Business Diary: 11/07/2009
Saturday 11 July 2009
John Lewis lobs sun & strokes into excuse mix
There's a new excuse for corporate PRs to gloss over bad news. Had a slump in sales? Ratings down? Here's your communications solution: Blame the hot weather, right, and tennis ... as if either has ever ground the UK to a halt before.
A day after the double whammy was picked as a reason when ITV1's ratings fell to a historic low, John Lewis came out with a disappointing weekly sales update. The department store operator said the 2.3 per cent drop on last year was actually "an excellent result given the distractions of sustained sunny weather and Andy Murray's progress at Wimbledon". Net likely.
BoJo just the man to save small business
A Boris-o-gram arrives on the Diary's desk with news that London's mayor is focusing on the economy this Wednesday with a public meeting on how to build an economic recovery for small businesses. Let's see if BoJo can manage the intervening few days holding together his own operation, described last week as "shambolic". His economic advice is sure to be interesting given he has just lost the third deputy in his short tenure.
New iPhone is hot property for Apple fans
The latest version of the iPhone was released last month, above, accompanied by the usual white heat of publicity that marks any Apple product launch. Since then users have found it, quite literally, too hot to handle, with multiple reports of the device overheating and even the white cases becoming discoloured.
Silverfleet skins up for popular sausage group
The private equity megadeal was one of the first casualties of the downturn as the debt market that funded deals for companies including Alliance Boots disappeared. The buyout groups have been "spending time with their portfolio companies" – a euphemism for not splashing out on new deals – but there is a bit of activity bubbling under. The rumour is that Silverfleet Capital is in talks to buy Kalle Nalo, which makes sausage skins and has been under the ownership of two other buyout firms. No wonder it's popular with buyout firms – the recession means that most of those still in existence don't have a sausage between them.
132 Number of the day
The diminishing band of FSA regulators from the Bank of England after 393 were transferred 11 years ago.
- 1 Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?
- 2 Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
- 3 Friends 20th anniversary: The highs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
- 4 The response to my Pizza Express review has been overwhelming, and taught me a lot about journalism
- 5 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster
Scottish independence: Despite defeat history may still point to Alex Salmond as the victor
Scottish independence referendum: Frankie Boyle reacts to nation's 'No' vote - 'To be fair, I've always hated Scotland'
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Scottish referendum: Police struggle to control Unionist rally in Glasgow's George Square
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
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