Wilko employees on alert as cost cutting measures leaves 4000 jobs at risk

(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Mon, 14 Aug, 2017) London, Uk – –

Wilko is consulting with 3,900 employees about a shake-up of shop staffing roles, the latest retailer over the past week to axe jobs amid rising costs and a tough trading environment.

The value retailer said that it was stripping out a level of supervision roles across its stores in the UK but would create 1,000 new senior roles as part of the changes and a significant amount of customer service roles.

Anthony Houghton, Wilko retail director, said that the move was necessary to ensure “all retail operations are fit for the future”. Mr Houghton added that despite growing customer numbers and efforts to reduce costs, the challenging landscape meant that it was dragging profits lower.

Wilko’s consultation with staff will run until October and will affect “thousands” of store staff, according to Retail Week, which first reported the staffing change.

Wilko’s most recent accounts reveal that its pre-tax profits crashed by 80pc in the year to January 28, after a £12.9m hit from a jump in costs associated with the sterling slump following the EU Referendum. Wilko also criticised the introduction of the National Living Wage, which it said “was well above expected levels” and had hurt discount retailers.

Mr Houghton said that the changes to staffing were the “legacy of retail structures that created complexity to manage which aren’t simple, fair or transparent for our team members. The simpler, newly defined store structure will give teams greater variety within their roles and result in more team hours on the shop floor, delivering a better customer experience”.

Wilko follows Asda earlier this week in announcing that hundreds of jobs could be at risk as the supermarket plans to make changes to 18 underperforming stores.

Sainsbury’s is also taking the axe to more than 1,000 jobs at its head office as part of a giant £500m cost-cutting drive, as revealed by the Sunday Telegraph.

By Ashley Armstrong,

The Drama School Creating a New Generation of Black British Actors

 

They’re young, British, and taking on Hollywood. A new generation of black actors, including John Boyega in the blockbuster Star Wars, have been trained at the Identity School of Acting, in London. Established in 2003, it now boasts a roster of talent, that’s doing well in America. The British Film Institute has identified a lack of diversity in film making, and Colleen Harris has been to meet some of the school’s stars, who’re breaking the industry’s glass ceiling.

Accenture Consultancy firm to creates 1,700 new jobs

UK in Spain/Flickr.com

(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.finance.yahoo.com via cityam.com – – Thur, 3 Aug, 2017) London, Uk – –

Consultancy firm Accenture aims to have hired 1,700 people in the UK during its 2017 financial year, the company announced on Thursday.

Chancellor Philip Hammond described the investment as a “vote of confidence” in Britain’s economy.

The roles are based throughout the country, primarily in London and Newcastle, and are focused on technology – including around 500 positions across robotics, cyber defence, artificial intelligence (AI), data science and virtual reality.

The company said it had hired recruited approximately 600 entry level employees, including school leavers, as it further broadens its intake beyond university graduates.

“This investment is a vote of confidence in our plan to build a stronger economy,” Mr Hammond said.

“These jobs will be filled around the country in cutting-edge sectors where Britain leads the world, such as cyber security, robotics and virtual reality.”

Olly Benzecry, chairman and senior managing director for Accenture in the UK and Ireland, said: “Accenture’s growing workforce marks our ongoing commitment to the UK as we continue to help our clients navigate through a period of unprecedented change and digital disruption.

“It’s an incredibly exciting time to be at Accenture as we work with organisations to unlock value through innovation.

“As new technologies rapidly impact every aspect of our lives, from progress in AI to the increasing threat of cyber crime, we are taking on people who possess the skills required to help our clients to succeed in the digital economy.”

The company is also bolstering its technology advisory and consulting workforce in industries including financial services, communications & media, retail, consumer goods & services, utilities and government.

Accenture said it is also training 40 technology apprentices this year, and offering technology and digital-oriented work experience, and vocational education.

By Oliver Gill

Floyd Mayweather could pocket up to $400 million in his upcoming fight, here how he spends his millions

 

Floyd Mayweather’s upcoming fight against Conor McGregor could pocket him up to $400 million, according to Forbes. His current net worth is upwards of $340 million. Here’s how he makes and spends that cash.

