tv Squawk Box CNBC November 29, 2013 6:00am-9:01am EST
>> good morning, everybody. hope you enjoyed your holiday. welcome to "squawk box" here on cnbc. i'm becky quick along with andrew ross sorkin and steve liesman, who is in for joe kernen today. o is enjoying a day off. our top story today, of course, it's retail. so we are lucky enough to have our industry expert dana telsey here this morning. >> thank you. thank you for having me. >> have you slept? >> i don't believe in sleeping, not when the stores are open. >> that's what we figured. we'll talk more to dana in just a moment. at least a dozen retail chains opened their stores yesterday. it did make for some big thanksgiving day sales. overall, the national retail federation expects sales to be up by 3.9% during the last two months of the year. that is higher than last year's 3.5% growth. but it's below the 6% rates that we saw just before the
recession. and whether you hit the stores yesterday or not, plenty of people are out this morning. if you are planning on waking up early for your black friday sales, you're late. step et up. shoppers are expected to spend an average of $650 this weekend. that's 11 1% more than last year. we have the chief merchandising officer at toys r us. then we'll be joined from tyson's corner, a huge mall in virginia. bobby kotick will be join onning us on air. electronic items are expected to be a big seller this year especially with the launch of the xbox and the new play station consoles. coming up in the next hour, we have terry lundgren. and at 8:40 this morning, the ceo of brooks brothers. we have a packed line upof guests ready to giving us a look
at the american consumer. we start with dana telsey this morning. we have heard a lot of stories about some expecting disappointment, some maybe not great retail numbers. but what do you really think is going to happen this holiday season? >> i think it's the season of insurgency. we have six fewers days between thanksgiving and christmas. look at the season started earlier than it ever did before. there are items out there for people to want, whether it's accessories and hand bags and watches. certainly electronics with all the new tablets out there. so overall, it should be a 3% to 3.5% total increase, 2% to 2.5% like for like. but it will be promotional. and with online and stores, you have to be in it to win it so you have to be open in order to be able to get the shop. >> i have an open question. everyone is opening their stores. however, if you look at all of the sales growth for all of these stores, it's all online. it's up 20%, 30% online and invariably at the store level,
the fiscal locations where everybody is supposedly running, it's down. people are actually losing shares. >> well, one of the things happening is you order online, pick up in store, reserve in store. it's complimentary. retailers need an online presence and a store presence. don't forget, though -- >> but the black friday versus the cyber monday. black friday and cyber mon -- >> nobody is going to order stuff yesterday and pick it up today, right? >> you may be doing that. what's hopefully happening is if you order online, pick it up in the store, not only are you picking up what you ordered, but you're getting more, too. we'll talk to terry lundgren about that. it's working. >> i look at these numbers. we've had a few people who come on and said, look, maybe you get an upside surprise. if you had to go with the over/earn, whover over/under, what would you take? >> side say over. retailsers need to move the merchandise. >> does that mean lower margins?
>> yes. >> are they going to be profitable? >> it will be pressured margin for some of the retailers. don't forget, 40% off today is what 10% and 20% off used to be years ago. they're planning for promotiones and planning carefully. so far, the markdowns that we've seen out there yesterday and this morning so far, for the most part, they're very similar in the last year. >> when you say 40% off, there was that "wall street journal" story last year saying 40% off, but that's because we marked the price up 35%. >> exactly. and i believe that is happening and they mark the margins in order to be able to hit. i think when you're getting 60%, 70% off, it's what's taking off that initial markup. >> is it margins and pressure, meaning it's still a profitable share? >> still a profitable sale. it's margin compression. these retailers came through '08 and '09 and they know thou manage their expenses in order to make a profit. >> who are the big winners?
walmart came in and said they were going to offer plenty of discounts. that put plenty of retailers into a tailspin, a bit of a panic. who wins and who loses? >> i think macy's wins, tjx wins, michael kors will win. limited should win. best buy, outside of my office the traffic, the line went straight down the block. >> but best buy said their margins would be compressed. >> right. >> what would you do with this stock, best buy? >> if i could buy it or sell it, i'd buy it. the reason why? great expense structure to make profits down the road. >> dana will be with us all morning. 'tis the season for early spending sprees. joining us now is richard barry, the toys retailer and merchandising officer. how are you? >> i'm great. how are you? >> i'm great. give us a sense of what has been going on overnight for you and what you're seeing today. >> we opened at 5:00 p.m. last
night. the sales staff at midnight the night before online. what we expected for this thanksgiving and for black friday period was that people were going to shop how they wanted and that's what we've been seeing. so great sales online at 12:01 midnight. we saw great crowds at 5:00 p.m. we've seen a nice stream of traffic heading through. right now, we've got our 5:00 a.m. specials running so we've seen another really great surge of traffic coming through again. and we're going to have great deals all the way through until we close tonight and again for the weekend. and, you know, this period of promotion is not just about black friday any more. it's about the period before black friday. it's about cyber -- what used to be cyber monday which is now cyber week. so we'll be taking our cyber seevent on saturday and that will continue through next week. so for those procrastinators who will wake up monday morning and realize it's december 1st, we'll
have plenty of deals to get them motivated. >> richard, when you said you had a 5:00 a.m. deal, what is available at 5:00 a.m. and what is the price point? >> we have deals across the store, whether you're looking for toys or electronics. for example, we have tablet b with a 10 inch tablet that's $99, 50% off. we have disney's infinity figures. buy one get 50% off. we've got deals really across all the stores, whether you're looking for barbie or lego, you'll find really great deals all the way across the store. plus, we have about 250 door busters that are still running across the store. wile we started early yesterday, we have plenty of vinventory to see us through today, through tomorrow and then we'll kick off our cyber event, as well. >> richard, there are six fewer shopping days between thanksgiving and christmas. is that an issue for you? >> well, we've been planning for that all year. we knew they would be a
tightened and compressed season. for us, it works in our strength. we carry the widest assortment, great exclusives. we're going to work on our instock position as we get through the next few weeks. so for those customer that's get pressured on time, we will be the only stop where you can make that quick stop and get everything you want and get a few surprises and quick deals. >> richard, real quick, this next 48 hours, will you make money? will this be a profitable 48 hours for you or is this just to get the brand out there and hope more people come in between now and christmas? >> we'll absolutely make money over this period. we see customers buying into our door busters. but what was exciting last night -- >> boor busters is a euphemism for an unprofitable trade for you, right? >> it can be. but what we saw last night is customers coming in, buying whole shopping carts of goods, literally doing their complete
christmas shop on this day. so that helps us with our margins outall. but the fact is, wpt to give our customers a great place. >> one final question and then would he have got to run. all of these door busters and they promotions and all of what's happening, is it just pulling forward the sales or do you think it's actually increasing incrementally the sales? >> i think we've got a couple of things to look at. first you'of all, we have a compressed holiday season. we have to make sure every single day counts between now and the 24th of december. it's not our fault this is pulling forward sales. this is absolutely necessary. it's important to give our customer tess convenience, the time to be able to do that shopping so that they can get the right gift for their kids so they have a big smile on their face for christmas. >> richard, thank you so much for joining us in times square this morning.
happy thanksgiving and happy holidays. >> happy thanksgiving. >> we're just getting an update. walmart processing more than 10 million registered transactions thursday. dana, is that a big number? >> sounds like a very big number. >> 400 million page views on walmart.com. and they said big screen tvs, ipad mini among the top sellers. >> laptops, xbox 1, ps4 and call of duty ghost. call of duty is interesting because bobby kotick is going to be here. that's a new video game they have out. this is interesting in the release, too. there has been this talk about protests from workers today who are going to be protesting the wages paid by walmart. listen to this line. in appreciation for their hard work, walmart will be providing $70 million in holiday pay to hourly store associates. they say store associates who worked on thanksgiving day will receive a 25% discount on an entire purchase on december 5th and december 6th, allowing them to save millions of dollars on
holiday gifts for their families. so first of all, from walmart, just the numbers that are out there getting some of these transactions, they say there were more people who came through, some 22 million customers would came there on thanksgiving day. >> in four hours. just from 6:00 to 10:00 on p.m. what do those numbers tell you? >> it sounds huge. huge numbers and you have to decide are you going to keep the store open or not and do you want to be amazoned or do you want to have the competition from online? they want to gain share. this way they can hopefully work with the workers and their staff and be able to generate sales. >> how -- >> 41,000 transactions a minute. >> a minute. >> from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. that's why i'm here today to calculate this. >> 2.8 million towels, 2 mill n televisions and 1.9 million dolls. >> this sounds like alibaba and
china every day. how far behind are they relative to amazon? are we about to enter a new paradigm? i heard from somebody who suggested in the next two years, people may start going to walmart.com for orders more than amazon, for certain types of things. >> what we've always heard is that people go to amazon for specific items. they go to some of the retailer sites in order to be able to browse because they know they're going to find a complete assortment. harder to browse on amazon when you know exactly what you're going there for. easier to work -- >> when i browse for tvs, i'll always go to best buy. that's my thing. >> do you want to do -- google shopping search. >> i would go to amazon. >> i would probably going to amazon. i'd look for the comments to see what everyone says about them. then i would go to google or do something so i could find the cheapest one to physically buy. that's what i would probably do. >> i think what dana is saying is it's the automatic places that you go, there are
reflective places and walmart may be becoming one of those. >> that's amazing. >> right. >> we have dana here all day to comment on all the incoming information we get from retailers. here is what you need to know about trading hours. the new york stock exchange will close at 1:00 eastern. commodities, gold trading as the nymex closes at 1:30 eastern. and electronic trading finishes at 5:15 eastern. so these guys at dotcom, they'll be on all day. let's check on the markets this morning. where are the boards here? here we go. dow jones looking not too shabby, up 35 points if you do the fair value calculation. nasdaq, which crossed the 4,000 barrier thursday or friday last week -- sorry, this week. tuesday. >> it was a shortened week, right sdmp. >> tuesday or wednesday. and let's see, hoyle now was in the 90 area, 92.567. brent around 110. natural gas, 392. there's the ten-year treasury.
