I like milka chocolates very much

In probably the best lecture of my MBA programme, my professor told us: “Don’t chase big salaries. Focus on working for a company which is aligned to your values.” So when I was offered a job with Cadbury five years later, I couldn’t have been happier. The company always knew it was part of something bigger, which is why its Quaker founders built houses around its factory in Bournville back in 1880.

My job in the audit department was to make sure Cadbury was meeting its commitments on promoting its products ethically, manufacturing them sustainably and looking after its own employees. From the factory in Bucharest to the office in Lima, all my colleagues around the world felt immense pride in what our company was doing to build a better world – as well as giving us the chocolate we loved.

That all changed in January 2010, when we learned that Cadbury was to be taken over by Kraft.

Todd Stitzer, then CEO of the company, called a town hall meeting in our Uxbridge office, looking emotionally shattered. He and the board had done all they could to fight off the deal but were left with no choice but to accept an offer from Kraft on behalf of Cadbury shareholders.

A few days later the Kraft CEO, Irene Rosenfeld, came to meet us and made platitudes about the future. But we all knew things would never be the same: Cadbury’s deeply cherished corporate values were at risk of being discarded.

As in any takeover deal, the number one worry was jobs. Redundancies followed fast. At the time my first child was on the way, so I was happy to take some time out and was well looked after – but others were not.

As part of the deal Kraft claimed in official stock market announcements that the UK would be a “net beneficiary in terms of jobs” and, if it took over Cadbury, it would be “in a position to continue to operate its Somerdale factory near Bristol”. But its management knew the plans to close Somerdale were well advanced as it would have been part of due-diligence. No sooner was the deal done than Kraft proceeded with the plant closure, resulting in the loss of 500 jobs

A guide to sixflags

  • Six Flags Magic Mountain boasts one of the world’s largest collections of extreme rides. It doesn’t have the cohesive “theme” of other area parks, but it has its fans. Some folks call it an “iron park” for the steel used to build the rides, and its collection of roller coasters come with superlative descriptions that include fastest, tallest, first and only.

    Six Flags Magic Mountain Basics

    Fans of fast, scary thrill rides like Six Flags Magic Mountain best. Some attractions are geared toward the under-48-inch-tall set, but most visitors are in their mid-teens to mid-twenties (especially on weekends).

    On select days between mid-March and early September, Six Flags puts on an evening parade that ends with fireworks. Six Flags Magic Mountain also hosts musical concerts and other special events. In October, their Fright Fest offers special themed activities.

    Good and Bad at Six Flags Magic Mountain

    This is a summary of Six Flags’ good and bad characteristics, based on our visits and reading lots of online reviews.

    Good:

    • Lots of thrill rides
    • Online reviewers who give the park high ratings think the thrill of their rides outweighs other factors. You can read some of their reviews on Yelp.
    • Six Flags Magic Mountain has made progress in keeping people from cutting in line (a huge problem a few years ago).
    • Johnny Rocket and Chop Six have improved the food choices.
    • To minimize the “fry” factor while standing in line on a hot day, misters help keep the queues cool.

    Bad:

    • Mediocre maintenance: too much peeling paint, chewing gum on the sidewalks and smelly bathrooms.
    • Waits can be 3 hours at the worst. With fewer visitors, they run fewer cars and lines are still long.
    • Online reviewers who give Magic Mountain low ratings write about questionable cleanliness, poor customer service and “rude, vulgar” behavior.
    • On a summer day, the heat can be nearly unbearable.
    • Lots of extra costs (locker rental, parking, some activities).
    • It’s a long drive out to Valencia and traffic can be more than aggravating.

    What’s New at Magic Mountain in 2019

    Six Flags Magic Mountain opened as just plain Magic Mountain in 1971, with trolls named Blop, Bleep, Bloop, and the Wizard as mascots. Six Flags Corporation bought it in 1979. Today it’s a place where new attractions appear every year.

    In 2019, Magic Mountain’s newest attraction is West Coast Racers, a racing coaster that will feature two side-by-side tracks with four individual high-speed launches.

