Month: September 2014

Tesco Of Very Little Help


For many years they have been the face of supermarkets in Britain, with the simple slogan ‘every little helps’ – but the team at The Speaker take a closer look to see if the same can still be said after the supermarket giant has been recording a loss in sales for the last 3 years , which lead to chief executive Terry Leahy to step down before his 14th anniversary at the supermarket chain.

Sir Terry had been in charge at Tesco from 1997 to 2011, where he had built the retailer into the worlds third largest retailer – but since Mr Leahy’s successor (Philip Clarke) has come, he has oversaw 3 years of falling sales in the UK, in the 1st week of June this year Tesco reported a 3.7% slide in like-for-like sales it’s worst quarterly figures for 40 years.

In Sir Terry’s time in charge in the 14 year period, Tesco was known as one of the supermarket heavyweights – and with Tesco stores on every street corner it seemed, ‘the machine’ that was Tesco was ever growing. Ventures into the clothing market followed where the supermarket had stores which didn’t sell groceries and only sold clothes, a Tesco mobile network has expanded where the price of their mobile phone tariffs were beating more known competitors like o2 and Vodafone in some areas.

A venture into the USA followed for the ever expanding supermarket, despite many a public protest of the rate of growth of Tesco and that ‘there were to many stores in our city’, the supermarket pursued with their plans never the less. The Tesco brand seemed to be going one way – and that was up.

Unfortunately for Tesco the venture in America didn’t take off – and back home discount supermarkets Lidl and Aldi were closing the gap on their bigger rival. With the UK in a recession both retailers based their marketing on saving the ‘customer money in troubling times’. Aldi with their very aggressive ‘swap and save advertising’ really starting have an effect on Tesco.

With political turmoil in The Middle East, Tesco’s stance on buying products from Israeli manufacturers left a few customer unhappy – which lead customers to go to other supermarket stores who opted to not make such a stance. Whether it be good business sense or a genuine humanitarian decision Tesco could have potentially seen the effects of making such a stance.

In efforts to improve their fortunes, former Unilver turnaround specialist Dave Lewis will be starting on Monday 31st August 2014 ( a month earlier than planned). Lewis succeeds Philip Clarke who quit in July shortly after issuing his 2nd profit warning.

Tesco’s new boss could bring in measures such as bringing in a chain to compete with discounters, one to target the mid-market sector and a third to challenge the up market sector. Tesco has been the face of the Uk supermarket for some time – but has lost ground on it’s rivals in the discount retail sector, how ironic is it that Tesco’s former chief executive left Tesco and joined rivals B&M a year later in 2012. They say ‘if you cant beat them join them’ and in Sir Terry Leahy’s case that seems to be the case.

Apple Iwatch Review

The Apple Iwatch despite its sunning looks, doesn't offer anything really different to what their rivals are offering.

The Apple Iwatch despite its sunning looks, doesn’t offer anything really different to what their rivals are offering.

How do they do it? How do Apple market their products in such a way to make them enticing, even though they always seem to be a step or 2 behind their rivals. Apple are going to release the eagerly anticipated Iwatch , and what can be said about there watch already is that it’s bound to be popular, after all it’s made by Apple. The Californian company have come into this market very late as you already know. Apple’s rivals Samsung and Sony Respectively, have already released their versions of watches several years earlier with similar features to what Apple are boasting of now.

The Apple Iwatch has all kinds of apps on it, but none of them seem to be that new or ground breaking. My brothers Smart Watch has apps such as Whatsapp on it, Apple boast of different coloured straps with all the colours of the rainbow available, again Apple’s rivals already give the consumer that option.

What potentially sets Apple apart from it’s rivals is that they know how to market a product. Apple could make a Alarm Clock and their marketing team would know how to make cues run miles long out of retail stores. With the example of the Iwatch it self though , the looks of the watch device is a thing of beauty, and the sheer elegance of the way Apple designs it’s products is something to be admired.

Maybe it’s a bit hypocritical then for me to criticise Apple as I am writing this review with a Apple Laptop . Even in that sector (laptops/ tablets devices) Apple’s functionality may not be as good as it’s rivals, but the looks are something which some may define as beauty itself.

If reports are to be believed the Apple Iwatch will be roughly about $149-229, but with the launch date rumoured to be late 2014 that figure could easily change. With no real ground breaking functions or apps, but there are handy little touches such as senses that collect data of sleep activity for example and you will also be able to keep track of calorie consumption. Samsung’s Galaxy Gear alternative will provide the alternative to this who aren’t as keen on Apple products. The Korean manufacture is expected to release their latest instalment of their Gear range earlier than their bitter American rivals.

What you can’t understate is the prestige of on Apple product, with the example of my laptop, I know that there are better alternatives out there in the market, but the prestige of it being an Apple product made me decide to get the laptop that I did.

What I would say is that if you like Apple products, and are a die hard fan of the Californian manufacture then the Iwatch is for you, if not then there are manufactures who have the same product and functions wise it is better than the Apple. It’s like owning a sports car- you know it doesn’t make sense getting one – but life doesn’t always work with making logical decisions.

Iphone 6 Review

The Apple Iphone 6 is expected to take the mobile phone market by storm.

The Apple Iphone 6 is expected to take the mobile phone market by storm.

Have you ever been to a social convention where you waiting for your friend or family member who is unbelievably late again? Maybe not the best analogy, but the Iphone 6 has that simliar kind of feel to it – always being the last one to the social convention, technology wise.

