Saturday, 12 December 2015

The Force of Merchandise

Star Wars is one of the largest film franchises in the world. The original films pioneered merchandising in the 1970s, into an industry worth billions of pounds. Is there anything that cant be branded 'Star Wars' check out the video clip below and see what type of merchendise is getting made in anticipation of the new release.

Xmas Jumpers on the Decline

Regardless of when we reached peak Christmas jumper, retailers have reined in stock this year, demand is down and discounting is already under way.he problem, according to Lorna Hall, head of market intelligence at WGSN, is that the market for jumpers featuring red-nosed reindeers, jaunty penguins and sparkly snowmen is saturated. “People who wanted to buy everyone in the family a Christmas sweater as a joke have done that now and they are not going to do it again,” she said. “If you’re wearing a Christmas jumper this year, you are probably going to be pulling it out of the bottom of the wardrobe from last year or the year before.” Asda admitted that demand had slowed dramatically: it expects sales of Christmas jumpers to rise by only 6% this year. Last year, sales doubled and a year earlier demand soared by 450%.

Online Christmas

An increasing number of British customers prefer shopping online rather than going to a high street shop, according to a study. As much as 90 per cent of people said they did at least some of their shopping online, with nearly 70 per cent citing excessive crowds as being the main drawback to shopping in stores, according to a survey of 2,000 people by Approved Index. "Avoiding the crowds definitely seems to be the biggest component in the rise of online shopping at Christmas time. However, we have noticed that there are many factors playing into the trend, such as exclusive online discount codes and the convenience of home delivery," said Bobbi Brant, brand manager at Approved Index.

Flavour of the Month

Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy will soon have his own limited edition flavour of crisps, courtesy of Walkers. Vardy is very much the flavour of the month in the Premier League at the moment,  The Leicester striker is also Player of the Month for November, retaining the award he won in his October, having established a new Premier League record for goals scored in consecutive games.The crisps will only be on sale at Leicester's next few home games.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Holidays Are Coming...

Coca-Cola Enterprises has added some festive cheer to its 1.75 litre bottles with a new limited edition bow design, allowing consumers to transform the bottles’ wraparound labels into neat decorative bows. Consumers can peel away the bottle label to reveal a tab that, when pulled, forces the label to contract and form a bow shape on the front of the bottle. Available from the beginning of December across the four key variants – Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Zero, Diet Coke and Coca-Cola Life – the festive format will help retailers to drive seasonal sales and encourage consumers to share Coca-Cola with a loved one, the brand said. The novelty pack also means that shoppers can add something special to the table when hosting festive get-togethers. The new format will be supported by in-store point-of-sale material and the launch of Coca-Cola’s Give a Little Happiness television advertising campaign, to air across the UK from early December with a ten-second homage to the new bow design. Coca-Cola Enterprises director of operational marketing Caroline Cater said: “Christmas is the most popular calendar moment of the year, and as soft drinks is the most frequently bought category during the festive season, its vital we help retailers make the most of the opportunity and offer exciting national campaigns to boost sales.

Crisp Candles


If you like Pringles so much you want to climb into the tube and immerse yourself in their crispy, salty loveliness, you’re in luck. No, they haven’t invented a human-sized tube (sadly), but you can now get the next best thing – Pringles scented candles. The candles currently come in three flavours: Pigs in Blankets, Cheesy Cheese and Texas BBQ, and promise to fill your homes with the festive smell of Pringles. A Pringles spokesperson explained: ‘Sales of Pringles boom at Christmas… so what better way to create the perfect festive atmosphere than with the scented Pringles candle?’ But here’s the bad news: the candles are currently just being trialled and aren’t actually available to buy this year.