QLM Business News and Market Analyses Now Available Digitally

 

QLM Business News Digital Media Channel for offering the latest business news as well as market analyses. Thanks to the fast-paced life people lead, most busy business people prefer to browse the Net on the go in order to keep up with the latest business news.

www.qlmbusinessnews.com

Netflix TV streaming service’s tops 100m subscribers

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Tue, 18 July 2017) London, Uk – –

Netflix has topped 100m subscribers, adding more than 4m outside the US in the past three months as international expansion continues to drive the TV streaming service’s growth.

The company’s share price climbed almost 10% to $180-a-share (£138) in after-hours trading in New York on Monday after its better-than-expected trading update for the three months to the end of June. This pushed the company’s market capitalisation up to $78bn.

The company – which is worth the equivalent of almost nine ITVs or 1.5 times the size of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox in market value terms – added 5.2m subscribers in the second quarter. This is traditionally Netflix’s slowest time of the year with it averaging growth of less than 2m in the quarter over the last five years.

Most of the growth (4.14m of the new users) came from international subscribers lured by Netflix’s combination of new shows such as The Crown and Stranger Things, plus its stalwarts House of Cards and Orange is the New Black continuing to prove their global popularity.

The figures marked a milestone for Netflix, which was founded in the US 20 years ago, with its international business accounting for more than half of total subscriber numbers for the first time.

The boom in international growth followed Netflix launching in 130 countries last year, with more than 52m of its 104m subscribers coming from outside the US. Only a handful of countries including North Korea, China and Syria do not have the service.

“Our streaming membership grew more than expected, from 99m to 104m, due to our amazing content,” said Reed Hastings, chief executive of Netflix, in a letter to shareholders. “We also crossed the symbolic milestones of 100m members and more international than domestic members. It was a good quarter.”

Netflix has committed $6.6bn (£5bn) to making and acquiring TV shows and films this year, with a bill of $15.7bn committed over the next five years.

Netflix and Amazon ‘will overtake UK cinema box office spending by 2020’

Perhaps worryingly for rivals, Hastings said the company would look to invest even more in content as its hit shows prove to be a commercial and creative success.

“With our content strategy paying off in strong member, revenue and profit growth, we think it’s wise to continue to invest,” he said. “In continued success, we will deploy increased capital in content, particularly in owned originals.”

It emerged last week that Netflix nearly doubled its Emmy nominations this year, with 91 compared with 54 last year, for 27 titles including The Crown, Stranger Things and Master Of None.

Only HBO, on which Netflix has based its model, fared better with 111 nominations. HBO spends about $2bn annually on content, with Amazon about $4.5bn, according to unofficial analyst estimates.

Recently, Netflix has culled a slew of under-performing shows, from Baz Luhrmann’s big budget The Get Down to high-concept sci-fi Sense 8, to better balance viewer interest with climbing programme costs.

Hastings said that while there is furious competition between Netflix and other subscription on-demand TV services, from digital rivals such as Amazon and Hulu to those of traditional broadcasters such as Sky and the BBC, he does not believe his company is killing their businesses.

“It seems our growth just expands the market,” he said. “The largely exclusive nature of each service’s content means that we are not direct substitutes for each other, but rather complements.

“Creating a TV network is now as easy as creating an app, and investment is pouring into content production around the world. We are all co-pioneers of internet TV and, together, we are replacing linear TV. The shift from linear TV to on-demand viewing is so big and there is so much leisure time, many internet TV services will be successful.”

Netflix said that it believes its growth momentum will continue but has issued more conservative guidance for the third quarter, forecasting about 4.4m new subscribers. About 3.65m are estimated to come from international markets.

By Mark Sweney

New Walt Disney World Flight of Passage Ride in Pandora

 

Take a walk through the stunningly detailed queue of the new Flight of Passage ride in Pandora – The World of Avatar at Walt Disney World. Watch the full pre-show and step up to the link chairs right before the ride begins.

(Walt Disney World asked that we not record the ride itself.)

UK Paramount Theme Park Construction Set to Cost £3.5 billion

It’s the news British film-lovers and thrill-seekers have been waiting to hear forever – no longer do we have to schlep across the seas to get our fix of stardust and adrenaline, for the UK is finally getting its own ‘Disneyland’.

