sale fell

2

So I did a thing… I was grocery shopping yesterday and I saw that the tanks were on sale, and I fell in love with this angry little nub..
When I realized I had a spare small filter that was still cycled it was game over.
I’m going to transfer some plants tomorrow when I have more time and make it all cosy.
Happy home day Pineapple! 💕💚💗

you love the sea: part one, clotho [creation]

setting: non-magical, mythical AU
pairing: marcus flint/oliver wood
word count: 2981
A/N: finally, we’re here! this fic is the result of my giveaway from a few months ago. dedicated to the brilliant and lovely @flintwoodandco, who suggested an amazing idea about selkies that I just kind of…. ran with. ;D there are four parts to this thing, and I’ll be posting the rest of them for the next three days (part 2 on sunday, part 3 on monday, and the final part on tuesday - if all goes to plan). I hope you all enjoy reading this one, because I’ve absolutely loved writing it! (as always, a big shoutout to my beta and cheerleader @nymphadoraholtzmann!!)

(you can also read it on ao3!)


I’m not excited, but should I be?
is this the fate that half of the world has planned for me?
I know I love you
and you love the sea
but what holy water contains a little drop, little drop for me?

- unbelievers, vampire weekend


The last of his bags landed with a thud on the wooden floor of the old cottage, and Marcus dropped ungracefully down beside it with a loud huff of exhaled air. He took a moment to catch his breath before he glanced around the room - there were boxes on every available surface and two duffel bags beside him at the door. His entire life, packed up and carefully wrapped and it looked like so much less stuff than it should have been - shouldn’t twenty five years take up more space?

Shaking away the morose thought that he had nothing that mattered and no one who cared, and that’s why this room looked so woefully empty, Marcus forced himself to his feet. He grabbed a small box from the living room couch, then padded into the small kitchen of the cottage, surveying the space as he went. He had purchased the place with the furniture included but this was his first time seeing it in person, and it was certainly as… quaint… as had been advertised.

Marcus dropped the box onto the small kitchen table and pried it open, digging through until he pulled out something that felt mug like. It took him entirely too long to pull off the paper that had been wrapped carefully around it to prevent breakage in transit, and he silently cursed Pansy for her over-the-top precautions, especially since it was just a stupid plain mug anyways.

He reached the sink and cranked the tap on, pleased that the water that came out looked drinkable. As his cup filled he glanced up to look out the window and when his eyes focused he nearly dropped the mug in awe. It was stunning. His friends had all looked at him like he’d grown a second head when he sat them down and explained that he’d purchased a small cottage in the Orkney islands in Northern Scotland, but now that he was here he knew he’d made the right choice. The cottage was a little ways from the nearest town and up on a piece of higher land, and from his kitchen window he had the most incredible view of the ocean. His property sloped downwards and ended in a sandy beach interspersed with large boulders, entirely private according to the girl who had sold him the property.

After Marcus’s father had died, he stepped back to take a long look at the life he was creating for himself. His father had been part of the Death Eaters, one of the most notorious gangs in London, and Marcus was set to join up as soon as he, according to Thoros, “pulled his head out of his arse”. Then there’d been a major raid, organized and carried out by some orphan police officer whose parents had been murdered twenty odd years ago by the gang, and now Marcus was an orphan with no prospects. By the time the press had figured out where he lived, he had fallen so deeply into depression he almost walked out into the madness of it all and surrendered to the inevitable.

And then Adrian had, quite literally, smacked some sense into him and told him to get out of town for a bit, move to the coast, recollect himself, and come back when he was ready.

Adrian hadn’t quite been expecting him to go this far, but something had tugged at his heart and this cottage showed up for sale and everything just… fell into place.

Keep reading

Request: FriendshipFic - Reader had a bad day the day before and has been acting different while working and the only one to notice is Dwight. She normally leaves a little note each day on his computer screen but today there is none. To cheer her up he leaves notes in random places on her desk throughout the day and knowing Dwight the notes are weird making her day, end of the day she leaves a note on his windshield thanking him. :D

A/N: I’ve had this prompt saved since I saw it around the end of last year but only just got a chance to write it. (I also went online and found some good Dwight quotes for all but one of the notes because why not go to the source when trying to figure out what he would say?)

You walked to your desk and looked down at the scattered papers, immediately reminded of the sale that had fallen through on you the day before. The sale that was supposed to significantly boost your earnings for the company at a time where more earnings were desperately needed. You shook your head as you sat in your chair and quickly cleared the papers. Everyone on the sales team had sales that fell through, you couldn’t let everyone see how this was affecting you when everyone else was so able to quickly get back up on the horse and go on with their work, unaffected.