So it begs the question then why is the Apple Iphone 6 getting a lot of hype about it. The American company informed the world with a glitzy presentation early in September that there new Iphone 6 is soon to hit the shelves. With the release of a Iphone ,cues outside Apple’s many stores in the Uk is guaranteed to be a campsite for many die hard fans, where some have reportedly been waiting for days and have camped outside stores.

That proved to be the case when the Iphone officially launched , many retailers and experts have forecasted that the demand of the Iphone 6 is going to be very high. Apple IPhones look gorgeous, most don’t deny that but it’s prehistoric features such as 128gb in built memory leaves a lot to be dseried, how Samsung and other Android manufacturers will say that there phones had this sometime before the Iphone 6.

The 8mp camera is hardly revolutionary, Sony’s phones already have that. The touch sensor feature which integrates Apple’s new Ipay system is a good touch, shatterproof glass is another good touch,If only my Iphone 4s had that. With an Iphone 6 is that what do you really look for in this phone to have the best functions out there? The kind of people that the Iphone is targeted always seem to be more of the fashion conscious. Colours such as Gold, Space Grey and Silver emphasises the point that iPhones tend to appeal to the more fashion conscious rather the technology conscious.

A Gold Apple Iphone? that would make me the best of us tempted to cue at a Apple store for days on end, myself included . The new Iphone comes with 2 different screen sizes ( 4.7 inch and 5.5 inch which is a similar to Samsung’s galaxy Note 3). In Apples case they will be looking to hit the right note with consumers, and in Apple’s case they always seem to do just that.

Is Football Back In The Dark Ages?

Malkay Mackay is to be investigated for the alleged racist texts sent to former Colleague Iain Moody

Malkay Mackay is to be investigated for the alleged racist texts sent to former Colleague Iain Moody

Football is blessed with a unique gift – a gift where it can unite a nation together, and how it stands up for social justice. For example has many regulatory bodies that are trying to eradicate the evil disease that is not only in football but society itself- racism. Campaigns such as Respect which is backed by Europe’s governing body Uefa- and there is also Kick It Out which might be better known in England.

Thankfully racism on is decreasing in football – but in recents events football has developed a bit of a ‘dark side’. Reports have emerged that a leading contender for the vacant Crystal Palace job Malkay Mackay is to be investigated for sending texts messages to former head of recruitment at Cardiff Iain Moody. Moody was recently appointed sporting director of Palace – but has since resigned.

It has also been brought to the public eye that former Cardiff manager Mackay had sent messages of homophobic nature, anti- semetic nature, racist nature and of a sexist nature. Although the 42 year old Scot has denied the allegations, the evidence seems quite damning.

The Sexist remarks involve a Oxford- Educated sports lawyer called Carly Barnes, it has been revealed. Moody and Mackay it has been alleged that in appropriate comments have been made about the 39 year old. Carly Barnes currently represents Malta’s 2 most prominent football players Michael Mifsud of Coventry City FC and Justin Harber of Sheffield United. The comments made against her are unjustified, the 39 year old academically is successful and professionally.

With these appalling acts coming to public eye – and past sexual discriminations of Richard Keys and Andy Gray (the Sky Sports presenters) , also the head of football Sepp Blatters rather inappropriate remarks about women shorts. The team at the Speaker investigate to see if football has gone back into the ‘dark ages’ or had never truly emerged from it in the 1st place.

Organisations like the BBC deserve to be commended on many levels, great credit must go to them for employing female football presenters on ‘male programmes’ such as Match Of The Day ( that is not intended to be a sexist comment, historically male presenters and pundits have appeared on the show).

The organisation deserves further credit for employing Jacqui Oatley a female commentator, sadly the commentators 1st appearance on the mic was a sideshow and the fact that she is a women proved more interesting for journalists. Never the less Oatley gave a accomplished display behind the mic, and the rest as they say was history.

Football in a harsh reality is a male dominated sport maybe due to a few stigmas that are attached around women – and also a few ridiculous comments made by head of football Sepp Blatter. The Fifa president rather inappropriately suggested that women should wear ‘tighter shorts’ to ‘increase viewers’ of the women’s game.

Comments like that show that women’s football or should I say rather football’s attitude towards women playing it needs to change. Women in football is a ‘strange’ issue, football in certain instances is very welcoming to women. High profile clubs such as Chelsea have a female in the back room staff, football clubs are appointing women coaches – but then issues like the Malkay Mackay saga happen, the Andy Gray and Richard Keys episode as well (both men made a sexist comment about a co presenter) thankfully both were duly sacked.

In 2006 then Luton Town manager made a highly inappropriate remark:
“She shouldn’t be here, I know that sounds sexist but I am sexist.
“This is Championship football. This is not park football. What are women doing here? It is tokenism – for the politically correct idiots.”

This outburst lead Newell to be charged, as much as organisations like the BBC are doing all they can to change sexist stereo type, unfortunately the harsh reality is that it’s not going anytime soon.

As for racism, unfortunately this has come back to the fore. Luis Suarez racially abusing Patrice Evra (the Uruguayan was banned for 8 games), John Terry racially abusing Anton Ferdinand (the Chelsea defender received a 4 game ban and a £220,000 fine), another incident which is not as well known is Ahmed Mido (the then Middlesborough striker) receiving Islamophobic taunts from supporters and most recently which has come to light in Malkay Mackay ‘scandal’ is that the former Watford boss called his Malaysian employer Vincent Tan a C***k, and people wonder why Asians don’t get involved in sport?

Football needs a reality check – and although it’s a ‘few mindless individuals’ and not a majority, those individuals are never the less ruining the image of the ‘beautiful game’ . If people carry on like this the ‘beautiful game’ could become the not so beautiful game.