After Borders’ demise is Barnes and Noble stock a buy? (BKS)

Is the demise of a major competitor is enough to keep Barnes and Noble (NYSE:BKS) afloat in an industry with declining sales? Here are some key facts to consider when thinking about buying Barnes and Noble shares.

With the bankruptcy of Borders Group, Inc. (NYSE:BGP), Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS) stands alone as the clear market leader in the brick-and-mortar bookstore business. That’s not without good reason. Barnes and Noble has simply proven nimbler in a rapidly-changing market.

When, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) released its Kindle e-reader in 2007, the device was a phenomenal success selling out in five and a half hours. Barnes and Noble began work on their answer immediately: an e-reader called the Nook that runs on Google’s Android operating system. The Nook hit shelves almost two years to the day after the release of the Kindle.

Still, it’s not clear that the Nook and the demise of a major competitor is enough to keep Barnes and Noble afloat in an industry with declining sales. Here are some key facts to consider when thinking about buying Barnes and Noble shares:

Market share: The Nook currently controls 22 percent of the e-reader market, according to Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS). That’s a distant second to the Kindle’s 67 percent market share.

No more dividend: Shares in Barnes and Noble tumbled more than 14 percent yesterday on news that the company is suspending its annual $1 dividend. BKS will also suspend forecasting profits as it negotiates the fallout from Borders’ bankruptcy. The good news? Withholding that dividend will give the company an extra $60 million to use for investments or changes in strategy.

Sales: Barnes and Noble has underperformed analyst expectations for the past four quarters. Investments in the company’s digital platform led to a loss of $14.5 million in the nine months through January, according to Bloomberg.

For sale sign in the parking lot: Barnes & Noble put itself up for sale in August. When the news leaked, shares shot up some 25 percent, but a suitor was never found. “We assign a 30 percent probability to a transaction, recognizing potential challenges in financing a transaction and the potential lack of other bidders,” Goldman Sachs analyst Matthew Fassler told MarketWatch at the time. “We don’t see compelling value in the business.”

Don’t mess with my Nook: At the moment, digital book sales don’t add much to Barnes and Nobles’ bottom line. The company predicts it’ll generate $400 million in revenue this fiscal year from the Nook, and that will amount to 5.6 percent of the company’s $7.1 billion in annual sales expected by analysts, Bloomberg reports. Still, the growth in e-book sales has been phenomenal, shooting up more than 100 percent from $169.5 million to $441.3 million last year. The Nook also has an advantages over the Kindle with its color display and the ability to market its products in the store’s more than 700 locations and college campus bookstores.

The future: It’s clear that Barnes and Nobles’ future remains tied to the company’s success in the digital space. If the Nook can steal more market share from Amazon’s Kindle, it might be enough to keep the chain afloat. Whether Barnes and Noble can do that while still maintaining healthy relationships with publishers, writers and distribution platforms like Apple’s iTunes remains to be seen, though. Not to mention, the company will soon be competing with a leaner and meaner Borders Books. Predicting the outcome is a bit like trying to guess which character dies in a Harry Potter novel, but I do know that the road ahead is going to be bumpy and steep.



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Will Gilt Groupe IPO in 2011?

An IPO might help Gilt Groupe position itself as an industry leader in the U.S., but if they do plan to go public, they’d better do it quickly.

With deal-of-the-day sites like Groupon and LivingSocial generating reams of press coverage every day, the flash sale fashion industry is piquing the interest of private equity investors and major retailers around the world. Nordstrom bought out HauteLook for $270 million last week in a deal that was worth about 2 times the company’s revenue, according to Business Insider. Now, Gilt Groupe’s raising $80-$100 million from private investors in a deal that values the company around $1 billion.

Is Gilt Groupe readying for an IPO? Possibly. “The suddenly-rejuvenated IPO market … offers another potential attractive exit for Gilt Groupe’s investors,” writes Henry Blodget at Business Insider.

Gilt Groupe operates in an interesting niche somewhere between Groupon and discount clothing outlets like T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s. The company buys overstock clothing from retailers, then offers 36-hour flash sales to the site’s email subscribers. Most sales start at noon EST and offer a wide range of luxury products – from home furnishing to clothing and vacation packages.

Gilt Groupe’s not profitable yet, but the company’s revenues are growing quickly. After booking sales of $270 million last fiscal year, the company expects revenues to nearly double to $500 million this fiscal year, Business Insider reports.

