Argos launches its 3 for 2 toy sale on Friday but is it really the cheapest place to buy toys?

The first Christmas retail advert of the year will be shown on our screens tonight.

The war of the Christmas ads is about to begin, with stores such as John Lewis and Marks & Spencer spending millions of pounds to impress the public.

But Argos has taken the leap of being the first retailer to share its festive offering on our screens, and you can watch it during Coronation Street on ITV, and Gogglebox on Channel 4 from 9pm.

As reported by Belfast Live, the advert features a mischievous “fool” determined to ruin Christmas by causing chaos at people’s homes.

The little creature, which has bells hanging from its long ears, breaks fairy lights and unwraps presents, as families desperately try to put the finishing touches to their festive preparations.

Just when it seems the fool’s ruinous deeds will never end, an Argos Fast Track delivery driver comes to the rescue.

 

The driver gives the pesky creature a swift boot into his van, where it lands among an army of its own kind, who have also been on a quest to ruin Christmas.

Gary Kibble, marketing director at Argos, said: “Families across the UK work really hard to make their Christmas special, so when something doesn’t go to plan it feels as though there’s a mischievous force working against them.

Why Sainsbury and Asda can survive without merging

Well, they can’t say they were not warned. In his first test at the Competition and Markets Authority, Andrew Tyrie is throwing the book at the proposed merger of J Sainsbury and Asda. From suppliers to shoppers, local to national, innovators and competitors, the CMA will be turning over stones. It has already found 463 locations “where there could be an issue”. The arguments over current market share have been joined, and Shore Capital’s veteran analyst Clive Black sees “a minefield of legalese and pseudo-academic analysis” ahead. This promises to be an exhaustive and exhausting process, and will not be quick. Yet in essence the question is a simple one: are Britain’s second and third-largest grocery businesses too feeble on their own to live with Aldi and Lidl?

 

At first sight the answer seems self-evident. Both have larger market shares than either of the discounters, which should offer sufficient scale to keep them at bay. Both have established stores, while the discounters have to find locations. Ah, but not all the property is in the right place or the right size, and besides, Lildi’s UK operations are little more than cat’s-paws, and they use their continental muscle to scratch our supermarkets. The merger advocates have already played their strongest card, promising wonderful savings for Sainsda shoppers, thanks to scale and improved distribution efficiency. The CMA might consider this card a variant on the Find the Lady conjuring trick, and ask for previous examples where the consumer has actually benefited from megamergers. While nobody doubts that grocery is competitive, in such conditions everybody charges what the market will bear. And the idea that suppliers would welcome having to deal with fewer buyers is risible. The bigger ones are quite ugly enough to take care of themselves, while the smaller ones would find themselves in an even tighter squeeze than they are today.

Français née en janvier, février, mars? Votre Galaxy S9 offert par Samsung!

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Français née en janvier, février, mars? Vérifiez-le 🤩

Téléphones portables : Samsung et Huawei en haut du podium des ventes

Le marché du téléphone portable est en pleine croissance en cette fin d’année. Quels sont les marques les plus populaires et les modèles les plus vendus ? Tour d’horizon.

La vente double en cette période de fin d’année

Accessoires indispensables de la vie moderne, les té=léphones mobiles sont vendus comme des petits pains, en cette fin d’année. Ce n’est pas Bilkiss Jaulim, directrice de Jaulim Plaza, qui dira le contraire. « Les ventes se portent très bien tout au long de l’année, surtout quand il  y a de nouveaux modèles ou de nouvelles séries de téléphone. Mais, en fin d’année, nous enregistrons un pic qui peut aller jusqu’à 100 % surtout en décembre », avance-t-elle. Jason Mansa Ram, Sales Demonstrator chez 361, est du même avis. « La vente double en cette période. Nous écoulons facilement entre 10 et 20 téléphones au quotidien, surtout en décembre », indique-t-il.

Les acheteurs recherchent des portables avec des caméras de très haute définition.

Et Karel Darga, marketing executive chez  Maurisystems, d’ajouter : « En fin d’année, la vente des téléphones portables double, voire triple ». Jason Mansa Ram fait, toutefois, ressortir que le marché est de plus en plus compétitif. « Pour nous démarquer, nous misons sur l’accueil et le service après vente », souligne-t-il.

