Monday, 15 December 2014

Extra, Extra! Read All About It!

Wrigley has a busy year ahead for its Extra brand. It will incorporate Orbit peppermint and spearmint variants gum under a rebrand as Extra. The brand area also hoping to engage a new generation of gum users with the launch of two new soft chew flavours of strawberry and bubblegum. These are designed for younger consumers and will be targeted as parents who want to help protect their family's teeth. The January 2015 launch will be supported by a 16-week TV campaign as part of a £15m investment.

End of Orange Wednesday

The mobile company EE is to end its Orange Wednesday cinema deal. The offer, which allows Orange and EE customers to get two cinema tickets for the price of one on Wednesdays, was launched more than 10 years ago. The company said that customers' viewing habits had evolved and it was "time to move on", with the promotion ending on the last Wednesday in February 2015. With more and more people watching films on their tablets, phones and TVs at home, the number of people using the Orange Wednesday deal has declined. Also Telecoms giant BT is in exclusive talks to buy EE - Britain's largest mobile network group - for £12.5bn.

Apple's Broken Promises

Apple is the most valuable brand on the planet, making products that everyone wants - but how are its workers treated when the world isn't looking? Panorama goes undercover in China to show what life is like for the workers making the iPhone 6. And it's not just the factories. Reporter Richard Bilton travels to Indonesia to find children working in some of the most dangerous mines in the world. But is the tin they dig out by hand finding its way into Apple's products? See it Thursday 9pm BBC1.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Best Places to Work

Want to work for a company with a great culture, excellent career prospects and flexible working hours? Then, you should consider applying to Google, John Lewis, Jaguar Land Rover and Accenture, according to their employees.These companies are some of the best employers in the UK, according to a survey of their workers by Glassdoor. What would you consider to be important as an employee?

The Paddington Effect

Marmalade sales have soared following the release of the Paddington Bear movie. Sales of Robertson's Golden Shred were 24% higher in the week after the movie launched. The brand begun rolling out a new label in October which features the marmalade loving Paddington who is synonymous with marmalade. The film has conjured nostalgia for those who remember the bear from their childhoods, but it has also meant that it has introduced the product to a whole new younger audience. Robertson's is the leading brand in the £40m marmalade market.

Christmas Spending

Residents of North Yorkshire are Britain’s biggest spenders when it comes to Christmas presents, according to a new survey. More than half the householders in Scarborough are likely to spend up to £1,000 on gifts this year.overall festive spending in the UK is on the up with a recent survey from YouGov suggesting that the average household spend for the period is over £50 higher than last year at £822. The survey also found that most shopping was done during mid-December but over a quarter of people would leave it until the last minute and do it on Christmas Eve.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014


The changeable UK weather can have a significant impact on retailer performance. When the weather changes, retailers risk losing millions through low stock levels, empty shelves and disappointed customers. It can lead to unexpected fluctuations in store footfall and sales, shortages in availability, and impact on the costs and efficiencies of the whole supply chain - this is particularly true for fresh, chilled and seasonal products. On-shelf product availability matters - if the UK food grocery sector had 100 per cent availability all the time it would be worth an additional £1.1 billion. Customer loyalty can also be improved - as customers that cannot buy their favourite product three times in succession are likely to change where they shop.

Every Little Bit of Profit Helps

Dave Lewis insisted the long-term benefits to Tesco’s customers will outweigh the short-term effect on shareholders as he announced another profit warning as he revealed nearly a thousand staff have been retrained to prevent a repeat of its £263 million accounting fiasco. Lewis predicted profits for the country’s biggest supermarket could be just £15 million in the UK in the second half of the year. Full-year profits will now be no more than £1.4 billion, a fall of 57 per cent on last year, with UK profits expected to be down by a staggering 96 per cent.

Create Your Own Taste

McDonald's has announced major changes to its menu as sales continue to slide, including an expansion of a test that lets people build their own burgers by tapping on a touchscreen. Industry executives and analysts have noted the growing demand for customised orders, particularly among people in their 20s and 30s. They also note people are showing greater concern for the ingredients in their food. The customised burgers take longer to prepare and are more expensive, and it's not clear whether people will be willing to wait longer or shell out more money for a burger from McDonald's.