2.75%. it was up higher. seems like the new middle ground for it. where is the dollar trading today? 102 on the yen. 1.36 on the euro. so weaker against the euro, which has defied expectations in keeping its strength up. and finally, gold. in the 1200 range, now 1246, up $9 today. we'll see if that sticks. time for the global markets report. ross westgate is standing by in london. ross, how was your thanksgiving? >> it was very good, steve. i had a chef on set with me and we prepared a turkey. merry thanksgivingkuha, by the way. >> thank you. wouldn't joe rib you endlessly about the lack of celebration of thanksgiving in the uk? >> yeah. clearly, it was the guys that left that you're giving thanks for. they were, you know, a little too uptight for us, to be fair.
it's an unusual holiday for us, if you know what i mean. i'll tell you what has happened, though, retailers today, fist time this has happened, british retailers are pushing black friday discounts in britain. and that has never happened before. so we have now inherited that from you. there you go. it's come all the way back. we forgot why thanksgiving happens, but the shop onning retailers come all the way back here with discounts based on the same thing. meanwhile, steve, equities today just above the flat line. around about 5 to 4 advancers outpacing decliners at the moment. the ftse yesterday without the absence or with the absence of u.s. trade didn't do an awful lot. the ftse wanted up 10 points. pretty flat for the xetra dax and the cac 40 in france. the xetra dax is at the all-time highs at the moment. the mts mtsftse mib is fairly f.
they downgraded and cut the aaa rating for the netherlands to aa plus. they did say the outlook is stable. this is a country that has been on negative watchout look for around two years. they said it no longer wants that aaa so they've trimmed it down. it was a negative outlook for a couple of years on that. but they said they don't want it to be on the same rating as germany. ten-year spanish yields a little higher today -- or lower today. they also got an upgrade in terms of the outlook from s&p to stable from negative. and we focused on the uk through our mortgage approvals ticked higher once again this month. we heard from the bank of england yesterday that they stopped their funding for lending scheme for mortgage finance. they are using this theme to give banks cheap finance if they extended more mortgages. they've cut their house price he and rebounded quite nicely.
we're stoking house prices a little bit too much in this recovery. so the bank of england stepped in and said we're going to do chief financing. there was a moot point about whether it was funding an awful lot of mortgages in the first place. otherwise, we're pretty flat. we'll see how your shopping goes stateside. back to you. >> ross, thank you for that. is it thanksgivingkuh or is it the opposite? hanukkah came first, technically. >> hanu-giving? >> hanu-giving, something. >> thanksgiving kkah is catc catchier. coming up, you'll be surprised by the stopping. plus, russia, why they're raising minimum vodka prices and how china could be controlling bitcoin's fate. we have all those stories.
first, alex wallace is joining us now from the weather channel to give us a breakdown on how things may be faring over the weekend. alex. >> good morning to you and happy post thanksgiving. things are looking pretty quiet. a few light snow showers moving across parts of new york state and pennsylvania. what we have, though, is the chill that's in the air. it's going remain quite cold throughout our day today. 30s and 20s through the interior. 30s from new york city northward. by tomorrow, not a whole lot warmer. 42 in d.c. with syracuse now getting up to 34. so a bit of a moral victory, at least getting out of the 20s there. it will remain cold heading into the weekend. 32 in detroit. once we get into tomorrow, only about 5 degrees warmer. we do find it into parts of the south, this is where we're getting to see a chance of temperatures in the '60s. some of these areas were freezing with crazy cold temperatures yesterday morning. by the time we get to sunday
along the gulf coast, mid to upper 60s to enjoy. that's your national forecast heading into the weekend. more "squawk box" coming up next. >> announcer: before you hit the road, here is your traveler's check. las vegas and los angeles attract business travelers. what else? find out next. you need a permit... to be this awesome. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle... and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price. (aaron) purrrfect. (vo) meee-ow, business pro. meee-ow. go national. go like a pro.
>> announcer: what makes these cities more desirable for conventi conventions? direct rail rides from the airport to downtown. according to the u.s. travel association and american public transportation association. time for the now executive edge. this is our daily sellment focused on giving business leaders a leg up. we start things out with retail. retailers at this point to find out whether buyers are on work computers, mobile devices or standing in the grocery aisle. that data can be connected with other personal information like your zip code.
the techniques can help customize shopping experiences. but consumers argue aggressive tracking and profiling opens the door to price discrimination. some of the things they talk about in this article are creepy. the idea of them tracking which items you're walking up and down, if you pick up something or put it back on the shelf or into your cart. that is starting to sound truly invasive. >> i'm not bothered by any of this. the only thing i'm bothered by is the possibility for price discrimination. a year or two ago we did a story, i think it was on staples. and there was a physical story that was close by to your house or not, they would charge you more or less money. and that actually frustrated me. i think the prices should be the same across the board. >> a point of information here, the economic concept of surprise discrimination is not bad. >> what do you mean? >> well, retailers discriminate
all the time between those who are willing to pay more for a product and those who will pay less. and you can think about that in terms of the two different models o ft same automobile that was put out by, for example, there was mercury and there was, i guess, ford. i guess they got rid of that. so what was it? it was a more ornate version of the same automobile. so -- yeah, but a more ornate version is not the same. >> no, but it's very much the same product. the concept itself tsh you go into starbucks, starbucks is price discriminating. you can get a cup of coffee for $1 or you can get a $6 cup of coffee. and what's happening is starbucks is discriminating. now, the discrimination you're talking about -- >> that's a different type of discrimination. the idea of discrimination based on if you're looking at their sex or gender or their race and deciding -- >> but it's a different --
>> there are retailers that -- >> in some certain instances, the better customer you are the more they charge you. >> what you want to know is -- >> if you've been subscribing for a long time, they'll charge you through nose. >> they'll discriminate between new customers and old customers. >> perhaps. but this is across the board. >> discriminate between those who want to pay a lot of popcorn and those who don't pay a lot of money for popcorn. >> some of what they're learning is so where do you put things? what aisle do you put something on? the customer is going the buy more if they're seeing socks and cosmetic together or something like that. >> how are they go going to charge people the same price? >> they look at your zip code, for instance. to me, that borderlines on things like -- they're not allowed to look at some of those things because you're looking at racial discrimination at some point or gender discrimination. >> i'm in the same store and they read my zip code and will
charge me a different price? >> apparently. i didn't realize some of the -- >> that's freaky. >> that's not -- that's discrimination via price. >> it sounds a little -- i belong to some of these loyalty memberships. i understand that to a certain extent. but some of the things described sounds like something the nsa would be doing, not necessarily your local best buy or something. anyway, we'll continue to watch this because it sounds like things are starting to creep, creeping to the creepier levels. let's talk about a story out of russia, which plans to raise minimum vodka prices by next year. the country is trying to reduce consumption of alcohol. but some fear this will spur others to drink cheaper illegal vodka out there. 30% of all deaths in russia are tied to alcohol. >> steve, you lived there.
the only comment i can make is new york and cigarettes. and it worked. >> i used to tell people that russia is a fascinating, complicated place. but there's only one thing you need to know, which is that the vodka bottles do not have screw on tops. >> what? what do you mean? >> the vodka bottle has an aluminum top. once it's off, it's off. you open the bottle of vodka, you finish the bottle of vodka. >> you're kidding me. >> no. the screw on top is the export version. you drink the whole thing and there's a superstition that you don't leave an empty bottle on the table. you take the bottle and put it underneath. there's a drinking problem there. a lot of what we've seen in the tables will russians and the life expectancy is a result, i think, of the alcohol consumption. and by the way, gorbachev tried this in the '80s and it was terribly unpopular.
they got rid of it in the '90s. >> and he this got rid of him, too. >> they got rid of it because it wasn't effective, it was -- >> exactly what becky said. they'll go to illegal versions and make it at home. all right. china now equities for 62% of the global volumes in bitcoin. the article warrants that beijing has taken steps to reign in virtual currencies in the past. just a few years ago, the chinese government introduced legislation banning the use of digital money to purchase tangible goods. if china is tied up in the future of this, you have to wonder how secure na is. >> there's two issues here. one is if you're china, from a policy perspective, there is an jurmt to be made that you want to undermine the u.s. dollar to the largest extent possible.
they oddly have so far let it go in china. baidu, one of the biggest retailers out there, is now accepting bitcoin. that's a crazy thing. the whole thing seems bizarre. ultimately, the u.s. government and everybody -- as the is he serve currency. >> why? >> because they don't want to be tied to us. >> the whole argument of bitcoin sess a keanu reeves like world where the u.s. dollar goes to zero and everybody just has to walk around with gold and bit coin. right? that's the whole goal. in which case maybe that would help china become the reserve currency. it's a reserve currency argument. >> we realize how much in dollars china has right now, right? so their actual desire to undermine the dollar would be minim minimal. >> well, but do the extent -- >> although there have been chinese officials who have made comments because they've been
frustrated by the actions the u.s. has taken. >> if you told me bitcoin and now a life coin and there's so many -- that's why i can't imagine one wins. and i think the u.s. government, i don't understand what ben bernanke is doing with that comment he made to those senators. i don't understand it. >> i'm not even sure why it's legal. >> i'm not, either. i'm surprised the government here hasn't stepped in. >> they've just begun this story. >> okay. interesting. >> one man's opinion. when we come back this morning, we're going to talk more about this morning's top story that is retail and the american consumer. we'll head to dytyson's corner virginia, find out how much they're spending and what they're buying. "squawk box" will be right back on this black friday. stick around. ♪
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is that nana? [ male announcer ] fedex one rate. simple, flat rate shipping with the reliability of fedex. welcome back to "squawk box" this morning. one big story, the state of the consumer. courtney reagan joins us from a mall in dayton, ohio. good morning to you and happy thanksgiving. >> good morning to you, andrew. happy thanksgiving to you. if we want to sum up what we've seen so far, it's sort of steady as she goes. those early thanksgiving hours yesterday have helped to spread out the crowd. i have to tell you, i stepped
into a walmart. it was packed, but everyone was fairly orderly. they were passing out wrist bands. consumers had pretty packed carts. the national retail federation expects we'll see some 90 million shoppers hit the stores today. 140 million over the course of the entire weekend. so far, so good at least from the online indications. we're getting sales up 11.5%, according to ibm and base odd traffic through late last night on thanksgiving. we spoke with some very hearty midwestern shoppers here today to see how it's going for them. listen to what they had to say. >> i've been shopping since 9:00. >> i started at 8:00. i went home, took a shower, lay in bed and i thought i was going to sleep, but i decided to come back. >> came out at midnight. to k-mart, old navy, hh gregg, here, the mall, elder beerman,
pay less. >> so as you can see, shoppers hitting the stores early and not stopping yet. if we think about early winners, what i'm hearing so far is best buy. lots of lines at best buy stores around the country. remember the company warning they'll do whatever it takes to win this season, including compressing those margins to offer the best deals to consumers. walmart, we're hearing lots of good things about what we saw there on thanksgiving. macy's appears to be the department store winner both here at the mall and around the country. they've been going all night and we'll bring you the latest about we get it here at the mall from dayton, ohio. for now, back to you in "squawk box." >> it's a new tradition, courtney and dayton. how many years now? >> three. >> she's from the heartland. it's good to know what's happening there. >> courtney in dayton. retailers -- >> by the way, you made the good point. no fighting. >> yet.
