Afternoon Coffee: Sears Holdings in Jeopardy, Low-Cost Manufacturing… in the U.S.?

The U.S. is on the radar for companies looking for lower-cost factories. The Wall Street Journal reported that the exit of U.S. factory jobs is in fact more or less matched by jobs coming in, as supply chain economics shift.

The owners of Dongguan Winwin Industrial, a Taiwan manufacturer of high-quality sneakers for big American companies, are beset by rising wages and taxes and the costs of shipping to market. The availability of automation, in addition to lower real-estate and energy costs, makes moving production to the U.S. appealing.

Retail Woes

Sears and Kmart are the latest brick-and-mortar stores struggling to stay financially afloat in an e-commerce world. Parent company Sears Holdings has “substantial doubt” about the future of the two retailers, the Washington Post reported.

Phishing Attack

Let this be a cautionary tale. SiliconBeat reported that Coupa Software’s human resources department was hit by a successful phishing fraud earlier this month. The scammer impersonated Coupa’s CEO Rob Bernshteyn and requested that 2016 W-2 payroll forms be sent by email.

But in Better News…

Coupa now counts Caterpillar and medical supplier Paul Hartmann among its clients, totalling 535. The cloud-based procurement technology provider posted a 44% growth in revenue for the fourth quarter, ending the fiscal year with $133.8 million, an increase of 60% from 2015.

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