Friday, 27 January 2017

Local Entrepreneur Makes Forbes 30 List

Fashion entrepreneur who launched her business empire on a shoestring budget has been singled out as one of the names to watch in European business after making the Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe List. The prestigious publication last year launched the first list of its kind to highlight the key players in Europe, bringing into sharp focus 300 people from a list of thousands of nominations in 10 sectors. Alice Hall, who founded Pink Boutique with a £45 investment, features in the line-up, joining other big names from the worlds of music, the arts, industry, policy and entertainment. Mrs Hall, now 28, is among 30 movers and shakers singled out for their prowess in retail and commerce, with Forbes highlighting how she has grown online fashion business Pink Boutique into a successful venture, having started with just £90 – £45 of her own money and £45 from her mother. She was chosen for her leadership skills, entrepreneurial mind-set and for the growth and phenomenal results that Pink Boutique is achieving. From humble beginnings the firm now ships out more than 4,000 products a day, operating from a 60,000sqft factory employing more than 60 people. The company now achieves annual sales of around £9m and has plans to expand into the US and Australia.

Burberry Sales Soar

The Brexit vote and the slump in sterling that followed the referendum has delivered a big boost to sales at luxury label Burberry – powered by overseas shoppers who have flocked to the UK to stock up on branded goods. The classic British label, famous for its beige check design, said sales in the UK surged by 40% in the final three months of 2016, boosted by strong demand for goods such as its buckle bags, which start at around £500 for a mini leather version and climb to £8,000 for an alligator version. One reckons that about 70% of shoppers visiting the brand’s flagship outlet are now tourists from China, a big surge in the last yearThe cheapest item on offer is a £14 nail varnish and the most frequently bought items are “charms” for fixing to handbags or keys, including tiny teddies for £150 and sequinned hearts for £105. 

Free Big Mac's

McDonald’s may have come up with a new twist on the fast-food restaurant experience that has nothing to do with what’s on the menu — doing away with interaction between customers and employees. The giant chain next Tuesday plans to operate what it calls a “customized digital Big Mac ATM” in Boston, USA which will will dispense Big Macs — at no charge. But that doesn’t mean lunch will be free. To get a Mac Jr. or a Grand Mac — both new sizes — customers will have to enter their Twitter handles on the machine’s touchscreen. Before they can even take a bite out of a burger, the machine will generate a tweet from their personal account that reads: “Check out the new Big Mac.”
Free Big Mac

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Most Annoying Advert 2016

Twerking businessmen in denim shorts, blind footballers kicking cats and the ancient rivalry between England and Scotland all feature in the Advertising Standards Authority’s top ten list of most complained about ads last year. Price comparison site dominates the overall list, nabbing three spots in the top five including the top two. Betting shop Paddy Power also features twice in the top ten and online dating site’s ad featuring two women kissing received over 800 complaints putting it third in the list. "The ads that attract the highest number of complaints are often not the ones that need banning,” said ASA chief executive Guy Parker. Advertising that pushes the boundaries invariably lands better with some people than others,” he said. “But last year we thought the ads that attracted the largest number of complaints fell the right side of the line."

Sainsbury's Food Dance

Sainsbury's has unveiled a dramatic new creative direction with the launch of its "food dancing" advert. The advert shows real-life food lovers dancing in their kitchens as they prepare dishes. The ad was filmed using GoPro & iPhone cameras and will appear on the TV with a background track also available for download. The campaign will also attempt to gain social media engagement by encouraging customers to post their own videos on Twitter using the hashtag #fooddancing. 

Tesco Launch Relaxed Lane

A supermarket in Moray has introduced a "relaxed" lane aimed at making life at the checkout less stressful for some of its more vulnerable customers. Checkout staff at Tesco in Forres have been trained to identify any special needs of customers and operate at a speed that suits them. Tesco has developed the scheme with Alzheimer Scotland. The store's Kerry Speed said: "We want them to be confident they can shop at their own pace." She added: "It was highlighted to me that people living with dementia can feel under pressure when they reach the checkout, and it struck me that this could be true for others as well. "Early feedback from customers has been very positive. Although it's a simple gesture, we hope this will make a difference."