100% Charity Christmas Card


We spend over £250m on Christmas cards in the UK each year. Many cards are sold to raise money for charity however a recent survey found some retailers hand over as little as 10p per pack of Christmas cards to charity.  At what appears to be the least generous end of the scale, the Co-op gives nearly 7% (10p) of its £1.50 cards to food poverty and food bank charity FareShare, while Lidl gives the equivalent of 8% (10p) of a pack price to children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent. However a group called the Sreepur Village has set up to change this and produce the best Christmas card ever - one that donates 100% of the purchase price. Started 26 years ago by British Airways flight attendant Pat Ker, the Sreepur Village charity in Bangladesh - cares for up to 100 destitute women and 500 abandoned children. It helps fund itself from the sale of Christmas cards handmade on the site using materials grown locally and decorated by women from the local community for a living wage. Each pack of 16 costs £14.75, which includes UK postage and packaging - however they have already sold out!

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Online Black Friday

Online retailer Amazon says it had its biggest sales day in the UK as shoppers rushed to buy bargains on Black Friday. The UK version of the website sold more than 7.4m items while other retailers had problems with web sales due to huge demand. Retail analysts said online sales were estimated to have passed £1bn on a single day for the first time. Many big stores have opted for a week long sales period this year and IMRG predict figures will reach over £3bn by Monday - which retailers refer to as Cyber Monday. The popular card game Cards Against Humanity collected £42,200 after asking people to pay them $5 on Black Friday, for nothing in return. The company explained '11,247 people gave us $5 or more, and this led to us making a profit of $71,145.

No Mog For Christmas


Shoppers have been left furious after Sainsbury's stores around the UK ran out of stock of cuddly Mog toys - with the cuddly teddies selling for up to £90 on eBay . Sales of the popular moggy have left Sainsbury’s chiefs struggling to keep up with demand - with some punters making nine times more than its £10 retail value selling it online. The toy - which accompanies the hit supermarket advert, shows Mog the cat ‘save christmas ’ after wrecking its owners’ home - has been a surprise hit since the ads hit our screens earlier this month. Shoppers have bought tens of thousands of the toys and the accompanying book Mog’s Christmas Calamity by author Judith Kerr for £3, with profits going to Save the Children. But bosses at the store, which has 12,000 stores in the UK, have now admitted that it only had a ‘limited supply’ and that stores which have run out will not be getting any more of the cuddly toys - leaving thousands of punters disappointed. Writing on Sainsbury’s Facebook account Joanne DeBarro wrote: “What a shame Sainsbury’s you have upset hundreds of children every time I see your Mog advert will make me think about how many children you have let down this Christmas. What a shame.”

Be Safe, Be Seen, Be Fined

Poundworld has been fined over £63,000 for selling non reflective hi-vis jackets, sporting the logo "be safe, be seen". Tests conducted by trading standards on one of the jackets revealed its reflectivitiy was no more than 2.4 per cent of what it should have been. The discount retailer had already sold more than 95,000 vests for £1 each. Prosecutor Andrew Johnson said Joe Taylor, from Hertfordshire Trading Standards, had carried out tests on a hi-vis jacket purchased from PoundWorld. Judge John Plumstead fined Poundworld £15,000 and ordered it to pay £42,395 in an agreed confiscation order, along with £6,123 in prosecution costs. He said: "People would have gone out of the shop believing they had improved the safety of their children or themselves when out after dark on foot or on a bicycle. "The fine demonstrates the court’s disapproval of those who put on the market safety aids that are not safety aids at all."

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Black Friday

Britain is poised for its biggest ever day of shopping next week, with consumers set to mark the Black Friday sales spree by spending as much as £2bn in a single day. Retailers across the country will cut prices on 27 November, as a shopping tradition launched in the US becomes a fixture in the British high street calendar. Spending nearly £2bn in a single day is equivalent to £83m every hour, £1.4m every minute and more than £23,000 every second. Amazon is offering 7,000 deals on Black Friday, more than double last year, when it generated 5.5m orders in a single day. A number of smaller retailers are also responding differently in order to protect their margins and business models. Anthony Thompson, chief executive of FatFace, has said that instead of discounting the casual clothes retailer is donating 10% of net profits to local charities. Others are choosing to espcae the Shopocalypse by following the trend of Buy Nothing Day which aims for people to not buy anything on Black Friday.

