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LayoutIntelligent investing in Europefrom Bridgepoint Issue 16 November 2009
Perception and reality
The truth behind consumer confidence
MAY CONTAIN NUTS
When children hold
the purse strings
speaks up for
A question of confidence
The state of mind of the consumer (or more accurately the complex
relationship between national prosperity and consumer confidence)
is a key metric for many businesses and governments and is on the
agenda for this issue of The Point. It was the economist John
Maynard Keynes who showed us that too much prudence on the
part of the consumer could spell economic disaster, which is why so
many governments around the world are introducing measures
designed to stimulate consumer expenditure.
This correlation between economic growth and consumer confidence is examined byPeter Kellner (page 6) who shows how and when different European consumers areresponding to economic stimuli. In a similar vein, but at the micro level of theindividual company, we explain how savvy businesses are coming at the issue fromanother angle by driving down purchase prices from suppliers through reverse ore-auctions (page 3). Here we show how companies, especially those under pressureto preserve cash and maximise efficiency, invite suppliers to bid for a contract, live,online and in real time.
‘Pester power', the influence exerted by children on unsuspecting parents to buy thelatest toy or gadget (or should I add topically Pets at Home product?), is transformingthe global toy market and also having a major impact on technology. Just how muchand what it means for companies supplying this sector are outlined on page 12,where you will also get a glimpse of what's coming at you on children's wish lists inthe near future.
‘In my opinion', The Point's regular column (see page 25) for senior executives with aview to air comes from France in this issue, from Bruno Lafont, the head of Lafarge,the world's largest cement group. In addition to being relatively upbeat aboutprospects for global recovery, he makes a strong defence of the industrial sector and the role of global European industrial groups.
Also in this issue we profile Carlo Gianuzzi, the chief executive of one of Bridgepoint'sItalian investments, beauty chain Limoni, whose invigorating approach to motorbikes November 2009Issue 16 and love of speed is reflected in how he is revitalising the brand and leading its Published by
expansion in Italy and beyond.
Bladonmore (Europe) Ltd Finally, when there is much talk of green shoots, The Point reveals (page 30) how one part of the retail sector is casting off the gloom too readily associated with it – internet retailing or e-tailing – and reshaping the way the consumer shops.
Bagshawe Associates Reproduction, copying or The Point aims, as always, to stimulate your interest in some extracting by any means ofthe whole or part of this of the topics we believe either confront or are of interest to publication must not be corporate Europe – I hope this issue does exactly that I undertaken without thewritten permission of thepublishers.
The views expressed inThe Point are not necessarilythose of Bridgepoint.
is managing partner of Bridgepoint
Sold… to the lowest bidder
How e-auctions can cut costs –
A complex equation
Consumer confidence moves
in mysterious ways
Kids and teenagers are demanding,
tech-savvy and cash rich
Face to face
Man on a mission
Carlo Gianuzzi on the importance
In my opinion
Building the future
Lafarge chairman Bruno Lafont on
prospects for heavy industry
Retailers may be struggling but
e-tailing keeps on growing
The clean plate campaign
Nick Lander cautions against dietary
Across the world, companies are under pressure to preservecash and maximise efficiency. Collective purchasing ande-auctions are a canny part of the process.
here is strength in organisation named BAPS economy turns down, (Bridgepoint Affinity achieving a reduction in wandering the Serengeti aimed to make portfolio even more attractive prospect.
trying your hardest to avoid companies more efficient Patrick Fox, the Bridgepoint big cats or a business buying by encouraging combined partner who was responsible office supplies, those that for creating BAPS, explains: stick together achieve the The most successful "The US private equity market best outcomes.
organisations keep a weather started using such schemes Several years ago eye on costs, even in the best nearly a decade ago. We then Bridgepoint set up an of times. But when the pioneered the idea in Europe." BAPS works across a range The most popular targets for of products and services.
the BAPS treatment are Initially, BAPS was a "I suppose the most obvious vehicles, mobile phones, collective bargaining tool.
simple example is Dell fixed lines and data, office Recently, however, it has computers. We have many consumables, such as highly developed an interest in UK portfolio companies, most priced printer cartridges, reverse or e-auctions. A of which use Dell products, private and permanent reverse auction – also known but there can be a difference health insurance and even as a sourcing event – is a type of up to 20 per cent in what the disposal of waste.
of auction in which the roles they traditionally pay for an of buyer and seller are "You'd be amazed at the identical product. By joining reversed. The primary difference in the prices you forces to negotiate with Dell, objective is to drive down get charged to take away a the companies' joint hand is purchase prices: various wheelie bin of commercial hugely strengthened because suppliers are invited to bid waste between Bodmin, a large buyer can negotiate for a contract, live, online Birmingham and Aberdeen," healthy discounts," says Fox.
and in real time.
And it is not simply a Rather than the price question of volumes Cost savings from a reverse auction going up, as it does on with Dell – the company can be around 18 per cent eBay for example, the is known, for example, price goes down, as By clubbing together, to have fixed quarterly sellers compete for contracts.
portfolio companies gain far targets so the price at which This method of sourcing more clout when negotiating you can buy a server at the goods and services is with suppliers. The take-up end of the month will often increasingly popular – hardly has been good – 60 per cent fall dramatically. Such surprising, as the Chartered of portfolio companies now intelligence, when shared, is Institute of Purchasing & use the same private health hugely valuable.