    Continue to 2 of 8 below.
  • 02of 08

    Magic Mountain Tickets, Coupons and Discounts

    Buying Tickets at Magic Mountain
    ©2010 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.

    You already know the easy, obvious way to get Magic Mountain tickets: Go there, walk up to the ticket booth, buy tickets and go in.

    However, if you get a little organized ahead of time, you can save some money.

    All the (sometimes confusing) ticket options, passes, discounts and coupons are outlined in the Magic Mountain Tickets Guide.

The 4 Zara Items Everyone Will Want to Buy This Month

Last year, a particularly frustrating experience in Zara’s Oxford Street store lead me to write this article, praising retailers who – in contrast to the Spanish retailer – typically excel when it comes to their in-store customer experience.

Since that time, it appears Zara has undergone quite a few changes, largely through an increased investment and focus on technology.

From this it aims to offer customers a slicker, more streamlined, and ultimately enjoyable experience – as well as to combat the growing competition of ecommerce front-runners.

So, here’s a run-down of how Zara is using technology to gain an in-store edge, as well as what value it provides consumers.

Streamlining checkout with self-service

There’s no denying that Zara is one of the most in-demand retailers of the past few years. As of May 2017, it was ranked as the 51st most valuable brand in the world by Forbes, with sales increasing 13% to reach a record £602.7 million.

This is pretty evident in Zara stores, hence my frustrating experience last year. Shops are typically packed, often resulting in long queues for the fitting rooms and even longer ones to actually buy something (or god forbid, make a return).

In a bid to combat this, Zara has now launched self-service checkouts, allowing customers to skip the queue and buy for their items via do-it-yourself kiosks (à la Tesco).

However, the technology looks and feels much slicker than your average supermarket. Since being made a permanent feature of stores last September, I’ve given it a go a few times myself, and have actually left feeling quite impressed.

Instead of receiving the classic ‘unexpected item in bagging area’ alert, I enjoyed an intuitive and relatively easy-to-use experience. One of its best features is that it adds any item to your basket that you hold up in front of it (meaning no searching for or scanning pesky barcodes).

Aldi new jobs announcement ‘good news’, says Cameron

David Cameron has said the thousands of new jobs Aldi has announced it will create in the UK, is a sign the long term economic plan is working.

The supermarket chain is planning to create 35,000 new jobs in the UK over the next eight years.

They will include management and office roles as well as store and distribution jobs.

The German discount retailer wants to open 550 new stores across the country by 2022 , doubling the size of its UK workforce.

 

 

 

Not unexpected
In early June, Aldi began selling a-brands in Belgium. Initially it was about Coca-Cola, Kinder, M & M, Nutella and Lenor. Moments later followed Mars, Twix and Snickers, Axe and Dreft. In the meantime, we are finding more and more brands at Aldi, including Dash, Devos-Lemmens, Dove, Gillette, Gordon’s, Heinz … The range remains in motion, but what is the real impact? We asked Tom Padgett, client business partner at Nielsen. It is the initiative of the harddiscounter.

“The introduction of A-brands was not an unexpected move by Aldi. It went a bit stiffer at the discount store for a while, there was little progress, partly because expansion slowed. Aldi, however, expanded opening hours. In the Netherlands, Aldi faced the same problems. In September 2012, the chain introduced a number of brands to reduce market share decline.

Marken bei Aldi? Eine schwierige Geschichte …

“Merken bij Aldi? Een moeilijk verhaal…”

 

Nach rund einem halben Jahr a-Marken bei Aldi ist die Bilanz positiv: Hartabsatz-Kunden müssen nicht unbedingt für ihre Lieblingsmarken in andere Supermärkte gehen. Was bedeutet das für den unabhängigen Supermarkt?

