Dollar Stores Saving Day for Investment Firm

If you’ve ever taken your kids into the dollar store, and bought one of those dollar generalcandy-filled grab bags – you know that sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don’t.  Well, investment firm KKR has been putting together their own grab bag of investments over the past several years, and while most have turned out to be stale candy corn, their acquisition of Dollar General, has turned out to be the full-sized chocolate bar.

KKR as a whole is bleeding money, with reported 2008 losses of $1.2 billion.  After buying 6 new companies in 2007, five of them were down in value by 20 to 50 percent.  The only one making money was Dollar General, which reported revenues of $10.5 billion in 2008.

While companies like Tiffany’s and Sak’s Fifth Avenue are struggling to survive, Dollar General is planning 450 new stores which will generate over 4000 new jobs.

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The almighty dollar (store)

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Social Networking – Next Big Money Maker

A report from The Financial Post – telling us that social networking is going to be the next big thing for everyone – some interesting numbers, some interesting anecdotes.

Personally – I think we’re going to be flooded with social networking in the next year – but at the end of the day, one or two sites will come out on top – not necessarily myspace or facebook though

just my two cents 🙂

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Making The Green

15_19_1_thumb.jpgI was working with a client, expanding out his business idea, when I realized that with a slight twist, it could be promoted as an environmentally friendly.  He actually told me that he didn’t think that investors would be interested in a Green project – that they wouldn’t think it was profitable. 

I was surprised that anyone still thought that way.  Green is good – Green is beautiful – green in the project means green in the bank – and anyone who doesn’t realize this by now is completely naive.  

57% of Americans are very concerned about the environment and billions are being spent every year finding answers.  Venture capital investments in alternative energy, biofuels and clean technologies, jumped 44.4% in 2006 to $884 million[1]

Citibank has committed $50 billion to environmental projects in the next 10 years, IBM is spending $1 billion on energy efficiency, and Wal-mart has implemented a new Lifestyle section of their store to bring affordable, environmentally conscious goods to the consumer.  

The message from Wal-Mart today to the rest of the business community is there need not be any conflict between the environment and the economy. We will find the way not only to reconcile (those), but to find new profits and new opportunities as we do the right thing.”

-Al Gore

Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in the world, their interest in the environment signifies that eco-friendly is no longer the industry of tomorrow, tomorrow is today and today can be utilized for profit – because no matter what, Wal-Mart is Wal-Mart and they’re always focused on the bottom line.   

Now, mainstream giants in markets spanning consumer products, banking, airlines and chemicals have sweeping programs to shrink their companies’ impact on the environment – and cash in on consumers’ desire to go green”

 – Paul Davidson, USA Today

Solar power, human power, wind power, these are not dreams of the future any longer; they are available now.  I’ve worked on several exciting projects recently and when you work the long term numbers, the revenue potential is in the hundreds of billions of dollars.  

[1] Dow Jones Venture One and Ernst and Young   [1]