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The Philadelphia Inquirer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania • Page 75
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The Philadelphia Inquirer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania • Page 75

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Wat $fnlaidpfiia Jnquirer BUSHSI THURSDAY June 14, 1990 SECTION The U.S. mass consumer market is no longer By Neill A. Borowski Inquirer Staff Writer NEW YORK Like a cookie, America's consumer market fragmented during the 1980s and, in the 1990s, the fragments will crumble into even smaller particles, according to demographic analysts. But in those crumbs are profits. Consumers are becoming more diverse in their lifestyles and attitudes, and, to be profitable, companies will need to identify those particles and sell to them, Martha Farnsworth Riche, national editor of American Demographics magazine, said.

In this new particle marketplace consisting of smaller and smaller niches, "no household type is dominant anymore," said who spoke at the magazine's annual Insights Opportunities conference that concluded here yesterday. A twist in conventional demographics caused the crumbling, she said. Over the last 20 years, the tradi tional population-age pyramid with the largest numbers among the youth at the bottom has been replaced by the population-age pillar. Today, that pillar has almost equal proportions of youths, middle-aged and older Americans. New lifestyle trends are the main cause of the crumbling market.

The trends include growth in: step, or "blended," families; the number of people living alone; the number of households headed by women, and the aging of the baby-boom genera tion. "The marketplace of the 1990s is dizzying in its complexity," according to Cheryl Russell, editor-in-chief of American Demographics. Businesses must adapt to the changes or lose their markets. About 400 people attended the annual conference in search of answers from the demographers, economists and marketing analysts from the magazine and elsewhere. Those seeking answers ranged from retailers to motel-chain opera- tors, from financial-service firms to dog-food makers, from television stations to religious groups and from insurance companies to nonprofit organizations.

The titles of the seekers included "group manager, demographic tracking and analysis," "future planner" and "manager, market development." Some of the companies represented weren't surprising: PepsiCo; Eastman Kodak; Mazda; Burger King; and Anheuser-Busch. Other attendees represented even more interest ing institutions: Playboy magazine; Hallmark Cards; the American Dental Association; the Racine, Unified School District; Epic Records; L.L. Bean, the Freeport, Maine, retailer; and New York's American Museum of Natural History. One of the latest trends coming up again and again at the conference was the reawakening of the American public to environmental issues. "Ask 15-year-olds what they're interested in.

The second item they'll (See DEMOGRAPHICS on 14-F) ell Atlantic buying into firm in New Zealand it in pt miMiwim mmi mmmintiimmmimtmaimmmmmmmmmmtmmi i nr mt meemimjimmitmmmtm Bell executives have said they expect the company's international business to account for one-tenth of total revenues within the next five years. Bell Atlantic had operating profits of nearly $1.4 billion last year on revenues of $11.45 billion. To comply with restrictions in the court order that broke up the Bell system and created Ameritech and Bell Atlantic, the New Zealand partners would create a company to handle all phone calls from New Zealand to the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The court agreement that governed the break-up of American Telephone Telegraph Co.

bars the regional Bell phone companies from the long-distance business in the United States. But Bell Atlantic and Ameritech said they would seek relief from that part of the agreement. Bell Atlantic spokesman Jack Baird said that the company expected to close the sale within 90 days and that the public offering of Telecom stock could be accomplished by the end of March 1991. Telecom has always been owned by the government of New Zealand, which is selling it as part of a privatization of state-owned enterprises similar to that undertaken by Great Britain and several European nations. Bids for Telecom were submitted June 6, and the Bell Atlantic- (See BELL ATLANTIC on 14-F) Compiled by The Inquirer Staff Bell Atlantic Corp.

said last night that it and Ameritech, another U.S. regional telephone company, would pay about $2.4 billion, or 4.25 billion New Zealand dollars, to buy New Zealand's government-owned telecommunications company, Telecom Corp. of New Zealand. The deal, in which Philadelphia-based Bell Atlantic would end up owning 24.95 percent of Telecom, is a big step toward the company's goal of becoming a major international telecommunications company. Ameritech, based in Chicago, also would end up with 24.95 percent ownership in Telecom Corp.