You looked down at the stack of post-its sitting next to your computer and, instead of going on with your morning routine and writing out a quick note for your coworker, Dwight, you shook your head and picked up the phone, checking to see if you had any messages. There was a twinge of guilt in your stomach at your unwillingness to keep up the daily tradition. It had started years back, after Jim had pulled a particularly elaborate prank on Dwight– not knowing he had been having a horrid day already– and hurt his spirits a bit. But, the way you saw it, how were you supposed to do something to brighten Dwight’s day if you weren’t even in the right mindset to brighten your own? Better no note than a less-than-cheery one, right?

Dwight walked in a few minutes later and took his spot at the desk across from you. His shoulders slumped a bit when he noticed a new post-it wasn’t anywhere to be found on his desk. He looked over at you, noticing your slumped posture and the frown spread on your face (instead of your usually bubbly smile) but quickly turned back to his computer, unsure of how to try to cheer you up, especially with all your colleagues bustling around the office.

Once you had heard all your messages, you decided to head to the break room to get a cup of coffee. Perhaps the caffeine would help get you out of this mood. When you got back to your desk, your brow furrowed when you found a post-it stuck to your keyboard. You sat down and lifted it up to read it.

“Why are all these people here? There are too many people on this Earth. We need a new plague,” was written in Dwight’s handwriting.

You couldn’t help but let out a quiet laugh at the absurdity of the words, causing a smile to spread across Dwight’s face.

This happened periodically for the rest of the day. Every time you returned to your desk, there was a new note, each more absurd than the last. You stuck each in your day-planner, wanting to keep them with you forever.

““R” is one of the most menacing of sounds. That’s why they call it murder not ‘muckduck’.”

“I don’t have a lot of experience with vampires, but I have hunted werewolves. I shot one once, but by the time I got to it, it had turned back into my neighbor’s dog.”

“In an ideal world, I would have all 10 fingers on my left hand so my right hand could just be a fist for punching.”

“I saw Wedding Crashers accidentally. I bought a ticket for “Grizzly Man” and went into the wrong theater. After an hour, I figured I was in the wrong theater, but I kept waiting. Because that’s the thing about bear attacks… they come when you least expect it.”

“In the wild, there is no healthcare. Healthcare is “Oh, I broke my leg!” A lion comes and eats you, you’re dead. Well, I’m not dead. I’m the lion.”

“People say, ‘oh it’s dangerous to keep weapons in the home, or the workplace.’ Well I say, it’s better to be hurt by someone you know, accidentally, than by a stranger, on purpose.”

And your personal favorite: “It’s okay to lose your shit sometimes because if you keep your shit, you’ll end up full of shit and then you’ll explode and there will be shit everywhere. A shitstorm. And nobody wants that.”

You ended up leaving before Dwight, unable to thank him properly as he was on a call when you finally left. Instead, you quietly packed your things, making sure to grab a post-it off the stack. You went out to the parking lot and wrote out a quick note, sticking it on the windshield of Dwight’s car before you got into yours and drove off. Dwight came down a few minutes later, a part of him hoping you would have waited. He frowned slightly when he didn’t see your car left in the lot, but that quickly changed when his eye caught glimpse of the yellow square on his windshield. He walked over, his pace a tad faster than usual, and grabbed the note.

“Thank you for being there to make me laugh, even on the worst days. -Y/N”

His smile widened as he read the words, glad he could be of help to you. And the note quickly  found it’s way into the folder he carried around full of every note you had ever given him.

Examples of Dead Fandoms, Part Two

Go here to read part one.

Let me reiterate something I said before: I actually don’t want to be right about any of these fandoms being dead. It always makes me sad when people lose passion for something, and something worthwhile goes unread or unseen.


The Pulp Heroes (the Shadow, Doc Savage, etc.)

The Shadow was the first and most famous of the larger than life magazine heroes, mostly published by Street & Smith, who came out during the Great Depression. They weren’t superheroes, exactly…but they were too uncanny, too bigger than life, their adventures too bizarre and fantastical, to be typical adventurers or detective heroes in the usual sense…they were in the same ballpark as Tarzan or Zorro, a kind of “transitional fossil” between grounded detective and adventure characters, and the later far out superheroes. 

