Kerry Washington’s tour of her beautiful New York City apartment on the Hudson River

Source: AD

Kerry Washington takes us on a tour of her beautiful New York City apartment, designed by RH, Restoration Hardware. From the unobstructed view of the Hudson River to her impressive crystal collection, Kerry shares it all! Kerry is wearing a Prada shirt and Dior skirt with Manolo Blahnik shoes, Mindi Mond earrings and a Movado watch.

The Rise And Fall of Gap

Source: CNBC

In late February 2019, Gap Inc. announced plans to split into two separate publicly traded companies, sending its stock soaring on the hopes the new structure will help sharpen its focus and boost sales.

The retailer said it would spin off its most successful brand, Old Navy, into a separate, publicly-traded company. With its inexpensive basics, Old Navy has consistently accounted for more than 40 percent of the company’s total annual sales. Its other brands, Gap and Banana Republic, will join much its smaller brands, Intermix, Athleta, and Hill City, to form an as-yet unnamed company. Gap also plans to buy high-end children’s clothing line Janie and Jack and fold that into the new company.

Despite the sharp spike on the announcement, Gap shares, which have a market value of just under $10 billion, are up less than 1 percent since the start of the year, and have fallen 20 percent over the past year.

Gap CEO Art Peck, who will remain with the executive of “NewCo,” said both companies should benefit from “a sharpened strategic focus and tailored operating structure.”

How Rockefeller Built His Trillion Dollar Oil Empire

Source:Business Casual

In the late 19th century John Rockefeller used his quick wits and leadership skills to build an impressive oil refinery in Cleveland. In the early days of the oil industry technology was inefficient and bankruptcies were everywhere, but John optimized the refining process successfully. Over time, he bought out competitors until he had total control over the oil industry in Cleveland through his company: Standard Oil of Ohio.

In the decades afterwards Rockefeller purchased refineries across America and even negotiated backroom deals with the big railroad tycoons. At its peak Standard Oil was worth up to $1,000,000,000,000 (one trillion dollars) in today's money, with Rockefeller controlling over 90% of the oil industry in America.

Of course, eventually new oil deposits were uncovered in Asia and Russia, challenging Rockefeller's monopoly. Back at home concerned businessmen funded waves of media opposition to Standard Oil, which was eventually broken up in 1911. The numerous companies created during this split would eventually merge back together, bringing huge profits to Rockefeller in his final years.

Upon his death, Rockefeller's net worth was an estimated $400 billion in today's dollars, making him the wealthiest businessman to have ever lived by a wide margin.

Under the kind patronage of Nagabhushanam Peddi, Dan Supernault, Samuel Patterson, James Gallagher, Brett Gmoser & Roman Badalyan.

How Amazon Air Expansion Is Giving Stiff Competition To FedEx And UPS

Source: CNBC

Amazon aims to compete with FedEx and UPS in the logistics and shipping industry. That's what analysts told CNBC after Amazon Air recently expanded to 50 planes and announced it will open a $1.5 billion air hub in Northern Kentucky in 2021. Amazon is handling up to 26% of its own shipping, meaning FedEx, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service are losing a portion of Amazon's business. FedEx says it's not worried, but Morgan Stanley reports the major shippers have already lost 2% revenue to Amazon Air.

British outsource giant Interserve to face investors vote on rescue plan

( via — Fri, 15th March 2019) London, UK —

LONDON (Reuters) – The future of the troubled British outsourcer Interserve will be decided on Friday when investors vote on whether to accept a rescue deal or let the provider of key public services fall into administration.

The British company, which employs 68,000 people globally to clean schools and hospitals, run probation services and build roads and bridges, has been battling to avoid a collapse like peer Carillion after it hit trouble about three years ago.

On Friday, shareholders will vote on whether to accept a debt-for-equity swap which would see creditors take control in exchange for writing off 485 million pounds of debt and injecting 110 million pounds of new liquidity. Existing shareholders would be left with 5 percent of the group.

The outcome of the vote appears too close to call after the company’s biggest shareholder Coltrane Asset Management objected to the deal. It holds 28 percent of the stock.

“The company is in a critical financial situation,” the group said when explaining the deleveraging plan.

“Our plan preserves some value for shareholders. This will not be the case if the proposals are voted down.”

A person familiar with the situation has told Reuters that if the deal fails the company will go for a so-called pre-pack administration that will wipe out all existing shareholders but enable the company to keep operating by selling some assets.

Interserve, one of Britain’s biggest outsourcing and construction companies, has been thrust into a fight for survival after it made an ill-fated push into the energy-for-waste market.

Broader problems in the outsourcing market and high debt also rattled investors, driving its shares down from 500 pence in 2014 to 9.6 pence now.

Its former rival Carillion collapsed in January 2018 in Britain’s biggest corporate failure that hit the provision of school meals and the construction of hospitals.