Still, the competition is fierce. Sites like Groupon might have just enough cross-over appeal to eat into Gilt Groupe’s subscriber list. We can only look at so many email sales a day, after all. And at least five copycat sites that more closely duplicate Gilt Groupe’s model have cropped up in recent years.

An IPO might help Gilt Groupe position itself as an industry leader in the U.S., but if they do plan to go public, they’d better do it quickly. Otherwise, someone else likely will, and the public appetite for trendy new Web sites could start to wane after what’s promising to be a particularly active year for tech IPOs.



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Full list of Borders stores to close in bankruptcy

Bookstores are more than corporate entities. You don’t form the same emotional bond with the grocery store. At bookstores, you meet the sorts of people who populate the books you love to read.

It was with a heavy heart that I learned my local Borders Group, Inc. (NYSE:BGP) store was closing in the wake of the company’s imminent bankruptcy. The internet has claimed another victim, and I have little to do but blog about it.

I’ve lived in four states, and I realized I’ve got an emotional connection with Borders in each of those states. My first job out of college was at a Borders Books in Dayton, Ohio. I can picture dozens of regulars (their clothes, their reading preferences, their mannerisms) who would sit for hours in the cafe reading books and magazines. I smoked cigarettes with fellow employees (dyed hair, bugged out eyes, tattoos) while we argued over authors.

In Chapel Hill, N.C., I drank gallons of coffee while playing chess at a Borders. In West Palm Beach, I had a crush on a barista who was going to school at a local community college to study sociology. At a Borders in Santa Rosa, Calif., I first read Nietzche. Bookstores are more than corporate entities. You don’t form the same emotional bond with the grocery store. At bookstores, you meet the sorts of people who populate the books you love to read.

Here’s a full list of the Borders stores that are expected to close by April, 2011. Share your stories about your local Borders in the comments section below. I’d love to hear them… All we’ll have left, after all, are the memories.

Borders closings in Alaska

  • Anchorage, AK Kmart Shopping Center #7569 1100 E Dimond Blvd

Borders closings in Arkansas

  • Rogers, AR Pinnacle Hills Promenade 2203 South 45th St, Ste 12100

Borders closings in Arizona

  • Avondale, AZ Gateway Pavilions 10100 W. McDowell Road
  • Chandler, AZ Chandler Pavilions 870 N. 54th Street
  • Mesa, AZ Mesa Fiesta Shopping Center 1361 S Alma School Road
  • Phoenix, AZ Biltmore Fashion Park 2402 E Camelback Road, Suite 200
  • Phoenix, AZ Paradise Village Shopping Center 4555 East Cactus Rd
  • Scottsdale, AZ Scottsdale/101 7000 E. Mayo Blvd. Suite 1050
  • Scottsdale, AZ Scottsdale Waterfront 7135 East Camelback Rd, Space 140
  • Tucson, AZ Tucson Fiesta 4235 N Oracle Rd.

Borders closings in California

  • Alameda, CA Alameda Towne Centre 2245 South Shore Center
  • Cerritos, CA Cerritos Towne Center 12741 Towne Center Drive
  • Chino, CA Chino Spectrum Town Center 3833 Grand Avenue
  • El Cajon, CA Parkway Plaza East 159 Fletcher Parkway
  • Fremont, CA The Fremont Hub 39210 Fremont Hub, Suite 211
  • Glendale, CA Glendale Marketplace 100 S Brand Blvd
  • La Habra, CA Lahabra Westridge Plaza 1310 S. Beach Blvd.
  • Long Beach, CA Los Altos Market Center 2110 Bellflower Blvd
  • Long Beach, CA The Pike At Rainbow Harbor 101 South Pine Avenue
  • Los Angeles, CA Westfield Century City 10250 Santa Monica Blvd.
  • Los Angeles, CA Howard Hughes Center 6081 Center Dr, Suite 118
  • Los Gatos, CA Old Town Center 50 University Avenue, Ste 280
  • Mira Loma, CA Eastvale Gateway 12423 Limonite Ave.
  • Modesto, CA Vintage Commons 3900 Sisk Rd
  • Montclair, CA Perimeter Plaza 5055 S Plaza Lane
  • Orange, CA The Block At Orange 20 City Boulevard, W.
  • Oxnard, CA Esplanade Shopping Center 241 W. Esplanade Drive
  • Pasadena, CA South Lake Avenue 475 S. Lake Avenue
  • Pico Rivera, CA Pico Rivera Town Center 8852 Washington Blvd.
  • Pleasanton, CA Metro 580 Shopping Center 4575 Rosewood Drive
  • Rolling Hills Estates, CA The Promenade on the Peninsula 550 Deep Valley Drive, Suite 261
  • San Diego, CA Gaslamp District 668 6th Avenue
  • San Francisco, CA San Francisco Centre 845 Market St.
  • San Francisco, CA Union Square 400 Post Street
  • San Jose, CA Santana Row 356 Santana Row, Suite 1030
  • San Jose, CA Westfield Shoppingtown Oakridge 925 Blossom Hill Road, Suite 1741
  • San Mateo, CA El Camino Real 2925 El Camino Real
  • San Ramon, CA The Shops At Bishop Ranch 120 Sunset Dr
  • Santa Cruz, CA 1200 Pacific Ave 1200 Pacific Ave, Suite 100
  • Sherman Oaks, CA Ventura Boulevard 14651 Ventura Blvd.
  • Stockton, CA Park West Place 10776 Trinity Parkway
  • Tustin, CA The District at Tustin Legacy 2493 Park Ave
  • Union City, CA Union Landing 32111 Union Landing Blvd
  • Valencia, CA Valencia Town Center 24445 Town Center Dr.
  • Yorba Linda, CA Yorba Linda, CA 22401 Old Canal Rd