I realized the reach these novels had in their own time when I heard this amazing story about none other than jazz great Thelonious Monk: he was obsessed with Doc Savage magazine. When he performed, the jazz man sometimes had a Doc Savage magazine rolled up in his coat. I have a hard time imagining that!

The reason the pulp heroes went away and stopped having pop cultural cache is simple: the audience for it went away. You have to remember that pulp hero stories were always a composite genre, meant to appeal to two audiences simultaneously: kids, who loved action and fantasy and heroism, and working class men, who also love action, but who also loved lurid mystery and gore. To appeal to working class men, there were always way more hints of blood, gunplay, dread/terror, and sex, but because kids also read these, it was all very subdued. If you realize that pulp heroes were meant to appeal to these two very different audiences with conflicting desires, the question isn’t why the pulp heroes went away, but rather, why they lasted as long as they did. 

What took the kid audience away from the hero pulps could be summarized in two words: superhero comics. Sales on pulps fell every year when they had to compete with comics, and the history of the pulp heroes in the 1940s is defined by their reaction to the challenge of comics, a little like the history of movies when they had to compete with television. 

There were three big reactions to comics in the 1940s from the pulp magazines: 

  1. They dissed comics. This reminds me of the 50s movies that called television “the idiot’s lantern.” The best example of this I can find is the Doc Savage mystery, The Whisker of Hercules. By all accounts, Doc Savage author Lester Dent hated, hated, hated comic superheroes, particularly Superman, who exaggerated the traits of his own heroes beyond what he felt an audience would believe. Whisker of Hercules is a novel where Doc finds criminals who who take a potion that turns them into Superman, gives them superstrength, the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound, and the ability to move at superspeed, but in the end, they are ultimately bested by Doc Savage, who outsmarts them and reveals the Whisker of Hercules ages them to death. Lester Dent, you see, felt superhero comics were a passing fad without staying power.
  2. They created characters that were both in pulp magazines and in comics as well. An example of this would be Ka-Zar and Sheena, who was in both comics and pulp magazines simultaneously. Today, we’d call them “multimedia properties.”
  3. They created far-out pulp heroes that were aimed at a kid audience to lure kids back to magazines. The best example of this is Edmond Hamilton’s Captain Future, which was a pulp hero who was extremely kid-friendly, with robot sidekicks and a cute mouse pet, and a base on the Moon. 

While the kids who read pulp heroes were lured away by comics, the working class men were pulled away by a new invention: the “men’s adventure” paperback novel, which could have explicit sex and violence. James Bond (Casino Royale was first published in 1954) was more typical of the paperback heroes, as was gun-toting Mack Bolan the Executioner, a special forces guy who came back from Vietnam to find his family killed by the mafia, and who declares war on the mob with his special forces training and arsenal of firearms (he also directly inspired a certain Marvel Comics character you might be familiar with). 

Just like almost all pop music is either Beatles or Stones inspired, nearly all men’s adventure heroes are some variation of either James Bond or Mack Bolan. This leads us to today, where men’s adventure novels are either porn, or gun porn. If you’ve read this blog long enough, you can probably guess which one I like better.

Here’s another thing to consider when wondering why the pulp heroes went away. The Shadow, Doc Savage, the Spider, are really only a few years older than the superheroes. They were not separated by a geologic age, the way many histories lead you to believe: they came out in the same decade as each other. Doc Savage came out in 1933, and Superman came out in 1938, which is not really that much time difference at all. The difference may be that there is a publishing company (DC Comics) that views Superman and Batman as essential to their identity and that keeps them alive for that reason, whereas no company does that for the pulp characters. In fact, there was even some dispute early this century as to whether the Street & Smith characters fell into the public domain. 


Original Battlestar Galactica

I used to post old cosplay pics, and my gosh, were there ever a lot of OBSG images. The actor who played Boomer was a regular at early science fiction conventions (there was a time when it was considered unusual for celebrities to visit conventions), and when a new BSG show was announced in 2003 (believe it or not, there was once a time that a hard reboot of an old scifi property was rare), it led to one of the all-time biggest nerdrages in nerd history.

I hesitate to say this, but part of the reason that Star Trek and the Next Generation are discovered decades later by new fans is because they really are good shows, and OBSG is…well, it’s a challenge for a new person, with fresh eyes, to see just what got everyone so excited in 1978. The reason why BSG was a big deal is clear: most people who are fans of it are fans because they watched the show when they were children, so it’s imprinted in their minds (rather like 90s kids and “Saved by the Bell” or “Power Rangers”). OSBG fandom isn’t growing for the same reason that “Saved by the Bell” fans aren’t growing: it’s a product of hormones and nostalgia, you “had to be there” to get it. 

