Banner
Editorial

In the black

By Lauren Duensing

January 2014 - In my family, we cook, eat and watch football on Thanksgiving. It’s a day where no one counts calories and we just enjoy the time together—in addition to the potato gratin and cornbread dressing. This camaraderie around the table with good food and good company is one of the main reasons why the annual November feast is my favorite holiday. So, the new trend where Thanksgiving takes a back seat to the Christmas shopping binge always makes me just a little bit sad.

This year, many stores opened the afternoon or evening of Nov. 28 to jump-start Black Friday shopping. The strategy met with some backlash but it seemed to work. Spending on Black Friday totaled $9.7 billion and was down 13.2 percent from last year. However, when the numbers from Thursday were added in, the bottom line went up 2.3 percent.

In addition, some people don’t leave the house, opting instead to shop online. Walmart’s website alone received record traffic of 400 million page views on Thanksgiving Day. Whether online or in person at the store, there are a lot of people who choose to shop rather than kick back on the couch in their sweatpants with another glass of wine after the dishes are washed and the pie eaten. 

A decision to open brick-and-mortar stores on a holiday is one strategy to increase profits, and companies weigh the pros and cons before taking the plunge. Metals companies face a similar conundrum—deciding what’s best for the bottom line, the company and its employees is a difficult task.

In spite of that, it’s likely that many business decisions made in 2013 will show dividends in 2014 because of expected growth. Investment bank InterOcean Advisors recently surveyed executives from major players in the manufacturing sector, including aerospace and defense, automotive, building products, capital equipment, flow control, metals, as well as plastics and packaging companies. The numbers showed roughly 73 percent of manufacturers surveyed believe revenues will improve in the next 12 months, with nearly 30 percent believing entering new markets or producing new products has been the biggest growth driver for their company in the last 12 months. 

Modern Metals also recently conducted its 12th Annual Consuming Industries Survey, and respondents seemed to be thinking along these same lines. Fifty-seven percent of total survey respondents, which included service centers, fabricators and OEMs/end users, expect orders to increase in 2014. That number is up 11 percent from last year’s numbers. Some respondents even commented that they were seeing better business levels and improved market trends. Next year likely will post the sluggish numbers, indicative of a slow climb upward; it’s clear there are too many concerns to say this is the light at the end of the tunnel. But the glass-half-full perspective is that companies are making the best of current conditions and will continue to do so going forward. MM

Interested in purchasing reprints of this article? Click here

Leave your comments

0
  • No comments found

Current Issue

MM-Cover-10-14-current

October 2014

ON THE COVER: 
Gearing up for 2015
Tackling foreign policies, regulations, trade balances and capital plans, here are forecasts for virtually everything.

MM-Digital-button-current1

Subscribe: PRINT/DIGITAL MAGAZINE - eNEWSLETTERS

Midwest-MM-home-ad-5

Advertisement

Modern Metals on Twitter

White Papers

More White Papers >
Banner

Industry Partners

Alloy Bar Products

Custom Rubber Products

Metals Distribution

Service Centers

Sierra Alloys Royal Rubber Co. ThyssenKruppnMaterials NA Heidtman Steel Products

Aluminum

Cutting Software

Perforated & Expanded Metal

North American Steel Alliance
Channel Alloys SigmaTEK Systems McNichols Co. Reliance Steel & Aluminum Company

Bar

Cutting Systems

Plasma Technology

Thickness Gauges

Gerdau Messer Cutting Systems, Inc. ESAB Welding & Cutting Products Compusource Corporation

Bevelers

Drilling

Plate

Enmark Systems, Inc.
Steelmax Hougen Manufacturing, Inc. Allor Manufacturing Inc.

Stainless Steel

CNC Cutting (Plasma, Waterjet, Laser, Router)

Financial Services

Artco Group Stainless Sales Corp.
Multicam Inc. BMO Harris Bank Churchill Steel Plate Ltd Straub Metal International

Coated Coil

GE Capital Finance Ranger Steel

Stainless, Nickel, Aluminum, Pipe, Tube & Bar

American Nickeloid Metals

Investment Banking

Precision Grinding

Prudential Stainless & Alloys, L.P.
Centria Coating Services Brown Gibbons Lang & Company Joco Precision Grinding

Steel

Metal Coaters

Laser Technology

Profiling Software

ArcelorMittal

Coil Processing

AltaMAR, Inc. FastCam Pty Ltd. Central Steel Service, Inc.
Bradbury Group Amada America, Inc.

Rolled and Extruded Aluminum Products

Parker Steel Co.
Braner USA LVD Strippit Aleris Rolled Products SSAB
Burghardt + Schmidt GmbH Mitsubishi Laser-MC Machinery Systems, Inc.

Sawing Technology

Summit Steel Corporation
Butech Bliss

Machining Centers

Behringer Saws, Inc.

Steel Fabrication

Formtek-Maine Handtmann CNC Cosen International, Inc. Voortman Corporation
Herr-Voss Stamco

Material Handling

Cut Technologies Metal

Titanium

IMS Systems, Inc. Canrack Metal Center Systems DoALL Sawing Products TSI Titanium
Leveltek Samuel Strapping Systems HE&M Saw

Tooling

Machine Concepts Steel Storage Systems Inc. Kasto Carlson Tool & Manufacturing Corp.
Red Bud Industries The Caldwell Group, Inc. Metlsaw Systems

Tube & Pipe

Tishken

Metal Alloy Analysis & Verification

Sawblade.com Independence Tube Corp.

Copper & Brass

Thermo Scientific Niton Analyzers Scotchman Industries, Inc. National Tube Supply Company
Christy Metals Inc.

Metal Finishing & Deburring

Wikus Saw Technology Specialty Pipe & Tube
Farmer's Copper Supermax Tools

 

Turnkey Finishing System

 

 

 

Intellifinishing

 

 

 

Waterjet

 

 

 

TECHNI Waterjet

TrendPublishing

twitter facebook linkedin rss

 

FFJ-1114-brandingcovers