Ulta And Sephora The Billion Dollar Makeup Rivals

Source: CNBC

Two cosmetics retail giants, Sephora and Ulta Beauty, started very differently, but as the consumer demand for makeup increases, the strategies of these two retailers are converging. Sephora began with a focus on luxury cosmetics in urban areas, while Ulta specialized in mass market products in suburban areas. Now, each are growing, trying to capture a bigger share of the global color cosmetics market, estimated to be worth $48.3 billion by the end of this year.

How Eric Clapton’s Fender Guitar Gets Made

Source: Bloomberg

Fender Musical Instruments is one of the world's largest manufacturers of guitars, basses and amplifiers. They revolutionized rock ‘n' roll with their iconic electric guitars such as the Telecaster and the Stratocaster. Bloomberg visits the Corona, California factory to see how a guitar is hand-made, and learn why Fender will never move production out of southern California.

Scentbird CEO’s journey to building a multimillion dollar beauty brand

Source: Shelby Church

Mariya Nurislamova, founder and CEO of the YC-backed startup, Scentbird. Often described as the “Netflix for Perfume,” Scentbird is employing technology to make smarter recommendations to clients and sell perfume at scale. But that's not all; the company is simultaneously building a beloved beauty brand, which is arguably even harder to do.

Top 10 Most Expensive Paintings In The World

Source: Alux.com

This video will try to answer the following questions: • Which is the most expensive painting in the world?! • How much is the most expensive painting in the world?! • How much is the most expensive Picasso painting?! • How much is the most expensive expressionist painting?!

UK house prices picked up in March, as Brexit weighed on the housing market – Nationwide

(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.reuters.com — Fri, 29th March 2019) London, UK —

LONDON (Reuters) – British house prices picked up only a little bit of speed this month as the approach of Brexit weighed on the housing market, data from mortgage lender Nationwide showed on Friday.

Prices rose by 0.7 percent in annual terms in March, up from a rise of 0.4 percent last month.

House prices were rising by about 5 percent a year at the time of the Brexit referendum in 2016, according to Nationwide.

In monthly terms, prices rose by 0.2 percent after falling by 0.1 percent in February.

Economists in a Reuters poll had expected prices to rise by an annual 0.6 percent and to be flat on the month.

Last week, official data, covering more transactions than other surveys, showed prices in January rose by an annual 1.7 percent, the smallest increase since 2013, when Britain was trying to shake off the effects of the global financial crisis.

Nationwide said London was the weakest performing region in the United Kingdom in the first quarter of 2019 with prices falling by an annual 3.8 percent, the biggest drop since 2009.

China's industrial profits shrink most since late 2011 as economy cools

It was the seventh consecutive quarter to show falling prices in the capital.

Nationwide said factors behind the fall in London included unaffordable prices for many buyers and tax changes affecting the buy-to-let market.

Howard Archer, an economist with EY Item Club, a forecasting firm, said a prolonged Brexit delay could lead to house prices stagnating or falling slightly in 2019.

“If the UK leaves the EU without a deal during the second quarter, house prices could fall by around 5 percent in 2019 amid heightened uncertainty and weakened economic activity,” Archer said.

By William Schomberg

Boeing Ethiopia flight-control feature automatically activated before crash

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Fri, 29th March 2019) London, Uk – –

Officials probing the crash in Ethiopia of a Boeing 737 Max have preliminarily concluded that a flight-control feature automatically activated before it crashed, the Wall Street Journal says.

The newspaper, citing unnamed sources, says the findings were relayed on Thursday at a briefing at the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The flight-control feature is meant to help prevent the plane from stalling.

Boeing said it could not comment as the investigation was still underway.

It said all enquiries should be referred to the investigating authorities and the BBC has approached the FAA for a response.

Meanwhile, Ethiopia's Ministry of Transport said: “We have seen the WSJ report. We'll comment shortly.”

Thursday also saw what is thought to be the first lawsuit filed on the crash.

Black box findings

The Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) flight-control feature was also implicated in a fatal crash by Lion Air flight in Indonesia last year.

Together, the two crashes have claimed 346 lives.

MCAS is software designed to help prevent the 737 Max 8 from stalling.