The Interserve meeting will be held at 1100 GMT on Friday.

Reporting by Kate Holton

US to sue Volkswagen and former boss over diesel emissions scandal

( via – – Fri, 15th March 2019) London, Uk – –

The US is suing Volkswagen, accusing the German carmaker of “massive fraud” over the diesel emissions scandal.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) claims the firm misled investors by issuing billions of dollars worth of bonds and securities, without disclosing that it had cheated emissions tests.

Volkswagen's former chief executive Martin Winterkorn is also being sued.

The company said it would contest the SEC lawsuit vigorously.

VW first admitted in September 2015 that it had used illegal software to cheat US emissions tests. But between April 2014 and May 2015 the carmaker sold $13bn (£10bn) of bonds and securities to US investors, at a time when executives were already aware that illegal software had been installed to manipulate emissions tests, according to the SEC's suit.

The SEC said that as a result, Volkswagen “reaped hundreds of millions of dollars in benefit by issuing the securities at more attractive rates for the company”.

When the scandal was uncovered, VW's share price sank nearly 40%.

The firm “repeatedly lied to and misled United States investors, consumers, and regulators as part of an illegal scheme to sell its purportedly ‘clean diesel' cars and billions of dollars of corporate bonds and other securities in the United States,” the SEC added.

The suit seeks to bar Mr Winterkorn, who resigned when the scandal became public, from serving as an officer or director of a public US company. He has been charged in the US with conspiring to cover up the emissions cheating scandal. However Germany does not extradite its own citizens.

The suit also seeks to recover “ill-gotten gains” along with civil penalties and interest.


Theo Leggett, business reporter

“We're not yet through the diesel scandal, it will probably still take years… and it's a burden for us.” That is what VW's chief executive Herbert Diess had to say when I spoke to him at the Geneva Motor Show last week.

We were discussing the raft of legal cases which VW is still facing around the world – and to which it is still having to dedicate substantial resources

It has already paid out more than $30bn in the US alone, in fines and other penalties, and to buy back affected vehicles.

The SEC's lawsuit shows that the US authorities are not prepared to let the company off the hook just yet.

It remains under pressure in Europe too – where it is still facing a waveof consumer lawsuits over its refusal to pay compensation.

Ironically, as Mr Diess acknowledged, the scandal forced Volkswagen down a path which may help it become a leader in more environmentally-friendly technologies.

Volkswagen has already agreed to pay more than $25bn in the US over the emissions scandal including criminal and civil fines.

The firm said in a statement the SEC complaint was “legally and factually flawed”.

It said the securities in question had been sold “only to sophisticated investors who were not harmed and received all payments of interest and principal in full and on time” and said that Mr Winterkorn had played no part in the sales of those securities.

The carmaker is already defending its actions in court in Germany, where investors are pursuing €9.26bn (£8.2bn) in damages, arguing the company should have come clean earlier about the emissions tests cheating. That case is expected to last until later this year.

Pound Sterling climbs as MPs vote to reject no-deal Brexit

( via– Thur, 14th March 2019) London, Uk – –

Sterling climbed by as much as three cents to reach a nine-month high against the US dollar and added two cents against the euro.

The pound is clinging on to gains of the past 24-hours following a big leap as MPs voted to rule out a no-deal Brexit.

In volatile trading, Sterling climbed by as much as three cents against the US dollar to nearly $1.34, a nine-month high, and was two cents up versus the euro to as high as €1.18 – a new 22-month peak.

That was after an amendment rejecting a no-deal Brexit in all circumstances was narrowly backed by the Commons.

It had given up some of those gains by Thursday morning – trading at €1.17 and $1.32 – as investors mulled the political reality that the vote was non-binding.

But the pound moved higher again later after Goldman Sachs put the chances of a no-deal Brexit at 5% – a shift from Wednesday's position of 10%.

There was a broad welcome for the MPs' no-deal vote from business groups but it was combined with continued frustration about the lack of a clear way forward, with the Commons due to vote on Thursday night on delaying the Brexit process.

A survey for the CBI suggested nearly 9 in 10 firms would back a delay but only if the alternative is to leave the EU with no deal.

Commenting on the task ahead Edwin Morgan, interim director general of the Institute of Directors, said: “If they vote for an extension there will still be the considerable task of convincing the EU that there is an exit deal the House of Commons can get behind.”

Miles Celic, chief executive of TheCityUK, noted: “Unless the withdrawal agreement or some other realistic course of action is agreed very soon, the UK will still crash out, regardless of MPs' wishes.”

Business anxiety has mirrored days of high drama over Brexit in Westminster while currency markets have see-sawed sharply.

Sterling had hit a previous 22-month high against the euro earlier in the week when Theresa May secured a revised transition deal with the European Union before falling back again when it proved too little to win over parliamentary opposition.