#Cadvent Countdown Begins

Cadbury has announced its plans to construct an advent calendar out of 24 branded trucks, one for each 'door' of the calendar, in the lead up to Christmas.Each truck will showcase a number from 1 to 24 on its exterior, which will determine the day it is to depart from the advent calendar in Bournville, the home of Cadbury. In a bid to showcase the joy that Cadbury brings in the countdown to Christmas, the trucks will travel to locations throughout the UK and Ireland to greet consumers with Cadbury treats and other surprises.Claire Low, marketing manager at Mondel├Ęz International, said: "Through this ad, we wanted to capture the huge anticipation felt by consumers during the Christmas countdown. 

Toys R Not Just For Boys or Girls

One of the world’s best-known toy retailers has stopped telling girls and boys what they should be playing with, in a victory for parents upset by gender-based marketing. Toys R Us has dropped gender filters from its UK website following complaints that such signposting puts off girls from playing with trains and construction sets. Shoppers are instead invited to browse depending on the child’s age group, brand, or type of toy they are after. But Christmas shoppers will find that aisles devoted to pink and blue, even if the signage is no longer there, remain the norm.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Personalised Pots

Coca-cola started it but the personalised trend is now spreading to more areas. Nutella and Marmite are now both offering customers an opportunity to get personal with their products. Brands have huge emotional attachments, and as previously reported, personalised Coca-Cola bottles were used for a wedding proposal. Philippa Atkinson, assistant brand manager for Marmite, told marketing and design magazine The Drum: "We're delighted to be entering the growing market for personalised products. Marmite has an innate ability to create talkability and we believe our personalised jars will do just that."

The 25p Store

A social supermarket selling surplus items for a bargain 25p is offering an alternative to food banks. Entrepreneur Charlotte Danks is now hoping to help others struggling to feed their families all across the UK after the success of her first store in Cornwall. The Bargain Brand Food Outlet in Newquay stocks food that has been rejected by supermarkets, allowing her to sell it at a discount price.She stocks products nearing their sell-by date or that have been rejected by supermarkets due to manufacturing faults, such as damaged packaging or incorrect labelling. The businesswoman says supermarkets get in contact when they have stock they are unable to sell before she collects it in her van. Charlotte said that ‘Everything is perfectly fine, but the supermarket has to get it off its shelves and it would otherwise end up straight in landfill. ‘It’s really taken off. Hopefully in the next six months I’ll have another two shops.’

The 4th Edge


The Serafino 4th EDGE has been designed and researched through 32 prototypes over the last 6 years. Now ready to be unveiled – and compared – and to defeat players using conventional boots not using Serafino 4th EDGE . The boots offer an 33% increase in kicking zones over standard boots. They have 3 conventional surfaces, left side, right side and laces that perform every bit as well as any other boot on the market. They are supremely comfortable to wear that players believe to be safer and more comfortable than other boots available. They help protect footballers from ever more common metatarsal injuries that can keep players on the side lines for months at a time. Plus, and a very big plus, it will turn you from a one-footed to a two footed player.  Uniquely the Boot has a 4th lethal kicking surface, our specially moulded toe to ensure you can kick with it with complete accuracy, more power and a faster strike.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Amazon Begin A New Chapter...

Amazon is opening its first physical bookstore, 20 years after the world’s biggest online retailer started selling publications on the internet. The company will unveil a shop called Amazon Books at University Village in Seattle, its home city, on Tuesday. Amazon will stock about 6,000 titles, with the selection based on reviews and sales data from Amazon.com. The price of books in the store will be the same as on the website. Richard Mollet said Amazon was following in the footsteps of Apple as well as traditional bookshops. Apple has opened shops across the world to sell technology, and it also uses the physical locations to bolster its brand. The store includes a shelf holding the bestselling books on Amazon.com and another with books that are rated 4.8 stars and above by customers. Comments from reviews are also shown next to each book. Can this prove a success?

Jumping For Joy

The 'Burberry Festive Film' this year pays tribute to the iconic BAFTA-winning British film Billy Elliot, which this year celebrates its 15th anniversary, and sees the cast - including Romeo Beckham - leaping in the air while wearing a scarf in the signature print. See how many other stars you can spot in the advert. Why do you think that Burberry would spend so much money on an advert? Inspired by the production of the original film's charitable support the local community Easington, County Durham, where the film is set, to make a donation of £500,000 to be split between two charities. Also, none of the stars involved took any pay, they instead decided to donate their fees to charity also. All if the festive spirit of goodwill!

