David Kirkpatrick

December 26, 2009

2010 — a look back, a look ahead

The New York Times has an AP article today that looks back at the last ten years and makes a few projections for the next ten covering nine sectors: banking, real estate, retail, health, manufacturing, automobiles, energy, airlines and media/technology.

From the link, here’s what the article predicts for energy:

THE DECADE AHEAD: By 2019, many cars may get 50 miles per gallon or better. Improved gas mileage, rising prices for gasoline and more energy-efficient homes are seen keeping demand for oil and natural gas at moderate levels in the U.S.

Even so, nearly half of the nation’s electricity still will come from coal even with more wind and solar energy sources.

June 4, 2009

Commercial leasing 101 for small business

Filed under: Business — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:05 pm

Here’s a great set of tips from Business.com for small businesses about to enter into a commercial real estate lease.

From the link, the first tip:

Go for free rent
A typical commercial lease rate is based on a cost per square foot. But in a “buyers market” for retail space — when there are a lot of openings available — landlords commonly will offer free rent for a certain number of months as an enticement. They’d much rather do this than lower the cost per square foot because it allows them to show the higher lease rate on their books, and lock in that all-important rate for the future. It also allows them to tell other prospective tenants that space has been rented at a higher cost per square foot, even if the “effective” rate is lower due to the free rent.

December 26, 2008

Retail down 4% this holiday season

Filed under: Business — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:31 pm

Bet it felt like a whole lot moreto a lot of retailers. Food, a necessity provided a counterweight to these numbers. Take that away and picture really starts to get bleak.

From the link:

Retailers’ sales fell as much as 4 percent during the holiday season, as the weak economy and bad weather created one of the worst holiday shopping climates in modern times, according to data released on Thursday by SpendingPulse.

The figures, from the retail data service of MasterCard Advisors, show the 2008 holiday shopping season was the weakest in decades, as U.S. consumers cut spending as they confront a yearlong recession, mounting job losses and tighter credit.

“It’s probably one of the most challenging holiday seasons we’ve ever had in modern times,” said Michael McNamara, vice president of Research and Analysis at MasterCard Advisors.

“We had a very difficult economic environment. Weather patterns were not favorable toward the end of season, and that resulted in one of the most challenging economic seasons we’ve seen in decades.”

The figures exclude auto and gas sales but include grocery, restaurant and specialty food sales. Although SpendingPulse did not exempt the food prices, McNamara said the decline would have been steeper without them.

“There’s a lot of food that provide a buffer for the total retail sales numbers,” he said.

Here’s another story on the subject with some rougher numbers looking at specific categories.

From the link:

As expected, retailers had one of the worst holiday shopping seasons in decades, with sales falling by double-digits in nearly all categories including apparel, luxury goods, furniture, and electronics and appliances, according SpendingPulse, a macroeconomic report by MasterCard Advisors that estimates retail sales across all forms of payment, including check and cash.

The report said that in November retail sales sank 5.5 percent compared with a year ago. They were down 8 percent in December, through Christmas Eve. Excluding gasoline, the decrease in holiday sales ranged from 2 to 4 percent.

Snowstorms and chilly temperatures did nothing to inspire already tightfisted consumers to go out and shop the last weekend before Christmas, usually one of the busiest periods of the year. The weather, though, likely contributed to some good news in online retailing, as consumers opted to surf the Web rather than brave the cold.

December 9, 2008