Les modèles les plus prisés actuellement

Enseignes Marques Modèles Prix de vente
Courts Mammouth Samsung Samsung Galaxy A7 Rs 13 990
Samsung Galaxy J6+ Rs 8 890
Huawei Nova 3i Rs 13 890
Nokia Nokia 6.1 Plus Rs 12 990
Cash & Carry Samsung Samsung Galaxy A7 Rs 13 890
Huawei Nova 3i Rs 13 890
P Smart Rs 8 890
Nokia Les petits modèles Entre Rs 745 et Rs 12 890
Jaulim Plaza Samsung Samsung S9+ Rs 38 890
Samsung A8 Rs 15 990
Huawei Huawei Smart Rs 9 990
P20 lite Rs 15 900
Maurisystems Ltd HTC HTC Desire 12 Rs 7 999
HTC Desire 12+ Rs 9 999
361 Samsung Samsung Galaxy A7 Rs 13 890
Huawei Nova 3i Rs 13 990

Les 4 priorités des acheteurs

1. Les acheteurs recherchent des caméras de très haute résolution afin d’obtenir des images les plus parfaites et claires possibles. Certains privilégient des téléphones ayant plusieurs caméras.

2. La rapidité de la mémoire interne est très importante pour les acheteurs dans la mesure où elle leur permet de télécharger des jeux et des applications.

3. Plus l’écran est large, plus le modèle est prisé par certains acheteurs. A contrario, certains clients cherchent des modèles qui tiennent dans leur main.

4. Le design est un autre aspect qui motive l’achat d’un téléphone portable.

La nouveauté proposée cette semaine

Chez Courts Mammouth, on proposera, ce jeudi 22 novembre, le Huawei Y9 (2019) au prix de Rs 9 990. « Ce modèle sera en précommande d’ici à la fin du mois et en livraison à partir du 30 novembre », indique Deelash Govind, Product Manager chez Courts Mammouth.


Le saviez-vous ?

Des étrangers friands de téléphones vendus à Maurice 
Les étrangers qui travaillent à Maurice, notamment les Indiens ou encore les Bangladeshis, sont nombreux à acheter des portables dans notre île. Et ils ne sont pas les seuls. « Nous accueillons aussi pas mal des Taïwanais ou encore des Vietnamiens dont les bateaux de pêche accostent à Maurice », indique-t-on chez Cash & Carry. Ces étrangers font leurs achats exclusivement pendant les week-ends.

Ces personnes âgées à la page 
Le téléphone portable n’est pas qu’une affaire de jeunes. Les personnes âgées sont également amateurs de téléphone mobile. « Si un certain nombre d’entre eux optent pour des téléphones à petits prix, nous avons aussi pas mal de retraités qui achètent des Smartphones, notamment pour communiquer avec leurs proches sur WhatsApps ou par vidéo call. Certains de nos clients âgés demandent également des renseignements afin qu’ils puissent se connecter sur Facebook, via leur mobile », nous indique Bilkiss Jaulim, directrice de

Votre anniversaire tombe en Décembre?

Apple vous invite à acheter un iPhone XS ou iPhone XR avec une notification

Apple a réellement envie que vous achetiez un iPhone de dernière génération. La marque a envoyé une notification à certains de ses clients, pour leur présenter l’iPhone XS et l’iPhone XR et (surtout) les inviter à acheter un modèle.

« Votre nouvel iPhone est prêt. Choisissez l’iPhone XR ou l’iPhone XS et accélérez votre mise à niveau dès aujourd’hui avec l’iPhone Upgrade Program », peut-on lire dans la notification envoyée par l’application Apple Store. Pour rappel, l’iPhone Upgrade Program permet d’avoir un iPhone débloqué chaque année (couvert par l’assurance AppleCare+) en payant chaque mois une certaine somme à Apple. Ce programme est disponible dans une poignée de pays (États-Unis, Royaume-Uni, Chine).

