by Larry | Oct 4, 2022 | Uncategorized |
It was bad enough after the .com crash in 2000.
It was bad enough after 9/11 in 2001.
It was bad enough after the housing crash in 2007-2009
It was bad enough when Obama became President in 2009
It was bad enough during the pandemic that began March 2020
It was bad enough when Trump and his supporters rioted the capital in 2021
It was bad enough when Russia invaded Ukraine in March 2022
It was bad enough when U.S. inflation hit 8.5% in July 2022
It was bad enough when the FED increased interest rates and continues to do so creating one of the worst bear markets in history
It was bad enough when… (what will be next, recession in 2023?)
It is one thing to count on the Lions losing close games and just about all games.
It is one thing to count on the Spartans losing games even when paying their head coach $95M over 10 years.
With mid-term elections just a few weeks away, can we count on the election results being correct?
The new world order is here and right now we are in the early stages of the first Economic World War. The players include the U.S., China, Russia, U.K., Europe and this war could last through 2026.
We are witnessing worldwide power struggles unlike since WWII. The U.S. Dollar is wreaking havoc on just about every economy outside the U.S. The Euro is below $1.00 U.S. for the first time and the pound touched below $1.00 last week. It’s great for Americans traveling to the U.K. and Europe as prices have never been lower. But for U.S. manufacturers who ship internationally, they are being devastated and one reason profits are down and going down even more.
You have China which is going to give its Premier a lifetime membership later this month and at the same time, seen his country continue to sink lower and lower economically and socially.
You have Russia who has a dictator that will not accept defeat and will continue the war for as long as it takes even if his army is no more (he is now recruiting 300,000 citizens into the army). This will affect the cost of energy and food while the war continues and keep inflation high while Europe is wondering how it is going to keep warm this winter. In fact, many countries are telling their citizens to buy wood stoves and firewood which is the most inefficient source of heat. So much for the Green Deal.
You have the U.K. with a new prime minister that wants to cut taxes while inflation is raging at record levels.
You have the new Italian prime minister which is as right as you can get but at least understands the situation her country is in today.
And finally, you have the U.S. which is the best spot in the world and the envy of every citizen not living in the U.S. But with the recent hurricane, drought situation in the west, mortgage rates approaching 7% and inflation still over 7%, life is not a cake-walk. Even Mickey Mouse has raised the cost of attending his parks so much that many can no longer afford to visit to the ire of loyal fans.
So here we are in the last quarter of 2022 thinking that after the pandemic life would get back to normal. HA! The only thing normal is all of Detroit’s sport teams still losing. And the fans continuing to support them.
As we prepare for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, 2023 happens to be right around the corner. Ready or not, here it comes and what if 2022 turns out be a great year compared to 2023? YIKES! Everyone is predicting a recession next year and then we have to wait until the end of 2024 to see who our next President is going to be. That is a long time in-between for shit to happen.
What can we do to prepare for the inevitable? Well, if you haven’t prepared by now, forget it. It is too late. And for the issues in front of us, what can we individually do to help change the outcome? Pretty much nothing.
Here is my strategy for the rest of the year and into 2023: Optimism. I say fuck the pessimists. What have the pessimists done for you lately? It is no wonder mental health is at the lowest level in the U.S. in history.
Optimism is the only solution to the current bullshit. How do you stay optimistic? Drive by any hospital and think about how lucky that you are not inside. Look at the number of beggars on the street corners and on the sidewalks and think about how lucky that is not you. Think about that more than half of Americans are on some sort of social welfare and how lucky you are that you are not.
Optimism is mostly about that you get to do things in life and that you don’t have to do things in life. You get to work out, you get to go to work, you get to go raise money for charity, you get to enjoy the sunshine when the sun is out and you get to decide what you want to watch on TV (or better yet, not turning the TV on and flipping open a book).
In the meantime, all is good at TNG and we are ready to tackle anything that comes our way. Check out our website to see the latest new products (my next blog will focus on them). When it comes to survival of the fittest, only the fittest will win.
by Larry | Sep 14, 2022 | Elon, Elon Musk, MSU, MSU, ULT, ULTA |
What is with drivers these days? One, there have been more road deaths this year than any year in history. Two, drivers are driving slower than ever in the fast lane and don’t even care and third, why do drivers constantly put their brakes on when there is no reason to? I remember when driving used to be fun and let’s not even talk about all the worthless construction taking place.
Take one look at Michigan State University, my alma matter, and you want to throw up. First the dean of the business school gets fired and now President Stanley is in the hot seat. Most likely he needs to go but what about the board of trustees who operate the university like their political football. The fact the board wanted only democrat suppliers to sell to the university was so unscrupulous and so deceitful, it is best we re-elect a whole new board. And how is it MSU has record freshman enrollment and a four-year degree now costs north of $100K? Thank the federal government guaranteeing student debt, another debacle. And football? F—k the fans, it is all about the $$$. Why else would MSU play a high school team at 4:00PM and U-M play another high school team that lasts past midnight.
