Amazon challenges Shopify, Activision Blizzard diversifies board, Skechers signs pickleball winners

Yahoo Finance Live looks at many of today’s stories related to stock market trends, including Amazon and Shopify’s new “Buy with Prime” service implementing bitcoin payments.

Video transcript

DAVE BRIGGS: Welcome to Yahoo Finance Live. Now onto our triple play. I play video games, no surprise guys, Activision Blizzard my game. ATVI in the news on two fronts. Good news first – the game company is immediately adding two women to its board, Lulu Cheng Meservey, and they will appoint Kerry Carr in June at their next meeting. The company had in fact violated California law, which requires publicly traded companies with six or more people on the board to have at least three female directors, thereby righting a wrong.

Now, on the other hand, a report in “The Wall Street Journal” says Meta COO Sheryl Sandberg pressured the “Daily Mail” to bury a negative story about her former boyfriend. , Activision CEO Bobby Kotick. Kotick was pressured for allowing sexual harassment at the company. Not yet entirely clear if Kotick would stick around if Microsoft’s purchase of Activision goes through. The share price is down slightly since the offering. It is up, however, 17% year-to-date and on the day, just a fractional downward move for now.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: Definitely good to see, at least on the positive side, more women coming to Activision Blizzard’s board. Now my choice is Shopify. The stock symbol is SHOP. Now the stock was down more than 10% in intraday trading before recouping some gains. Now we see it’s down about 8.1%. They are down around $42.89. This was actually after Amazon announced its new Buy It With Prime service. Now it allows customers to buy directly from Amazon’s online stores from trusted merchants. It will start as an invite-only service for merchants using Amazon fulfillment, and it will roll out this year.

But the problem is, that means it picks up some of those little e-merchants, those little retailers that Shopify is very popular with. Especially with the pandemic, a lot of people are starting these small businesses. And we also saw that Square and PayPal are also dropping today.

But we know that SHOP has also taken other measures. They have grown in terms of crypto acceptance through their operations in Ottawa. And that means lower fees and faster bitcoin payments can be made on the emerging Lightning Network. The stock, however, is still down more than 65% year-to-date, like many of some of these struggling pandemic darlings. So it will be an uphill battle as they come out of the pandemic.

Brad Smith: And we know that Amazon has really taken the lead on those conversion rates, and marketers really like that. And so with Shopify moving here, we’ll see if they’re able to continue to compete with this Amazon move. Drawing on my own endless fascination with Skechers’ range of brand ambassadors, from Kim K’s Super Bowl commercial years ago, to Willie Nelson, Martha Stewart – more recently you have a few golfers and now, Tyson McGuffin and Catherine Parenteau.

If you’ve never heard their names before, don’t worry. They are in the pickleball arena because it is the one the company has decided to invest more in marketing in. So it’s all part of their ambassador marketing calculus in the shoes category. And the company is releasing its first quarter results on April 26, so we’re going to get another financial breakdown that’s going to be interesting. Skechers says the company will present results from the wholesale and direct-to-consumer segment. They are also coming off a record fourth quarter. And I’m particularly interested in what they’ll be planning with a new competitor to Lululemón, if you will, which has come into… yeah, that’s the French pronunciation.

DAVE BRIGGS: Wow, lemon.

Brad Smith: Limón, yes, in the footwear category of the women’s segment. So for Skechers here, that’s particularly what I’ll be keeping an eye on. Stocks fell here that day, however.

DAVE BRIGGS: Say it again? Silt.

Brad Smith: Lululemon.

DAVE BRIGGS: Lululemon.

Brad Smith: Hard on.

DAVE BRIGGS: You had me at professional pickleball players, which caught my fascination. And you know what Topgolf has done for this game of golf, a company called Rally is hoping to do with pickleball. They are opening a 27,000 square foot, two acre facility in Charlotte next year – indoor courts, outdoor courts, restaurants and bars. Pickleball is the sport of the next generation. Man, it’s exploding, my friend.

Brad Smith: You had me at Topgolf. It’s my jam.

DAVE BRIGGS: We need to hang out there.

Brad Smith: We do.

DAVE BRIGGS: Topgolf, we all love.