Cette notification semble faire partie du récent remaniement au sein des équipes marketing d’Apple. Depuis quelques semaines, Apple fait appel à plusieurs employés pour trouver de nouvelles idées et mettre en avant les nouveaux iPhone. Les rumeurs évoquent des ventes décevantes, d’où l’intérêt pour Apple de beaucoup vanter ses smartphones au public.

Le dernier exemple en date a eu lieu cette nuit. La page d’accueil du site d’Apple (aux États-Unis seulement) a été modifiée pour seulement afficher l’iPhone XS et l’iPhone XR. Apple affiche « iPhone XR à partir de 449$ » et « iPhone XS à partir de 699$ » avec un astérisque à côté. Celle-ci indique que les prix affichés peuvent être obtenus si on donne un ancien iPhone à Apple en échange.

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.

Tesco shutting series of city centre stores

Thousands of Tesco jobs are thought to be at risk as Tesco begins closing a series of city centre stores.

According to a report from The Times, industry insiders believe Tesco is planning to close up to 30 poorly performing Metro stores and to convert a further 60, although Tesco has not confirmed those figures.

 

The move comes as Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis looks to cut costs to boost profit margins.

Lewis has set a target of improving margins up from 2.9 per cent last year to between 3.5 per cent and four per cent in 2020.

Staff at Metro outlets in Lancashire, Manchester and Liverpool have been told their stores are closing, with the average Metro employing 75 people.

The supermarket giant is just days away from unveiling its new discount player Jack’s, at Chatteris near Cambridge.

It’s thought former Tesco Metro stores will be converted into the new brand, enabling the supermarket to grow a value retail competitor at a much faster rate than establishing completely new stores.

What makes Argos the UK’s top multichannel retailer?

According to Retail Week, Argos is the UK’s best multichannel retailer, recently named number one in its ‘Top 30 multichannel retailers’ list.

But what exactly makes Argos so successful?

Here’s a look at its multichannel strategy, and how it offers customer a superior and seamless experience across all channels.

In-store experience

Retail Week reports that online sales account for a third of total sales on average for the top 30 multichannel retailers. This means that the rest is generated in stores.

For Argos, success in both areas has stemmed from heavily investing in store technology – notably replacing its famous laminated catalogues and mini pens with tablet devices.

Instead of the old system of writing out an order slip and queuing to pay a cashier, customers can now buy items much quicker via a digital kiosk before waiting for their collection to arrive.

Meanwhile, employees are also armed with portable devices to help find product and stock information quickly and easily, and warehouse staff use headsets to find out what tasks should be prioritised at that particular moment.

Another key area of online and offline alignment is click-and-collect – a feature that 72% of consumers are said to make use of if it is available. Argos’s ‘Fast Track’ service takes this up a notch, allowing customers to order and pick up from a store on the very same day.

Speed and convenience

This brings us to another important factor in Argos’s success – the aim of offering customers the fastest and most convenient option possible.

According to research, 17% of consumers would change their minds about a purchase if click and collect was not available, making it a highly effective way of reducing basket abandonment. What’s more, click and collect customers are reported to spend twice as much as regular shoppers.

Not only does Argos offer click and collect, but the addition of ‘Fast Track’ means that customers can pick up on the same day, as well as get same-day delivery on home orders placed before 6pm.

Effectively, this means that customers are no longer restricted to a retailer’s terms or operating hours, enjoying the freedom and choice to choose where and how they receive their items at their own convenience. Argos also allows customers to choose between four time slots or a two-hour delivery window in exchange for their mobile number – a way to banish that dreaded day-long wait indoors.

Apple’s Price Target Cut at RBC on iPhone Demand Woes

Apple Inc.’s price target was trimmed by RBC Capital Markets on Tuesday, the latest investment bank to cite concerns about weak demand for the company’s iPhone line, a factor that has pushed the technology bellwether into bear-market territory over the past several weeks.

“Given sustained data points around soft iPhone demand from supply-chain and others, we think it’s prudent to adjust estimates lower especially as it relates to March-quarter and beyond,” analyst Amit Daryanani wrote to clients. While the stock has already seen pronounced weakness on this issue, “we think investors will wait for data-points/noise level to stabilize before getting more positive on the name,” something Daryanani expects will happen in early 2019.

