And Now, These Tropes:
Edward Snowden , of all people; this is best shown when John asks him questions to gauge American loyalty. The last card of the opening credits montage usually has a reference to one of the previous week's big events for example, the card on the episode that aired after the 30th anniversary of Watergate was of President Richard Nixon. Not everyone is so convinced, particularly in America's second city. Invoked and played for laughs in the chicken industry segment. Archived from the original on June 27, Archived from the original on August 20,
There’s nothing wrong with a side hustle
Stop and think about where you work. Put it on paper and see what it looks like. You probably worked your butt off to convince somebody to hire you at a job you hate. All you do everyday is tread hours for dollars.
Look at a third party website such as http: In every business the people at the top make more. In an MLM anyone can work up to the top, unlike in a pyramid scheme. If your upline is a creep, the whole team is going to be creepy. If you have a good upline, the whole team will reflect that.
Any business, MLM or otherwise, can isolate people from friends and family. Also, please stop commenting under multiple names. You notice that they call people that disagree losers. You guys sound brainwashed. I probably need to stop Amway right? Besides, what the fuck are you doing just sitting on your computer commenting negatively on blogs that you know nothing about.
Your a hypnotized bitch and I believe that this guy makes 2. I guarantee you wouldnt be such a bitch if you understood how to do the same thing, but some people just cant believe something and have faith, so they knock it down and shatter other peoples dreams around them.
Well I hope someone shattered your dreams when you were a kid, because isnt that what everyone wants? To be around negative lethargic fucks who spend their days finding stuff that doesnt make sense to their peanut sized minds and calling it out because they dont understand it?
Well LOL to you too. Your whole life is probably a big LOL. Oooh whatchu gonna do read my internet code or whatever and come set me straight? Bitch I am straight, I aint crooked like you so consider waking the fuck up before your short insignifigant life is over in the blink of an eye.
Here is my factual response to the author: Amway is an 11 billion dollar privately held, debt free corporation note in Forbes magazine several times and that is 1 in online health and wellness with all certified organic farms.
Like Uber, Etsy, Lift, Ebay and Amazon, the allow everyday people to work as independent business owners with them in exchange for compensation. Pretty sure the government would not have the owner of an illegal pyramid scheme as their Chairman and could definitely find Mr Devos Courtside at a game to arrest him for his 11 billion dollar illegal business.
The Federal Trade commission tried Amway and found it to be what they referred to as a legal and viable business that is not a pyramid because a pyramid is an organization with no real products or services that only circulates money through recruiting others people. Because Amway only pays when products are purchased not people signed up , they are by definition, NOT a pyramid.
So you really have to be an idiot to lose money. You get paid a cash percentage of all spending resulting from your personal orders as well as referrals. Unlike the job you probably work, Amway pays for performance not position. Your boss will always make more than you but in Amway if you cause more purchases than the person who introduced you to the opportunity , you out earn them even though they got started in business first.
I hope this helped to educate you. Would hate for you to continue to look like an uneducated liar to all you friends who watch football and will see the collegiate national championship winners hold up the Amway Coaches Poll Trophy, open Vogue magazine or watch New York Fashion week to see their national Artistry cosmetics campaign or watch the Orlando Magic or Chicago Cubs play and see Amway plastered all over the signage. I have no boss. I am a real business owner — as in, I own every part of this business.
I create the products. I do not peddle toilet paper or hand soap to my friends and family so I can make pennies on their subscription fees. I have to actually think up something new, produce it, market it, and sell it. You want to be paid for performance? Create something yourself, and then see how you do. Can you make six- or seven-figures from your own creativity and grit?
I am not an uneducated liar, stupid or unsuccessful. Last I checked I had a graduate degree, a six-figure online business, and no boss. I think you are a good person and probably a good business owner. Seems like he went out of his way to right that advisory.
First off your friend seems a little fishy. I think your friend is you. Well I never heard of those tactics, and selling is optional. Do your research before you post these hilarious posts. Any network marketing works but it all depends what you put in to it. Seen lawyers, doctors,all types of professionals in this business not just struggling middle America. Sounds like you have a grudge.
Everyone has their opinion. Amway is a great business model, but there are knuckleheads just like in any business. This information is based on 1 person that sounds like she was weird and working with some weird people. They tried to get me to join them and invited me to go to their group meetings. I did go a few times and it was hard to sit through the whole thing.
I could not believe all the bull crap those speakers were feeding these people. Pyramid scheme or not, Amway is creepy and functions as a cult. These crazies nearly sucked me in. They immediately tell me not to tell my family about them, that my family would be skeptical about the opportunities amway would bring me, that my family would discourage me from doing it.
Had been in it for over 10 yrs, however, no longer in it today. But you people have no idea how it runs, your clueless. Your not even worth my time. I can see how one bad experience or one negative anecdote can turn you away from something—in this case, a business.
Today you can also order condoms online from stores that offer them! You sound just like the people you say business owners involved with Amway call jealous. Your review is just pathetic but then if Amway was not for you, you just got to move on in life and focus on something you have passion for.
Spending time to rant against Amway will not make you money, you will only lose your time and what better you could have done instead! Amway is a good company and has helped a lot of people worldwide already which should be because they existed since ?
Some distributors just gets hyper-excited acting queer instead of thinking business-like. Their products are mostly good. Of course, prospecting is part of it just like any other business. Then the business presentation, then closing the deal or have the prospect sign up.
You have to guide your distributors until they can made it on their own. Just like any distribution business, you have to check how your dealers are performing. Have a business mindset and hardworking attitude and you cannot avoid earning. Are u that much expert to comment on this?????
Keep watch on amway growth, still growing fast… new manuf. He gave me his website the day prior but I could not see what it was about. He kept saying that he was going to help me to have financial freedom as they have a strong network where they deal with professionals who work with Bestbuy, lululemon, etc. I feel like I deserve a good slap by allowing myself to go there.
You are going to ruin someone who is going to be a great leaders for his family one day. He understands that if he doesnt own, he will be owned by his job.
For you to believe more in your 4 year, no guarantee, probably have student loan debt education will really help separate you from the masses but question his partnership with an 11 billion dollar corporation that is 1 online and has given him something he can own is sad. Your boyfriend decided to put himself in the way of that online traffic. I believe he will be successful in 5 years if he keeps working hard and not let you steal his dream. Stop trying to get him to join you on the 40hours for 40years plan.
I started this business a few years back and just listened and did what they asked me too. Because of it i was Able to bring my wife home. My mother was absolutely hooked into it and tried to sell all her church friends on it. Every product in our home gradually became Amway. Shampoo, soap, and yes, toilet paper. Amway was all they talked about, it was insane. It was a creepy thing to watch my parents become absorbed in something like that.
My son has gotten involved with this company. I am scared to death for him. We try to talk to him, but he seems so brainwashed that nothing we say has any impact.
My sister in Australia has been involved in this for decades and has made nothing, despite co-opting several others into the fold. I had to quickly learn to ask what she was inviting me to before I accepted any invitations and eventually had to tell her not to ask me to any more Amway things. Then she started on my fiance. This is a business for the gullible — perhaps why they do so well in religious communities.
