INSIDER tours a $7 million New York City dream apartment that has a zipline, spiral slide, climbing wall, monkey bars, and more. It’s a kid’s dream home in the middle of Manhattan! Aly Weisman goes to the SoHo loft to get a tour of the most unique apartment in the city.
(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Tue , 12th Nov 2019) London, Uk – –
The firm says the “situation is critical” and could pull out of the country, where it is the largest foreign direct investor.
UK-based mobile giant Vodafone sank to a loss of £1.6bn after a ruling by India's top court threatens to land it with huge fees and penalties.
The firm has described it as a critical situation and warned it could pull out of the country, where it is the largest foreign direct investor.
The court judgment against the telecoms industry relates to a decade-long battle over the calculation of licence and other regulatory fees.
Vodafone said its liability appeared to be at least £3.2bn but warned it “could be substantially higher”.
The mobile operator said it may seek a review of the supreme court's decision, which saw it post a loss in the six months to 30 September.
Announcing its results for the period, the company said: “In October the Supreme Court in India ruled against the industry in a dispute over the calculation of licence and other regulatory fees, and Vodafone Idea is now liable for very substantial demands made by the Department of Telecommunications in relation to these fees.
“We are actively engaging with the government to seek financial relief for Vodafone Idea.”
Vodafone chief executive Nick Read said: “The situation is critical. I think the government are left in no doubt on our position.
“We are India's largest foreign direct investment investor and I think there's a moment where you have to say we've been commercially successful and our brand is strong.
“What we need is a supportive regulatory environment and prices that are sustainable.
“It's been a very challenging situation for a long time and, if you look at the share price in India, it is effectively has zero value.”
Mr Read revealed he had travelled to India with Vodafone's chairman, Gerard Kleisterlee, last month to lay out the company's demands to ministers.
He has asked for a two-year moratorium before any payments are made, lower taxes in the country, the waiving of interest and fines associated with the judgment, and to spread out the fee costs over 10 years.
Mr Read added: “We've committed a lot of capital to India and we've made a decision we will not put further capital in (until the issue is resolved).”
Elsewhere in the business, Vodafone said its overall revenues over the six-month period had gone up after a return to growth “supported by improvements in South Africa, Spain and Italy, with solid retail performance in Germany and strong commercial acceleration in the UK”.
The company's reported revenues rose 0.4% to €21.9 (£18.8bn).
Vodafone also increased its profit guidance to €14.8-€15bn (£12.7bn-£12.9) from €13.8-€14.2bn (£11.9bn-£12.2bn), pointing to the acquisition of Liberty Global's assets in Germany and the sale of its New Zealand business.
Today we take you to Atlanta, Georgia to tour the sprawling Tyler Perry Studios. Home to productions like Marvel’s “Black Panther” and AMC Networks’ “The Walking Dead,” the self-made entertainment legend’s production compound is larger than Warner Bros. and Walt Disney’s Burbank studios combined.
12 newly-dedicated sound stages are joined by an entire backlot neighborhood called “Maxineville,” featuring a perfect replica of Madea’s house. Tyler Perry Studios is the centerpiece of Georgia’s burgeoning film industry and a testament to the vision, success, and generosity of its founder.
In less than one year, WeWork went from having a $47 billion valuation and being the darling of the venture capital world to needing an $8 billion infusion to avoid running out of money. This is the story of Adam Neumann, Softbank's risky investment, a failed IPO and how we got here.
(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Wed, 6th Nov 2019) London, Uk – –
Marks and Spencer profits dropped in the first half of its financial year following a sharp fall in demand for its clothes and home goods.
The High Street retailer said that while its food business was “outperforming the market”, there had been issues in clothing and home.
Marks and Spencer is undergoing a transformation plan led by chief executive Steve Rowe.
He said after a “challenging” first half, it is now seeing improvements.
Overall, pre-tax profits tumbled by 17% to £176.5m on total sales down 2.1% to £4.86bn.
Like-for-like sales in clothing and home fell by 5.5% during the six months to 30 September, worse than an expected 4.3% drop.
Despite that, in early morning FTSE 250 trading the company's shares were up 6.3% at 193.94 pence.
M&S said there had been “availability challenges” as a result of “supply chain issues and a shape of buy that remained too broad”.
The company is facing competition from fashion giants such as Primark on the High Street and Asos on the internet.
