Tesco checks out wording change

August 31, 2008

Tesco is to change the wording on their tills.

BBC reports

The supermarket giant is to replace its current “10 items or less” notices with signs saying “Up to 10 items”.

Tesco’s move follows uncertainty over whether the current notices should use “fewer” instead of “less”.


Most people have an “above average” number of feet

August 30, 2008

What’s the average number of feet?

Most people have an above average number of feet

No, not two.

The answer is slightly less. Think about it.

The BBC News Magazine is running a really nice series on maths.

If the thought that nearly everyone can be below average makes no sense, you might be muddled by the middle.

“Average” is commonly used to mean something like “ordinary”, “typical”, “normal” or “what’s expected”. Above is good, below is bad.

Organisations can apply a range of techniques to analyse data effectively for business purposes. By using the mean, median and mode, businesses can analyse their sales and costs to make effective business decisions.

For example by knowing both the average (mean), median and mode of sales by outlet or division, they can compare effectively which areas of the business need action.

Relying on one average (such as the mean) can result in ineffective decisions as sometimes averages can be swayed by a few high figures as explained in the BBC article.

Photo source.

The school uniform price war

August 29, 2008

BBC reports on how supermarkets in their battle for customers are using school uniforms as a marketing tool.

For the last few years, the supermarkets have been competing on price.

This year Asda stole a march by offering the £4 uniform for all ages, rather than a budget range simply for the youngest pupils, according to retail analyst Maureen Hinton, of Verdict Research.

Even if the best deals are now gone, most parents will be able to come away with change from £10 when buying a sweatshirt, trousers or skirt, and polo shirt ensemble.

For example, a sweatshirt for a three to 12-year-old from any of Sainsbury’s, Tesco or Asda will usually cost parents no more than £2.50.

Rising costs for snacks…

August 28, 2008

BBC reports on how the credit crunch and rising food and fuel costs are having an impact the costs for snack firms.

Mars has become the latest snack firm to admit the credit crunch is eating into its business.

The Snickers bar and M&Ms maker said it would be raising the wholesale price of its goods to offset rising raw material, packaging and energy costs.

The news came days after fellow US firm Hershey raised its product prices.

Mars also said it would be cutting the size of some of its goods. In the UK, a number of firms have shrunk snack sizes to stave off price rises.

So we can expect our chocolate bars to get smaller (or get more expensive).

BAA “should sell three airports”

August 20, 2008

BAA should sell three airports

The BBC reports on the recommendations from the Competition Commission that BAA should sell three of the seven airports that it owns.

BAA may have to sell three of its seven UK airports because of concerns about its market dominance, the Competition Commission has said.

The watchdog is recommending that the airport operator should have to sell two of its three airports in the South East – Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted.

It also believes BAA should not be allowed to continue to own airports in both Glasgow and Edinburgh.

BAA said it had “no intention” of selling Heathrow, its largest airport.

It described the regulator’s verdict as “flawed” and said the forced sale of leading airports would be “counter-productive”.

The Competition Commission is an independent public body (funded by the Government) which conducts in-depth inquiries into proposed and current mergers, markets and the regulation of the major regulated industries.

Vodafone criticised

August 16, 2008

BBC reports on criticism of Vodafone about recent “hidden” price rises.

The National Consumer Council (NCC) has criticised Vodafone for increasing mobile phonecall costs without telling its customers.

Vodafone plans to raise minimum call charges by 25%.

But a letter inserted into July’s bills stated the new price list but failed to mention they were going up.

So have Vodafone hidden these price rises? They certainly didn’t mention them, which when you consider the ease of switching phone providers means that customers are more fickle now than five years ago.

Problem with hiding such price rises is when people find out and the resulting bad publicity. Marketing through that can be challenging.

Who will buy my Hummer?

August 14, 2008

Who will buy my Hummer?

BBC reports on speculation about who will buy the iconic Hummer brand from GM.

Ever since General Motors announced that it was considering selling the iconic Hummer brand, speculation has surrounded who might buy it.

Why are GM selling?

Well the market for SUVs and 4x4s is falling fast as the cost of running them increases and they become a political issue in relation to the environment, congestion and carbon footprints!