Gap Says Online Growth Helped to Limit Second-Quarter Sales Drop

Laveta Brigham

(Bloomberg) — Gap Inc. tempered the pace of its sales decline in the second quarter, outpacing analysts’ estimates by picking up e-commerce customers.

Sales for the period, which ended Aug. 1, fell 18% from a year earlier to $3.3 billion, higher than analysts’ projection of $2.9 billion. The company, which owns the Old Navy and Banana Republic brands, increased comparable-store sales 13%, but said this excludes days that stores were closed in the quarter. For that reason, the measure doesn’t line up directly with market estimates.

Online sales nearly doubled from a year earlier, mirroring gigantic gains at other U.S. retailers. Chief Executive Officer Sonia Syngal doesn’t expect to keep that pace with most of its stores now reopened. But she said new capabilities, like adding payment platforms PayPal and Afterpay, will help maintain a business that generated half the company’s sales last quarter.

Booming online sales often mean a

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I’m so glad you can afford to quit your job amid a crisis you helped create

Laveta Brigham

Kellyanne Conway prepares to appear on (Mark Wilson / Getty Images)” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/Ex1theOoj_LQMc.rN8grDg–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTM5Ni45ODIxNDI4NTcxNDI4Mw–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/la_times_articles_853/f42a47397ce7af9f33282acc85aa3bf7″ data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/Ex1theOoj_LQMc.rN8grDg–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTM5Ni45ODIxNDI4NTcxNDI4Mw–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/la_times_articles_853/f42a47397ce7af9f33282acc85aa3bf7″/
Kellyanne Conway prepares to appear on “Meet the Press” from the North Lawn at the White House on Sunday. (Mark Wilson / Getty Images)

Dear Kellyanne Conway:

You don’t know me, but the news of your decision to leave your position as senior advisor to President Trump in order to focus on your children during this relentlessly stressful time resonated with me in a deep and personal way. Now, there may be other reasons — “focus on my family” is the great catch-all departure phrase as you well know — but I’m going to take you at your word. Why would you lie?

The COVID-19 pandemic has brutalized so many, but it’s been particularly hard on working mothers, hasn’t it? With everyone home 24/7, the demands on your time, even when you are clearly working, are endless. And don’t get me started

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Inside the life of Natalie Mariduena, YouTube star David Dobrik’s assistant and childhood best friend who has helped grow his business

Laveta Brigham

Natalie Mariduena. 

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Natalie Mariduena.
  • Natalie Mariduena has over 4 million followers on Instagram and is known online as YouTube star David Dobrik’s childhood best friend and assistant. 

  • When she’s not appearing in Dobrik’s vlogs or TikToks, she is working beside him to help design items of merchandise or plan out content. 

  • Her involvement in the business started a few years ago as an intern, when Dobrik asked her to come out to Los Angeles and help him out.

  • Mariduena spoke with Business Insider about what it’s like to work for Dobrik and explained how his business works.

  • Subscribe to Business Insider’s influencer newsletter: Influencer Dashboard.

Fans of YouTube star David Dobrik know Natalie Mariduena as “David’s assistant Natalie,” and his childhood best friend from Chicago.

Officially, Mariduena is an executive assistant of David Dobrik LLC, and when she’s not appearing in Dobrik’s vlogs

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How a Sou-Sou Helped This Woman Save Money to Start a Business

Laveta Brigham

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in 2016.

Saving has always been a challenge for me. While I continuously applied the pay-yourself-first principle to my finances, I struggled to stick to my budget.

So when I wanted to start a cake-decorating business, I needed another way to cover my startup costs. I preferred not to take out a loan because of interest charges.

A co-worker suggested starting a sou-sou.

What’s that? you’re wondering. Well, read on.

What’s a Sou-Sou?

A sou-sou is a simple savings plan.

The West African tradition, which is also popular in the Caribbean, requires a group of people to contribute a fixed amount of money either weekly, bi-weekly or monthly to a group account, with one member responsible for collecting the cash.

The group holds a random draw to determine the order in which each person will receive their lump sum payment. However, once each

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Government loans helped save millions of jobs, but the money is running out for many

Laveta Brigham

Server Conor Susi, center, takes orders from a dine-in group at Faith & Flower in downtown Los Angeles on June 6. <span class="copyright">(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)</span>
Server Conor Susi, center, takes orders from a dine-in group at Faith & Flower in downtown Los Angeles on June 6. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

The surprising jobs rebound in May, which fueled hopes for a fast recovery from the pandemic recession, was almost certainly due in large part to tens of billions of dollars of forgivable government loans to small businesses.

Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, the initiative — part of the much larger COVID-19 relief package enacted by Congress when the pandemic first began pounding the economy — has to date lent more than $512 billion to struggling small businesses, including about $67 billion in California. The money does not need to be repaid if funds are used to keep workers on the payroll and other conditions are met.

The novel idea to discourage layoffs has no precedent in past economic crises.

And without it,

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The beloved Miami Beach bookstore that once helped make Lincoln Road quirky is leaving

Laveta Brigham

For more than 30 years, Books & Books on Lincoln Road drew readers with great books and lively events, helping to turn a quiet Miami Beach street into a busy tourist thoroughfare.

Now, the store and its cafe are closed for good.

Like all the Books & Books locations in Miami-Dade County, the Lincoln Road store was shut down during the coronavirus quarantine. But owner Mitchell Kaplan, who has been concerned about rising rents on the street for some time, has decided against reopening it.

“We went from being on a really funky, wonderful street to a street that now is very inhospitable to most locally owned independent businesses,” he said. “The rents just got too high, and the street isn’t quirky enough to attract people from all over South Florida the way it once did.”

Kaplan has shifted inventory to his other stores and has moved his senior staff

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