Mrs May's crushing Commons defeat on Tuesday paved the way for the vote on Wednesday that saw MPs reject a “no deal” Brexit – seen as likely to create major economic uncertainty.

Investors see the further vote on delaying Brexit as positive for the pound as it could increase the Prime Minister's chance of securing a deal or even lead towards a second referendum.

David Cheetham, chief market analyst at xtb online trading, said: “It appears that hardline Tories are now starting to fear that the game is up and are looking to change tack and throw their weight behind the PM.

“There is significant scope for a sizeable relief rally in the pound, with the path of least resistance for sterling now appearing to be higher – albeit with several potential potholes still lining the way.”

By John-Paul Ford Rojas & James Sillars

Trump grounds Boeing 737 Max planes

( via – – Thur, 14 March 2019) London, Uk – –

FAA supported the grounding saying it had uncovered information in the Ethiopia crash that was similar to the Indonesia crash in October

Donald Trump grounded Boeing’s 737 Max fleet on Wednesday, days after the second fatal crash involving the plane in five months.

Issuing an emergency order, Trump said all 737 Max jets in the US would now be grounded. “Planes that are in the air will be grounded if they are the 737 Max. Will be grounded upon landing at their destination,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

Trump said the safety of the American people and others was of “paramount concern”. He said: “They [Boeing] have to find the problem … and they will find it.”

Ethiopian Airlines said on Thursday an Ethiopian delegation had sent the black boxes from crashed plane to Paris for investigation.

Boeing said it had “full confidence in the safety of the 737 Max” but “out of an abundance of caution and in order to reassure the flying public” it had decided to temporarily suspend the entire fleet.

But a statement from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) went further, saying that new information from the wreckage of a 737 crash in Ethiopia had uncovered similarities to an earlier crash of the same variant of 737 in Indonesia in October.

The FAA’s emergency order states that the similarities “warrant further investigation of the possibility of a shared cause for the two incidents that needs to be better understood and addressed”.

The United States had stood virtually alone in allowing the plane to keep flying. On Wednesday, Canada joined a growing list of countries that had grounded the aircraft involved in the Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed 157 people this week.

Boeing and US aviation safety officials at the FAA had resisted mounting pressure from Congress and labor unions to halt operation of the Boeing 737 Max while investigators work to find the cause of the crash. Regulators in the European Union, the United Kingdom, China, Australia and India have restricted the planes from flying. The latest bans came from Egypt, Thailand and Vietnam on Wednesday.

The grounding threatened chaos for US travelers. Dozens of the planes were still airborne at the time of the announcement and future flights will have to be rescheduled until the ban is lifted.

At New York’s LaGuardia airport, three flights to Miami on 737 Max 8s were cancelled, stranding hundreds of American Airlines passengers.

“I’d rather the inconvenience than be on a dangerous airplane,” said Marie Bellamota, a traveller from the Dominican Republic who had her flight cancelled. “I feel upset, and I have to change all my plans but what can I do.”

Other passengers said they were inconvenienced but relieved to not be taking the risk or suffering the anxiety of taking the troubled Boeing.

“I’m glad. I didn’t want to be on that plane anyway,” said Sharon Gentles, who was on her way to Jamaica for a funeral. “I’m happy they grounded them because at least I’m safe.”

A spokesman for American at LaGuardia said that over the past several days the airline had sought to allay customers’ increasing concerns about the 737 by switching them to other flights without imposing additional fees.

Following the planes’ grounding by US regulators, the airline switched passengers to a “special section” plane – a wide-bodied Boeing 777 leaving JFK at 10.30pm. “We’re happy to provide at least some relief by getting them to their destination tonight,” said American’s Justin Franco.

The Ethiopian crash comes just five months after the deadly crash of a new Boeing 737 Max 8 operated by Lion Air in Indonesia, which left 189 people dead. No evidence has yet linked the crashes, but pilots on both planes reported problems moments after takeoff and asked to make emergency landings.

Canada’s transportation minister, Marc Garneau, said the decision to issue a “safety notice” was based on a review of newly available satellite tracking data, which identified similarities between the crash in Ethiopia and the one last year in Indonesia.

Garneau cautioned that the information was “not conclusive” but that “at this point we feel that threshold has been crossed”.

On Tuesday, Boeing CEO, Dennis Muilenburg reportedly spoke with Trump by phone to assure him the planes were safe. The call came after the president complained on Twitter that airplanes have become “far too complex to fly” and suggested that “pilots are no longer needed, but rather computer scientists from MIT”.

But Trump and Boeing had faced mounting pressure to act. Senator Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican who leads a Senate subcommittee overseeing aviation, called on the FAA to ground the planes and promised to hold hearings on the cause of the crash.

