Business Diary: New Look tries to bury the bad news

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The Independent Online

Good for Nick Bubb, the Arden Partners retail analyst, for calling it like it is. Did those retailers with less-than-happy trading news to impart choose yesterday because it was such a crowded day for high street updates, he wondered out loud in a note to clients. "This is a good day to bury bad news, so pride of place should go to the PR geniuses at Tulchan for choosing today to announce that like-for-likes at [their client] New Look were down 9 per cent," said the cynical Bubb.

Top dollar forany old metal

Got some scrap metal you need to get rid of? If so, don't even think about giving it away on the cheap. There was a time when you had to pay scrapmetal merchants to take the stuff off you, but no longer. These days, European "ferrous scrap" indices are going through the roof, reports Metal Bulletin. So if you've got a skip on the drive just now, don't be surprised to see unscrupulous types rooting through it in search of something to sell.

Deutsche brings drama to the kids

Deutsche Bank deserves credit for its sponsorship of an initiative that aims to bring Shakespeare to London schoolchildren. Thanks to the bank, more than 14,000 kids from 96 schools across the capital will get to see a specially commissioned production of Macbeth. It is, of course, a play that features betrayal, ruthlessness and a bitter struggle for power – all attributes one might need for a career in investment banking. Just make sure the kids don't get too hung up on the lessons of Macbeth's guilty conscience – remorse is not to be encouraged.

HMV wins prizes for consistency

Good news and bad for the struggling music and books retailer HMV, which issued a profits warning earlier this month. A survey conducted on behalf PR Week magazine reveals that 86 per cent ofconsumers say their opinion has not changed since the company warned it would do less well than expected. That's the good news. Less happily, that opinion turns out not to be a warm one. Some 56 per cent of consumers say they do not expect HMV to survive in the face of mounting competition from the supermarkets and online retailers such as Amazon.