tv Real Money With Ali Velshi Al Jazeera January 16, 2014 7:00pm-7:31pm EST
this is al jazeera america. life from new york city. i'm tony harris with a look at today's top stories. vatican officials faced questions from a un committee over how the catholic church has handled clergy who abuse children. they denied allegations that the church protected pedophile priests. the syrian coalition has released a statement saying they find it, quoted, impossible to participate in the peace talks scheduled next weeks geneva. tomorrow president obama will unveil new guidelines for federal agencies involved in intelligence gathering.
the new rules have been in the works since ed begley jr. first began leaking details of the nsa spying. three men have been charged with starting the fire outside of los angeles. the campfire sparked the flame. and destroyed at least two homes. president obama met with dozens of college leaders today trying to make sure that low-income students have an equal shot on makes it through college once they get there. "real money" is next. hard times for some of the biggest names in retail casting some doubt on america's economic recovery, i'll tell you why you may be the most important piece of this puzzle.
plus the best companies in america to work for, and yes, if you are looking, a lot of them are hiring. this is "real money." i'm ali velshi. ♪ this is "real money." you are the most important part of the show so please join our live conversation for the next half hour on twitter, or on facebook. we are seeing some conflicting signals about the economy. whether the glass is half full or half empty depends on who is drinking. for retail sales over all they grew by a approximately 8.3%. according to new numbers put out by the national retail federation which is a lobby group for the retailers. even so, many chains resorted to steep discounting to lure in
shoppers. and now all of that price slashing took too big of a bite out of their profits. the company's stock fell by 28.6% in trading today. that's in reaction to the news. best buy may have been too aggressive with its campaign to match competitor's prices. something has got to give when you are completing with online outlets like amazon.com. this is more a story about you and how you feel. today gallop released a new poll showing 42% of americans say they with worse off financially than they were a year ago. if that's true then all of the positive indicators we saw in 2013, higher economic growth, a bull market on wall street, improving job numbers. could they all be hiding a
bigger problem because the consumer never lies. if american consumers start to pull back on their spending that could spell trouble for our economy recovery. this is something i'll watch very closely for you. so we have best buy's stock plunged, jcpenney laying off 2,000 workers and closing stores, and many others have all warned of weak sales for the first three months of this year. what is ailing the retailers? is it a consumer pullback? or more of a shift in the way we shop. christof putz christof putz christof putzel -- chris christopher tracks consumer segment. chris we haven't gotten the official numbers from january, but retailers are telling us
they are having problems. >> i think they started having troubles in december. and in january they have probably a little excess inventory so they are going to try to get rid of that, and that is going to hurt their margins again. >> what do you think the issue is? could be weather, the move to op line, what -- what's behind this? >> first of all, the move online is happening. in the third quarter of last year, 5.9% of retail trade was-commerce retail sales, and the clicks are clearly outwaysing the bricks, and we expect it to be around 7% in 2015. now that sort of hurts many of the brick and mortars. now on the other front you have a lot of pent-up demand being released on autos. and any time you have a good auto month discretionary spending takes a hit. >> we have been talking about
because of new [ technical difficulties ] >> people do splurge a bit. >> so people are moving away from buying one product into another. buying smaller ticket items into bigger ticket items. that may not be detrimental at all to the economy. are you seeing something else? are you seeing the potential of a consumer pullback? >> we have a cautious consumer. however, median household income is still about 8% below in 2013, compared to where it was in 2007. so there's many americans living
paycheck to paycheck, however, what you are seeing is luxuries doing well, because there's more wealthy americans. the stock market is doing okay. and there are more people shopping at discount stores because they don't have the paychecks they used to have. so the middle tier retailers are trying to find their ground and they are suffering a little bit. >> all right. we're going to follow this more. chris thank you for being with us. bricks and mortar stores have ramped up their sales but are they doing it all right. keith has worked with companies like general motors and procter & gamble, and he says yes. keith's book "who
to -to -- [ technical difficulties ] >> how does a place like best buy become more than a place that sells come mod tiezed stuff that i can buy everything else. >> i would like to unpack a little bit some of the person around best buy. because i do not believe it is time to put up a tombstone on traditional retailers. we don't hear enough about the fact that they grew 23% in revenue in an interest that was growing only 20%. and their customer satisfaction went up 400 points since last year. >> this is interesting -- [ overlapping speakers ] >> this customer satisfaction thing is interesting. i bought two tvs in the last year. i bought them both at best buy. i go in and i liked what the guy told me. i liked that this guy was some
kind of tv nerd, and they got my business as a result. >> you have just hammered down the core reason why this is not over yet, and the answer is there are four things that will drive the customer experience, price, product, place, and people. right? yeah, the price and product may feel come mod tiezed, but the brick and mortar are matching pricing, and even trying to beat next-day delivery by saying you are go online order from us and swing by and pick it up from the store. so it isn't necessarily going to be a comedy letdown for these guys. now what about the people? what about the customer experience. there is a reason people enjoy shopping. there are some sitting out there saying that ain't me. fine, we aren't talking to you. we're talking to the individuals -- this past weekend i bought these.