It reacts when sensors in the nose of the aircraft show the jet is climbing at too steep an angle, which can cause planes to stall.

But an investigation of the Lion Air flight last year suggested the system malfunctioned, and forced the plane's nose down more than 20 times before it crashed into the sea killing all 189 passengers and crew.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says there are similarities between that crash and the Ethiopian accident on 10 March.

Boeing has redesigned the software so that it will disable MCAS if it receives conflicting data from its sensors.

As part of the upgrade, Boeing will install an extra warning system on all 737 Max aircraft, which was previously an optional safety feature.

Neither of the planes, operated by Lion Air in Indonesia and Ethiopian Airlines, that were involved in the fatal crashes carried the alert systems, which are designed to warn pilots when sensors produce contradictory readings.

Earlier this week, Boeing said that the upgrades were not an admission that the system had caused the crashes.

Investigators have not yet determined the cause of the accidents.

A preliminary report from Ethiopian authorities is expected within days.

Lawsuit looms

The report comes a day after a lawsuit was filed in a Chicago federal court by the family of one of the victims of the Ethiopian crash, Jackson Musoni, a citizen of Rwanda.

It alleges that Boeing had defectively designed the automated flight control system

All Boeing 737 Max are currently grounded. It is still not certain when the planes will be allowed to fly.

Icelandic airline Wow Air collapse stranding thousands of passengers

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Thur, 28th March 2019) London, Uk – –

Passengers are left in limbo as heavily indebted Wow fails to complete a deal with new investors to secure its future.

Icelandic airline Wow Air has collapsed, stranding thousands of passengers, after an apparent failure to secure a cash lifeline.

It had grounded aircraft early on Thursday following months of talks with prospective financial backers – saying it was in the final stages of negotiations with a group of investors and further information would be provided later in the morning.

However, the heavily indebted company later said it had “ceased operation” and cancelled all future flights.

It gave no further details but urged passengers affected to re-book with other airlines.

The budget carrier is the latest in a string of airlines to fail over the past two years – as oil prices have risen sharply in a competitively-priced market

Monarch Airlines, Primera Air, Flybmi and Air Berlin have been among the most recent casualties while struggling Flybe was bought up by a consortiumincluding Virgin just last month.

Wow used its Reykjavik base as a hub airport to connect Europe and North America – with UK services operating from Gatwick, Stansted, Bristol and Edinburgh.

More from Business

It flew to 27 destinations in all – including Washington DC and New York.

Wow, which employs 1,000 staff, had seemed confident of a deal to secure new funding.

It announced on Tuesday that bondholders had approved a plan to convert their bonds into equity – allowing talks with new investors to begin.

The company was founded by Icelandic telecoms entrepreneur Skuli Mogensen in 2012 and was wholly owned by his Titan investment vehicle.

Wow apologised for the disruption to its passengers but Rory Boland, the editor of Which? Travel, accused the firm of treating customers with contempt.

He said: “Passengers will quite rightly be appalled that Wow Air, was still selling tickets right up to the moment it collapsed knowing full well that any tickets sold would likely not be worth the paper they are printed on.”

Wow issued advice on customers' rights, which included the chance that those stranded abroad could secure flights at a reduced rate on so-called rescue fares.

The statement continued: “Passengers whose ticket was paid with a credit card are advised to contact their credit card company to check whether a refund of the ticket cost will be issued.

“Passengers who bought their ticket from a European travel agent (within the European Economic Area) as a part of a package tour (a package which includes flights and accommodation or other services) are protected by the Package Travel Directive.

“Those passengers are advised to contact their travel agent to arrange an alternative flight.

“Passengers who may have bought travel protection, or those passengers whose credit card terms may include such protection, may be entitled to claim compensation and assistance due to delays or travel disruption.

“However, such compensation is often limited,” it said.Sponsored Links

By James Sillars, business reporter

UK’s funeral sector investigated by competition watchdog as prices escalate

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Thur, 28th March 2019) London, Uk – –

Cost has increased by 6% each year – twice the inflation rate – for last 14 years, says CMA

Britain’s competition watchdog is launching a full investigation into the UK funeral market after it found the cost of organising a funeral increased by 6% each year – twice the inflation rate – for the last 14 years.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said funerals typically cost several thousand pounds and it accused some funeral directors of taking advantage by charging high prices at a time when its customers were vulnerable.

