The weekly newsletter for everyone interested in barter--the world's most versatile business tool!
June 18, 2002
Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews
Barter Used By Major European Utilities To Expand As Well As Hold Off Competition
When national European regulators force major energy companies (gas, power and water monopolies) to divest of their operations, you'd think the highest bidder would have a chance to enter the market, particularly U.S. companies with their full pocketbooks. But that's not the case, as these companies are choosing other assets instead of cash.
Some of Europe's largest utilities, such as Germany's E.ON, Spain's Endesa and Electricite de France, are already sitting on large piles of cash. So when these power companies are forced to divest they often barter the operations for similar assets in another European country. The result is a series of swaps that leaves the utilities with about the same assets, just in different markets.
Bankers say the inclination to barter will remain strong; asset swapping will last for some time possibly becoming an even greater feature of European utility acquisitions when the French, Belgian, and Spanish markets begin opening ever further.
A Busy September Ahead For The Barter Industry
This fall those in the barter business have several options for increasing their professionalism and making new business contacts. Both of the industry's associations, IRTA and NATE, are scheduling sessions in September:
On St. Pete's Beach, near Tampa, IRTA (International Reciprocal Trade Association) is holding its 23rd Annual Barter Congress, "Charting The Future," September 26 to 29.
At the same time, NATE (National Association of Trade Exchanges) is staging their "Sales Training Program" in Chicago on September 27 and 28.
Plus, Crump Barter
Systems has announced the 1st Annual Crump Barter Conference will be
held September 25-26, two days prior to the IRTA convention and at the
same hotel, The Tradewinds Sirata Beach Resort
Superstores and Productivity Are Linked
Interesting studies around the country's productivity gains shows that the success of national chains, particularly huge retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, and Home Depot have played a significant role. Retailing was one of six industries that accounted for almost all of the nation's productivity jump in the last half of the 1990s. (Nationwide restaurant, video-store, and even home-building companies have had similar impacts.)
The chains benefit from sophisticated inventory and logistics techniques and economies of scale, and have been displacing local proprietors (mom and pop retailers) around the nation.
The decline in small retail outlets has enhanced the productivity numbers in another way. Small owners tend to hide some of their sales to avoid taxes, while big national retailers have an incentive to report all sales to impress investors...and, of course, such reporting boosts measured retail output and productivity.
Small retailers should see the handwriting on the wall...to survive they will have to provide superior service to their clientele. Offering their clients another way to acquire needed merchandise (barter currency) would certainly provide an additional enhancement.
The fact that more retailers aren't members of trade exchanges means one thing--the barter industry is overlooking the need for continuing education in the marketplace. For the public's perceptions of barter see the May 28 and June 4 Tuesday Report.
The owners of a new micro brewery, The Great Providence Brewing Company, financed their dream by marketing their shares directly to local beer drinkers. Undercapitalized, they bartered to get their message out to the marketplace by trading for radio advertising and needed public relations services. The full story, "How A Startup Brewery Used Barter," is found at "What's New" and then click "Trade Exchanges" to find the article.
LOOKING BACK...Tuesday Report, May 30, 2000
Shaquille O'Neal's dominance in the National Basketball Association (NBA) is well-known. In this issue we looked at his bartering talents. He calls it "Homeboy Marketing!" Learn how he uses high-profile barter endorsements to increase his wealth.
Are you a member of a trade exchange? Then you probably already know one of the smartest uses for your trade dollars is hiring independent contractors through your trade exchange, allowing you to spend your time on your most important priorities...servicing your ever-expanding customer base.
Also reported in this issue was the TAHO-BXI synergistic union, which was the cover story of BarterNews #52.
"China's momentum in becoming a manufacturing super power seems unstoppable."
Wage rates in China are now 33% of Mexico's and Hungary's, and 5% of those in the U.S. or Japan.
And China's investments in education and training are attracting research facilities from the major multinational corporations. The critical mass of factories, subcontractors, and specialized vendors has created a manufacturing environment with which few can compete.
Downside: A growing vulnerability of the U.S. economy to global supply lines that originate in China (and Taiwan) which are designed for just-in-time delivery to our critical industries. Secondly, in today's changing world, the question of security around these vast industrial parks needs to be addressed.
Here And There. . .
This Issue's Glossary of Terms:
We welcome your comments, questions, and observations.
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