these are pretty cool, right? and the reason i bought them is because my 15-year-old boy drug me to foot locker because he wanted to shop and see the coolest things out there. and that's something we're dealing with. to unleash experiential, i was really interested in seeing what your story would be later in the show around the people experience and employee best place to work. why were we so thrilled with southwest when they came on, because their people talked to you. you go to amber comby because you want to see much naked people. >> do they have to be the place that says come here. we'll solve your problems. >> absolutely. from a greek squad perspective i'm terribly afraid of buying something electronic that is going to cost me more than a
couple of hundred bucks. >> right. >> and i'm afraid to go online. i can get calmed down and talked through and then the person can come up show me how to put it all together and work it through. that's a positive experience. even at mcdonald's you can either have, can i help you? can i take your order? do want fries with that? or how there. isn't this a great day? how about an apple pie? right. i used to remember back in the day when i was at star wood hotels, it was fundamentally the experience of the general manager relating to the associates at the sheridan at the weston, at the w. it is the general manager setting a tone for customer experience -- >> which then gets felt by the customer. >> exactly. >> all right. keith. >> it is work that has been done at harvard since 1992 with my
buddy -- >> invite him to go on the show. you have turned our frown around. thank you as always for being with us. >> always my pleasure. all right. coming up, i'm talking to the boss at one of the best companies in america to work for. we'll find out why employees there look so happy. and later blockbuster is on the bayou,
the united states senate today easily passed a $1.1 trillion bill to fund the federal government for another nine months. that's the budget that was supposed to have been passed last october. the budget gets passed then they have to pass the spending bill that authorizes the money to be dispersed. the house passed it on wednesday, and now it goes to the white house where president
obama is expected to sign it into law. mike viqueira is at the white house for us. mike, some months ago i think both you and i were clearing our calendars for the possibility that we would once again be talking about a budget showdown or government shutdown. and you said very clearly, everybody is too bruised by this. the country is not prepared to go through this again. >> well, right. and they sort of buried the hatchet before the holidays. i got to tell ya, it's really a measure of the government dysfunction that we are talking about really what is essentially a status quo budget. the very minimum that congress can do is exercise -- >> but mike, let me just ask you this. we are excited by status quo. we're excited by no change. a budget is a dynamic document.
>> that's the point i'm trying to make. everybody is jumping up and down saying partisan fever has broken. 72 senators voted in favor of this thing, ali that's unhead of. but it's the minimum of what congress is supposed to do, and before we pop the champagne, look at what is happening with unemployment insurance where they take turns throwing mud on each other on the senate floor. jack lew the treasury secretary saying he wants congress to act by mid-february. we'll see how that goes. we could see a replay of that. so before we get to, you know, saying the fever is broken -- and really there are reasons to be optimistic. i have to say, it's not my habit having watched this for a long
time. but remember when john boehner slapped down the tea party in december. they all voted against what was on the floor today, but it passed with overwhelming majority, so perhaps the fever is broken. i'm a little bit spectacle. >> thank you so much, mike. >> all right. >> all right. do you like your job? maybe you done. according to a 2013 gallup poll, it says only 30% of u.s. workers consider themselves engaged and inspires like mike viqueira is at work. but don't fret. fortune magazine has listed the top places to work for, google topped the list. and a health care staffing firm based in salt lake city that made the cut for five straight years most correctly coming in at number 16. mike is the ceo there. he joins me from the company headquarters.
