Column Eight: Buyers turn nosey
Wednesday 16 September 1992
He is examining a complaint from Kingfisher, which owns the Superdrug chain. Kingfisher is chafing at the refusal of the big parfumiers (including Yves St Laurent and Givenchy), to supply Superdrug stores, claiming they do not measure up to certain retail criteria.
The canny buyers at Superdrug have got round the boycott by purchasing supplies indirectly through third parties who are less picky. But they can only get enough of the stuff to stock a handful of shops; hence the complaint.
Nigel Whittaker, corporate affairs director of Kingfisher and a lawyer by training, is wisely tight-lipped about where the perfume comes from, talking vaguely of 'the grey market'.
'If you want to continue to buy cheap perfumes in Superdrug, I suggest we don't talk about it. But it is pukka,' he adds reassuringly.
At Watmough Holdings, which prints the Mail on Sunday's magazine, the chairman, Patrick Walker, spoke highly of his company's astrological insert into You - written by the star-gazers' favourite, Patric Walker. 'Ah-ha,' observed one analyst wittily. 'That'll be the Patric Walker who gives successful forecasts then. . .'
The curious thing about Hugh Stevenson, the newly appointed chairman of Mercury Asset Management, is that, professionally, he has never managed any money and 'has no intention of doing so'.
Strange, then, that he has taken over from Peter Stormonth Darling as head of a fund management company that controls pounds 44bn worth of assets. Still, MAM's performance of late has not been as sparkling as the City has come to expect and Mr Stevenson yesterday shed some light on the situation. 'I've come to hold it all together,' he said. So now we know.
Shining Path, the Peruvian guerrilla group whose leader has just been slammed into prison, is considering moving its European headquarters to London from Sweden. If the group does reach London, it should be urged to take up residence in Docklands. There it will quickly become a lost cause in sympathy with its surroundings.
- 1 Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
Yemen crisis: Meet the child soldiers who have forsaken books for Kalashnikovs
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...
£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...
£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...