>> maybe they've relieved the pressure by doing it thursday, doing it online. sdh there's a lot more time. >> can you get the same deals in the stores as you can online? >> no. >> not al watt mart last night. >> right. and today you're getting different deals than you might have gotten yesterday. we saw signs being changed last night just at the time when it's 8:00 is coming, 50% off now, here you go. >> do you want to say what you've gotten from your spotters already or -- >> i'll tell you a little bit. i have people all around the country. firstcations are danbury mall, traffic is lighter than last year. busiest stores, macy's is winning. also sneakers. you mentioned about your son in footlocker. >> and my son will be on air at 8:00 for a special sneakers release. meanwhile, if you're at tyson's corner in northern virginia today, you have a front row seat. we'll check in with the nation's largest regional shopping mall.
joining us, the senior property manager at tyson's corner center. good morning. >> good morning. >> what's the traffic like there? >> it's been an exciting night. it was -- we've been opening up at midnight for the last fooe few years. shoppers have really made it a tradition. last year, maysy's opened up at 8:00 p.m. and a bunch of our stores decided to open out at 8:00 p.m. traffic was strong and steady and has been all night long with good troudz crowds and a variety of stores throughout the shopping center. >> can you compare it to last year? was it the same hours last year? >> well, macy's opened up at midnight last year. the 8:00 p.m. opening was new for them. some of the other stores decided to come on with the early opening, as well. so our hours are expanding. we saw traffic all night long and is we got the big bump at midnight for our official opening again. >> corey, we've been talking a lot about online sales.
and it seems like there's a significant chunk of sales online now. for a retailer like a macy's or a walmart, they can capture some of that with their macy's.com website. what does a mall operator try to do to combat online sales? >> i think it's the retailers addressing that. they're embracing the fact that they've got the multiple channels. they're doing special promotions in store only in addition to what they've got online. they're doing more to make an experience in the store. we saw very strong traffic last night, especially around all the game consoles. those were very big. cell phones, especially the no contract cell phones were big. and, of course, the door busters and macy's and the apparel stores are always a big hit on black friday. i think the retailers are embracing those channels. we're doing what we can to bring in the mobile world, too. we've upgraded our apps and we're trying to embrace that to make the shopping experience better for everyone. >> we can talk about traffic,
but when it comes down the to sales, have sales at the mall been affected? have they dropped at all because of online shopping? >> from what i saw tonight, i saw lots and lots of people with lots of shopping bags from a variety of stores. we don't have any data yesterday as to what it will bring for our shopping center. but, you know, it was a great start. and the retailers i spoke to are very happy from what they've do know seen from author stores so far. >> thank you so much for joining us this morning from tyson's corner. >> thank you. my pleasure. >> dana, your thoughts on that. what will mall operators do. >> i think what events are you doing to drive people into the mall? what are you doing with fashion shows, with concerts? what is the special deal you're offering? with a shorter season, you have to have some longer hours. >> but i think of myself, i do a lot of shopping online now. i never did that before. i would say the bulk of my shopping through the course of the year is done online. that has to have an impact. >> and i think that's why the stores are opening now.
they have to be able to offer something. here is when you have to get people in the malls. we're not seeing many mall openings. there's fewer than there was. and you're seeing more flash sales. so the speed of how are you going to do something different -- >> if they would build them differently, make them more of a destination, i have a reason to go to the mall now as opposed to i can just sit at my computer and do the convenience shopping online. i think there's a lot of older malls that have different designs for day when there wasn't the dotcom world to do your shopping on. now they view them differently. >> we have a few other headlines of note. spacex aborted the launch of an unmanned fallon rocket one minute before liftoff yesterday. the company cited an unexplained technical issue. spacex has a bag log of nearly 50 launches valued at about $4 billion. >> better get those things off the ground. is this a bad sign? >> it is rocket science, so it's
not exactly -- >> it is. >> literally, that's true. >> also, petro china has developed a share in one of iraq's most promising deals from exxon. the final details of the deal were not disclosed. venz secures a load from russia's gazprom. the australian government has rejected archer daniel mid legion's buyout proposal for grancorp. adm has offered to buy the remaining 80%. coming, how retailers are communicating with consumers. we'll talk about stores targeting sales when "squawk box" returns. ready to run your lines? okay, who helps you focus on your recovery? yo, yo, yo. aflac. wow. [ under his breath ] that was horrible. pays you cash when you're sick or hurt?
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welcome back to "squawk box." retailers used a variety of tools to gain insight into their customers so they can better target sales. vision critical ceo scott miller joins us now. good morning to you, scott. >> good morning, everybody. >> so you are a big data company in some ways, creating big data or at least trying to help retailers sift through big data. what is it exactly that you do? >> well, the headline is kind of the collision between market research in big data. the headline is that companies are start to go leverage their customers as genuine advisers. they're trying to get ahead of
that moment of the decision. and i think it's no more relevant than in black friday. black friday is a very narrow window. companies have to get it right. and if you look at all the information they have, the big data that flows through that they talked about once they get once customers have done something, most companies, retailers right now are trying to get ahead of that curve. they're building communities of five, ten, 15,000 xhup customcu they're bringing them inside the strategic tent. they're getting them engaged in developing new ideas, in understanding how they're going to consume information in black friday, how they're going to make decisions. all of this they're trying to do before all of these big data come through. >> give us the big insight, which is what have you heard from the customer? what is the great surprise this holiday season? >> great question. and an example of why it's important to get ahead. so we actually reached out to one of our own communities engaged about 1500 retail
shoppers and learned a couple of really interesting things. it may not surprise you that mom -- and you guys were talking earlier about online versus instore. moms in the mid 30s to mid 40s still want to go in .shop. but they're being driven into those stores by discounts. the bigger the percentage that come through on that promotion that's on their smartphones, the better opportunity off to drive those moms into the store. oddly, though -- >> i was going to say -- go ahead. sorry. >> contrast that to don't send that same cue upon to single males because they're buying at home and they're actually buying as much for themselves as they are for people that they're shopping for. >> scott, real quick and we've got to run, we were talking about a story that was in the papers this morning about the potential for price discrimination as it relates to the idea that you know everything but say now. you have more data on us than everything. and what happens when i walk
into the store and from whatever zip code i'm in you decide i can charge ta buy more because he's probably more inclined to buy and was less interested in the price compared to somebody else. >> i actually think that basically consumers are eventually going to catch wind of that and that could end up back firing. what customers are doing, clients are doing, is they're trying to get ahead of the curve and get those customers engaged in the process of identifying, really, what they want to do and what experience they want to have. eventually customers are smart. they'll figure it out and they're supposed that stuff. >> scott miller, thank you for joining us this morning. very quickly, we just heard from target putting out a release talking about what happened on thanksgiving day. target announces strong start to black friday sale with target.com traffic exceeding previous records. once again, you're talking about the online sales being a huge part of what's happening and a huge twist to this. they do say the headlines started at 8:00 p.m. before the opening there. the traffic remained strong for several hours. saw things like ipad air, a
nintendo free dsxl and the row boat dog being some of their hoetest hours. when we come back, teens are synonymous with disposable income. are they showing up this year? which stores are best "squawk" green room this morning playing video games. . this is big business, it's serious business. we have activision's ceo. (vo) you are a business pro.
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welcome back to "squawk box," everyone. joining us this morning is the specialty retail and apparel director. and, pam, we always look at those teen shoppers. they have a lot of money, they're willing to spend it. it has been a little tougher for the teen retailers lately. is this trend going to hold out for the holidays? >> well, it's an interesting question. i was in the malls last night and i had associate malls throughout the country. and the teen retailers were packed. not as packed as gamestop where everyone was waiting for the systems to come out. but abercrombie and hollister were the most crowded. >> but abercrombie & fitch, they warned about that. warnings from american eagle, everybody. >> it's all changing. how deep do you think the discounts are this year versus last year? >> well, it's interesting, i thought they would potentially
be deeper. so abercrombie was at an additional 50% off the whole store only until 4:00 a.m. hollister an additional 50% off, and there was a $10 gift card with purchases, as well. aero was at 60% off. but they didn't open at the same time. so the mall that i hit had an abercrombie, hollister, and eagle all open, aero didn't open until midnight and didn't get the traffic. >> we know teens are fickle. we know they shift with the winds. but is there something different happening here? is this not the same old teen trend we've seen in the past? >> well, i think there's less out there for them to be buying in terms of apparel period. it's a lot of the same old, same old product in the marketplace. and i was noticing last night and into this morning, it was a lot of parents in the store shopping for the kids. and when you look at the private label teen retailers, it's safe to go with an abercrombie, eagle or hollister because they know the kid will wear the brand.
we weren't seeing as many of the teenager shopping stores. >> what are you telling investors in terms of these stocks? would you buy these stocks right now? >> typically there's a seasonal trade out of this group right now through february. so right ahead of the next earnings season. so for those names that have been beaten up, which there are a lot of names this point in time that have been severely beaten up, i'd say it's a good idea to get involved in a longer term horizon. but between now and year end, there's not going to be a ton of movement in those names i've reported. >> thanks so much for coming in today. >> thank you. coming up, we have a parade of corporate executives ready to speak out on the state of the american consumer. terry lundgren is going to join us from herald square this morning. but first, game on. we are welcoming bobby kodick, he's going to join us for the next two hours when "squawk box" returns. v
it's black friday, and "squawk box" is going shopping. in this hour, the ceo of macy's live from his flagship store in new york. activision ceo on the best-selling video game of all time. plus, we go off the wall with the ceo of fathead. you're a big fan, aren't you, joe? and steve liesman rocks out with the ceo of rialta entertainment. it's the most wonderful time of the year. and it all begins right here on this special edition of "squawk box."
good morning, everybody. happy black friday. welcome to "squawk box" here on cnbc. i'm becky quick along with andrew ross sorkin and steve liesman in for joe. joe has the day off after eating lots of turkey like the rest of us yesterday. joining us to talk video games and technology, we have the ceo of activision and, bobby, welcome, great to have you here today. >> thanks for having me, beck. >> you are the big man on campus. we'll talk about it. we also have dana telsy also here for today's big black friday show. so thanks to both of them for being here. we'll have more from them in a moment. we've been watching the futures this morning. believe it or not, you are going to see some trading today. it's a holiday shortened trading day, but the dow futures are up above fair value. nasdaq by another 13 points after the run it's been on. and the s&p 500 up by just over two points this morning.
a big month for stocks. gains of better than 2% for all of the major indices. and if you're looking to do some investing today, here's what you need to know about the trading hours. the nyse will close at 1:00 eastern time. the nymex at 12:30 eastern time. oil trading ends an hour after that at 1:30, and electronic trading today will finish at 5:15 p.m. eastern time. we have a little news from walmart on thanksgiving sales. the retailer says it processed over 10 million registered transactions yesterday. what is that? >> it's 1,000 sales a minute. >> between 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. only. just those four hours. walmart.com more than 400 million page views yesterday. the big screen televisions, ipad minis were some of the top sellers on thanksgiving day. in the meantime -- >> can we get them to do the obama care stuff? >> you're sitting in joe's seat, you're channeling him this morning. in the meantime, target is reporting a strong thanksgiving for online shopping, as well.
it says target.com's sales were the highest the company's ever seen in a single day. . plus, the first time in the 155-year history, macy's joined the parade of retailers opening their doors on thanksgiving night. four hours earlier than previous years. joining us now to talk more about it from the flagship store in herald square. terry lundgren, the chairman and ceo of macy's. have you been to sleep yet? >> no. not really. actually, that's not true. i did take a couple hour power nap between 2:00 and 4:00 this morning. but i was here at opening before 8:00 and when we opened our door here at macy's. we had 15,000 people outside the door, wrapped around the building ready to get in. it's obvious that's what the customer wanted was for us to be open. and i'm glad we made that decision. >> i saw you yesterday at the macy's thanksgiving day parade. this is your super bowl
everything wrapped into one day. in terms of why you opened earlier. we had an analyst last week who said he thought it was because you're interested in gaining market share and gaining the millennials. by opening at 8:00 p.m., do you grab a larger portion of younger shoppers? >> definitely, becky. well, first of all, what we did because i was a little more skeptical. but what we did was -- i said i wanted to survey our associates. and so we surveyed our associates before we made the decision. and i said, you know, we were hiring 83,000 temporary associates, we could always say to them, they could open the store at 8:00 p.m. if we didn't want our full-time associates to do that. 90% of the positions were filled by our full-time associates. they wanted to work. they wanted to be here for two reasons. one is, it's higher pay, we pay time and a half, but also because they were saying for the first time they're actually going to be able to get off and shop with their friends and their families on black friday. because they'd be done with work by 4:00 a.m. on black friday.