The average cost of a funeral in Britain is £4,271, excluding discretionary items, which is 68% higher than a decade ago. The average cremation fee has gone up 84% over the period, to £737. Cremations account for more than three-quarters of funeral services.

Following the publication of an interim report in November, the CMA found that a full investigation was justified after it highlighted concerns about the effectiveness of competition in the sector. The investigation will focus on both funeral director and cremation services and should be completed within 18 months.

The watchdog said the reluctance of firms to disclose clear prices, including online, and to provide comprehensive information on the quality and range of services made it hard for people to compare funeral directors.

It found low numbers of crematoria in local areas and that the planning regime and high fixed costs are putting off providers from establishing new sites. This has led to average price rises of 6% to 8% each year for the past eight years at the largest private operators, while some local authorities have also implemented big increases in fees.

Dignity, the UK’s only publicly listed funeral services firm, said it supported an investigation because it could improve standards across the sector. Its chief executive, Mike McCollum, said: “Dignity has made clear that we welcome the CMA’s investigation into the funeral market and look forward to continuing our work with the CMA and other industry bodies to protect consumers.”

By Julia Kollewe

Sports Direct Mike Ashley considers £61.4 million bid for Debenhams

(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.reuters.com — Wed, 27th March, 2019) London, UK —

LONDON (Reuters) – Sports Direct, the British sportswear firm controlled by Mike Ashley, is considering an offer for Debenhams that values the ailing department store group at 61.4 million pounds, prompting a jump in the target firm’s battered shares.FILE PHOTO: People walk past a Debenhams store in Stockport, Britain January 4, 2018. REUTERS/Phil Noble/File Photo

Sports Direct, which last year bought department store chain House of Fraser out of administration for 90 million pounds, has a near 30 percent stake in Debenhams and has been trying to wrest control of it for months.

Ashley’s latest move is an attempt to thwart Debenhams’ restructuring and refinancing plan, which would give lenders more control over the retailer and could wipe out all shareholders.

The terms of the possible offer would be 5 pence a share in cash – a premium of 127 percent to Debenhams’ closing share price on Tuesday of 2.2 pence, which valued the firm at 27 million pounds. Shares in Debenhams were up 50 percent at 3.25 pence at 0945 GMT.

Sports Direct said it would also assist Debenhams in addressing its immediate funding requirements but did not provide details. Debenhams’ net debt at Jan. 5 was 286 million pounds.

Debenhams has not yet responded to Ashley’s latest salvo.

Sports Direct’s proposal is conditional upon Debenhams immediately appointing Ashley as its chief executive and terminating the noteholder consent solicitation process it announced last week.

That process is seeking agreement from bondholders to change the terms of some of their bonds so that Debenhams can secure new loans of up to 200 million pounds from existing lenders.

Debenhams has said that gaining those funds will allow it to pursue restructuring options to secure its future.

While Debenhams has warned that some of these options would result in no equity value for current shareholders, its preference remains a solvent re-financing of the business.

Uber buys big rival in Middle East for $3.1bln

Bondholders have until Thursday to back the re-financing plan.

Sports Direct said on Monday it was mulling a possible offer for Debenhams but did not put a price on it. That move got a cool reception from Debenhams on Tuesday.

Under UK takeover rules Sports Direct has until April 22 to announce a firm intention to make an offer.

Reporting by James Davey

Road safety: UK set to adopt Speed limiting technology

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Wed, 27th March 2019) London, Uk – –

Speed limiting technology looks set to become mandatory for all vehicles sold in Europe from 2022, after new rules were provisionally agreed by the EU.

The Department for Transport said the system would also apply in the UK, despite Brexit.

Campaigners welcomed the move, saying it would save thousands of lives.

Road safety charity Brake called it a “landmark day”, but the AA said “a little speed” helped with overtaking or joining motorways.

Safety measures approved by the European Commission included intelligent speed assistance (ISA), advanced emergency braking and lane-keeping technology.

The EU says the plan could help avoid 140,000 serious injuries by 2038 and aims ultimately to cut road deaths to zero by 2050.

