

(“FACTBOX: Recent retail bankruptcies,” Reuters, January 14) No-one who has ever been to Gottschalk’s is surprised; in fact, we’ve all wondered why this hasn’t happened years ago. Here’s the thing: even in the very best of times, going to a Gottschalk’s store was like visiting a museum. Lots of nice things on display, no people.


Best Buy is still cheaper.

Circuit City Stores Inc. begins liquidating its remaining 567 U.S. stores on Saturday, the largest retail casualty yet in a recession that is expected to claim more victims.

The electronics and digital-media retailer will be marking down goods by 10% to 30% with higher discounts as the expected April closing approaches. However, retail experts warned that liquidation discounts don’t often achieve the level of prior sales prices

(“Retailer Circuit City to Liquidate,” Wall Street Journal, January 16) If you’re mourning the passing of Circuit City, the largest retail bankruptcy so far in this season of retailer retirements, consider that the liquidation prices at Circuit City are still higher than the prices at Best Buy. Kind of like those furniture store “going out of business” sales that whomp you with a big dose of sticker shock.


Be honest. If you were around in the 70′s, did you ever think you’d read a headline like this?

In the World Economic Situation and Prospects 2009, UN experts forecast China will achieve between 7 and 8.9 percent growth this year, with the most likely figure being 8.4 percent. . . .

The UN report, jointly prepared by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the UN Conference on Trade and Development and five regional commissions, said China contributed about 22 percent to the world’s economic growth last year, and the figure is set to grow this year.

(“China key to easing global recession,” China Daily, January 17) And, in a lesson that we in the West should learn, China is all for coordinating economic stimulus packages trans-nationally.


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One Response to “The Biz Roundup January 16”

  1. Dave Banks says:

    Informative post, excellent read

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