FASHION at the inauguration on Wednesday Front and center American designers, including several emerging American designers – specifically looking to benefit from the attention. President Joe Biden’s Ralph Lauren suit received respectful reviews, but a suit designed by Sergio Hudson and Alexandra O’Neill, a less well-known name, was chosen to earn special praise. This level of exposure can make a big difference, said Ikram Goldman, a Chicago retailer who was drawn to the work of many undersung designers while helping to style Michelle Obama during the Obama administration. “It’s an unknown designer worn by people in the limelight,” he pointed out, “and the combination … makes an impact on many levels.”
Chief among them, sales. Batsheva Hay, who designed the high-neck burgundy dress worn by Ella Emhoff – the stepdaughter of Vice President Kamala Harris – said her e-commerce deals started hitting record highs after the inauguration: “Compared to a typical day, I do it at least five times as much lots of sales on my web site. “Miss Hay saw an unprecedented level of interest manifest in other ways too. A photo that he posted on Ms. Emhoff in her dress received more than 12,000 likes, thousands more than her usual post.
Online interest has also surged for the family team behind the bird-embellished ring worn by poet Amanda Gorman. “We had the most people we visited on our website yesterday,” said Octavia Giovannini-Torelli, who runs the Of Rare Origin jewelery line with her mother and sister. “We respond to every client who has contacted.” Since Wednesday, their website has displayed a banner that reads: “We are honored (and panicked) to see the view from above at this historic Inauguration.”
Sergio Hudson, the Los Angeles-based designer who created the plum outfit Michelle Obama wore at Wednesday’s inauguration and the black cocktail dress Vice President Harris wore that evening, said her Instagram following doubled from about 50,000 to more than 130,000 in the hours after inauguration. He said he barely had a chance to check sales and web traffic among all the resulting interviews.
This increase in attention is very welcome after a year, thanks to the impact of the pandemic, into one of the worst fashion businesses. “It means validity in the industry at a time when I feel the industry is struggling,” said Hudson. “Last year was terrifying. You want to be a designer all your life and then in one year you’re like, watching the entire industry crumble…. This shows that people still believe in fashion. ”
The sudden crisis threatens to wipe out most of the $ 17 billion that companies and franchisees make in annual dinner sales at all KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut restaurants in more than 150 countries. Mr. Gibbs, a 31-year Yum veteran who became CEO a year ago, went from advancing the company’s expansion strategy to competing with thousands of closed restaurants.
Since then, many large fast food companies mostly recovered from the early pandemic close, and Yum’s comparable US sales rose in the third quarter from a year ago. But Mr. Gibbs said he was rethinking how Yum – which has more than 50,000 restaurants, more than any other fast food chain – could serve and deliver more food to carry over the long term.
He’s planning a future where pre-ordering fried chicken online is routine, and Pizza Hut customers can get their orders placed in their suitcases without having to walk into the restaurant.
Meanwhile, hundreds of his US Pizza Hut locations, most of which do dine-in businesses, have permanently closed.
The 57-year-old Gibb spoke to The Wall Street Journal via video from Yum’s largely vacant office in Plano, Texas. Below is an edited excerpt.
WSJ: What mistakes did Yum make at the start of the pandemic and how do you learn from them?
Mr. Gibbs: If I look back before the pandemic, I wish we had moved faster for Pizza Hut to be more delivery, run business and less dependent on on-site dining. We’ve talked about it for years. Sometimes large organizations can become bureaucratic. But I think we may be impressed even with ourselves in how fast we’ve spun.
“ I didn’t know that normal appearance was exactly like before the pandemic. Consumers may be more aware of cleanliness in restaurants, and we are looking for new ways to provide a safe environment. ‘ “
Mr. Gibbs: We’re working on a design that has multiple drive-throughs. The Australian business began building several test units with five drive-throughs in one building.
But the other part of the story is the roadside execution. You see it not only in the restaurant industry, but also in retail. This is good because of our peak drive-through constraints. No matter how hard you ride, you can still fit only X cars in a row.
Mr. Gibbs: We are very excited about this vaccine. When it’s my turn, I’ll be in line to get it. We hope all our employees get it. But we do know that there are others, such as frontline healthcare workers, who are ahead of us in the queue.