EU Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska said: “Every year, 25,000 people lose their lives on our roads. The vast majority of these accidents are caused by human error.

“With the new advanced safety features that will become mandatory, we can have the same kind of impact as when safety belts were first introduced.”

What is speed limiting technology and how does it work?

Under the ISA system, cars receive information via GPS and a digital map, telling the vehicle what the speed limit is.

This can be combined with a video camera capable of recognising road signs.

he system can be overridden temporarily. If a car is overtaking a lorry on a motorway and enters a lower speed-limit area, the driver can push down hard on the accelerator to complete the manoeuvre.

A full on/off switch for the system is also envisaged, but this would lapse every time the vehicle is restarted.

How soon will it become available?

It's already coming into use. Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot-Citroen, Renault and Volvo already have models available with some of the ISA technology fitted.

However, there is concern over whether current technology is sufficiently advanced for the system to work effectively.

In particular, many cars already have a forward-facing camera, but there is a question mark over whether the sign-recognition technology is up to scratch.

Other approved safety features for European cars, vans, trucks and buses include technology which provides a warning of driver drowsiness and distraction, such as when using a smartphone while driving, and a data recorder in case of an accident.

What does it all mean in practice?

Theo Leggett, business correspondent

The idea that cars will be fitted with speed limiters – or to put it more accurately, “intelligent speed assistance” – is likely to upset a lot of drivers. Many of us are happy to break limits when it suits us and don't like the idea of Big Brother stepping in.

However, the new system as it's currently envisaged will not force drivers to slow down. It is there to encourage them to do so, and to make them aware of what the limit is, but it can be overridden. Much like the cruise control in many current cars will hold a particular speed, or prevent you exceeding it, until you stamp on the accelerator.

So it'll still be a free-for-all for speeding motorists then? Not quite. Under the new rules, cars will also be fitted with compulsory data recorders, or “black boxes”.

So if you have an accident, the police and your insurance company will know whether you've been going too fast. If you've been keeping your foot down and routinely ignoring the car's warnings, they may take a very dim view of your actions.

In fact, it's this “spy on board” which may ultimately have a bigger impact on driver behaviour than any kind of speed limiter. It's easy to get away with reckless driving when there's only a handful of traffic cops around to stop you. Much harder when there's a spy in the cab recording your every move.

All of this may well reduce accidents, but it won't eliminate them. You can force people to slow down, you can watch what they're doing, you can help them with emergency braking – but you can't get rid of basic bad driving.

Unless, of course, you have self-driving cars.

How has the idea been received?

The move was welcomed by the European Transport Safety Council, an independent body which advises Brussels on transport safety matters.

But it said it could be several months before the European Parliament and Council formally approve the measures.

The European Parliament will not be able to consider the provisional rules until after its elections take place in May.

UK statistics show more than 1,700 people are killed on UK roads every year, while Brake says speed is a contributory factor in about a quarter of all fatal crashes.

Brake's campaigns director, Joshua Harris, said: “This is a landmark day for road safety.

“These measures will provide the biggest leap forward for road safety this century.”

The UK's Department for Transport said: “We continuously work with partners across the globe to improve the safety standards of all vehicles. These interventions are expected to deliver a step-change in road safety across Europe, including the UK.”

The Association of British Insurers held out the possibility that premiums could be reduced as a result.

It said: “Motor insurers support measures aimed at improving road safety. Any steps that can be shown to make our roads safer, reducing road crashes and insurance claims, can be reflected in the cost of motor insurance.”

What do critics say?

The AA thinks the system might have the unintended consequence of making drivers more reckless, not less.

AA president Edmund King said there was no doubt that new in-car technology could save lives, adding there was “a good case” for autonomous emergency braking to be fitted in all cars.

“When it comes to intelligent speed adaptation, the case is not so clear,” he said. “The best speed limiter is the driver's right foot.

“The right speed is often below the speed limit – for example, outside a school with children about – but with ISA, there may be a temptation to go at the top speed allowed.”

Mr King added: “Dodgem cars are all fitted with speed limiters, but they still seem to crash.”