Borders closings in Colorado

  • Aurora, CO Arapahoe Crossings 6606 South Parker Road
  • Boulder, CO Twenty Ninth Street Mall 1750 Twenty Ninth Street, Suite 1052
  • Dillon, CO Dillon Ridge Marketplace 264 Dillion Ridge Way
  • Grand Junction, CO Grand Mesa Center 2464 U.S. Highway 6 & 50 , Suite 132
  • Greeley, CO The Elk Lakes 2863 35th Ave
  • Littleton, CO Southwest Plaza 8501 West Bowles Ave

Borders closings in Connecticut

  • Danbury, CT 110 Federal Road
  • Manchester, CT The Crossroads At Buckland Hills 59 Pavilions Drive
  • Milford, CT Westfield Shoppingtown Connecticut Post 1201 Boston Post Rd.
  • Simsbury, CT Farmington Valley Mall 500 Bushy Hill Road
  • Southbury, CT Southbury Plaza 100 Main Street North, Spc 17
  • Wilton, CT Gateway Plaza 14 Danbury Road (Gateway Center)

Borders closings in District of Columbia

  • Washington, DC 1801 K Street NW
  • Washington, DC Friendship Centre Shopping Center 5333 Wisconsin Avenue,NW

Borders closings in Florida

  • Altamonte Springs, FL Altamonte Crossing 880 W. State Road 436
  • Brandon, FL Brandon Crossroads 2020 Town Center Blvd.
  • Clearwater, FL Clearwater Mall 2683 Gulf to Bay Blvd.
  • Fort Myers, FL Gulf Coast Town Center 10037 Gulf Center Drive
  • Ft Lauderdale, FL Sunrise Center 2240 E Sunrise Blvd
  • Gainesville, FL Oak Square 6837 Newberry Road
  • Jacksonville, FL Timberlin Village 8801 Southside Blvd., Ste. 10
  • Jensen Beach, FL Treasure Coast Square Mall 3066 NW Federal Hwy
  • Naples, FL Granada Shoppes 10600 Tamiami Trail North, Suite 600
  • Ocoee, FL West Oaks Mall 9441 W. Colonial Drive
  • Orlando, FL Sand Lake 1051 W. Sand Lake Road
  • Oviedo, FL Oviedo Crossing 8285 Red Bug Lake Road
  • Plantation, FL Sunrise Boulevard 12171 W. Sunrise Blvd.
  • Sarasota, FL Paradise Plaza 3800 S. Tamiami Trail
  • Tampa, FL 909 Dale Mabry
  • Tampa, FL 12500 N Dale Mabry

Borders closings in Georgia

  • Atlanta, GA Parkway Pointe Center 3101 Cobb Parkway
  • Austell, GA East West Commons Shopping Center 1605 East-West Connector Road
  • Buford, GA The Market Place At Mill Creek 1705 Mall of Georgia Blvd – Suite 200
  • Kennesaw, GA Ernest W. Barrett Parkway 605 Ernest W Barrett Parkway, Bldg 400
  • Suwanee, GA Johns Creek Towne Center 3630 Peachtree Parkway, Suite 100