I went to a Amway meeting was one of the people in this situation they are creepy, the guy who tried to get me into Amway used my teammates death to incite conversation between us. He used my teammates death to try make profit off of me. I say try because i had this guy who did this spend money on me, who would buy me dinner and i would always tell them how cool the ideas are, every meeting was the same they made it seem like a family instead of a business.
Thankfully i chose a better financial option which was spent that on weed and flipped that sack for money. This business isnt for everyone. Just try the products and of you dont like them then return them you have 6 months to return them.
They probably left because they trying to be with people who were trying to succeed. Take it from me im 16 years old and this business has not failed me yet. Do you even know what a pyramid-scheme is? I only learned about Amway today, but I can spot a bullshitter when I see one.
So the only schemer I see here is you. I absolutely agree with this post! The freaking nerve of these people!!!! Of course I put him in his place and hope that he never, ever dares to contact me again because if he does I will file a complaint for harassment!! You are full of shit. But you have to work for it. If you stay home watching T. Amway is the 1 business in the world and the best quality of products. Okay then, just like any other business with the same models and those more reputable, we can choose any model and become equally successful.
You have to work for any job your acquire. My wife started to sell this stuff. After a few months, everything in our house was Amway crap, bought with my money at ridiculous prices. My family could not talk with her without her mentioning Amway in every breath. In an attempt to discover what was going on, I went with her to an Amway seminar. I saw how easy it is to brainwash people at cult meetings.
And we lost most of our money on useless crap that nobody wanted to buy. And I lost my wife. I would rather attend training that are proven success from people that I know are reputable. I can build big business elsewhere not through this pyramid. First of all I have no problem buy the products from my own store, but they do tell you to get a whole new group of like minded people, which gurus do, that are not on your same agenda.
They do not tell you whatsoever what the mentoring is for. Second, they are selling the education behind marketing and how to do it more than the products.
Okay I would have had no problem with that if they said that upfront. I am a teacher, I can sell education to anyone. That is the biggest thing. That is because I know psychology so well I know sales tactics to skirt around the truth. I can learn all these techniques elsewhere and sell something more profitable. Just do you due diligence before you get started. The choice is up to you. I dont think that we should justify the blogwriter ….
Amway takes advantage of gullible idiots, who can be found everywhere and turns them into Amway zombies. The zombies have been convinced that Amway products are better quality. A long time ago when i was 8 years old my mom tried Amway. Governments around the world need to wake up to this plague called MLM which are nothing about pyramid schemes and snuff them out with the toughest legislation.
It gives ordinary people and even highly successful people who are willing to work hard, the opportunity to become an entrepreneur. You as an individual must just pick the right company for you to partner with, which suits your values. At least on the surface.
But as many on here have pointed out, upon further examination, many of them would admit they had worked their fannies off for not much return. The whole mess is forced, unnatural and downright uncomfortable for most people. One of the most insidious things about this whole dynamic is that people indeed feel trapped and ashamed because they have been duped into spending a rather large sum of money, so they continue with the charade until they can at least feel like they have gone the extra mile.
I would guess this is about 1 year. One of the biggest wastes of time and money I have ever experienced. Another thing that irritates me are people at other networking events coming up to me and trying to get me to come to their awesome BNI chapter. Theirs is always different and the best. I try to get as far away as I can and still be in the same room with these Koolaide drinkers. I went to a BNI meet last week for the first time. I reckon just like the Grumpy Nerd that it is useful when you are selling a commodity everybody needs at some point, such as plumbing.
So not for me sadly! And if we go, he insist on going with us. Does he get a bonus for bringing new members to a chapter or what? This really upsets me and my husband to find out that he tries te set us up for a cult?!? He genually seemed to take an intrest in what we were doing.
He promissed us to sponsor our website for free. I feel so stupid and naïve to have almost bought this crap. We hurt a real friend for taking away his work on our website for a litte bit of money and a lott of his time for someone who was setting us up from the git go.
We would have been in deeper trouble if i did not read all this on your blog. You are doing important work. Before i wrote this post i even considered the possibility that he might be an innocent victim of this brain washing cult. But now, i believe he knew precisely what he was doing every minute he was doing it.
I am fascinated to see the hate and mistrust for the BNI concept. I understand some of the comments and feel as though other comments are out of line. I have been a member of BNI for 2. I am in the mortgage business so I guess that makes me one of the lucky ones. I must admit that I have taken advantage of the BNI structure by holding the President and VP slot so I could extend my membership without having to pay. Gotta work the system.
I do not really care for our area director. He visited one of my meetings and stood over my shoulder waiting for me to miss a step. With that said, I do think the concept is good if the members adhere to it. Our realtor has not recd a referral in a long time but at the same time she has joined our group but still uses none of our services.
My question - why join? I do enjoy the different views though. I have found that many BNI members are cut from the same mold. Some great posts here since I last checked in. After being in my chapter for six years, I have come to realize it is just like you say: If it works for you, it works for you. I have also learned not to invite anyone that is looking for a silver bullet to becoming a gozillionaire.
I think one of the tricks is to recognize BNI as a pyramid dressed in legitimate clothes. I too think the business model is fairly brilliant: Certainly not original or deep, but brilliant nonetheless.
I can hear it now: I am pro me and my business. Nothing more, nothing less. It is a tool that can be leveraged in marketing your product, good, or service. I also learned very early on, NOT to sell to the other members in the group. Look forward to more! I see five or six folks defending BNI using their own success as a measuring point. What I want to know is, do all the other members in your chapter also enjoy similar kind of success?
I like how Grumpy did an income statement-like calculation with your own hourly rate to measure success rate. Everyone involved in BNI should really include your time and hourly rate as a consideration when measuring your BNI activities investment, otherwise you are just cheating yourself. At the end of the day math will usually save you. I spent x and I received y. Was it worth it? When you are talking about your time you always have to factor in the opportunity cost.
While I was at BNI I could have been; billing a client, getting real sales done, running a more effect ad campaign…. You are absolutely right about the math either working for you or not. There are folks that come into the group where the math does not end up working out in their favor.
The ones that have used your formula and the math is on their side, usually end up staying. I was approached by a fellow chamber of commerce member to join BNI. I am a new business owner and very badly need to make some money but in spite of this, I still believe in capitalism. To lock someone out because your think they are competition is wrong. What if the products you offer are inferior to the competition?
I want to earn business because I offer my clients the best product for the best price. I was invited to attend a meeting and even though the alarm bells rang when the chanting and propaganda started, I still ended up joining, something I deeply regret.
Since then, I have found BNI taking up more of my time and gaining me no new business, to the point where my business stopped growing and started nose-diving. When I pointed out some of the flaws in BNI, some of the brainwashed members began to look at me as though I had handed them a dead baby and blamed the sudden lack of referrals I received as being my fault for destroying any trust members had in me presumably because I had a mind of my own. Yesterday I had a phone call from our chapter director demanding that I accounted for every minute of my working week and my reasons for being in business.