The two American companies said they would sell 5 percent of the stock of Telecom to each of two New Zealand partners in the deal, Fay, Richwhite Holdings Ltd. and Freight ways Holdings Ltd. The remaining 40.1 percent of Telecom would be sold to private investors in New Zealand and other countries through a stock offering. Raymond W. Smith, chairman and chief executive officer of Bell Atlantic, said the New Zealand company is "a high-quality telephone operation with significant growth potential." The deal represents a leap in Bell Atlantic's foreign operations, which now have about 900 employees in 14 countries and produce annual revenue of about $150 million.

The Philadelphia Inquirer RICK BOWMER Before hundreds of would-be bidders, Ross Dove auctions off the office equipment of Drexel Burnham Lambert. Going From Drexel's offices onto the auction block iik I rimumummmimm mvm Pi! 1 pww' mm ill telmii inirnrHTf--T mi 1 1 in mmu May sales slump; 3d straight drop By Barbara Demick Inquirer Staff Writer NEW YORK A slide flashes on the screen. It is a seemingly prosaic piece of office equipment. But not so. This is a paper shredder from the corporate headquarters of Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc.

"Drexel never had to shred any documents. It's probably never been used," shouts Ross Dove, the auctioneer who presided over this moment of history. So began another episode in the dismantling of the financial empire that was Drexel. This was the auction for the contents of Drexel's offices for the copiers and computers, the leather chairs and conference-room tables that, in headier days, served as props for one of the great boom-to-bust stories of the 1980s. The auction took place yesterday in a cavernous exhibition hall of the Jacob Javits Conven tion Center.

It attracted an estimated 10,000 bidders, who filled rows of folding chairs to watch the slide show of Drexel's detritus. Most of the items for sale were nondescript, in style somewhere between modern American motel and basic corporate office, circa 1985. But the auctioneers from Ross-Dove Co. being savvy salesmen, played up Drexel to the hilt. "This machine did the binding on the world's first junk bond!" proclaimed Dove, a third-generation auctioneer gesturing towards a slide of a gizmo described in the catalogue as a therm-a-bind.

With lips moving as fast as a hummingbird's wings, Dove launched into the bidding: Two-hundred-fifty two-hundred-seventy-five three hundred three-twenty-five, Sold! at $325. A used Sony Trinitron televi- Conn, executive Paul Frenkel bids on a copying machine. U.S. retail sales Billions ol dollars (seasonally adjusted) Percent change from previous month 152- I man. The thousands of bidders in attendance seemed more intent, however, on bargains than memorabilia.

The more determined buyers clutched pocket calculators and mobile telephones. Many said they were in search of low-priced personal (See AUCTION on 2-F) sion set went for $300. A brass coat rack went for $180. The probably-never-used-and-almost-like-new paper shredder fetched $450. A rolltop desk, built in 1922, commanded $5,000, after a rumor swept the bidding floor that it had once been in the office of Frederick Joseph, Drexel's chair I 148- 146- 144- II ill ill ii si 11 II II 1 MMMmmmmmmmmm 142 From Inquirer Wire Services WASHINGTON Retail sales fell a sharp 0.7 percent in May, marking the first time the important gauge of economic activity has dropped for a third consecutive month since the last recession almost nine years ago.

The Commerce Department also revised its report of April sales, to a 0.9 percent drop from the previous estimate of a 0.6 percent fall. The report pointed to an economy that was weaker than many had thought and rekindled speculation that the Federal Reserve might lower interest rates to boost economic growth. Many economists had predicted a gain of 0.1 percent in retail sales for May. "Consumer confidence was down in May," said economist Sandra Shaber of the Futures Group, a Washington management consulting firm. "Maybe the poor job market and very weak wage gains are having an effect." Jean Sundrla, an economist with Evans Economics said the May report was "definitely pathetic" but was consistent with other data.

