September 11, 2011 |
In this punk U.S. economy, familiar places keep vanishing. Our neighborhood Borders , one of my cable-TV-deprived kids' favorite hangouts, shuts this week. The old Circuit City across the road, where we got our first mobile phones and our first factory-boxed PC, is empty again, after another electronics chain found that it couldn't make money there, either. Let 'em go, said Michael G. Rubin , who last spring sold the online-retail contractor and warehouse company he built and ran, King of Prussia-based GSI Commerce Inc., to eBay Inc. for $2.5 billion.
March 21, 2012
As Amazon.com killed Borders, crippled Best Buy, and started trimming even Walmart, at least the online retail giant was also hiring thousands of low-wage workers and contract laborers for the warehouses it has been raising in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and a few other states. But Amazon's announcement Monday that it was buying industrial robot-maker Kiva Systems Inc. for $775 million could leave you wondering if retail was going to be completely taken over by machines. Pennsylvania - America's warehouse - is home to one of Amazon's "order fulfillment" clusters, with five locations in the Allentown-to-Carlisle corridor on the Interstate freeways that bypass I-95 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
November 17, 2010 |
Store owners, job-hunters, investors all want this Christmas shopping season to be busier than last year. Shares of Dick's Sporting Goods jumped 12 percent Tuesday as the Pittsburgh-based national chain posted modestly higher sales in its third-quarter report. Same-store sales at more than 400 Dick's stores rose 5 percent over 2009 levels. Online sales jumped a more-exciting 82 percent, chief financial officer Timothy Kullman told investors. Wall Street connects online sales with low costs and high profits.
June 14, 2011
In the Region Saul Ewing to merge with Boston firm Saul Ewing L.L.P. , of Center City, said it planned to merge with the Boston real estate and business law firm Dionne & Gass L.L.P. , effective July 1. The merger will bring seven new lawyers to Saul Ewing, five as partners, one as special counsel, and another as an associate, and expand Saul Ewing's East Coast presence with its first office in Boston. The combined law firm will retain the Saul Ewing name and have 235 lawyers.
March 29, 2011 |
I received some interesting reactions from readers to Friday's column about the legacy of two pioneers of the region's biotechnology sector. I'd wondered aloud who might follow in the footsteps of Frank Baldino Jr. , the founder of Cephalon Inc. who died in December, and Hubert J.P. Schoemaker , the founder of Centocor Inc. who died in 2006. Both built large enterprises that continue to employ hundreds locally. In a comment posted online, Pennsylvania Bio president Christopher P. Molineaux listed seven local life-sciences entrepreneurs whom he suggested were walking that same path, including Steven Nichtberger , CEO of East Norriton-based Tengion Inc. , and Maxine Gowen , founder and CEO of King of Prussia-based Trevena Inc. In e-mails, readers in the biotech business mentioned how difficult it is to get from the point of drug discovery to putting actual product in consumers' hands.
November 15, 2012 |
It is a problem so obvious you wonder why it hasn't already been solved: how to deliver online orders in a way that cuts the odds of missing a delivery or having a package stolen after drop-off to an apartment lobby, stoop, or an unsecured porch. One way Americans have worked around this, as their love affair with online shopping has grown in recent years, is to have deliveries sent to the office, which requires discretion and an indulgent boss. Or they suck up the status quo, unglue missed-delivery slips from the front door, and hope that, the next time, the truck comes when someone is home.
July 25, 2012 |
What if solvent Germany stops bailing out Europe and goes back to its own, stronger money? That would make German products cost more. But privately owned German industrial-sensor and controls maker IFM Electronic GmbH won't have that problem. The company dedicated its new factory and labs in Malvern on Monday, and is adding more abroad. "We make eight million sensors a year," said Roger Varma , head of the $700 million (in yearly sales) company's IFM Prover USA Inc.me off the line at IFM's factory in Tettnang, Germany.
July 4, 2011 |
Companies may feel like waving a flag this Fourth of July, but after what was a volatile second quarter, it might not be Old Glory. High oil prices, fears of a possible debt default by Greece, and the effects of Japan's triple disaster on the global supply chain all contributed to the gyrations in the stock market and thus the value of public companies. The Inquirer/Bloomberg Philadelphia Index rose 2.81 percent between March 31 and June 30, outperforming the Dow Jones industrial average (up 0.77 percent)
October 19, 2011 |
YOU WON'T believe this, Occupy Philly: A bunch of rich guys bought the 76ers! Oh well. Get over it. Go to a game once in a while, will ya? Here are the investors, who include four Philadelphia-area natives and two Indonesians. Six of them are graduates of the University of Pennsylvania, where they presumably took an advanced course in rejuvenating ailing NBA teams: Joshua Harris: Billionaire lead investor who will serve as the 76ers' managing owner and governor on the NBA Board of Governors.
June 30, 2011 |
NEW YORK - The nation's biggest companies are spending more money on stock repurchases to keep investors happy. Standard & Poor's Corp. said Wednesday stock buybacks in the first quarter rose by 63 percent to $89.8 billion. That's up from $55.3 billion in the year-ago period. In the Philadelphia area, Airgas Inc., GlaxoSmithKline P.L.C., Innovative Solutions & Support Inc., GSI Commerce Inc., and ViroPharma Inc. were among the companies that announced buybacks in the first quarter.