Supply estimates cost savings scheme, for example – but from a reverse auction can be taking part is entirely around 18 per cent.
voluntary. Portfoliocompanies always have the "Pets at Home [the pet food final say and they can dip in and accessories retail chain] and out at will.
is a big user of reverseauctions," says Fox. "If youtake a commoditised itemsuch as dog chews or poopbags, it's a really efficientway to do business. Theauction is a powerful way to introduce real competitive PLANNING IS ALL
Given the inevitable increase tension into the process and The secret of success with in these open methods of it achieves results." reverse auctions is careful, purchasing, however, are the advanced preparation. The days of the old-fashioned Simple, commoditised goods ‘spec' is all. Before the salesman numbered? Is such as dog chews are not auction begins, bidders must human interface in the the only products that can be absolutely clear about process of buying and selling benefit from the reverse what is being sought, the a thing of the past? auction treatment.
time period for which it is Fox does not believe this is "Pret A Manger's tuna went needed and the terms of the case. "There will always out to reverse auction, and credit that will be applied.
be a need for someone to for another investment There can be no room for deliver the story. I don't auction for a contract to The primary objective of e-auctions transparency on pricing provide out-of-hours is to drive down purchase prices: is by any means a bad doctors for some of our various suppliers are invited thing. What I do find private hospitals. That to bid for a contract, live, online worrying is where worked well. On a and in real time portfolio companies single contract, we have a single, very managed to get the cost doubt after the bid is won profitable contract with down by 11 per cent," and the deal agreed.
broad margins that exceeds "I think one of the fears with any other," he says.
reverse auctions is that the In these globally connected, whole process is less personal transparent, reverse- than the face-to-face auctioned times, such sweet negotiations of the past," says deals are becoming rarer Fox. "The person selling does and rarer lose some degree of control but they work well for theright things." Reverse auctions are part of aglobal move towards pricetransparency. It is becomingharder and harder to hide fatmargins and pull the woolover buyers' eyes, whether inB2B or B2C markets.
It is virtually a truism that consumerconfidence oils the wheels of the globaleconomy. But new findings reveal that thecorrelation between economic growthand consumer confidence is rather moreconvoluted. Peter Kellner explains.
simply a brief respite before Voice of the people
Europe's economy turns Each month, YouGov asks a battery of questions about A series of banking disasters The trouble is, this snapshot people's views of their tipped Europe into does not give us the full income, the wider recession and left most picture. YouGov, a economy, spending plans, regions buffeted by the UK-based research and job and pay expectations worst downturn since the consulting organisation, has and the likely course of been monitoring consumer house prices. The answers confidence collapsed confidence in Britain since to some of these questions alongside output, 2002. The European are used to compile a employment, financial Commission has been monthly "Prosperity Index", markets and house prices.
tracking sentiment across which is broadly equivalent Then, earlier this year, the the European Union for to the main US Consumer recession seemed to bottom some decades. The results Confidence Index (CCI).
out, since when there have cast fresh light on the been tentative signs of a It is instructive to set the relationship between gradual recovery. Now, we YouGov data alongside what consumer sentiment and are waiting to see whether has happened to the wider the real economy.
this recovery is sustained or UK economy. Britain's economy started to contract Lehman Brothers, and again Painting by numbers
in the spring of 2008, but in the first quarter of 2009.
YouGov's Prosperity Index only slowly at first. Output The following months tells a rather different story, did not start to fall sharply seemed less bad for both however. Looked at in – in the wake of An index that had never before shifted by more
than four points in a single month, fell by nine,
six and six in three successive months to by far
the lowest level ever recorded
the shock waves that spread output and share prices, Instead, the crisis months across the globe. The fourth though we shall not have a appeared to occur six quarter of last year and the sustained picture of the year months earlier. In theory, first quarter of this year for some time.
the index stands at around were truly horrendous.
100 when the economy is Stock markets in Britain, the purring along nicely, with US and other countries steady growth, price tracked this drama, with stability and low alarming falls in the weeks unemployment. In practice, following the collapse of there tends to be a slight Consumer Confidence across Europe
, and European Commission bias towards pessimism catastrophe. Then look summer; but since even in the best of times; so what happened: March, 80; September 2008 – the very any index score in the 90s April, 74; May, 68. An index month when economies can be regarded as that had never before and stock markets started to reasonably healthy.
shifted by more than four nosedive – the trend has points in a single month, been up: slowly through the Bearing this in mind, we fell by nine, six and six in autumn, stalling again can see from the chart three successive months to during the winter, jumping Part of the recovery in confidence flows from
the fact that many people are keener to save,
and more reluctant to spend, than they
were in the good times
consumer confidence was by far the lowest level its very lowest score – 66, in buoyant for much of 2007, ever recorded.
September 2008 – the index though it started to dip in has regained half the Then the declines stopped, the autumn. By February ground it lost in the as suddenly as they had 2008 it had slipped below previous 12 months.
started. The numbers 90, but a score of 89 did bumped along for the not suggest imminent reflected the sudden, They may also want to sell increased difficulty for their home before too long, Why has the Prosperity millions of people trying to and would rather house Index followed a different make ends meet.
timeline from the realeconomy? The answer The sharp decline of last The detailed findings from becomes clear when we spring is easy to explain; the Prosperity Index look back at the events that but what about the recovery confirm this mood: people impinged most on people's in consumer confidence are more wary than they daily lives. The dip in the later in the year when the were previously about autumn of 2007 coincided economy really was buying cars, computers, with the collapse of contracting fast? The plasma screen TVs and Northern Rock in the UK, answer, I believe, lies in the foreign holidays.
and the spectacle of savers uneven impact of the Many consumers are queuing round the block to recession. For a minority, it hunkering down. Indeed, withdraw their money. The has been a catastrophe: pay part of the recovery in much sharper fall in the cuts, redundancy, negative confidence flows from the spring of 2008 took place equity, the impossibility of fact that many people are against a backdrop of the obtaining a loan or keener to save, and more nationalisation of Northern mortgage – often a reluctant to spend, than Rock, the political dispute combination of all of these.
they were in the good times.
over the withdrawal of the But for the majority, things It's not that they think the 10p tax rate, sharp rises in are different. Most people economy is about to boom the prices of petrol, gas, have kept their jobs and again: rather, it's that electricity and some basic their salary levels; they consumers feel better able foods such as bread and have no need to sell their to survive the months ahead eggs, and the first signs of a homes; their mortgages cost than they felt a year ago.
fall in house prices.
less; and inflation has fallen That is not necessarily good These things, all coming sharply (partly because of news. As the economist together, spooked British the cut in VAT last winter).
