Archive for the ‘Business’ Category:
SOURCE: New York Times
Donna Ings, 47, finally landed a job in February as a home health aide, earning about $10 an hour, with a company in Lexington, Mass, after being out of work for more than a year.
Chelsea Nelson, 21, started two weeks ago as a waitress at a truck stop in Mountainburg, Ark., making around $7 or $8 an hour, depending on tips, ending a lengthy job search that took her young family to California and back.
Both are ostensibly economic success stories, people who were able to find work in a difficult labor market. Ms. Ing’s employer, Home Instead Senior Care, a company with franchises across the country, has been aggressively expanding. Ms. Nelson’s restaurant, Silver Bridge Truck Stop, recently reopened and hired about 20 people last month in an area thirsty for jobs.
Both women, however, took large pay cuts from their old jobs — Ms. Ing worked in the office of a wholesale tuxedo distributor; Ms. Nelson used to be a secretary. And both remain worried about how they will make ends meet in the long run.
With the country focused on job growth and unemployment continuing to hover above 9 percent, there has been comparatively little attention paid to the quality of the jobs being created in this still-struggling economy and what that might say about the opportunities that will be available to workers when the tumult of the Great Recession finally settles. There are reasons, however, for concern, even in the early stages of a tentative recovery that now appears to be barely wheezing along.
For years, long before the recession began, job growth had become increasingly polarized in this country, with high-paid occupations that demand significant amounts of education and training growing rapidly, alongside low-wage, entry-level, service-type jobs that do not require much schooling or special skills, according to David Autor, a labor economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The growth of these low-wage jobs began in the 1980s, accelerated in the 1990s and began to really take off in the 2000s. Losing out in the shuffle, according to Dr. Autor, are jobs that he describes as “middle-skill, middle-wage” — entry-level white-collar positions, like office and administrative support work, as well as certain blue-collar jobs, like assembly line workers and machine operators.
The recession appears to have magnified that trend, according to Dr. Autor in a recent paper, released jointly by the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning policy group, and the Hamilton Project, which has a more centrist reputation. From 2007 to 2009, the paper found, there was relatively little net change in total employment for both high-skill and low-skill occupations, while employment plummeted in so-called middle-skill occupations.
A new analysis by the National Employment Law Project, a liberal advocacy group, takes a different approach, identifying industries that have actually experienced job growth in 2010 and examining their median wages. It is a blunter measurement because it focuses on industries, within which there is often great diversity in income. Economists also cautioned that it was still too early to know exactly which sectors would eventually lead the way in a sustained recovery.
Nevertheless, the law project analysis offers a snapshot of where the employment growth has been so far. It found job expansion to this point has been skewed toward industries with median wages that are low to middling, with a disproportionate share of job growth happening in industries whose median wages fall below $15 an hour.
“There’s a striking contrast so far between which industries have lost jobs and which ones are growing,” said Annette Bernhardt, policy director for the law project. “If this kind of bottom-heavy job creation continues, it could pose a real challenge to restoring consumer demand and making sure working families have a way to support themselves.”
Both studies are disquieting because of the potential import for many who had once scratched out middle-class livings and are now looking for work. A unifying theme is the stubborn march of labor-intensive, low-paying service jobs, like the ones Ms. Ings and Ms. Nelson found.
Jobs dry up
There is typically a downward slide during recessions, said Till von Wachter, a Columbia University economist, in which higher-skilled and higher-educated workers are re-employed first, often landing jobs for which they are overqualified, squeezing out the lesser skilled and lesser educated. Indeed, in the current downturn, the unemployment rate has climbed the most for the least-educated workers, suggesting they have been hit the hardest.
However, while researching workers who lost their jobs in California in the 1990s, Dr. Wachter found that people who fall in the middle when it comes to their educational background — possessing high school degrees or some college — and the skills required for their occupation tended to experience larger and longer lasting income losses after job loss than people on both the lower and higher end of the scale.
Ms. Ings had worked in a variety of office and administrative roles in the wholesale tuxedo industry. Her wages of just over $16 an hour were enough to build a relatively comfortable life for her and her daughter, Jillian, now 21 and in college.
“During her whole growing up, I never got child support,” Ms. Ings said. “I always had to try to find a job that paid well to help support her. That’s my job, being a mother.”
When Ms. Ings was laid off in March 2009, she dove into finding another “corporate job.” But she found that nearly everyone seemed to be looking for people with at least a college degree, if not more. She had only a high school diploma.
