David Mandl on 18 Dec 2000 14:08:03 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Wall St. analysts kill eToys' sales

According to an article in today's Wall Street Journal about eToys
(who just disclosed a massive profit shortfall, and whose future is
now in serious jeopardy):

"[Founder and Chief Executive Officer Toby] Lenk blamed the lack of
sales on a combination of the negative climate for e-commerce on Wall
Street and in the media, a harsh general retail environment, and the
distractions of the presidential election...."

Wait a minute...the company's sales have plummeted because of "the
negative climate for e-commerce on Wall Street"?  Are they just
looking for scapegoats, or have customers actually stopped buying toys
from a store (albeit an online one) BECAUSE OF WALL ST. ANALYSTS'

I wouldn't be surprised if it was the latter.  One particularly silly
side-effect of the '90s bull market was that people looked at every
retail company they had any business dealings with as a potential
investment--especially online companies.  I remember when I first
heard about Cybermeals (are they still in business?), the Manhattan
company that allowed you to order meals over the web, then picked the
food up from the various fast-food joints around town and delivered it
to you: When I went to their web site to find out more (like, which
places can I order food from?), I saw about four restaurants listed
and pages and pages of boasts about which schools the founders had
gone to and how they'd put their brilliant business plan into
operation.  Shit, I don't care about that, I just want to order some

People (I mean normal "consumers," not stock market wheeler-dealers)
were insane enough to give business to a company just because their
stock was hot.  Now the flip side: "I'm not going to buy toys for my
kids from THEM--they're the joke of Wall St.!"  Oh brother.


Dave Mandl

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