“Further investigation may reveal that mechanical issues were not the cause, but until that time, our first priority must be the safety of the flying public,” he said on Tuesday.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, and the Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democratic presidential candidate, had called for the planes to be grounded. Warren said lawmakers should hold hearings “on whether an administration that famously refused to stand up to Saudi Arabia to protect Boeing arms sales has once again put lives at risk for the same reason”.

Boeing, one of the US’s largest manufactures, is a lobbying powerhouse with deep ties to the White House and Congress. According to, a group that tracks lobbying data, Boeing spent more than $15m on Washington lobbying last year.

Trump’s acting defense secretary, Patrick Shanahan, worked at the company for more than 30 years. On Wednesday, the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a complaint with the Department of Defense’s Office of Inspector General alleging that Shanahan violated ethics rules “by promoting Boeing in the scope of his official duties” at the DOD.

The US airline carriers that fly the plane – Southwest, American Airlines and United – on Wednesday said they were complying with the new requirements.

In a statement, Southwest said the airline removed all of its 34 Max 8 aircraft from scheduled service. American, responding to customer questions on Twitter, said it had stopped operating all 24 of its planes of that type and United grounded its 14 737 Max 9 aircraft, which handle about 40 flights per day.

By Dominic Rushe in New York Lauren Gambino in Washington and Edward Helmore

Uk would eliminate import tariffs on a wide range of goods, no checks on Irish border in no-deal Brexit

( via — Wed, 13th March, 2019) London, UK —

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain said on Wednesday it would eliminate import tariffs on a wide range of goods and avoid a so-called hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The government announced the moves, which it said would be temporary, ahead of a vote by lawmakers later on Wednesday on whether Britain should leave the European Union without a deal, a prospect that alarms many employers with the scheduled March 29 Brexit date fast approaching.

Prime Minister Theresa May suffered a second, heavy parliamentary defeat on the withdrawal deal she struck with the bloc on Tuesday, leaving open the possibility of an abrupt, economically damaging Brexit without a transition arrangement.

However, lawmakers are expected to vote against a no-deal Brexit and then, on Thursday, vote in favour of seeking a delay to Brexit.

Under the tariff plan for a no-deal Brexit that would last for up to 12 months 87 percent of total imports to the United Kingdom by value would be eligible for tariff-free access, up from 80 percent now.

The new system would mean 82 percent of imports from the EU would be tariff-free, down from 100 percent now, while 92 percent of imports from
the rest of the world would pay no duties at the border, up from 56 percent now.

Some protections for British producers would remain in place, including for the country’s carmakers and beef, lamb, pork, poultry and dairy farmers.

Cutting import tariffs on imported goods would ease the hit to British consumers from an expected jump in inflation in the event of a no-deal Brexit which would probably cause sterling to tumble and make imports more expensive.

But it would also expose many manufacturers to cheaper competition from abroad and, if maintained, low or zero tariffs would deprive Britain of ammunition for extracting concessions from other countries in future trade talks.

On the Irish border, the British government said it would not introduce any new checks or controls on goods moving from the Irish Republic to the British province of Northern Ireland in the event of a no-deal Brexit, stressing the plan was temporary and unilateral.

“The measures announced today recognise the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland,” Karen Bradley, Britain’s secretary of state for Northern Ireland said in a statement. “These arrangements can only be temporary and short-term.”

Britain would seek to enter discussions urgently with the European Commission and the Irish government to agree long-term measures to avoid a hard border.

Goods crossing the border from Ireland into Northern Ireland would not be covered by the new import tariff regime.

Britain, Ireland and the EU have said they want to avoid physical checks on the border, which was marked by military checkpoints before a 1998 peace deal ended three decades of violence in the region. But they disagree on the “backstop”, or insurance mechanism, to exclude such border checks.

By William Schomberg

Morrisons stocks up on ‘cupboard fillers’ in preparation for potential no-deal Brexit

( via – – Wed 13th March, 2019) London, Uk – –

The boss of Morrisons has said the supermarket was stocking up on “cupboard fillers” in preparation for a potential no-deal Brexit.

However, the supermarket chain would not give any details of which products were involved.

Chief executive David Potts did say there had been a recent rise in sales of painkillers and toilet rolls.

Morrisons is considering alternative routes to import goods if its usual supply lines were delayed, he added.

In the event of a no-deal Brexit there are fears that there could be disruption at ports and Morrisons has also been looking at alternative ports and ways of getting goods into the country.

Sales of painkillers and toilet rolls had risen by high single-digit percentages in recent weeks.

“We have seen a very small amount of customers buying in,” said Mr Potts

Publishing its annual results, Morrisons said there had been “continued uncertainty” about Brexit throughout the year and the chain had come up with contingency plans.

The uncertainties it identified included the impact on the supply chain, imported food inflation, the impact on consumer confidence, potential changes to access to EU labour and changes in legal requirements.