once you start listening to your own associates, you get the truth and get the real feedback. and we wanted to do what they wanted. but obviously based on the traffic out here, becky, that's what the customer wanted. our competitors were going to be open. that's what drove our decision. and yes, we definitely got a major, major traffic flow of the young millennial consumer last night and early this morning. >> you know, terry, it's been a tale of two retail worlds out there. we've been looking at some of the discounters talking about how things have been tough, how they've had to offer big discounts. but macy's really led the way in terms of earnings releases. people were surprised by how strong macy's sales have been, the earnings have been. and one comment you made in the last earnings release was that things started looking better. improved through the month of october. how have things been looking in november? >> you know, everything is all good. we feel really good. we knew that it was going to gradually get better. we felt it was just based on, you know, the focus that we had
put into the later part of the third quarter of value, of focusing on the big brands, you know, recognizing that what our customers wanted was great brands. but also to make sure we offered great value throughout the season. and so the momentum carrying through october we feel really good about as we headed into the fourth quarter here. >> hey, terry, quick question for you, it's a margin question, which we've been talking about all morning. which is over the next 72 hours, what does the average margin look like for you relative to an average day? so, you know, next thursday, what would the regular margin be that you'd be getting during the holiday season relative to this sort of special period with all the door busters and other things going on? >> yeah. we're obviously working tighter because we wanted to make sure that without question, our value was obvious. and frankly, you know, that's what happened in the second quarter. i don't think our values were as obvious. we felt we were giving good value, but we didn't really make it obvious to the consumer.
and so that was our shift into the third quarter and the fourth quarter is to make sure that we are working very closely with our suppliers to ensure that no one had to guess or wonder. they could go online, they could check and do whatever they want. we were going to have great value throughout the holiday season. we definitely work tighter now and throughout the holiday season. but in the end, you know, when you start generating the incredible volume that we do from this point forward, you can leverage off that. there's only so much expense i can put, you know, toward that volume. and so after a certain level, it just really becomes very positive for us. and bottom line as well as top line. >> terry, that's interesting because that's really talking about the parts of your destiny that you control. but there are certain things that will be out of your control. something like gas prices, which have been down, that's helped consumers. also your competitors have stumbled. if you looked to a jc penney or kohl's, how much of your destiny is in your control and how much is other people's missteps?
>> look, becky, as you know, we've been performing well for four years. this isn't -- and some of those same retailers have been doing okay while others have been doing poorly and some have been consistently poorly, some have been up and down. so i think our consistency has been about our execution. understanding who our core customer is and just focusing on that core customer. constant value, constantly making sure we have the best brands, the most powerful presentation of those brands. and working very, very closely with all of those key suppliers with the collaborative relationship that makes sure that we get unique product. and a lot of what we're selling here is unique to us. >> take us to, i don't know, january 20th. you're tallying up the sales from the holiday season. what does online growth look like that makes you happy? and what does in store sales look like that makes you happy? >> we still do close to 90% of our sales in our stores. while online is growing very
fast. i think we're now the tenth largest online retailer in america. >> wow. >> we're behind like netflix or something. and this is like all retail. >> crazy. >> and so it's crazy and so -- but it's growing on a huge base but also growing. but i tell you one of the best parts we've figured out here with technology is how to use our stores as fulfillment centers. and that's just, you know, just magic for us because i've got 500 of my 800 locations that can now ship product directly to consumers' homes. and so if i don't have the product in macy's herald square and have it in sarasota, florida, i can ship it to the customer wherever that person -- >> give us some numbers, terry, i want to hear some numbers. what kind of sales growth are you looking for? how much is online? how much is in store? >> we're running at about, you know, first of all, higher at
bluming dae bluming dales, a much higher percent than but overall, somewhere in a 10% range. the thing is, you can't look at that anymore. how do you define a sale when a customer buys it online and returns it in stores and buys something else in the store. was that an online sale? and so you start -- that's when you start thinking about this whole omni channel consumer. and for us, i've made it clear to my organization, you know, we don't care how the customer chooses to shop. it's up to us to solve that for that customer. and that's how we define the customer and it's working for us. >> terry, as you think about this holiday season, what are you seeing in terms of what's working in terms of gifts. and you've remodeled, there's more to grow, how is that doing in bringing in the new customer? it looks great. >> well -- thank you. first of all, i have to admit, you know, when you say what can i control and can't control?
i'd like to say i can control the weather. i haven't been able to do that for the last three years. apparently we're controlling it this year. because it is absolutely ideal. i loved being in that -- sitting there at the macy's thanksgiving day parade, wrapped up in a scarf, coat, heavy sweater, like this freezing because everybody's watching what's going on there. and they're dying to get coats. we sold a ton of coats in the last whatever several hours here. and we're selling boots. we've got these -- combination of value and cold weather items are selling like crazy. $79 tommy hilfiger coats, $19.99 boots, customers are charging in and buying in all of our stores across the country. so cold weather is definitely helping. >> hey, terry, i need you to help solve a debate at our thanksgiving dinner table last night. we went to the macy's day parade and the conversation turned to how much does the parade cost macy's?
and we had lots of guesses. i want to know and other people at my table wanted to know and our viewers might too. >> yeah. guess what, i'm not going to tell you because it's a lot of money. it's a big investment. it's a big investment. i don't want to go there. i can tell you we're against it last year, it's not a term of this year, last year. it's a big investment and so are the macy's fireworks we do on fourth of july. we consider ourselves as an entertainer as well as a seller of products. that's part of our brand and who we are and so don't worry, we're going to continue to keep that investment going for the macy's thanksgiving day parade. but it's expensive. >> you looked very warm yesterday in your coat and scarf, the rockettes did not look so warm. they made me shiver when they walked by. >> well, the dance -- the rockettes definitely had coats on 30 seconds before they went on the air. i can tell you that. >> good.
i'm glad to hear that. thank you so much for joining us. i know this is a huge day for you and we appreciate it. we'll see you back here again soon during holiday season. >> happy thanksgiving, happy holidays. >> what was your number? >> my number? >> i thought it had to be $40 million plus. >> 40 plus million? a lot of advertisement. >> it's a huge market. up next, activision ceo. >> we were going to put a sky lander in the plane, it was $700,000. >> hold that thought, bobby. >> activision ceo on video game sales technology and the new console wars and i'm going to figure out how much money i've got to give him. i've got teenage sons who buy his products. and later, joe is here in fat head spirit. there he is. i did not call joe a fat head for you tweeters out there.
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>> we've said good morning to you multiple times. here's my question for you, i want to talk about activision. we've been talking a lot about it for the past week about this whole sort of microsoft, you know, xbox versus everybody else situation. who is going to win this thing? >> everybody wins. >> no. it can't be. >> it's true. >> which one's better? >> they're both great. i think for us as a software developer, they're much more similar in the architecture than in the past which makes it much more efficient for us to develop. the great thing about them is they are a little bit less expensive than you'll see in past cycles. there's a lot more great software that will be available. we really do take advantage of capabilities of the hardware. and so i think everybody wins. >> when you look at the games, the sony console's not any better -- you don't see a difference? some say one is truly better than the other for gaming. >> game specifics. you know, without getting too
technical, some games will run a little bit differently on the different hardware. but at the end of the day, they're fairly similar. >> how important is it to you that those consoles are successful so people upgrade to buy the new games? >> we invest a lot of money, they invest billions of dollars in the platforms, they will be successful. you're already seeing, if you look at the sell through in the first few days in the launch of the devices, they are going to be successful. >> i probably should just write you a check now, right? i've got two boys right in the zone there. >> that's why i came, steve. i want my check. >> is there something that would take me out to another five years or so. just like a payment plan? >> we have a whole program that's available. >> here's what i need to know, are these games substantially different and better than the older versions on the new boxes? >> they are. there's no question. the games that we have for the new hardware are going to be graphically richer, they're going to take advantage of the unique capabilities of the hardware. you have to step back and
realize, if you have a microprocessor and a display, we make games for it. regardless of whether it's a play station 4, xbox 1, 360, or iphone, we make games for any game that has a microprocessor. these are fantastic. >> let's talk about "call of duty." i've seen some things where people were concerned about some of the quality of it, but i've also seen really strong sales numbers. if you look at walmart today, it's big screen tvs, ipad mini, xbox one, ps4, and "call of duty: ghost." what do you feel about the game? how have the sales measured up? and has it been disrupted at all by the release of the new consoles? >> every time, and this is every seven or eight years, you have new consoles, there's a period of time which we are in right now where consumers have to decide which new game system they're buying. so they're not going to buy new
software until they know which game system they're going to have. you're going to see a lot of xbox and play stations under christmas trees, and until they have that hardware, you're going to see sluggishness in sales. i think the game is a fantastic game. they're one of their favorite call of duties ever. it's doing well, but i think until you know what hardware you'll have -- >> that's what i mean, is it a big -- you're not going to know until the christmas presents get opened. is that really when you see the sales and the rest of the things? because the kids will go once they have the console and go buy their games? >> we have a pretty good idea. but, you know -- >> so tell us. >> it's successful. hugely successful. >> bobby, what's the next big game you're working on now we don't know about yet? >> that you don't know about, we can't tell you. but we're very excited about -- next year we have a fantastic slate of products, starting with blizzard has a new game, one of the most fun games i've ever played. we have a tremendous loss of productivity at blizzard because
everybody's playing this game. and it's fantastic. then we have destiny. >> what is it? >> it's like a virtual guard game using blizzard characters. and it is just so engaging, compelling, fun to play. the interesting thing is the first game we've seen where the tablet version is the most popular version within the company. you're starting to see -- >> you do all this development inside the company. people are playing it and you watch how your employees react to the product as part of a gauge of how good a game it's going to be? >> we have thousands of our own employees who are great guide to whether or not the game is successful. and then we have these beta programs, we have in this case hundreds of thousands of players who are playing the game and providing us realtime online. >> that's a big deal. people have been concerned about tablets kind of steeling away from these games. if you've got games -- >> that's the thing, you got a processor, i've got a game for you, right? >> what's the margin? >> is the margin different?
>> it's got to be. >> no. well, here's the thing, it depends on the game. you know, and it depends -- >> can you play call of duty on an ipad? >> there are "call of duty" games specific to ios. >> how much does it cost, for example, to create a "call of duty." this is like a huge hollywood release. >> i don't think we give the specific figures but let's say when you look at cost of development. >> hundreds of millions of dollars. >> cost of marketing, cost of goods. almost $500 million. >> but then you have $1 billion in sales right off the bat. >> in a day. >> when you should be saying is that the marginal cost of intellectual property is zero. once you make the game, it doesn't matter to you. >> you have to transfer to different platforms. >> that's all in the development costs. but selling the next version is still, you know, is there more money in a tablet sale than
there is in an xbox sale? >> it's every device has its own specific economics. android will have different than ios, play station could have different economics than the xbox. >> you don't want to tell us which has the best and the worst for you? >> a billion in a day. >> what's the pipeline of games? more this year than last year. >> 2014 is the strongest pipeline than we've ever had as a company. >> we've got a lot more questions for him. but we're going to go to a little break. >> all right. coming up, former toys r us ceo turned retail consultant gerald storch. the ceo of fathead joins us. and i've got joe kernan looking at me the entire time here. and then the ceo of game maker realta. to help secure retirements and protect financial futures. to help communities
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>> i believe they're open. anyway, shoppers there grabbing door buster deals. we're going to speak to the former toys r us ceo jerry storch next, and steve liesman will try out a new game that teaches guitar enthusiasts real chords to their favorite songs. we're back in a moment. hi honey, did you get the toaster cozy? yep. got all the cozies. [ grandma ] with new fedex one rate, i could fill a box and ship it for one flat rate. so i knit until it was full. you'd be crazy not to. is that nana? [ male announcer ] fedex one rate. simple, flat rate shipping with the reliability of fedex. [ male announcer ] fedex one rate. maestro of project management. baron of the build-out. you need a permit... to be this awesome.