Man On The Moon

 
The two-minute production – which cost £1 million, with a further £6million going on booking TV slots - features a six-year-old girl who is determined to get a message to a lonely old 'Man on the Moon'. It has trounced last year's production with more than 23,000 social media mentions in the first two hours - compared to Monty's 14,000 in the first 24 hours last year, according to Brandwatch. In the first hour of it being teased on YouTube, there were 16,396 mentions of #manonthemoon and #onthemoon - which was used as the teaser hashtag. Follow the link to watch the advert.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Spectre Product Placement

Spectre is believed to have more product placements than any of the 007 series' previous 23 offerings, with at least 17 brands plying their wares on screen. One of the more blatant scenes sees Bond handed an Omega watch by Q only for the camera to zoom in on the item, clearly making sure viewers could see the brand name. The filmmakers have previously defended product placement, claiming it is the only way to fund the stellar budgets they need. Spectre is reported to have cost £226 million to make. Some of the less-than-subtle sales pitches in the new film include a close-up of a Sony phone, and the back of a Land Rover needlessly lingering in shot to make sure the name is clear.  Bond namechecks Rolls-Royce when a vintage model picks him up from a desert railway station, and Sig Sauer guns when he is trying to teach Bond girl Madeleine Swann how to shoot. As always, Bond has a penchant for Aston Martin cars but other makes also get a prominent showing.  The simple shot of Bond glowering outwards sees him wearing a polo neck from N.Peal. The fashion brand has signed a deal to dress Bond in its £200 cashmere jumpers. Craig's Bond continues to be fitted out in Tom Ford suits, with the fashion label also providing sunglasses for a range of characters. Ben Whishaw's scientist Q is also shown in a Missoni striped sweater.

Retailers Spooked by Halloween Frenzy

Supermarkets are banking on a sales surge this Halloween, with one City analyst calculating shoppers could spend up to £460m on fancy dress, food and decorations. The celebration is the UK’s second-biggest party night after New Year’s Eve, say analysts at Conlumino, and some supermarkets expect a sales boost of up to 20% this year because the event falls on a Saturday. Halloween has grown in popularity in the UK and easily accounts for more spending than bonfire night. Parties were once focused on children, but Watson said adults were increasingly prepared to dress up. Asda said it had more than tripled its stocks of costumes this year and bought nearly 60% more makeup as it expected Halloween sales across all categories to rise by 20%. Sainsbury’s said it had bought 30% more adult costumes than last year and 22% more non-food Halloween-related products.

A Brand New Brand Phone

Rumours have been bubbling away that Pepsi is set to launch a smartphone – and now the fizzy drinks firm has confirmed they are true. Leaked image and details of a budget Android handset called the Pepsi P1 emerged earlier this week and PepsiCo have said that a 'line of mobile phones and accessories' will launch in China in just a few months. One handset, the P1, is predicted to boast features including a 5.5-inch screen, fingerprint scanner and 13-megapixel camera. Available in China only, this effort is similar to recent globally licensed Pepsi products which include apparel and accessories. Pepsi has no plans to get into the mobile phone manufacturing business, but we are committed to engaging with consumers in innovative ways to grow our brand.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Five Star Fake Reviews

Amazon is taking legal action against more than 1,000 people it says have posted fake reviews on its website. The US online retail giant has filed a lawsuit in Seattle, Washington. It says its brand reputation is being damaged by "false, misleading and inauthentic" reviews paid for by sellers seeking to improve the appeal of their products. Amazon says the 1,114 defendants, termed "John Does" as the company does not yet know their real names, offer a false review service for as little as $5 (£3.24) on the website Fiverr.com, with most promising five-star reviews for a seller's products. "While small in number, these reviews can significantly undermine the trust that consumers and the vast majority of sellers and manufacturers place in Amazon, which in turn tarnishes Amazon's brand," the technology giant said in its complaint, which was filed on Friday. Amazon said it had conducted an investigation, which included purchasing fake customer reviews on Fiverr from people who promised five-star ratings and offered to allow purchasers to write reviews.