UK’s biggest companies facing pressure to impose caps on bosses pay to tackle “corporate greed”

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Tue, 26th March 2019) London, Uk – –

A committee of MPs makes several recommendations to help restore trust over awards at many top UK companies.

The UK's biggest companies are facing pressure to impose caps on bosses' pay as part of recommendations to tackle “corporate greed”.

The report by the business, energy and industrial strategy committee of MPs highlighted “huge differentials” in awards at top firms following a string of pay rows, such as those at Unilever and BT.

The most high profile was a backlash against £85m for Jeff Fairburn when he led housebuilder Persimmon – a reward that ultimately led to him being forced out of the door.

MPs argue it is time to break what they regard as a heavy reliance on overgenerous, incentive-based executive pay that is deliberately made complex to shake off shareholder opposition.

The report says failing remuneration committees should face action from the regulator formed to replace the Financial Reporting Council, which has been ridiculed by the committee for its role in the collapse of Carillion.

It said the new Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority must be “more robust and proactive in bearing down on excessive executive pay”.

The MPs recommended pay committees “set, publish and explain” an absolute cap on pay for executives in any financial year.

They said more could be done to tackle disparity between executive pay growth and workers by introducing schemes such as profit-sharing and boosting pensions – the latter seen as a particular issue for investors in the looming AGM season.

Several FTSE 100 firms, including HSBC and Centrica, have moved to slash payments to bosses in recent weeks following anger over discrepancies between those at the top and staff.

Committee chair Rachel Reeves said: “The roll call of dishonourable executive pay decisions at firms including Persimmon, Unilever, Royal Mail, BT, Melrose and Foxtons tell the all-too-familiar tale of corporate greed which is so
damaging to the reputation of business in our country.

“But these examples also highlight the persistence of executive pay policies where far too little weight is given to delivering genuine long-term value, investing in the future, or ensuring rewards are shared with workers.

“When the company does well, it is workers and not just the chief executive who should share the profits. Why should chief executives have a more generous pension scheme than those who work for them?”

Apple unveils TV streaming platform and credit card at a star-studded event in California

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Tue, 26th March, 2019) London, Uk – –

By Zoe Kleinman

Apple has unveiled its new TV streaming platform, Apple TV+, at a star-studded event in California.

Jennifer Aniston, Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey were among those who took to the stage at Apple's headquarters to reveal their involvement in TV projects commissioned by the tech giant.

The platform will include shows from existing services like Hulu and HBO.

Apple also announced that it would be launching a credit card, gaming portal and enhanced news app.

The event was held in California and Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook was clear from the start that the announcements would be about new services, not new devices.

It is a change of direction for the 42-year-old company.

Apple TV

There had been much anticipation about Apple's predicted foray into the TV streaming market, dominated by the likes of Amazon and Netflix.

The Apple TV+ app was unveiled by Steven Spielberg and will launch in the autumn.

Spielberg will himself be creating some material for the new platform, he said.

Other stars who took to the stage included Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carell, Jason Momoa, Alfre Woodard, comedian Kumail Nanjiani and Big Bird from Sesame Street.

The app will be made available on rival devices for the first time, coming to Samsung, LG, Sony and Vizio smart TVs as well as Amazon's Firestick and Roku.

The subscription fee was not announced, and notably absent from the launch line-up was Netflix, which had already ruled itself out of being part of the bundle.

“The test for Apple will be, can new content separate them out from their competitors and can they commission and deliver on fresh new content that can reach audiences in the same way that Stranger Things has for Netflix for example?” commented Dr Ed Braman, an expert in film and production at the University of York.

Apple Card

The Apple Card credit card will launch in the US this summer.

There will be both an iPhone and physical version of the card, with a cashback incentive on every purchase.

The credit card will have no late fees, annual fees or international fees, said Apple Pay VP Jennifer Bailey.

It has been created with the help of Goldman Sachs and MasterCard.

News stand

The firm also revealed a news service, Apple News+, which will include more than 300 magazine titles including Marie Claire, Vogue, New Yorker, Esquire, National Geographic and Rolling Stone.

The LA Times and the Wall Street Journal will also be part of the platform, the firm said.

It added that it will not track what users read or allow advertisers to do so.

