At last! The selfie hat!

September 15th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

selfie hat 207x300 At last! The selfie hat!It’s London Fashion Week! And you know what, where better a place than to showcase this marvellous selfie sombrero. Say that again to yourself, out loud.

“Selfie sombrero.”

The ‘brainchild’ (used very loosely in this case) of designer Christian Cowan-Sanluis and Acer, the Selfie Hat is a snip at £599.

Yes, for just £599, you could model the hat, which is able to spin and take pictures of you from all angles and is dubbed the ‘Christian Cowan-Sanluis x Acer Selfie-Hat’, it really is quite the thing.

Cowan-Sanluis has designed for that Lady Gaga in the past, so ‘reasonably normal’ is probably not a brief he adheres to.

The camera will assess which is your best side, as well as documenting these and posting them to social networks on your behalf. It’s probably at this point when concerned friends will wonder if you’re having some form of mental breakdown.

Acer, possibly pissing on a bucket of cash, claim: “We wanted to work with someone young and fresh, that not only understands the selfie culture, but both currently is part of it and works with people in it”.

Cowan-Sanluis explains: “With the hat, we wanted to take an element from my last collection, but correspondingly integrate the most popular zeitgeist there is in technology at the moment, the selfie. We also wanted to give it a fun and playful approach, but that in the end helps the user to better understand their face when taking a self-portrait.”

“There has been a lot of articles over the last year looking at how the selfie has gotten so big and being monetised on, celebrities such as Kim Kardashian making a selfie book and the term becoming part of mainstream society.”

“But on the other side, a lot of people taking selfies struggle to find the full potential of their front-facing camera when they use their hand. The hat helps to perfect the shot, either if it’s a cute, sexy or silly selfie.”

It is literally the worst thing ever.

Asda streamlines internet presence

September 12th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

asdabag 228x276 Asda streamlines internet presenceAsda are shutting down their Direct website. The portal that sells everything that isn’t food, clothing or home guff is going.

However from February, 80% of the Direct stuff will be merged into the grocery site, while George.com will remain the home for all your fashion needs, but will become the online lifestyle store bolstered with no doubt matching towels, toys and pleasing-but-fragile cushions.

The Direct site especially triumphed with deals in stuff like books, garden bits and bobs as well as white goods, like electrical cleaning solution providers such as the washing machine.

This follows Sainsbury’s announcing similar last month, with streamlining  its non-food into their grocery site.

Asda chief executive Andy Clarke said: “We’re creating an online experience that logically fits with how our customers want to shop and focuses on the areas that our customers love. Ultimately, we want to give more people access to the price, quality and style that we are famous for.”

There’s that dreaded ‘experience’ again.

“In what is still a challenging market, I am delighted that we are able to make an investment that will not only step on delivery of our strategy, but also bring new and convenient ways for our customers to shop with us,” Clarke adds.

The company are also hoping to boost online sales by launching the first fully automated click and collect points in the UK, which should roll out in London and the South East from early 2015.

Screen Shot 2011 11 24 at 09.17.44 300x236 Topshop to show off new stuff online before catwalkTopshop are doing a first this weekend, and showcasing its Spring/ Summer 15 (SS15) Unique collection on Facebook before the catwalk.

As part of London Fashion Week, on Sunday (September 14th), their looks will be seen on their social media channels before the likes of the front row of mostly bored looking F-listers get a gander.

Five of Topshop’s users will be filling up the social media channels with the wares and exclusives available in the range.

The high street giant has also turned to Instagram to deliver content around the show.  Five users of the platform have been chosen to populate Topshop’s social channels and website over the course of the week.

Their content, alongside other posts and pictures from fans who use the hashtag #TOPSHOPWINDOW will be pulled in to a custom-designed installation in the window of Topshop’s flagship store on Oxford Street.

There will be an interactive digital mosaic type-thing acting as something of a livestream of the show, and anyone can dig what they see and walk in and get it.

A lady named Nicola Mendelsohn, VP EMEA, Facebook said: “It’s such a trailblazing move to premier part of their SS15 collection on Facebook and off the runway, and further demonstrates Topshop’s bold use of digital to reach fashion lovers around the world and offer them a truly unique way to interact with the action from London as it happens.”

That Sir Phillip Green is keen to make Fashion Week more of an accessible thing to his punters: “This season, the strength of our social community allows us to be the first brand to debut looks from a catwalk collection on a social network granting unprecedented access online”.