Inflation? Recession? We were up north last weekend and there certainly is no recession up there or any worries about inflation. And this being after the holiday weekend. I travel a lot but I have never seen so many people traveling as much as now. Point in fact. Delta flies to Vegas from Detroit 5-6 times a day and fares started in the $300 range. Now fares are well over $500 and even $700 and the planes are still sold out. Going to Mexico is now double what it used to be.
Want to beat Alzheimer’s? Walk at least 30 minutes a day and you will decrease your odds of getting it by 50%. Want to beat the Detroit Lions? Just show up at Ford Field or wherever else they play.
Is there anyone more famous or in the news than Elon Musk? He is worth $275M and going past $300M very quickly. Tesla makes both Ford and GM irrelevant in market value (TSLA worth about $900B, while both Ford and GM worth about $59B each). Then again, would you want to be Elon Musk?
Good news is that container costs are coming down. Last year about this time they were more than $25K and now running about $16-$18K. Bad news is that Biden is still playing politics when it comes to Chinese tariffs. And all fingers and toes crossed there is no rail strike. More than 26% of all goods are shipped by rail and the strike would be devastating. Worse, bulk food is shipped by rail which would be increase food inflation even more than 11.5%.
Some ask if I miss our printed catalog and I have to say the answer is yes. It was always a big deal and joy when the latest version came out. But alas, with pricing so volatile and TNG constantly updating its inventory mix, the electronic version is my best friend. So user friendly and always up-to-date!
ULTA keeps blowing away the competition. Last quarter was their best one ever, record sales and profits. Thank God for beauty, right! Like travel, consumers can’t get enough beauty products after the pandemic and it sure beats looking at luscious lips than face masks!
Enjoy the rest of your summer!
by Larry | Aug 17, 2022 | ForPro ERA, ForPro ERASE, ForPro nit, ForPro Nitrile Gloves, Ginger Lily Farms Kid's Detangling Spray, John, John Heffner, Sanjay Gupta, TNG Worldwide company, TNG WORLDWIDE COMPANY STORE |
Big birthday celebration for the BUB! So hard to believe how fast the years go by and to already think that we are more than half way through August. Happy Birthday BUB!!!!
Can you imagine if businesses operated like the government does business? Take road construction for instance. Michigan is doing a $130M project on I-96 that will take three years and achieve 5% efficiency and worse, the state has no regards for the drivers during this period.
Speaking of Biden and the government, Biden just signed another $400B pork bill that will cause even more inflation while supporting green energy that has yet to be proven and tax large corporations in new ingenious ways. Oh, let’s not forget the $80B he gave to the IRS to perform millions more audits.
Dean Sanjay Gupta is out at Michigan State University but will still be a professor. I have read many online and printed articles and as usual with a public institution, you never read what really happened. Most amazing is that none of the articles spoke about his huge accomplishments at the university like building the Pavilion for $65M and having it one of the very few buildings that was actually paid for.
Our TNG Worldwide Company Store is now open for business at our world headquarters. Very spacious and fun to shop, it features just about all our products that we manufacture which is more than 1200. For shoppers, the really good news is that we can provide any quantities needed because we can pull from our distribution center. The store is open to the public M-F 9AM to 5PM. Please stop by and say hello!
Lots of new products arriving and I am always excited about each and every one of them. Two of my favorites this month are ForPro ERASE Instant Screen & Glass Cleaner and Ginger Lily Farms Kid’s Detangling Spray and gallon refill. ERASE is one of the most amazing products because it performs a whole of functions. Excellent for smartphones, computer screens, tablets, eyeglasses and works instantly. Ingenious formulation also disinfects surfaces so perfect to airplane tray tables, restaurant tables and so forth. Added essential oils make is a room deodorizer and even amazing for spraying pillow cases and bed linens. And you can use it as a hand sanitizer. Detangling Spray is an advanced formulation perfect for girls with long unruly hair. Like ERASE, it works instantly to eliminate tangles.
TNG has dozens of best-selling products on Amazon.com from foil sheets to pedi liners to hot towel warmers. What I’m most excited about is that we now have the best-selling nitrile gloves. Customers love them because they are so comfortable, chemical-resistant, non-tearing and fit perfectly. We offer them in black, blue, indigo and white with black the most popular.
Container prices are going down. Last year we paid up to $30,000 and now we are seeing prices going below $15,000. That is good news on the inflation front and we should start seeing lower prices at the beginning of 2023 if all goes well.
What happened to Biden removing the Chinese tariffs? Just another ploy by his administration to talk about lowering inflation and doing nothing about it. Paying 25% tariffs on essentials like foil sheets and nitrile gloves is grueling especially since we can’t make these products in the USA.
College football season is just a few weeks away. With the transfer portal, players making big $$$$ selling their name, the BIG 10 adding two west coast teams and getting a $1.2B contract for TV rights makes college football nothing more than pro football with a twist. It’s all about the money. And Saben’s Crimson Tide is ranked #1 pre-season, why bother playing the games?
