November 28, 2013 at 17:06
Rainmaking Loft co-founder Oli Johnson: “This project wouldn’t have been possible without a sponsor like Tesco”
Was one ever so young? And why must most office life be so hierarchical and boring?
These are the type of questions your average Joe starts asking himself after a visit to the “Rainmaking Loft”, spectacularly located on London’s River Thames between Tower Bridge and St. Katherine Docks.
Behind this not-for-profit facility with a name like a Kate Bush song is a new technology entrepreneur incubator and behind that as main sponsor — who would have guessed it? — Tesco. Read more »
November 22, 2013 at 05:00
Rob Paterson, erento CEO: “Lending is simply cheaper than owning”
You don’t have to be Gordon Gekko to notice that our economic system is based on limitless greed. Its strength (cf. the demise of communism) is based on the fundamental acquisitiveness of human nature, whatever the moralists would want us to believe to the contrary.
In the 60s mass consumers were only too pleased to enrich themselves after the deprivations of post-war rationing. And it was easy for the rednecks to truncheon a few hippies on the head for criticising our increasingly materialistic way of life.
Since then, however, environmental pollution, global warming, and waning social cohesion have cast doubts on whether we are pursuing a sustainable course.
As these ideas become more mainstream, thinkers* have proclaimed the advent of a “sharing economy” and thus of the sharing consumer.
It is perhaps ironic that the internet, which has proved such a vast engine of new wealth creation, is also providing a platform for the realisation of these visionary ideas. An entrepreneur in this field is Rob Paterson (49), the British CEO of internet lending platform erento. Read more »
November 6, 2013 at 16:30
Tengelmann CEO, Karl-Erivan Haub: “Retailers are increasingly becoming tech companies”
To “Haub” or not to “Haub”, that is the question!
On the one hand, Tengelmann CEO Karl-Erivan Haub is virtually omnipresent when it comes to online retailing and risks grazing the fine, but dangerous line between professional self-marketing and overkill.
On the other, there are few top retail managers in Germany with his knowledge and experience of both bricks & clicks.
Certainly, the organisers of this year’s Neocom mail order congress in Dusseldorf came to the conclusion that this is a speaker no trade audience can do without.
Read more »
November 1, 2013 at 04:14
Mark Post with his lab-cultured beef burger: Could it help solve the coming food crisis and combat climate change?
For some this Dutch scientist is the creator of “the Frankenburger”.
Others believe that he has achieved a potential breakthrough in the fight against world hunger, environmental pollution and animal cruelty.
Certainly the research conducted by Professor Post on laboratory-grown meat is not for the squeamish. And food grown in a Petri dish from stem cells extracted from the muscle tissue of a dead cow doesn’t sound particularly appetising.
Yet one must give the 56-year-old Chair of Physiology at Maastricht University full marks for marketing. The launch of his lab-meat burger at a press conference in London on August 5 was a huge PR coup and has caught the imagination of the media. Read more »
November 1, 2013 at 04:12
Linda Eatherton: “Companies should realise that there is a time to sell and a time to tell”
Market research companies have created all manner of new consumer archetypes over the years as they try to help their clients understand, segment and profit from the customer.
Thus we journalists are often treated to detailed studies aimed at proving the existence of “the mobile consumer”, “the grazer”, “the multi-screen generation” or “the Millennials” etc.
Needless to say, these are not always equally convincing so that it is essential to separate the chalk from the cheese.
Certainly one of the most impressive presentations we have had in our editorial offices recently was by Ketchum Pleon. So we asked Chicago-based Linda W. Eatherton, Partner, Director Global Food & Nutrition Practice, why the company has announced to the world the existence of the “food e-vangelist”? Read more »
October 25, 2013 at 14:16
Matthew Brown: “Generosity pays in retailing”
Matthew Brown, Head of Research at UK-based management consultancy Echochamber Ltd., has a great job.
Together with business partner Howard Saunders, Brown tours the world around twenty times a year looking for interesting new store concepts, ideas and trends.
Tracking him down with difficulty, Lebensmittel Zeitung features editor Mathias Himberg sounded this professional globetrotter out on his relentless search for best practice intelligence. Read more »
October 24, 2013 at 16:11
The high art of retail culture: The Japanese put a premium on authentic food, aesthetic presentation and charming service
By European and US standards food prices in Japan are astronomic. This is primarily due to high import duties aimed at protecting local producers with only limited available land.
But near starvation during WW2 has also bitten deeply into the collective consciousness of the Japanese. Successive governments have therefore strived for national food self-sufficiency and many politicians are alarmed that this has already fallen to below 50 per cent.
Thus international free trade agreements are often viewed with scepticism.
Whatever the economic reasons for often quite staggering prices, food is highly valued in this fascinating country. In fact, the Japanese look aghast at the way it is treated as a mere commodity in western retailing. Can they teach us something about value-added?
On holiday in the Land of the Rising Sun, Sabine Hedewig-Mohr, senior online editor of our sister agriculture publication agrarzeitung.de, went shopping with her camera: Read more »
October 21, 2013 at 12:23
Carrefour CEO Georges Plassat: “The hypermarket isn’t dead”
This year’s venue at La Défense in Paris was all that the trade visitor has come to expect from the WRC: authoritative, cosmopolitan and broad-ranging.
Thus we were again treated to three days of high-class retail lectures and discussion from mass consumer food to luxury fashion and from the saturated European High Street to the almost limitless potential in South-East Asia.
At the end of the forum, however, the impartial observer was left with a vague feeling of having watched a surrealist film.
Old, but powerful retailers reminisced about past triumphs and painted a golden future for the out-of-town hypermarket, while middle-aged managers talked of nothing but e-commerce and Generation Y. Read more »
October 17, 2013 at 20:14
Dixons Chairman John Allan: “Multi-channel is a superior model”
He’s only been there four years, but John Allan is already the longest-serving person on the board — such are the fast-moving times at Dixons Retail Plc group.
But his tenure as Chairman has certainly seen a hefty improvement (+80 per cent) in the share price, during which time the Hemel Hempstead-based retailer has seen off an attempt by US giant Best Buy to muscle onto its turf.
Today, with over 20 per cent of the UK market, Dixons leads the pack among consumer & entertainment electronics specialists. The Brits also dominate their segment in Scandinavia and Greece where they compete with arch-rival Media-Markt.
So this pleasant and courteous Englishman, who has just turned 65, could be forgiven if he rested on his laurels. But that’s hard to do when you have Amazon on your back. Read more »
October 4, 2013 at 04:27
Facundo L. Bacardi: “We are hunters!”
An invitation to Martini’s 150th anniversary party in Villa Erba on Lake Como is like a proposition made to one in a dream.
Immediately one’s imagination conjures up the fellow Brit who prefers his favourite drink “shaken, not stirred”.
And didn’t that other testimonial George Clooney (female readers please refrain from swooning) use to live on the waterfront?
Combine this with the chance to interview parent company Chairman Facundo L. Bacardi as well as European President Stefan Bomhard, and one has a perfect alibi to escape the editorial offices in Frankfurt.
The absence from one’s colleagues, if even for a day, though made parting bitter-sweet.
As a search on Google reveals, the extremely discrete Bacardi family, living in exile from Cuba, seldom talks to the press. On the day, Lebensmittel Zeitung was given only “five minutes” to talk with the mild-mannered Chairman who is believed to be 46. In the event, we got a little more…
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