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graincorp. offered to buy the remaining 80%. also, the head of the iea saying that oil markets sufficiently supplied even with the prospect of dwindling crude output from libya, the militias there continue blockading oil fields. reports canada allowed the nsa to conduct widespread surveillance during the 2010 g-20 summit in toronto. a canadian media report citing documents from former nsa contractor edward snowden on that report. and i'm going in a month or two and i'm thinking that all of the communications are going to be -- you know, people always use wi-fi in there and i imagine now all of these big shots won't do that. >> i don't know, you think -- i guess it's the difference is knowing what they've been doing. >> but now that you know. you always go out there. don't you think people are going to be much more careful? >> i'm not worried about my e-mails. >> nothing happening. >> they're okay? >> if the nsa is reading them,
they're probably chuckling. >> all right. let's talk a little bit more about what's happening with black friday and the thanksgiving opening for some of these stores. retailers have been getting a jump on the competition by opening their doors earlier on thanksgiving day. will it be a winning strategy? our next guest was out last night checking out the early, early deals. jerry storch is the former ceo of storch advisers. how are these retailers doing? >> i think they're doing great. you know, it started early yesterday, the earliest in history at 5:00 p.m. with toys r us, then 6:00 p.m. with walmart and best buy and huge lines in front seat of all the stores. i couldn't find ha place to park at the walmart parking lot. black friday has become black thursday and black friday. hi, bobby. >> hi, gerry, please say hi to jackie. >> i will. >> i have an important question since you were the biggest promoter of "sky landers" when
we created it. how are the sky landers doing? >> they were huge. there was a great deal on sky landers at toys r us, at target and walmart, as well. not quite as good at toys r us. it's a huge item for the holidays and that continues today on black friday. you know, people make a lot over the fact there's some shift from friday to thursday night. it's really one big black friday event. i don't know whether you should call it gray thursday like some people do and black friday, but whatever you say, it's a huge black friday event. i believe the biggest black friday in history by a wide margin. as you know, there are fewer shopping days between thanksgiving and christmas and johnny's still got to get his "sky landers" and dad's got to get his sweater. there's 18%, fewer days, that means one's going to have to be huge. >> we were talking off camera about that, the idea of opening early. do you get more sales in? or is it a situation where you
end up spreading the sales thinner over several days? you've got to pay to keep the store open. maybe it makes sense on a year like this, but if it weren't for the calendar shift, doesn't it make sense to stretch the sales over more days? >> well, it's a great question. some of it is just spreading the jolly. someone mentioned the stores are quiet now. and i was out before coming in here talking about not sleeping all night. and the stores that opened early yesterday were pretty empty right now. you could run a bowling ball through target and you wouldn't hit anything. but they're going to come back later in the afternoon. so net, it spreads it out, makes it more of a family event. it's calmer, cooler. sales tend to grow. but it's not just about black friday. this year, they're using the entire pack of crayons. so, you know, you've got sunday that's coming up soon. i call that one yellow sunday because after the long weekend, people are going to realize, it is december 1st and hope springs eternal, they're going to go out
shopping. the saturday before christmas will be a mammoth day. some people call that super saturday. you know, i think of that as green saturday, you make a lot of money on it that day. and christmas eve day, the day before christmas is one of the most intense shopping days of the year. it ends early for christmas eve and all retailers know that's a golden day because they'll spend anything to get the present. >> don't look for sales at the last minute. jerry, thank you for joining us today. >> great to see you, bobby. coming up next, from life size poster stickers for your iphone, the business of fathead is expanding and the ceo's going to join us next to talk trends and hot gifts. you can see us there. we're right there. not really but sort of. and then later, steve rocking out with the chairman of realta entertainment. maker of band fuse to help you achieve rock star status. "squawk box" coming back right after this. go steve. thrusters at 30%! i can't get her to warp.
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we've been checking the futures this morning. you're going to see that the dow futures are indicated higher, up by about 38 points above fair value. nasdaq futures up by 14, and the s&p 500 up by close to three points above fair value. in our headlines this morning, sotheby's will hold the first major auction on the chinese mainland on sunday. competition between the auction house and its long time running rival christie's is moving into one of the hottest markets. sotheby's are offering a slate of modern and contemporary chinese works with a total estimated value of more than $20.19 million. >> thank you, becky. and the holidays are always a time for companies to roll out new products and throughout the studio this morning, we have life size cutouts and wall murals from fathead, ramping up the season and now inside chains like walmart, target, and dick's sporting goods. and joining us from detroit, the
ceo of fathead. do you have a fathead in front of you? do you see us? >> good morning. >> he can't see us. so he doesn't realize. >> your fatheads look great. >> i thought you were going to say we had fatheads anyway. >> you're talking to a fathead who is trying to do an interview with the fathead in front of me. how did this happen? >> well, the fathead business is up 38% this year. and a big part of our growth is the custom product and actually you saw the custom of joe in studio. >> yep. >> and that's been a big driver of our growth. and how that works is a consumer goes to fathead.com, upload a photo and turn it into a fathead of their desire. we can put it in different forms. >> what is the most popular product right now? >> the most important is the custom fathead. but from a license perspective, tom brady is number one and then you have peyton manning, clay matthews and one direction, the
new hot kid band is making a big push here and could surpass all three based on the sales trends. >> is there anybody that will not license their image to you that you would like to have a fathead of? >> you know, fathead has been blessed because it's a great brand and people want to be a part of our product lineup. so typically when we reach out to achieve a license, we typically don't have any problem getting it. >> can i ask what you pay for a license, for example, to a musician? >> well, typically they're royalty only. so the great news is that musicians want to be a part of the fathead brand. in essence, we pay royalties and we don't have to pay an upfront guarantee typically. >> is there a seasonality to the business? >> oh, definitely. in the six weeks of what i call the holiday season, we'll do about 45% of our business. so there's no question that a fathead is a great gift. it's certainly a wow product at
holiday time. no question. >> patrick, this stuff is pretty cool. i went on and i was checking out. i couldn't believe some of the ones you had. it gave me good ideas of christmas presents. i was surprised not to see elmo. have you tried to go after elmo? >> we have tried. unfortunately, that's one we have not been able to get. >> can i customize it if i take a picture of myself and send it in? can i make one? >> well, we're not supposed to do that, but for you, we'll take care of you no problem. we have over 700 licenses. and really, we've traditionally been known as a sports product company in the past. but now we're about sports, entertainment, home decor, art -- >> i think it's huge that customized ones are the biggest selling items at this point. that says a lot. and probably helps your margins too. >> oh, absolutely. because you don't have to pay the licensing fee on a custom. >> right. >> and it's a great gift. when you go into a room and see
a customized fathead, there's definitely a wow effect. >> hold on, this is interesting, i didn't realize if becky takes a picture of elmo. how often are you getting customized products of people aren't themselves or their friends? >> well, that doesn't happen that often. it's a very small percentage. and there's times, obviously, if it's a licensed product that we can't do it. that's a small percentage of the requests we get. >> final question and we have bobby kotick here. do you have any deals together? >> we do. i don't know if we have sky landers characters, we have something. we like to support businesses in detroit. >> absolutely. we do have a partnership and we do offer some of your products. >> awesome. happy holidays. thank you for joining us and thank you for sending in those fatheads. >> we've been having fun with them the last week or so.
thank you, these things are going to show up on the set for a long time to come. >> and that's a life-size head. >> all right. >> thank you, patrick. when we come back on "squawk box," so you want to be a rock star? steve liesman does. he's going to introduce us to band fuse. think of it as guitar hero but with real instructs. we're going to demo it next and talk to the game creator after the break. ready to run your lines?
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xbox and play station expected to be big hits this shopping season. looking to capitalize on that popularity with their latest game "bandfuse: rock legends" which offers a unique way to use the consoles by plugging in a real guitar. i was waiting for this. i saw my kids playing the other games that were out there, and i was like, they're not going to learn real instruments this way. what's the idea behind it? >> the idea here is to go to the next generation gaming game for instruments. we take real instruments, guitar
base and actually vocals, as well and teach you how to play them. this one actually teaches you how to play the real notes with real tableture. >> are you in the stores now? >> we're in stores. went out in stores about a week ago. >> where are you? i saw you in guitar center. >> we're in guitar center, we're in the top guitar center stores, we have kiosks like this where you can demo the game. we're in guitar center and gamestop, also online at amazon, et cetera. >> i saw at amazon, you were sold out there. >> we were sold out briefly. yes, we were. so the game's going very quickly and so we're replenishing -- >> who's going to buy this? not the same guys who bought the fake instruments? >> well, i think this appeals to a broad group of folks. first of all, it appeals to gamers, the game is really like this because it is actually a game. for the musician -- >> you can play against somebody, too? two guys can sit here and score
each other. >> one of the big differences with bandfuse is we have two guitars, bass and vocals. you can play together, we can play with somebody with a bass, as a family. there's no other game on the market you can actually do that. and the beauty of the game is our technology is such that we can actually score you. i can play at level one, which is beginner, you can play at level five, which is note for note. and a bass player can play at level three and everyone is scored independently and you're scored collectively as a band. >> what musicians are you working with now? >> well, we've got big folks in the game. big announcement, we signed the jimmy hendrix folks. we're going to have 16 exclusive songs put out through our downloadable content. we also have other folks, we have slash, we have zach wild, we've got a number of great
legends in the game. >> first of all, is it hard to break into this field? to get on the xbox, if you have a good idea, is it easy to do? >> this is no picnic. we've had a lot of fun. it's been about five years of labor of love. >> let's see what five years of labor of love -- >> let's get you on, i think we're going to play barricuda. you're all tuned up, ready to go. >> you should probably do this. i don't really read it that well. ♪ ♪ >> so what am i doing here now? >> well, what you're doing is this is regular notation as you would see it. >> this is what you see when you
try to learn a song. >> this is what you see. and as it scrolls across the screen, the numbers represent the frets you're going to play on the guitar. these are the actual strings and you're going to hit the note as it crosses this bar. and as you can see the sparks fly in the back, that's telling you you're doing a great job hitting it. >> all right. sparks. each time you hit it perfectly, you're going to get a multiplier and on the top right, it'll give you a score on a realtime basis. the other thing it also does is when there are actual chords being played, the chords will show up here so you'll learn how to play the chords, as well. the beauty of the game is that it's for electric guitars. but we also have a set-up for acoustic guitars. anybody playing an acoustic guitar, we have an adapter that plugs on to the head of your guitar and it'll score you exactly the same way. in fact, the beauty of this game is while we're four instruments today, you can actually plug a lot of different instruments into this, as well. so, for example, you can have an
upright bass. >> cool. >> you there, bobby? >> i'm here, steve. >> what do you think, man? >> looks great. >> you got one coming out like this? you compete with this? >> guitar hero is a different experience. it's just a game, doesn't teach you how to play guitar. that looks fantastic. >> all right. peter, thanks for joining us. >> appreciate it. >> this looks like a lot of fun. a lot of fun. >> thank you. we entered it -- >> let's see my score. >> don't read into that. >> it's not good. >> you didn't finish the whole game. you're doing a great job. your pitch accuracy was 88%, 17 notes in a row that were correct. >> that was pretty good. i've got to do better. >> i would think you're doing a great job. >> becky, back to you. >> steve, thank you. as you probably know, our guest host today is bobby kotick, the ceo of activision blizzard. first of all, tell me what you think about the state of the
american consumer right now. how are things going? >> well, look, you know what, i think our economy is challenged. and i think that, you know, it's going to be reflected in things like holiday sales. you see the determination that people have to find the lowest possible prices. or, you know, all the discounting that's taking place right now. these are unprecedented discounts that we've seen for things. and i think it's a reflection of the challenges in the economy. >> are the retailers bearing the brunt of this? walmart had spectacular sales yesterday. i was looking at things, 299 for an ipad mini, $39.99 for "call of duty." are they taking this and eating it themselves? >> on some items they're probably absorbing the costs but in most cases it's the manufacturers supporting those prices through promotions. >> we've talked an awful lot about the sense of uncertainty that american business leaders have, consumer consumers have too.
