New Orleans all-female motorcycle club empowering women everywhere

 

They’re bold, chic, and they can shred the streets of New Orleans in a pair of stilettos. Meet the Caramel Curves, an all-female motorcycle club focused on empowering and uplifting women. After feeling removed from the culture of all-male bike clubs, co-founders Tru and Coco got together to start their own movement. Now, every time they ride, the Caramel Curves demand respect, standing as a role model for girls everywhere.

 

Billionaire: Richard Branson work life balance in a day on Necker Island

 

People often ask how I spend my time on Necker Island – here’s a film that gives you a glimpse into a day on Necker. From playing tennis to working from home, seeing the lemurs to kitesurfing , join us for a taste of island life.

I’ve never had a desk in an office since I was a teenager. I prefer to work in a hammock, on a sofa or even in a bath. Now that’s flexible working!

It’s critical to get the balance between work and play right. Find time for yourself; work hard but also play hard. I think people work more effectively when they are given the freedom to make their own decisions — that is definitely something we practice on Necker.

I’ve embraced the social media revolution, and do a lot of posting from Necker Island (including this video!) You can be instantly connected to fascinating people everywhere — even if you’re in a remote corner of the world.

From The Elders to The Carbon War Room, Virgin Galactic to The B Team, Necker is a great place to think and a great place to conceive ideas. Take a look at where we get our inspiration. Where do you find yours?

 

The Øresund A Unique Modern Roadway Connecting Denmark And Sweden

 

This unique roadway connects the Danish capital of Copenhagen to the Swedish city of Malmö. The Øresund, designed by the Danish architect George K.S. Rotne, was opened on July 1, 2000. The bridge stretches about 8km before transitioning through an artificial island into a 4km tunnel under the Flint Channel.

 

 

Debenhams pre-tax profits dive 84% after hit by Beast from the East

Debenhams /Wikimedia Commons

(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Thur, 19 Apr 2018) London, Uk – –

Debenhams has reported an 84.6pc drop in pre-tax profits to £13.5m for the 26 weeks to March 3.

It comes as the retailer saw like-for-like sales drop 2.2pc “against a challenging UK market background”.

The company added that the final trading week of the period was disrupted by extreme weather conditions, forcing it to temporarily close nearly 100 stores.

The retailer also blamed a “disappointing Christmas season” for increasing competitor discounting and ultimately hitting underlying earnings for the UK, which fell 39.3pc over the half year.

Debenhams is now forecasting that its pre-tax profits for full year 2018 will be at the lower end of the current range of forecasts for between £50m to £61m.

Chief executive Sergio Bucher said: “It has not been an easy first half and the extreme weather in the final week of the half had a material impact on our results.

“But I am hugely encouraged by the progress we are making to transform Debenhams for our customers.

He added: “We are holding share in a difficult fashion market, and in other categories such as furniture, exciting new partnerships have the potential to transform our offer.

“We approach the remainder of the year mindful of the very challenging market conditions, but with confidence that we have a strong team and the right plan to navigate them and return Debenhams to profitable growth.”

Debenhams has also announced that its chief financial officer Matt Smith is leaving to take up a post as finance director at Selfridges. A search for his replacement is currently under way.

By Press Association

 

 

Huntsman: The Art of Commissioning a Bespoke Suit

 

“Commissioning a bespoke suit is an act of faith,” says Huntsman chairman Pierre Lagrange. Get to the heart of the creative process with a look at the many stages that go into making garments that will last for decades – an extraordinary process that, according to Lagrange, is not dissimilar to the act of commissioning a work of art.

 

British holidaymakers to benefit under new EU rules when booking online

Wikimedia

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Thur, 12 Apr, 2018) London, Uk – –

EU travel rules will give internet deals the same levels of financial cover as traditional packages

British holidaymakers will benefit from greater protection when booking online under new EU rules that come into force this summer.

Updated UK package travel regulations, part of an EU directive due to take effect for holidays booked from 1 July, aim to create a level playing field by making online retailers as responsible for consumer protection as traditional travel agents.

According to Abta, the travel agents’ trade body, the surge in consumers’ use of online booking sites has created a gap in consumer protection, with 50% of holidays not currently financially protected if a company fails.