John Heffner turns 60 on Friday. Happy big birthday John! John was always one of the few classic good guys in the beauty industry. Now he has a sweetheart deal with Helen of Troy and enjoying life big time.
by Larry | Jul 18, 2022 | ForPro Beauty Wedges, ForPro ERASE, Neom |
Humans love irrational exuberance. We want what is in short supply and in high demand. You see it daily in the stock market, you see it when concert tickets go on sale and everyone says the concert will be sold-out, you saw it in the early days of COVID when everyone was stockpiling toilet paper, bottled water and hand sanitizer. What is most amazing, when people feel there is no shortage of what they want, they go right back to buying just what they need.
Coincidence or not? When Trump was President, CNN was rolling in the ratings. With Biden as President, CNN ratings are down 47% and Fox News is up 12%. Looks like opposites really do attract.
Ever hear of the project the Prince of Saudi Arabia (MBS) has been working on for more than three years at a cost of $500 Billion? It is called Neom. MBS wants to create the next Dubai in the middle of the dessert and has hired the best people in the world. However, the project is doomed for many reasons, the main reason is his explosive temper. One could only imagine the meeting he had with Biden. However, his ambition is overreaching and it will be interesting to see if any of this comes to fruition.
Funny how people are celebrating when they buy gas for $4.49 a gallon.
Amazon Prime Day was last week (actually two days). Apparently their best-seller was a Frito-Lay variety pack. Can anyone tell me why anyone would buy this item in bulk? I love Frito-Lay products and have never bought one of these.
And then there was one. I remember opening our first store in Grand Rapids, MI to compete against Maly’s. It was an instant success. When we took over Matrix distribution from Beaute Craft and put them out of business, over time the store division grew to 30. Long story short, when L’Oreal cut off all its distributors that it did not acquire, we no longer needed all the stores. Fast forward, we now have only one store and we are moving it our headquarters next month. Look for the grand opening August 15. The good news is that customers will be able to buy any quantity of products they want and we will be offering a very special year-round discount since we will save all the costs of a remote location.
What’s hot? ForPro Beauty Wedges. They have always been a great seller but now they are in our top 10. Why? I have no idea but if you look at Ulta, their sales have exploded on the upside so more makeup is being sold than ever. However, curiously I reviewed some of the Amazon reviews and some of the them mentioned they are great for cleaning “hard to clean” items like AirPod cases. I alone have four of them. And cleaning them is the biggest pain in the ass. So I took one of the wedges, sprayed it with cleaner and viola, it was magic! So much better than a cotton swab.
Speaking about hard to clean areas, my glasses are always dirty, don’t ask me why. And my iPhone and sometimes my computer monitor. My Ginger Lily Farm’s chemist gave me a formulation for cleaning all these items and I have to say I was amazed at how well it instantly worked. So now I am launching ERASE in the next couple weeks and even throwing in some microfiber cloths. The world moving forward will be crystal clear!
The hippie generation got it right, “Make love, not war.” Looks like the Russia-Ukraine war is going to last a very long time. With Putin stating he is never leaving office and NATO allies unable to go on the offense, how is this war ever going to end successfully for Ukraine?
I see more Amazon Prime trucks than both FEDEX and UPS combined. And now in many instances if you order in the morning you get your order in the afternoon. Amazon is better than David Copperfield.
by Larry | Jun 20, 2022 | KKR, Revlon |
Revlon was founded in 1932 by the Revson brothers and their chemist, Charles Lachman (that is the L in Revlon) during the height of the great depression. Their signature product was nail polish. Lachman’s brilliancy was using a pigment instead of a dye and they invented nail enamel. It became an instant success and later on they expanded to lipstick. At one point, Revlon was the #2 makeup brand in the world. After the war, they bought a German implement company that was seized by the government and that is how they got into the implement business.
Then 1985 came and the beginning of the end of Revlon began. That is when Ron Perelman bought the company and saddled with with $2.7B in debt. Then over the years he made some poor acquisitions. He paid $660M for the Colomer Group which included the American Crew and Creative Nail Design brands. Then he paid $870M for Elizabeth Arden in 2016. What is interesting about these acquisitions: Revlon bought Jean Nate in 1935 (remember that brand, it was hot for so many years). From its roots, Perelman thought it best to expand its nail polish and fragrance offerings and always used debt.
Fast forward to now and guess what? Revlon blames its conditions on supply chain, inflation, the war, and other factors. But the bottom line is that is still has more than $3B in debt, slightly more than in 1985. Debt killed the company and Perelman killed a company 90 years old. Now the company is nearly worthless valued a little over $100M. How much do you think Colomer Group and Arden are worth now?
Reliance Industries, a huge energy outfit in India wants to get into the beauty game and is thinking about buying Revlon. Revlon stock zoomed up on the news. But once Reliance does its due diligence and finds out what the brands are really worth, they would be best to walk away. Sure the brands are a steal at these prices but when the last time anyone bought a bottle of Revlon nail polish?
On a side note, I wonder how KKR is doing with OPI. With inflation at 8.5% and supply chain issues still going on, why is OPI discounting its core offering 25%? And just last Friday, SBH (Sally) got downgraded because its low income consumers will cut back on purchasing and the analyst specifically mentioned the manicure category. The stock sunk to just over $11 a share.
Meanwhile, the entire nail category accounts for less than 2% of overall beauty sales. It was always a niche category and always will be. Those that try to make it anything else always get stung in the end.