Sparks & Spencer


High street chain M&S has ramped up loyalty card wars with the launch of Sparks today. But in a twist, the M&S members card does not give shoppers coupons to spend or points to trade in against products - instead it “unlocks benefits”. Shoppers signing up to the scheme will earn ten “sparks” for every £1 spent in stores and receive a further ten points for the transaction. They can boost their sparks by 25 points for writing a flattering or scathing online review of a product and 50 points for “shwopping” - donating an old item of clothing when buying a new outfit. A spokesperson said: “Members will accrue points rather like in a video game - the points don’t have a monetary value and they are never spent. They are a way of accessing exclusive deals and personalised discounts each time members shop or interact with us online.” These details then determine the types of offers or discounts that they receive - for example 10% off fresh flowers or a better bottle of wine or fizz to go with a meal deal. Under the loyalty card scheme, 3,000 sparks will unlock priority access to new fashion ranges and 5,000 will give card holders the chance to bag bargains online 24 hours ahead of the crowd. And extreme loyalty of 14,000 sparks will open up events like catwalk shows and masterclasses while 17,000 will enter card holders into draws with prizes like a trip to a South African vineyard or Christmas taken care of up for grabs.

Sweet Potato Success


The new-found enthusiasm for sweet potatoes has triggered record supermarket sales but a new variety means they are now not so exotic. British-grown sweet potatoes will go on sale in supermarkets for the first time next week, the first successful results of a crop innovation in the south of England which has taken three years to develop.  The move has been hailed as a breakthrough for British farming, as the sweet potato typically relies on warm and dry growing conditions and has until now only been sourced overseas, typically from southern US states such as North and South Carolina, Egypt, Senegal and Israel. Sales at Asda are up 50% in the last year. Marks & Spencer said sales were currently “going through the roof”, up 112% year on year, while Waitrose reports a 30% year-on-year uplift. In March the ONS added them to their basket of goods to help measure inflation.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Top of the Socks

After selling an app he had created to a social media site, 31-year-old Nic Haralambous had enough money to invest in one of his passions - quirky, colourful socks... some of which are made of bamboo. He partnered with his girlfriend, alongside two foreign investors, and together they have created a retail product that is walking the streets from Cape Town to New York. Nic says that "After you’ve worn our incredible bamboo socks, we’re certain you’ll never want to wear another". Follow the link to watch a short clip about the Business.

New Milk Tray Man

The mysterious Milk Tray man is set to make a comeback with Cadbury hunting for someone to fill the famous black polo neck sweater. Delivering chocolates with no thought for his personal safety, the Bond-esque hero dodged sharks, jumped bridges and flew helicopters in a series of adverts beginning in the 1960s. "All because the lady loves Milk Tray" became one of TV's most quotable lines - but it's now 13 years since his last appearance. One of the original Milk Tray men, James Coombes, is appearing in a new TV ad where he looks for "a new hero to deliver the famous box". Anyone over 18 can register their interest or nominate an adventurous, dashing friend at a special Cadburys website. The winner will get a one-year contract to front the chocolate brand in 2016. Follow the link to watch one of the original commercials.

Meet The Candidates

Series 11 of the Apprentice is set to begin on Wednesday with 18 aspiring entrepreneurs prepared to take on the toughest Apprentice yet. Follow the link to take a look at one of the candidates application videos - What entrepreneurial skills do they demonstrate? Do you think you could do better?