In the seven months I have spent as a member of BNI, I have realised that the chanting and the Manson Family recruitment drives are not designed to make you money but to get you to bring in more victims visitors, sorry. The other thing I noticed about BNI was the fact that there is not a lot of networking done in a networking organisation! And so, after tomorrow, I will be looking for a real networking group and will be free from the gulag!
Good luck to you Joe. You will do better now that you are out of BNI. Funny, I had a cool-aid guy in the group months after I left show up at my South Carolina office to get me to do a will for her New Jersey mother-in-law who was visiting. I am not licensed in New Jersey. Yes Then we have nothing to talk about, go away. John, that is about right calling Misner a televangelist. I think all types of this networking groups are pointless.
I am going to stay in my Kiwanis and I am going to get with an attorney networking group since I do what few people will do, foreclosure defense. I have been reading through these posts for about 45 minutes, and find THEM to be a complete waste of time.
When it comes right down to it, you get out of BNI what you put into it, just like any other group. What BNI offers is structure and consistency so that members can educate and be educated. My chapter was a chapter that was having difficulty a few years ago. We were dropping members and morale was down. A group of members came together and decided to move back to the basics of BNI and to work the program is it was intended.
And the success continues. Since we are continuing to follow the BNI program as intended, and since we are all positive about it, our results continue to be solid. Yes, you can network with the chamber I am on the board of our chamber and kiwanis, rotary, and other organizations.
But what BNI offers is the structure that, when followed, generates results that can be tracked. I can look back over the past year and tell you how much business came from BNI. The numbers are great, and I would be a fool to leave. So, it is unfortunate that so many of you have had such bad experiences in your time as BNI members. I wish you had the opportunity to be a member of a chapter like mine.
So instead of quitting, step up and lead your chapter to success. And instead of complaining because you cant work the BNI system, connect with someone who has been successful and learn how to make it work for you. Have a great day. I am going to go write my sales manager minute for tomorrow. By the way, I asked for a specific business referral last week and guess what - I got a call monday from a member and am meeting with this potential client on Friday to do business.
But the world needs suckers. Real networking is when you do business with people that you like and trust. A real network is built over time by way of your good reputation.
When you actually build a real business network no one expects anything out of you except your integrity and honesty. If it takes one week, one month or one year between referrals thats what it takes. If you grow out of your business infancy that perspective will help you understand how ineffective and self serving the BNI business model is. After the first 15 minutes of reading the posts, it becomes quite clear that none of the posters understand what networking is all about.
First of all, networking does take time and it is usually helpful to actual meet the person that you may be referring or who may be referring you. Complaining is such a big turnoff and bad if you are seeking referrals. It would appear that most people on this post have spent more time writing this post than they have ever done in actually meeting people and getting to know them.
I think their business suffers not because of BNI but rather due to their inability to get along with people. You really want to complain about the dues? Selfishness is not a marketing strategy! BNI is not for everyone and they most certainly have their faults. However, every meeting needs an agenda to efficiently manage the time and cover the basics. Maybe BNI should update their meeting format but I would not want to be in a meeting with most of the posters on this blog without an agenda.
Can you imagine 90 minutes of whining and complaining? Might this customer bring in one or two other customers who may do the same? Narrow-minded thinking and absolutely no concept of customer retention or word-of-mouth marketing.
Best of luck to all of you and please consider a switch in your marketing from complaining to one of showing appreciation. I agree whole heartily with current member. You get out of BNI what you put in. In my experience, some new members come in, expect other chapter members to carry the load, put little to no effort into it, and surprise, surprise are disappointed with results they get.
Is it lost on them that other members see that they are trying to milk the chapter rather than contribute to it? They are poorly run chapters out there where people do put an effort into and our disappointed with the results.
These people should try to transfer over to another chapter and see what results come from there. BNI has served me very well in referrals, education, and good business contacts.
No I am not brain-washed nor am I in my business infancy. I have been fed my share of Koolaid over the years, but this glass is still tasting fine. I am sorry you had a bad experience with BNI, maybe it was poorly run chapter or maybe you are not right person to excel in BNI.
I too wish I had read this before joining. I asked someone I knew who was a BNI member for advice. I did a couple of free jobs for the charity in the chapter which I was happy to do as I enjoy doing work for charities. I replied explaining my position and then actually I was more disenchanted with him than BNI. I have gone along this morning, everything was fine but then in the post today is a letter saying they are opening up my classification. For everything I read, none of it sounded like the chapter I visited.
We had no meeting fees for visitors. In the 90 minute meeting, joining was brought up exactly twice once at the beginning, and once at the end. There were no hard sells — members recommended I take an application and consider joining.
I was interviewed before I was accepted, and my references called. Since joining, I have made back my investment plus some. Not everyone that applies gets approved, and not everyone that joins gets to renew at the end of the year. Sounds like some of you just ran into some bad groups. Sounds like you missed the point at BNI. Your comments up front are probably the reason: What will I say during my sales manager minute? BNI and anything else you do will only pay back dividends on what you put into it.
BNI is just another money spinner for the Owner. BNI India sucks really bad. A farmer toils in his fields all season, but the crops are dismal and the farmer is at his wits end. He goes to the Priest and asks for help from above. The Priest gives instructions to pray for the lords help. The farmer prays and prays. He prays before each meal and before bed.
This is BNI in a nutshell. I have yet to hear any koolaid drinker even remotely hint at the possibility that BNI might not be as perfected as Shaman Meisner would have his disciples believe. So remember, if BNI is not working for you, it is solely your own fault. The BNI marketing system is not to blame… How could it be?
Turns out, you probably were just not praying hard enough. Here is the deal in the most simplistic terms I can manage. It was the majority of our chapter. To wrap up; very few people can make decent money in BNI but that money will be made at the expense of the majority in the chapter who fruitlessly waste their time going though the canned bullshit program set up by our dear leader. All of the people at the meeting seemed very friendly and prospects looked good.
I attended a second meeting as a guest and decided to join. It is only after a few months that you begin to see the whole charade for what it is. Hollow or low value referrals from members trying to avoid the embarrassment of not meeting their quota each week and lots of time spent chasing after bullshit.
The rest however were chasing scraps and there were a number of members who I wondered why they bothered turning up every week.
Although I did get work and did cover my membership costs, I dread to think how much time I wasted on fulfilling BNI dictat and following up poor quality referrals. For example, the builder will probably also install bathrooms and kitchens, the IFA will also offer mortgages etc. The training events exist to groom you into getting more referrals and getting more visitors to meetings - not to train you in practices that may help your business.
It is all about what you can offer BNI and how you can get it for them. I regularly joined the weekly conference calls with BNI central organisers and was shocked by much of the manipulative advice that was passed. Everyone in the chapter was expected to contribute 40 names, who were all sent letters, then followed up with phone calls. And it is you that makes the calls all the time being told to carefully not mention BNI, early mornings, membership fees etc.
Not only was I embarrassed to have to take part in this, but actually resented giving my valuable time to an organisation that sees you as a member of an unpaid telesales team rather than a valued client.
