GOING DOWN, GOING BUST, GOING OUT


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AIRBnB REPORTS 2020 LOSSES. The room-booking company reported losing $3.89 billion in 2020’s fourth quarter, more than ten times the $352 million it lost in the same period in 2019. Revenue for the quarter was $859 million, down 22 percent compared to the previous year but enough beat analysts’ expectations of $747.6 million.
The value of “experiences” booked through Airbnb during the quarter was $5.9 billion.
The company attributed much of the quarter’s loss to the high costs of its 9 December initial stock offering.
For all of 2020, Airbnb lost $4.6 billion, Forbes reported. The loss was more than expected by analysts’ forecasts compiled by data company FactSet.
The company’s revenue for 2020 totaled $3.4 billion.
Airbnb has “limited visibility” about its 2021 financial outlook because of the uncertainties surrounding the COVID vaccines’ acceptance and delivery and the pace of the economic recovery, the company said in a statement announcing the losses.
BYE-BYE, FRY’S. Fry’s Electronics, the 36-year-old big-box retailer beloved by do-it-yourself tech geeks and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, has closed its 31 stores across nine states and ended operations, according to a statement on its website.
The company’s demise is due to the U.S. economic shutdown that closed its stores and “changes in the retail industry,” the statement said, hinting at competition from Amazon.
12,000 U.S. MUSEUMS COULD CLOSE WITHIN 12 MONTHS. One-third of U.S. museums could close permanently by early next year, taking 124,000 jobs with them, “without immediate financial support,” the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) has warned.
The typical museum had lost about $850,000 in revenue from February through September in 2020 because the pandemic and government orders kept patrons away, according to an October study by Wilkening Consulting.
More than half of U.S. museums have less than six months’ cash cushion on which to survive at current revenue levels, the study noted.
“Thirty percent of museums remain closed since the March lockdown and those that have reopened are operating on an average of 35 percent of their regular attendance—a reduction that is unsustainable long-term,” AAM president Laura Lott said in a November statement publicizing the straits of American museums.
“Museum recovery will take years and without a sustained Congressional lifeline, I fear that many museums will be lost forever,” Lott said in comments during the Museum Advocacy Day event on 22 and 23 February.
More than half of U.S. museums had laid off an average of 30 percent of their staff by November, according to an AAM survey.
Last August, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art cut all staff salaries by 20 percent.
Museums’ plight is no better elsewhere: 95 percent of the world’s museums went dark for weeks, and many for months, during last spring and summer, the International Council of Museums (ICOM) reported. More than 10 percent of museums worldwide had laid off more than half their staff.
In African, Asian, and Arab countries, 24, 27, and 39 percent of museums, respectively, fear closing permanently, according to an ICOM survey.
MACY’S SALES DOWN. Macy’s department store chain lost $4 billion during the first nine months of 2020 but eked out a profit over the holiday season.
Sales will improve during the last half of this year as more people receive their COVID vaccinations and normal activities resume, such as weddings, social events, and time spent at the office, CEO Jeffrey Gennette said in a statement quoted by the Wall Street Journal.
However, much of future sales growth will be online, which will account for $10 billion of the company’s sales annually by 2024, Gennette said, and which made up 44 percent of sales in 2020’s final quarter.
TRENDPOST: The more business from online, the less business in the malls, thus putting more pressure on the real estate sector that had been in decline long before the COVID War was launched last year. 

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