Sunday, 4 October 2015

The Apprentice

The Apprentice is back with a new batch of ambitious entrepreneurs seeking to demonstrate their commercial insight and business sense to stay out of the firing line. There’s a £250,000 investment at stake and the chance to go into a business partnership with Lord Sugar. Over the course of 12 tough tasks, the candidates will be whittled down until just one victor remains. And plenty of sparks are set to fly in the boardroom along the way! Each week the budding entrepreneurs will be divided into two teams - led by designated Project Managers - that lock horns under the watchful eyes of Lord Sugar's advisor Baroness Karren Brady and new aide Calude Littner. First episode is Wednesday 14th October at 9pm on BBC1.
The Apprentice

Monster Energy Ultra

Coca-Cola enterprises has launched a range of zero-sugar and zero-calorie Monster energy drink in the battle on sugar. Rolling out this month the three flavours in the grange will contain no sugar and instead be sweetened with sucralose and acesulfame K. The original Moster Energy boasts 55g or 13 teaspoons of sugar in a single can. Marketing director Caroline Cater said "We've responded to the overwhelming demand from consumers and Moster brand fans to introduce a wider selection of variants, which contain zero-sugar and zero-calories".

If I knew then, what I know now...

Have you had a burning business idea for a while, but want to wait till the time is exactly right before you make your move? You could be falling foul of one of the first bits of advice many CEOs would give themselves when they were starting out. Follow the link below to find out some tips from seven bosses that they would have given to their younger selves. 

Design For Life

Can you charge double and still keep your customers coming back? German appliance manufacturer Miele thinks so. It's a strategy, readily associated with German manufacturing, from hi-fi to industrial machinery, build quality products that last, and you'll win over customers in the long run. They believe a customer impressed with his vacuum cleaner can come back for a washing machine, a tumble dryer, a cooker, or a coffee machine. It's brand loyalty the company is after. And as they like to point out at Miele, no-one enjoys reading a new instruction manual. Despite the fact that a typical Miele machine costs around twice the mid-market standard one, sales are growing year-on-year. 

Sunday, 27 September 2015

App of the Month - Billionaire

Billionaire is the fastest way to be the richest person on earth; tap to build a new business, collect your fortune, expand your business empire, and beat the world's wealthiest figures. No complicated stuff, just pick your favorite business and pile up your money. Manage your business in the most creative way possible to grow your fortune. Fame and fortune will attract unwanted attention! Manage your threat level - if you build too many risky business, the police will take you down. Why not give it a go? Recommended by Jay Y10.

Brand Bond

Heineken is kicking off the 17th year of partnering with the world’s most famous spy, James Bond. In anticipation of the Nov. 6 U.S. release of the latest Bond film, “Spectre,” the beer brand is planning a slew of tie-ins and promotions. The campaign is the brand’s “most innovative ever,” says Ralph Rijks, Heineken USA senior vice president of marketing, and is the brand’s largest global marketing platform of 2015. Along with the film integration of James Bond enjoying his go-to beer, a new TV commercial, limited edition bottles and a movie ticket contest are launching. In November, the world’s first selfie from space, nicknamed the “Spyfie,” will also be commissioned. Click the link to check the advert which is part of the brands £64m campaign.

Lacemups

A dad has created a clever device that helps children learn how to tie their laces. The device, called Lace’mups, helps youngsters to hold the different parts of the laces while they tie them and then it simply slips off the shoe, leaving the laces bound tightly. Ben Drury, of Whitley Bay North Tyneside, developed the product after becoming increasingly frustrated trying to help his daughter Isabel tie up her new sports trainers numerous times. The dad-of-three said: “At the time I thought someone must have invented something that helps. But after a search on Google, it turned out no-one had, so I thought I’d give it a try.” The product has now gone into production and over the last 12 months, they have refined the design and gone through the strict process of European safety testing getting it ready to sell.

The Business of Rugby

The rugby world cup is finally here, teams from all over the world will gather in the UK, to compete on the biggest stage in rugby. But how will this impact businesses in the UK?.... Major sporting event like the RWC have huge economic value, with millions of supporters expected to visit the UK over the coming weeks, many businesses have an opportunity to capitalise on this major event. It is estimated that the RWC will generate £2.2billion of output into the UK economy which will result in £982 million of value added to national GDP. More international visitors are expected than any other Rugby World Cup in history, there has been £85 million invested in infrastructure, 41,000 jobs to be supported around the country and the economic benefit will be shared around 11 host cities.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Poundland Merger with 99p Stores

The UK competition regulator has granted permission for discount retailer Poundland to acquire its biggest rival, 99p Stores. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said that the £55m merger would not cause a "substantial lessening of competition". It said customers would not face a "reduction in choice, value or quality of service as a result of the merger". The CMA's ruling was provisionally published in August. Both Poundland and 99p Stores sell fast-moving general merchandise, normally for a fixed single price. The CMA believes supermarket chains and other discounters, such as Poundworld, will counterbalance any effect caused by the merger. Poundland said it would now complete the takeover of its rival, announced in February, by the end of the month.It plans to create a network of 800 shops.

