Wednesday, January 30, 2013

So, How's That Economy Doing? Oh, Look, GUN CONTROL...

Hmm. Brad_in_MA sends in this story:

Boston Scientific to Cut 1,000 Jobs in Restructuring
Boston Scientific Corp. (BSX), the second- biggest maker of heart devices, plans to cut as many as 1,000 jobs in an expansion of its restructuring program that will save an additional $100 million to $115 million a year.
Boston Scientific said it will combine attrition and headcount reductions in the new phase of the cost-cutting program, first introduced in 2011. The targeted jobs equal about 4 percent of the Natick, Massachusetts-based company workforce. Boston Scientific also posted fourth-quarter sales of $1.82 billion, beating analysts’ estimates.
And this is a company that is doing comparatively well, mind you. Boston Scientific has posted gains this year, with 2012 being their best year in four years. So why are they laying off a thousand people?
The savings will be used to pay the 2.3 percent medical device excise tax, or $75 million a year for Boston Scientific, that was implemented for President Barack Obama’s overhaul of the health-care system.
Got that? They're laying people off, not hiring replacements, etc. - even though they're doing pretty well - because of the new taxes levied as a result of ObamaCare. 1,000 people out of work - but health care is "free" now.

It's no wonder they'd rather grandstand about gun control and skeet shooting.

There was also this story that dovetailed nicely:

Retailers That Will Close the Most Stores
It is the time of year again, when America’s largest retailers release those critical holiday season figures and disclose their annual sales. A review of these numbers tells us a great deal about how most of the companies will do in the upcoming year. And while successful retailers in 2012 may add stores this year, those that have performed very poorly may have to cut locations during 2013 to improve margins or reverse losses.
For many retailers, the sales situation is so bad that it is not a question of whether they will cut stores, but when and how many. Most recently, Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE: BKS) decided it had too many stores to maintain profits. Its CEO recently said he plans to close as many as a third of the company’s locations.
Now, granted, a good deal of this is just the changing nature of doing business - the five businesses closing stores are all in areas where online shopping has made great inroads - business supplies, books, general merchandise, and electronics. Many of these retailers have a significant online presence, and it makes strong business sense to close down locations that require upkeep, taxes, etc. if the geographical area doesn't bring in enough profit.

With Amazon offering free shipping on a good number of items - and even in cases where it's not free, it's much cheaper than driving to a store with gas at $3.50 a gallon - I find I turn to Amazon for just about everything that's not perishable these days. Christmas shopping, birthday presents, even reloading and cleaning supplies - you name it, you can find it on Amazon. Delivery is fast - I ordered a new wireless keyboard for the iPad on Saturday, it showed up yesterday - and in many cases, as long as you know what you're looking for, prices are very comparable to what you'll find in-store.

In tough times, folks are looking to save money wherever they can - whether that means ordering online to save from driving to the mall, or a brick-and-mortar store closing retail locations. Businesses are adapting to this new paradigm of doing business - or they are going under. With rising costs, stagnant salaries, and discretionary income getting squeezed from rising fuel, food, and clothing costs, folks need to save every penny. Retailers continue to feel the pinch, and as a result, more jobs are lost, continuing the cycle.

But by all means, continue to yammer on about "weapons of war" and "high capacity bullet clips"...

That is all.


Anonymous said...

It was a big wake up call for me when I worked a Big Defense Company that the driving goal was to keep share prices high. Not profit, not happy customers not even group profitablity.

Screw stock analysts. I don't miss that headache at all.

You are right about companies closing down stores where the ROI is low. States and local gooberment forget taxes may make all the difference if these local locations stay open or not.


Andie said...

"With Amazon offering free shipping on a good number of items - and even in cases where it's not free, it's much cheaper than driving to a store with gas at $3.50 a gallon - I find I turn to Amazon for just about everything that's not perishable these days."

See, I prefer to shop locally whenever possible, but it does take some planning, and being in a place that has local stores that offer the goods I need/want. Problem with this now is that with Obamacare and unemployment, the local places are struggling even MORE than the big box stores.

Once again, all of the "hope and change" is costing far, far more than we can pay.

Exurbankevin said...

And Time, Inc is laying off 500.

Hope! Change!

Anonymous said...

Tech Crunch or one of the tech websites had a good article last Friday on this very thing. According to the articles writer we will see upwards of 1/2 of the US population unemployed by 2030. Remember most of these numbers will come from the baby boom generation.

Amazon must only work on the eastern seaboard like that. Folks like myself in the rural states must wait 2-weeks or better for an order.

George said...

And now Smith and Nephew is laying off. Man, it's like there are unintended consequences or something.