John Maynard Keynes consumers. Suddenly they In day-to-day terms, many pointed out more than 70 were terrified of what might people are as well off as years ago, consumer happen to their jobs, homes they have ever been – or prudence can spell and standard of living.
even better off.
economic disaster. We have Economics stories in the These quiet, "never-had-it- already seen how airlines news were not merely so-good" people are not and car manufacturers – remote dramas about entirely immune to stories and their workers – have people ordinary folk could about the recession. Some suffered (prompting the not understand: they fear their jobs may not last.
British and German governments to pay Home sweet home
continued falling when motorists to scrap old cars One factor concerns and buy new ones). This confidence started to pick housing tenure and the provides one example of the up. One reason is that mortgage market. In Britain complexity of the Germany's economy is and the US, with high relationship between heavily geared to exports.
home-ownership and, until consumer confidence and This is normally considered last year, a scandalously lax national prosperity. It is too virtuous, but it became a lending culture, millions of crude to say that one leads problem when the country's people could use their the other. The truth is that export markets did homes as cash cows, each interacts with the something that had never borrowing more and more other; and the form of interaction depends on a whole host of factors.
declined later, and more
slowly in Germany than in
Britain, but continued
falling when British
started to pick up
followed the average for all bubbles burst, so did European Union states, consumer confidence. Spain with the lowest scores followed a similar trajectory recorded in March and a few months later: recovery since that time.
consumer confidence thenreached its nadir lastDecember and hasrecovered slowly since.
The trajectory in othercountries has beendifferent. Germany has farfewer home-owners and avery different mortgageculture. There, EC datashow that consumerconfidence declined later,and more slowly, than inBritain or the US – but Time to spend
bankers. In the US,consumer confidence has Looking ahead, it is clear risen sharply since Barack that sustained global Obama became President.
recovery depends in part on Germans elected a new the world's consumers government in September; feeling confident enough Britons go to the polls next to spend again. They need spring at the latest. What to start buying, for happens next remains manufacturers to see their unclear but there is a order books filling up, so political window of they, in turn, have the opportunity to restore trust confidence to increase and, in turn, confidence.
investment and hireadditional workers.
And every European leaderwill need a solid mountain For countries with high of trust if consumer percentages of home- confidence is not to be owners, the housing market undermined again in the provides part of the key.
next few years as taxes rise, YouGov figures show a which they must, in order to rapid decline since the bring public finances spring in the numbers of throughout the world's people expecting house advanced economies back prices to fall further.
And there are signs thathouse prices are, indeed,beginning to pick up again.
If this is sustained (and thatprobably means coaxing thebanks into relaxing theirlending rules), then thiscould be one source of arecovery in consumerconfidence.
Peter Kellner is president
There is another factor too, of YouGov, the opinionpolling organisation. Former which economics textbooks political analyst at the BBC, he is a journalist and commentator for seldom mention. It is trust newspapers and television.
in our politicians and Children know what they want and theywant it now. The toy market alone isworth more than €55 billion a year, butchildren increasingly demand state-of-the-art gadgets as well, and influencetheir parents' technological choices.
Manufacturers and retailerssimply cannot afford toignore young consumers.
an expression coined by marketing experts to describe children's constant poll by the Credit yearning for the latest must-have toy.
These days, however, the products they crave are, increasingly, technology- actually towards the packed gadgets that, just a few years bottom end of the ago, would have been found in the hands table when it comes to of IT early-adopters in their mid-20s.
levels of pocket money.
Children are becoming the drivers of the French parents are the meanest, giving technology market across Europe, thanks an average of €17.70 per month to kids to their own purchasing power and the between the ages of six and 15. British influence they wield over the purchases parents give that age group €24 a month, made by their parents. Kids' kinship with while the Portuguese came out top, technology is not only changing the sorts shelling out €59 a month.
of toys that are being produced, but it Pocket money increases exponentially as also plays a pivotal role in adult take-up children grow older, but a significant of new products, not least because when proportion of those aged eight to 11 have kids tire of their acquisitions, they are already branched out into technology often picked up and used by the parents.
and have become regular users of musicdownloading websites. According to a report from British regulator Ofcom, UKChildren's Media Literacy, 16 per cent of Children's influence is even greater eight to 11-year-olds regularly download because they have an awful lot of money music from sites such as iTunes, even to spend. In the UK, a recent survey by though the actual payment is made the Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society through their parents' credit cards.
estimates that from birth to the age of 21,kids receive £4,144 in pocket money. The Among teenagers, meanwhile, mobile recession has seen that come down from phones soak up most of their ‘disposable £5,469 two years ago but, as there are income', so much so that companies such more than two million people in the UK as chocolate and drinks manufacturer under the age of 21, that still leaves more Cadbury Schweppes have said that than £8 billion of cash to be frittered teenagers' preference for mobile top-ups away on gadgets and gimmicks.
has hurt their sales.
Certainly mobile phones have become an toys. Kids, many of whom are using essential item for children. Ofcom's report computers for work and play, expect their shows that 56 per cent of British kids aged toys to be more interactive than ever.
eight to 11 had a mobile phone in 2007, The global toy market was up 2.3 per cent up from 48 per cent two years before.
last year and sales totalled just over €55 That increased to 90 per cent – up from billion. The US alone accounted for 30 82 per cent in 2005 – for 12 to 15-year- per cent of the market, closely followed olds. In the 15 to 24-year-old age bracket, by Japan and China. European countries mobile phones are all but ubiquitous.
made up 29 per cent of all toy sales.
BRAVE NEW WORLD
Around a quarter of all toys sold are so-called ‘smart toys' and this year's toyfairs proved a veritable feast for thetech-obsessed kid. In New York, thatstaple of the 1980s, the Rubik's Cube, wasbrought out again but this time with a touch screen offering hints on how tosolve the fiendish puzzle.
