Category Archives: Finance

finance

Bebe is closing all its stores, the latest casualty in retail 

Bebe is closing all its stores, the latest brick-and-mortar retailer to get dumped by customers who would rather shop with their phones than their feet.

Bebe Stores (BEBE), which models itself as a purveyor of “unique, sophisticated and timelessly sexy” clothing for women, said it plans to close the stores by the end of May, according to a regulatory filing on Friday.

Bebe did not immediately return messages from CNNMoney asking whether it plans to go out of business or transition to online-only.

The company had hinted that something like this could happen. Bebe said in an SEC filing last month that it was “exploring strategic alternatives.” Earlier this month, the company said it planned to close 28 stores and was trying to figure out what to do with the rest of them.

Before that announcement, Bebe had 168 stores in the United States and Canada.

Bebe has plenty of company in the struggling brick-and-mortar retail industry. Macy’s (M), JCPenney (JCP) and Sears (SHLD) once ruled the shopping malls, but now they’re closing hundreds of stores and cutting thousands of jobs.

Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus said earlier this month that it might sell itself, after ditching its plans for an IPO in January amid sorry sales.

So who’s the winner? Amazon (AMZN, Tech30), the behemoth of online retail, is seizing market share from more traditional retailers, though bargain-hunters are keeping T.J. Maxx and Dollar General (DG) in business.

Via: Bebe is closing all its stores, the latest casualty in retail 

Graphene sieve could make seawater drinkable

(CNN)Researchers in the United Kingdom have developed a graphene-based sieve that can filter salt out of seawater, a development that could provide drinking water to millions of people around the globe.

The applications could be a game-changer in countries where access to safe, clean, drinkable water is severely limited.
Graphene — an ultra-thin sheet of carbon atoms organized in a hexagonal lattice — was first identified at the University of Manchester in 2002 and has since been hailed as a “wonder material,” with scientists racing to develop inexpensive graphene-based barriers for desalination on an industrial scale.
Now, the team at Manchester has used a compound of graphene, known as graphene oxide, to create a rigid sieve that could filter out salt using less energy.

Overcoming hurdles

In recent years, there had been some success in water filtration using graphene oxide to sift out other smaller nanoparticles and organic molecules.
But researchers had struggled to move forward after finding that the membrane’s pores would swell up when immersed in water, allowing particles to continue to pass through.
Rahul Nair’s team at Manchester now claims it has discovered how to control of the expansion and size of the pores.
Writing Monday in the Nature Nanotechnology journal, the team revealed it was able to restrict pore-swelling by coating the material with epoxy resin composite that prevented the sieve from expanding. This means common salt crystals could continue to be filtered out, while leaving behind uncontaminated, clean, drinking water.
The discovery is “a significant step forward and will open new possibilities for improving the efficiency of desalination technology,” Nair said in a statement from the university.
“This is the first clear-cut experiment in this regime. We also demonstrate that there are realistic possibilities to scale up the described approach and mass produce graphene-based membranes with required sieve sizes,” he added.

Global implications

Boosting global access to water is critical. By 2025, 14% of the global population will suffer from water scarcity, the United Nations predicts. In addition, climate change is expected to wreak havoc on urban water supplies, with decreased rainfall and rising temperatures expected to fuel demand.
Cities have been investing heavily in diversifying their water supplies, including developing new desalination technologies to make seawater potable. But existing, industrial-scale desalination plants can be costly and normally involve one of two methods: distillation through thermal energy, or filtration of salt from water using polymer-based membranes.
These techniques have drawn criticism from environmentalists, who argue they involve large amounts of energy, produce greenhouse gases and can be harm marine organisms.

What’s next?

The graphene-oxide breakthrough has been welcomed by scientists in the field as a promising development, but some are cautious of the next steps.
“The selective separation of water molecules from ions by physical restriction of interlayer spacing opens the door to the synthesis of inexpensive membranes for desalination,” wrote Ram Devanathan of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, in an accompanying news-and-views article in the journal.
More work still needs to be done to test the durability of the barriers and to confirm the membrane is resistant to “fouling by organics, salt and biological material,” he said.
Water treatment with membranes that separate water molecules from ions, pathogens and pollutants has been proposed as an energy-efficient solution to the freshwater crisis, Devanathan added.
“The ultimate goal is to create a filtration device that will produce potable water from seawater or waste water with minimal energy input.”