“I believe that enabling Topshop’s fans to view key looks from the collection before our industry insiders is a real revolution – and one that we are proud to pioneer.”

Get them!

Tesco not launching smartphone after all

September 9th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

hudl 300x199 Tesco not launching smartphone after allYou remember a few months ago when we excitedly told you of Tesco launching a Hudl smartphone?

Well, cancel that all-night vigil party because Tesco now can’t be arsed.

Instead, the company are pouring their efforts into making the Hudl 2 as amazing as possible.

According to Robin Terrell, the supermarket’s multichannel director: “The technology sector is fast changing and constantly evolving and since then, the mobile market has become even more competitive. So in early July, I took the decision that we would put the phone on hold and concentrate on the Hudl 2 tablet.”

“Mobile technology – phones and tablets – are transforming all consumer industries and particularly retail. Our future success relies on our anticipating and adapting those consumer trends so that we can continually improve the products and services we offer our customers.”

The Hudl 2 is promised in the next few weeks, which is conveniently handy for Christmas.

Royal Mail start Sunday servicing

September 8th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

Royal Mail Royal Mail start Sunday servicingThe Royal Mail launched their Sunday opening yesterday (which was a Sunday), thereby joining the modern world, which must be making them nauseous with excitement.

They’ve not gone completely wild and reckless though as this is only a pilot scheme which saw 100 or so of its delivery offices across the UK opening on the Sabbath.

It is said that the move was to take advantage of the increase in online shopping. ‘Taking advantage’ in this case, means ‘not being left behind by everyone else who already works on a Sunday’.

Plus, it’s all going to get a bit Christmas soon and having the opportunity of the limited collection period doubled is handy for ‘hard working families’ and all that.

Royal Mail will also begin a trial of Sunday deliveries to addresses within the M25 motorway tomorrow. How very Orbital of them.

Just so you can update your records, the Royal Mail delivery offices which will be taking part will be open between 12pm and 4pm. Plenty of time to rock up with a red slip while you suffer a brutal hangover.

Co-op win some sparkle back

September 5th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

champagne 300x300 Co op win some sparkle backAt last! It’s some good news for the Co-op!

In fact, let’s all get some of their own brand vintage champagne to celebrate, as it’s just trousered three top gongs at the Champagne & Sparking Wine World Championships (CSWWC).

Man. Imagine how amazing it would be to attend the Champagne & Sparking Wine World Championships.

Co-op’s £24.99 Les Pionniers 2004 Brut got garnered the Best Vintage Blend, Best Value Champagne and Best Supermarket Champagne prize action.

The Brut is made in the Piper-Heidsieck champagne house in France

In a blind taste test, at specialist wine school Plumpton College the judges wolfed down 650 different wines from across 16 countries, before – probably after having a well-deserved lie-down – deciding on 30 winners.

And for each Gold winner, they were all blind-tasted again to make sure. Nice work.

The big winner, or the Supreme World Champion, was the Louis Roederer Cristal Rosé 2002. The judges chorused: “This is possibly the most amazing result of the entire competition. The 2004 Les Pionniers is as much a tribute to the winemaking skill of the Piper-Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck winemaking team, under the direction of Régis Camus.”

A possibly quite merry himself Ben Cahill, the Champagne Buyer at Co-operative Food said: “We’re really proud to have a long-standing relationship with Regis Camus who offers his expert wine making skills from one of the best Champagne producers in the world. And, now matured for 10 years, our own-label vintage champagne is at its best age for drinking and is a steal.”

See you down the booze aisle as soon as work finishes.

Tesco Woolwich is right ugly say experts

September 5th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

tesco woolwich 300x300 Tesco Woolwich is right ugly say expertsPride for Woolwich now, as their Tesco has just been crowned the winner of an award!

Except this one is for Building Design’s Carbuncle Cup, which is handed out to architecture that is “unforgivably bad and deserve(s) to be named and shamed“.

Ah.

The development at Woolwich Central is managed and owned by Spenhill, who in turn are owned by Tesco, and it offers a Tesco Extra across the first eight floors teamed with 189 apartments of one, two and three bedroom variations, above that.

It must be said, the judges delivered some champion shade, when describing the building: “Camouflage comes in the way of some truly diabolical cladding and a massing strategy that seems to have been directly inspired by the 1948 Berlin blockade; we can only hope that residential leases come with free airlift.”