A man who is the epitome of slick success and openly brags about his beautiful house and cars remember folks, it is your membership fees that fund his lifestyle. During his speech, he claimed that our chapter was one of the top, most successful chapters in the region - which I knew to be a blatant lie. One of my guests began to make noises like he was going to join and every atom of me wanted to stand up and shout.
A few weeks later I left BNI as I was unwilling to waste any more time on chasing up nothing referrals and listening to bullshit so early in the day. It is the directors of BNI that make the real money and it is in their interests for membership turn over to be high, as it keeps those new member fees rolling in.
BNI is very much carrot and stick. However, you come to realise that the carrot is false but the stick is very real! I have not posted in a while. Had a guy who is still in the Chapter who joined right before I left come to the office. The accountant in my BNI chpater is a client. She has opened her own shop. She asked about the networking group I am in. I said dues are just 50 a month and it is 2 hours a month and not 1 hour a week.
Yea, no franchise-kickback fee to Misner. I am sooo glad I found your site!!! I am still in a cloud of daze after my BNI group non-renewed me. In my line of work, I did not get many referrals. Those that were not just a bunch of BS, actually became clients.
I generated a nice income from the accounts. I think the concept of BNI is good, not great to say the least, and there are def. Thank you all for your honesty! I too was sucked in by the friendly, welcoming members when I first went to a meeting. I liked them and they liked me so much that within 3 weeks of joining I became the Social Director for the group.
No one else would step up and take the position. Now I know why. The only reason I stayed in the position was because my membership was complimentary as long as I sat on the executive team. Referrals were fluff, everyone wanted a favour and even BNI head office sucked me into doing work for them for no money.
Not only that, but I put my professional reputation on the line for this group and I greatly regret it.
I just quit BNI. I really liked most of the members, But I think that each chapter should be able to choose where they meet. Our contract just expired with the hotel where we have been meeting for the past year. I have a real problem with the micro managing control issues. I quit BNI also after an agonizing 3 months. It is just one big circle jerk where all the members stroke each other! Instead I was told how important it was that all members attend as visitors were coming. This summed it up for me, because when it comes down to it, the Directors are only interested in themselves.
Oh and when they talk about everyone being your sales team. It dawned on me at another networking event when I found myself talking to another attendee about BNI more than about my own business. We also opened up an area called World corkboards. My partner went to a BNI meeting last night. After speaking with him on the phone about an hour ago he wishes me to attend a 7am meeting tomorrow, to hear about it myself…he is willing to pay the joining fee.
I was once part of a financial service company, whom like BNI, got you to pay the initiation fee, spread roses and sweet promises up front, but then choked you with meetings out of town and purchasing marketing material and MANDATORY seminars!!! And hardly ever did I make any money…they wanted your focus more on generating recruits than your own business. Well BNI sounds the same. I believe that marketing and networking your business can be self attainable.
You should not have to PAY a fee to someone in order to get business…for my online advertising business corkboardads. It will only grow bigger and better the more I continue to do the same…and Not revert back to mandatory meetings and paying for materials…information in which if you rally look for you can find answers online.
Let me know you read my post here. THIS is what brought me to your site! In fact, I was literally stunned by the detail and accuracy. BNI is a joke. If anyone is considering going, or has the chance to go, GO!
Just think of the cost of going to the meeting as if it were admission to the theater… or the ZOO? Rotten, tainted, corrupt apples on the BNI tree. Here is a question I posed to some of my cohorts in BNI: Your BNI franchise owners leased, rented, or purchased the rights to re-sell the BNI marketing system in a given geographic area. However, they place all sorts of obligations on their customers… I mean members. This is why BNI is so hot on sticking to the scripted agenda and talking points.
I have it right from the top in Redland, CA. A dim bulb named Leroy Gaines in the home office put it simply: BNI admits that once the business transaction is over and you have paid your money, there is no more legally recognized relationship between anyone.
BNI has a perceived place of authority over its customers. Where does this perception come from? The customers who truly believe they are members of anything! I agree with the posters that say you get out of it what you put into it. I am so happy that I stumbled onto this blog! I was given the choice between being asked to leave or quitting my BNI group. Guess which I chose? The problem started with a member who felt I was in conflict with his category.
He harassed me, bullied me and tried to make me comply to his wishes throughout the last year. He kept thinking that I was taking work away from him. I complained to BNI leadership to no avail. When he bullied me the last time I got mad and told him I was tired of his bullshit. He reported me for what I said, and now I am out. I felt pretty bad.
I felt unfairly treated. After reading this blog I feel so much better. The other thing I found out was that 4 people have been non-renewed in the last few months. The person is just gone. No one says anything more about them. On to filling the open category. Do your civic duty! Help your state balance its budget! Go to the store on the BNI web site.
If the franchisees have websites that direct consumers to the national web site to buy merchandise point that out in your letter. Point out that the franchisee collects dues and that it appears that in some way part of the dues go to the national in California in the form of franchise fees.
It will be fun to go to the web site in about a year and see how many states BNI now collects sales tax for. We will never know, but the states may assess them for the tax they should have collected in prior years. I want to write an article about them, but I need more inside info. So, could anyone give some help with the following:. What are the hierarchic levels and addressabilities.
How is the money of new members divided? During that time I have received about a dozen leads. They ranged anywhere from completely bogus to absolutely ridiculous. Another flaw that I think is inherent with BNI in general is meeting over breakfast, or worse, lunch. Furthermore, success rates will vary widely from chapter to chapter. During your visit you will be asked for your input. When you are asked, stand up and ask them to randomly draw 5 previous referrals and have the person who received the referral to give a follow-up on that referral.
Each BNI Treasurer is in charge of keeping track of previous referrals so they should have them at every meeting. If they drag their feet on this, that should be a red flag. I have only given 3 referrals. However, two of them turned in to corporate accounts that yielded a very nice profit for the BNI member so I probably scooted under the radar for the time being.
The thing that bothers me most about my experience at BNI is that prior to BNI I was very confident about my profession, my business and my skills. However, after 10 months of listening to so many people act so utterly desperate, pathetic and needy I, too, started to question my abilities and skills.
The good thing is that my business has continued to grow and prosper despite of me wasting so much time at BNI. The bottom line is: BNI will probably not be profitable for you or your business in the long run…. Still in over a year later after my original comment and our chapter is still going strong.
If not, no problem. Stay positive out there! I felt sorry for the guy as he would have been the only member not to hand out a referral for that week. The other referrals by the way were simply each member spending their own money trying not to look like the odd one out!! Crazy waste of effort, time and money. When mindless bobbleheads pass referrals like the one about a lightbulb for their car, they give bobbleheads a bad name. Start a grass roots campaign! Corporations love nothing more than angry mobs that bypass all the layers of BS and beauracracy and go straight to the suits at the top.
I received an email from someone somewhere somehow that invited me to the BNI meeting. When I arrived at the builing I saw that it had a sign on the door saying: That is how I found this webpage.
