Business Diary: Whole Foods in Solihull slip-up?

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The Independent Online

There have been false dawns aplenty with Whole Foods, the US organic grocer whose founder was a notable opponent of America's health reforms, but it seems that the company is finally ready to start work on its first new UK stores for more than three years. With five stores in London, those in the know say it is close to exchanging on two new ones, including the first outside the M25. Solihull, one of the posher parts of the West Midlands, is the likely venue, but Diary's source notes that Solihull is a notoriously tough area to crack for food retailers, not least because of its residents' fondness for eating out.

Apple launches the iBouncer

Such were the queues outside Apple's flagship retail outlet on Regent Street yesterday that staff were forced into playing an impromptu role as bouncers. And this was before the new iPods have even shipped – they'd simply done a restock of the sold-out iPhone 4. The iBouncers were actually required to keep shoppers from the doorways of Apple's neighbouring outlets, but Diary is wondering what next? A roped-off VIP area inside the shop for footballers, minor royals and assorted Wags?

It's tough behind the pay wall

Despite the stunning success of Avatar, execs at News Corporation are apparently feeling the pinch. Rupert Murdoch's pay package fell by 6 per cent, although don't feel too bad for him. Even his lowest package since 2003 still came in at $16.8m, while his son James Murdoch's earnings fell by 13 per cent to $8.8m. Roger Ailes, head of the Fox News channel, made $13.2m, including $56,546-worth of personal security. Now why would the head of the "fair and balanced" network need that?

Limbering up with Sir Stelios

So the latest venture from Sir Stelios is easyGym. Diary wonders whether this is to help get the serial entrepreneur in shape for another trademark battle over the Easy brand. Perhaps with EasyDate plc, which was busily adding to its portfolio of websites yesterday.