Cash-only Business Owners Loose 66% of their Sales

As American consumers begin to embrace tap-and-pay smartphone apps, relegating plastic to a deep recess in the pocketbook or wallet, more than half of U.S. small business owners continue to live in the past—forget mobile apps, they don’t take American Express, or anything other than cash.

For nearly 10 years Joe Coffee, a small chain of artisan coffee shops in New York City, accepted only cash. Not only was it a more profitable scheme—Joe’s average sale was $2.75 and credit card processing would eat up about 3 percent of each transaction plus add a laundry list of fees—but being cash-only was part of the company’s ethos.

“We thought of ourselves as the little mom and pop place with the owner behind the counter making coffee. Our signs were hand-drawn, our small coffee was $1.63, we’d only take cash—all those things went together,” said Jonathan Rubinstein, Joe’s owner.

Six years in, Rubinstein began to notice a shift in customer behavior. “We started reading our Yelp reviews—75 percent of the negative comments about Joe were about us not taking credit cards,” he said. “We were losing a lot of sales in terms of people not having cash and going to a competing coffee shop but also people spending less money who wouldn’t buy a $17 bag of coffee [beans] or a $75 grinder.”


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Sturm Ruger Sales Jump 45%

Sturm Ruger Quarterly Sales Jump 45% on Demand for New Firearms

Sturm, Ruger & Co. (RGR), the largest publicly traded U.S. gun maker, reported a 45 percent jump in third-quarter sales, on high demand for new firearms.

Revenue surged to $170.9 million in the three months ended in September, from $118.2 million a year earlier, the Southport, Connecticut-based company said in a statement today. That beat the $136 million estimate of Andrea James, an analyst at Dougherty & Co. in Minneapolis, who rates the shares neutral.

Sturm Ruger cited high demand for its new products, including the LC380 pistol, the SR45 pistol, and the Ruger American Rimfire rifle. The new products sales represented 32 percent of firearm sales in the first nine months, according to the statement. Demand for Sturm Ruger products outpaced industry demand, the company also said.

Sturm’s earnings report, however, was much stronger than investors appeared to give it credit for. Earnings for the quarter came in at $1.44 per share, well ahead of the $1.21 per share that Wall Street had been expecting. Similarly, Sturm’s $170.9 million in revenues for the quarter trumped expectations for just $154.3 million in revenues.

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Hackers Steal 850,000 Credit Cards from Limo Service

A hacker break in at a U.S. company that brokers reservations for limousine and Town Car hackedservices nationwide has exposed the personal and financial information on more than 850,000 well-heeled customers, including Fortune 500 CEOs, lawmakers, and A-list celebrities.

The plain text archive apparently stolen from the firm are more than 850,000 credit card numbers, expiry dates and associated names and addresses. More than one-quarter (241,000) of all compromised card numbers were high- or no-limit American Express accounts, card numbers that have very high resale value in the cybercrime underground.

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