One of the panel, Prince Charles’s architectural adviser, Hank Dittmar aced that with “too much for the site, for the area and for the eye”.

An unnamed spokesman for the architects, was having none of it, saying “the aim was to create a cohesive piece of strong architecture that unlocked this vast space and established a desirable place to live”.

But then he would.

M&S introduce frozen food to posh people

September 4th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

marks and spencer M&S introduce frozen food to posh peopleMarks & Spencer are launching their first ever range of frozen ready meals. That’ll upset some of the foodies who shop there and haven’t noticed that they’ve had ready-meals for a while as it is.

The range consists of 30 dishes, for either 2-4 people, and should be in selected stores from the end of September.

As with any ready meal, all the meals can be cooked from frozen and features ingredients that cope the best with the frozen wastes.

“We’re well known for our ready meals, and we felt that we could do our frozen prepared foods justice in terms of quality” said someone from M&S.

“This move was part of the expansion of our food ranges and has nothing to do with other retailers, especially not Iceland,” the spokesman added cattily, honest.

Still, no-one’s buying non-food items from M&S, so they might want to have a look at those arms of the business before trying to fix things with frozen pies.

Kellogg’s gets discounting

September 3rd, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

58760 kelloggs coco pops 300x239 Kelloggs gets discountingCereal-lovers – Kellogg’s are sniffing around you and trying to woo you. How? They’ve launched an exclusive range of cereals for the discount channels.

The new format bags of Honey Hoopla, Coco Pops Jumbos and Coco Pops Chocos  [someone fire the person who names products at Kellogg's - Ed] will weigh 240g as opposed to 295g, and contain eight servings.

Kellogg’s had originally launched discounted cereal bars in May, but reckon that this new range will expand their reach in the discount market and, as we know, the discount market is where it is really at in 2014.

Nick Dawson, who is a UK customer director of speciality channels (get him) said: “Cereal sales in the discount channel are growing strongly so being able to offer Kellogg’s branded products with a strong value proposition on shelf offers a fantastic platform for growth”

He could’ve discounted or at least reduced half the waffle in that quote, but you get the idea.

M&S go all ponce on new food advert

September 2nd, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

Marks & Spencer have launched a new TV advertising campaign for its food.

The ‘Adventures in Imagination’ (which, if it involved the Body Talk hitmakers, would be even more amazing) slightly harks back to their soft-porny ‘Not Just Any…’ series of ads, with erotic cutting and gooey centres oozing just so.

Gnnnggg.

M&S has said that the ad is to “tease the nation’s increasingly discerning taste buds” and highlights the most in-demand food trends featured in the retailer’s autumn 2014 range, such as lush looking patisserie loveliness, top quality cuts, runny Scotch eggs and showcases the Kouign-amann, a traditional Breton cake that is a cross between a croissant and a brioche.

It’s also a rare opportunity to hear that most-streamed-song-of-the-year Clean Bandit number.

The unnecessarily lengthily titled M&S executive director of marketing and international Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne said: “Over the last decade, consumers’ culinary tastes have become more adventurous and Britain’s love affair with food has really ignited.”

“Our new campaign reflects this shift and uses a different language to the price-focused supermarkets. It brings to life the hundreds of new ideas we have in our food halls every month by showcasing the sensual and surprising aspects of food – like its textures and movement – in a modern, stylish and precision format.”

‘A different language’ – nice bit of shade there.

Dixons Carphone: In. Phones4U: Out?

September 2nd, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz123456 Dixons Carphone: In. Phones4U: Out?It’s been a day of joy for Dixons Carphone.

The cut-and-shut merger of Dixons and Carphone Warehouse has had its position bolstered by Vodafone renewing a long-term contract with the retailer, after evil gossips suggested otherwise.

As well as strengthening their links with Dixons Carphone, Vodafone also shucked off their involvement with Phones4U, making their position a bit of a headache, raising questions about THEIR future as they’ve just also lost O2 and only have EE for company now.

Oh God.

Shares in Dixons Carphone went up to 368.4p, which sounds all quite good doesn’t it, making a 6.9% gain and sending the new company to its highest level yet, and giving them a market value over £4.2 billion.

So hurrah for Dixons Carphone, and um, a, well, er to Phones4U.

creditcards Apple scoops up major credit cards for new iPhone payment thingVisa, Mastercard and American Express have all been signed up to Apple’s new payment system.

