Compiled by LAURA SLATTERY
The list: Unexpected hoteliers
Swedish furniture chain Ikea is to open a budget hotel chain, but it’s not an “Ikea hotel”, they say – it won’t have Ikea furniture in it, and, no, guests won’t have to assemble their beds. So which other companies have side-stepped into the “do not disturb” game?
1 Harrods:Qatar Holding Company, which has owned the opulent Knightsbridge department store since 2010, is reportedly planning a range of luxury hotels.
2 EasyGroup: Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s baby is still best known for licensing the “easy” name to EasyJet, but the similarly orange-branded EasyHotels are expanding across Europe.
3 McDonald’s: The Golden Arch Hotel is not currently on the menu, but it was McMuffins all round as its Swiss franchisee made a failed foray into hospitality in 2001.
4 Palazzo Versace:Claiming the title “Australia’s only fashion branded hotel”, the House of Versace threw open its designer doors on Queensland’s Gold Coast in 2000.
5 Nobu:Restaurant group Nobu, headed by chef Nobu Matsuhisa, plans to open a Nobu Hotel in Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas – it promises Vegas flair with Japanese touches.
Image of the week: Smoking hotspots
Australia’s highest court has endorsed an anti-tobacco law that bans logos on cigarette packs, which are now required to be a mix of plain olive green and horribly graphic health warnings. The move on Wednesday sent photographers racing to snap smokers puffing somewhere internationally identifiable as Australia: Sydney Harbour Bridge is pictured in the background here, but anyone who took their nicotine addiction to Bondi Beach or Sydney Opera House also found news photographers lurking. There were no Uluru fag-break money shots though.
Getting to know: Andrew Mason
When Groupon floated last November, the deal company’s chief executive Andrew Mason was all smiles, posing outside Nasdaq’s headquarters in New York with his musician wife Jenny Gillespie. But with shares down 70 per cent since and the core daily deals business slowing down, the Groupon camp is now a less harmonious place. Analysts are pointing the finger at Mason, a 31-year-old music graduate, suggesting that Groupon has grown too large for him to handle and citing an incident where he knocked back some beer at a staff meeting as a reflection of Groupon’s immaturity. “Investors may be beginning to question management credibility,” said Scott Devitt, a Morgan Stanley graduate. Ouch.
The lexicon: Lock-up period
Nothing to do with the Quinn family, the lock-up period is the term given to the time during which company insiders and other early investors are restricted from selling stock taken up in an initial public offering. Once it expires, there could, in theory, be a stock-dumping frenzy – but usually only if the stock is a bit of a dog, or a tech company. Some 271 million shares in Facebook were unlocked yesterday as the first of its lock-ups expired, though, as its stock price has been so hammered of late, many investors may choose to hang in there. The company’s lock-up expiration dates are staggered between now and mid-November, when chief executive Mark Zuckerberg becomes eligible to cash in.
In numbers: Streaming-hot music
Percentage rise in the revenue earned by the global music industry from on-demand streaming services in 2012, according to a report by industry watchers Strategy Analytics.
The percentage growth in music downloads this year, the same report forecasts, making revenues from streaming services such as Spotify the fastest-growing segment of the market.
Percentage of music revenues worldwide still generated by CDs and vinyl, though sales of physical products are on the wane, as is total global spending on music.