a lot generated by washington. do you think things have gotten better or worse over the last year or so? >> my opinion is probably counterintuitive to others, but i think the economy is weak. i think when i look out at job growth and the opportunities for wealth creation, i think you have a lot of speculative wealth creation that's taking place today. but if you look at where interest rates are, you know, any reasonable spike in interest rates, any increase in tax rates, you'll have a meaningful impact on eps. if you see that, i think you're going to see, you know, changes in the market values of companies that could be dramatic. i think there's a good reason to be cautious and concerned about the next few years in the economy here. >> how does your business trend with the cycles. >> we're so big as a company now that i don't think we are. and i think, you know, while you may say, well, the costs per hour of video game entertainment
is the most economical form of entertainment, i don't think any business is going to be exempt from, you know, prolonged economic downturn, ourselves included. >> again, bobby is our guest host, he's going to be with us for the rest of the morning. when we come back, though, we'll be talking more retail. retail giants walmart and target reporting strong thanksgiving day traffic in stores and online. shoppers turning out for some of those big ticket electronic products. they had big items they said were very hot that drew people in. we're going to talk to the man responsible for what ends up on walmart's shelves right after this. "squawk box" will be right back. in a world that's changing faster than ever, we believe outshining the competition tomorrow requires challenging your business inside and out today. at cognizant,
[ woman ] i'd be an architect. what if i told you someone could pay you and what if that person were you? ♪ when you think about it, isn't that what retirement should be, paying ourselves to do what we love? ♪ the turkey is gone and the stuffing's dried out. your friends and family are all home passed out. but "squawk box" is here while the hangover's fading to cover black friday, the lines and the waiting. we've got some great guests here to talk about retail, like dana
telsy whose strength is attention to detail, bobby kotick's here too, one heck of a gamer, his activision blizzard gamer recently upgraded by cramer. the gloom, boom and doom report, it's a "squawk box" friday you can't believe. here now your hosts, andrew, becky and steve. >> welcome back to "squawk box" here on cnbc, first in business worldwide. and a special shout out to dave our producer who wrote that -- that was awesome. >> our own dr. seuss. >> steve liesman is joining us, joe kernan has the day off. our guest host, ceo and chief research officer at the telsy advisory group. we'll have more from dana and
bobby still ahead, but first, we've got morning headlines for you. becky. of course, what's been happening with the markets. we are going to see trading today. it's a shortened trading day. but right now, you can see that the dow futures up by about 43 points above fair value. they've picked up a little bit of ground. s&p futures up by three points. nasdaq closing after big runs, up another 14 1/2 points this morning. as we mentioned, we are going to see a shortened trading day today. the nyse is going to be closing at 1:00 p.m. eastern time. for commodities, you've got trading at the nymex closes at 12:30 eastern today. oil trading ends an hour later and electronic trading finishing at 5:15 p.m. eastern. it is black friday, you knew that already. make or break time for retailers. in just a minute, we'll talk to the man who decides what product walmart stocks on its shelves. but first, courtney reagan and
another holiday tradition joining us now with a retail update from where else, the retail center of the world. dayton, ohio. go ahead, courtney. >> that's right, steve. hey, you know, it's actually a really good cross section of the midwest consumer. america's heartland. and i've got to tell you, this mall opened at 8:00. i'm hearing traffic was pretty heavy then, hit a bit of a lull overnight. some of the shoppers we talked to said they were out on thursday, they're going to take a break and come back this morning. we're already seeing the traffic pick back up again. so far, it seems like the headline around the country is slow and steady. not a lot of mania so far. i think those early thanksgiving hours really starting to help some of the retailers spread out the crowds, spread out some of the panic that we often see. consumers don't quite feel as worried about getting those deals this time around. ibm says that online sales already up 11.5%. that was through last night. the nrf expecting shoppers to hit the stores today. it appears the traffic has been
first at the big box discount retailers and then to the mall. if we take a look at target, they're seeing some strength online already. basically saying on thanksgiving day that on the website traffic and sales among the highest the retailer has seen in a single day. orders two times as big as the year before. jpmorgan's matt boss thinks they're some of the early winners. and of the coldest temperatures we've seen on black friday in 11 years are likely selling some apparel. according to shopular, a popular app, macy's is where the consumers are spending the most time. an average of 79 minutes followed by jc penney at 72 minutes. seeing similar trends around the country. what a difference a year could make for jc penney. we'll see how it goes, many hours to go here today. back to you guys. >> thank you for that. i'm sure we'll see you throughout the day.
also, we have a good start to black friday for retailer walmart. the retailer said it processed more than 10 million registered transactions yesterday from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. just a couple of hours. the retailers saying that big screen tvs, ipad minis were among the top sellers on thanksgiving. and joining us now, the man in charge of deciding which electronics and toys. the executive vice president of general merchandise at walmart u.s. are you in austin? where are you? >> i'm great, andrew, how are you today? >> are you in austin, texas, is that where you are? >> i'm in a store this morning. >> oh, for some reason i thought you were in texas this morning or san antonio. but good to see you. >> yeah, no, i'm in bentonville, the store, 100 right across from the home office. >> so here's the big question. steve was doing the math before. you said how many sales in a minute? >> remember, the 10 million was 6:00 to 10:00 p.m., 2 1/2 million an hour, 41,000
transactions a minute. >> 41,000 transactions a minute last night. what was your expectation? of where you were going to come in last night? >> yeah, it was a great night for us last night. and as you said, a lot of transactions between 6:00 and 10:00, customer came out early, shopped really heavily. we were really pleased with our results this year. last year we served over 22 million customers, a lot more this year. they came for the prices, the one-hour guarantee and we're pleased with the results we had. >> here's the big question. we've been asking it all morning, margin compression, are you making money on these sales over the next 72 hours? >> you know, our business is very broad. and what's great about walmart is the way it can be shopped. we sold over 1.4 million tablets. but we also sold close to 3 million towels last night. we have a broad mix of product in our store it is and able to make money because we have a unique mix that nobody else has.
that's the power of the walmart super center. we feel really good about the results and the weekend to come and we're excited. >> one other question related to this margin compression. are you a believer -- do you believe that all of these sales, these door busters are just bringing sales forward? meaning that customers ultimately would be buying the same amount of stuff but it's just being brought forward and being brought earlier? >> sure. it's a great question. it's something that we look at all the time and try to figure out and, you know, there's no exact answer for that right now. we do know there's a compressed season this year, obviously with one less week between thanksgiving and christmas. so we think it's important to go out early and capture as much sales as we possibly can. but we were really encouraged with what we saw last night. the customers were out in droves. and they were excited and shopping. we think there's pent up demand, customers excited about the christmas season. and it's been difficult from an economic situation for a lot of our customers, but they're going to have a great holiday, provide
a great holiday for their family. we're confident they're going to continue to shop with us and continue to look for the great deals. deals we have this weekend and all through next week on cyber monday. >> you pick the stuff on the shelves. i also imagine you're picking stuff off the shelves. how quickly -- if something is not moving, how quickly do you say enough? we're taking it off now? >> that's a great question. and we're live throughout the night last night, we're in constant communication across the country. we have phone calls scheduled, the east coast is talking to the west coast. we look at pricing, items not moving, do we need to move the location in the store? do we need to change the price on them? live action all the time? that's a live ongoing process. there's no one answer to how quickly we move. it depends upon the item. but we move very quickly and make sure we have what's right for the customer when we need it. >> i'm sorry, assuming -- i'm assuming that you probably getting close to out of stock on play station 4s and xbox ones,
but you know, last night at the thanksgiving table, uh gave thanks to steve who the the largest buyer of video games in the free world. >> well, we sold a lot last night and we were really pleased with what we did on xbox one and ps4, it's been a great launch for us through presale, launch day and last night we were the only retailer that had both systems in our ad for black friday and sold everything we had. and, you know, there's a huge demand for it. we're actually going to be air freighting in product in december to make sure our customers can get more before christmas. and obviously we're going to -- we're going to sell a lot of video games with that also. >> can you give us an insight on who is winning that so far? >> the customer wins. >> the customer wins. they're great systems, we love both systems. sony and microsoft are great partners of ours and we're excited to sell a lot of different products, include a lot of activision games. >> all of a sudden it becomes
expensive for you to air freight it in. >> yeah, it's a cost, but for what our customer wants and it's how we drive sales. and as i said, we've got a very broad product base, a lot of different products in our box. we can mix it out in a lot of different ways. number one priority for walmart is always take care of the customer. if that's what the customer wants, that's what we're going to do. >> how competitive were the prices this weekend? and how will it change going through the holiday season? >> yeah, it's very competitive. retail's competitive every single day. and there's no more competitive time than black friday. we were really pleased with our price position going into the weekend and as we've watched, prices change, deals happen, we came out feeling incredibly good. we're always going to lead on price and we think we netted out really well. >> people got really concerned in the retail world the last time walmart talked about what happened with earnings. they started thinking that consumers were feeling a lot of pressure. and i just wonder if you can
give us an update on what you think about the state of the american consumer based on what you've seen so far this month and particularly this holiday shopping season. >> yeah, it's a great question. they have been under a lot of pressure. and goes all the way back to the payroll tax, unemployment continues to be an issue. so the pressure hasn't been relieved. but what we saw last night was customers coming out and customers shopping and an aggressive way. they came out early, they were excited, i don't think that pressure's going away anytime soon. and i don't necessarily see a macro economic change, but we were encouraged with what we saw last night. >> one thing we've been surprised about is the lower gas prices at the pump haven't helped the consumer more. have you seen that helping at all? do you think it's only offsetting some of these head winds you've been running into as far as the consumer's strength. >> certainly gas prices have an
impact. it's hard to tell in a short period of time what happens when gas prices move. but it is a big part of the expenditure for our customers. we can't say it's had a direct effect on sales or will in the short-term, but we certainly are a fan of lower gas prices, gives customers more money to spend in our stores. the happier we are and the happier our customers are. >> i want an example of something you took a risk on this christmas. something you stuck your neck out on and said, you know what, guys, this one's going to sell that's not on our radar right now? >> well, i wouldn't say there's any one product. but it's about a one-hour guarantee products, we did this last year, three products last year we did one-hour guarantees on, and we did over 20 this year. and the reason we did it is customer driven. our customers told us the number one problem or complaint they had about black friday is they don't get the product they want. so we went out and put a program in place over 20 items guaranteed in our stores. if you come and you're in line the first hour, we guarantee you you're going to get this
product. it was a huge success overnight. over 5 million customers took advantage of it. it's a big event on our part to make that happen. but it worked really well. >> you've got to believe in those 20 products, basically? >> absolutely. >> "call of duty." >> absolutely. >> it was one of five hottest ones they listed. >> "call of duty" -- well, it's a great product, our customers love it, they love the franchise, loved it for years and sells well in our stores. but those items are a big bet. you've got to back it up with inventory. >> very quickly, steve, all of this discounting, i mean, it came as a little bit of a shock to the rest of your competitors, to the retail industry. you saw companies come out and say their margins were going to be lower than they expected in the first quarter because they have to keep up with you and the competition. was that part of your plan to crush competitors? >> no, you know, we watch your competitors very closely, it's something that's kind of core to the dna of walmart, always trying to understand what the market is doing, what our