To me, this explains perfectly why people went ballistic when a BSG reboot was announced back in the stone age, 2002. For one, the concept of a reboot was so new that I remember I heard people wonder if this means their favorite characters from the original were dead now. More importantly, though, this is a fandom with a few core people who remember BSG from when they were kids, and therefore have strong feelings about why it works and doesn’t work. 


Prince Valiant

Here’s a test to determine if a fandom is dead: if a movie adaptation royally screws everything about it up, would people get angry and yelly and passionate? Remember how people got death threats over the M. Knight Shyamalan Last Airbender? Well, in the case of Prince Valiant, I don’t think anybody would actually care. This is surprising, because for years, when people thought of comics, they thought of Prince Valiant: he was emblematic of an entire medium. Years before the prestige of Maus, Persepolis, and the “graphic novel,” it was the one comic that was classy, that adults were alright reading. 

Why is it no longer popular? Well, copy and paste everything I said on Dick Tracy about newspaper comics here. But also, if you ever run into someone who really loved Prince Valiant back in the day, ask them why they liked it. The answer should be incredibly telling. Most likely, they’ll tell you they loved the beautiful art, that they loved the great style of Hal Foster’s godlike pen. They loved the sweep of the story and the epic feel. 

Here’s what they won’t say if you ask them: they probably won’t say they liked the characters. (I can’t think of one adjective to describe Prince Valiant’s personality - he totally fails the RedLetterMedia test). They won’t remember any moment that made them cry or made them feel a rush of triumph.

I swear, it is not my intention to be a hater and drink some haterade. That’s really not in my nature, because I am a positive person. The whole point of this blog is for me to share cool old stuff I love - negativity has no place here. But there’s a dishonesty, a willful obtuseness, in trying to understand why Prince Valiant stopped being a phenomenon, and not realizing that Prince Valiant is beautiful looking, but it doesn’t give us the things about stories that “stick to our ribs” and make it stand the test of time: great characters and memorable, earned moments. Praising a comic for having beautiful art is like praising a movie for the great special effects. You don’t want the one thing people to remember about your hero to be a haircut. 


John Carter of Mars

The fandom for John Carter of Mars is a little like Barsoom itself without the Atmosphere Factory and water pumped from the depths of Omean: dead.

To the modern eye, one of the weirdest parts of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series is the 3 minute digression in the episode on Mars where Sagan starts talking about how he was the hugest John Carter of Mars fanboy ever, and how he dreamed of rescuing beautiful women in gallant swordfights on thoatback, with his fanboy narration intercut with shots of Frazetta and Michael Whelan cover art. This really happened. And this was typical of the kind of passion that John Carter of Mars inspired that you don’t see much of today. It’s so easy to blame the tanking of the movie adaptation, but the movie failing was a symptom, not a cause, of the fact there was no hungry audience to receive it.

Sagan was a huge John Carter fan: his car had a “BARSOOM” vanity license plate, and he wasn’t alone: without hesitation, I would say that Edgar Rice Burroughs was the most important and influential scifi writer of the first few decades of the 20th Century, so important that everyone defined themselves as either Burroughs-like (Leigh Brackett, for instance) or rejected the tropes ERB created (see: Stanley G. Weinbaum). John Carter of Mars didn’t inspire Star Wars. Instead, he inspired the things that inspired Star Wars (e.g. Flash Gordon). Edgar Rice Burroughs, not Faulkner, not Hemmingway, was the best selling novelist of the 1920s. 

Remember the last time I did this, and I was sincerely baffled why the Tripods novels have not had a revival? Well, when I got to John Carter of Mars, the answer came to me: the reason is that this work was so influential, so ubiquitous, that it has been strip-mined of creative power by imitators to the point that very little about it seems original anymore. Tripods, if it came out now, would just look like a Hunger Games rip-off despite the fact that if anything, it’s the other way around. The problem with John Carter of Mars is exactly the same: remember how the response to the trailer to the film adaptation was that this was Avatar Goes to Attack of the Clones? When, actually, Avatar and others got a lot from the Barsoom books. In other words, because John Carter was influential enough to create cliches, paradoxically, it is now seen as cliche.