As a teenager, she had worked in a nursing home and enjoyed it. So, after getting her certified nursing assistant license, she applied at the Home Instead office in Lexington, which has been steadily hiring this year, said Jack Cross, the franchise owner. Nationally, the company has created more than 2,400 jobs this year, and home health aides are one of the country’s fastest growing occupations.
Ms. Ings adores her job, but her finances remain taut, even though she is working 50 hours a week. She had been without health insurance for her first few months, but soon the company will begin deducting for it — a further pinch on her already meager paycheck.
“I’m going to be coming home with nothing,” she said.
In Arkansas, Ms. Nelson has been hampered by her decision to quit college after a semester several years ago. She has worked a variety of jobs, including a three year stint as a secretary, earning about $12 an hour.
Last year, she and her husband, Kenneth, and their son, Riley, now almost 2, moved to Colton, Calif., where they had relatives and believed the job market would be better. They moved back to Arkansas this year, however, after struggling to find steady work.
He quickly accepted a factory job at $8 an hour, but she got rejection after rejection trying to find office work.
She eventually gave up and took up waitressing. The couple is living with her mother, trying to save enough for their own place.
“I don’t know, with the jobs we have, if we’re ever going to be able to make it on our own,” Ms. Nelson said.
MY TAKE: If you think you’re going to go from unemployment to that $60K a year job load testing position, or step right into a top collocation company, forget it. The chances are that, unless you own and manage that collocation firm or some other company, you’ll find yourself like this woman: working for less alongside less skilled younger workers.
New Email Welcomes
There are a number of general protocols that should be followed after the average email marketing campaign has been sent out and one thing that most email marketing services are likely to provide is a welcome email designed in part to confirm that someone has actually signed up for an email list. By sending a confirmation email after an initial signup, the recipient is very likely to hold the company in higher esteem since a welcome and confirmation email is going to act like the company is asking permission to contact the recipient even if a prior signup was valid.
Analyzing Lighting Design
It is important for any store owner to consider that when they move into a new business space, there’s no reason that the existing lights in the structure need to be used as the frames display should definitely be placed in an area which is best for the display of the products themselves and not something that is simply placed in a particular area because of the fact that some lights were already locate in a specific spot. The thing about most business spaces is that they can be easily modified as far as lights are concerned.
Utilizing Used Equipment
One of the important elements of running a profitable business is maximizing profits through the smart use of equipment by ensuring that expensive items that are difficult to replace are well maintained so as to offer longevity in use. Another option for smart equipment purchases is obtaining used equipment and often items such as skid steer attachments and other support equipment can be obtained in a used version which is likely to represent a lower cost for investment and will probably last a long time provided the equipment has been maintained well by its prior owner.
Turning Calls into Sales
It is important for companies that handle sales over the telephone to realize that not all sales result from out bound calls and that it’s very common for companies to experience enhanced sales when they work with an inbound telemarketing company as their partner in sales. Selling products through inbound communications is a fairly standard approach to sales in the modern market and it’s important for companies that have customers that spend a lot of time on the phone investigates turning every potential call whether it is inbound or outbound into a sales and enhanced communication opportunity.
Enhancing Small Business Options
There are a lot of people who have found that one of the best ways to utilize today’s simple business options is to include the internet in various plans and one of the biggest time savers a company can utilize is the option for online scheduling as not only will online scheduling reduce the amount of time that is required of employees to complete various types of scheduling for appointments, events and meetings, but when clients can make their own appointments through such software, clients usually find this option very convenient because they can make appointments at any time.
Surfaces for Playgrounds
Many playgrounds over the years have had an asphalt or even cement surface on the ground and no matter how safe kids are told to behave, it’s never that good an idea to allow kids to play on playground equipment that’s stationed above a giant slab of cement. New playgrounds should always be constructed in such a way that if a child is unfortunate enough to fall that the surface onto which he lands isn’t going to add to his injuries. This safety measure should always be paired with work on making sure the height of the equipment is not too tall.
Love Your Smile
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L.A. Law Update
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SOURCE: Associated Press
Unemployment insurance applications for first-timers reached the half-million mark recently, the first time since November, a sign that employers are slashing jobs once more as the economy limps.
The Labor Department said Thursday that initial claims for jobless benefits rose by 12,000 last week to 500,000, the fourth increase in the past five weeks. Wall Street economists forecast that claims would drop.