Via: Graphene sieve could make seawater drinkable

Wal-Mart, to acquire men’s apparel retailer Bonobos

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. WMT, -0.39% is in advanced acquisition talks with men’s apparel retailer Bonobos, according to a Recode report published Friday. Sources tell Recode that both sides have agreed to a price and due diligence on the deal is underway. MarketWatch has reached out to Wal-Mart for comment. Bonobos launched a decade ago as a place for men to find pants with a personalized fit. Today it has nearly three dozen “guideshops” that customers can visit, though purchases are shipped. Bonobos was valued at $300 million in 2014, according to Recode. Wal-Mart has made a number of fashion acquisitions in recent months, including women’s retailer ModCloth and online outdoor retailer, Moosejaw. Wal-Mart shares are up 6.3% for the past year while the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.68% is up 11.8% for the same period.

Via: Wal-Mart in talks to acquire men’s apparel retailer Bonobos, reports Recode

These Beauty and Fitness Influencers Can Make up to $300,000 Per Post 

Forbes magazine just released its first-ever “Top Influencers” list spotlighting those who’ve made major bank off of social media. The debut ranking first looks at influencers in the beauty, fitness, and home spaces, but the list will be published quarterly and will cover fashion (coming in September), travel (coming in June), food (coming in December), and more.

The combined following of the 30 social media stars featured is 250 million. According to the report created with social insight platform Captiv8 and influencer analytics firm Traackr, if they have seven million subscribers or more on YouTube, vloggers could make up to $300,000 per post for a video partnership. Additionally, top influencers could make $187,000 per Facebook post, and $150,000 per Instagram post. Even on the “lower” end of the spectrum–those who have around100,000 followers–you could make up to $5,000 per Instagram post.

That’s not even counting what they make with book deals, apps, and clothing lines, supplement brands, and other companies they start. Kayla Itsines, for example, made $17 million her “Sweat with Kayla” app alone in 2016. Meanwhile, Michelle Phan co-founded cosmetics box Ipsy, which was valued at $500 million in 2015.

With that said, here are some of the big names Forbes called out:

BEAUTY

1. Zoe “Zoella” Sugg (@zoella)

2. Michelle Phan (@michellephan)

3. Huda Kattan (@hudabeauty)

4. Nikkie de Jager (@nikkietutorials)

5. Shannon Harris (@shaaanxo)

See who else made the top 10 beauty influencers here.

FITNESS

1. Kayla Itsines (@kayla_itsines)

2. Jennifer Selter (@jenselter)

3. Emily Skye (@emilyskyefit)

4. Michelle Lewin (@michelle_lewin)

5. Joe Wicks (@thebodycoach)

See who else made the top 10 fitness influencers here.

Via: These Beauty and Fitness Influencers Can Make up to $300,000 Per Post

12 Comics That Will Make Sense If Your Love Life Is Kind Of A Mess 

If your love life reads like a running joke ― or a warped, millennial version of “Sex and the City” ― you’re bound to relate to Arianna Margulis’ comics.

The twenty-something, who works in fashion in New York, shares scenes from her love life with over 133,000 followers on the Instagram account But Like Maybe. Topics covered include indecisive daters:

All-too-commonplace breakup strategies:

And judgement-free ride-or-die wingwomen:

Margulis describes her crop-topped cartoon alter ego as a relentless, hopeful dater.

“She gets knocked down but gets back up again,” the artist told The Huffington Post. “She falls too hard and too fast, but she can also run too quickly before giving someone a fair shot. She knows what that butterfly feeling is, and will settle for nothing less.”

We feel you, girl. Below, 10 of our favorite comics from But Like Maybe. Head to Margulis’ Instagram page for even more.

Via: 12 Comics That Will Make Sense If Your Love Life Is Kind Of A Mess

This is how many U.S. jobs robots will create over the next 10 years

Everett Collection

One new job will be created for ever 15 lost to automation.

But will enough jobs be created to overcome the massive employment losses?

While much hay has been made about the sizable number of jobs that will be lost to automation, the workplace’s robotic revolution will also come with a new wave of hiring.

Close to 15 million new jobs will be created in the U.S. over the next decade as a direct result of automation and artificial intelligence, equivalent to 10% of the workforce, according to estimates in a new report from Forrester Research, a market research company. Those gains, however, will not come close to offsetting the 25 million jobs that technology will eliminate by 2027, Forrester predicts.

’New human resources employees will be devoted to guiding staff as robots enter the workplace.’

The new jobs will be created “in software, engineering, design, maintenance, support, training, or another specific job area,” the report found. A new generation of lawyers will be needed to regulate the interactions between human employees and robot workers, for example. And new human resources employees will be devoted to guiding staff as robots enter the workplace.