It said its clothing business “has historically been too slow to market” and had “too many slow-moving lines”.
It also said it was going to ensure that they had enough product in all sizes, and would be quicker to restock popular and fast-selling items in stores.
In addition it said it would look to introduce slimmer cuts in clothing designs, which would be increasingly aimed at a “family market”.
M&S said it was seeing a positive response to its current winter season clothing, which it says is a “better value product”.
But retail expert Richard Hyman told BBC Radio Four's Today programme: “I think Marks and Spencer customers are not interested in price, as much as relevance. Making clothes cheaper is not the answer.
“When they talk about this season's offering, they are talking about a matter of weeks. The general outlook for Christmas trading is not looking very good across the trade.”
In contrast, like-for-like sales in food grew by 0.9%, ahead of a forecast 0.3% rise.
To stem the decline in food, M&S forged a joint venture with Ocado in February, agreeing to buy 50% of its retail business for £750m.
But Mr Hyman said: “I can't see the central logic of the Ocado deal. I don't think they have to be online in food at all. Online [food retailing] in the UK is 7% of the market, suggesting people are not clamouring to buy food online.”
And Neil Wilson, chief analyst at markets.com said that overall, change had been far too slow at the company.
But M&S boss Mr Rowe said the firm was now starting to see the benefits of its transformation plan. “For the first time we are beginning to see the potential from the far reaching changes we are making,” he said.
However, while it forecast some improvement in trading in the second half of the year, market conditions remain challenging.
In September, M&S was relegated from the FTSE 100 index of Britain's biggest listed companies.
It marked the first time the retailer had not been a FTSE 100 member since the index was launched in 1984.
(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Mon, 4th Nov, 2019) London, Uk – –
Lavazza launch comes amid rising concern over where 20bn single-serve plastic pods end up
The first compostable one-cup coffee pods from a major manufacturer will go on sale this week in a battle to stop the 20bn pods used every year around the world from ending up in landfill.
Italian espresso giant Lavazza is aiming to replace its entire range of home use capsules with new eco-friendly ones – at the same retail price – by the end of the year.
It is thought that 95m cups of coffee cups are drunk in the UK every day, but increasingly popular single serve pods have become an environmental scourge – typically ending up in landfill where they can take up to 500 years to break down. The 20bn capsules currently consumed every year are enough to circle the Earth 14 times.
The complexity of packaging – often a mix of different materials such as plastic, foil and aluminium – combined with used coffee dregs – can make them difficult to recycle and process in standard municipal recycling plants.
Lavazza says its new biopolymer-based Eco Caps break down into compost in as little as six months when combined with food waste for council collection. Provided local authority rules allow it, used capsules could be thrown in the food waste bin.
However, where this is unavailable, Lavazza has teamed up with waste collection service TerraCycle to establish a network of public access drop-off points for consumers to dispose of capsules which need to be industrially composted.
David Rogers, managing director of Lavazza UK, said: “This major investment confirms our commitment to excellence and sustainable development.”
Its new research, also published on Monday, shows that more than a third of people in the UK admit to throwing their used coffee capsules into the bin because they don’t know how to properly dispose of them. Consumers also feel generally confused about what can and cannot be recycled, with 72% admitting to feeling overwhelmed when trying to understand the various recycling symbols.
The coffee company Nespresso – part of the Swiss multinational Nestlé – encourages consumers to send back their used aluminium capsules in the UK in special bags while it has also trialled council collection schemes.
Most compostable or biodegradable pods on the market have been launched by small, niche brands. A separate range of 100% compostable pods made from sugar cane and paper pulp, made by online retailer Halo, can be put into home compost or food bins. Halo co-founder Richard Hardwick said: “The coffee revolution has happened and one of the key challenges the industry now faces is the millions of tonnes of waste created as a result.
“Aluminium and plastic coffee capsules are difficult to recycle so most of them end up in the bin, and that’s why up to 75% are currently being sent to landfill every minute. Most people don’t understand the irreversible damage these coffee capsules are inflicting on the planet.”
Champagne is only true champagne if it's made in the Champagne region of northern France. All other sparkling wines made outside of this region, even those from neighboring parts of France, must be labeled differently. Champagne often costs double the price of other sparkling wines, such as prosecco or cava. A decent-quality bottle of it can cost you anywhere from $50 to $300, and vintage bottles often sell for thousands.