Thanks to you grumpy nerd, for your input here. What confirms that I made the right descision to leave my chapter was that not 1 member even those that I passed referrals to over the last few months bothered to have the decency to even wish me all the best via phone or even email!! I joined a BNI group about 15 months ago. I was unable to attend the LT until December. I was verbally told that I did not have to pay dues the year I am ST.
Although I have been doing ST since Oct, they could not renew me without the dues being paid because there was less than 30 days dues in my account when I came up for renewal. With the assumption that I could stand another year in this group. Out of 15 members, only 3 show up on time.
I always get there 10 minutes early and I live fairly far away. The people who live in town have to leave their houses after the meeting start time to be 10 minutes late….. There is even a member who is nasty to me. It finally hit me that she is jealous that they asked me to be ST.
I will send the President a check for the bank balance. Sole discretion is so vague and a big grey area, meaning no rules, no rights, in my humble opinion. I look forward to letting you all know the shady keep all members semi happy in a disagreement so we keep all the members money in renewals and dues instead of look at the facts attitude of BNI. I know in court this would have been an easy case, but BNI has to attempt to fault everyone which ironically only pisses off both parties.
I just think the BNI system is a broken one. I started my own business to get out of corporate politics, and broken corporate systems. Good forum Grumpy, and you have very legitimate points and issues about the BNI system. As I have said before members are simply spending their own money to show that they have referrals each week. So put 20 people in a room and force them to pass a referral and of course each member will pick up a bit of business - however pointless the referral is or however pitiful the amount is, BNI class this a winning argument for joining BNI.
Grumpy, your attack on BNI is pretty much right on as far as the corporateness of it goes. On the one hand, BNI promotes network marketing which is a proven referral generator and money maker for many professional categories.
My BNI group has been an important source of business for me. The steep membership fee has been paid for many times over. The mostly good people in my local chapter is what makes it all worthwhile for me. If your profession is the kind that benefits from network marketing not all do then BNI offers a useful service. To that extent, I think some of your statements are unfair. I love my chapter and all the business we pass. But I fucking hate the BNI corporate crap that comes with it.
The mindless rules and inane bureaucracy are tiring. My experience has been a lot different. Aside from that, I have made and maintained many friends who I value. Sure, the BNI structure is rigid, but it is their game and they get to make the rules. I have to wonder what expectations some of you brought to the organization and what kind of people some of you are to do business with.
I was a moderately successful member, nothing crazy for income, but it was still worth it and I liked my group. So today I submitted my resignation letter to the other officers. Here it is, redacted of course:. I want to stress that it has nothing to do with you or any other member of our chapter.
It's possible that Sears will continue its divestment rampage with Kenmore and Craftsman, but that remains to be seen. One thing is certain: Sears is beginning to look much different than it has in the past. In regard to initiatives, the best one Sears has is its Shop Your Way rewards program, which is a free program that offers rewards, personalized deals, and member coupons. There is no minimum required to redeem points. Additionally, Shop Your Way Max members have an opportunity to receive free two-day shipping on all orders.
Shop Your Way members can also use the Shop'In app if they're near a Sears or Kmart if they want to place an order and then swing by and pick up their products with ease. The Shop Your Way program might have potential as a positive catalyst, but will it be enough? Recent divestments will likely help the bottom line, but they're not going to help the top line. It looks like the goals for Sears are to become smaller and profitable.
Though not impossible, these will be difficult tasks, especially considering the company's fiscal situation. The bottom line Americans love a comeback story, and it would be great to see Sears prove almost everyone wrong.
However, due to stiff competition, being years behind industry trends, and fiscal weakness, this doesn't seem to be a likely scenario. Does Sears Have the Will to Survive? Sears Holdings has been struggling to survive.
With 23 quarters of negative earnings Sears has had to sell valuable assets such as Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, hold a partial spin-off of Sears Canada, and now Lands' End is scheduled to be spun off. CEO Eddie Lampert is running out of cards, but I think there is one card that just might bring Sears back to life despite intensifying competition from Amazon.
A consumer revolution A revolution occurred throughout the United States right before the turn of the 20th century that changed American consumerism forever, that revolution was the mail-order catalog. Imagine living in a small town in the Midwest where the only store that sold goods was the general store, where prices generally were high and the selection was low. One day, a catalog arrived that offered almost every good imaginable, truly a 'Book of Wonders', and that book was the Sears catalog.
From this catalog you could select any item you wanted, send for it, pay with credit, and the product would arrive in about six weeks with 'Satisfaction Guaranteed'. Well, compared to today's standards maybe not so much, but back then, Sears opened up the door to mass consumerism. Online retail companies like Amazon are not so different from the Sears Mail Order Catalog; they are truly the modern-day equivalent.
A successful online retail company needs superior logistics, warehouse infrastructure across the country, and a means to effectively distribute products to the people. The two largest online retailers are Amazon and Wal-Mart and both have renowned distribution systems; so does number three, Sears.
Yes, I know Sears is not who you were expecting to be the third-largest online retailer in the United States, but the company has claimed this spot and it is fighting to not only stay alive, but undergo a complete revitalization. Instead, he has changed Sears' focus to online retail with the member-centric Shop Your Way program.
Sears actually has approximately million products available online at a number of websites under the Sears and Kmart banners. In addition, the company offers multiple transaction choices such as same-day shipping or pick up from one of the nearest Sears stores.
That's what I call instant gratification. You won't be picking any items up from an Amazon Store anytime soon! The Shop Your Way initiative has continued to gain traction as members are able to earn points, receive additional benefits, and buy key proprietary brands such as Kenmore, Craftsman, and DieHard. I believe Sears is going to continue to sell assets such as valuable mall-anchor stores and under-performing lines, all while using these sales to continue to grow online and become a marketplace to rival Amazon.
The Will of Fire Richard Sears left the firm when his board decided to focus on department stores instead of the mail-order catalog. Now, ninety years later Sears is shifting away from department stores and toward the Sears Online Market Place. This firm, who fueled the American consumer revolution, is not ready to simply keel over and die; it is adapting, evolving, and fighting for its rich heritage to survive another generation. Sears has a lot of work to do, this is undeniable; competition is fierce across the board and it is no longer the ultimate one-stop shop.
In spite of this, the company is making smart decisions by spinning off Lands' End and potentially Sears Auto. Praise the company for making the difficult-but-smart choice; invest in Sears' revival, and you may be rewarded.
You can access it by clicking here. Ten months after taking over, the company licensed by Sears to provide home installed products and service is in receivership. About half of the affected employees - — work in Ontario and include sales associates, installation specialists, inspectors, managers and office assistants, among others. Customers who have made deposits with Sears Home Services for home installed products are being asked to call and leave a message to learn what will become of their money.
Sears Canada spokesman Vince Power said in an email that the company is working with PwC Canada, which is handling the receivership, to ensure that customers are looked after and that all Sears Home Services warranties are honoured. But the anticipated volume of revenue never approached the amounts represented and by late September SHS was experiencing significant liquidity issues, according to the affidavit by Clements.