Friday, 13 January 2017

Freddo Price to Hop Up

It’s been a tough time for chocolate lovers. Mondelez international, the company which cut the weight of Toblerone bars by widening the gaps between the chocolate peaks, is now expected to raise the prices on Cadbury’s Freddo bars. It’s been a tough time for chocolate lovers. Mondelez international, the company which cut the weight of Toblerone bars by widening the gaps between the chocolate peaks, is now expected to raise the prices on Cadbury’s Freddo bars. Mondelez, which bought Cadbury in 2010, said rising commodity costs combined with the slump in the value of the pound since the UK voted to leave the EU meant its products were becoming more expensive to make. A spokesman said: “Increasing prices is always a last resort, but to ensure we can keep people’s favourite brands on shelf and look after the 4,500 people we employ in the UK, we are having to make some selective price increases across our range.”
Freddo Inflation

Nutella Fights Back over Cancer Claims

Ferrero, the maker of Nutella, has hit back at claims that palm oil used in their hazelnut and chocolate spreads could cause cancer. In May, the European Food Standards Authority warned that the contaminants found in the oil’s edible form are carcinogenic. It warned that even moderate consumption of the substances represented a risk to children and said that, due to a lack of definitive data, no level could be considered safe. Palm oil is found in hundreds of household name food brands including Cadbury’s chocolate, Clover and even Ben & Jerry’s, but Nutella has so far faced the brunt of a consumer backlash. Sales fell by three per cent in the year to August 2016 as consumers ditched the product for palm-oil free alternatives. Coop, the country’s biggest supermarket chain removed 200 products containing palm oil, though not Nutella, from its shelves in May as a precaution. In response, Ferrero has launched an advertising campaign in an attempt to reassure customers that its products are totally safe. Ferrero insists that the decision to keep palm oil in Nutella, despite safety fears, is about quality, not cost. The substance is used to give the spread its smooth texture which it says can’t be achieved by using other oils. “Making Nutella without palm oil would produce an inferior substitute for the real product, it would be a step backward,” Ferrero's purchasing manager Vincenzo Tapella told Reuters.

Run For Your Bun

David Lloyd Clubs has opened a cafe in London as part of a three-day promotional event where customers can pay for their lunch with a six-minute workout. The workout includes one-minute on a rowing machine, one minute on a spin bike, and one minute on a treadmill, as well as 60-seconds of sit-ups, bodyweight squats, and lunges, with 30-second rest periods between each exercise. Your hard work will "pay" for lunch options that include smashed avocado on toasted wholemeal bread and grilled chicken breast burger with tomato, red onion, and garlic mayo. The idea is to encourage workers to be more active during the day.Run For Your Bun

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Jamie Oliver Closes 6 Restaurants

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver is closing six of his 42 UK Jamie's Italian restaurants. The Aberdeen, Cheltenham, Exeter, Tunbridge Wells and in London, the Ludgate and Richmond outlets are all scheduled to close soon. The move will affect 120 staff, whom the company said it would try to place in other parts of the chain.  The company said that the market was "tough" and the uncertainties caused by Brexit had intensified the pressures. The price of ingredients bought in Italy has gone up because of the fall in the value of the pound against the euro since the vote to leave the EU. Chief executive Simon Blagden said: "As every restaurant owner knows, this is a tough market and, post-Brexit, the pressures and unknowns have made it even harder." He said each restaurant in the chain needed to attract 3,000 diners a week to be profitable. Jamie's Italian has 28 overseas outlets and the company also said it planned to open another 22 outside the UK.

Pound Not Round For Long

The current £1 coin is being replaced for the first time in over thirty years because of its vulnerability to sophisticated counterfeiters.The new 12-sided pound will be phased in from 28th March 2017. Approximately one in thirty £1 coins in circulation is a counterfeit. That is why we are introducing a new, highly secure coin on 28 March 2017 to reduce the costs of counterfeits to businesses and the taxpayer. However all machines accepting cash, whether it's in exchange for a rail ticket or a chocolate bar, will have to be updated. A website has been set-up offering training on the phasing in of the new less round pound. 