Highlander

The Ghostbusters reboot had a big, big problem: it’s a remake of a movie that’s an untouchable classic, like Back to the Future. Any remake would inevitably be compared to the original and suffer in the comparison. Well, here’s one movie you could probably remake with a gender swap hero: Highlander. It’s not Back to the Future, Jaws, or Terminator; this isn’t a movie people can quote every line from. People know of Highlander, sure…people know things like the Queen song, “there can be only one,” electric swordfighting, etc, but people don’t actually care that much. People won’t go ballistic. Highlander is a remaker’s dream: it has enough name recognition to get sold and made, but it doesn’t have a legion of nitpicking nerd fans to second guess everything and treat the original like gospel.

Highlander used to be kind of a big deal: it had not one but two tv shows, and it had three movie sequels. Just like “Wild Wild West” was steampunk a couple decades before that term existed, Highlander was “urban fantasy” before that term existed. Because of the themes of urban fantasy and tragic romance, it always had a strong female fandom, and there’s no understanding Highlander without understanding that it was kind of the Supernatural of its day: theoretically, with its swordfighting and cool powers, it was trying to appeal to boys…but ended up building up a way bigger female audience instead. 

Posterity is really never kind to any fantasy property who’s audience is primarily women. Who, today, talks a lot about Gargoyles or Beauty and the Beast, for example, to pick two properties that used to have a strong fandom? The last one (B&B) is pretty amazing because it was created by two people immensely relevant to the zeitgeist of today: Ron Perlman (the Beast himself), and the show’s head writer and producer, a fellow by the name of George R.R. Martin. It could be just plain chauvinism over a “girl thing.” I don’t deny that plays a role, more likely, it could just be that scifi fans are immensely nerdy in a way fantasy fans aren’t, so they keep alive their favorite scifi artifacts. That, I think, is why we’re still talking about Terminator and not Highlander: Tolkien fans who write in Dwarf runes are a freakish exception. In general, fantasy fans are way less hardcore than scifi fans.


Magnus, Robot Fighter

Ever talk to any old gay nerds? They will usually tell you they realized they were hella gay because of three men: Robert Conrad in “Wild Wild West,” Ultra Boy from Legion of Super-Heroes, and Magnus, Robot Fighter.

Russ Manning’s Magnus, Robot Fighter may be one of the great subterranean sources of pop culture. Matt Groening admits that the aesthetics of this comic inspired a lot of Futurama. Magnus, Robot Fighter was such a nostalgia totem in the minds of the Baby Boom generation, on the level of the Mars Attacks! cards, that George Lucas, who was always very hands-off with supplementary material, personally requested Russ Manning come out of retirement to do the Star Wars daily comics.

Magnus, Robot Fighter is an interesting example of how comics only have cache and longevity long-term if they can successfully convert into other media formats. Comics are important, but comics are ephemeral. Superman is the king of comic characters, sure, but most people know about him because he made the leap from comics to radio, screen, and television. 

Magnus is all the more heartbreaking because he almost made the jump to a medium with durability - video games. Under circumstances too complex to relate here, Acclaim bought out all the Gold Key comic characters, and Magnus was generally considered to be the crown jewel of the lot. Because Magnus was too important an IP to screw up, and the development team was so inexperienced, Acclaim instead decided to make their first Gold Key game adaptation one of the minor guys, so if they blew it, no biggie: Turok, Dinosaur Hunter. The rest is history: Acclaim was so busy making sequels to the surprise hit Turok, Dinosaur Hunter they never got around to giving Magnus, Robot Fighter a game.

Part three is coming, so stay tuned. Believe it or not, I actually have a fandom from the past ten years on here! Can you think of any dead fandoms?

yesterday I found this care bear on sale and I fell in love, but I didn’t get it. and I texted my girlfriend that I was thinking of going back for it. and later she was like “let’s play a game. it’s called where in the world am I?” and she sent me famous landmarks and I answered where they were. and then she sent me that photo on the bottom left, which is my front step. she went back and got me the bear because she’s the sweetest. so everyone meet cheer gay bear.

anonymous asked:

Oh, my God! So you just say that Harry fell into sales because the larrie part of the fandom did not support him enough because of babygate. You think Louis is not to blame for his "sad" situation but Harry did and that's why they did not support him. Applause! What must we do to get them as involved as with Louis? Wait, you guys do not give a shit about Harry. It does not seem bad to me, they are in their right only that they do not lie saying that yes they support to Harry when they clearly no

i…. didn’t mention larry anywhere in my post and i’m afraid i can’t hear you properly over my constant stream of SOTT, bye bye!

