Footlocker jump into the world of online sneaker buying and selling, Liverpool FC break a record last year and Ikea look to minimise their environmental impact with a new furniture rental concept.
We caught up with our columnist, business transformation expert, author of The Interim Revolution and founder and CEO of Sullivan and Stanley, Pat Lynes, to discuss the biggest news stories you wouldn’t have wanted to miss last week.
1. Did Footlocker just stop itself becoming the next Blockbuster?
As we know, Foot Locker have been bleeding cash like many other retailers in recent times, with 100 store closures last year and 147 the year before.
But they have taken a big step in the right direction after investing $100 million in the sneaker market place and online retailer GOAT Group. The idea is to piggyback on their massive online reach creating a seamless and safe online buying experience.
Foot Locker Inc. CEO and Chairman Richard Johnson said, “We are excited to leverage GOAT Group’s technology to further innovate the sneaker buying experience and utilize their best-in-class online marketplace to help meet the ever-growing global demand for the latest product.”
This is the sort of investment that retailers need to be making. Either reinventing themselves and doubling down on their digital offering or acquiring and/or partnering with those that are already dominating that space. That’s what Blockbuster didn’t do…RIP.
2. Ikea start renting furniture
The Swedish furniture giant continues to experiment and innovate, floating a furniture leasing concept to minimise its environmental impact. The idea would begin with renting out chairs and desks to businesses, but could eventually go as big as leasing kitchen fittings in the future.
Their dream is to create a circular economy where people will take more care of their furniture whilst also prolonging its lifecycle.
They’ve said they want to source 100% of its wood and paper from more sustainable sources by 2020 and plans to ditch fossil fuels by 2030.
It’s typical of a company like Ikea to be focused on building a more environmentally friendly business, and I’d like to see more companies adopt this approach. People are much more aware of the impact they have on the environment and if we can limit the amount of waste, we’ll all be better off.
3. QuadrigaCX investors want their $190m back from the deceased Founder
So this is a bit of an odd one. QuadrigaCX owes it’s customers $190m, but can’t get it to them as the companies founder Gerald Cotten died in December last year and apparently was the only one with the password to access the funds.
So they’re in court right now as Cotten’s widow Jennifer Robertson is saying that almost all of the money is in cold storage (digital vaults for long term investments) and cannot be accessed.
Obviously, there are a ton of sceptics out there, claiming that Cotten faked his death and is relaxing on an island somewhere. Who knows.
4. Tesla Buys Battery Maker for 50% Markup
Recently, it has felt like only negative press for Tesla and it’s controversial boss Elon Musk. But early last week news broke that the hybrid giant has acquired San Diego-based ultracapacitor and battery maker Maxwell for $218 million.
Until now, one of Tesla’s biggest shortcomings was its battery performance in both its cars and it’s distributed power storage systems. Now they have one of the global leaders in energy storage that will decrease charge times and have a longer service life.
The deal is set to be complete in Q2 or Q3 of this year and it seemingly puts Tesla even further ahead in the race for the top spot in the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
5. Liverpool Football Club scores a record-breaking £125m pre-tax profit
This is a difficult one for an Arsenal supporter seeing them dominate the league with scintillating football, a passionate genius of a manager and spine-tingling support at home matches.
They are also are bossing the profit side of things. Liverpool announced a £125 million bottom line profit last year, the first side in the world to crack the £100 million mark.
The old record was held by Leicester City after they stormed to the Premier League title and hit £92.5 million.
Media, commercial and matchday revenues were all significantly higher this year and that can be attributed to their Champions League qualification and making the final last year. It was also their 125th anniversary and their commemorative jersey sales were through the roof.
Now can they hold their nerve to bag their first title in 29 years?