Jobs won’t just be created or lost, though. Forrester estimated that at least 25% of all jobs will be transformed in terms of responsibilities as a result of increased automation, including in finance, medicine and even farming.

Automation is eliminating jobs for factory workers and Uber drivers—will your morning fix soon come from a precision caffeine machine? WSJ’s Geoffrey A. Fowler tastes the new robot lattes at San Francisco’s Cafe X.

The debate regarding automation and artificial intelligence’s effect on U.S. employment remains far from settled. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has predicted it could take up to a century for AI to eliminate jobs.

But there is reason to be cautious about the new wave of workplace robots. The number of jobs lost may depend on how many bots are actually deployed. A study by economists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Boston University argued that six workers will lose their positions for every robot added.

Blue collar workers, including ones that feature routine manual labor or assembly-line production, were expected to be hardest hit alongside people without a college education, the economists found. Furthermore, automation was estimated to result in no meaningful positive employment gains for any occupation, that study concluded.

Via: This is how many U.S. jobs robots will create over the next 10 years 

How to Build a Brand When You Think You Have Nothing 

By; Jeremy Slate

There’s nothing that is worse and more annoying to others than repeatedly asking people to do things for you. If you never learn to be a person of value, then you will never achieve a high level of success. That’s not to say that you should just give only to receive, it feels wrong because it is wrong.

You should be giving as much as you possibly can because you are inspired by the mission of others and want to see them reach even higher levels of success. Then you really start to envision the success that you see for yourself.

Nine months ago, I started the Create Your Own Life Podcast with no money, no business, and from what I thought, nothing to give. I quickly learned that I had to shift my mindset from scarcity and thinking the success of others would detract from my success; it’s just not true.

The following are some strategies that I have applied and observed in others that are on their way to a high level of success.

1. Connect people to other people.

Do you know two successful people that would create amazing things with each other? Connect them. Help them to expand their circle of influence and get their mission out there. It’s truly an amazing feeling knowing you are helping someone reach higher stratospheres. When you do this from a real and genuine place of admiring someone’s mission, you will be starting to turn the wheels of fate for yourself as well.

2. Offer Free Service.

When you’re not well known, you may have a great skill set but no one may know about it. Offer your service for free or a reduced rate to help it get out there. Helping the right person to be successful is something that can help you get to a place of being able to charge whatever you want.

3. Start a podcast.

John Lee Dumas started the Entrepreneur on Fire podcast after a military career and a set of business exploits that didn’t quite work out. Within 9 months, John started being profitable and in his first year and a half, he had multiple six-figure months. John also managed to connect with many of his heroes including Barbara Corcoran, Tim Ferriss, Gary Vaynerchuk and Lewis Howes.It’s a valuable vehicle and I’ve found it to be some of the most valuable networking that I’ve ever done. Finish all your interviews with “How can I help you?” and you’ll be surprised at how many amazing opportunities will come your way.

4. Offer to be a Contributor.

Look for all the publications in your niche, and make yourself a spreadsheet. Start with the ones that may be the easiest to get into and tell them why you have the credibility and then give them 3-5 topic ideas that you are able to write. Then, you are giving yourself a greater chance of being published, because you’re actually giving the publisher options. As you begin to get some writing under your belt, then you can use it to get more opportunities on higher-level publications.

5. Ask an Influencer How You Can Help.

A great name for this action is the “Osuna Rule.” 19-year-old Ulyses Osuna has very quickly connected with a lot of influencers and produced great results. His results have led to rave reviews from individuals such as Ryan Stewman, Patrick Bet-David, and Shawn Thomas. He has quickly become of great value to individuals that have the power to propel his career to the next level. Did I mention he’s less than 20 years of age?

The point here is that there is always an option if you are able to make the shift from what I can get, to what I can give, you will truly receive abundance. Some will always play the victim and think they need to rely upon others to give them life; a losing viewpoint.

In fact, you have the ability to create your own life. If you learn how to be valuable to others, then you really have the power and are not coming from a place of lack but a place of abundance.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.

Jeremy Slate
Jeremy Slate is the founder of the Create Your Own Life Podcast which helps entrepreneurs live the lives they know they were meant to. He studied literature at Oxford University, Specializes in using Online social networking to build and offline relationship and was ranked #1 in iTunes New and Noteworthy. It is because of Jeremy’s success in podcasting that he was able to accomplish 10,000 downloads of his podcast in the first month. After his success in podcasting, Jeremy Slate and Daniel Gefen founded GetFeatured.media to help entrepreneurs get their message out by appearing as guests on featured podcasts.

Via: How to Build a Brand When You Think You Have Nothing

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