An estimated 45m overseas holidays are taken each year by Britons, of which 20m are conventional package holidays with flights, coach or rail travel which are primarily protected by Abta.

But 3m so-called “flight-plus” arrangements which have until now had lesser protection will be brought into the safety net.

Flight-plus is a holiday booking where a flight departing the UK and accommodation and/or car hire are booked at the same time or within a day, but where the way in which it is sold means it is not a package holiday. These will no longer exist under the package travel regulations and instead could form part of a package or a linked travel arrangement.

According to government figures, UK families spend on average £22.10 per week on package travel abroad – over a third of household spending on recreation and culture. Internet booking has surged and last year 83% of Britons booked a holiday online.

“When we book a package holiday we expect it all to go according to plan, but if a company goes bust it can ruin more than just the holiday, leaving people out of pocket or even stranded,” said the consumer minister, Andrew Griffiths.

“These new rules mean that internet explorers can book their holidays online, secure in the knowledge they will be compensated in the same way as someone who booked their holidays through a travel agent if something does go wrong.”

Mark Tanzer, the chief executive of Abta, said: “More holiday travel arrangements will be classified as packages, meaning greater protection for these types of holiday.

“Package holidays offer the best form of protection; not only are you entitled to a refund or to be brought home should your travel company go out of business, but you also benefit from additional legal protection – for example, the right to a refund if bad weather means your holiday can’t be provided.”

By Rebecca Smithers

 

 

Waitrose to scrap all disposable coffee cups from their supermarkets by autumn

Waitrose/QLM image

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Tue, 10 Apr, 2018) London, Uk – –

Supermarket’s customers will still be able to claim free drink if they bring a reusable cup

plans to remove all disposable coffee cups from its shops by this autumn as part of efforts to reduce plastic and packaging waste and stop millions going into landfill.

Customers who belong to the myWaitrose loyalty scheme will still be able to get free tea or coffee from the stores’ self-service machines but will be instead be asked to use a refillable cup, the company said.

The removal of disposable cups will initially take place in nine stores from 30 April as a trial for managing the changeover before the scheme is rolled out nationwide in a phased programme.

The grocery chain said the move would save more than 52m cups a year across the UK.

According to a recent report from the parliamentary environmental audit committee, the UK throws away 2.5bn disposable coffee cups a year. They cannot be recycled by normal systems because they are made from cardboard with a tightly bonded polyethylene liner, which is difficult to remove. As a result, just one in 400 cups is recycled.

“We realise this is a major change, but we believe removing all takeaway disposable cups is the right thing to do for our business and are confident the majority of customers will support the environmental benefits,” said Tor Harris, head of sustainability and responsible sourcing at Waitrose. “It underlines our commitment to plastic and packaging reduction, and our aim is to deliver this as quickly as possible.”

Trewin Restorick of the environmental charity Hubbub said: “This is a bold move by Waitrose that should be applauded. It is great to see a major retailer taking decisive action to cut waste in such a high profile part of their business.”

The changes mean myWaitrose members will not be able to claim their free hot drink in the chain’s 180 in-store cafes, to avoid customers without a reusable cup who cannot use the self-service machines putting increased pressure on the catering areas.

Instead, myWaitrose members who purchase a tea or coffee in a cafe will get a choice of food options free or with a significant discount.

The shops in the trial are in Banbury, Billericay, Ipswich, Newmarket, Norwich, Sudbury, Wymondham, Upminster in London, and Fitzroy Street in Cambridge.

By Rebecca Smithers

 

 

The Spectacular Street Artists 3D Optical Illusions

 

In this video you can see best 3d street art painting and amazing street art Illusion 3d Street Art known as 3d mark art is two-dimensional art work drawn on the street that gives you a three-dimensional optical illusion from a certain viewpoint. Kurt Wenner the street painter developed a new form of street art, the 3D street painting, to produce three-dimensional optical illusion on a two-dimensional horizontal surface.This new art form of street painting has been gaining significance all around the world and is disseminated by various artists. It is admired at street painting festivals as well as advertising events. Street artists do not desire to change the definition of 3d artwork, but rather to question the present environment with its own language. i hope you will enjoy these 3D street art works.