In response, the supermarket has applied for and got Authorised Economic Operator status, which gives firms quicker access to some simplified customs procedures and, in some cases, the right to fast-track shipments through some customer and safety and security procedures.

It said it had also sought alternative supply routes for key products, adapted its labour model and increased stock levels for “certain key lines”.

‘Better placed'

Thomas Brereton, retail analyst at Global Data, said: “With Brexit still looming over the retail sector in 2019, talks of supply shortages and impending lack of availability across UK grocery are rife.

“But Morrisons is better placed to withstand such pressures than its Big Four rivals, having successfully secured Authorised Economic Operator status during the year, on top on expanding its dependence on local suppliers.”

Morrisons also announced a third consecutive year of strong sales and profit growth.

It reported an annual underlying pre-tax profit of £406m, up 8.6%.

Like-for-like sales, which strip out stores open for less than a year, were up 4.8%, excluding fuel and VAT.

The retailer said the results showed the Morrisons turnaround plan was “well on track”.

Google should be broken up to restore a level playing field for media companies, News Corp says

( via – – Tue, 12th March 2019) London, Uk – –

Media giant tells Australian inquiry Google’s search engine and advertising platform should be separated

Google should be broken up to restore a level playing field for media companies swamped by its “overwhelming” market power, News Corp has told the competition regulator.

Rupert Murdoch’s Australian arm has argued in a submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission that Google’s search engine and third-party advertising platform be separated to make it easier for digital publishers to compete for advertising.

Alphabet, Google’s parent, is in a high stakes battle with News Corp as the global media company struggles to claw back the billions of dollars in advertising revenue which has flowed to Google from its newspapers in the past decade.

The latest suggestion is an interventionist step which the ACCC stopped short of recommending in its preliminary report on the digital platforms inquiry in December.

“Google operates in a ‘walled garden’ whereby its related businesses, particularly in the ad tech pipeline, secure and entrench Google’s dominance in general internet search,” News Corp said in its submission, released on Tuesday.

“Google’s market power across the ad tech services supply chain is overwhelming.”

Ad tech services are all the products Google offers advertisers – from Google Ads to Google Marketing and Google Ad Manager – which combine seamlessly with its “trove of personal data” to make it attractive for advertisers.

News Corp says this “impenetrable offering” allows Google to dominate, and it should be forced to divest.

“Divestments will work to correct the market structure, by replacing common ownership with separate ownership, where each separate owner has incentives to compete to gain the business of customers,” the submission says.

“News Corp Australia recognises that divestment in a non-merger context is a highly interventionist measure and will have significant ramifications.

“Accordingly, News Corp Australia recommends that this remedy should take the form of an ACCC recommendation to government, following the conclusion of the inquiry, and should be limited to Google.”

Speaking on Sky News about the market concentration of the digital giants, Labor’s digital economy spokesman, Ed Husic, did not rule out a future Labor government in Australia taking action against Facebook, as the United States examines whether anti-trust laws should be used to break up the tech giants.Advertisement

“It is something that we will be watching with great interest,” Husic said.

He warned that a “day of reckoning” was coming for Facebook, if it did not correct its behaviour.

He said the company had failed to respond adequately to concerns it was used to influence the 2016 US election campaign, or how Cambridge Analytica used its data.

“Frankly now, as a result of their failing to act responsibly, you have US lawmakers seriously entertaining the notion of whether or not they use anti-trust laws to break them up and Facebook has got a day of reckoning that is coming as a result of being so big,” he said.

“They are not a plucky startup anymore, they are a big player that are influencing the way in which markets operate, and I think it is something that we look at seriously.”

Husic said the recent case of presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, who has suggested Facebook, and other digital giants, be broken up as part of her election campaign, having her advertisements blocked by the social media platform was an example of the power it held.

“When I have said to Facebook previously, there is some Islamaphobia content on its site directed to me personally [which] was over the top, I asked them, ‘do your community guidelines allow this to occur’, they said, ‘yes, it would be within the guidelines’, and yet, if you have an ad that says something bad about Facebook, bam – it gets taken off in a moment’s notice,” he said.

The chairman of the ACCC, Rod Sims, is conducting an inquiry into the impact of digital platforms on competition in media and advertising in Australia. The final report is due on 30 June.

By Amanda Meade and Amy Remeikis

Mothercare agreed £13.5m sale of Early Learning Centre

( via– Tue, 12th Mar 2019) London, Uk – –

The retailer hopes the brand's sale can speed up its ambition to be free of bank debt as part of its restructuring last year.

Mothercare has agreed the sale of its Early Learning Centre (ELC) brand to the owner of The Entertainer toy shop chain for up to £13.5m.