Borders closings in Hawaii

  • Kailua-Kona, HI Crossroads Center 75-1000 Henry Street
  • Lihue, HI Kmart Kukui Center 4303 Nawiliwili

Borders closings in Illinois

  • Bolingbrook, IL Bolingbrook Retail Center 161 N. Webber
  • Chicago, IL 2817 North Clark Street
  • Chicago, IL 2210 W. 95th Street
  • Chicago, IL Lincoln Village 6103 N. Lincoln Avenue
  • Chicago, IL Uptown Chicago 4718 N. Broadway Ave
  • Chicago, IL Lincoln Park Centre 755 W. North Avenue
  • Crystal Lake, IL Crystal Point Shopping Center 6000 Northwestern Highway
  • Deerfield, IL 49 S Waukegan Road
  • DeKalb, IL Northland Plaza 2520 Sycamore Road
  • Evanston, IL 1700 Maple Avenue
  • Matteson, IL Matteson Plaza 4824 West 211th Street
  • McHenry, IL Village of McHenry 2221 Richmond Road
  • Mt Prospect, IL Randhurst Mall 909 North Elmhurst Rd
  • Normal, IL 200 A North Greenbriar Drive
  • Norridge, IL Norridge Commons 7100 W. Forest Preserve Drive
  • St. Charles, IL Main Street Commons 3539 E Main

Borders closings in Indiana

  • Carmel, IN 2381 Pointe Parkway
  • Evansville, IN Evansville Pavilion 6401 E. Lloyds Expressway, Suite 1
  • Indianapolis, IN South Meridian 11 S. Meridian Street, Suite 110
  • Merrillville, IN Westfield Southlake 2074 Southlake Mall
  • Mishawaka, IN Princess City Shopping Center 4230 Grape Road
  • West Lafayette, IN Wabash Landing 348 E. State Street

Borders closings in Kansas

  • Lawrence, KS 700 New Hampshire Street
  • Wichita, KS 1715 Rock Rd & 13th Street

Borders closings in Kentucky

  • Louisville, KY Fourth Street Live 400 S. 4th Street
  • Louisville, KY 2520 S. Hurstborne Gem Lane

Borders closings in Louisiana

  • Metarie, LA Veterans Memorial Boulevard 3131 Veterans Memorial Blvd.
  • New Orleans, LA St. Charles Avenue 3338 St. Charles Ave

Borders closings in Massachusetts

  • Boston, MA The 501 Boylston Street Condominiums 511 Boylston Street
  • Burlington, MA Wayside Commons 6 Wayside Road, Space U
  • Holyoke, MA Holyoke Mall 50 Holyoke St., Space J312
  • Hyannis, MA 990 Iyannough Road
  • Peabody, MA 151 Andover Street
  • Wareham, MA Wareham Crossing 2421 Cranberry Highway, Ste 460

Borders closings in Maryland

  • Bowie, MD Bowie Gateway Center 4420 Mitchellville Rd.
  • Kensington, MD White Flint Mall 11301 Rockville Pike
  • Largo, MD Capital Centre 931 Capital Centre Blvd.

Borders closings in Michigan

  • Ann Arbor, MI Arborland Mall 3527 Washtenaw Ave.
  • Dearborn, MI Fairlane Town Center 5601 Mercury Drive
  • Grosse Point, MI 17141 Kercheval Avenue
  • Utica, MI Utica Park Place 45290 Utica Park Boulevard

Borders closings in Minnesota

  • Maple Grove, MN The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes Phase II 12059 Elm Creek Blvd.
  • Minnetonka, MN Bonaventure Shopping Center 1501 Plymouth Road
  • Richfield, MN Shops at Lyndale 800 W. 78th Street
  • St. Paul, MN Midway Marketplace 1390 W. University Avenue

Borders closings in Missouri

  • Ballwin, MO Central Plaza 15355-A Manchester Road
  • Chesterfield, MO Chesterfield Mall 2040 Chesterfield Mall
  • Kansas City, MO Shops at Boardwalk 8628 North Boardwalk Avenue
  • Springfield, MO Primrose Marketplace 3300 S. Glenstone Avenue
  • St. Peters, MO Mid Rivers Mall 1320 Mid Rivers Mall
  • St. Joseph, MO The Shoppes At North Village 5201 North Belt Highway, Suite 127