The four-week average, a less volatile measure, rose by 8,000 to 482,500, the highest since December. There were no special factors that distorted the numbers, a Labor Department analyst said.
The increase suggests the economy is creating even fewer jobs than in the first half of this year, when private employers added an average of about 100,000 jobs per month. That’s barely enough to keep the unemployment rate from rising. The jobless rate has been stuck at 9.5 percent for two months.
Stock futures fell on the news. The Dow Jones industrial average futures had risen more than 50 points before the report was released. They dropped quickly and were down as much as 20 points afterward.
Jobless claims declined steadily last year from a peak of 651,000 in March 2009 as the economy recovered from the worst downturn since the 1930s. After flattening out earlier this year claims have begun to grow again.
The number of people continuing to receive benefits fell by 13,000 to 4.5 million, the department said. The continuing claims data lags initial claims by one week.
MY TAKE: I’m not surprised to hear the numbers of jobless claims is rising. I’ve been on unemployment since 2008 and the prospects for work are grim. Employers ranging from manufacturers of infant hair bows and wall padding, to the highest priced Dallas TX criminal defense attorney are all freezing hiring plans in an effort to ride out the double dipper.
The wholesale baby headbands company, the Dallas TX DWI attorney, and even the guys who make those signs you see on stadium poll pads are all cutting jobs to save their bottom lines, and who can blame them? If they go out of business they, too, would wind up in the back of the jobless claims application line.
Using Soy Candles
For many centuries candles have been made of something called paraffin wax and this type of material has served everything from candle sticks to jar candles very well for a very long time. But these days soy candles are starting to become popular because they are considerably longer lasting which means if a person likes to burn candles on a regular basis, using soy candles is going to be the most cost effective option. Many people end up only being able to burn a candle for a short amount of time because they don’t want to run out of candles too early.
Replacing Components Regularly
One of the reasons why backup systems are so important in digital situations is because without that safety net, it’s likely that at the worse moment possible a person would end up having to deal with a total loss of data. Most hard drive recovery Dallas companies will suggest that general components should be updated on a regular basis because relying completely on a type of component that is older and failing to update it is generally considered to be just as bad as if someone was to not have a backup system at all.
Easy Setup Options
There are a number of individuals who tend to feel that they don’t have the right sort of expertise to properly craft and market their website online, but the truth is most people can probably navigate those waters just fine as most hosting companies will provide specific software that the business owner can utilize and then figure out to buy visitors and get some traffic going at the site. For the most part anyone who is interested in building a website and getting visitors will find that all the tools are out there and are almost all fully automated.
Verifying a Candidate
When a company is looking to hire a temporary employee, it can be difficult to figure out just how much experience a person has or what their background in a particular profession might be and for this reason, many people will utilize a California temp services outfit instead of searching on their own for a temporary employee as setting up such employment often requires some extra work from the company that is more easily accomplished through the assistance of a professional firm that specializes in offering temporary workers to a company who might only work at that site for a few weeks or months.
Getting Married on the Water
There are people who are definitely interested in finding the most amazing location for their wedding and for the most part if a person is going to be getting married anywhere in the New England area, coming to New York City and going on Manhattan cruises for the ceremony is going to be an absolutely unforgettable experience. There are probably very few experiences out there which can compare to how someone might feel if they were able to get married while standing under the amazing New York skyline which is one of the most well known skylines anywhere.
Choosing Long Lasting Makeup
One of the defining elements of makeup in the past that has been designed to look beautiful for a long time without requiring replacement of colors over and over has long been heavy and prone to clumping and when trying to get a complex look for the eyes such as the smokey eyes design, using such makeup has often led to heavier than usual makeup looks. For anyone who hasn’t bought makeup for a while, it’s worth noting that today’s long use makeup is much less heavy and the lighter options for long lasting makeup can make any look appear more natural.
Booking in Advance
The art of finding the perfect place to stay while on vacation is something that often takes a few ventures into the accommodations world as far as hospitality and vacations are concerned and for anyone seeking the perfect vacation home rentals for their trip, the number one way to ensure that the best residence is going to be found is to start early on the search because particularly busy areas are probably going to have a lot of people looking through listings to find the perfect place to stay. Some places sell out an entire year in advance.
Source: Associated PressThe nation’s unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.5 percent in July, indicating companies’ ongoing reluctance to hire and prolonged economic recovery.
Private employers added a net total of only 71,000 jobs in July, far below the roughly 200,000 needed each month to reduce the unemployment rate.
