Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Retail Footprint

U.S. Stores Are Too Big, Boring and Expensive

This is a generational realignment in the way consumers spend their discretionary dollars, and the ramifications and economic dislocations are going to last for decades.
This year alone there will be several thousand store closings. Hold aside for a moment the debacle that is Sears/Kmart -- that has as much to do with complex financial engineering as anything else -- and consider the ongoing changes in retail sales trends. Many factors are driving weakness in U.S. retailing: 

The Bloomberg article written by Barry Ritholtz has lots more.  Click on the headline above.

Personally I think he's sugar coating.  We really won't have any uses for these storefronts at any price.  Unlike the old mills of New England they won't last long enough to find new purpose.   

Edit:  Added this cartoon.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Any excuse except the truth

Amgen shakes up R&D staff, 400 jobs to be cut/relocated

|About: Amgen Inc. (AMGN)|By:, SA News Editor
With the aim of improving alignment with functional capabilities, Amgen  plans to restructure its operations, affecting ~400 positions at its Thousand Oaks headquarters. About 100 jobs will be relocated to research hubs in the Boston area and San Francisco and ~50 will go to Tampa, FL where the company is opening a new capability center.
A company spokesperson says a little more than 100 employees in Discovery Research and Translational Sciences will be impacted. The action affects ~8% of Amgen's headquarters staff.

Please.  People are not this stupid.  

With the aim of improving the stock price with maximum leadership return , Amgen plans to move its technical operations, affecting ~400 positions at its Thousand Oaks headquarters. About 100 jobs will be relocated to research hubs in the Boston area and San Francisco and ~50 will go to Tampa, FL where the company is opening a new capability center and the other 250 are poof, into the wind. 
A company spokesperson says a little more than 100 employees in Discovery Research and Translational Sciences will be impacted. The action affects ~8% of Amgen's headquarters staff directly.  These jobs are however considered "apex" positions and additional hundreds of support positions will be quietly eliminated.  The Chairman/CEO's long personal history in the Greater Boston Area had nothing to do with this decision. 


School Reuse

From the Thomas Aquinas College newsletter.

The College’s new, New England home owes its origins to a 19th century Protestant evangelist, Dwight Lyman Moody. A popular preacher who often attracted thousands to his services, Mr. Moody sought to broaden his evangelical efforts by providing a Christian education to young people of limited financial means. To that end, he founded two preparatory high schools in Western Massachusetts’ scenic Pioneer Valley: the Northfield Seminary for Young Ladies (1879) and the Mount Hermon School for Boys (1881).
In 1971 the schools merged to become a single, coeducation institution, the Northfield Mount Hermon School, operating on two campuses just a few miles apart. In 2005, however, the school consolidated onto the Mount Hermon campus. Four years later, Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., purchased the Northfield property with the intention of giving it, free of charge, to an institution that would maintain it and continue Mr. Moody’s legacy of Christian education. Hobby Lobby then entrusted the property to the NCF, a leader in Christian philanthropy, to find a suitable recipient.



Even exclusive New England preps are experiencing the hollowing out of the middle class aspirants.  I'm glad they found a suitable reuse. 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The School Bus Doesn't Stop Here Anymore

As a followup to Tom Stone's earlier comment about young families, for your consideration:
This is a portion of zip 93010 with the same problem.   I'll give you approximately 1.2 million guesses why there aren't kids anymore.  This isn't a new thing but it has gotten extreme.  My youngest is literally the last public school attendee left and that for only a few more months.  Did I mention the newest plant? "Thread Agave." Took precautions and lost less than a pint of blood getting it in. 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Sebastopol Snapshot

Via Tom Stone [Century 21] A chart of Sebastopol Prices courtesy of Nick Dunlop [Dunlop Appraisal Services]
Peak pricing? Permanently high plateau? Limited supply? More data to come with "paired sales" individual properties coming soon.

Side note:  Pulled some grass and discovered I had one of these.
 
The Dawghaus and Echo Beach share this view to the north.