Whilst this month’s mild temperatures across Europe have been pleasant to many of us, they represent a very real financial risk for energy providers, who sell much less electricity and gas than during a cold year due to a reduction in use of heating appliances. In fact, during the first 3 weeks of January, temperatures reached their highest levels since 2010, with a significant impact on energy consumption. The average power consumption in France is more than 12GW lower than at the same period last year, or the equivalent of the production of 12 nuclear power plants! Continue Reading
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An ice cream parlour that closes in the throes of summer, refreshing soft drinks and beer being eschewed by customers when the mercury soars… What to make of consumer behaviour and how businesses compete and manage their risks in the summer months
Nestled in a quiet neighbourhood on the picturesque Ile St. Louis, in Paris, France, is possibly the most celebrated ice cream maker in the world, so well-known for its artisan quality and variety of ice creams and sorbets, lines routinely stretched around the block to its discrete bistro. This iconic glacier is a celebrated and essential component of the Paris experience, for aficionados and tourists alike. Yet, in the hottest month of the Paris summer, when ice-cream is undoubtedly the most in demand, and visitors are arriving in droves to the capital eager to sample this incontournable classic, Berthillon remains, in what can only be described as one the greatest snubs of capitalism, firmly, resolutely, even aggressively, shut. An ice cream parlour closed, the entire month of August. Sacrilège!
Global supplies of chocolate dwindling from dry weather, Wineries damaged by prolonged cold winters … Is Romance in peril?
As Valentine’s Day approaches, and shops begin advertising bouquets of roses, wine, and chocolates, it is clear that romance is being manufactured on a booming scale. One may cast a cynical eye at the supposed trappings and expectations of Valentine’s Day, but it must be admitted that even the most curmudgeon have at their disposal at this time of year the makings of a romantic gesture, without need for elaborate planning or epic imagination. Unlike Christmas, when the sky is the limit, Valentine’s Day is, fortunately, a fairly straight-forward affair, for which we may all be grateful.