The theme park will be the first of its kind in the UK, and is being created by film company Paramount at a cost of £3.5 billion.

Paramount is the company behind such iconic films as Titanic, Forrest Gump, The Godfather, Footloose, Braveheart and Iron Man.

Touted as the “UK Disneyland,” the new theme park is set to be built in Dartford, Kent and will feature attractions inspired by the films.

However, the park will also include rides inspired by BBC Worldwide and Aardman Animations, the creators of Wallace and Gromit, Shaun the Sheep and Chicken Run.

The resort will be divided up into different areas such as Adventure Isle, Land of Legends, Cartoon Circus, Starfleet Command, Action Square, Port Paramount and Entertainment City.

As well as rides, the theme park is planned to include a theatre, cafes and restaurants, shops, hotels and a nightclub.

Much like at Disneyland, there will be a “Paramount and Friends Carnival” every afternoon and a show “celebrating the works of Paramount Pictures and our other content partners” every evening.

At an expected £57 for a full-priced day ticket, a family trip to the theme park will not be cheap.

Despite the price, the creators are expecting to welcome up to 40,000 visitors a day.

The plans for the park, however, are yet to be approved – a development consent order (DCO) will be submitted to the government in November, Essex Live reports.

But Humphrey Percy, group CEO of the project’s parent company Kuwaiti European Holdings, is confident there’ll be no problems getting the green light to go ahead with the park: “We have the financial backing to take us all the way through that process,” he said.

Provided the plans are approved by the Government, construction of the theme park should commence in 2019, with the 872-acre resort set to open in 2022.

Online Orders Made Faster by Robots

 

Behind every order you place online is a picker, a person who navigates a warehouse to find the item you ordered, picks that item off a shelf and brings it to be shipped. That can take a while but Fetch Robotics, a Silicon Valley startup, thinks it has a faster solution. You guessed it, robots.

Skull Island Weekend Opening Now At $61M

 

(qlmbusinessnews.com via deadline.com — Sun, 12 Mar, 2017) London, Uk —

Early morning industry estimates are confirming what we saw late last night: Warner Bros./Legendary monster movie is poised to pull in between $60M-$61M after a $24M Saturday that was +19% from Friday’s $20.2M. And Warner Bros. is reporting Kong: Skull Island at $61M as well. On the high end, that’s a 35% improvement on the pic’s projections four weeks ago, and $11M higher from where we originally thought Kong would land. Imax brought in $7.6M at 382 auditorium repping 12.5% of the weekend. Eight of Kong‘s 10 top-grossing locations included Imax bookings. In total, the global opening for Kong: Skull Island stands at $142.6M which is ahead of the $135M we forecasted.

Regarding Kong‘s rebound, Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros. domestic distribution president said, “I think the marketing sold the movie perfectly heading into the weekend. This is a great weekend for the industry overall and all of our exhibition partners. The industry is up 24% from a year ago.” In fact for the period of Jan. 1-March 12, the total domestic B.O. is at $2.18 billion according to ComScore which is flat with the same frame a year ago. That’s good news, as 2017 tickets sales have been lagging for a few weekends.

On social media, you can also feel the warmth for Kong: RelishMix reports that hashtag activity for the Jordan Vogt-Roberts-directed movie has tripled since Thursday at 5.2K unique hashtags combined across Instagram and Twitter to 17.3K on Saturday. #KongSkullIsland hashtags are at 61.4K over four weeks with 21.5K for #Kong and 17.8K for #KingKong. Social gender activity is 60.8% male and 39.1% female while age is slicing 78% over 25 and 21.7% under 25. Since the Mexico premiere, Tom Hiddleston’s Instagram popped heavily with 254K likes on March 6th.

Reviewers already knew Kong: Skull Island was a fun ride different from other Kongs, and for moviegoers to believe it they needed to see it. Kong could capitalize on another recent B.O. trend: Well-reviewed movies like Universal/Blumhouse’s Get Out and 20th Century Fox’s Logan have experienced decent first Sunday holds (both those titles dipped 22% from Saturday). Given that, there might be a chance that Kong bests what’s expected to be a  -30% decline.