Getting up in the morning is hard for everyone — even billionaires! Both Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett prioritize sleep aiming to get 8 hours per night. Oprah and Jack Dorsey meditate and exercise before starting their days. Following is a transcript of the video: Oprah's morning is very involved. The first thing she does when she rises at seven o'clock is brush her teeth before taking her five dogs for a walk. While she waits for her espresso to brew, she reads a card from her ‘365 Gathered Truths' box. Then, she turns to an app on her phone to read her daily Bowl of Saki. Next, she meditates followed by an hour long workout in the hills of her backyard. Elon Musk's morning is not as calm as Oprah's. He also wakes up at seven, but he gets right to business. Elon spends half an hour reading and responding to critical emails while drinking coffee. He says he's too busy for breakfast. After sending his five sons to school he showers, then drives to work. Sounds about right for someone who works up to 120 hours a week. Twitter founder Jack Dorsey says he gets out of bed 5:00 a.m. He meditates for 30 minutes and then completes a seven-minute workout three times. After that, he has his morning coffee and then checks in. Warren Buffett likes to sleep. He says he usually sleeps a full eight hours a night. He reportedly wakes up at 6:45 a.m. and starts his day reading newspapers like the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Jeff Bezos also values his sleep. He says he makes it a priority. However, Bezos reportedly wakes up naturally, without an alarm. He likes to hold high-IQ meetings in the morning before lunch, ideally at 10:00 a.m. Bill Gates starts his day with cardio. The New York Times reported that Gates would spend an hour on the treadmill while watching educational DVDs. He says he enjoys Cocoa Puffs cereal but his wife, Melinda, says he doesn't eat breakfast. Many of us cannot imagine a morning without coffee, but Sara Blakely can. The founder of Spanx says she's never had a cup of coffee. Instead, she drinks a smoothie made of frozen wild berries, dark cherries, kale, dates, cinnamon, spinach, cilantro, fresh mint, lemon, water, ice, chia, and walnuts. Blakely also tries to get a yoga session in at 6:30 a.m. before taking her kids to school. Mark Zuckerberg stays true to his brand. The first thing he does is check his phone in bed. Mark Zuckerberg: The first I do is look at my phone. I look at Facebook. Jerry Seinfeld: Right. Zuckerberg: Right to see — to see what's going on in the world. Seinfeld: Right, right. Zuckerberg: And I check my messages. I look at Messenger and WhatsApp. He also says he doesn't like wasting time on small decisions which is why he wears pretty much the same outfit everyday. Anastasia Soare is the founder of makeup brand Anastasia Beverly Hills. She also reaches for her phone when she wakes up at 7:00 a.m. Apparently, Instagram is the first app she checks every morning. She always has two cups of black coffee and eats a light breakfast while answering emails. Her personal trainer comes to her house most days and she exercises for an hour. And of course, she never leaves her house without doing her eyebrows.
(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.reuters.com — Fri, 1st Nov 2019) London, UK —
LONDON/CHICAGO (Reuters) – Under pressure to reduce environmental waste from single-use containers, major consumer companies including Procter & Gamble Co (PG.N), Unilever Plc (ULVR.L) and The Body Shop are rolling out more products in refillable form.
P&G, with roughly $68 billion in annual revenue, said it has invested millions in creating and testing refills for detergents over the years and is now trying to push in to mainstream beauty and body care refills – which are virtually unheard of.
It recently began offering some Olay face-cream jars with refill pouches on Olay.com, telling Reuters it has plans to expand the sales of the pouches in Europe early next year. “We’re learning on our legs so I don’t know that we’re in a position to say, ‘Hey, here’s the magic to selling refills,’” P&G spokesman Damon Jones said.
Beauty products retailer The Body Shop, owned by Brazil’s Natura Cosmeticos SA (NATU3.SA), says it plans to roll out “refill stations” in its stores globally next year, allowing shoppers to buy reusable metal containers to fill with Body Shop shower gels or creams. The company had offered refills at its stores in the early 1990s, but discontinued them in 2003, citing a lack of consumer demand.
Unilever, which has set targets for reducing and recycling plastic by 2025, in October announced the planned launch of “refill sticks” of deodorants under its Dove line of personal care products on Loopstore.com. The website, operated by recycling company TerraCycle, offers consumers the chance to buy some household products in ultra-durable packaging with refills delivered to their doors, milkman-style.
