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Re: Re: [sharechat] FW: US Thanksgiving sales were hot

From: "P Maiden" <>
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2000 21:18:33 +1300

Sort of supporting Cramer's views but also highlighting what can happen when the old and the new world collide is this is great piece in the NY Times.
A starter .....

"They tried to high-tech us rednecks," said Mr. Canoy, 39, turning back from the 1996 Toyota 4Runner he may soon return to creditors. "But they ruined us."

Dot-com failures and layoffs are increasingly common, as investors shed ventures unlikely to meet once- lofty expectations. Yet the bankruptcies of Shaw Furniture and its partner,, stand apart, and not merely because they took place far from New York or Palo Alto.

Theirs was a union marked by the collision of two worlds. When acquired Shaw last year to gain a toehold in the furniture business, Internet entrepreneurship came face to face with the rigid, traditional world of home furnishings. Technology-savvy M.B.A.'s intersected with hands-on sellers of sofa beds.

And the difference that counted most may have been how the partners measured success. was designed to be a billion-dollar company, its name whispered in the same breath with, returning tens of millions of dollars to its investors. In the end, though, company executives issued a statement saying that those returns would not materialize any time soon and that investors were unwilling to wait.

For its part, Shaw was accustomed to earning a profit, albeit a modest one compared with the aspirations of many Internet start-ups. Before the takeover, it expected to sell $20 million this year in merchandise, earning $1 million in profits and paying its top sales people $70,000. And it might have continued that course had its fate not become tied to a plan to move the furniture business into the 21st century.

Worth reading the rest of the sad story
You're right John - internet sales will one day be the norm. All the world has to do is sort it out but the new way of doing commerce will evolve. After all the world has already gone through the corner store to the department store to the discounter sheds .................  what comes next?
Several NZ 'bricks and mortar' have invested heavily in e-things and to date not got any pay back. Just like Fairfax as Brian pointed out there is a bit of living in hope and seeing what eventuates over time.

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