MUSIC ON THE MOVE
Mattel, home to Fisher-Price and Barbie, MP3 players, such as the Apple iPod, are unveiled the Mind Flex, in which gamers another strong draw for children, with can control the height of a ball almost half of British eight to 11-year-olds suspended in a column of air using their and three-quarters of 12 to 15-year-olds brainwaves to move it through a 3D maze. This technology is applied in Recent research by NPD Group in the US, another toy, the Star Wars Force Trainer, showed that take-up of technology by from Uncle Milton Toys. Another children has ballooned in the past five extraordinary gadget, the Fly Stick, years: around 37 per cent of kids aged allows players to levitate and contort a between four and 14 now use an MP3 piece of metal because it is essentially a player compared with just 6 per cent Van de Graaff generator.
Children have come to expect far more The growing take-up of mobile phones, interoperability between their toys and combined with increasing use of the other gadgets. Kids' entertainment internet in the academic curriculum, has company Nickelodeon recently unveiled a produced an explosion in technology range of five-inch ‘pets' that can be plugged into a computer to bring its there is a link between spending on Neopets online social networking site into technology and having children at home.
the offline world.
Comparing population data withhousehold expenditure on internet "Kids expect the latest technology and the services and technological equipment, the characters they love in their play," says EU's statistics for 2006 – the last year for Leigh Anne Brodsky, president of which there is sufficient data to draw any Nickelodeon and Viacom Consumer meaningful potential comparisons – Products. "These new toys for 2009 can throw up an interesting correlation.
empower kids of all ages to express theirpersonality with technology that's fun,easy to use and interactive." Meccano – known as Erector in the US market – has produced a range of robotsusing wifi technology that can becontrolled from a laptop and sent aroundto spy on friends and family, relayingpictures back via a built-in camera. Thelatest range of robots – Spykee Miss, Voxand Cell – can be plugged into iPods oriPhones so they can play music, dance oreven answer phone calls.
Awesome Toys, meanwhile, seems set to In Norway and Ireland, 20 per cent of the live up to its name with a stereo system population are aged between five and 19.
that displays holographic dancers on a In the UK and Poland, the figure is stage, dancing to whatever track is 18 per cent and in Spain and Germany, it played. The company is looking to is 15 per cent. Five out of the six produce a range of holographic images of (excluding Ireland) are the biggest EU real music acts, allowing children to run spenders on audiovisual items, ranging their own shows.
from 3 per cent of all household spendingfor Norway and the UK to 2 per cent for Many of these toys will be bought this Poland. In the US, households with kids year by harassed parents in the run-up to aged four to 14 own an average of 11 Christmas. Drawing an exact picture of electronic consumer devices, from games the real influence of children on the consoles and laptops to mobile phones.
purchasing of their parents is difficult, butlooking at EU statistics coveringhousehold expenditure and comparing itwith demographic data does suggest So children spend their own money ongadgets, influence household expenditure Anecdotally, there is also plenty of and affect adult take-up of technology.
evidence to suggest that having children They are, of course, the parents of in the house causes parents to spend tomorrow and the demands they are more on technology. Recent research making – that technology plays an from chip-maker Intel suggests that increasing role in toys and that their children play a pivotal role in the playthings should interact with their technology their parents use, not just mobile phones and digital music because they pester them for gadgets to players – are likely to be reinforced by the be bought for the home but because these next generation.
gadgets ultimately end up in theirparents' hands.
Harnessing the power of these youngconsumers is a constant challenge. They The process is known as ‘hand-me-up': may be demanding and they may be when children successfully demand the exceptionally materialistic, but they are latest gadget, they pass old ones on to also the most fickle consumers of the lot their mother or father, usually accompanied by a short tutorial in howthe gadget actually works. A survey ofcollege students conducted by Angus ReidStrategies for Intel Canada showed that45 per cent had ‘handed up' gadgets,including computers, laptops, mobilephones and MP3 players.
"The idea of hand-me-up technologyreinforces the shift we are seeing in howthe different generations use and dependon technology," says Doug Cooper,country manager, IntelCanada. More than one in 10of the students polled saidthe technology theirparents had inherited was animprovement or upgradeon what they hadpreviously been using.
arlo Gianuzzi has one, overridingconviction – a fervent belief in "Without passion, there is no excellence.
Without passion, there is no quality. Tobe the best, you have to be passionateabout what you are doing," he says.
A father of five, whose children rangebetween the ages of eight and 18,Gianuzzi became chief executive ofItalian retailer Limoni in July 2008, justas the eurozone was sinking into theworst recession that it had experiencedin decades.
Limoni is Italy's largest beauty chain, aretail group with 500 stores scatteredacross the country and a further 50 inEastern Europe. But, as Gianuzzidiscovered when he became chiefexecutive of the group last summer, sizeis not everything.
"Limoni was the largest in Italy in termsof market share – it has 15 per cent of thebeauty market and its nearest rival hasaround 5 per cent – but the statistics donot really explain the true picture. Thestores were a bit tired and customerswere confused about what the companystood for," says Gianuzzi.
Carlo Gianuzzi is chief executive
Gianuzzi was determined to change of Limoni, the Bridgepoint-
things – and knew he had the mandate backed Italian beauty chain.
to do so. He was well known to He used to race motorbikes.
Bridgepoint's partner responsible forItalian investments, Lucio Ranaudo: the Now he devotes his energy to
two men had worked together several making Limoni a success, despite
years ago on an investment in Italy's the adverse economic climate.
leading jewellery chain.
"Lucio and I were colleagues at myprevious job and he asked me to be chiefexecutive of one of his investments. Thatwas back in 2004," says Gianuzzi.
Ranaudo joined Bridgepoint in 2007. Ayear later, he asked Gianuzzi to take thehelm at Limoni.