Nicht unerwartet
Anfang Juni hat Aldi mit dem Verkauf von a-Marken in Belgien begonnen. Anfangs ging es um Coca-Cola, Kinder, M & M, Nutella und Lenor. Augenblicke später folgten Mars, Twix und Snickers, Axe und Dreft. Mittlerweile finden wir bei Aldi immer mehr Marken, unter denen auch Dash, Devos-Lemmens, Dove, Gillette, Gordon ‘ s, Heinz … Das Sortiment bleibt in Bewegung, aber was ist die wirkliche Wirkung? Wir haben Tom Padgett, Client Business Partner bei Nielsen, gefragt. Er ist die Initiative des Harddiscounters.

“Die Einführung von A-Marken war kein unerwarteter Schritt von Aldi. Es ging eine Weile etwas steifer am Discounter, es gab kaum Fortschritte, unter anderem weil sich die Expansion verlangsamte. Aldi weitete die Öffnungszeiten jedoch aus. In den Niederlanden sah sich Aldi mit den gleichen Problemen konfrontiert. Im September 2012 führte die Kette eine Reihe von Marken ein, um den Marktanteilsrückgang zu reduzieren.

 

 

Kun 9 kr for iPhone X, kan du tro det?

Apple skærer omkostningerne ned på sin nye iPhone X-model: Fjerner tilsyneladende tidligere komponenter i display

Apple har skåret omkostningerne ned i selskabets nye iPhone Xs Max ved at fjerne komponenter relateret til displayet.

Det viser en rapport, som TechInsights netop er kommet med, skriver Reuters.

I komponentanalysen af Apples nye store iPhone Xs Max med 265 gigabytes og en skærm på 6.5 tommer fremgår det, at der i alt er komponenter- og forsamlingsomkostninger for 443 dollar eller omkring 2.800 kroner.

Omkostningen i sidste års X-model med 64 gigabytes lå til sammenligning på 395.44 dollar eller omkring 2.500 kroner.

Læs også: Her er anmeldernes dom over Apples nye iPhone Xs og Xs Max

Ifølge rapporten fra TechInsights, er den dyreste komponent i iPhone Xs Max displayet, som koster 80.50 dollar sammenlignet med 77.27 dollar sidste år, hvor iPhone X havde en mindre skærm.

Den relativt lille forskel i omkostning på displayet skyldes, at Apple tilsyneladende har fjernet nogle komponenter relateret til sit såkaldte 3D touch-system. Funktionen der for eksempel sikrer, at apps reagerer forskelligt alt efter, hvor hårdt man trykket på skærmen.

Alt i alt ser det ud til at Apple har skåret 10 dollar væk fra omkostningen af det nye display i iPhone Xs Max.

Apple har ikke ønsket at kommentere sagen over for Reuters.

En analytiker hos TECHnalysis siger til Reuters, at han mener, at Apple har set rigtig i forhold til at gøre den store skærm mere økonomisk i år.

Apple annoncerede tre nye iPhones tidligere på måneden, herunder en opdatering af sidste års iPhone X, som nu hedder iPhone Xs.

 

Morrisons celebrate sales soar as revival continues

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Like-for-like sales, excluding fuel and VAT, rose 4.9% for the six months to 4 August – better than the 3% increase for the same period last year.

Second quarter sales were up 6.3% – its best result for almost a decade.

Chief executive David Potts said Morrisons continued to become broader, stronger and more popular.

The retailer said it had extended its “Fresh Look” programme to more than half its 500 stores, with significant improvements in product range and customer service, and developed its offers for online, wholesale, local and in-store services.

Sales have now risen for the past 11 consecutive quarters and its online delivery service is available to more than three quarters of UK homes, including more parts of southern England and Scotland for the first time.

  • Morrisons brings back paper bags
  • Tesco takes on Aldi and Lidl with Jack’s

Profits were hit by £51m of financial costs including £33m for a bond tender offer. The underlying pre-tax figure was 9% higher at £193m.

Investors have been rewarded with a special interim dividend of 2p a share, sending the total interim dividend up 132% to 3.85p.

Shares in Morrisons have gained pace this year but fell 2.4% to 259p on Thursday, valuing the retailer at just over £6bn.