Overall, the economy lost a net total of 131,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said Friday, mostly because 143,000 temporary census jobs ended.
Investors reacted by selling stock futures and shifted into safer investments such as Treasury bonds. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which helps set interest rates on mortgages and other consumer loans, fell to 2.87 percent from 2.91 percent late Thursday.
The department also revised down its jobs figures for June, saying businesses hired fewer workers than previously estimated. June’s private-sector job gains were lowered to 31,000 from 83,000. May’s were raised slightly to show 51,000 net new jobs, up from 33,000.
“There is still a labor market recovery, but it’s a very, very weak one,” said Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight.
The slow pace of hiring will weigh on the recovery, he said, with economic growth in the current quarter likely to come in even lower than the April-to-June quarter’s already weak 2.4 percent.
The “underemployment” rate was the same as in June, at 16.5 percent. That includes those working part time who would prefer full-time work and unemployed workers who’ve given up on their job hunts.
All told, there were 14.6 million people looking for work in July. That’s roughly double the figure in December 2007, when the recession began.
Even if hiring picks up, it will take years to regain all the jobs lost during the recession. The economy lost 8.4 million jobs in 2008 and 2009. This year, private employers have added only 559,000 new hires.
Friday’s report is being closely watched by the Federal Reserve as it considers ways to energize the recovery. The report could persuade the Fed to take new steps to boost the economy and keep interest rates at record lows when it meets next week.
Without more jobs, consumers won’t see the gains in income needed to encourage them to spend more and support economic activity. Even those with jobs may not feel confident enough to ramp up their spending.
That’s important because many of the trends driving economic growth earlier in the recovery are fading. Companies boosted production in the winter and spring to rebuild inventories that were depleted in the recession. But that boost won’t last much longer. And the impact of the federal government’s stimulus package is also declining.
The economy grew at 5 percent in the fourth quarter last year and 3.7 percent in the first three months of 2010. But that slowed to 2.4 percent in the April-June period. That’s not fast enough to generate many jobs and reduce the unemployment rate.
Many companies appear to be getting more out of their current employees rather than adding new staff. The average work week increased by one-tenth of an hour to 34.2 hours, the department said. That’s up from about 33 hours in the depths of the recession.
Average hourly pay also rose 4 cents to $22.59, up 1.8 percent from a year earlier. That, along with the increase in hours worked, could provide some boost to spending.
The number of temporary jobs fell by 5,600, the first drop after nine months of gains.
Employers usually hire temp workers if they need more output but don’t want to hire permanent employees. But “firms aren’t even adding temporary workers right now,” Gault said.
This goes for workers across all sectors at companies ranging from manufacturers of garage floor mats , and jewelry display lighting to providers of payroll services.
Manufacturers added 36,000 jobs in July, slightly above its monthly average this year. Those gains were aided by General Motor’s decision to keep its plants running last month. Usually it closes them and temporarily lays off employees to retool for the new model year.
Construction firms cut jobs for the third straight month, losing 11,000, while financial firms shed 17,000 workers.
But retailers added 6,700 jobs. And the leisure and hospitality industry hired 6,000 additional staffers.
Corporate net income rose sharply in the second quarter, but businesses aren’t yet using the proceeds to ramp up hiring. Companies in the S&P 500 index reported a 46 percent increase in net income for the April-to-June period, compared to a year earlier.
But many employers are uncertain about the direction of the economy. Some are concerned sales will slow once government stimulus and other temporary factors fade. Others fear what will happen if federal income taxes are allowed to rise next year as tax cuts enacted by President George W. Bush expire.
“People have a long worry list they’re looking at,” said Ethan Harris, chief economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Some companies are adding permanent workers. The hospital chain HCA Inc. has 8,300 open positions, company spokesman Ed Fishbough said. That includes nurses, physicians and information technology professionals needed to build HCA’s ability to handle electronic medical records. HCA employs about 190,000 people.
But layoffs are also continuing. FBR Capital Markets, an investment bank based in Arlington, Va., cut its work force by about 15 percent in early July to about 500 employees, saying it needed to reduce costs.
My Take: If it’s the garage flooring or makers of those time and attendance cards holding out on hiring, then you have to wonder what’s going to happen at the little retailers this fall when all the college kids come back from summer vacation and start job hunting for the school year. I know the jewelry lighting manufacturing business has to be hurting, but what about the fast food chains and the clothing stores and the i-hiring Mecca of all: Appple? I walked into an Apple store the other day and there must have been 100 blue-shirted employees running around? Maybe what’s going on is that the jobs aren’t drying up, but that their sector availability is changing?