Borders closings in Montana

  • Bozeman, MT Gallatin Center 2855 North 19th Avenue, Suite C

Borders closings in North Carolina

  • Apex, NC Beaver Creek Crossings South S/C 1541 Beaver Creek Commons Dr., Ste 220
  • Cary, NC 1751 Walnut Street
  • Chapel Hill, NC 1807 Fordham Blvd.
  • Greensboro, NC Oakwood Plaza 3605 High Point Rd
  • Raleigh, NC Creekside Crossing Shopping Center 404-101 East Six Forks Rd

Borders closings in New Hampshire

  • Nashua, NH Daniel Webster Highway 281 Daniel Webster Hwy.

Borders closings in New Jersey

  • Freehold, NJ Raceway Mall 3710 Route 9, Ste 2318
  • Ft. Lee, NJ Fort Lee Town Centre 1642 Schlosser Street
  • Paramus, NJ Westfield Garden State Plaza Garden State Plaza Suite 2200
  • Watchung, NJ Watchung Square 1515 Route 22 West, Suite 02

Borders closings in New Mexico

  • Albuquerque, NM Cottonwood Corners Phase III 10420 Coors Bypass NW, Suite B
  • Santa Fe, NM 500 Montezuma, Suite 108

Borders closings in Nevada

  • Las Vegas, NV Sahara Pavilion 2323 S Decatur Boulevard

Borders closings in New York

  • Commack, NY King Kullen Plaza 68 Veterans Memorial Highway
  • Ithaca, NY Pyramid Mall 40 Catherwood Road
  • Manhattan, NY Kips Bay Plaza 576 Second Avenue
  • New York, NY Park Avenue 461 Park Ave.
  • New York, NY 100 Broadway 100 Broadway
  • Saratoga Springs, NY Saratoga Springs 395 Broadway
  • Scarsdale, NY Vernon Hills Shopping Center 680 White Plains Road
  • Wappingers Falls, NY Nine Mall Plaza 1820 South Road, Suite 110
  • Westbury, NY Price Club Plaza 1260 Old Country Road

Borders closings in Ohio

  • Cincinnati, OH Northgate Mall 9459 Colerain Avenue
  • Columbus, OH Kenny Road 4545 Kenny Road
  • Columbus, OH Northwest Square 6670 Sawmill Road
  • Dayton, OH Dayton Mall 2700 Miamisburg Centerville Rd, Ste 870
  • Mason, OH Deerfield Towne Center 5105 Deerfield Blvd
  • Medina, OH Medina Grande Shops 4927 Grande Shops Ave.
  • Mentor, OH Creekside Commons 9565 Mentor Avenue

Borders closings in Oklahoma

  • Oklahoma City, OK 3209 Northwest Expressway
  • Tulsa, OK South Yale 8015 S. Yale

Borders closings in Pennsylvania

  • Camp Hill, PA Capital City Commons 3515 Gettysburg Road
  • Erie, PA Millcreek Pavilion 2088A Interchange Rd
  • King of Prussia, PA The Pavilion at King of Prussia 650 Mall Blvd.
  • Langhome, PA Marketplace at Oxford Valley 2343 E. Lincoln Highway
  • Monroeville, PA 200 Mall Blvd
  • Pittsburgh, PA Crossgates Shopping Center 1775 North Highland Road
  • Pittsburgh, PA Eastside Shopping Center 5986 Penn Circles South, Ste 101
  • Reading, PA Woodmill Commons 1075 Woodland Rd
  • Whitehall, PA Whitehall Mall 1937 Whitehall Mall

Borders closings in Puerto Rico

  • Carolina, PR Plaza Escorial 5891 Plaza Escorial
  • Mayaguez, PR Mayaguez Mall Shopping Center Avenida Hostos 975, Suite 765

Borders closings in Tennessee

  • Franklin, TN Thoroughbred Village at Cool Springs 545 Cool Springs Blvd, Suite 190