Across the consumer goods industry, results for refillable products have been mixed so far as many shoppers are far too set in their ways to be easily weaned from living in a throwaway culture. While refills are less expensive to purchase – generally priced at 20% to 30% less per item than the containers they are aimed to replenish, according to Unilever – shoppers have so far, for the most part, failed to snap them up, the companies said.
CONSUMER APATHY VS. CONSUMER PRESSURE
SC Johnson & Son Inc, marketer of Windex and Pledge, said refills and concentrates so far have not played well with either Americans or Europeans over the decade they have been offered, with unit sales of such products pretty much flat. It pulled concentrated refills for Shout stain remover off the shelves because they were not selling very well.
In 2010, Unilever put 20-liter tanks to dispense detergents in Walmart Inc’s (WMT.N) British supermarket chain Asda, and provided flexible pouches for customers to refill. But with leaky machines, safety and maintenance problems and the high costs of upkeep, Unilever said the tests fell short of expectations. Asda was also unhappy because the tanks occupied a lot of space.
“None of them sell very well – it is a convenience issue,” SC Johnson CEO Fisk Johnson told Reuters. Johnson said some people find it painstaking to wash and refill bottles themselves while others worry that smaller bottles filled with concentrates are less “bang-for-your-buck” than the larger ones they have used for years.
Still, the privately held company said it was expanding its refill offerings this year to address concerns surrounding plastic waste and is also testing refill stations for cleaning products with UK retailer Waitrose, owned by Britain’s John Lewis [JLPLC.UL]. The Waitrose tests are showing the first signs of progress in refill sales, Johnson said, and the company is now thinking of expanding the project.
Even if consumers are comfortable using refills for some household goods, it is more complicated to sell them for products like Pantene shampoo and Olay creams, P&G spokesman Jones said. For instance, with beauty products, the look and feel of packaging is a big factor in creating and maintaining customer loyalty, while delivering an environmental benefit, he said.
Some shoppers say they want to buy refillable products, but that the offerings are not available at many stores. Earlier this year, dozens of consumers took to social media to urge The Body Shop to bring back its refill counters.
“Refill, refill, refill!” Twitter user @JaiChipperfield said on July 22, joining a thread in which several other shoppers demanded the return of refills. “Seems to me that judging by these comments your customers want to see the return of refills,” @JaiChipperfield added. “Me too, it would be brilliant to see that return.”
The Body Shop eventually responded to those pleas.
“Now with the renewed focus on sustainability, we believe it is the right time to return with it,” Body Shop spokeswoman Lucy Muircroft told Reuters this week.
Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in London and Richa Naidu in Chicago
(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Wed, 30th Oct 2019) London, Uk – –
PSA Group, the French owner of Peugeot, is exploring a merger with its US-Italian rival Fiat Chrysler, it has confirmed.
A deal between the two carmakers would create a business with a combined market value of nearly $50bn (£39.9bn).
This is Fiat Chrysler's second attempt at a merger this year after it pulled out of an agreement with Renault in June.
Fiat Chrysler shares jumped 7.5% on Wall Street.
The potential merger would face significant political and financial hurdles.
Discussions remain in the early stages and there is no guarantee of a final deal.
However, if the two companies do combine, PSA chief executive Carlos Tavares is expected to lead the enlarged group.
John Elkann, Fiat Chrysler's chairman and the head of Italy's Agnelli industrial dynasty which controls the business, would retain the same position at the new company.
A merger of the two groups would bring a number of brands under one roof including Alfa Romeo, Citroen, Jeep, Opel, Peugeot and Vauxhall.
The talks come months after a proposed tie-up between Fiat Chrysler and French carmaker Renault collapsed.
Fiat Chrysler had described its bid for Renault as a “transformative” proposal that would create a global automotive leader.
Industry shifts toward electric models, along with stricter emissions standards and the development of new technologies for autonomous vehicles, have put increasing pressure on carmakers to consolidate.
The tiny Smart car was meant to be a revolutionary new idea in urban mobility. But more than 20 years after its creation, the Smart car pulled out of the U.S. after years of increasingly dismal sales. Now, its parent company, Daimler, is looking in a new direction.
(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.reuters.com — Fri, 25th Oct 2019) London, UK —
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s four mobile network operators have agreed to build a shared rural network, backed by government funds, banishing countryside “not-spots” where consumers are unable to get an adequate signal.