DUIs and the Law
If you’ve been arrested in Toronto on a DUI charge you need a Cornwall drinking and driving lawyer. If you’re DUI involved an accident or someone was injured in some way, you may also need a Toronto criminal lawyer to help you navigate the court system and possible post-trial requirements.
Denver CO construction defect litigation attorneys can help you if you feel you’ve been the victim of fraud or faulty construction by a contractor on your home or business. All Denver CO construction law attorneys are fully trained in the field and have extensive knowledge of the construction law industry that will bode well for your case.
The race to pick the startups aiming to revolutionize clean tech has former Silicon Valley allies going head-to-head. John Doerr and Vinod Khosla have worked together for nearly 2 decades at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers to build one of the most lucrative partnerships in venture capital business. Between them, they brought together Netscape Communications, Amazon.com (AMZN), and Google (GOOG), Juniper Networks (JNPR) and Cerent (CSCO).
Now the former colleagues are competing to fund the most promising startups in clean technology, a potentially lucrative but risky field many believe could lead to Silicon Valley’s next boom. Doerr, still at Kleiner, helped shift his firm’s focus from information technology to green investments a few years ago, with help from partner Bill Joy, former chief scientist at Sun Microsystems. Khosla, who left Kleiner five years back, just raised $1.1 billion from partners and institutional investors, giving his Khosla Ventures the heft to compete for the most capital-intensive deals. “These guys are in a race” for the most important green deals, says Paul Deninger, vice-chairman at investment bank Jefferies & Co. (JEF)
Kleiner is the established giant. The firm has raised a total of $5.9 billion since its founding in 1972 and, in addition to Doerr’s hits, helped launch America Online (TWX) and Genentech (DNA). Still, the firm is a relative newcomer to green investing. Khosla has been dabbling in such deals since he started his outfit in 2004. With his fresh capital, he is on the hunt for the most ambitious startups. “Our specialty is risk,” says Khosla. “Forget [hitting] singles. Lay it out there and take a swing. You may not get a very high percentage of hits, but you get a high slugging percentage.”
Khosla’s approach is to winnow losing ideas quickly before they consume too much cash, gambling that the surviving startups can score big. Whereas most venture capital firms budget for product-development milestones by the companies they invest in, Khosla Ventures uses metrics that forecast how much it will cost for startups to remove technical risks, tackling the toughest problems first. “We’ve developed a few tricks,” says Khosla.
Take Calera, a startup launched by Stanford University. Its goal is to reduce emissions by making cement that traps CO2 gas during manufacture. Khosla figures there’s a 10% chance his firm can make 100 times its eight-figure investment and a 90% chance the company will fail. That’s precisely the kind of prospect that draws his attention. “Sometimes we tell an entrepreneur, ‘Your project does not have enough risk for us,’” he says. “They look at you kind of funny.”
Many of the startups Khosla has backed aim to collect power from the sun, harvest it from the wind, or extract it from the earth. Soladigm makes glass windows that can lighten or darken to heat or cool rooms, and GreatPoint Energy converts coal into natural gas. Others are trying to invent more efficient motors and batteries. EcoMotors International in Troy, Mich., for instance, makes light, powerful diesel engines.
Kleiner is making similar investments. Its deals include hybrid sportscar maker Fisker Automotive, smart grid company Silver Spring Networks, and Bloom Energy, which is developing a fuel cell that can convert natural gas into hydrogen fuel.
Both companies say this is a friendly competition. In fact, Khosla and Kleiner have co-invested in several deals. “I spend more time with [Doerr] now than I did when we were at Kleiner,” Khosla says. Still, he acknowledges that both want to be first to find and build the world’s most influential green-tech startups.
The competition could help speed the development of green technologies. Although the industry is perceived to be full of promise, it’s fraught with challenges, too. The field is marked by high startup costs, powerful customers and competitors, and government regulations that can change unpredictably. Venture capitalists scaled back their clean-tech investments during the downturn, putting $1.6 billion into such startups during the first three quarters of 2009, vs. $3.1 billion during the same period in 2008, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Assn.
So far this year only two North American clean-tech companies, Canadian geothermal outfit Magma Energy and battery maker A123 Systems (AONE), have gone public, and there have been just nine acquisitions worth more than $10 million in the market, according to investment bank Jefferies. Funding energy companies “is a difficult and new experience for many VCs,” says Adam Grosser, a general partner at venture firm Foundation Capital.