The struggling retailer, which was forced to strike a rescue deal with creditors as part of restructuring and refinancing last year, said the proposed disposal would bolster its ambition to be free of bank debt by the end of this year.

Mothercare said it did the deal with TEAL Brands because it did not have “the necessary capital, resources or scale” to continue to invest and develop own‑brand ELC toys.

The company told investors £6m would be received on completion of the deal, with up to £5.5m in respect of inventory – stock – due within a few months of completion and a further £2m in so-called earn out fees over the next two years.

It added that it would continue to hold approximately £6m of stock for sale in the short term and retain an “arm's length” concession deal with The Entertainer for the supply of toys to its stores, where ELC trade from, and online.

Mothercare said its transformation plans, aimed at cutting costs, were on track with the business due to trade from only 80 stores in its core UK market by the end of this month.

It had 137 last May when it secured a Company Voluntary Arrangement to avert collapse and trading has remained tough since.

ELC operates within all Mothercare shops in the UK, in 400 stores internationally via franchise partners and online.

Chief executive Mark Newton-Jones said: “This disposal of Early Learning Centre provides a further step towards eliminating our bank debt, and our new concession arrangements with The Entertainer will bring our customers an even stronger toys offer, both in stores and online.

“We look forward to working with the team at The Entertainer in the years to come.”

The Entertainer said the acquisition would build on its growth since the collapse of Toys R Us.

Founder and executive chairman, Gary Grant, said: “We are delighted to add ELC to The Entertainer family.

“It comes with a rich history as a much-loved British brand, supporting parents and grandparents with their children's early years' learning, development and play.

“We will look to bring new life to the product offering whilst maintaining the high level of quality ELC is renowned for.”

By James Sillars, business reporter

NatWest trials new fingerprint debit cards from April

( via – – Mon, 11th March 2019) London, Uk – –

Contactless card that stores owner’s fingerprint could mean an end to typing in pin

Bank customers will be able to spend more than £30 using contactless cards and could never again have to remember their four-digit pin if a fingerprint technology trial starting in April proves a success.

The pilot project from NatWest, the first of its kind in the UK, will use debit cards that contain an electronic copy of the customer’s fingerprint on one corner. If the customer places their finger on that part of the card while waving it at a retailer’s payment terminal, it will authorise a contactless payment above £30, and the customer will not have to type in their number.

The first phase of the trial will be limited to 200 customers. If it gets the go-ahead, it will be the next step in the contactless spending revolution that has swept Britain since 2013. Last year more than 6bn payments were made using contactless “wave and pay” technology, but the £30 limit is restricting further growth, particularly for people filling up their cars at petrol stations or doing a large weekly supermarket shop.Advertisement

NatWest said retailers would not have to make any changes to existing payment terminals to accept the new cards, and it was working with Visa and Mastercard to ensure it would be accepted in all locations.

If a card is stolen, the thief will not be able to use it as a payment is only authorised if the user’s fingerprint matches the data on the card at the point of sale.

David Crawford, whose job title is head of effortless payments at NatWest, said: “This is the biggest development in card technology in recent years and we are excited to trial the service.”

The major stumbling block for the widespread adoption of the card is likely to be how the bank initially obtains the customer’s fingerprint. NatWest said customers in the trial would have to visit their local branch so that the bank could copy their fingerprint, but it is working on ways to capture the data remotely.

The technology has been developed by a Dutch company, Gemalto, which is also behind a similar trial launched in December by Intesa Sanpaolo, Italy’s biggest bank.

Gemalto said: “Fingerprint authentication sweeps away limits on the value of contactless payments, removing the need to enter a pin or sign the receipt. As a result, it simplifies the consumer experience at the point of sale and makes it faster and safer.”

It said that as a security measure the customer’s fingerprint was stored on the card itself, not the bank’s servers.

Users of Google Pay or Apply Pay on smartphones are likely to be suspicious of how widely the so-called biometric payment systems will be accepted by retailers. In theory, mobile users can already authenticate contactless payments above £30 on their smartphones using fingerprint technology, but in practice many have found the process frustrating.

Customers of the digital-only Monzo Bank, popular with millennials, share lists of retailers that allow them to use their smartphones to exceed the £30 contactless limit. They say Sainsbury’s and Morrisons permit the payments but Tesco and Asda do not.

A survey by Gemalto of UK consumers found that young adults would enthusiastically adopt a fingerprint technology card that allowed them to exceed the standard £30 contactless limit. But four out of 10 were worried about whether the technology would work all the time, and a third were concerned that their fingerprint could be compromised.

Gemalto said: “The fingerprint information is only stored on the card. It is never sent to the bank or collected by a third party. Inside the chip of the card, the fingerprint data is encrypted; nobody can access them.”Topics

Tesla to increase car price and scale back store closure programme

( via – – Mon, 11th March 2019) London, Uk – –

Tesla is increasing prices of its electric cars after scaling back a store closure programme.

