The resale sneaker market has been growing and is now valued at about $6 billion, a significant part of the global general sneaker category of $100 billion. Last year one of the company’s fueling this marketplace, StockX, was given a one-billion-dollar valuation, and its CEO, Scott Cutler says that about $1 billion worth of merchandise, not just sneakers, was sold on his platform.
StockX also provides a marketplace for buyers and sellers of handbags, streetwear, watches, and collectibles, not just sneakers. The company launched about five years ago and is headquartered in Detroit. So far, they have raised about $160 million from investors, but others say there is a streetwear bubble that is just about to burst. Add the current pandemic that is laying off hundreds of thousands of people into the forecast and it would be a fair assessment to say that StockX is heading into some trouble.
Apparently, trouble is not at all where StockX is heading, if we can believe the firm’s CEO. According to Cutler, his business is doing nothing if it isn’t booming.
How has the coronavirus been good for business? Cutler had this to say at a March 25th online event conducted by Erin Griffith, a New York Times reporter who writes on technology, startups and venture capital:
“The recent events over the last couple of months have been a benefit to our business. We’ve had more and more traffic and buyers coming to our site because in some respects, traditional retail in some geographies is not available. We thought we’ve always been a marketplace of scarcity, but now you can’t actually go into a real retail location, so you’re coming to StockX. So on the one hand, it’s been great for our business and for our growth.”
Unburdening itself from its somewhat risky liquified natural gas venture, Toshiba Corp. completed the sale of Toshiba LNG Corp to oil and gas powerhouse Total SA of France for $15 million. The sale is part of the Japanese firm’s restructuring process.
The sale was announced in June when Toshiba realized it would have a hard time profiting from US-produced LNG for Japanese utilities due to the fall of the price of LNG. As it is, the sale to Total SA will still result in a loss for Toshiba of about $847 million for the fiscal year ending in March. Toshiba plans to pay Total about $815 million to take the contracts Toshiba is already committed.
Toshiba’s deal with the US firm to have the rights to process U.S.-produced gas into 2.2 million tons of LNG each year for 20 years beginning in 2019 was brokered back in 2013. Toshiba’s restructuring comes in the wake of a fraud scandal that came to light in 2015, and after Westinghouse Electric Company, a nuclear power subsidiary, went bankrupt in 2017.
Former global chief of merchandising and present CEO of Tru Kids Brands, Richard Barry, says he would like to open at least two Toys R Us Stores in the United States in 2019, according to someone who is aware of Barry’s plans.
Last October Tru Kids Brands won the rights to the Toys R Us brand after the company went bankrupt last year. Tru Kids also owns the rights to the company’s other assets such as Babies R Us and Imaginarium.
“We’re definitely coming back in 2019. At minimum two stores. There’s more planned for 2020,” the unnamed person said.
That person added that the new stores will be smaller than the old ones and will be more “experiential.”
“We have significant interest about how to bring the brand back to the US,” Barry explained to CNN Business earlier this year. “We’re working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to bring it to life.”
Two banks in Massachusetts—North
Easton Savings Bank and Mutual Bank—have recently announced that they will be
merging in early 2019.
The two banks both maintain 9
locations in different Massachusetts communities. This merger will allow the
banks to combine their resources and expand their services. The banks have
announced their commitment towards maintaining a culture of growth and success
and have dedicated a website, www.meetyourbetterbank.com, to support clients.
Bank mergers can be complicated and
often affect thousands of clients as well as employees.
This was the case when another two
Massachusetts banks—Westborough Bank and Hudson Savings Bank—merged in 2007. When
their merger was announced in November 2006, the deal seemed straightforward. Hudson
parent company Assabet Valley Bancorp would pay $35 per share for Westborough
Financial Services Inc. (the mutual holding company for The Westborough Bank),
for a total of $20.6 million. The deal eventually went through, and the two
banks merged to become Avidia Bank.
But, surprisingly, this deal involved
intense negotiations, and did not go to the highest bidder. An offer of $38.50
per share from an unidentified individual was rejected by the bank’s
shareholders. Another offer, of $40 per share by Marc Bistricer’s Murchinson, was also turned down.
As these Massachusetts banks
demonstrate, bank mergers are complex deals that carry implications for bank
personnel, investors, and customers.
James Brett, an experienced executive who has been the CEO of J. Crew Group since summer 2017, is leaving the retail clothing company.
The decision for Brett to leave was mutual and pointed to the fact that the parties were “unable to bridge (their) beliefs on how to continue to evolve all aspects of the company.”
The Departure comes in the wake of a brand relaunch which has already proven to show some improvement in the company’s bottom line.
Representatives of J.Crew said four senior internal executives will take over Brett’s responsibilities, including Michael Nicholson, the company’s current president and chief operating officer.
Brett replaced Mickey Drexler in 2017 when he left the company after a long tenure there. Previous to his stint at J.Crew Brett was the head of the furniture chain West Elm.
In a statement the company declared that Brett had boosted the energy level at J.Crew and “enhanced (their) ability to relate to a broad range of consumers.”
In the statement that Brett released he said, “Returning J.Crew to its iconic status required reinventing the brand to reflect the America of today with a more expansive, more inclusive fashion concept.”