It wasn't supposed to turn out this way. In January, Sears Canada Inc. Sears and Alaris Income Growth Fund are the only two secured creditors. The remaining 17 pages of unsecured creditors range from individuals to Bell Canada to roofing companies and the City of Ottawa.
Former Sears CEO Mark Cohen, who is now a professor of marketing at Columbia Business School, said that when he left the company in , it was profitable across all divisions, including home services. It prospered at Sears in no small measure because of the leverage from reputation and a large parent company," said Cohen.
On the heels of closing dozens of schools, Chicago Public Schools is moving its headquarters to smaller offices, in the same building that currently houses Sears' flailing flagship store off State Street, raising questions over its future, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned. CPS will move next year from S. Clark, where it has been since , to the first three floors at 1 N.
Dearborn, CPS officials said. Sears Holdings declined repeatedly to comment on whether it is moving from 2 N. State -- which is in the same building -- or more broadly, about its future in downtown Chicago.
Spokesman Howard Riefs said in a statement: Meanwhile, CPS is looking toward the move, which comes on the heels of the district's closing of a record number of schools. The Chicago Board of Education is anticipated to take up the move on Wednesday. Officials say moving will save tens of millions of dollars over time. CPS officials have been looking at downsizing the central office since spring. The central office staff, which now has about 1, people, has shrunk over the years. Jesse Ruiz, the school board vice president and a lawyer, said there's just too much unnecessary space in the current office building.
The story building CPS now owns and occupies will go on the market in the coming weeks. Tyrrell declined to say what it might be worth. CPS plans to be in the new space by November. Those costs include building operations and maintenance. Tyrrell, the retired marine colonel who helped manage the school closings, said the district considered about other buildings to move its headquarters, including 52 empty school buildings.
That includes the former Wentworth Elementary School building, S. The building was emptied when Altgeld Elementary School was closed and Wentworth was moved into its building. CPS also looked at options for staying in its current building or converting part of the building to condos, but the savings just weren't there, Tyrrell said.
Location also was a consideration. While CPS didn't necessarily need to be headquartered in the Loop, it wanted to be centrally located for those who need to travel to the schools or travel to the CPS central office. That includes people who attend the monthly CPS board meetings. The new Board of Education chambers will be able to fit people -- more than twice as many as in the current building, Tyrrell said. Sears has been at its State Street location since At the time, it was lured back to a revived State Street after an year absence.
Sears, based in Hoffman Estates, has been cutting costs and inventory and shedding assets -- moves designed to help it return to profitability. In March , Sears opened an e-commerce development center on the fourth floor of the property at 2 N. State, employing software developers, project managers and technical architects. Marty Stern, board chairman of the Chicago Loop Alliance, said he's not aware of any imminent plan by Sears to close its State Street store.
But if the store does ultimately close, Stern said it would only be a "temporary hiccup" for State Street that could be easily overcome by retaining ground-floor retail. There is "opportunity for more store closures.
The company considers 17 of those to be in urban markets and the rest in mid-sized markets, Vincent Power, a spokesman for Sears Canada, said in an email. Sears also has a network of smaller Hometown franchises in rural or small markets. Lampert has been spinning off and selling assets at Sears Holdings, most recently the profitable Lands' End clothing brand, to fund a turnaround of the parent company. Retailers like Sears have found themselves under pressure in Canada amid an influx of new competition from the U.
Sears Canada is the worst-performing department store stock this month among 15 global peers -- with U. The stock rose 1. Sears is working with the receiver, PricewaterhouseCoopers on a viable option for the future of the home service business, the company said. Sears's business has shrunk in recent years but its costs haven't declined at the same pace, Campbell said. The key to stabilizing the business now is bringing costs in line with revenue, he said. Sears Canada's third quarter revenue declined 6.
Sales in stores open at least a year increased 1. It's a slow motion liquidation. When asked what she hopes will take Sears' place when it closes, Hong answers immediately. Penney, buying the chains time to try to turn around their businesses but delaying the overbuilt industry's day of reckoning. Struggling retailers may have never had it so good. Too good, some would argue.
Investors, desperate for higher returns, are eagerly lending to risky borrowers like RadioShack Corp. A building boom in the years before the credit crisis has left the U.
While chains like Gap Inc. RadioShack, Sears and J. While discount retailers such as Dollar General Corp. Penney, and Sears have been losing ground. The math is simple, but the financial trade-offs can be difficult. The median household income in the U. To make ends meet, more middle-class Americans are bargain- hunting for essentials in the aisles of Dollar General, instead of shopping for flat-screen TVs at Sears. Meanwhile, incomes grew by That helps explain why luxury retailer Nordstrom Inc.
Retailers can borrow money by pledging collateral such as inventories and buildings. The loans can be expensive, however, and that puts pressure on businesses by increasing their interest burdens. Access to funding has kept default rates low across the corporate landscape. Penney has been working to right itself after a disastrous year under former Apple Inc.
In April Penney replaced Mr. The boost in liquidity has allowedPenney to offset higher surcharges imposed by some suppliers and buy time for Mr. Penney declined to comment, but its efforts appear to be bearing some fruit.
Penney manages to turn itself around, investors may have one man: Sears Holdings chief Eddie Lampert. The good news, such as it is, from Penney lately is that it has finally stanched the declines that have plagued it. But it isn't yet clear how many of the customers lost during Apple executive Ron Johnson's failed makeover the company will regain. And the existential problem that paved the way for Mr.
Penney belongs to a retailing category--department stores--in steady decline, losing share to general merchandisers such as Wal-Mart Stores and Target. Thursday's November retail-sales report from the Commerce Department showed department-store sales now account for just 6.
That compares with Penney chief Myron Ullman has taken steps to boost sales, such as bringing back in-house brands and reinstating coupons.
The company has also heavily marked down upscale inventory acquired for Mr. Johnson's plan to clear it out quickly and make its mix of goods more in line with what its customers want.
To the extent many of the customers Penney lost may have been opting for Sears, getting them back may not be as hard as it might otherwise have been. Indeed, a bright spot for Sears recently had been apparel sales--a sign it had been taking share from Penney. But when it reported results last month, apparel sales at its domestic Sears stores fell.
Penney may not mind a smaller pie if it gets a bigger slice. The Sears website just sent a message to Mr. Holloway will have successfully kept Sears from losing another holiday shopper to Amazon. But Sears and its sister retail chain Kmart blanket the country with about 2, stores.
Sears just needed a delivery. The success of the holiday shopping season--the difference between winners and losers--usually hinges on factors like the economy, fashion, color, price, or a blockbuster new items like tablet computers or videogame consoles.
Increasingly, though, another factor is coming into play: Package delivery is becoming a competitive weapon in the holiday retail season. Retailers ranging from Macy's Inc. They are shuttling merchandise on demand from store to store, warehouse to store, store to customer--often both quickly and free. They have engineered new strategies for jockeying inventory across the country to avoid overstocks and markdowns and to keep customers from defecting to Amazon, a big problem last year.
The strategy is also important this holiday season as clothing retailers are threatened with heavy inventories. UPS says it is working with about 40 retailers on implementing these strategies--about double the number a year ago. Both forecast record holiday-season deliveries: UPS with 34 million packages on Dec.