"I accepted the challenge for threereasons. First, I really respect LucioRanaudo and enjoyed working with himbefore. Second, Limoni is an importantand well-known company in Italy with asignificant share of the beauty market.
And third, I knew the job would be areal challenge. There was a lot of workto do – and that was exciting for me,"says Gianuzzi.
Limoni was founded in 1998 andexpanded fast, thanks to a raft of deftlyexecuted acquisitions. Small chains wereacquired in swift succession, butinsufficient thought was devoted toensuring that the company could reallykeep pace with its expansion.
The same language
"It was run more like a family firm.
When I arrived, there was very little
organisation and it was quite
unstructured. It was a fascinating
business but it needed a facelift.
Fortunately, Bridgepoint and I have
similar values. We speak the same
language," says Gianuzzi.
That language has been used to effectsignificant change at Limoni. In the firstthree months after Gianuzzi joined, a raft robust incentive plan has beenintroduced to encourage shop workers tosell more goods.
"Everyone's interests are aligned and ithas really worked. People are putting alot more effort into their work; they areenjoying themselves more and they aremaking more money," says Gianuzzi.
Helped by Bridgepoint and its experiencein retail, Gianuzzi has not been focusinghis efforts solely on management andother staff at Limoni; he has also beenmaking substantial changes to the waythe stores look and what they sell.
of appointments were made, including anew finance director, commercial "Even before I took the job, I knew there director, purchasing director, retail was a lot to do and that was part of the director and IT director. The company excitement for me. The stores needed also created the position of operations renovating, the merchandising mix director, responsible for logistics and needed to be changed, the pricing was unclear and there was not enoughpromotional activity," he says.
"At first, people were very apprehensivefor their jobs. Then they realised that Defining a niche
what we were doing was for the good of Limoni always sold a combination of the company – and that meant their own designer perfumes, creams and mass- good as well," Gianuzzi explains.
market products – makes such as Nivea "Attitudes have really changed – for the and L'Oreal. There was also a small better. People are committed, determined own-label offer covering items such as and focused. They have become much shampoo and hand cream.
more passionate about their work. And "But consumers did not really know this has filtered down from management what the stores were about so we are level to the shop floor." increasing the proportion of designer Staff are also incentivised to do well. The goods – ultimately, about 40 per cent of company has 2,500 employees, many of the merchandise will be mass-market and whom were unmotivated. Now, training 60 per cent designer labels. We are also programmes have been put in place to expanding our own-label range," help staff and, equally importantly, a explains Gianuzzi.
"In the first half of this year, Italianconsumption fell 9 per cent. Against that,our turnover was similar to the prioryear. No one wants to report a decline insales but we did really well by comparisonwith other retailers. Turnover held upbecause our staff were more motivatedand our price position was better. Theaverage ticket price has risen and this hasbeen very helpful," he says.
Gianuzzi has introduced many morepromotions as well. "You have toencourage people to come in and spend.
Every week we have a special promotion "Our stores are big so we need to sell a – an offer of some kind, often relating to wide variety of products – from shampoo the time of year or a topical event. This is to perfume but we want to make sure quite different from most other stores in customers understand what we are. We Italy, which tend to be less aggressive.
are not cheap and cheerful. We are not We are also spending time on our loyalty exclusive and expensive. We are middle card. We have a million customers and it to upper-middle and we are the only is an excellent way to communicate with Italian chain in that space," he adds.
them," he says.
Gianuzzi is nothing if not a realist. Fully aware of the challenging position he is in, Limoni's rapid expansion in the early part he is utterly focused on revamping of this decade meant that there was little Limoni and improving its brand image.
homogeneity across the group. Stores "We have to get beyond the recession looked very different depending on and we have to gain credibility with our where they were and when they had been customers and all our stakeholders. This acquired. Some also looked rather tired.
is not an easy task, particularly as I think "We are renovating stores and making the recovery will be slow and next year sure Limoni has a clear image in the will be hard for everyone too," he says.
consumer's mind," says Gianuzzi.
Looking ahead, however, Gianuzzi has Undertaking such a project would be ambitious plans for Limoni. "Everything difficult enough at the best of times. But depends on market conditions but if the past year has been one of the things pick up, we would like to grow the toughest on record for the retail industry.
network over the next five years, including stores in Eastern Europe. There "I don't know if it's harder to manage five are many regions in Italy where we can children or manage Limoni. Luckily my open more stores, particularly in the wife is a very good family manager. She south. And we already have stores in is like the HR director at home," he says.
Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia so we would For Gianuzzi, this domestic management like to add to those," he says.
is essential as he lives away from homeMonday to Friday.
Need for speed
Gianuzzi is serious, determined and
"I work in Bologna during the week and dedicated to his job. But he does have a my family home is near Venice so I come home for the weekend, more or less.
When I get back on Friday night, it is a bit "I love speed. I love fast cars and fast like a party. I try to organise a pizza bikes and I used to compete in motorbike outing for all of us every Friday. The races. Unfortunately, it's hard to find the younger ones love it, the older ones rebel time these days and it doesn't really fit a bit and want to see their friends but I with having a wife and five kids. But I do think it is important for us to spend time still have a very fast bike, a Yamaha R6, together as a family," he says I which is the same bike as Valentino Rossidrove when he won MotoGP this year,"he says.
"I also love sports cars but the speed limithas changed in Italy so you can only do130kph now. I try to respect that," he says, with a smile.
Roaring across the Italian countryside provides a pleasant antidote to the stress of the working day. As does coming home to a large, noisy family.