Apple News+ will cost $9.99 (£7.50) per month and is available immediately in the US and Canada. It will come to Europe later in the year.

Unlike TV+, the news platform will only be available on Apple devices.

A new games platform, Apple Arcade, will offer over 100 exclusive games from the app store which will all be playable offline, in contrast with Google's recently announced streaming platform Stadia.

It will be rolled out across 150 countries in the autumn but no subscription prices were given.

in 2018 analyst firm IHS Markit valued the global gaming market on iOS, Apple's operating system, at $33.5bn.

There is space within that market for a platform like Apple Arcade which is not financed by in-app purchases or advertising, said IHS director of games research Piers Harding-Rolls.

“Apple's decision to move up the games value chain with a new, curated subscription service and to support the development of exclusive games for its Arcade platform is a significant escalation of the company's commitment to the games market,” he said.

“Apple joins the other technology companies Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Amazon and others in investing directly in games content and services.”

Anaylsis David Lee

Apple is making an aggressive push into several markets in which, thanks to sheer scale alone, it immediately becomes a massive player.

Its TV service has been long in the making, and Apple has amassed a roster of big stars, as expected.

A bigger test will be how creative those ideas will be – a lot of Netflix's success has been about finding new talent, not throwing money at already famous names.

I also have reservations about how many boundaries Apple will be prepared to push with its creative endeavours: if it's as controlling with its television as it is with its brand, it will create a catalogue bereft of risk-taking.

But TV is just a small part of what Apple is going for here. It wants (and needs) to turn its devices into the portal through which you do everything else – TV/film, gaming, reading the news… and you'd presume other things in the very near future.

The announcement of a credit card shows how far Apple is prepared to go to make sure life is experienced through your iPhone.

As Oprah put it on stage: “They're in a billion pockets, y'all.”


Mike Lynch vs Hewlett-Packard, UK’s biggest fraud trial gets under way

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Mon, 25th March 2019) London, Uk – –

The UK's biggest fraud trial gets under way on Monday with US technology giant Hewlett-Packard suing the former head of software firm Autonomy.

The civil case is over the £8.4bn sale of the software firm to Hewlett-Packard (HP) in 2011.

HP alleges that Autonomy founder Mike Lynch and chief financial officer Sushovan Hussain inflated the value of Autonomy before that sale.

Mr Lynch and Mr Hussain deny the claims.

“There was no fraud at Autonomy,” a spokesperson for Mr Lynch said in a statement.

“The real story is that HP, after a history of failed acquisitions, botched the purchase of Autonomy and destroyed the company, seeking to blame others. Mike will not be a scapegoat for their failures.”

Mr Lynch's lawyers said the case is a “dispute over differences between UK and US accounting systems” and “certain business judgements”.What was Autonomy's business?

Mr Lynch also faces criminal charges in the United States.

On Friday, US prosecutors added three new criminal charges to their indictment against him, including a new charge of securities fraud, as well as additional charges of wire fraud and conspiracy.

They are part of a 17-count indictment filed with the federal court in San Francisco.

A spokesman for the entrepreneur said: “These are baseless, egregious charges issued on the eve of the trial in the UK, where this case belongs, and Dr Lynch denies them vigorously.”

In the UK case, HP is suing Mr Lynch and former Autonomy chief financial officer Sushovan Hussain for $5.1bn (£3.9bn).

HP and US prosecutors allege that Mr Lynch and other former Autonomy executives artificially inflated the software company's revenues and earnings between 2009 and 2011, causing HP to overpay for the firm.

But Mr Lynch has argued that HP used the allegations to cover up its own mismanagement of Autonomy after the 2011 deal.

If found guilty, Mr Lynch – who was once dubbed Britain's answer to Bill Gates – could face jail in the US.

Who is Mike Lynch?

  • A Cambridge graduate who built Autonomy up to be one of the top 100 UK public companies
  • Has an OBE for services to enterprise
  • Is a fellow of the Royal Society
  • Was previously on the boards of the British Library and the BBC

Autonomy was founded by Mr Lynch in 1996. It developed software that could extract useful information from “unstructured” sources such as phone-calls, emails or video, and then do things such as suggest answers to a call-centre operator or monitor TV channels for words or subjects.

