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Polar Vortex Ecommerce Effects, China and Alibaba’s Economic Hit and Staples B2B Acquisition

Frozen branches

Polar Vortex Ecommerce Implications

It’s been all over the news that it was colder than Antarctica in parts of the Midwest this last week. However, what wasn’t talked about was the implications it held on ecommerce. UPS closed their air hub on Tuesday in Rockford, IL, which resulted in added flights, increased package volumes and delays. There were additional UPS closures in Iowa, Minnesota and Michigan due to the deep chill. USPS also suspended delivery due to the extreme cold in several areas, some including Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. With the large amount of closures, many online retailers were alerting customers about the expected delays in their online orders.

What stood out to us? Our fingers are still thawing out as we type this.

Why should you care? Shockingly, most malls and traditional retailers were still open.


Alibaba revenue growth chart

China and Alibaba’s Hurting Economy

With uncertainty about China’s economy and trade tensions, Alibaba's quarterly earnings still beat initial expectations after their growth into cloud computing, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for worry. This announcement came after numerous companies warned investors that the year earnings would be lower than expected. China “is showing signs of further deterioration” which can potentially hurt the customer demand Alibaba heavily relies on. While Alibaba’s rose 41% to $17.5 billion, it was the slowest growth pace seen in over two years and was lower than the initial $17.8 billion growth estimate. However, Alibaba isn’t blind to the numbers, and cut their sales projections by 6% for 2019.

What stood out to us? The world needs a trade agreement soon!

Why should you care? Stay tuned for Singles Day.


Staples logo

FTC Clears Staples for $438 Million Acquisition

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has approved Staples’ proposed acquisition of B2B office wholesaler Essendant in a $438 million deal. Essendant sells office supplies to other companies, Stapes being one of them. This was the FTC’s first partisan split, though there were a number of objections. With this acquisition, Staples will be required to build a firewall that will restrict access to Essendant’s commercially sensitive customer information, resolving the potential issue that this deal would harm competition in the market. Before this acquisition, Staples hired a new CEO and increased their B2B sales strategy.

What stood out to us? Getting office supplies just got a whole lot easier! 

Why should you care? Office supplies never go out of style.


In the headlines

  • Getting back after being knocked down: Facebook isn’t letting their controversies hurt them, which shows from their ad revenue growing 3% in Q4.
  • A major fan: Fanatics is launching its first marketplace on Walmart.com.
  • I got it on eBay: You probably did, earnings have surpassed estimates.
  • Digital technology’s healthy growth: It’s helping Emory Healthcare improve ICU care..

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