MarketLine Blog

Posts written in June 2016

Supermarkets facing up to the discounters; Asda left behind?

MarketLine

Supermarkets in the UK have faced a tough marketplace in recent years. The recession, and the accompanying squeeze on incomes, has led to many consumers becoming shrewd in their purchases and increasingly looking to find the cheapest option. This has led to a climate in which discounters, and in particular Aldi and Lidl, have been able to thrive. The impact on the big four supermarkets has been evident. Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, and Morrison’s have all seen sales fall and profits eroded. Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Morrison’s all responded to the… Read more

Big retail takes control of Russian food market

MarketLine

The Russian food market is amongst the largest and most populated globally. As the population of 146 million people continues to grow, they are also buying more food. There are a lot of opportunities for further development, especially in the convenience segment, as the grocery retail market is significantly less saturated than in Western Europe. Changes in tastes and technology have opened up the sector to new suppliers and new ideas. However, after almost a decade of double digit growth, this over $300bn market has seen a significant deceleration recently… Read more

British festivals face tough challenges, just ask ATP

MarketLine

All Tomorrow’s Parties (ATP), which spent 15 years attempting to set itself apart from the mainstream, commercial festivals, finally succumbed in June to the overwhelming debts which had been chasing the event for years. Liquidation and reincarnation in 2012 did nothing to rid it of its demons, and after cancelling the Drive Like Jehu curated event planned for Manchester in late April, founder Barry Hogan was forced to admit defeat. According to a new report published by couriers Parcelhero, ATP is not the first, and will not be the last… Read more

Brexit skepticism and predicting the unpredictable

MarketLine

In a bizarre confluence of polarized opinions battling amidst the wanton exposition of misinformation by careerist politicians, the UK has voluntarily plunged itself into a prolonged period of economic and political uncertainty by voting to the leave the European Union. The Prime Minister has resigned, any potential successor from the Leave campaign lacks public credibility or electability, and the Chancellor claims to have no responsibility for delivering a plan for the country in terms of how to navigate and exploit the proposed exit. All those currently in power are willing… Read more

Generic drugs prices: Unscrupulous companies increase prices significantly

MarketLine

Generic drugs are identical in dose, strength, safety, efficacy, administration and intended use to their branded counterparts. They are produced after a product’s patent has expired, after 20 years. They are much cheaper to produce and these savings are passed on to the buyer: generics are much cheaper than their branded counterparts. An investigation by UK newspaper The Times, the findings of which were released in a June 2016 report, found that a small number of UK companies have made huge profits after increasing the prices of generic drugs. The… Read more

Williams & Glyn: Future of RBS spin-off in doubt as launch delayed

MarketLine

Overly ambitious growth strategies initially brought great success for RBS and the company was seen as the darling of the stock market, consistently delivering double digit growth. However, the company swelled to such a size that its assets were twice the size of the UK economy and a woefully ill-advised acquisition of ABN Amro in 2007 as part of a consortium tipped the bank over the edge as it took ownership of a large amount of toxic assets. The weakness was ruthlessly exposed during the global crash of 2008/2009 and… Read more

Corporate Sponsorship: Companies hypersensitive to damaging controversies

MarketLine

When a company is giving serious thought to sponsoring an event or club, or signing an individual to a costly endorsement contract, it takes several factors into consideration. The benefits that a company is seeking by entering into such arrangements are namely revenue growth, an improved corporate image, and increased brand equity as a result of greater consumer awareness. This is a double-edged sword however, as scandals involving sponsored celebrities or organizations can reflect badly. In many instances, there is no obvious link between the sponsor and the sponsored party…. Read more

Pet business of the future: A whole different breed

MarketLine

The pet industry in the US is booming, approaching $60bn in revenue. Growth in the market is derived both from increasing pet ownership as well as from increased spending per pet. If people have been willing to buy something for themselves, they are likely to now buy it for pets. There are plenty of opportunities across various segments of the industry, especially in the pet-related services segment which is growing at nearly twice the rate of the overall pet market. People increasingly view their pets as part of the family… Read more

UK Economy – held back by euro area Treaty

MarketLine

The Maastricht Treaty has been slowly asphyxiating any possibility of sustained economic recovery in Britain. It has been partially responsible for the erratic recovery of manufacturing, production and construction industries. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Britain peaked back at pre-crisis level in the second quarter of 2013 driven mainly by the growth of the services industry. This industry is 13 per cent larger in value compared to 2009 (figure below). Production, construction and manufacturing industries are on average 7% smaller than their pre-crisis levels. The majority of UK industries… Read more

Airbnb: The sharing economy company encounters resistance in Berlin

MarketLine

Airbnb is one of the biggest sharing economy success stories of recent years and along with companies such as Uber, Lyft and Task Rabbit, Airbnb has found a new way to use to a widely available resource by applying new smart phone technology. Essentially the program allows apartments, flats, houses and rooms to be advertised for rent, and visitors to a city to have a different experience to what might be provided by a traditional hotel chain. Local knowledge, unusual locations and a homely experience, are some of the reasons… Read more

Expectations of rapid MVNO expansion in Middle East

MarketLine

MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) subscription rates are expected to grow rapidly over the next five years in the Middle East region despite the existence of high entry barriers. Firms that can establish themselves as leading market players early on are therefore most likely to reap the rewards of market expansion. Differences in customer preferences and market structure in the Middle East as compared to already established MVNO markets such as Western Europe and North America mean that companies will have to think strategically about business models and market entry… Read more