Before it was bought by Hewlett-Packard, it had headquarters in San Francisco and Cambridge.

In 2010, about 68% of Autonomy's reported revenues came from the US and elsewhere in the Americas.

Majestic Wine plans to rename itself Naked Wines Plc as part of new restructuring

(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.reuters.com — Mon, 25th March 2019) London, UK —

Shares in the company, one of Britain’s best-known wine merchants, fell about 10 percent in early trade to 246.5 pence, with some analysts calling the strategy change “drastic”.

Majestic, which plans to rename itself Naked Wines Plc, bought the online retail business in 2015 and has since more than doubled its size. Naked Wines sales are expected to be more than 175 million pounds this year, or about 35 percent of the group’s targeted sales of 500 million pounds.

Majestic plans to increase investment in Naked Wines by 6 million pounds per annum to about 26 million pounds in 2020.

“We believe that a transformed Majestic business does have the potential to be a long-term winner, but that we risk not maximising the potential of Naked if we try to do both,” Chief Executive Officer Rowan Gormley said. He founded Naked Wines in 2008.

The unit uses a subscription model and aims to deliver quality wine for less money by crowd funding independent winemakers in exchange for preferential prices on exclusive wines.

Majestic, which has over 1 million customers in Britain, the United States and Australia, has been struggling in recent years due to tough competition from discount supermarkets Aldi and Lidl UK, and online rivals offering cheaper wines.

“DRASTIC AND UNEXPECTED”

Liberum analysts called the strategy change “drastic and unexpected”, saying they were waiting to know if the new digital channels will generate better returns than vouchers and other routes that have been primarily used historically.

Majestic also operates Majestic Retail – the largest specialist wine retailer in Britain; Majestic commercial, which supplies wine to business; and Lay and Wheeler, a specialist fine wine merchant.

It expects to take largely non-cash restructuring charges of up to 10 million pounds in 2019.

The company also said it expects to achieve its sales target of 500 million pounds for full year 2019 and adjusted profit before tax around the current consensus level of 11.1 million pounds, lower than the 11.7 million pounds it mentioned in its Christmas trading update in January.

Majestic has also been trying to grow its business outside Britain as the country readies to quit the European Union, with online sales accounting for about 45 percent of its business and 20 percent coming from its international business.

In November, it said it would import an extra 5 million to 8 million pounds of stock to ensure it is covered against any problems with deliveries following Brexit.

The company posted a statutory pretax loss of 200,000 pounds in the six months to Oct. 1 compared with a profit of 3.1 million pounds, a year earlier, hurt by higher costs and investment to attract customers to the Naked Wine business.

By Abinaya Vijayaraghavan in Bengaluru

Qatar’s $200 Billion Future Mega Projects

Source: Enrigue8

Qatar's Future Mega Projects (2018-2030) -Over $200Billion. Once upon a time, Qatar was a poor fishing village. But one day, oil and gas were discovered and everything changed for Qatar. Today ,Qatar is the richest country in the world with a GDP per capita of $129,360. The country has a lot of modern infrastructures and invests a lot in science,technology and education. Doha,the capital is very modern and futuristic .There are countless skyscrapers,modern malls and many other beautiful things. The governement created the Qatar investment authority,a fund that will invest the country wealth. Today, the fund manage $335 Billion and purchased many foreign companies and assets. These aquistion include : The PSG, FC Barcelona ,Harrods stores and the Shard in London,Or Miramax movies . The country will host the Fifa World Cup 2022.

Noma: Inside One Of The World’s Best Restaurants

Source: BI

The original Noma opened in Copenhagen 15 years ago, surprising guests with its inventive offerings, like dishes disguised as herb pots. Noma was voted number one restaurant in the world four times. But not too long ago, Chef René Redzepi shut everything down. And this latest move could give them back the title. Noma closed at the end of 2016 before opening its new space in February 2018.

The Rise of Nike: The Man Who Built a Billion-Dollar Brand

Source: BC

Philip Hampson “Buck” Knight(born February 24, 1938) is an American business magnate and philanthropist. A native of Oregon, he is the co-founder and current Chairman Emeritus of Nike, Inc., and previously served as chairman and CEO of the company. As of August 2018, Knight was ranked by Forbes as the 28th richest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of US$34.7 billion.[ He is also the owner of the stop motion film production company Laika.