"Jobs are off, borrowing is off, sales are off," she said. Sales had not fallen for three straight months since September through November of 1981. The decline in May left retail sales at a seasonally adjusted $146.84 billion. Consumer spending fuels about two-thirds of the nation's total out- Yesterday's stocks Dow Jones industrial average 40 1 T-1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 MJJASONDJFMAM 1989 1990 The Dow drops 3.47 points 2980 I Down 3.47 2960 2940 2920 SOURCE: Commtrc Dtpirtmtnt put of goods and services, so a prolonged slump quickly curtails economic activity. "This economy is not as healthy as most experts thought," said Thorn Brown, managing director of stockbrokers Rutherford Brown and Cath-erwood.

But most economists believed the economy would continue to skirt a recession, although its growth would be weak for months to come. "This does not necessarily indicate (See RETAIL SALES on 8-F) respects to these multiple unknowns Thursday and Friday," said Alfred Goldman, director of technical research at A.G. Edwards. Evidence of continued softness in business activity helped push interest rates lower in the credit markets. Prices of long-term government bonds rose about $7.50 for each $1,000 in face value, lowering yields to the 8.38-percent to 8.41-percent range.

Volume on the floor of the Big Board came to 158.91 million shares, against 157.10 million in the previous (See STOCK MARKET on 8-F) Analysts said the market's brief rise in the afternoon was prompted by a government report that retail sales fell in May for the third consecutive month, rekindling expectations that the Federal Reserve would act to reduce interest rates. Lower rates would spur economic activity. The government will report on producer prices for May today and consumer prices tomorrow. There is a consensus among economists that the numbers will show more evidence of an economic slowdown. "I think the market is paying its From Inquirer Wire Services NEW YORK The Dow Jones average of 30 industrials posted a small loss yesterday, bogging down after a short-lived run toward record highs.

The index, up about 10 points at its best afternoon level, finished with a 3.47-point loss at 2,929.95. The average reached its closing peak of 2,935.19 on June 4. Declining issues slightly outnumbered those that advanced in nationwide trading of New York Stock Exchange-listed stocks, with 722 up, 786 down and 499 unchanged. 2900 2880 1 1 hi I I i 111111111 9:30 10 11 12 1 2 3 4 A.M. P.M.

SOURCE: Knight-Ridder Money Center A special program aids j. 6iUV6pV6ii6UVS in isuluuttl Ik A conference center finally is under way By Susan Warner Inquirer Staff Writer Construction of the long-delayed hotel and conference center at the University City Science Center, the last major piece of the West Philadel-' phia complex, has begun, following an infusion of Japanese money. Japanese developer Akitoshi Sa-dahisa has agreed to contribute $8 million in private financing to the $40 million complex, to be built on a parking lot on Market Street between 36th and 38th Streets, developer David S. Cordish said yesterday. Construction was to have begun in 1988, but Cordish said supporters of the project ran into delays putting its financing together until Sadahisa came up with additional financing (See SCIENCE CENTER on 9-F) pand," said Lumpkin, 52, who began his business 16 years ago.

"But I couldn't. So when I heard about this program, it sounded good." The program is a new wrinkle for CBAC, as it is known. Since its creation by the city in 1987, CBAC has presided over a program of commercial lending, making 14 loans totaling $718,500. But, said spokeswoman Adina Abramowitz, the agency found that many small businesses were having trouble getting money to buy or renovate real estate. So, with help from the city and federal government, a real estate lending program was set up.

The city arranged to borrow the (See CAMDEN on 14-F) By Terry Bivens Inquirer Staff Writer Last year at this time, Dona Lumpkin, owner of Lori's Records on Had-don Avenue in Camden, was looking for a place to expand. But Lumpkin was having trouble persuading the bankers. This year, Lumpkin has no such problem. And that's the gospel truth. Rejoice, fans of Mississippi Mass, James Cleveland and other gospel groups.

Thanks to a loan from the Cooperative Business Assistance Corp. a nonprofit city development agency, Lumpkin, a specialist in the gospel sound, is expanding next door from his 1206 Haddon Ave. location. "I tried to get a bank loan to ex fwi mum im AVafe 2 Mm imlir Th PtMtwMphn Inqurer SHAAOM J. WOHLMUTH Dona Lumpkin in his store, Lori's Records, which he will expand with the help of a CBAC loan.

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