mike, why does everybody like working for you so much? >> well, we have a lot of fun here. it has been a big day for us here. we have celebrated a lot. we focus on employee recognition and engagement. and we just have a lot of fun. >> we have keith who consults with big brands and he said the key to customers having a good experience with a company is when managers and their associates have a good experience with the company because that flows through. is that what you do? >> we absolutely find that. we measure everything in your business, and we have found that as employees engagement and satisfaction has gone up, so has the performance of the company, because people want to bring their best selves to work, and provide great customer service, and we have been the top-performing company in our industry for the last decade, and we can tie it directly to
[ technical difficulties ] >> when we heard our ranking this morning, we gathered in our central location, and everybody dressed up in our number 16 gear. because that was our ranking. and it is our fifth year in a row on the list, and we're very excited about that. and we had a celebration parade, and there is a real sense of pride of being on this list for five years in a row. >> give me some specifics, what kinds of things do you do that makes it a good place to work. >> yeah, well, we have a policy of adding a new benefits to our package every year, for example. this past year, we added on-site
medical clinics, which our employees really appreciated. we survey our employees frequently. so they have the opportunity to tell us what is important to them. we have an award-winning wellness program, so we like keeping our people happy and healthy, and they really appreciate that, and it really shows in their performance and dedication to the -- [ technical difficulties ] >> to add about 15% more people each year, and we have been growing our revenue at a corresponding pace with that increase in people. >> mike good to talk to you, congratulations being on that list for the fifth year. all right today on twitter and facebook i have been asking
about the oscar nominations announced today. last year we got a read on the industry's importance to the economy. the government said arts and culture generated 3.2% of gdp. given those numbers it's no wonder some states compete hard to lure production from hollywood. it's a controversial practice that critics say gives money away to production companies that don't create permanent problems. louisiana gives a 30% reduction
for all tax expenditure in the state. joining me now andre champagne, he joins us now from louisiana. you provide trailers to hollywood productions that come to the state. in fact your company has provided services to most of the movies that have come to the box office. talk about these tax credits and how important they are. >> well, ali the tax credits are very important to the companies and the state as a whole. it's a brand new industry for us, so i think it's something that is really fantastic. it has been growing. we're excited about it. it's -- right behind me as we can see, we're actually on -- on a production set right now, as well as standing on a production
studio. >> a lot of people particularly in tough times say we provide these tax credits. it reduces revenue to the state from a [ technical difficulties ] >> started with seven weeks. >> what happens is you create jobs. every time we purchase a truck in this state, every single union driver that drives those
trucks is now has long-term employment. and if someone says that programs like this do not create long-term jobs, generally what happens is any time you go into any form of business scenario or develop incentive program. you have to have a certain period of return on investment. >> right. >> so that stands for any form of business. what happens with these particular programs and the film industry, entertainment industry, whatever you want to call it, the longer you keep these programs in place the greater the return on investment. >> because people make bigger investments. >> right. you have homes being built. families moving here. short-term job becomes long f term taxpayer. they are buying cars, spending money on gas, they -- they are putting their kids in school,
their friends and family are moving down. it is a long-term industry, but you have to give that particular credit program a certain amount of time to get your roi. and the longer the program is in place the greater the return on investment. >> best of luck to you, andre. andre champagne, the owner of hollywood trucks joining us from new orleans. tractor supply is about to land the company in a whole new environment. the largest retail farm and ranch chain will soon be added to the s&p 500 index, which includes 500 of the largest publicly traded companies in the united states. tractor supply will replace life technologies after the stock market closed on thursdayian
23rd. more americans kept up with [ technical difficulties ] >> this is a good reminder that stock markets can go down, way down, and new research demonstrates the potentially dangerous effect that stock market plunges could have on a pers person's mental health. hospitalizations rise on days when stocks fall. the study reveals big immediate
jumps in hospitalizations were panic attacks, anxiety and depression. the 20% decline on black monday, october 19th, 1987, hospital admissions that day spiked 5%, and the study showed that the stock market loss add nearly $650 million a year to health care costs. but stress kills and panic is not only bad for your health, it's also bad for your financial health, because it causes people to make rash decisions. do yourself a favor the next time the stock you own plunges, take a breath, calm down, way down.