Gruppo Miroglio, Stroili Oro
Married with five children
Balancing family life and work
Most important lesson:
Learning to listen to others
The European industrial sector had slowed even before the
global economic downturn but there is still a place for
forward-thinking European industrial companies on the world
stage, says Bruno Lafont, chairman and chief executive of the
world's largest cement group, Lafarge.
ery few people have a clear view The global economic slowdown has on how the rest of 2009 will created the most serious crisis for almost fourth quarter. If you look at the have been hit hard by the correction uncertainty still surrounding the global and the lack of vital financing. But economy, and the different stimulus globalisation has made this recession packages that are yet to take effect in very different from its predecessors.
certain markets, it is very difficult to The world has been affected by a crisis give an estimate of when the markets that began in the Western financial will recover and to imagine the markets. We could all see that our inevitable changes to the balance of the increasingly liberalised, integrated and global economy.
global financial marketplace was mature markets. The global cement connected by highly complicated, industry and the construction markets it structured risk products, but none of us serves are in themselves an early could have anticipated the speed of the barometer for economic growth and unravelling that took place, especially market confidence.
after the demise of Lehman Brothers.
At Lafarge, we see the infrastructure The drying-up of credit hit indebted stimulus packages starting to take effect, corporates and consumers alike and the in China in particular. During my last ensuing panic and loss of confidence was visit to the Sichuan and Guizhou regions fuelled by the 24-hour global news cycle.
in June, I saw at first hand the work that Despite this, each economy has has now started on major projects and responded to the crisis in its own way.
the direct impact of the Chinese stimulus This has cleared a path for a new global plans on the construction industry. But economic landscape, one where there is timetables differ country by country.
a greater balance between emerging and COLLABORATION IS KEY cement industry, the way that products In developed countries, over the past such as ready-mix concrete are year we have seen sales decrease by 20 manufactured means operations need to 30 per cent and we do not anticipate a to be situated close to the markets significant improvement in short-term demand anytime soon. Experience tells Although heavy industry's contribution us, however, that recovery from cyclical to the overall economy has decreased in construction downturns over the past past 20 years, it is been seen through In the same way that we were clear that no other a gradual increase surprised by the crisis, with more region enjoys such international co-operation it a concentration of market confidence is possible that we could be just architects, such a returns. I strongly as surprised by the speed strong scientific of the recovery tradition, so many future depends on large construction collaboration between countries and groups and several global leaders in companies alike. In the same way that we were surprised by the crisis, it ispossible that we could be just as In France, for example, Lafarge has the surprised by the speed of the recovery.
world's largest construction materialsR&D centre of its kind, developing high In the face of such challenging performance products with improved conditions, companies that have large aesthetics and usability.
geographic portfolios and a focus oninnovation are likely to gain acompetitive advantage. Lafarge is a casein point. It has positioned itself to benefitfrom high-growth emerging markets,operating in newly industrialised parts ofthe world that have their own competingindustries. To remain competitive inthese dynamic economies, I believe These include a cement that solidifies companies should place emphasis on after just two hours and another product human development and ensure they that can create perfectly flat surfaces integrate fully into the local economy, as without strengthening rods and is used Lafarge has done. At the same time, of to make sustainable, cost-efficient course, we continue to manage our industrial flooring. We even make operations in developed countries. In the flexible cement.
REDUCING CARBON FOOTPRINTS for the past 25 years, and concrete will Sustainable construction has become a remain one of the most vital products high priority for the building industry, as after water. Even though this pattern is climate change has risen up the global likely to change in 2009 as world cement agenda. As is well known, the demand drops, emerging markets account for the vast majority of cement consumption, with The combination of demand from China using almost dynamic emerging markets and natural resources, Europe's position as a hub of innovation and knowledge will drive long-term growth for the strong, long-term started taking significant measures to fundamentals such as urbanisation, reduce its carbon footprint.
demographic growth and infrastructure The global cement industry is at a needs in developing economies. The downturn in the cycle, but it is not global population is predicted to reach experiencing a structural crisis. Global nine billion by 2050; the housing and demand for cement has grown annually transport requirements of this enlargedpopulation will be significant.
I believe the combination of demandfrom dynamic emerging markets andEurope's position as a hub of innovationand knowledge will drive long-termgrowth for the construction sector. Yes,we are in a recession, and yes, we faceclear challenges from the threat ofclimate change, but with humandevelopment, investment in innovation,new products and technologies, theEuropean industrial sector will continueto meet the needs of the population,while constantly improving itsenvironmental impact I As large swathes of the retail sector
struggle to combat the recession, one
section of the industry remains
relatively immune. Internet retailing –
or e-tailing – has soared in the past
decade and is forecast to double in
size over the next five years. >>>
which would mean e-sales will have all but doubled to Across Europe, it seems as if dismissed the idea €203 billion by 2014. There online shoppers are less that we would buy is good reason to believe its sensitive to adverse washing powder online, forecasts: the evidence is economic conditions than never mind shoes, dresses that internet sales have the average European or medicines such as been relatively unaffected consumer. Structural Tamiflu. But today, the by the global recession – and demographic changes internet is the fastest- indeed, it could even be also work in favour of growing retail outlet driving more of us online.
anywhere and any retailer The British Retail "Online retailers will that does not have a Consortium reported that, continue to benefit from a significant presence online in the month before steady migration to online is missing out on one of the Christmas 2008 – a period shopping. Generational biggest opportunities for of real gloom among change alone will grow the boosting sales.
consumers – internet sales market by several hundred It has been anexplosive decade for "The most important shop window for any retailer is
web retailing. The its online presence. For every pound of pure online
revenue, an opportunity exists several times that
sales index, whichmeasures online value in web-to-store revenue"
spending in the UK,has recorded a 5,000 per rose by 30 per cent, even as thousand people per year, cent rise since it launched in high street sales declined by as young adults are much April 2000. High street 1.4 per cent. And Forrester more likely to shop online store sales rose just 21 per reports that 80 per cent of than their grandparents cent over the same period.
internet users regularly are," says Forrester.
research products online, Growth is moderating but it More consumers than ever while a third use it to buy is still remarkably healthy.
are prepared to trust online services such as travel and In 2008, online sales across stores. "E-tailing satisfies insurance. Price comparison Europe rose by 18 per cent three key objectives – sites such as Kelkoo to €116 billion, according to convenience, value and internet specialist availability," says Jason moneysupermarket.com for consultancy Forrester McGibbon, the director financial services regularly Research. The firm expects responsible for Bridgepoint's growth to continue at an European consumer favourite websites.
average of 8 per cent a year, investment team.