Borders closings in Texas

  • Austin, TX The Domain 3309 Esperanza Crossing
  • Austin, TX Southpark Meadows Shopping Center Southpark Meadows, Suite F
  • Austin, TX Westgate Marketplace 4477 S. Lamar
  • Burleson, TX Gateway Station 1131 N. Burleson Blvd.
  • Colleyville, TX Colleyville Town Center 5615 Colleyville Blvd, Ste 100
  • Dallas, TX Preston Oaks Shopping Center 10720 Preston Road, Suite 1018
  • Dallas, TX 3600 McKinney Avenue
  • Lewisville, TX Vista Ridge Center 2403 S Stemmons, Suite 100
  • Mesquite, TX Town Centre Plaza 2709 N.Mesquite Drive
  • Plano, TX Preston Shepard Place 1601 Preston Road, Suite J

Borders closings in Utah

  • Logan, UT Cache Valley Plaza 1050 North Main Street
  • Murray, UT West Winchester 132 E. Winchester

Borders closings in Virginia

  • Glen Allen, VA 9750 W Broad St
  • Newport News, VA Patrick Henry Mall 12300 Jefferson Ave, Suite 100
  • Stafford, VA Stafford Market Place Shopping Center 1240 Stafford Market Place
  • Vienna, VA Tyson’s Corner 8027 Leesburg Pike, Ste 100
  • Winchester, VA Winchester Station 2420 S. Pleasant Valley Road

Borders closings in Washington

  • Gig Harbor, WA Uptown Gig Harbor 4601 Point Fosdick Dr. NW
  • Lynnwood, WA Alderwood Mall 3000 184th St. SW, Suite 910

Borders closings in Wisconsin

  • Fox Point, WI Riverpoint Village Shopping Center 8705 N. Port Washington
  • Greendale, WI Southridge Mall 5250 S. 76th Street
  • Madison, WI Village of Shorewood Hills 3750 University Ave
  • Milwaukee, WI ASQ Center 101 West Wisconsin Avenue



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NFC: The next trillion dollar industry (AAPL)

The stakes are enormous for NFC companies as they start chipping away at the 2 percent+ cut credit card companies have been siphoning off purchases for decades.

Just when you started to think that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) couldn’t possibly come up with another multi-billion dollar money-making venture, rumors have started trickling in that the iPhone 5 and iPad 2 will contain near field communication systems.

This “wave and pay” technology, dubbed NFC for near field communication, will allow you to swipe your phone like a credit card at Macy’s or the local gas station. And it will all rely on a small chip that can exchange data with a checkout terminal when the terminal’s within four inches of your phone. If Apple adopts the technology, it should have an inherent advantage over competitors thanks to the fact that most iPhone and iPad users have already linked their devices with a credit card or bank account via iTunes.

The biggest hurdle to adoption? Ensuring that retailers support NFC. According to Reuters, Apple is considering deeply subsidizing the terminals, or giving them away for free to encourage nationwide adoption of the technology.

With Americans charging more than $1.8 trillion a year on credit cards, the move could be yet another game-changer for Apple and the credit card industry in general. Indeed, an army of startups have been working on ways to make purchases easier and more rewarding for smartphone-wielding customers.

I wrote recently about the Bay-area startup Bling Nation, which has partnered with PayPal to test a RFID sticker that users could affix to their phones and use to make charges. Other companies are experimenting with key fobs, loyalty cards and NFC-enabled SIM cards.

The stakes are enormous as businesses start chipping away at the 2 percent+ cut credit card companies have been siphoning off purchases for decades. The progression from plastic to mobile makes perfect sense, though. Mobile phones are centralizing all of our tasks in one device. They’ve replaced watches, calculators, MP3 players, notepads, day planners and phone books. And that leaves just two more things in our pockets that phones will one day eliminate: wallets and keychains. Today the battle is being fought over the wallet, and the spoils in this war couldn’t be any larger.



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Insider gobbling up American Apparel (APP) stock like candy

It’ll take lower unemployment and a hell of a lot more insider buying to save American Apparel. But if there’s one thing the company’s good at doing it’s defying expectations.

After Thursday’s regulatory filing revealed that American Apparel founder Dov Charney bought up $1.5 million+ in his company’s stock (AMEX:APP), shares caught fire on Friday. They were up up 10.3 percent in a day on heavier than usual volume. All told, the controversial Charney purchased 1,129,576 shares of common stock at $1.48 per share, according the L.A. Times.

That news came just a day before investors learned that consumer spending was up 6 percent in November. It could be a prelude to even better news as it’s shaping up to be the best holiday retail shopping season in three years. Still, it’ll take lower unemployment and a hell of a lot more insider buying to save American Apparel. But if there’s one thing the company’s good at doing it’s defying expectations.