The carmaker said the 3% price rise would not apply to the new mid-market Model 3.

Earlier this month Tesla said it would close an unspecified number of stores to fund a cut in the price of the Model 3 in the US to $35,000 (£26,400).

It will now close “about half as many” stores – making half the cost savings.

The carmaker, founded by Elon Musk, said that keeping more stores open would require a rise in vehicle prices by about 3% on average worldwide.

It has 378 stores and service locations but had not been specific about which ones would close.

“Over the past two weeks we have been closely evaluating every single Tesla retail location, and we have decided to keep significantly more stores open than previously announced as we continue to evaluate them over the course of several months,” the company said.

While it is pressing ahead with the price cut to the mid-market Model 3, prices will go up for more expensive variants of Model 3, as well as Model S and X cars, which can already cost up to £87,000. Customers can order at existing prices until 18 March.

It is still planning to conduct its sales online and said that buyers in stores will be shown how to order a Tesla on their phone, a process which Tesla says will take just a few minutes.

It had previously said that shifting sales online would allow it to cut prices by 6% on average – and cut the price of the Model 3.

The company says it has a “generous return policy” to avoid the need for test drives, as would-be buyers can return a car after 1,000 miles or seven days.

Tesla said that some stores in “high visibility locations” which have been closed will be reopened – albeit with smaller numbers of staff.

Stores will hold fewer cars for those customers who want to drive away with new vehicle immediately.

The company has been making efforts to cut costs after the “most challenging” year in its history. In January it announced 7% of its 45,000-strong workforce would be cut, indicating around 3,000 job cuts.

At the time Mr Musk had said the firm's cars were still “too expensive for most people”.

He has faced controversy over his tweets and last month the US regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission, asked the courts to hold him in contempt for violating a settlement month aimed at limiting his social media comments.

He has until today to formally respond but had already tweeted the the regulator's oversight system is “broken”.

The matter stems back to his tweets about the company's financial performance and tweets in August when he claimed he had secured funding to take the firm private.

APPLE PARK – The Spaceship $5 Billion Dollars Office Construction

Source: Wonder World

In Early 2018, Apple partially finished construction on their new massive office building, called Apple Campus 2, Also known as Apple Park & the Spaceship.

The land cost an estimated $160 million dollars In 2011, the original planned budget for Apple Campus, was about $3 billion dollars, however in 2013 the total cost was estimated to be closer to $5 billion dollars.

The company’s new 175-acre campus, is one mile in circumference, with a diameter of 461 meters , and can house 12,000 employees.

The main building was ready for employees to begin partial occupancy in January 2018, as the building was still not finished, the process of moving more than 12,000 people, was estimated to take over six months.

How Subway Outshine Their Competitors With The Most Locations of Any Restaurant Worldwide

Despite the seeming ubiquitousness of McDonald's golden arches and the Starbucks mermaid, the sandwich chain Subway actually has the most locations of any restaurant worldwide, about 43,000 in 2017.

This number, however, belies the economic reality: while McDonald's and Starbucks continue to grow their profits, Subway's have been slipping since 2014. Industry analysts point to a few reasons for this, including a lack of innovation and fraught relationships with franchise owners.

10 Amazing Entrepreneurs Who Failed Big Before Becoming Successful

Source: chestnut

Entrepreneur Failure Stories: 10 Entrepreneurs Who Failed Big Before Becoming Successful. Failure is a part of business. Very few entrepreneurs ever make it big without first experiencing some massive failures. Whether it be running a business into the ground, getting fired from a job or even going to jail, plenty of very successful entrepreneurs have seen huge failures before ever accomplishing their dreams.

So if you ever feel worn down or intimidated by the thought of failing, just take a look at these entrepreneurs who failed before making it big.

Evan Williams Before co-founding Twitter, Williams (pictured above) developed a podcasting platform called Odeo. But the platform didn’t take off, in part because Apple announced the podcast section of the iTunes store shortly after the company launched. It folded shortly afterward.

Reid Hoffman Before co-founding LinkedIn and investing in big names like PayPal and Airbnb, Hoffman created SocialNet, an online dating and social networking site that ultimately failed.

Jeff Bezos Amazon is one of the biggest success stories of the online era. But before Amazon became a household name, the company’s CEO had several failed ideas. One of the most notable was an online auction site, which evolved into zShops, a brand that ultimately failed.

Akio Morita Back in the early days of Sony, Morita’s products weren’t quite as popular or well known as they are today. In fact, the first product was a rice cooker that ended up burning rice.

Momofuku Ando Before even coming up with the idea for instant noodles, which took him many tries to develop successfully, Ando had a small merchandising firm in Japan. But in 1948, he was convicted of tax evasion and spent two years in jail. He then lost that company due to a chain reaction bankruptcy.