Around 37 per cent of Europeans alreadyregularly shop online andthis is expected to grow to54 per cent by 2014. TheBritish have been the mostenthusiastic web shoppers,spending an average ofalmost €1,400 a head in2008, compared with €825in Germany and €754 inFrance. But other countriesare catching up rapidlywith the UK,helped by greaterbroadband UK online spending has surged by 5,000 per cent since April 2000.
High street store sales rose just 21 per cent over the same period
the roll-out ofmore interesting STAR PLAYER
list. Recent signings include online retailing outlets.
A classic example is ASOS, Reiss, Polo Ralph Lauren, the UK-based retail Gap and Mango.
business, whose name "The web has reached such stands for As Seen on a level of sophistication that Screen. A decade ago, the The most important
it can be an extremely company did not exist: now shop window for any retailer
powerful retailing tool.
it is one of the world's The ASOS catwalk is a is its online presence
fastest-growing fashion classic example. Consumers retailers, having roughly can see models wearing doubled annual sales in their selection, providing each of the past three years.
them with a much better Once, the more upmarket feel for the product," says designers would have been reluctant to sign on to astore where they had no Chief executive Nick influence over the display of Robertson is accelerating their merchandise or the his drive overseas and the quality of their service: international business now today brands are queuing accounts for almost a fifth up to be added to the ASOS of sales, up from 10 per cent a year ago. There are clear been growing rapidly on the down, as it can reduce the advantages to expanding back of designer offerings number of new store through virtual, rather than from fashion houses such as openings," says analyst physical, stores – and not Prada and Armani. Luxury Simon Chinn, co-author of just because there is no goods have come late to the the report. "The economic need to invest in expensive web – upmarket brands downturn has put pressure property purchase and have been concerned about on all luxury retailers to fittings. It is also far easier undermining their exclusive to research which products image and the risks of Books, travel and clothing and web formats work best counterfeiting. Now, remain the most popular where. Robertson admits, however, they are coming online purchases but the however, that logistics to realise that the internet web's reach is extending to could still be an issue: offers an ideal way of cosmetics, health products delivery will initially be expanding their brand and footwear. Monied done from the UK to give presence and penetrating consumers have been the the company more control new markets.
most enthusiastic online shoppers so far – Around 37 per cent of Europeans already regularly shop online
perhaps because they and this is expected to grow to 54 per cent by 2014
were more able initially to afford the broadbandconnection that is all but and avoid the need for essential for a good expensive inventory in READJUSTING THE MODEL
In a recent report on luxury
shopping experience – but retailers, consultants the rapid roll-out "The bonus of the internet Verdict Research said the of faster connections and is that you can get to lots of economic crisis had the belt-tightening ethos people without having to changed the nature of that has followed the open stores. It's entirely consumer spending, economic crisis means that logical; in order to sell sending shoppers away the web's attractions are something in France, before spreading down the socio- the internet came along, I consumption and towards economic scale.
had to open a shop there," more considered, cost- All of which suggests that says Robertson.
retailers ignore the web at But ASOS already has "The internet will be a their peril. Consultants at plenty of competition from major sales driver going Deloitte say: "The internet European offerings such as forward. It will enable is now one of the most Italy's YOOX and Germany's broader reach, help with powerful tools for mytheresa.com, which have advertising and bring costs interacting with consumers.
Not only is it a valuable their retail customers. The selling tool, it is also a great Deloitte warns that retailers recession, and the tool for learning about that fail to capitalise on disruptive power of the consumers, telling stories to consumers' growing internet, means that could consumers, and enabling enthusiasm for the internet now be less of an issue. If consumers to find the risk losing out not just to Alice.com succeeds in the information they need for rival retailers but to the US, similar services are successful shopping. For likely to emerge in Europe.
retailers, the challenge is to Many of these kinds of "The best retailers will be intercept consumers online companies have realised the those thatsuccessfully use "The internet allows you to get to lots of people without having to
open stores. In order to sell something in France,
seamlessly deliver before the internet came along, I had to open a shop there"
information andproducts to before they go elsewhere to internet is a powerful tool consumers in conjunction get their information or for them to get closer to with store experiences," purchase their goods." their customers – and they says Deloitte. "As internet are increasingly willing to shopping grows as a share Data suggests too that do so. In the US, a new of total shopping, failure to consumers will buy more internet delivery service, execute this strategy could from retailers that are well Alice.com, was launched spell trouble for retailers." represented online – not just recently, backed by some of from the internet but also Success requires an online the country's biggest from their physical stores.
service at least as good as manufacturers of staples that available in stores, "The most important shop such as detergents and from the design of the window for any retailer is website to the delivery of its online presence. For manufacturers will fund the goods. A growing every pound of pure online much of the cost of number of retailers are revenue, an opportunity maintaining stocks, while outsourcing these logistics exists several times that Alice.com will organise to the professionals: value in web-to-store collection from warehouses Amazon, for example, offers revenue," says McGibbon.
and delivery to stores.
a marketplace to a host of There have been previous smaller retailers as well as attempts to run this kind of supplying behind-the- service but they failed scenes services for retailers because manufacturers such as Marks & Spencer.
were unwilling to upset While conventional retailers Retailers are also using have to maintain expensive social networking sites to So are we heading for a retail space, employ staff drive sales. In the UK, world in which we do and cover rising overheads Mothercare, the store group everything online? That such as electricity and rates, that sells products for may sound far-fetched but a pure online store can mothers-to-be and babies, the industry is evolving fast.
operate with nothing more launched its own site, Delivery charges are than sophisticated gurgle.com. ASOS uses disappearing and the quality technology and a handful of social networking sites to of service is improving – staff. ASOS, for example, showcase its products and many web retailers now employs fewer than 200 other retailers, including allow customers to select staff for its £165 million of Bridgepoint's Pets at Home, convenient delivery times, sales; UK retailer Blacks are looking at this area.
including weekend delivery.