The Grumpy Bookshop

He has been described as the ‘Basil Fawlty of booksellers’; a shopkeeper so rude that councillors want to run him out of town. Steve Bloom’s problems with his customers largely stem from his insistence in charging them 50p just to enter his small bookshop Bloomindales in the quaint village of Hawes in the Yorkshire Dales. In four years the parish council has received 20 letters and phone calls of complaint. One customer was so incensed at his treatment, he is said to have tipped his dinner over Mr Bloom. On another occasion, Mr Bloom called police when a visitor refused to pay the entry fee. Contacted at his remote stone-built cottage near Settle, Mr Bloom remained defiant. He said: “I am not really a people person, I say what I think, I don’t butter my parsnips. “That said I don’t believe I am very rude, maybe low to medium rude if pushed. “The council have gone completely over the top on this issue and it has assumed a far greater importance than it ever should have.

Monday, 2 January 2017

New Year New Me

Humphrey Cobbold, chief executive of Pure Gym, says the number of people visiting the low-cost chain’s website started to climb from mid-afternoon on Boxing Day. He expects that in January, as New Year’s resolutions take hold, the number of people signing up for Pure Gym memberships will increase between 10 per cent and 20 per cent, compared with an average month. “We are still like lemmings after Christmas,” Mr Cobbold said. “We eat the turkey and then we want to repent for it.” John Treharne, chief executive of the Gym Group, Pure Gym’s London-listed rival, agrees, saying the trend “applies right across the sector”. “Whether you are a premium operator or a low-cost operator, trading in January and February is indicative of the full year,” he said, adding that the entire UK gym industry would expect to have about a third of new members for 2017 joining during the first two months of the year. Revenues at low-cost gyms in the UK have risen at a 62 per cent compound annual growth rate since 2011, compared with an average 1.3 per cent growth rate for other public and private gym operators, according to Wyn Ellis an analyst at Numbs.


Canny drinks was set up by Liam Watson, who noticed a gap in the market place for natural and clean milkshakes. By using great ingredients, adding some Red Tractor certified milk and thickening it with corn flour he found that they could actually taste great. It wasn’t the process, it was the ingredients that you needed to get right. Canny has gone from strength to strength over the past year after initially securing a number of wholesalers including John Holland and Epicurium. it has now expanded massively, being sold right across the UK and on every Virgin train in the country.

Pets At Work

Through the Pets At Work (PAW) programme, led by Nestlé Purina, Nestlé Gatwick has become the first Nestlé HQ worldwide to allow employees to bring their furry friends into the office. The programme forms part of Nestlé's Health and Wellbeing agenda, with a recent survey by Purina revealing that staff are happier and healthier when they are able to take their pets to work. Results also show that 47 per cent of 18-24 year-olds surveyed said that they view bringing a pet to work as a work perk.Pets are introduced to the workplace through a three phase programme which includes a questionnaire, two behaviour assessments, plus a health check and in-office probation period. Richard Watson, Regional Director, Purina comments: “We wholeheartedly believe that people and pets are better together - and being at work should not stand in the way of that. It boosts employee morale, encourages more physical activity and helps us create a stimulating environment where our people are happy, have fun and can perform at their best. Having pets in the office is inspirational.

24K Gold Pizza

Industry Kitchen, a restaurant “nestled along the East River” in New York City serves tender steak, a variety of seafood dishes and scrumptious desserts. But in the midst of all the comforting familiarity of high-end, but ordinary grub, there’s something different. A rare dish. A gold dish. Yes, their dish, simply named ‘24K’, sits inconspicuously bellow a $20 (£16) salmon, and above a $19 (£15) lasagna dish. The pizza contains 24K gold edible flakes, white stilton cheese, Ossetra caviar from the Caspian Sea, and truffles and Fois Gras from France.  And all for the price of $2000 (£1,600). If you slice the pizza into eight pieces, it's $250 (£203) per slice.