 

UK’s Spending on Social Media Advertising Predicted to Surpass TV’s in two years


Wikimedia

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Mon, 2 Apr 2018) London, Uk – –

More money will be spent advertising on social media networks than on the entire TV ad market within two years, according to a new report.

The report predicts that Mark Zuckerberg will shake off any potential commercial impact from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, hoovering up more than four-fifths (84%, £2.76bn) of the predicted £3.3bn that will be spent on social media networks in the UK this year.

Facebook is also expected to weather the wider threat of a boycott by the world’s two biggest advertisers – Dove to Lynx maker Unilever and Pampers to Gillette owner Procter & Gamble – who say they have had enough of Facebook’s “swamp” of fake news, racism, sexism and extremism.

By 2020, Facebook will be making an estimated £3.8bn in UK ad spend – over a billion pounds more than this year – and just behind the value of the entire commercial TV market (£4.04bn): led by ITV, Channel 4, Sky and Channel 5.

A younger generation of digital-savvy consumers is fast emerging that has dramatically eroded the once unquestioned power of traditional television as the most important medium advertisers had to spend on in order to reach big audiences.

In 2010, a peak audience of almost 19 million viewers tuned in to watch Matt Cardle win the X Factor, the biggest show on British TV, capturing more than half the entire audience watching TV across the UK at the time.

Last year’s final saw the lowest ratings in the show’s history with less than 5 million tuning in to see Rak-Su win.

By comparison Facebook has amassed more than 2 billion active users per month; its sheer scale the very reason advertisers direct so much digital ad spending its way.

Such is Facebook’s power, advertisers believe they have little option but to spend with them in order to reach the digital-savvy audiences they crave to influence.

Facebook’s scale dwarfs would-be rivals with Twitter and Snapchat estimated to be set to pull in less than £300m (8%) of social network advertising spending between them this year. The spend on traditional TV advertising will remain comfortably ahead at £4bn this year.

Facebook is weathering a barrage of criticism over the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which involved the harvesting of information from more than 50m Facebook profiles to target US voters without permission, including calls for users to delete their profiles in protest.

Analysts say there is little sign so far that a boycott of a size to commercially hurt the social network will take place.

“The social media juggernaut shows no signs of slowing down commercially,” said Bill Fisher, UK senior analyst at eMarketer. “You have the Cambridge Analytica Facebook privacy issue and it is difficult to know right now whether it will have a fundamental impact on user numbers. Until we see significant numbers of users coming off we are not going to see any drop in ad revenues. Advertisers follow eyeballs and there are plenty of eyeballs on social media.”

Emarketer’s report predicts growth in social media advertising will continue to surge, despite wider issues of potential advertiser boycotts over measurement, transparency and content issues such as fake news dogging Facebook.

Growth in social media ad spend will rocket 40%, some £1.3bn, between 2018 and 2020 from £3.29bn to £4.59bn, the report predicts.

By 2020, social media advertising will have passed traditional TV advertising by about £500m – £4.59bn compared to £4.04bn, it forecast. However, TV broadcasters are likely to increase revenuefrom their online TV services in the next few years, figures which are not covered by the eMarketer report.

“It is a tipping point reflecting consumer trends,” said Fisher. “But the fact that more and more consumers are on social media does not diminish the importance of broadcast TV per se. The television industry is also pivoting to digital to a degree as well, building revenues from their own digital services. Broadcast TV is still an incredibly important medium. We are forecasting a slight rise in our report, it is just that social media is just becoming an even more significant number.”

The report also shows that Facebook’s dominance over its rivals for social media advertising is likely to continue.

Facebook’s 82.5% share of social media advertising in 2020 is predicted to be only marginally less than this year (84%). This means rivals Snapchat and Twitter, which are forecast to increase their ad take from £260m to £478m over the next three years, will not have made a meaningful dent in Facebook’s position.

Overall, social media advertising spending is expected to grow from accounting for 25.4% of the total £12.98bn UK digital ad market this year, to just short of 30% of the £15.42bn market in 2020.

By Mark Sweney

 

Ford Motor and Alibaba “Super Test Drive” Car Vending Machine Service

 

Ford Motor Co., Ltd., Changan Ford Motor Co., Ltd. and Alibaba.com’s Tmall Vehicle launched a brand new brand experience pilot program to provide consumers with a “Super Test Drive” service. The project will use a combination of online digital technology and offline entities to provide consumers with a more convenient, efficient, and in-depth test drive experience, and ultimately lead potential consumers to the Ford brand more accurately. Authorize dealerships and ultimately help facilitate offline transactions.

