Ikea, HMV, energy prices, Thomas Cook, Spotify: your commercial news round-up
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At LawCareers.Net we know that commercial awareness might seem like a vague and meaningless term that law firms and recruiters throw around to bamboozle you. That’s why we’ve created our new commercial awareness hub to keep relevant information in one place, and we recently filmed a video offering some key insight into how to stay commercial aware, as well as a couple of case studies to think about in a commercial context. First up, though, here’s our summary of some important business news stories from this week:
- Swedish furniture shop Ikea is looking into allowing customers to lease rather than buy furniture. The pilot project in Switzerland marks a more sustainable approach to the business, with the store saying it is exploring ways for customers to “buy, care for and pass on products.” Office furniture such as desks and chairs are expected to be the first products trialled in the project, with kitchens also a possibility.
- Collapsed music chain HMV has been bought by Sunrise Records – a Canadian firm owned by entrepreneur Doug Putman. Putman commented that he was “delighted to acquire the most iconic music and entertainment business in the UK” and the firm will be buying 100 of HMV’s stores out of administration, although 27 stores will still close.
- Energy prices will increase for more than half of households in the UK as regulator Ofgem raises the price caps. The 11 million customers who are on a default, or standard variable tariff, will be affected and should expect to pay around an extra £117 a year. Consumer groups say that they can shop around for a better deal.
- Thomas Cook is considering selling its airline business after the travel agent saw its operating loss increase by £14 million year on year to hit £60 million for the three months to the end of December. At the company’s last update in November, its debts had accumulated to £389 million. Easyjet and Ryanair could be contenders to buy the airline if it goes on sale.
- Spotify is planning to expand its music business to podcasts as the Swedish company has acquired podcast firms Gimlet and Anchor. Spotify’s founder and chief executive Daniel Elk said that his company needed to break into the small, but fast-growing podcasting market in order to tap revenue streams beyond its core music service.