Knight is a graduate of the University of Oregon and Stanford Graduate School of Business. He ran track under coach Bill Bowerman at the University of Oregon, with whom he would co-found Nike.

Japanese Hotel Staffed by Robots

Source: Motherboard

If there’s one place on Earth you can already get a glimpse of our robot-assisted future, it’s Japan. Routinely at the forefront of robotics research, the country has brought us some of the weirdest automatons, most lifelike androids, and cutest helper-bots.

Nowhere is this more evident than at Nagasaki’s Henn-na Hotel, a hotel run by robots that opened this year. Walk into reception and a mechanised dinosaur will guide you through check-in; go to your room and a luggage bot will wheel your suitcase along beside you; get ready for bed and your own robot companion will turn out the lights.

Thomas Cook to close 21 stores placing 300 jobs at risk

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Fri, 22nd March 2019) London, Uk – –

Travel firm Thomas Cook is closing 21 stores across the country and cutting more than 300 jobs.

The company said 102 customer-facing roles would be axed as a result of the store closures, while it planned to cut a further 218 jobs “following a review of the retail workforce”.

It said holidaymakers continued to switch bookings from stores to online.

In September, Thomas Cook said profits would be hit after the summer heatwave saw many take their holidays in the UK.

It issued a second profit warning in November, when it said winter bookings were also down.

The shop closures will take the number of Thomas Cook outlets down to 566.

It said a consultation with staff and unions had begun.

The firm's chief of tour operating, Will Waggott, said: “Today's announcement reflects the wider challenges seen on the High Street, with more and more customers choosing to book online.”

Thomas Cook said 64% of all its bookings in the UK were made online last year.

It added that the job cuts and store closures were part of plans to “streamline” the business.

The stores earmarked for closure are:

  • Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne
  • West Bromwich Sandwell Centre, West Midlands
  • Llandudno, North Wales
  • Sunderland Sainsbury's, Tyne & Wear
  • North Shields, Tyne & Wear
  • Peterlee, County Durham
  • Accrington, Lancashire
  • Market Harborough 23 St Marys Place, Leicestershire
  • Bury Haymarket, Lancashire
  • Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire
  • Aberdeen Langstane, Aberdeen
  • Chesham, Buckinghamshire
  • Launceston, Cornwall
  • Stevenage, Hertfordshire
  • Shipley, West Yorkshire
  • Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire
  • Guildford, Surrey
  • Glenrothes 52 Unicorn Way, Fife
  • Colchester High St, Essex
  • Kingston upon Thames, Surrey
  • Kirkintilloch Cowgate, Glasgow

The majority of stores being closed were not profitable, and were chosen for closure as their leases were due for renewal, a spokesman said.

As well as weather-related woes, Thomas Cook has faced competition from online travel agents and low-cost airlines.

It has also said political unrest in holiday destinations such as Turkey has been disruptive to its business.

Debenhams warns restructuring options could wipe out shareholders

(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.reuters.com — Fri, 22nd March 2019) London, UK —

LONDON (Reuters) – Struggling British department store group Debenhams warned on Friday that its shareholders could be wiped out as a result of some of the restructuring options it is considering.

The firm said it was seeking 200 million pounds ($262 million) of additional funds from lenders that would give it the ability to pursue restructuring options to secure its future.

But it warned “certain of these options – if they materialize – would result in no equity value for the company’s current shareholders.”

Debenhams shares were down 59 percent at 1.35 pence at 0926 GMT.

Debenhams said it was seeking agreement from bondholders to change the terms of some of their bonds as part of the process to secure the new loans of up to 200 million pounds from existing lenders.

It had previously said it was working on a plan to raise an additional 150 million pounds.

Debenhams has launched a “consent solicitation” for holders of its 5.25 percent senior notes due 2021. This process seeks consents from bondholders to certain amendments to the existing notes.

Debenhams said a successful consent solicitation would allow it to enter into the new loan facilities.

The firm is also trying to fend off an attempt by its largest shareholder, Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct, to take control of the business.

Reporting by James Davey, Editing by Paul Sandle