In the case of Sears, UPS provided software that shows shipment statuses of all orders across the entire system. It also sends tracking numbers. When a customer in Brooklyn ordered a girl's size-7 pink-and-purple coat--which was out of stock up north--software searched Sears's inventory and directed the order to Atlanta.
These methods allow retailers to "pull and display the inventory from both your brick-and-mortar stores and your online inventory, so you're going to run into that problem less and less. Half of online shoppers would consider purchasing from a new online retailer if it offered the lowest-cost or free shipping, and customers often abandon sites without free shipping, according to Forrester Research Inc. Sears piloted its ship-from-store program in early , before rolling it out to 27 Kmart and Sears stores that August.
Analysts say the real problem for Sears is its stores, many of which are run down and dilapidated after the chain spent about half of what competitors J.
Sears declined to comment on online sales. The company has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in improving stores and technology, a spokesman said.
FedEx is now joining with Saks on an experiment in same-day delivery in Florida. Some logistics experts doubt the ship-from-store strategy is feasible long term because inventory is often scanned incorrectly by cashiers, meaning it is too difficult to know what's actually available in specific stores.
Even retailers say shipping is an added expense that must make economic sense. This requires being strategic to "turn inventory faster--and do it while maintaining margins. Back at the Sears in Atlanta, UPS driver Paul Godfrey backs his truck into the loading dock and picks up three pallets of packages, including the chain saw and coat. He drives them to a nearby logistics center, which sorts a quarter of approximately , packages processed daily by UPS in Atlanta.
Workers unload the chain saw, sending it through a maze of conveyor belts before adding it onto the next truck heading to Alabama. The Lands' End spinoff, announced Dec. Yet the move may not raise capital that Lampert, the company's largest shareholder, can plow into the business, which is burning cash amid dwindling traffic to rundown stores. The moves reduced his stake in the department-store chain to 48 percent from 55 percent.
Additional redemptions by ESL Partners holders could reduce his Sears stake further, loosening his grip on a company he's controlled for nine years. He's going to have to start producing sales in the stores. A mercurial and remote leader who has presided over a revolving cast of executives, Lampert has confounded retail analysts by introducing and abandoning one strategy after another.
His latest idea is to turn Sears into a membership chain centered around its rewards-card program. How this is supposed to return Sears to growth remains unclear. The shares fell 1. They had gained 16 percent through Dec. Sears Holdings, which includes the Kmart chain, has posted six years of declining revenue in large part because Lampert has underinvested in the stores. There is less and less money to update them -- even if Lampert were inclined to.
Sears's operations have consumed cash for six of the past seven quarters. To shore up the balance sheet, Lampert has been selling off assets. He also spun off a portion of Sears's stake in Sears Canada as well as an investment in the Orchard Supply hardware stores.
However, because there are no competitors with national scale, finding a strategic buyer may be difficult, McGinley said. He sold 11 locations to General Growth Properties Inc. Sears said it is continuing to evaluate its U. By the beginning of this year, ESL had received notice from these investors that they wanted to redeem all of their money, the person said. ESL had the right to meet the redemptions over a one-year period rather than pay out at once.
Lampert's firm began returning the money last year and continued to do so this year, using both cash and securities such as stock in AutoNation Inc. As the CEO of the company, I'm sure his primary focus is on making sure that this thing is a viable concern so that his limited partners in his position don't get wiped out. Is Lampert's vast empire starting to crack? Eddie Lampert isn't exactly the toast of Wall Street anymore.
Investors are starting to lose faith in the chief executive of Sears SHLD and prominent hedge fund manager. They're fleeing his fund in droves, and as a result he's lost his majority stake in the struggling retailer. For a while, Lampert was one of the best in the business. But then the recession hit, and the fund suffered a 33 percent loss in , rebounded with gains of 55 percent and 16 percent in and , and sagged back to a 12 percent loss in Although such volatile returns have been common on Wall Street in an economic recovery characterized by fits and spurts, those losses were enough to make some of Lampert's investors want to bail.
But instead of giving those investors cash back, Lampert is paying them partly with Sears stock. He's returned some 7. As a result, ESL now only owns So were investors happy to get paid in Sears stock? The answer can be seen in the company's plummeting share price last week. And lurking behind that 25 percent drop is a harsh reality: Many of the investors who get paid in Sears shares will turn around and sell. And why shouldn't they?
Sears is set to mark three straight years of losses. The retail environment is "a vicious minefield," TheStreet's Jim Cramer wrote last week. Perhaps the best thing to do is to just stay away from the darned thing until we get some clarity. But for now, Lampert's empire looks like it's just starting to crack. November sales at stores open for longer than a year appear to be down by a percentage in the mid-to-high single digits, an analyst at Cleveland Research told Bloomberg, while Sears continues to lose market share in the important home-appliance market.
Can Lampert turn things around? Nothing spooks investors like a mass exit, and it will take an extraordinary amount of work on his part to calm the waters. The combination of Sears and Lands' End wasn't quite a fashion nightmare but it isn't a good fit either. That's more apparent now as Sears Holdings Corp. For the first time since the acquisition, the public got a look at Lands' End financial performance, and the picture is not as pretty as one of the retailer's catalogs.
In particular, Lands' End departments within Sears stores are unprofitable. Mary Ross Gilbert, a financial analyst who follows Sears, said the results were weaker than she expected. Sears stockholders who will receive shares in Lands' End should take comfort that the retailer known for classically styled clothing still has a lot of loyal customers and a nationally known brand associated with high quality and good customer service.
Edward Lampert, Sears Holdings' chairman and chief executive officer, is expected to own nearly 50 percent of Lands' End's stock following the separation.
He owns a similar stake in Hoffman Estates-based Sears Holdings. Lampert created his retailing empire by merging Kmart with Sears, Roebuck and Co. But the combination has not worked, as Sears and Kmart have each lost customers because of outdated stores and intense competition. Lampert has been selling stores and spinning off assets, such as Orchard Supply hardware stores and Sears Hometown and Outlets stores.
Sears Holdings took the first steps to spin off Lands' End to shareholders by filing a registration statement Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In the filing, Lands' End said Lampert and his hedge fund, ESL Investments, "are expected to exert substantial influence" over the company, and their interests may "diverge" from the interests of other stockholders. Lands' End also pointed out that a portion of its sales are tied to the success of Sears stores, a significant risk considering Sears' deteriorating performance.
Sears' strategy was to create a "store within a store" business model. In , it opened its first "Lands' End Shop" at Sears. As of August, there were Lands' End Shops. Sears has about stores in the United States. But the retail partnership with Sears is losing money. The poor performance continued in the first half of Revenue at Lands' End bricks-and-mortar business fell 12 percent. What's more disappointing to analysts is that Lands' End online and catalog sales also are declining.
In the first half of this year, direct sales fell 1 percent from the same period a year ago. In , direct sales fell 9 percent. However, Lands' End is one of Sears Holdings' best-performing assets, according to analysts.
