Business Diary: Ratings agency wakes up to Egypt
Monday 31 January 2011
Quick off the mark as ever, well done to the credit-ratings agency Fitch which finally woke up at the end of last week to the fact that there have been a few troubles in Egypt. Fitch got round to putting the country's debt on "negative outlook" after several days of unrest that could soon result in a long-awaited change of government. Expect a downgrade at some point, presumably when it's all been resolved and things have started to look up.
Ann Summers looks to man up
Apparently Ann Summers, the retailer of lingerie and various other "equipment", has been finding it difficult to attract the shy and retiring male customer. The trade mag Retail Week, however, has reported that marketing gurus think they have come up with a solution: rebranding four prominent Ann Summers stores temporarily as "Man Summers". Well, it's a creative enough idea, but we're somehow not really sure this one's going to fly.
Airport holograms add human touch
Manchester Airport has become the first airport in the world to introduce holograms as part of its passenger-security preparation (well, at least according to Manchester airport, although Diary remembers something similar at Luton Airport). Passengers in Terminal 1 will now be met by John and Julie – created by using recordings of actual customer service staff John and Julie. They are supposed to cut queues by explaining restrictions on liquid and reminding travellers to have boarding cards ready. As opposed to, say, simply having enough real staff on duty?
Ex-Cartier boss on 'camp-bling' trip
This one took Diary aback a bit when it popped into the old inbox. Alain Dominique Perrin, the former chief executive of Cartier and the Richemont Group, is going into the, erm, camping game for his latest venture. A brand that signifies five-star luxury to, well,roughing it? Seems a bit strange. But dig a little deeper and you realise that these aren't just tents. They're super-duper luxury tents at super-duper luxury campsites (but eco-friendly too). In other words, it's a Cartier sort of camping experience and, perhaps, more camp-bling.
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