Sunday, 28 September 2014

Mike Ashley Makes £43m Bet

The billionaire owner of Sports Direct and Newcastle United has made a £43m bet on Tesco's future. Following Tesco's admission of a profit error it sent share prices tumbling. Sports Direct said it had entered into a put-option agreement with Goldman Sachs for more than 23 million shares, representing a 0.3% stake in the supermarket business. The move essentially means that Mike Ashley is betting that the Tesco share price will rise. The agreement gives Goldman Sachs the option to sell 23m Tesco shares to Sports Direct at a set price on an agreed future date.

Blackberry Passport

Blackberry has launched a distinctive handset featuring a square screen and a keyboard that offers both physical keys and touch-enabled gesture controls. It said work-focused users in particular should benefit from the Blackberry Passport's innovations. Sales of the company's handsets - which are powered by its own operating system - have been in decline. Analysts said the new device should appeal to existing Blackberry owners but might struggle to win over others.

Greggs New York Hot Dog

To herald the roll-out of its new hot dog, Greggs went to the spiritual home of the snack, New York, to see what the city's picky residents thought of the bakery chain's new product. The approval of one of the world's street-food capitals paves the way for the roll-out of Gregg's hot dogs to 1,700 shops across the UK.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Unlimited Holidays

Mr Branson said he was inspired by his daughter, who read about a similar plan at the online TV firm Netflix. "It is left to the employee alone to decide if and when he or she feels like taking a few hours, a day, a week or a month off," wrote the billionaire. "The assumption being that they are only going to do it when they feel 100% comfortable that they and their team are up to date on every project and that their absence will not in any way damage the business - or, for that matter, their careers!"

Too Cool

Apple has retained its title as the coolest brand in Britain for the third year running but Twitter has fallen out of favour to make way for rival Instagram, according to an annual survey. Which other brands do you think will have made the top 20?


Brands have swooped on the latest social media scandal to hit Apple, after new iPhone 6 Plus owners claimed their devices bent unexpectedly when carried in their pockets. The scandal was quickly tagged "bendgate" on social media sites and brands were quick off the mark with responses.KitKat is unexpectedly leading the pack with its tweet, "We don't bend, we break."

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Top Boss

Richard Branson has been voted Britain's most admired business leader over the past five decades, in a poll of top bosses.The Virgin tycoon was voted the runaway winner by a survey of FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 chairmen, chief executives and chief financial officers, non-executive directors, lawyers, accountants and headhunters.

The Ikea Wall

Ikea has turned an entire apartment into a vertical climbing wall in a clever installation to celebrate its 30th store opening in France. This allows people to harness up and climb up the furniture to the top. Vanessa Vannier of communications agency ubi bene said: “As Clermont-Ferrand is a sporty city, IKEA wanted to give to the inhabitants an event that perfectly suits their needs.”

Chocolate Cranium

Make no bones about it - this Selfridges Halloween product is going to get noticed. The retailer is selling a chocolate skull it claims is 'anatomically correct in every way'. It is made available in milk, dark, chili and caramel versions but at a pricey £120.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Tear & Scare

It is not October yet but Wrigley is gearing up for Halloween with a limited edition Trick or Treat Starburst share bag. The bag is exclusively available at Tesco now but will hit all stores in the coming weeks will have a mix of fruit chews however you won't know which are sweet and which are sour until you bite into it.

First Bite of The Apple

Hundreds of Apple fans around the world queued to finally get their hands on iPhone 6 handsets. Sam Sheikh from London was the first customer in the UK to get his new iPhone plus after queuing for 3 days. In most stores the phones sold out in just under 10 minutes. Due to licensing issue in China the release had to be delayed but it hasn't stopped customers from China getting their hands on the new phone with Gold iPhones are already being advertised on the Chinese black market for as much as at £2,200 ($3,600) - Triple The Price! Whilst down under in Perth, Australia the first owners of the iPhone 6 need to be a bit more careful...

Wacky Inventions

Here are seven genius inventions you didn't know you needed until now... Have a look through the gallery and see which one you would invest in? Are they solving a gap in the market?

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Weirdest Things Ever Sold on eBay

eBay is one of the worlds biggest marketplaces and for that reason it does attract some strange listings. Here is a list of some of the weirdest things ever sold on eBay.

Why Grow Wasabi?

Wasabi is deemed by most experts to be the most difficult plant in the world to grow commercially. So why did Brian Oates decide to devote his life to setting up a farm to grow the stuff? (Each acre of a wasabi farm costs approximately $700,000 to get up and running) The answer is in the price! He sells his Wasabi for £98 per kilo to wholesale. 

Alibaba Goes Public

The Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba, is expected to raise over $25bn (£15bn) in its forthcoming initial public offering. So what will it do with the money? It has huge dominance of the Chinese market with its sales accounting for three quarters of all internet sales. Alibaba, which handles more transactions than and eBay combined was started 15 years ago by Jack Ma in his one bedroom apartment. However the Owners of Alibaba's stock will have a very limited ability to sway Alibaba's strategy.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Live For Work At Work

An ex-Google worker has revealed how he lived at the firm's campus in Mountain View, California, for 54 weeks between 2005 and 2006, kicking off a trend. Google and other major tech firms are renowned for the perks they give staff. He had everything he needed and more from an on-site gym with showers to canteens open throughout the day. Why stay anywhere else?