WSJ: Once a vaccine is more universally available, will you ask employees to get it or have your franchisor consider it?
Mr. Gibbs: We are studying the matter right now and haven’t made any decisions yet. It is important to remember that 98% of our stores are run by these franchisees. So it’s more complex than we just mandating that every store needs to get a vaccine.
WSJ: Even when vaccines start rolling out, it’s unclear when life will begin to return to normal. When did you anticipate this to happen in fast food?
Mr. Gibbs: I didn’t know that normal appearance was exactly like before the pandemic. Consumers may be more aware of cleanliness in restaurants, and we are looking for new ways to provide a safe environment.
WSJ: What management actions have you taken that will survive the pandemic?
Mr. Gibbs: One of the biggest lessons I learned is the power of authentic communication versus the formal written memos someone might send. We bring together various groups of franchisees, corporate teams from around the world in video calls. We get hundreds of questions via the chat function – real time, without filters. We learn from that.
WSJ: Do you support a $ 15 minimum wage at the federal level and for your employer and franchisees?
Mr. Gibbs: We support the national minimum wage, and we will work under whatever minimum wage the government makes.
WSJ: How do you expect the dynamics between the CEO and the White House to shift in the new government?
Mr. Gibbs: We are excited to work with the Biden government and share their goal of building back better especially on the economy and fighting inequality. We have been in more than a hundred countries around the world for decades – we have operated in any political environment.
WSJ: The pandemic’s theme is menu simplification, but some customers say Taco Bell went too far in removing options. Were you surprised by the commotion when Taco Bell removed Mexican Pizza?
Mr. Gibbs: I’ve never been surprised by the passion our customers – especially Taco Bell – have for our iconic products. We can always bring back the Mexican Pizza at some point if the request is there.
WSJ: What is your pandemic tranquillizer?
Mr. Gibbs: I often pass through Taco Bell drive-throughs. We introduced grilled cheese burritos during a pandemic, and that’s the definition of a product that was so coveted for me and my college son.
(ticker: LOGN.Swiss) headquarters and legal heritage are in Lausanne, Switzerland, it also has a Nasdaq list (LOGI), and most of its senior management works out of offices on the West Coast of the United States.
Its stock has risen about 400% in the past five years, to 76.34 Swiss francs recently, or $ 81.96 on the Nasdaq. But stocks could continue to rise, as working from home became a long-lasting trend after the coronavirus, and strong demand for electronic sports and computer games boosted sales.
Tom Forte, an analyst at US investment bank DA Davidson, has marked the stock as Buy, expecting the stock to rise to CHF105.18 ($ 116), indicating a rally of about 40% from recent levels.
In an October note, Forte wrote: “We have compared a company’s ability to exploit the opportunities created by Covid-19 to the same as a sailor catching the wind after building a superior ship.” He likens Logitech to a boat with three sails: 1) main (video collaboration), 2) jib (gaming), and 3) spinnaker (self-broadcasting).
“As a result of management’s ability to position itself to take advantage of three significant secular changes at once, we see Logitech in a good position for the rest of the 2020 calendar and beyond,” said Forte.
Logitech was also rated a Buy by Michael Foeth, an analyst at the Swiss investment banking group Vontobel,
whose CHF98 target price indicates a 31% increase.
Logitech employs 7,000 workers and has a market value of CHF12.4 billion ($ 13.5 billion). It took 22.3 times the expected earnings this year and judged it in line with its peers. In May, it posted a net profit of $ 450 million for the year to end March, which was an increase from the $ 258 million recorded the previous year. Net sales for 2020 are $ 3 billion.
CEO Bracken Darrell informed Barron“We have positioned the business behind the long-term trend, not the Covid trend. Covid has accelerated them. We are developing markets and looking for new businesses to enter where we can become leaders. ”
He saw many opportunities. “Even though I don’t expect to grow at 75% forever, we have to stay in a long-term growth mode. We are in a world where people need more and more places to work, and I see a lot of potential. ”
The business was founded in 1981 in Apple, Switzerland, by Swiss nationals Daniel Borel and Italians Pierluigi Zappacosta and Giacomo Marini. They wanted to call it Softech, but the name was already in use, so they borrowed the root word software–Which means software in French – to create Logitech.