Abercrombie & Fitch Boss Resigns

Mike Jeffries, the controversial chief executive of US retailer Abercrombie & Fitch, has resigned. The once-popular teen clothing chain has struggled in recent years, as young people's shopping habits have changed.Abercrombie's sales have slipped as teenagers have turned away from its sporty, preppy style towards "fast-fashion" chains like Forever 21 and H&M. Shares in the company have declined by over 22% in the past year as the company has missed earnings forecasts and sales targets. Mr Jeffries has had to apologise for comments which he indicated the retailer's clothes should only be worn by thin and attractive people.
Abercrombie & Fitch Boss Resigns

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Plain Packaging Driving Up Sales

Plain packaging for cigarettes was introduced in Australia on December 1 2012, and placed all control over tobacco product packaging into the hands of the government. The legislation banned the use of all branding, colours or trademarks, replacing the lot with disturbing images and dire health warnings. The name of the brand is also displayed in standardised text. Despite this introduction there has been evidence of a marked increase in youth smoking and tobacco smuggling rates in Australia. Also remarkably, the volume of cigarettes sold also went up for the first time in decades. 

Small Business Saturday

UK shoppers are being encouraged to "shop small" to support Small Business Saturday, which aims to boost smaller enterprises. The event, now in its second year, is backed by hundreds of trade organisations and more than 60 local councils are showing their support by waiving parking charges for the day. Last year, independent businesses took £468m across the UK on the day and #SmallBizSatUK trended on Twitter all day.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

"Cutest" Ever Advert

United Biscuits-owned McVitie's has launched the "cutest ever Christmas ad", making up for lost time as it's the first Christmas ad in more than three decades for its Victoria selection box. McVitie’s said it has invested more than £1 million into the ad, which will air this evening on E4, and run for three weeks.

Luxury Blunder

Mulberry has confirmed its ill-fated decision to go upmarket pushed it to a half-year loss but a return to its lower-priced roots is now "bearing fruit". The British firm best known for its handbags had aspirations of a more exclusive luxury position tried to raise its prices but they were shunned by customers. To now better compete they have brought in a range priced at £500-£800 but still face pressures from many other brands that offer the look and feel of luxury at a fraction of the price.

Harry's Chicken Set To Cross The Road

Harry Ramsdens new range of chicken at home products are set to be made more widely available after a successful trial in Tesco. The range made its debut in 500 Tesco stores and after several months of successful sales the range is set to be stocked by several large wholesalers including 30 Makro stores, 140 Booker Cash & Carry outlets.

Smell You Later

A new fabric has been created using Harris Tweed that will permanently give off the smell of whisky. The cloth has been developed by Heriot Watt University's School of Textiles and Design in Edinburgh and Galashiels. The "smart fabric" has been developed for Johnnie Walker Black Label and Harris Tweed Hebrides. The scent called Aqua Alba has been designed to replicate aromas released from a glass of whisky, known as the nose of the liquid. Fabric technologists in Galashiels developed the prototypes which will enable Harris Tweed Hebrides to offer products using this technology in future. What smell would you release from what clothing item?

By Royal Appointment

The Duke of York visited students from Whitley Bay High School and Studio West School, who are taking part in a nationwide enterprise competition run by the Peter Jones Foundation. The royal, who is patron of the charity, met students who have created new business ventures - ranging from a graffiti-inspired cake company to a school-based community cafĂ© - which they hope to showcase at an awards ceremony in London in February.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Unilever Scoops Up Gelato Brand

Unilever has snapped up artisan brand Talenti Gelato & Sorbetto, as it looks to tap into the growing gelato market. They acquired the brand for an undisclosed sum to ramp up its presence in the category. Positioned as a premium brand, Unilever said Talenti is made with "the finest" ingredients and uses "artisanal methods". Packaged in a clear plastic jar, it comes in 30 flavours including Sea Salt Caramel and Sicilian Pistachio. It will sit alongside Unilever’s ice cream portfolio and brands including Ben & Jerry’s and Magnum. The Talenti brand was founded in 2003 and is expected to turnover $120m in 2014. 

ZX Spectrum Is Back

Retro Computers is looking for £100,000 in funding to start production to relaunch the iconic ZX Spectrum as a new home gaming console, the Sinclair Spectrum Vega. The handheld games controller which plugs straight into the TV will include 1000 games from the 1980s. If the investment target is reached the first 1,000 Vegas will cost £100 each and will be available in April. More than £33,000 has been pledged at the time of writing already with 60 days left to go.

Record Breaking Sales

Amazon says it has recorded sales of around 64 items every second on so-called 'Cyber Monday', one of the busiest days for online shopping.The first two Mondays of December tend to be the busiest as people begin shopping on the internet for gifts. John Lewis reported the best week of trading in its 150-year history and had reported it had sold an average of one tablet computer every second and a flatscreen 40-inch TV every minute throughout Black Friday.The British economy has become increasingly dependent on consumer spending, which accounts for two-thirds of economic activity.