2

Finally we have a king size bed! And I didn’t spend a single dime. 😁 I put together two smaller beds we had upstairs and a king sized mattress on top of them and it works just fine. The beds are attached to each other so they won’t slide apart.

Our old bed was only 120 cm wide (~47 in) and it was really small now that there’s three of us. Even though Sofia sleeps mostly in her own crib I breastfeed her at night in our bed and it just didn’t work. I had to move her crib a little bit to make the closets accessible but she’s still in the same room. Having a big bed feels sooo luxurious 💖

(I am painfully aware of the spelling mistake on my pillows. They were on sale and I fell in love with them and only noticed the mistake when I got home. 😂)

one of the dumbest things I did kicked me back in the ass during today’s session of Prey. 

In the beginning of the game, while exploring the bridge by the hardware labs that leads to the neuromods division, I accidently broke the glass floor but seeing as I didn’t need to get to the other side, I left and forgot about it. 

Jump 16ish hours later. Finished a mission in the neuromod division and immediately a technopath zero’d in on me. I had low ammo since I killed the Nightmare and i decided to risk booking it across the bridge to the safety of the sale division

I promptly fell two-ish floors and right into the hands of a Weaver. instantly died.

Toronto Housing Market Slows After New Tax, Home Capital Woes
Home price growth in Toronto slowed in the first two weeks of May and sales fell 16 percent from last year, signaling that a new tax on foreign buyers and funding crisis at mortgage lender Home Capital Group Inc. may be cooling the market in Canada’s biggest city. The average selling price for all home types was C$890,284 ($658,000) through May 14, up 17 percent from the same period a year earlier and down 3.3 percent from the full month of April, according to data from the Toronto Real Estate board obtained by Bloomberg News. Read more
Imperial Tobacco looks to caffeine and vapes as cigs sales drop

Imperial Brands today said it is experimenting with caffeine energy products as cigarette sales slow and new rules on plain packaging loom.

Imperial said it saw opportunities in caffeine energy boosters, including a tab that melts on the tongue, as well as in vaping products it has been testing.

Next month the UK will ban the sale of cigarettes with logos on the packaging, insisting on standardised packs with large health warning pictures.

This follows moves to put cigarettes behind screens in shops, to try to curb their appeal to young people. Total cigarette sales at Imperial fell by 5.7% in the first half of the year.

Imperial is restructuring the business to focus on its growth and specialist brands Davidoff and Lambert & Butler.

Despite falling sales, adjusted profit before tax climbed 7.4% to £1.5 billion, giving the company the opportunity to raise the interim dividend by 10% to 51.7p a share.

Chief executive Alison Cooper, who recently lost a pay battle with shareholders, said that Imperial was on track to deliver £130 million of cost savings this year.

New-home sales plunge by a lot more than expected

New-home sales in the US fell by much more than expected in April.

Sales slumped by 11.4% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 569,000, the Census Bureau said in its monthly report.

Economists had forecast that sales of new single-family homes fell by 1.8% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 610,000, according to Bloomberg.

“The seasonally adjusted price of new homes nationwide fell, which is encouraging to budget-conscious buyers, but most of that drop was most likely driven by weakness in the West, where homes tend to skew toward the higher price points,” Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s chief economist, said in a note.

Sales in the West fell by 26.3%, the most since October 2010.

“Inventory of new homes was also up, which is great news, but the price must be right to cater to large numbers of millennial buyers entering the market to buy their first home.”

Sales in March, which were revised higher, rose for a third straight month and lifted the pace at the start of the busy spring selling season toward the highs set in 2016.

Most of the sales, however, were not made in the affordable end of the market, or homes costing less than $200,000. Even though there’s demand from buyers, a shortage of affordable homes, along with prices rising faster than wage growth, is keeping many would-be shoppers out of the market.

(Business Insider/Andy Kiersz, data from FRED)


More From Business Insider
Department store troubles continue

(BI Intelligence)

This story was delivered to BI Intelligence “E-Commerce Briefing” subscribers. To learn more and subscribe, please click here.

Nordstrom and JC Penney both reported declining same-store sales for Q1 2017 on Friday, rounding out a week of department store earnings announcements that showed the strain of falling in-store foot traffic across the sector.

