Business diary: Boots products on sale at half the price

There has been a little bit of embarrassment for Boots, courtesy of Poundland. The discount retailer has been quietly selling the pharmacy chain's products at cheaper prices with new labels just stuck over the original branding. It turns out to be excess stock that the international arm of Boots sold to Poundland, but it might have waited until Boots' UK shops had run out of the identical products.

NYSE meltdown triggers trader breakdown

The US stock market's inexplicable meltdown last Thursday afternoon has made a star of the trainer employed by, which sells online seminars to would-be day traders. The chap in question happened to be live on the web just as the Dow Jones index plunged 9 per cent. "This is what we call capitulation", the ever-more excitable tutor screams. "Even Jim Kramer doesn't know what's going on." See the video for yourself at

No more false dawns, ex-Tory chief vows at ITV

Archie Norman, the new ITV chairman, couldn't resist some allusions to political matters as he presented the broadcaster's trading update on Friday. Mr Norman, a former Tory party chairman, unveiled "a five-year plan", just as his old mates at Conservative HQ were seeking to do the same, and promised "no more false dawns" (remember Tony Blair's famous speech in 1997 – "a new dawn has broken, has it not?").

Raise a toast but forget the bubbles

Congratulations to Smirnoff, which will today be crowned the most powerful alcohol drinks brand for a second year running in a survey by industry analyst Intangible Business. How will it celebrate? Not with bubbly presumably – the Dom Perignon, Lanson, Nicolas Feuillatte and Taittinger champagne brands have all fallen out of Intangible's "Power 100" list since last year.