Morrisons store

Richard Hunter at Interactive Investor said Morrisons had delivered more positives than negatives, but added that its “traditional weakness in terms of its convenience store and online offerings are still lagging in comparison to its larger rivals, whilst the proposed merger of Sainsbury and Asda will heap additional pressure on an already fiercely competitive sector”.

Bryan Roberts at TCC Global said: “While praise is due for Morrisons’ underappreciated wholesale activities via Amazon and McColl’s – which still have plenty of headroom for growth – we have been deeply impressed with recent store visits, convincing us that the retailer is achieving genuine unique selling points in an otherwise largely homogenised market.

“Improvements in fresh produce, counters, private label, homewares and clothing augur very well for the business.”

Profit margins were flat at 2.5%, underlining the intensely competitive nature of the UK grocery sector.

Cómo es vivir en un país nuevo cada mes

Cómo es vivir en un país nuevo cada mes

Somos Chanel & Stevo y llevamos más de 3 años viajando. Lo que comenzó como un sueño para ver como lo que este mundo tiene para ofrecer en un viaje de 1 año terminó siendo los dos viviendo en un nuevo país cada mes. Poco a poco nos abrimos paso alrededor del mundo 1 país a la vez. Sumergiéndonos en su cultura tanto como podamos. La forma en que viajamos ha evolucionado a lo largo de los años. Al principio nos ofrecimos como voluntarios, trabajando en lugares únicos como Husky Lodge en la cima de Noruega.Estas estancias fueron de 3 a 8 semanas. Tenemos algunas grandes historias sobre estos días. El segundo año fue una misión de jet set que rebota de un país a otro hasta 3 en un día. Queríamos ver una fotografía lo más posible y nos abrimos paso alrededor del mundo por segunda vez. Ahora, sin embargo, el objetivo de nuestro viaje es frenar un poco las cosas y permanecer en lugares por más tiempo. Todavía tenemos momentos en los que viajamos como locos durante una semana (eso es parte del acuerdo cuando ustedes son cineastas y fotógrafos de viajes como nosotros), pero ahora intentamos sumergirnos en una cultura durante 4 semanas y luego seguimos adelante.

Como en todo estilo de vida, hay ventajas y desventajas y esto es lo que hemos aprendido y algunas de las cosas que hemos observado.

El PROS para vivir en un nuevo país cada mes.

Todo es nuevo. Todo el tiempo.

Es difícil aburrirse.

Pasamos 365 24/7 juntos. Tener a tu compañero más cercano contigo todo el tiempo es una maravilla.

Tener acceso a nuevos y diferentes tipos de productos. Siempre hay algo emocionante al entrar en un supermercado en un nuevo país. Japón viene a la mente como uno de los mejores.

Tienes la oportunidad de hacer nuevos amigos de diferentes culturas.

Nadie te conoce, eres un lienzo en blanco y puedes ser quien quieras ser.

Tienes la oportunidad de ver cómo vive la gente del lado opuesto del mundo. Desde las remotas islas islandesas hasta hoteles en Vietnam.

Tu mente está positivamente estimulada todos los días.

Los contras

Tienes que intentar aprender un nuevo idioma cada mes. Sí, se habla inglés en todas partes, pero hemos estado en muchas situaciones donde algunas palabras locales nos ayudaron.

Pasamos 365 24/7 juntos. Es una estafa, así como un profesional. Todavía tratamos de hacer las cosas de manera independiente cada día, como hacer ejercicio o ir de compras, pero en su mayor parte estamos pegados.

Tenemos que aprender rápidamente la cultura para comprender mejor el lugar en el que vivimos.

El alquiler es alto. Cuando alquilamos un apartamento tiene un precio, ya que solo somos inquilinos a corto plazo.

Camas incómodas y duchas pequeñas. A menos que nos quedemos en un apartamento de gama alta, no hay ninguna garantía real de que la cama sea cómoda y la ducha tenga un cabezal de ducha que funcione.

Comer sanamente es difícil. Cada nuevo condado tiene diferentes productos y el almacenamiento de la nevera con todos los elementos esenciales para hacer una buena comida es más difícil de lo que piensas.