  • JC Penney’s same-store sales fell nearly 4% year-over-year (YoY) in Q1, and net sales were $2.7 billion, down from $2.8 billion in Q1 2016. The company does not break out online sales in its earnings, but said continued investments in its online business offset some of its gross margin gains.
  • Nordstrom’s same-store sales were relatively flat, but net sales increased almost 3% YoY to $3.3 billion for the quarter. Online sales boosted the company’s overall performance, totaling $787 million, or 24% of net sales, and up 19% YoY. Sales at Nordstrom.com increased 11% YoY to $548 million, while online sales for its Nordstrom Rack and HauteLook discount brands increased 19% YoY to $198 million. 

Both companies have been working to convert their large and expensive store footprints into engines for e-commerce growth. Nordstrom hired a new chief innovation officer at the beginning of the year, charged with developing the retailer’s omnichannel efforts around building customers’ mobile devices into its in-store experience. Meanwhile, JC Penney and Nordstrom both offer omnichannel delivery services, such as in-store pickup and ship-from-store. JC Penney said earlier this year that 75% of its online sales in 2016 involved a physical store location.

The retailers seem to be betting on these omnichannel efforts to help them stay relevant by both increasing online sales and drawing customers back into their stores. JC Penney said 40% of customers who pick up an online order in one of its stores make an additional purchase of more than $50 during their visit. However, these efforts will require additional investments in innovation and inventory management at a time when retailers’ bottom lines are under increasing pressure. That will make it critical for them to streamline costs and operations without damaging sales to find the resources for new initiatives.

E-commerce has been on the rise in the last several years, thanks in large part to titans in the industry such as Amazon and Alibaba. E-commerce will truly become the future of retail, as nearly all of the growth in the retail sector now takes place in the digital space.

BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, forecasts that U.S. consumers will spend $385 billion online in 2016. Moreover, BI Intelligence predicts that number will grow to $632 billion in 2020.

This is hardly surprising considering e-commerce’s healthy growth. Though the U.S. retail average growth rate in the first half of 2016 was just 2% for total retail, it was 16% for e-commerce.

The number of online shoppers has grown by nearly 20 million from 2015 to 2016. And these 224 million shoppers are spending more, as the total amount spent online grew from $61 billion in the first quarter of 2015 to $68 billion in Q1 2016. Finally, these customers are transacting more frequently, as the number of online transactions has risen by 115 million from 2015 to 2016.

But all of this shopping online creates its own set of challenges, both for consumers and the companies that are trying to get their products onto shoppers’ screens and into their shopping carts. In short, you need a plan.

And to create your ultimate e-commerce battle plan, you need the right intel.

BI Intelligence is here to help.

Our team of industry experts has you covered on topics such as:

  • Shopping cart abandonment
  • Marketing effectiveness
  • Merchandise returns
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Social media monetization
  • Mobile payments
  • Accommodating shoppers at the 11th hour
  • And much more

Interested in getting the full bundle of nearly 80 reports? Here are two ways to access it:

  1. Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you’ll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> START A MEMBERSHIP
  2. Purchase & download the full bundle from our research store. >> BUY THE REPORTS


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Department store troubles continue

(BI Intelligence)

This story was delivered to BI Intelligence “E-Commerce Briefing” subscribers. To learn more and subscribe, please click here.

Nordstrom and JC Penney both reported declining same-store sales for Q1 2017 on Friday, rounding out a week of department store earnings announcements that showed the strain of falling in-store foot traffic across the sector.

  • JC Penney’s same-store sales fell nearly 4% year-over-year (YoY) in Q1, and net sales were $2.7 billion, down from $2.8 billion in Q1 2016. The company does not break out online sales in its earnings, but said continued investments in its online business offset some of its gross margin gains.
  • Nordstrom’s same-store sales were relatively flat, but net sales increased almost 3% YoY to $3.3 billion for the quarter. Online sales boosted the company’s overall performance, totaling $787 million, or 24% of net sales, and up 19% YoY. Sales at Nordstrom.com increased 11% YoY to $548 million, while online sales for its Nordstrom Rack and HauteLook discount brands increased 19% YoY to $198 million. 

Both companies have been working to convert their large and expensive store footprints into engines for e-commerce growth. Nordstrom hired a new chief innovation officer at the beginning of the year, charged with developing the retailer’s omnichannel efforts around building customers’ mobile devices into its in-store experience. Meanwhile, JC Penney and Nordstrom both offer omnichannel delivery services, such as in-store pickup and ship-from-store. JC Penney said earlier this year that 75% of its online sales in 2016 involved a physical store location.