Tim Ferris The author of “The 4-Hour Workweek” (pictured above) was turned down by about 25 publishers before finding one who actually agreed to publish his work — which later became a best selling title Peter Thiel Before starting PayPal and investing in big names like Facebook, Thiel lost big. His early hedge fund, Clarium Capital, lost 90 percent of its $7 billion assets on the stock market, currencies and oil prices.

Christina Wallace The current vice president of branding and marketing at Startup Institute is the former co-founder of Quincy Apparel. When the company shut down in 2013, Wallace stayed in bed for three weeks before forcing herself to get up and re-join the world

Sir James Dyson Dyson wasn’t always a well-known name associated with vacuum cleaners. In fact, it took Sir James Dyson 15 years and all of his savings to develop a bagless prototype that worked. He developed 5,126 prototypes that failed first Fred Smith Though we all know now that FedEx is a viable business model, Smith’s college professor disagreed. The future venture capitalist received a poor grade on an assignment where he pitched the idea for the company Ending quote: Success is not final, failure os not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts

Closing entrepreneur gender gap could generate £250bn extra for the UK, review finds

( via– Fri, 8th Mar 2019) London, Uk – –

Banks and other lenders are being encouraged to reveal how much of their investment is going to women-run businesse.

Just one in three entrepreneurs in the UK is female and closing the gender gap could generate an extra £250bn for the economy, a government review has found.

The disparity in women-run firms represents more than a million “missing businesses”, according to the Treasury-commissioned report.

It also found businesses run by women are on average half the size of male-led firms and far less likely to scale up to a £1m turnover.

In response to the review, carried out by NatWest deputy chief executive Alison Rose, banks and other lenders are being encouraged to publish what proportion of investment goes to female entrepreneurs.

The creation of a code, Investing in Women, was one of the proposals set out in the report published on International Women's Day.

Major banks such as HSBC and Lloyds have already pledged to sign up, the Treasury said.

The review found a shortage of role models and a perceived lack of skills and experience were among the obstacles preventing women from becoming entrepreneurs.

Some of the recommendations put forward to tackle these issues included expanding existing mentorship and networking opportunities and speeding up the development of entrepreneurship-related courses to schools and colleges.

The government is aiming to increase the number of female entrepreneurs by half by 2030, to match major economies including France, Canada and the US on gender equality.

Ms Rose said: “The UK has one of the most vibrant entrepreneurial communities in the world, but only one in three of our entrepreneurs is female – we need to be more ambitious and find ways to unlock the huge untapped potential.”

She added: “Some of the findings [of the review] are stark but by shining a spotlight on the issues and outlining the barriers and opportunities, the aim is to support the full potential of every woman who has the entrepreneurial spirit and ambition to start or scale their business.”

Theresa May said the report showed that while there have been improvements in the area of women in business, further progress was needed.

The prime minister said the review team had “set out an ambitious path to break this glass ceiling so that we can realise the full potential of female entrepreneurs and boost economic growth”.

She added: “I am committed to real change in this area, starting with our action today to encourage more companies to look at the gender split of who they choose to invest in.

New train timetables with 1,000 services to be added to ease over crowding

( via – – Fri, 8th Mar 2019) London, Uk – –

New summer train timetables will come into force on 19 May, with 1,000 services added to relieve overcrowding.

Rail bosses will be hoping that the introduction will be more successful than last year's fiasco, when a similar exercise caused severe disruption on the country's train network.

The Rail Delivery Group said the industry had “learned the lessons” from 2018's timetable changes.

It said it had “high confidence” that services would be ready.

Paul Plummer, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group, said: “Many parts of the country are set to benefit this summer from a better service, but where introducing improvements puts reliability at risk, we are rightly taking a more cautious approach.”

The Rail Delivery Group, which represents the rail industry, said the changes were part of a long-term plan to make trains more frequent and enable new journeys, while prioritising punctuality and reliability.

It added that by the early 2020s, there would be 6,400 more rail services than there had been in 2017.

Among the changes, South Western Railway says it will be offering more peak services in and out of London, while Northern will be adding direct services between Chester and Leeds, as well as faster services between Middlesbrough and Newcastle.

Following last summer's chaos on the railways, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) blamed a lack of “responsibility and accountability” and said passengers were “badly treated”.

This year, train companies say they will work together with Network Rail “to closely monitor the introduction of the new timetable and respond rapidly to any disruption”.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of independent rail passenger watchdog Transport Focus said: “Passengers will welcome new services, more choice, speeded up journeys and increased frequencies.

“However, passengers need the timetable to be a work of fact, not fiction, so they will want reassurance the new services can be introduced and operated without a repeat of last year's timetable crisis.

“Transport Focus will keep a close eye on performance. Reliability remains the key factor driving passenger satisfaction.”