Both Khosla Ventures and Kleiner have made losing bets. The firms invested in ethanol maker AltraBiofuels, which late last year closed one factory and suspended production at another after raising $170 million. Ethanol producers have stumbled due to overproduction and demand that declined as the price of gasoline fell. Khosla Ventures wrote off the investment and lost money. “If people want instant gratification, they’re going to be disappointed,” says Ted Schlein, a managing partner at Kleiner Perkins.
Patience may well pay off. Entrepreneurs say Khosla, now that he has deep pockets to go along with his aggressive investment approach, could help develop a new generation of green startups. “[Vinod] can add tremendous value by giving people very direct advice about what does or doesn’t make sense,” says Andy Bechtolsheim, who co-founded Sun with Khosla in 1982 and is now chief executive of startup Arista Networks. “He wants to bet not just on significant ideas, but ideas that can change the world.”
My Take: One thing is definite; we need more green technology businesses to avoid further global warming. Hopefully, this venture will succeed in more green technology type businesses will be fruitful. It will also help the unemployment rate across the nation.
It is always a good sign when new businesses open up. It means not only is the community growing, but it also means that the economy is doing better. With new businesses opening up, more job’s are becoming available and people will be working again.
Green Beauty Products
One beauty product company is committed to providing its customers with the best in organic and natural skin care, beauty and aromatherapy products as well as organic moisturizers. They carefully select brands for quality ingredients, efficacy, and ethical considerations. They personally test each and every product themselves and scrutinize every ingredient listed. They even ask about manufacturing processes. So you can be assured that their products not only help you feel and look your best, but also help the environment.
Wal-Mart stores Inc. is taking on the Geek Squad! They plan to offer a service that will help consumers set up electronics in their homes including computers that will challenge their rival Best Buy. The service started this month with privately held N.E.W. Customer Service Companies Inc. that is available through all of its US Wal-Mart stores just in time for the Christmas season.
Wal-Mart is undertaking the program through a third-party services provider N.E.W. Customer Service Companies, which recently began providing similar services at Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Club stores and has supplied Wal-Mart with warrantee programs for the last few years.
Shoppers can buy service plans on a prepaid card ranging from $99 to $339. The service spans help with basic television installation on the low end to setting up a home theater, wireless router network or a home office computer network. The service includes a preliminary consultation and a tutorial after installation is completed.
Consumer electronics retailers have been offering technology support to differentiate their business and cut down on the number of products, particularly flat-panel TVs that are returned after customers get the gadgets home but cannot use them properly.
Wal-Mart has been absent from providing consumer electronics services like these, which have become very popular with other consumer electronics retailers like Best Buy Co. (BBY), which runs its “Geek Squad” in-house. Best Buy said last month it would hire more staff for the U.S. holidays and was betting that services like its Geek Squad repair assistance would give it a further edge over rivals.
The retail giant will partner with product-support firm N.E.W. Customer Service Companies, the report said. By the holiday-shopping season, all U.S. Wal-Mart stores plan to offer customers the opportunity to use N.E.W.’s service in their homes. Reuters said the service already kicked off this month in specified locations.
Wal-Mart will give shoppers the option of buying service plans “on a prepaid card, ranging from $99 to $339,” Reuters said. The service plans will provide “basic television installation on the low end” to more advanced services like home-network or home-theater installation. Reuters said the plans include a “preliminary consultation and a tutorial after installation is completed.”
The decision to bring on a Geek Squad-like service seems to underlie Wal-Mart’s desire to become a major player in the electronics business. It may also solidify its position as Best Buy’s most dangerous brick-and-mortar competitor since the death of Circuit City and its FireDog in-home service.
My Take: Well, I hope their services are just as good as the “Geek Squad”. Of course, if they are only offering installation type services, they are not going to make it. The “Geek Squad” offers more than just installation services. They also offer things like data recovery and virus removals/checks.
However, I am not sure how good the geek squad is at data recovery services. But I am sure that if they can probably help with the deleted hard disk recovery. That is, as long as a hard disk was not formatted after everything was deleted.
I do think that Wal-Mart is smart in offering installation services for the electronics they sell. If I was ever able to afford to purchase a plasma TV, I would probably request and installation service. As expensive as they are, I would probably really mess it up if I tried to do it myself.
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