Exceedingly Good Billboard

As part of the latest attempt to re-brand Mr.Kipling the company has created what it claims to be the first billboard made entirely of cake, as part of its 'Llife Is Better With Cake' campaign. The poster, created by JWT London, is made from 13,360 individual Mr Kipling cakes and is situated at Westfield London in Shepherd’s Bush. Once it was completed they invited people passing to eat the cakes.

Thornton's Raise The Bar

The chocolate brand is adding two 100g bars, Fudge Chocolate Bar and Special Toffee Milk Chocolate – to tap into the £3.9bn chocolate market and take a bite out of the £584m block category, currently dominated by Cadbury and Mars' Galaxy brand.Thornton's claim that "extensive research" showed that the concept of a Thorntons block product was both "exciting and appealing to our shoppers" and that chocolate lovers would purchase the bar in addition to their current favourite products.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Posh Beans on Toast

You can get posh versions of everything from scotch eggs to marshmallow – and now you can buy a fancy version of the Heinz classic at Fortnum & Mason, for almost a fiver. Does gourmet always taste better? A pot of Kentish cider, smoked pork collar, pumpkin and sundered tomato will cost you £4.75 for a 330g pot (£1.44/100g) which is quite a mark up compared to a tin of Heinz (12p/100g. Who do you think will be stocking this product and who is the target market?

Make Your Own Mark

In 2017 the UK will introduce a brand new £1 coin - and The Royal Mint invites the nation to create the design it will carry.  This a chance for members of the public to have their design put onto the tails side of the brand new coin. The winner will not only get to see their design replicated on millions of coins for years to come but will also get £10,000 prize and will be invited down to The Royal Mint to see the coin go into production. Fancy entering?

Car Quids

Motoring costs have been some of the biggest contributors to the squeeze on household finances.Now a new company is offering to ease the burden. All you have to do is agree to drive around with ads plastered on the sides of your car. Car Quids, which launches this weekend, will use strips on windscreens, rectangular stickers on doors and the bonnet, or a full wrap covering the entire car to display advertising. It expects average returns for drivers to be £100 per month but says this could rise to £200.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Hot Tub Cinema

A very different way of watching your favourite film has been sweeping the country. Hot Tub Cinema was a business started up by two friends who enjoyed watching films and sitting in hot tubs so they combined the two and now have a pop up business which locates on city rooftops around the UK showing classic films and serving food & snacks. It is certainly very unique! The price of a ticket is £35 per person or if you want your very own hot tub then it will set you back £190 for a group of 6 (Max).

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Real Cost of A Video Game

How much does a computer game really cost to make? Find out and see who else takes a cut of the profits.

Free Cats

A Russian Bank has been giving free cats to customers who take out mortgages in order to drum up extra business. The move is an attempt to capitalise on a Russian superstition that a cat entering your home first is good luck. The bank's website features 10 different breeds of cats that you can choose from but the new homeowners are only allowed to keep the cat for two hours and must sign an agreement to look after the cat.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Bake Off Boom!

Sales of baking items have always risen in the run up to Christmas and Pancake Day, but now there's another stalwart in the culinary calendar: The Great British Bake Off season. The success of the show has lead to a 62% rise in sales of baking products since 2007. What do you think has happened to the price of these baking products?

Robo Vacuum

A robotic vacuum cleaner which uses a 360-degree 'eye' to navigate around a room has been launched by Dyson. The Dyson 360 Eye is the firm's first robotic cleaner, and is the result of 16 years of research and 420 patents. Infrared sensors and a panoramic camera lens are used to triangulate its position and plot its path around a room. The vacuum cleaner can be activated remotely using a smartphone app, and has battery life of up to 30 minutes. The only thing left to be revealed is the price...

The Kitchen of the Future

Manufacturers are scrambling to be first past the post with innovative ideas that can transform our kitchens into technological hubs. But in years to come, we are set to see internet-connected smaller devices merging together - and even the onset of "holographic dining". Check out the video for what is expected to come.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Twitter Vending Machines

Social media is now big business and Walkers crisps are certainly looking to harness its power. Three London bus stops have been turned into Twitter vending machines for two weeks. They will dispense a bag of free walkers 'Do Us A Flavour' crisps in return for a Twitter postings. Why does this make good business sense for Walkers? 

Apple Are At It Again

The latest version of Apple's iconic smartphone is widely expected to be revealed on September 9th. Many people are attempting to predict the latest functions and features that the tech giant will have put into its latest releases. The latest revelation is that the iPhone 6 will act as a virtual wallet and be able to be used to pay for goods by swiping their phones. What features would you like to see?

High-Powered Hairdryer Ban

High-powered hairdryers are on a list of household electrical items the EU is considering banning in attempt to curb energy consumption. A study, commissioned by the EU Commission, has identified up to 30 appliances including toasters and kettles which could be restricted to aid climate change.