Leisure, which isonly slightly While conventional retailers have to maintain expensive retail
space, employ staff and cover rising overheads such as electricity and
more than 5,000.
rates, a pure online store can operate with nothing more than
Having a virtualrather than an sophisticated technology and a handful of staff
"These sites work also dramatically cut stock Food retailers are upgrading particularly well for piles: Amazon, whose their websites, highlighting specialist retailers, like Pets online bookstore was one of special offers and displaying at Home, which attract the pioneers of internet sell-by dates, in an effort to consumers with a strong retailing, keeps limited make the experience more interest and a real strength stocks, more often acting as like shopping in a store, of feeling about a particular conduit between the without the hassle of getting category," says McGibbon.
publisher and the in the car, negotiating final customer.
crowded check-outs andcarrying heavy shopping.
We may be approaching atime when shopping centresoperate like displaycabinets, allowing shoppersto feel and touch productsor seek advice aboutinnovations, before headinghome and ordering theirgoods online I The clean plate campaign
Once, people ate what was on their plate and did not ask too many questions about it. Nowadays, allergies, food intolerances and downright whimsy are commonplace. Nick Lander, the Financial Times restaurant correspondent,
analyses the rise and rise of faddishness. We cannot include Lander's picture, as he prefers to remain anonymous… Not just once but twice, Over the years, Americans abroad have become I watched a diner fall fast notorious for their requests, particularly actors or singers, asleep at a table right across who would confidently ask for such extraordinary dishes from where I was sitting. Both as egg-white omelettes and other entirely bizarre, but times, we were in Michelin-starred slimming, fare. Their view is that, as they are paying the restaurants: the first in Carcassonne, south- bill, dishes should be amended to suit them. Lawyers, west France and the second at Nico Ladenis's restaurant meanwhile, have subtly tried to persuade chefs and in central London. Ladenis also spotted the dormant restaurateurs to be less confrontational, suggesting diner, went up to the table, put his napkin over his head discretion in such matters is a more productive way to and left him to it. Ladenis was in a good mood so he did handle customers and run a successful business.
not take his customer's mistimed siesta personally.
But perhaps the biggest change in our restaurant That diner was lucky. But a group of people trying to experiences can be seen in our interaction with the have a good time at a recently opened restaurant in chefs who run them or cook in them. These gods of the Mayfair, London were less fortunate. Everyone in the kitchen were once able to get away with intolerance and trade knows the chef is particularly hard line. But the rudeness because knowledge rested solely with them.
successful record producer entertaining his daughter on Today, thanks to their books, television programmes and her birthday along with several of her friends was the enormous number of recipes freely available on the blissfully unaware of this fact.
internet, we all either know, or can easily discover, whichingredients are immutable in a dish and which can be Unfortunately, his naiveté was soon shattered. The easily amended.
birthday girl asked for the spaghetti with lobster –without the lobster. The chef said No Way and a At the last Taste of London event in Regent's Park, humdinger of an argument ensued, ruining the birthday London, I sampled a delicious dish of slices of raw girl's evening and doubtless infuriating her father.
kingfish with a mango sauce at the stand manned byPied à Terre restaurant. When I congratulated Shane The brutal fact is, most chefs do not take kindly to Osborn, Pied à Terre's Australian chef, he thanked me requests from their customers to remove or substitute but said he had neither created nor tasted it. Five years ingredients in any given dish. Meddle with the menu, ago, his body had responded to the stress he was then they argue, and you simply destroy a restaurant's raison under by reacting violently to fish and shellfish and since d'être: you might as well stay at home and construct then he has eaten neither. Instead, his sous-chef your own meal. The whole point of going to a restaurant prepares and tastes everything piscine.
is to enjoy the chef's skills not just in creating the menubut also in executing it.
Today, food fads are for chefs not just customers, itseems. While one person's pickiness is another person's This was certainly the case when I owned the Soho genuine allergy, it is lamentable that faddishness is so restaurant L'Escargot 20 years ago. Our menu carried widespread. There are now more restaurants than at any not a single health warning. But today, virtually every time in our history but also more serving bland and menu carries a line at the bottom stating that certain unforgettable food.
dishes may contain traces of nuts. Bar menus adviseagainst drinking spirits while consuming oysters because Restaurants should not go out of their way to shock but the combination is considered harmful for the digestion.
the best will always surprise and excite – as long as we And most waiting staff, even most chefs, will consider allow our taste buds to rise to the challenge I requests to omit one specific ingredient from a dish,although they are still reluctant, justifiably in my opinion,to substitute a diner's preferred ingredient for one that ison the menu.
Une nouvelle génération de femmes d'affaires conquiert le monde et l'Afrique. Elles sont diplômées, à la tête d'entreprises, elles gèrent des projets ambitieux, des budgets importants, des ressources humaines. Elles sont l'élite de la finance et de l'économie dans leur pays. Elles construisent une nouvelle image de la femme Working Girl et Business Woman.
The NO/ONOO(-) cycle as the central cause of heart failure: Prevention by raising Nrf2 and probable cycle role in many other Martin L. Pall Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Basic Medical Sciences Washington State University Stockholm 2016-03-09 I have published in my book and in 32 published papers, evidence and arguments that 23 different chronic inflammatory diseases are probably caused by a biochemical vicious cycle mechanism known as the NO/ONOO- cycle. Each of these also are also known to have oxidative/nitrosative stress and most have been shown to have elevation of other cycle elements: mitochondrial dysfunction and elevated NMDA activity and many of them have been shown to also have elevated NF-kappa B activity and tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) depletion as wel .