From now on until April 23, Ford will enter the “Super Test Drive” vending machine building located in Baiyun District of Guangzhou as the exclusive co-brand of Tmall. The whole building is equipped with intelligent lifting system and advanced identity authentication system. It can accommodate up to 42 carts at a time. Ford Motor Company, Changan Ford Motor Co., Ltd. and Jiangling Motors Co., Ltd. provide up to ten Ford brand models for consumers to test drive test experience, including domestic models, such as car products Taurus, new Mondeo, SUV products Maverick, Ruijie and Qilu Imported models such as full-size SUV explorers; Ford Mustang, a classic American muscle sports car sought after by consumers, joined this wonderful lineup.

 

 

UK’s top 100 restaurant groups One in three are lossmaking – study

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Mon, 5 Mar 2018) London, Uk – –

One in three of UK’s top 100 restaurant groups are lossmaking – study
A 75% rise in past year highlights impact of casual dining crunch on oversaturated market

One in three of the UK’s top 100 restaurant groups are lossmaking, a rise of 75% in the past year as the casual dining crunch continues with little respite in sight, according to a study.

A combination of higher staff costs, rising business rates and falling consumer confidence have conspired to slash profit margins and force high street closures.

The accountancy group UHY Hacker Young, which conducted the study, said oversaturation in the market was also a significant factor.

The mid-market chains Jamie’s Italian, Prezzo and Strada are among the restaurants to have announced recent closures.

Peter Kubik, a partner at UHY Hacker Young, said: “More than a third of the biggest companies in the restaurant sector are losing money, and there is little respite on the horizon.

“Pressures on the restaurant sector have been building for years, and the last year has pushed a number of major groups to breaking point. With Brexit hanging over consumers like a dark cloud, restaurants can’t expect a bailout from a surge in discretionary spending.

“Consumers only have a finite amount of spending power when it comes to eating out, and the oversaturation of the market means that groups that fall foul of changing trends can very easily fail.

“The government has ratcheted up costs with a series of above-inflation rises in the minimum wage and we are just weeks away from another 4.4% rise in April. That will be tough for a lot of restaurants to absorb.”

Many mid-market chains face challenges. The Italian restaurant chain Prezzo last week announced plans to close about a third of its outlets – 94 restaurants including all 33 in its Tex-Mex chain Chimichanga – in an attempt to rescue the business. The chain, owned by the private equity firm TPG Capital, employs about 4,500 people.

Rising food costs, exacerbated by a weaker pound following the EU referendum, and increased competition from supermarkets were also possible factors.

In a recent report, the business consultancy Deloitte said that although casual dining operators faced challenging times ahead, changes in consumer tastes and the way diners engaged with restaurants, particularly through technology, could provide opportunities for growth.

Key consumer trends included more healthy eating, informal and experiential dining and increased consumer focus on food provenance and sustainability, it said.

Customers wanted to dine on their terms, and it was essential restaurateurs optimised “location” and “occasion”, the report said. It noted home delivery in Britain was growing 10 times faster than the total eating-out market.

Stefan Chomka, editor of Restaurant magazine, said the huge growth in the casual dining market has led to too many restaurants at the same time as food costs, staff costs, rents and business rates have all gone up.

“If you’re operating 100 sites, your margins are being squeezed and squeezed. And times are tough,” he told the Guardian last month. “Even if they spend a little more when they do, people are eating out less often. So there are greater costs, more competition, fewer people and, consequently, the shit is hitting the fan.”

It is not just mid-market chains that are likely to be affected by the rise of the national living wage by 33p an hour to £7.83 from 1 April, and other factors. This week bosses at Heston Blumenthal’s celebrated Fat Duck, the three Michelin-starred eatery in Bray, Berkshire, where diners expect to pay upwards of £325 a head, acknowledged the potential impact on profit margins.

The restaurant’s director, Peter Moody, told the Mail on Sunday: “We are aware of the threat to the company’s future profitability that is posed by current global uncertainty, national living wage increases and supplier price inflation.”

By Caroline Davies