Business Diary: 12/03/2010


Time to take on the CBI, British Tourism Week


Britons failed to take an average of seven days of their holiday entitlement over the last year, according to British Tourism Week.

It wants us to be patriotic and take a break, complaining that forgoing so much time off will cost the economy £5.1bn. Diary suggests that the organisation touts this figure the next time the CBI trots out its dire predictions about the damage that will be done to our economic health the next time a new bank holiday is suggested.

Morrisons marks Bolland's card early

Marc Bolland, former Morrisons chief executive, right, can expect a warm welcome from ex-colleagues when he takes the helm at Marks & Spencer on 1 May. Asked yesterday if he expected a fightback from M&S on food, Morrisons' finance director, Richard Pennycook, cheekily said: "We will be competing hard. So there will be an advert appearing in early May with a very attractive offer and it will not be just a Morrisons quiche." Let battle commence!

Avon Calling: fancy a tree with your lipstick?

Being green is the epitome of corporate cool these days, and now Avon wants to join the party. Alongside the usual array of cosmetics, door-to-door representatives are being encouraged to sell rainforest trees at a pound a go. If just 166,050 trees are purchased, Avon says, it would be enough to cover an area the size of Regent's Park, the press release gushes. A tiny fraction of the amount burnt down every year, but Diary supposes that every little helps.

Buik's chilly blast for London's markets

Conditions are "sepulchral" on the markets, glowers BGC Partners' David Buik in his regular markets missive, which makes a welcome return after his two-week foray to India. It's clearly taken no time at all for all that sunshine to be blown away by London's gloom.

Swiss watches might not be so Swiss

Apparently Swatch wants to stop selling parts to rival Swiss watch makers, which have said that they will have to turn to Asia. Time's running out for that Swiss brand, then.

Number of the day: 21

The number of months Malcolm "Streaky" Calvert will serve in jail after being convicted of insider trading

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