The retailers seem to be betting on these omnichannel efforts to help them stay relevant by both increasing online sales and drawing customers back into their stores. JC Penney said 40% of customers who pick up an online order in one of its stores make an additional purchase of more than $50 during their visit. However, these efforts will require additional investments in innovation and inventory management at a time when retailers’ bottom lines are under increasing pressure. That will make it critical for them to streamline costs and operations without damaging sales to find the resources for new initiatives.

E-commerce has been on the rise in the last several years, thanks in large part to titans in the industry such as Amazon and Alibaba. E-commerce will truly become the future of retail, as nearly all of the growth in the retail sector now takes place in the digital space.

BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, forecasts that U.S. consumers will spend $385 billion online in 2016. Moreover, BI Intelligence predicts that number will grow to $632 billion in 2020.

This is hardly surprising considering e-commerce’s healthy growth. Though the U.S. retail average growth rate in the first half of 2016 was just 2% for total retail, it was 16% for e-commerce.

The number of online shoppers has grown by nearly 20 million from 2015 to 2016. And these 224 million shoppers are spending more, as the total amount spent online grew from $61 billion in the first quarter of 2015 to $68 billion in Q1 2016. Finally, these customers are transacting more frequently, as the number of online transactions has risen by 115 million from 2015 to 2016.

But all of this shopping online creates its own set of challenges, both for consumers and the companies that are trying to get their products onto shoppers’ screens and into their shopping carts. In short, you need a plan.

And to create your ultimate e-commerce battle plan, you need the right intel.

BI Intelligence is here to help.

Our team of industry experts has you covered on topics such as:

  • Shopping cart abandonment
  • Marketing effectiveness
  • Merchandise returns
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Social media monetization
  • Mobile payments
  • Accommodating shoppers at the 11th hour
  • And much more

Interested in getting the full bundle of nearly 80 reports? Here are two ways to access it:

  1. Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you’ll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> START A MEMBERSHIP
  2. Purchase & download the full bundle from our research store. >> BUY THE REPORTS


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JCPenney has a 'tough path forward'

(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
JCPenney stock plummeted nearly 8% Monday morning after a UBS note sent out to clients noted the company has a “tough path forward.”

The report comes on the heels of JCPenney's lackluster first quarter earnings report released Friday morning. 

The department store reported that same-store sales fell 3.5% versus a year ago. Earnings per share slumped $0.26 from last year. 

The weak Q1 results have some Wall Streeters concerned that the retailer may not have the wherewithal to fend off the ongoing retail Apocalypse. 

“After a big 1Q SSS shortfall (-3.5% vs our -0.5%), JCP needs 2-yr SSS to accelerate by +3.7-6.3pp in 2Q-4Q to hit its guide for -1% to +1% SSS for the year,” wrote the UBS team led by Michael Binetti. 

The bank has lowered its price target for JCPenney to $4 per share, below its original 12-month price target of $5. Currently, the stock trades at $4.31 per share.  

(MI)

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Here comes GDP ...

(A group of coal miners listen to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt during his visit to Consol Pennsylvania Coal Company’s Harvey Mine in Sycamore, Pa., Thursday, April 13, 2017.Gene J. Puskar/AP)
The Commerce Department is set to release its advance reading of gross domestic product in the first quarter at 8:30 a.m. ET. 

Economists forecast that GDP rose at an annualized rate of 1%, according to Bloomberg.

That would represent a slowdown from the fourth quarter when the economy grew by 2.1%, per the third revision. However, it’s roughly in line with the sluggishness seen every first quarter since 2010 partly due to seasonal adjustment issues that have not yet been resolved.

The expected lull can also be attributed to weaker consumer spending in the first three months of the year, according to data on retail sales and personal outlays that have already been released. Auto sales fell every month from January through March. Economists have also pointed to delayed tax returns as one reason why spending dropped. 

“This lull in growth should be short lived as real GDP growth is expected to rebound to 2.5% this quarter and then rise to 3.5% in Q3 and 4.0% in Q4,” said Joseph LaVorgna, Deutsche Bank’s chief US economist, in a preview.

These forecasts, he added, assume that the economy will get some fiscal stimulus in the coming months. But as the healthcare bill showed, the timing of policy reform is uncertain. President Donald Trump has promised to return the economy to 3% growth, although the low rate of worker productivity has many economists doubtful that this is possible right now.

This GDP report is the first major scorecard of the economy since Trump took office 99 days ago.

“Wait till you see the growth,” Trump said on Thursday. “The growth is going to pay for” the tax cuts unveiled on Wednesday, he added. 

More to come …

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