Posts Tagged ‘Best Buy’

US agencies banned from using Russia’s Kaspersky software

September 14, 2017

Federal agencies in the US have 90 days to wipe Kaspersky software from their computers. Officials are concerned about the Russian company’s ties to the Kremlin and possible threats to national security.

Headquarters of Internet security giant Kaspersky in Moscow (Getty Images/AFP/K. Kudryavtsev)

The administration of US President Donald Trump has ordered government agencies to remove products made by Russian company Kaspersky Labs from their computers.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said Wednesday it was concerned that the cybersecurity firm was susceptible to pressure from Moscow and thus a potential threat to national security.

Read more: Facebook, Russia and the US elections – what you need to know

DHS said in a statement that it was “concerned about the ties between certain Kaspersky officials and Russian intelligence and other government agencies,” as well as Russian laws that might compel Kaspersky to hand over information to the government.

But the makers of the popular anti-virus software have said “no credible evidence has been presented publicly by anyone or any organization as the accusations are based on false allegations and inaccurate assumptions.”

US tech retailer Best Buy confirmed earlier Wednesday that it would no longer sell Kaspersky products, but has declined to give further details on the decision.

Ties between Kaspersky, Kremlin ‘alarming’

Civilian government agencies have 90 days to completely remove Kaspersky software from their computers. The products have already been banned in the Pentagon.

US congressional leaders have applauded the move. Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen said the “strong ties between Kaspersky Lab and the Kremlin are alarming and well-documented,” and asked the DHS if the company’s products were used for any critical infrastructure, such as for voting systems, banks and energy supply.

Although Kaspersky Labs was founded by a KGB-trained entrepreneur, Eugene Kaspersky, and has done work for Russian intelligence, the company has repeatedly denied carrying out espionage on behalf of President Vladimir Putin and his government.

es/cmk (AP, Reuters)


Store closings are the hottest trend in retail

February 25, 2016

By  Paul R. La Monica
NN Money

It’s not easy being a big retail these days.

Amazon (AMZN, Tech30) is eating almost everyone’s lunch. And consumers aren’t spending as much as many economists thought they would — despite lower gas prices and rising wages. It seems that people are saving more and paying down debt.

That’s bad news for the likes of Best Buy, Kohl’s and Sears. All three reported their latest results on Thursday.

Best Buy’s (BBY) profits did top forecasts. But sales fell during the fourth quarter. And the company is forecasting a bigger than expected drop in sales for the first quarter.

Kohl’s (KSS) announced that it will close 18 underperforming stores this year. It added that sales for all of 2016 could fall slightly from a year ago.

And Sears (SHLD) remains a big hot mess. The company reported earlier this month that it will close at least 50 stores. It’s no secret why.

Sales continue to plunge at both its namesake stores as well as at Kmart. (Cue Dustin Hoffman from “Rain Man.”)

Related: Sears to accelerate this year’s store closings

Sears reported another quarterly loss. Its cash balance shrank while its inventory levels rose — mainly due to an increase in unsold apparel. These are not good signs.

best buy kohls sears stocks down

All of these retailers need to do more than just cut costs if they want to improve their stock prices. They also need to win back customers.

And that may be increasingly difficult to do in these uncertain times.

High-end home furnishings retailer Restoration Hardware (RH) warned on Wednesday that its sales will weaken.

The CEO blamed the turmoil in the oil market for soft sales in Texas and Canada and suggested that market volatility may also be causing its customers to pull back on spending.

Macy’s (M) reported terrible sales earlier this week and isn’t predicting a major turnaround soon. Yet its stock also rose. Guess why? It is closing stores too.

And Gap (GPS) is likely to join the growing list of retailers reporting sluggish sales. It will release its results after the closing bell Thursday.

Related: Macy’s stock is making a comeback. But its sales are not.

The company is expected to post a 5% drop in sales from a year ago. Gap is getting killed by the fast fashion revolution. Customers are flocking to H&M and Zara — and not Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy.

Of course, there are some retailers bucking the trend.

JCPenney (JCP) is in the midst of a somewhat amazing turnaround. It is expected to report a sales increase when it releases its fourth quarter results on Friday.

But JCPenney is also closing stores. It recently announced plans to shut down 7 more this year — after closing 74 during the past two years.

Discount retailer TJX (TJX) , which owns T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, just posted a 6% increase in same-store sales for the fourth quarter.

Target (TGT) reported impressive same-store sales growth too. Target appears to benefiting from both the problems plaguing Walmart (WMT) (which is also closing stores) as well as success in building out its own digital commerce platforms to take on Amazon.

And the resilient housing market is helping both Home Depot (HD) and Lowe’s (LOW). Each big home improvement chain reported solid sales growth this week.

Still, these seem to be the exceptions as opposed to the rule. If anything, it looks like the hot new trend in retail is to try and shut down as many stores as you can to keep Wall Street happy.

Korean Businesses and Investors Leave China for Vietnam and Myanmar

November 20, 2014


VietNamNet Bridge – “Companies specialising in textile, garment, leather and gems have left China since the financial crisis in 2008 to move to Vietnam and Myanmar,” said a representative of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA).

Currently, there are only 4,800 Korean companies doing business in Qingdao, less than one half compared to 10 years ago.

A growing number of Korean businesses are withdrawing from China. According to KOTRA and the Korea Export-Import Bank, the number of companies establishing new local branches in China fell from 2,294 to 1,301 during the period from 2006 to 2008. The number dropped to 901 in 2010, 817 in 2013 and 368 in the first half of this year.

This trend was most clearly seen in Qingdao, Guangdong province. Currently, there are only 4,800 Korean companies doing business here, less than one half compared to 10 years ago, Business Korea reported.

This trend is not only prevalent in the Korean business world. The number of Japanese companies in Shandong province also dropped from 2,000 in 2005 to approximately 1,000 this year. Several large corporations such as Google, Best Buy, and Media Markt also left China together with 130 American, 30 British and 28 Italian companies.

One of the main reasons leading to this situation is the increase in labor costs and falling profits. This year, China’s local governments set the minimum wage increase at 16.9%,  which is expected to grow 13% per year on average in the future.

Another reason is the change in policies for foreign companies. The Chinese government eliminated tax, labor and real estate incentives for foreign investors four years ago.

In addition, Beijing also provides additional support packages and incentives for domestic firms, while limiting government spending for goods originating from foreign companies.