Without Lands' End going forward, Sears Holdings' prospects look even bleaker. Sears Holdings said it expects the Lands' End spinoff to be a tax-free distribution to shareholders. The securities filing did not mention how much debt an independent Lands' End will carry and whether it will pay a dividend to Sears Holdings.
Lands' End's headquarters will be in Dodgeville, Wis. Chief Executive Edgar Huber is expected to remain in charge after the spinoff. The storied investing empire of Edward S. David Geffen, the entertainment mogul, got out in Members of the Ziff family cashed out more recently, between and earlier this year. And more investors are heading for the exits, discouraged by the declining fortunes of Mr.
Lampert's signature stake in Sears Holdings. Near its peak in , Mr. On Tuesday, ESL Investments announced that for the second consecutive year, it had reduced the size of its stake in Sears Holdings to meet investor redemptions, dropping below 50 percent for the first time since The distribution cut his fund's stake to 48 percent from 55 percent. The remaining Sears stake of The move is the latest sign of investor disenchantment with Mr.
Lampert, who was once hailed as a canny value investor in the same league as Warren E. His partnership has included big-name investors like Mr. Geffen, the Ziffs and members of the Tisch family, which owns 21 percent of the Loews Corporation.
Tisch, who manages certain Tisch family assets, is a Sears director. A spokesman for Mr. Lampert declined to comment on the investor exits. Lampert, 51, is a onetime protégé of financial luminaries like Robert E. Rubin, who once led a takeover stock trading desk at Goldman Sachs, where Mr. Lampert briefly worked, and the Texas investor Richard Rainwater, who helped Mr. Lampert start his own fund in , the year he turned He gained majority control of Kmart as it emerged from bankruptcy in after investing in its debt at distress prices.
With that and a minority stake in Sears, he merged the two companies in At the peak in , Mr. Lampert has said, his original investment in Sears had increased fold. But the price fell about 75 percent in the marketwide downturn of , and after a strong two-year rebound, it has fallen back over the last three years amid heavy losses.
The shares have fallen 21 percent this week. In a report this year, she said the retail operations had underperformed because of "the lack of a cohesive strategy, management talent and capital support. Lampert took the job himself in February. Lampert said he remained intent on transforming Sears "into a membership-focused company and on creating long-term value for shareholders.
My significant personal ownership in the company is a sign of my confidence and alignment with all shareholders. Although he has traded in and out of a few dozen stocks since , Mr. Lampert has held onto a handful of core holdings like Sears and the car retailer AutoNation, according to a tally by Dealogic. Some investors say Mr. Lampert has failed to deliver with Sears.
Lampert's "buy-and-hold approach would build value," similar to that created by Mr. Instead, she said, "you have not seen the fulfillment of what people expected.
You've not seen the value built from their skeletons. They expected this new humongous company to be built out of what I would call yesterday's stores. I'm out of here. Investors who wanted to keep their money in at that point had to agree to another five-year lockup.
The marquee investors who have withdrawn were reluctant to discuss their rationale. Ziff Brothers Investments, a family office of three sons of the publishing billionaire William Ziff Jr. A spokesman for Ziff declined to comment. Lampert in than he had "from all the businesses I've created and sold.
Lampert "is a friend of mine. The companies originally Lheralded the merger as a strategic fit that would help the mail-order retailer grow faster and drive traffic to the venerable department store. But the ambitious goals bogged down in Sears's deteriorating stores. After a string of record profits that ended in , Lands' End's results have deteriorated.
Sears took steps Friday to separate its Lands' End unit by filing a registration statement with the Securitie. If Sears "sells or disposes of its retail stores or if its retail business does not attract customers," this could hurt Lands' End's business, the filing warned. Lands' End will initially depend on Sears for a host of logistical and operational services, according to the filing.
Nearly half its shares will be controlled by billionaire hedge fund manager Edward Lampert, who controls a similar stake in Sears and serves as its chairman and chief executive. According to the filing, Mr. Lampert will be able to exert "substantial influence" over Lands' End after the spinoff, and his hedge fund's interests "may from time to time diverge from the interests of our other stockholders.
Lampert has pushed the company to become more technologically savvy, but underinvestment in its stores has hurt traffic and led to a steady decline in sales. The company has closed more than stores since and has been selling or spinning off assets. The company disclosed in October that it was considering strategic alternatives for its line of auto centers. Sears also said at the time that it might spin off Lands' End.
The company had shopped Lands' End to private-equity firms as recently as last year, but no deal was reached, according to people familiar with the situation. The acquisition that brought the companies together surprised the retail industry and didn't resonate with consumers. Lands' End's customers tended to be wealthier than Sears shoppers but had plainer tastes. Sears shoppers didn't warm to the brand's offerings, and Lands' End's reputation for quality and customer service suffered under its new owners, former executives said.
Still, the unit was a big contributor to Sears's results. Balter, the Credit Suisse analyst, said he expected Sears's operational performance to deteriorate further without Lands' End, which he said was likely the most profitable piece of the company.
Reuters - Eddie Lampert-controlled Sears Holdings Corp said it would spin off its Lands' End clothing business, adding to the assets the company is shedding as it struggles with mounting operating losses and declining sales.
The company, operator of Sears department stores and the Kmart discount chain, has been selling or spinning off assets and closing stores for the past few years to try to turn around its business.
The billionaire hedge fund manager, who took over as chief executive in February, has been criticized for not investing enough in the business, which has earned a reputation for dowdy merchandise and poor service compared to Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Target Corp.
Sears shares were slightly down on Friday afternoon after rising as much as 4 percent in early trading. The spinoff announcement essentially points to a number of negatives, including an inability to find a buyer, as previously Lands' End was listed as an asset that the company would monetize," Credit Suisse analyst Gary Balter wrote in a note to clients.
Lampert later told investors that while he was not actively looking for a buyer, there was always a possibility the business could be "separated. The company said then that any separation, if pursued, would not be structured as a sale but rather through a transaction that would allow shareholders to benefit from the significant potential for value creation. The spinoff will not raise cash for Sears but will allow Lampert to more efficiently chart a course for the two businesses, which compete for management time and capital within the Sears group.
This spinoff is another wooden block being pulled out in our Jenga scenario, with Lands' End likely the most profitable piece that was left in the company," Balter said, referring to a game in which players pull blocks from a stack until the stack collapses. Bean Inc as well as department stores such as J. Founded in Chicago 50 years ago as a catalog business, Lands' End has lost some of its cachet since the brand started to be sold at Sears stores. About 16 percent of the brand's sales came from Lands' End shops located in Sears stores in Lands' End said the spinoff would give both it and Sears simplified focus and operational flexibility.
Belus Capital's Sozzi said Sears' troubles would not end with the spinoff of Lands' End, which he described as "a brand going down the drain. They're getting all the traffic. Sears and Kmart have not done enough to stay competitive," he said. The spinoff will be through a pro rata distribution of Lands' End shares to Sears shareholders, Sears said in a regulatory filing on Friday.
Lampert's hedge fund, ESL Investments, owns about ESL said this week it had cut its stake in Sears from