Saturday, 30 April 2016

BHS Collapse

Department store BHS is the latest big shop to have gone into administration, putting 11,000 jobs at risk. The chain opened its first branch in Brixton, south London, in 1928.  There are currently 164 BHS stores across the country, but without a buyer the brand could follow many others by vanishing from the high street. That's because since 2006 - and the 2008 financial crash - lots of shops have disappeared. If a buyer is not found, it would be the biggest collapse since Woolworths. "The group will continue to trade as usual whilst the administrators seek to sell it as a going concern," the firm said. How many other large businesses have vanished in your lifetime? What is the reason why?

Kit Off

Walkers has launched 'Countdown to Kit Off', a promotion that sees long-time ad star Gary Lineker digitally stripping off on screens around Leicester, home of the crisps brand. This activity is in response to the broadcaster's promise to present Match of the Day in his underpants in Leicester City win the Premier League. An image of an apparently naked Lineker covered head to toe in crisp packets is being drive around the city on screens installed on vans. The closer Leicester get to the trophy the fewer packets the ex-Engalnd striker has to conceal his modesty. The image reacts in real time, meaning  a packet disappears for every game played and point won.

Asda Launches Quiet Hour

An Asda store plans to introduce a “quiet hour” to make shopping easier for customers living with autism. The Asda Living store in Cheetham Hill, Manchester, will be completely silent for an hour every Saturday morning from 8am to 9am. Escalators will be stopped and in-store music turned down in order to make it more suitable for shoppers with autism who find loud noises difficult to deal with. Simon Lea, the store manager, said it will be so quiet customers will be “able to hear a pin drop”. He decided to launch quiet hour, which starts on 7 May, after seeing a boy with autism struggling to cope on the shop floor. “Following the incident, I’ve been speaking with colleagues and customers about how we can help shoppers with autism or disabilities. If we can make a few small changes to give these customers a better shopping experience and make them comfortable, then I know the store will be a better place to shop for everyone,” he said.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

New Coke Zero

Coca-Cola is to change its Coke Zero recipe and rename it Coca-Cola Zero Sugar in the UK to make it “taste more and look more” like the original one, the company says. The move to replace Coke Zero will be supported by a £10 million campaign.  Coca-Cola wants to encourage people to reduce their sugar intake without sacrificing the taste of Coca-Cola, which involves nine teaspoons of sugar in a 330ml can. Coca-Cola Zero Sugar will be available in the UK from the end of June. “This move is a deliberate attempt to change the mix of the company’s portfolio between sugar and no sugar drinks and is the latest action to result from the company’s £30 million reformulation and new development programme,” the company said in a statement. Coca-Cola took the decision after it found that half of British consumers were unaware that Coke Zero contained no sugar. The packaging design of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, which features a prominent red disc, will be in line with the company’s One Brand marketing strategy unveiled on Monday. 

The Bigger Mac

How big should a Big Mac really be? McDonald’s is testing various levels of bigness in its iconic Big Mac, and will offer a both a super-sized Grand Mac and a miniaturized Mac Jr. — to “provide customers with additional options to fit their lifestyles,” it said in a press release. The two new sandwiches are being offered in approximately 130 restaurants in the central Ohio area through June 6, as well as in restaurants in Dallas. McDonald’s has offered different variations of the Big Mac in Korea, Japan, Germany, Australia, and France. This year, it rolled out the Grand Big Mac and an even larger Giga Big Mac with four patties in Japan. Now, it is bringing its experiments in bigness to America.

New £20 Note

Artist JMW Turner and his painting The Fighting Temeraire will feature on the new design of the Bank of England's £20 note to enter circulation in 2020. The English Romantic artist was chosen from a list of public nominations - the first time the Bank has asked who should appear on a specific banknote. The note, to be made of polymer, will eventually replace the current £20 note featuring the economist Adam Smith. The choice means all but one Bank of England banknote character will be men. Of the five characters on banknotes by 2020, other than the Queen only Jane Austen - appearing on the £10 note from 2017 - is a woman. The men who will feature by 2020 are Sir Winston Churchill on the £5 note who will replace campaigner Elizabeth Fry from September, Turner on the £20 note, and Matthew Boulton and James Watt remain on the £50 note.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

