Government officials took time off from Brexit negotiations last month to launch two crucial initiatives: A ‘traffic light’ scheme from DEFRA proposing retailers add red, amber or green labels to show if their packaging is recyclable. And a ‘calorie cap’ recommendation to limit the size of takeaway pizzas. A pleasant change to worrying about Brexit no doubt but rather missing the point – the need to reduce consumption. Curbing the volume of unnecessary packaging and banning double sausage and egg McMuffins would be a start. Quite how HMG would implement these proposals is not clear. Maybe Brexit will provide an answer.
In retail today we take many things for granted and forget someone had to invent them. Machine-readable barcodes – the basis of stock control and EPOS – were the brainchild of Alan Haberman in the 1970’s but 40 years before then the late Sylvan Goldman, owner of ‘Humpty Dumpty’ grocery stores in Oklahoma invented the ‘greatest ever development in the history of merchandising’ – the shopping trolley.
In Lewis Carroll’s ‘Through the Looking-Glass’ Alice takes part in a race with the Red Queen only to discover that despite running constantly she remains in the same place. The Red Queen is not sympathetic: ‘A slow sort of country!’ says the Queen. ‘Here you see it takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast!”
The Panama Papers, squirming politicians, Sainsbury’s acquisition of Argos, taking your dog to work and the supermarket and Storm Gertrude. Jonathan Owen’s monthly round-up of the news is here.
Jonathan Owen discusses controversial government cuts, sugary drink consumption and restrictions on Sunday trading
Fictional East-end villains, Tesco suppliers and that £240 million accounting scandal
Christmas trading results confirmed the inexorable move to online plus another problem for struggling retailers
Jonathan Owen discusses the supermarket milk war and the reasons behind it. Plus, what happens when ‘unexpected items’ appear in supermarket bagging areas
This month Jonathan Owen talks about fairness: the new Competition and Markets Authority, Amazon Reviews, Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England’s warning to bankers on Fair and Effective Markets, the Cabinet reshuffle and QR coded Canadian lobsters