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Before the pandemic, the company was already enjoying strong performance, selling hardware for computer games like Fortnite and League of Legends, and enter the booming e-sports market – a segment that, for some, could fill the hole left by canceled sports events.
The trend of working from home is likely to persist, in some form, even after the pandemic has passed. This has sparked a spike in webcam requests, and there will likely be a second wave of requests from workers returning to the office who will need a webcam to communicate with other people still working remotely.
Assuming Logitech can solve any short-term supply issues and perhaps shift some of its manufacturing to more sustainable materials, that stock is being transferred for further growth.
It has been dark days for the travel industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and travel websites like Expedia Group Inc. have struggled financially. AFP / Getty Images Expedia Group Inc.’s sales were further cut by more than half in the third quarter, according to an earnings report on Wednesday, but the travel company managed to cut losses from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, by sending actions. higher at the end of the negotiation. Expedia EXPE, -0.30%, posted third quarter tax losses of $ 221 million, or $ 1.56 per share, down from net income of $ 2.71 per share a year ago . After adjusting for stock-based compensation, restructuring charges, and other costs, the company reported losses of 22 cents per share, down from earnings of $ 3.38 per share a year ago. Sales totaled $ 1.5 billion, up from $ 3.56 billion a year ago. While the declines remain steep, they were better than expected and improved from the previous quarter, when Expedia reported a loss of more than half a billion dollars over three months. Analysts projected an average adjusted loss of 79 cents per share on sales of $ 1.39 billion, according to FactSet. “Travel demand continued to be significantly affected by the virus in the third quarter, but the increase in travel during the quarter, along with continued progress on our cost initiatives, led to improved financial results.” CEO Peter Kern said in a statement on Wednesday. “As the past few weeks have demonstrated, the travel industry and the world still face a protracted and bumpy road to recovery, with increasing cases of COVID-19 and uncertainty around vaccines and treatment timelines. Collectively, Expedia has lost nearly $ 950 million so far this year as the COVID-19 pandemic decimated the travel industry, after raising more than $ 750 million in the first nine months of the year last. Analysts expect Expedia to post a fourth quarter loss as well, as Americans skip vacation travel amid continued spread of coronavirus; Expedia did not provide a forecast. Stocks gained more than 4% on Wednesday after-hours, after falling 0.3% to $ 98.50 in the regular trading session. The stock is down 8.9% so far this year, while the S&P 500 SPX index, + 2.20%, has gained 4.3%. .
But beneath the surface, there are also signs that continuous innovation to keep up with health and wellness trends remains important.
Both companies reports quarterly earnings it was way ahead of expectations. Pepsi said organic sales, which eliminate the impact of acquisitions and currency, were up 6% from a year earlier in North America for the Frito-Lay and Quaker Food divisions. Even more surprising is that its North American beverage business, which was dragged down by weak outside sales, posted a 3% increase in organic revenue due to rising prices. That compares with a 7% drop in the previous quarter.
Conagra is even better. Its grocery and snack division, which includes Hunt’s ketchup, Vlasic pickles and Orville Redenbacher popcorn, saw organic sales soar 21%. In the chilled and frozen segment, which includes Birds Eye and Marie Callender’s vegetables, organic sales were up 19%. The company also issued stronger-than-expected guidance for the current quarter and unexpectedly increased its dividend.
On a conference call, Conagra argued that food consumption at home is likely to remain high, even as states reopen, due to a number of factors: Remote work arrangements are becoming more normalized, recessions are likely to escalate to eating at home, and families have invested heavily in it. -things like cookware and utensils to enhance their kitchen game.
Despite all this, food companies cannot be complacent. It is clear that the shifting health and wellness trends have rocked the food industry before pandemic still available. At Pepsi, for example, some of the fastest growing drinks come from newer sugar-free products, including bubbly sparkling water and Gatorade Zero. Pepsi Zero Sugar has increased retail sales by more than 30% so far this year, said Chief Executive Ramon Laguarta. Meanwhile, Conagra cited figures from IRI showing that retail sales of frozen plant-based meat alternatives rose 36% from a year earlier over the past 13 weeks.
Americans may continue to eat more at home, but they still want to eat healthier. Food companies need to continue to adapt.