True, a $60M-plus No. 1 opening in March is noteworthy, and we’ve seen other movies like Divergent 1 & 2 open to $52M-plus during this month, but damn, Kong: Skull Island is bloody expensive at $185M along with an estimated global P&A of $136M putting a cloud over its profitability. And it’s that high cost that deflates the celebration of Kong‘s No. 1 win. Kong will get dinged around the world when Disney’s Beauty and the Beast opens next weekend, but WB is hoping to make good at the B.O. during that six-week play period stateside leading up to Easter when kids are rotating on spring break.

Overseas is at $81.6M in 65 markets, which is alright, though financiers have told us that $120M would have been a better start. WB/Legendary’s Godzilla after ancillaries yielded a profit off a $529M global haul. Does Kong get there? Japan and China open later this month, and despite the latter country’s Tencent Pictures being involved in Kong: Skull Island, the movie isn’t a Chinese co-production, therefore it’s subjected to the typical rental for U.S. pics that’s between 25%-27%. We deconstructed Kong: Skull Island on Friday, and aside from Logan and Get Out stealing the monkey’s money this weekend, the biggest challenge for the latest iteration of this classic Hollywood brand is King Kong himself.

By Anthony D’Alessandro

Nintendo’s Switch early sales in Europe and United States strong

 

Nintendo’s shares rose on Wednesday following reports of strong sales of its Switch games console.

The hybrid home and mobile device is essential for Nintendo’s future profitability after the poor performance of its previous offering the Wii U.

Japanese video gaming magazine Famitsu said an estimated 330,637 Switch units were sold in Japan in the first three days after its release on March 3.

The Most Amazing Celebrity Homes On The Planet

 

 

If you had millions of dollars what would you build and create the most amazing house ever? Here are 10 Insane Celebrity Homes. Subscribe to Talltanic http://goo.gl/wgfvrr 4. Howard Stern Two hundred thousand for hurricane shutters? Ten million on renovations alone? No problem for the most successful radio personality of all time. Stern reportedly spent 52 million dollars to purchase this insane mansion in Palm Beach, Florida in early 2013 and had those refurbishments done early in 2016. The specialty shutters weren’t cheap and so as you might guess, they are very heavy duty and able to withstand winds and debris impact of up to 276 miles per hour. They are also remote controlled and cover every one of the houses many windows. The home itself is even more remarkable. The mansion boasts twelve and a half bathrooms, in case the first twelve are taken, five bedrooms and sprawls over nineteen thousand feet across the Florida beach front. 3. Dwyane Wade+Gabby Union Dwyane Wade is a star guard for the Chicago Bulls. Gabrielle Union is a very well known actress. The couple is, by all accounts very happy together and with salaries that can afford them cribs like this who could blame them? The ecstatic couple got married on August 30, 2014, and leased this ridiculous castle for the occasion. The house was priced at 10.9 million dollars before it was delisted shortly before the wedding. The property was built by architect Charles Sieger, for himself and includes a giant, landlocked moat and formal gardens that surround the property. 2. Bill Gates Though the richest man in the world is known as a charitable man who spends his money frugally, he opened his wallet a little bit to build his dream home. The home cost a record-setting sixty-three million dollars to build and took seven years to complete. The property lies in the hills of Medina, Washington and is surrounded by nature. The estate has a variety of garages, including an underground cave that can hold ten cars, six kitchens tended by a twenty-four-hour on-call chef, a fifteen hundred square foot theater, a twenty-one hundred square foot private library and a massive aquarium. This home is incredible, but of course, it’s not the only property the billionaire owns on the west coast. He also bought a ranch in California for eighteen million dollars that has a private race track. 1. Mukesh Ambani Ambani is no celebrity; he’s the Chairman of Reliance Industries, a gigantic conglomerate holding company in India. But he is a billionaire and had this crazy pad built in South Mumbai that is valued at around one billion dollars, making it the most expensive private residential property on the planet. The 27 story property, called Antilia, and its unique design have been a part of the Mumbai skyline since being completed in 2010. The extravagant home’s location in a destitute area of Mumbai is extremely controversial. The property has six floors of underground parking, three helipads and a total interior space of over four hundred thousand square feet. The crib also features nine high-speed elevators, a two story health center and six floors for Ambani and his family. An entire floor is dedicated to servicing Ambani’s stable of cars.