Newcastle International Business Park

Agents have been appointed to a £100m business park development set to create more than 2,500 jobs. UK Land Estates and Newcastle International Airport have outline planning permission for Newcastle International Business Park, a prospective development set in 50 acres of development land which will provide more than one million square feet of business space. A new website has been launched to highlight the park’s potential offering, giving potential tenants a first look at how it will look in a series of CGIs. Once completed, the whole development will incorporate offices, industrial and hanger accommodation, alongside the existing airport and freight accommodation and office facilities.

Lidl Higher Wage

Lidl has said it will become the first UK supermarket to implement the minimum wage as recommended by the Living Wage Foundation.  From October, Lidl UK employees will earn a minimum of £8.20 an hour across England, Scotland and Wales, and £9.35 an hour in London, the supermarket said.  The Foundation will announce a change in its recommended rates in November.  The rate is different from the National Living Wage as set out in the Budget. Lidl said that if the Living Wage Foundation raised its recommended rate in its annual announcement in November, Lidl would adjust its minimum wage accordingly. Currently, Lidl pays its staff a minimum of £7.30 an hour and £8.03 an hour inside London. The Living Wage Foundation's current recommended minimal hourly rate is £7.85, and £9.15 inside London.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Morrisons Shuts Up Shops

Supermarket chain Morrisons is to close 11 stores with the potential loss of 900 jobs as part of plans to transform the company's fortunes. It also reported a 47% drop in half-year pre-tax profit to £126m. Chief executive David Potts, who started in March, said he regretted the proposed closure of the 11 stores. On Wednesday the retailer said it was selling 140 loss-making "M" local convenience stores for about £25m. The shops will be rebranded as "My Local". The 2,300 staff will be kept on, with an extra 200 jobs to be created by reopening 10 shops that are currently closed. This forms part of the company's £1bn cost saving programme, as it now tries to concentrate on its core supermarket business.

Queen Flakes

Kellogg's has marked Queen Elizabeth II's record-breaking reign with a creation of what it reckons is the world's poshest cereal: Queen Flakes. The limited edition concotion is on sale exclusively at Manchester's Black Milk Cereal Dive at £6.30 a bowl. The cereal is made up of HRH's favourite cereals Kellogg's Corn Flakes and Special K which have been decorated with gold leaf. They have also incorporated macadamia nuts and edible jelly diamonds and pearls. Kelloggs wanted to pay tribute to the Queen on her spectacular reign as they are an official supplier to the palace. 

Talking Vending Machines

MK Taxi Company is one of the first Japanese employers to install a vending machine that can be programmed to talk in different Japanese dialects. Drivers using the machine are greeted by a number of different phrases in the voice of President Aoki, including “Drive safe without any accident” and “Groom yourself well and smile”. A Japanese beverage maker called Dydo Drinco is behind the machines, which can be programmed to give a message when someone inserts money. Dydo Drinco came up with the idea to foster better communication in the workplace, the Japan Times reports.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Dyson Clean Up In China

Engineering group Dyson has reported record profits in 2014, driven by demand in Asia and a strong performance of its new technology. The company, which made its name manufacturing distinctive bag-less vacuum cleaners, said profits were up 13% to £367m. It now sells 90% of its products outside the UK with a turnover rising to nearly £1.4b. Dyson said it had doubled the size of its business in China. It has a strong presence in other Asian markets, such as Japan and also showed strong sales in Europe. Sir James said "We spent an additional 40% on research and development last year and now spend £3m a week as we develop expertise in entirely new areas."