Las relaciones sólidas son difíciles de conseguir y hay que despedirse pronto.

Extrañas a tus amigos y familiares.

Tener una rutina es casi imposible. Empaquetar y mudarse cada mes tiene su efecto en el cuerpo y la mente.

Tratar con las conversiones de moneda y la banca a veces es confuso.

Cambiar las zonas horarias desordena tu reloj corporal.

Volador. Volar es muy agotador.

What It’s Like To Live In A New Country Every Month

We are Chanel & Stevo and we’ve been on the road for over 3 years now. What started as a dream to see as what this world has to offer over a 1 year journey ended up as the two of us living in a new country every month. We slowly make our way around the globe 1 country at at time. Immersing ourselves in its culture as much we can. The way we travel has evolved over the years. At first we volunteered our way around, working in some unique places like a Husky Lodge at he top of Norway. These stays were anywhere from 3 -8 weeks. We have some great stories about these days. The second year was a jet set mission bouncing from country to country as many as 3 in one day. We wanted to see an photograph as much as possible and we made our way around the globe for a second time. Now though, the aim of our travel is to slow things down a bit and stay in places for longer. We still have times were we travel like mad for a week (that’s part of the deal when you are travel filmmakers and photographers like us) but now we try immerse ourselves in a culture for 4 weeks at a time and then we move on.

As in every lifestyle there are pros and cons and this is what we have learnt and some of things we have observed.

The PROS to living in a new country every month.

Everything is new. All the time.

It’s hard to get bored.

We spend 365 24/7 together. Having your closest mate with you all the time is a blast.

Having access to new and different kinds of produce. There is always something thrilling walking into a supermarket in a new country. Japan comes to mind as one of the best.

You have the opportunity to make new friends from different cultures.

Nobody knows you, you are a blank canvas and you can be anyone you want to be.

You get to see how people from opposite side of the world live. From remote Icelandic islands to box hotels in Vietnam.

Your mind is positively stimulated everyday.

The CONS

You have to try learn a new language every month. Yes English is spoken everywhere but we have been in many situations where a few local words helped us out.

We spend 365 24/7 together. It’s a con as well as a pro. We still try and do things independently each day like exercising or shopping but for the most part we’re glued .

We have to quickly learn the culture in order to best understand the place we live in.

Rent is high. When we rent an apartment it’s comes at a price as we’re only short term tenants.

Uncomfortable beds and small showers. Unless we stay in a high end apartment there is no real guarantee that the bed will be comfy and the shower will have a shower head that works.

Eating healthily is tough. Every new county has different produce and stocking the fridge with all the essentials to make a great meal is harder than you think.

Strong relationships are hard to come by and you have to say goodbye way to soon.

You miss your friends and family.

Having a routine is almost impossible. Packing up and moving every month takes its toll on the body and mind.

Dealing with currency conversions and banking is sometimes confusing.

Changing time zones messes with your body clock.

Flying. Flying is super tiring.

Birmingham to welcome Primark’s largest store

Primark’s largest ever store will open in December 2018 at Birmingham Pavilions. Designed by 3DReid, the new store will showcase five floors of fashion spread across 14,864 sq m of retail space and will feature the latest trends in women’s, men’s and children’s fashions including footwear, accessories, lingerie, beauty and homeware. This store will build on Primark’s latest contemporary shopfit, offering an enhanced customer experience with bespoke design areas, access to free wi-fi and customer ‘recharge’ seating areas for enjoyable and convenient shopping.

‘The new Primark in Birmingham will be the largest in the world, offering an even wider range of our amazing fashion at amazing prices, over five floors. We have a loyal customer base in Birmingham and are very excited to unveil the new store, which will be almost four times the size of our current city centre store,’ says a spokesperson for Primark.

The opening will create local employment opportunities, with almost 500 new jobs. The store will employ approximately 900 people in total, including 430 employees who will transfer from Primark’s current city centre location at Birmingham’s New Street.