EE, Vodafone, O2 and Three will collectively spend 532 million pounds ($684 million) over 20 years, according to the plan published on Friday, potentially supported by a 500 million pound investment from the government.
The operators would invest in new and existing phone masts they would all share under the proposal, which the government hopes will be formalized early next year.
Digital Secretary Nicky Morgan said she is determined to make sure no part of the country is left behind in mobile connectivity.
“Brokering an agreement for mast sharing between networks alongside new investment in mobile infrastructure will mean people get good 4G signal no matter where they are or which provider they’re with,” she said.
“But it is not yet a done deal and I want to see industry move quickly so we can reach a final agreement early next year.”
The operators have agreed to share existing masts and infrastructure in areas where there is coverage from at least one but not all operators.
If this is delivered, the government will then commit up to 500 million pounds of investment to eliminate total not-spots – the hard-to-reach areas where there is no coverage from any operator.
The agreement will bring high-quality 4G coverage to 95% of Britain by 2025, the government said.
Poor mobile coverage in rural areas has been a problem in Britain for many years, affecting residents and visitors including former Prime Minister David Cameron, who has said he had to cut short holidays in Cornwall, in England’s south west, because of poor communications.
The government has pushed operators to come up with a solution, including proposing “in-country roaming”, where customers would switch to rival networks if they could not connect to their own.
Vodafone UK’s Chief Technology Officer Scott Petty said the networks started working on the plan a year ago, before engaging with government and the regulator Ofcom.
“It will result in great coverage for the country in the most cost-effective way,” he said. “We are sharing our infrastructure as much as possible, it’s great for consumers, who will have maximum choice wherever they live in the UK.”
The allocation of costs had been agreed between the operators, depending on existing levels of coverage, he said.
The infrastructure sharing plan was far superior to in-country roaming, which was technically difficult, would drain users’ batteries and hamper competition and investment, he said.
Abercrombie & Fitch was one of the most popular stores for teens in the early 2000s. But after a couple missteps and controversial remarks from the CEO at the time, the brand image plummeted. Now Abercrombie is trying to catch up with its competitors. Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister were the go-to teen retailer early 2000s, where shoppers would buy the trendiest flannels, tees and jeans.
Klassen is a German tuning company that builds deluxe stretch vehicles. Many of their available cars are expanded by over a full meter. Each vehicle's private cabin is adorned with everything one needs for luxury traveling.
(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Fri , 18th Oct 2019) London, Uk – –
Women's fashion chain Bonmarché has appointed administrators, putting the future of the business in doubt.
The chain's 318 shops will remain open while a buyer is sought for the chain.
Bonmarché chief executive Helen Connolly said she had made the decision with “deep regret and sadness”, and blamed tough High Street trading conditions for the move.
The Yorkshire-based chain, which specialises in clothing for the over-50s, employs 2,887 people.
“We have spent a number of months examining our business model and looking for alternatives. But we have been sadly forced to conclude that under the present terms of business, our model simply does not work,” she added.
Ms Connolly said the firm had considered a refinancing or a rescue deal, known as a company voluntary agreement (CVA) with its landlords and lenders.
This is an insolvency process that allows a business to reach an agreement with its creditors to pay off all or part of its debts and is often used as an opportunity to renegotiate rents.
However, she said the firm had concluded that neither option would “fundamentally change the core challenges facing the business”.
“We are sadly no longer in a position to demonstrate to our shareholders that the business can continue as a going concern,” she added.
The struggling retailer warned earlier this year that trading had deteriorated.
UK billionaire and Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group owner Philip Day is the majority owner of the chain, with a 95% stake via his Dubai-based investment vehicle Spectre.
Spectre said: “We are disappointed with the result of our investment in Bonmarche, but our primary thought at this time is with the business' employees and families.”
Administrator FRP Advisory said it had been appointed because the business was no longer able to meet its financial obligations.
It emphasised that trading would continue and no redundancies had been made.
“There is every sign that we can continue trading while we market Bonmarché for sale and believe that there will be interest to take on the business,” it said.
Bonmarché is the latest retailer to be hit by tough conditions amid growing competition from online retailers and higher operating costs, such as a rising minimum wage and business rates.
It has led to big names such as Toys R Us going into administration, while others such as Topshop-owner Arcadia, Debenhams and New Look have announced large-scale closures.
By Katie HopeBusiness reporter, BBC News