Daryanani cut his price target to $235 from $240, compared with the average of $228 as compiled by Bloomberg, and also trimmed his 2019 estimates on the Dow component. Yet RBC affirmed its outperform rating on Apple, saying it remains a “core large-cap tech holding” in an “increasingly ‘risk-off’ environment,” given the company’s strong balance sheet and “aggressive” buyback program.

Google Workers Sign Letter Seeking End to China Search Project

A group of Google employees have put their name to a public letter calling on the company to abandon its plans for a Chinese search product that censors results.

Project Dragonfly, as the initiative is known, would enable state surveillance at a time when the Chinese government is expanding controls over the population, according to the letter signed by at least 10 workers, predominately software engineers and researchers. The document also called on management to commit to transparency, be accountable and provide clear communication.

Ever since plans for Dragonfly emerged in August, Google parent Alphabet Inc. has been riven by internal dissent at the prospect of a search engine bending to Beijing’s censorship. It was that sort of government control that prompted co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to effectively pull out of China in 2010 when it decided to stop removing controversial links from web queries.

“We refuse to build technologies that aid the powerful in oppressing the vulnerable, wherever they may be,” the Google workers wrote in the letter. “Dragonfly in China would establish a dangerous precedent, one that would make it harder for Google to deny other countries similar concessions.”

Re-entering China has been a key goal of Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai. In 2016 a small team that included Pichai began working on China-related projects, including Dragonfly, to bring Google’s search engine back into the country.

The decision was met with pushback from both Google engineers and executives. Alphabet Inc. Chairman John Hennessy has said he’s not confident Google will be better off bringing a censored search engine.

The signatories of the letter said they joined the company conscious of its previous position on Chinese censorship and Google’s willingness to place “values above its profits.”

Ropa Vieja

Ropa vieja, a juicy and tender shredded beef stew, is braised in the most flavorful, umami-rich tomato based sauce.

Ropa Vieja

This recipe for ropa vieja couldn’t be easier to make – it’s a dump and go recipe, which is basically the best kind of recipe there is. There’s minimal prep too. The hardest part about this recipe is waiting for it to finish cooking. If you use a slow cooker, that’ll take all day, but if you cook it in an Instant Pot then you’ll only have to wait a couple hours. Good food takes time, y’all.

Ropa Vieja literally means “old clothes.” Kind of an odd name for a dish but if you squint, this big juicy pile of meat and colorful bell peppers does kind of look like a pile of laundry, right? I mean… if your wardrobe happens to include a lot of brown. I guess that’s probably not the imagery I should encourage here? Don’t worry y’all, this dish tastes nothing like laundry (and that’s something I never thought I’d write…).

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Ropa Vieja

While this Cuban dish typically calls for flank steak, I suggest using beef chuck roast instead because it has more fat, more flavor and most importantly it results in tender, juicy meat when cooked for a long period of time. I’d rather have melt-in-your-mouth shredded beef vs. tough and chewy shredded beef so if you agree, get the chuck roast please.

Ropa Vieja

Want to keep things authentic? Then serve this savory stew with white rice, black beans and fried sweet plantains. And don’t forget to top the ropa with something briney. I suggest pimento-stuffed green olives but if olives aren’t your thing, you can always use capers for a hit of briney tang.

Another tasty way to use all this meat: in tacos, a burrito bowl or enchiladas. Those are just a few ideas, of course.

My personal favorite way to eat ropa vieja is in a bowl, like stew, but with all the toppings! I top it with plenty of diced onion, diced jalapeños, avocado, chopped cilantro and a big squeeze of lime. I know that’s Mexican-style, but the flavors go so well together. Plus it keeps me from eating too much rice.

Also, this is sort of important but not crucial to the dish – do use different colored bell peppers if possible. Not only do they look great in the dish but yellow and red bell peppers are sweeter than green and that sweetness really compliments the whole stew.

Alright, go make this! While the stew simmers, go ahead and fold that laundry that’s lying around 😉

Ropa Vieja