competitors are doing, but the reality is, we put a plan in place to serve our customers and fit with our business model. we don't necessarily react to what they're doing or plan based on what they're doing. our program is to serve our customers, we know they want great product, want us to be in stock and they want us to have the great prices. that was really how we built our program this year. >> clearly your competitors are reacting to you. >> one more thing worth mentioning because i think it's something extraordinary you've done. how many veterans have taken the opportunities that you've provided this year? because it's something extraordinary. they've made jobs available to any veteran that's looking to work. >> yeah, it's a program we're incredibly proud of and we've hired thousands and thousands of veterans already this year. walmart has been committed to veterans for a long time, we're proud of the program we put in place that any veteran honorably discharged within a year has a job at walmart. we believe anyone that fights for their country shouldn't have to fight for a job when they come home. bill simon's been championing it
for us. he's done a great job and something we're very, very proud of and our customers appreciate. and they tell us all the time, thank you for doing that program, thank you for leading on that issue because it's important to us. >> steve, i have to ask you before you go, what are the reports? is it everything peaceful? are there any fighting going on in the stores this year? >> no. conditions in the stores were great this year. and we feel really good about the program we put in place, customers came, shopped early, our associates did a great job of managing through. and we were in really good shape. >> okay. steve, thank you for joining us this morning and happy holidays. >> thank you for having me. appreciate it. >> appreciate it. >> take care. coming up, warm holiday feelings beware. the "squawk" market master marc faber sees bubbles everywhere and he's got a warning for janet yellen and later the ceo of brooks brothers will join us to talk about the expectations for
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welcome back to "squawk box." the futures right now up 42.67 points, nasdaq up 13.97. what else are we going to read? just looking at the stocks this morning? what time, becky? 1:00? >> yes. >> 1:00. >> we're looking at an early close with many of these markets, we're going to continue to check this. we have been talking about how the markets have extended the record run ahead of the holidays. also the digital currency, bitcoin breaking through the $1,000 barrier. >> crazy. >> raising all kinds of
questions about whether or not bubbles are brewing. joining us now is marc faber, he is the publisher of the gloom, boom and doom report. he's also one of our "squawk" masters. and marc, thank you for joining us this morning. >> thank you. >> we have been talking with you lately and i think the last time you were on, you talked about how you think we're in worse shape potentially than we were in 2008. my guess is you haven't gotten any more positive on the market since that time, correct? >> well, actually, i've been quite positive for equities after 2009 when they became very cheap. but recently, you have to say that we are again in a massive financial bubble in bonds, in equities, we are in a bubble in asset prices that have gone up dramatically. farmland is up ten times over the last ten years. and bitcoins are up now and who
knows what next will go up. but we are in a gigantic speculative bubble. and as i said, i haven't shouldered any stocks yet because they haven't moved up. but i don't see value in stocks any longer except very few sectors. >> what started the concern? what was the point where you said, hold on a minute, this no longer makes sense? >> well, basically the market went up from 666 on the s&p in march 2009, we're now at over 1,700. i felt the correction was overdue when the market was around 1,600. it hasn't happened. but it doesn't make stocks good value because of that. it's like in asia, some markets kept on rising at the beginning of this year and then was in three months from may of this
year to now, they dropped 30% currency adjusted. so we have to be careful in this kind of exponentially rising markets. >> marc, a bubble is different from overvalued. is this just an overvalued market? or is this a bubble market? and what are the metrics in your mind to distinguish between the two? >> well, the p/e ratio at the time is something like 24 times earnings. so it's at the high level that would suggest relative low returns going forward interest rates on the short end are at 0% so they can't go much lower. and bond yields are relatively low, even now the ten years has risen from 1.43% to 2.75%. we're still at the low level.
so i think the financial asset if you look at the next five to ten years expected returns that these returns will be very long. then what you have is symptoms of excess liquidity. some people say they are savings. well, 40% of americans have no savings at all. the savings are concentrated in essentially the 0.5% of the well to do people. and they have very high savings rate because if you earn $100 million a year, it's difficult to eat for $100 million. so you eat for $10 million and you save $90 million. >> but, marc, let me play devil's advocate. i know you look at it over a number of years, 24 times earnings, but if you're looking at forward earnings, you're looking closer to a p/e ratio of
15 for the market. >> correct. >> if someone's been away for a while and really looking at this and has pulled their money out, they've lost money over the last several years if they haven't been participating in this. those are the people really starting to take a look at this and say, wow, i've missed my chance, maybe i need to be an active long-term investor looking at this over the next 10, 15 years. >> yes, precisely. i think if you're long-term investor, you should have bought in 2008 at the end of 2008, 2009. but you shouldn't go 100% into equities. precisely if your long-term investment, i think the future returns will be very disappointing. >> hey, marc, very quickly -- >> concerning the valuation of stocks. >> marc, bitcoin -- >> yes. >> bubble? make sense to you?
>> well, it's a symptom of excess liquidity goes into bitcoins. it can go into paintings, farmland, diamonds, all at different times. i have no idea whether a bitcoin is worth $10,000, $1 million or $50. but it shows that there is a lot of liquidity that just flushes into one speculative sector of the market to another one. >> right. okay. marc, thank you for joining us, happy holidays. appreciate it very much. >> thank you very much. to you the same. we're going to give youen a update on obama care. tomorrow is a key deadline. but officials reporting more delays and provider changes. we have more on that when we return. just by talking to a helmet. it grabbed the patient's record before we even picked him up. it found out the doctor we needed was at st. anne's. wiggle your toes. [ driver ] and it got his okay on treatment from miles away.
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welcome back to "squawk box," everyone. the troubled healthcare.gov site is switching web host providers. said it's replacing data services from verizon's moving it to hewlett-packard. caused the obama care website to be slower or unavailable at times in october. separately on wednesday, the obama administration announced another delay for the online exchanges. now its small businesses that will not be allowed to purchase coverage for their employees on healthcare.gov until next
november. the fix for the small business part of the website was delayed so that workers could focus on repairing the individual enrollment section of the website. in the meantime, small businesses will have to purchase health coverage for their employees through an insurer, agent or broker. by the way, tomorrow is obama administration's self-imposed headline. only about 27,000 signed up for coverage. officials have said that by saturday, the website will load quickly and will work accurately for at least 80% of users. when we come back, we have much more from our guest host today. we're going to be talking retail and gaming with activision ceo bobby kotick and the ceo of brooks brothers joining us at 8:40 a.m. eastern. he'll tell us, though, must-have items this year. avo: the volkswagen "sign then drive"
featured, get this, on an episode of -- >> cnbc's -- >> "american greed." right here. and the fbi received a tip on his whereabouts. here's a tip from the cnbc original that aired on november 14th. >> april 2012, 29-year-old david pleads guilty in los angeles to orchestrating a series of mortgage and lending frauds across the country. he may be young, but he's destroyed lives and stolen nearly $11 million says u.s. attorney james bowman. >> i think there's no question he's very intelligent. unfortunately, he decided to use that intelligence to try to lure people into giving money that he was going to lose or spend for himself. >> a little back story, he pleaded guilty to defrauding more than 50 families and three separate fraud cases. in one case, he set up a mortgage firm and told homeowners he could refinance properties at below market rates if they provided money up front. this is like america's most wanted. >> it's a great series.
>> with john walsh. >> i can't turn it off when i watch it. >> you're saying all the right things, steve. >> no, i didn't watch it for a while and i started watching it and enjoy it. let's turn to our guest host. we were talking earlier -- i said i had two boys. and you said you let your 13-year-old play "call of duty," like i was making a mistake. do you get a lot of pushback? and what advice do you get from parents? with these games, which part of their attraction is they push the envelope. >> i think it's a great question. but as an industry, we do a very good job on ratings. and the ratings are much more descriptive than any form of media and they're very clear. if you're under the age of 17, that game is not appropriate for you. and we do -- we discourage parents from allowing their kids to play games that are inappropriate. >> i've got to push back a little bit on that. i've got to push back a little bit. i guess in the industry it's called skirt tuck. mommy, i want this, right? and we're getting that from our
kids who it's being pushed down, at least, on an advertising basis or some basis down to that level where they're asking for it, their friends are playing it and what happens is, it starts to snowball. it's not like you're entirely innocent in that regard. >> well, you're the parent, you accept the responsibility of being a parent. if your kid says, you know what, they want to watch television that's inappropriate, spend time out in the winter when it's not appropriate. your responsibility as a parent to make sure your kids are doing the things that are appropriate for kids. that means regulating their game play, regulating, you know -- >> you're not helping me. because it's all -- they're pushing it down. they're pushing down the choice to the kids. >> okay. but i'm not your nanny, okay. you're responsible for yourself and your family. >> do you do a nanny service? is that? no. >> not us. >> what do you think about this? kids are demanding it, right? >> kids are demanding and
parents have to set boundaries. >> i'm getting lectured. >> you are. >> this is very hard to do. >> you were probably a fan of the vchip, too, right? remember that? >> we had that. but whatever code we put on the thing, they learn it. they learn it practically before -- >> we all as parents need to do a better job -- >> i have good kids, by the way. >> and this is doing your homework, not watching excessive amounts of television, not playing excessive amounts of video games. that's our responsibility as parents. >> can i ask one related question? so you have on the game the recommendation in terms of age. how often do you think that is actually adhered to? and how often -- what percentage of parents do you think -- and kids are playing these games at younger ages. >> i can't -- i don't know the percentages but i would generally say that, you know, most parents are responsible. and, you know, most parents are taking the time to see how the kids are spending their time. not all, but most. >> because i increasingly think
parents are even taking 10-year-old, 11-year-old kids to pg-13 films. there's a slight inflation, if you will. >> you know your demographic, though. you know what percent of kids that are 13 are playing 17 recommended. you know that. >> we can't -- we don't really know age, but we make -- half of our market is over the age of 18. you know, gaming is a business that is more the 18 to 35-year-old. now, things like sky landers, those are for 6 to 11-year-old. we have a new game destiny coming that we're designing specifically for that teenage like from 12 to 17, which, you know, has -- >> why can't you put on a 12 to 17-year-old version of "call of duty." >> that is a game designed for adults. and that's who we're building the game for. >> okay. you tried. >> i tried. >> and he succeeded. >> he's right to throw it back at me. and we do some of that and we
need to do more of it. and i'm going to get home and take the game away. >> you don't have to. >> yes, i do. >> i shut it off for you. you needed a little parenting help so i shut your game off for you. let's talk a little bit more about what's been happening this retail season. dana, you've been watching the numbers coming in. i just got a note from an analyst last week that raises the point, we could talk about what happened yesterday. we could talk about what's happening today but we really don't know whether or not this was successful or not until you get at least a few days into this because we don't know what's pulling sales forward, don't know how it's going to measure up at the end because they were open earlier, we never had that before. >> right. >> i totally agree, i think overall, it's extending the season. you still have 40% of your holiday sales done. so the sense of urgency is there. what's interesting is, we're not seeing competitive deals or competitive prices that are so much greater than last year so far.