NBA Shirt Sponsorship

NBA basketball teams will be able to sell advertising space on their playing jerseys for the first time starting from the 2017-18 season. The NBA said teams in the league, encompassing the biggest basketball clubs in North America, could place a 2.5in (6.3cm) square sponsor's logo. Teams until now have been unable to exploit this lucrative commercial option enjoyed by many other sports. Experts predict the deals will generate more than $4m (£2.8m) a year for clubs. Featuring their brand logo on shirts will give advertisers more opportunity to be seen by fans watching on TV. The concern for teams and players will be how any new deal interacts with existing sponsorship agreements. A player, for example, that is endorsed by Pepsi may not be so keen to wear a Coke logo on their shirt.Company sponsorship is a huge revenue stream for sport globally. According to Price Waterhouse Coopers global sport sponsorship revenue was worth $45.3bn (£32bn) in 2015. Collectively, teams in England's top football division, the Premier League, brought in £200m in the 2015-2016 season from shirt sponsorship alone.

Customer Service on Hold

The mobile operators Vodafone and EE are failing on the basics of customer service, according to the consumer group Which? Of the big firms, Vodafone and EE scored the lowest in a survey which compared all the UK's mobile suppliers. They scored particularly poorly when it came to ease of contact, and value for money. Vodafone promised improvements over the coming months. EE said it was transforming its customer service. "Our latest survey once again shows that the major mobile providers are still failing on the basics of customer service," said Alex Neill, director of campaigns and communications. "Telecoms are an essential part of modern life and so providers need to start delivering for their customers," she said. Both companies came bottom in a similar survey a year ago. Is this a case of diseconomies of scale for these two big companies? For the second year in a row, the online provider Giffgaff, which does not have any shops or call centres, came top of the table. Vodafone apologised, and said it was working hard to improve the customer experience.

Very Sweet Job Application

Ryan Dobson applied for a job at his local sweet shop but they had to turn him down - because he's only nine.he youngster wrote to his local confectioner after his mother Lea Dobson explained to him that his treats and activities in the school holidays cost money. As a result, the nine-year-old decided to try and help his mother out by getting a job and dropped off his handwritten application letter to 'Sweets and Treats' in South Shields, who posted his effort on Facebook and called it the "best application form ever!" In his letter Ryan said he wanted the job because it is "probably fun meeting happy, cheerful people and helping them find tasty sweets". He added that he couldn't work full time "as I am only nine (nearly ten)". Ryan's letter ends: "I hope you employ me because I would like a job and would enjoy a job."Sweets and Treat said: "We wish we could employ this lad! With his brilliant ideas we're sure he's going to go far in business. Stick in at school young one." Instead of a job the shop offered Ryan a visit where he served up ice cream and measured out sweets.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Coca-Cola Teaches The World To Sing

Coca-Cola is building on the success of its 'Share a Coke' campaign by stamping the lyrics from popular songs on its packaging. Imploring fans to 'Share a Coke and a Song', lines from a host of tracks such as Queen's 'We Are the Champions' and 'Style' by Taylor Swift will adorn the brand's bottles and cans. An additional mobile element of the push will see Coke team up with music identification app Shazam to scan the specially-marked bottles and in-store signage. Users will then be invited to record a short 'lip-sync' video that can be shared across social using the #ShareACoke hashtag. Coke's 2013 'Share a Coke' project saw it replace it's traditional packaging with 150 of the UK's most popular names, shifting more than 150m personalised bottles and generating over 998m impressions on Twitter. Coca-Cola recently hinted that it will phase out the colours associated with its four product variants as it looks to adopt a 'one brand' policy.

Viral Vienetta

The unmistakable crack of Wall’s Viennetta is more than enough to make mouths water. Wave after wave of soft ice cream flowing over layer upon layer of delicious chocolatey deliciousness – is it any wonder that Viennetta ice cream is such a firm family favourite? A video has been released this week which shows how Walls produce their famous Vienneta which has gone viral with over 375,000 views in the first few days. A great example of flow production, quality & efficiency all in one.

No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

Caffe Nero will no longer give its staff a free lunch when they are on shift, as part of a "pay review" introduced in response to the new National Living Wage. From 11th April 2016 workers in the UK aged 25 and over got a 50p raise, bringing their minimum wage to £7.20 per hour. Caffe Nero has extended the rise in wage to workers below this age. Employees will still receive unlimited drinks such as tea and coffee while they are on shift. They will also get 65% off food they purchase but no longer get free food throughout their shift. Approximately 4,500 people are employed by Caffe Nero in the UK, both in store and at head office. Staff don't seem to be very happy about it as it was one of the benefits of working there.