Heinz Tomato Seasoning

The Israeli health ministry has ruled that Heinz tomato ketchup must now be sold as "tomato seasoning" there.Rival ketchup maker Osem, the top selling brand in Israel, had said the Heinz product did not have sufficient tomato content to be called ketchup. In January Osem said it had Heinz ketchup tested and found it contained 21% tomato concentrate. Israel requires ketchup to have 41% tomato concentrate. The same issues have come up with Chocolate in the past due to laws that milk chocolate in the EU must contain 30% cocoa, whereas in the US it need only contain 10%.

Money Can't Buy Happiness

Markus Persson – the Swedish inventor of the ridiculously popular Minecraft computer game – last week announced that, despite having sold his creation for £1.2bn, he was not happy. In one tweet, Mr Persson wrote: "The problem with getting everything is you run out of reasons to keep trying, and human interaction becomes impossible due to imbalance." So does wealth and money always buy happiness?

Friday, 10 July 2015

Homework!

Pictures of a homeless boy doing his homework on the pavement outside a McDonald's, to take advantage of the light at night, have gone viral.The youngster is seen sitting at a tiny wooden bench writing or drawing in a book as the glow from the restaurant illuminates the space around him.The boy was tracked down by the news network who found out his name is Daniel Cabrera. ABS-CBN discovered the Cabrera family has had no permanent home since their house was destroyed by fire. Daniel is a grade three student who sets himself up under the lights of the fast food chain branch every night, as it provides the only stable light source near his temporary home. The youngster told the network that despite his family's current situation, he is determined to finish his studies to be able to help them.

Buyers Get The Hump Over Camel Milk

Online retailer Muscle Food has begun selling half liter bottles of raw camel's milk, although shoppers should brace themselves for the hefty £19 per bottle price tag. The chilled milk contains 17g of protein per bottle but is so much more expensive than cow's milk due to the comparative lack of the animal in dairy farming environments - one for every 12,000 cows in Europe. It is rich in vitamins but has a similar taste to cows milk. The health benefits mas led to the product flying of the shelves and the feedback from customers has been positive.

Liquiglide

Mayonnaise that does not get stuck in its container is being developed by a Norwegian company. Orkla is the first food manufacturer to announce a deal with US company Liquiglide to use its non-stick coating in product packaging. Getting the last bit of sauce out of a bottle is a common annoyance for shoppers. Many have shared their frustration on social media. One expert told the BBC some consumers might have safety concerns. "I'm sure consumers do, from time to time, look at the wasted dregs stuck in a bottle of mayo and wonder why suppliers haven't been able to solve the issue," said Vince Bamford, buying and supplying editor for The Grocer. "Embracing this technology would offer a brand a unique selling point, although some degree of education would be required to reassure shoppers that this was a natural product."

Saudi Prince to Donate Fortune

Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has said he will donate his $32bn (£20bn; €29bn) personal fortune to charity. The 60-year-old nephew of King Salman is one of the world's richest people. He said he had been inspired by the Gates Foundation, set up by Bill and Melinda Gates in 1997. The money would be used to "foster cultural understanding", "empower women", and "provide vital disaster relief", among other things, he said. Mr Gates praised the decision, calling it an "inspiration to all of us working in philanthropy around the world". Prince Alwaleed is at number 34 on the Forbes list of the world's richest people. He has stakes in Disney, 21st Century Fox, News Corp, Apple, GM, Twitter, and a string of hotel chains and luxury hotels, including New York's Plaza Hotel and the George V in Paris.

Primani Plans Italy Stores

Primark is taking its own brand of high street chic to Milan, home to Versace, Prada and Armani and one of the world’s fashion capitals. The retailer – already nicknamed Primarni by fans – plans to open three stores in Italy within the next 12 months. The move comes as Primark revealed that its first US store, in Boston’s Downtown Crossing, will open in September. John Bason, finance director of Primark’s parent company Associated British Foods (ABF), said Primark already had stores in Germany, the UK, France and Spain, and that Italy was the logical next step. Primark’s own analysis has found Italy to be the second biggest potential market for the brand in the EU, behind only Germany.