The iPhone 6 is going to include a new payments system allowing owners to pay in stores simply by tapping their phone on a reader.

And now it sounds like they’ve got the big guns on-board.

The iWallet app will allow users to pay for things like lattes and Wired magazine with their phones, using Near Field Communication (NFC), the technology is already widely used by credit cards for low cost payments.

The handset, which is expected to be unveiled on Tuesday 9th September, will come in 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch sizes.

It is rumoured that it will also have a flexible, scratch-proof screen, which is good news for, well, everyone – especially you clumsy alcoholics who get in a lot of arguments where you feel the need to throw your phone around.

Apple is also expected to link the system to their iTunes store, which already holds customer’s payment details, so you’ll be buying Rene & Renato’s Greatest Hits in no time.

Most phones already do it as well, but hey ho.

Tesco: woes continue

September 1st, 2014 5 Comments By Ian Wade

tesco bag 300x187 Tesco: woes continueIt’s been a rum few days for Tesco.

One of their key shareholders, Harris Associates, has sold nearly two thirds of its stake in the beleagured supermarket.

The American investment fund Harris Associates, had been Tesco’s seventh largest shareholder.

Chief exec David Herro told the Sunday Telegraph “We have sold, in the last month, probably two thirds of our position

“With so many unknowns … those risk factors are just too high to justify a big position.”

This comes after Tesco issued its second profit warning in two months, and estimating that annual profits are more likely to be 25% lower than last year. Continuing a three year decline.

It’s probably not the ideal welcome for Dave Lewis, who takes over the top job today, a month ahead of what had been planned.

Tesco, who has lost the bulk of their business to up-and-coming budget retailers such as Aldi and Lidl, also slashed its dividend by 75% to give Lewis greater flexibility to revive the world’s No.3 retailer.

Can it catch up on lost ground? Who knows? Should they break themselves up in a bid to stay in the game?

Crispwatch: Whisky & Haggis!

August 29th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

We haven’t polled everyone, but we reckon you’d be hard pressed to find someone on this planet who doesn’t like crisps. Only sickos don’t like crisps.

Anyway, it pleases us to announce that there’s a new crisp on the scene, which is not like the others, namely Mackie’s Whisky & Haggis crisps.

Gie it laldy.

whisky crisps 375x500 Crispwatch: Whisky & Haggis!

And that’s not all, as it will soon be joined by Venison & Cranberry flavour too.

The Ridge Cut affairs are in Scottish Co-ops RIGHT NOW, and will appear in Tesco and Asda in October, so petition/ mildly riot accordingly.

It’s a limited edition at the moment, but if it kicks off, it may be added to the range full time.

George Taylor, managing director of Mackie’s at Taypack, said: “We have been delighted with the uptake of our Ridge Cut range thus far, with sales already in line with our core range.”

“We felt it was time to add a Scottish twist to the range as our Scottish flavours have always been very popular. We were particularly keen to try a whisky seasoning as Scotch is so renowned around the world. We tried various combinations and the whisky and haggis pairing came out on top. We are very excited to see the market’s reaction to the new flavour lines.”

The gauntlet has been thrown down, beat that England. Oh and if anyone could source us a box for “research”, we’ll be quite grateful.

Supermarket sales at 10 year low

August 28th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

basket 300x300 Supermarket sales at 10 year lowSupermarkets are still having a topsy turvy time of it, as sales have been hitting a 10-year low.

According to some research by the Kantar Worldpanel (sounds like a support act for Kraftwerk or Can), low inflation in the price of groceries, has seen sales grow by only 0.8% in the last 12 weeks, against figures from a year earlier.

The ongoing price wars and what have you, has driven inflation down to a record low of 0.2%. And guess what?

The main winners in market share again were Aldi and Lidl.

Aldi’s market share rose to 4.8% from 3.7% a year earlier, while Lidl’s share climbed to 3.6% from 3.1%. And it’s not all budget end, as sales at Waitrose were up 3.6% from a year earlier, and its market share edged up to 4.9% from 4.8%.

But it’s grim news for Tesco, as its sales were down 4% from last year’s period, and the market share dropping from 30.2% to 28.8%

According to Kantar Worldpanel director Edward Garner: “Competitive pricing among the big grocers and deflation in the price of staple items such as vegetables, milk and bread has driven inflation down yet again,”

“This naturally impacts on the overall growth of the grocery market, which has fallen to a 10 year record-low of 0.8%,” he added.