Round Up.

I can’t seem to keep up with various things happening in the UK travel industry as well as the wider business world.  On top of that I need to find a name and domain name that suits this blog.  Looking over old posts I generally comment on business, bit of travel and a tiny bit of technology too, Business Nibbles?  Exploring Business?  HELP!!!.

I have recorded my first interview which will hopefully go liven in the next couple of weeks, it needs editing and formatting etc and I need to work out how to get it on iTunes.  The interview is with the owner / founder of Hot Numbers Coffee, I hope people (my one listener?!) finds it interesting, I think it is but then I am a novice and have no idea what I am doing!.  It’s a bit like a fireside chat rather than a hard hitting interview.  More  on that soon.

Just thought I’d pick out a few interesting stories of the week, here goes:

So, I see there are rumours Expedia are buying Travelocity:  http://tinyurl.com/psjpt44  I guess this isn’t really a surprise.  Sabre have off loaded lastminute.com recently, if they don’t see Travelocity as core business then it’s got to go.  It shall be interesting to see if the rumours are true, is this is market share play by expedia?

The FT reported on Thursday that BMW are pushing back tech co’s requests to access the digital data which could be collected by their vehicles.   BMW (and other manufacturers I guess)  could record travel information (where, when, how fast, how many stops etc..) as well as passengers.  There seems a demand from advertising companies for this data so they can sell it ( I assume).  The car manufacturers do not want to give the info away.  Worth a read on the FT website if you get chance.

Google Glass has halted production.  This has had some mockery but so what if they stopped production?  Google have pushed innovate in this area far further than anyone before and maybe this isn’t quite the right execution, yet.  I imagine its difficult to have so many spotlights on everything you do, one can’t expect everything to be mega successful, people and businesses have to be allowed to fail in order to move forward and shouldn’t always be punished when in pursuit of growth and progress.

Kuoni Tour Operations up for sale.  This was a surprise and is an interesting turn of events.  I see Kuoni as a great brand, I have zero knowledge of the balance sheet, trading performance etc and so I won’t comment on that.  One can only assume Kuoni group believe the tour op isn’t core or other parts of the business have a preferred cost / profit ratio which they wish to focus on.  None the less, from the outside it seems like a great business and is positioned well, not in mainstream mass market.  I can only see potential here, I hope they find a good owner to help push the business forward.

Finally, Target pull out of Canada after a $2bn (!!!!) loss after only 2 years as reported by the FT today.  I, probably naively, see steps in internationalisation for example, a UK company going into Ireland is a small step.  You’ve got the same language just a different currency whilst the cultures aren’t a million miles away so little adaptation is required.  Same for a US company going into Canada.  So how did Target lose money everyday ?  Unfortunately the FT column doesn’t investigate as to why Target have been unsuccessful only hinting it’s to do with lack of stock, uncompetitive prices and poor merchandise (admittedly, this would be a fatal combination).

Targets strap line “Expect more, pay less” means they’re differentiating on price.  Consumers expect them to always, no exceptions, have the lowest prices.  It’s an impossible promise in todays world of rapid technological development.  So, if Canadians were indeed expecting to pay less but found that not true, why would they move their loyalty / routine?  they wouldn’t.

I’ve said before and know from first hand experience internationalisation is difficult especially of a consumer facing brand.  It’s an interesting subject and maybe one I’ll explore more in future.

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