so it's being managed pretty carefully with the margins you talk about all the time too. >> so earlier hours, not necessarily better deals. we'll see how it washes out. >> right. i don't know if we'll get a bigger increase. but is it going to be as expected as we move through? we've heard it, the traffic from 2:00 a.m., 4:00 a.m., or 5:00 a.m. wasn't as big as people expected when you had the mad rush at midnight last year. if you're opening at 8:00, there's only so many people who will go out and continuously shopping. >> makes sense. >> we'll have more throughout the hour, becky? >> all right. when we come back, we'll talk about some of those holiday discounts that will make you look like a million bucks. we'll talk about the ceo of retail brand alliance. and not everyone at walmart is shopping today. phil lebeau with some workers protesting low wages. the american dream is of a better future, a confident retirement. those dreams, there's just no way we're going to let them die.
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welcome back, everybody. it is black friday. and we're watching what's happening in the stores, also the markets. right now the u.s. equity futures are indicated to open up by about 33 points for the dow futures, s&p futures up by over two points bitcoin continuing to surge, touching a new record of $1,432 before pulling back. the currency trying to get into the holiday shopping season with the shopping promotion involving
hundreds of merchants. and even though we've seen this skyrocket, man, this is a volatile, volatile currency. >> the contra indicator. >> no, i agree with you and agree with your column. this is a very touchy thing for people to get into. >> i think this is like tulips. >> could step in and shut it down at any point. >> tulips, beannie babies, cabbage patch kids, at the moment i'm losing, last week it was about $800, now it's at $1,200. i'm a long-term short on this situation. anyway, "squawk" goes shopping this morning, and our next stop is brooks brothers. store opened just about an hour ago and has officially kicked off its holiday shopping season. joining us now is the ceo of retail brand alliance which owns brooks brothers. good morning to you. >> good morning. >> so many other retailers decided they're going to open up on thanksgiving day at midnight. you guys don't do that. why?
>> well, we did in our other stores, but in our regular stores, we just follow most of the other retailers in the mall. we opened the store this morning at 7:00, and most other stores between 7:00 and 8:00 in the morning. >> what kind of discount program do you pursue? you know, it doesn't seem as aggressive as others. and i wanted to try to understand that strategy. >> well, traditionally always been full price, most through the season. we go on sale the day after christmas. in fact, for us, thanksgiving is not necessarily the biggest day of the year for us, the day after christmas is. so, you know, we stay consistent with the past. traditional of brooks brothers. we have inventory right now. we don't feel any pressure to start the season earlier. >> and i always think of brooks brothers as a guy store, except
you do at lot more women's than you used to. >> and that's been growing? >> oh, yeah, that's about ten years ago was maybe 10% and so it's one of the -- still a small percentage. >> what is the hot item this season iffer you? >> of course, you know, suits and shirts, ties is our number one items through the season normally. but for the holiday season, we didn't normally sell a lot of cashmere sweater. you can find a better sweater at any price. >> what are you charging for a cashmere sweater this season? >> $398. you can't really find this quality anywhere else. >> can you help me with this? this is a real question. i look at them during the holiday season. maybe you can help me with this too. you look at these different sweaters. yours will cost close to $400,
ralph lauren will do something in that kind of range, but then you come down, you can get it at j. crew maybe for $200, $300, banana republic, or go down to h & m, they seem to find cashmere for $90, even less, i've seen stuff for $50, $60, how different is it really? >> well, if you ask our customer that bought our cashmere sweater ten years ago, they're probably still wearing them. and if you ask a lot of other people that bought cashmere sweater somewhere else, they bought maybe last year, i'm not sure they'll still wear it this year. there is a real big difference in quality. it's still called cashmere, but the way it's put together and the wool we select from is very, very different. >> okay. i am wearing a cashmere sweater today. oh, final question, this is important for guys. this season, it seems like it's everywhere. patches, are you doing a lot of patches on the elbow? i see it all over the place these days. >> yeah, this year, there's a
little more than usual. we have some, especially in our younger collection. >> it's like the old professor look. now everybody's putting patches on their blazer. you know what i'm talking about? it's crazy. now you put on the sweaters, everything. >> give reason -- >> if i'm going to buy one of these things, how long fashion wise, how long will this last? two years from now, will i have to get rid of it because i'm going to look old? >> well, you know, we sell patches in our jacket, our traditional jacket and tweeds jacket for a long time. they're still in fashion, still traditional. >> and this whole pattern -- >> a little bit more, but i don't think it'll go out of fashion. >> thank you very much. what are you going to say, steve? >> what producer gave you the brooks brother segment? >> why? >> you're such a clothes horse -- >> i was noticing, he had a suit up there. everyone's wearing patterned blazers, you know what i'm
saying? >> yeah. >> the sweater. >> it's the italian suit. >> i know. >> that was a brooks brothers. >> no. that was a brooks brothers. what? you think his suit? >> no, brooks brothers has gone very upscale, very italian. >> they were screaming to get out of that segment. >> i know. i know they were. >> you kept asking question after question after question. how old is that cashmere sweater? >> this sweater is fortunately or unfortunately ralph lauren one so it's a pricey one and the good news is, it does last. >> how long have you had it? >> probably three or four years whereas the other stuff is relatively disposable. >> how much did you pay for it? >> on sale 30% off. >> you can fix that easily? >> in the back? >> thank you. >> we'll have much more about andrew's. we'll put a live shot in your closet. talk more about andrew's sweater. but there's more going on at walmart locations coming up. phil lebeau will have that story from chicago next.
>> reporter: andrew, this is the kind of crowds i don't think walmart was looking for on black friday. protesters, 75% calling for walmart to pay workers more. how many of these protesters actually work for walmart? we'll have that story when "squawk box" returns. all next week, "squawk's" higher learning project, innovating education by disrupting the classroom. putting the university system to the test. how the public and private sectors can reshape the nation's workforce. the brightest minds on the front lines of learning whole class only on "squawk box." tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 trading inspires your life.
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some walmart workers and their supporters protesting low wages today. phil lebeau joins us with more. >> reporter: behind me about 75 people protesting low wages at walmart. we asked these people how many of you actually work for walmart? we found 3 people of the 75 who actually work for walmart. brings up the question why are
these people protesting at this walmart and supposedly 15 wall marts around the country. they believe they should be bringing the minimum wage up to $12.50 an hour. in their words, that's the right way to help the workers earn more. >> it's about the choice that the company makes. at the end of the day, it is not fair that we as american taxpayers have to add to the bottom line of the most profitable company in america. we're talking about the world's largest employer. they can, indeed, afford to pay higher wages. and again, the minimum wage for walmart workers is $8.80. it's a number of groups coming together, calling themselves
jobs for justice. walmart has 1.4 million employees in the u.s. and the ceo says they do pay higher than most other retailers. >> we're proud of the pay that we have also. we pay in the top half of the retail industry and we understand that there will be people out asking for more. we understand that frustration after five years of a difficult economy and we're going to do all we can to look for opportunities for them to advance. >> as you a take a look at shares of walmart and how they've done over the last year, keep this in mind. we saw these protests last year, we'll see them at a number of stores this year. when i talked with the people in line here, i said what do you want them to do aside from raise the minimum wage? everyone said we just want the workers to be treated better. i said what does that mean? they said just better. i'm not sure everyone exactly know what is they're protesting for but they're making quite a
scene here on black friday in front of the store on the north side of chicago. >> dana, could walmart pay its workers more? what would happen to walmart? >> you could always pay your workers more but then you want higher margins, too. >> costco pays more than walmart. is there a benefit? >> longevity of talent. >> phil is gone. i wanted to ask him, he said 3 of the 75 people protesting actually work at walmart. we had a debate about this around the table last night about could they pay higher wages, especially on service jobs that are locked in. it's not like there's a competitive overseas thing. if it's a manufacturing, it's a different story.
bob, you want to weigh in on that? >> i have to say this is a company that has offered every veteran that has been honorably discharged a job. you cannot have the opportunities like that to provide those kind of opportunities and not be a company that cares about your employees. >> what about the other side of that, which is a person who may have a full-time job from one of these stores would have to receive government assistance? so is that right that essentially the story is the taxpayer is subsidizing cheap hamburgers in our society today. >> it's a complicated question. generally you see in surveys that walmart employees are happy employees. >> and at the same time, there are a tremendous amount of unemployed americans and many would kill for a job like that. >> i don't know whether minimum wage should be lifted or not.
it certainly seems like it could hamper job creation but at the same time, if corporations are reaching some of these incredibly fat profit levels, should that be passed on? generally i'm not in favor of price and wage controls, i think that leads to a dangerous spiral. >> many of the retailers that we know, many of them are already paying above minute ma'am wage. >> that's been the argument from many of them is that we're not at men mum. >> and you pay your workers more, you have to charge your customers more. the question is does that come from the shareholders remember than from the customers? so profits are less rather than prices be high per. >> you have no comment on this, andrew? >> i don't know. i have no answer.
i wish i could tell you what the right answer is but i don't know. >> coming back, we'll get the last word from our guest host. and the university health services ceo alan miller will be on "squawk on the street." that's coming up in the 10:00 hour. "squawk box" will be right back. we're aig. and we're here. to help secure retirements and protect financial futures. to help communities recover and rebuild. for companies going from garage to global. on the ground, in the air, even into space. we repaid every dollar america lent us. and gave america back a profit. we're here to keep our promises. to help you realize a better tomorrow.
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let's get back to bobby kotick for the last word. you know ceo is up for grabs. besides from yourself, who would you like to see in that role? >> i would say they need someone who has entrepreneurial, opportunistic thinking. while we rely on them for their xbox business, i'm not sure -- >> you want to throw a name out? >> someone like safra katz,
oracle. >> any other name you want to throw out? >> i think that's what comes to mind. >> dana, quick thought on the retail season. >> macy's, tjx, michael kors will be some of the winners and we'll have a retail season that will be extended. >> thank you for joining us. right now it's time for "squawk on the street." good morning and welcome to "squawk on the street." i'm david faber with kayla tausche. it's bring your kid to work day on what lab shortened trading day for the markets.