Total Business Magazine

This Week’s 5 Must-Read Stories You May Have Missed

IKEA continues to innovate, women are taking charge in the world of VR and Mackenzie Bezos pledges billions to charity.

We caught up with our columnist, business transformation expert, author of The Interim Revolution and founder and CEO of Sullivan and Stanley, Pat Lynes, to discuss the biggest news stories you wouldn’t have wanted to miss last week.

1. Real Madrid jumps Manchester Utd as the world’s most valuable football club

A study from KPMG revealed that Spanish football club Real Madrid has now leapfrogged the Red Devils, with an estimated worth of £2.91 billion.

The study was based on the 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 season which factors in profitability, broadcasting rights, popularity, sporting potential and stadium value. It was Real Madrid’s success in the Champions League that increased its enterprise value by 10%.

Coming in third and fourth respectively was German giant Bayern Munich (€2.69 billion) and Real Madrid rival Barcelona (€2.67 billion), but English football was by far and away the strongest at a league level, accounting for 9 of the top 32 clubs.

2. IKEA is launching a new app to allow customers to shop remotely for products

IKEA continues to experiment and innovate its offering, with the release of its latest app that allows customers to shop remotely and visualise furniture fit-outs into their own home. By inputting room dimensions and choosing from different tastes and life stages, customers can visually see how products fit in their room and then order the selected purchases through the app.

This continues a consistent transformation agenda for IKEA, away from its huge suburban stores and into the online world as well as smaller shops in the city. It is adapting with the customer’s needs and this is what will keep it at the forefront of a volatile retail world.

3. Virtual reality: women are taking a leading role in the sector

The gender imbalance in technology is a well-known truth across the industry. In the UK, women make up just 20% of the workforce with only 5-15% in leadership and executive roles. But, the world of VR looks like it’s finally bucking that trend.

A recent survey of 70 US virtual reality companies revealed that in VR specifically, women took up a higher number (645) of leadership roles. An interesting statistic as the users of VR is swayed heavily towards men (30%), compared to 16% of women.

Hopefully, this is only the beginning in the world of tech as others can draw inspiration from this female charge and become pioneers in a sector that is still only scratching the surface of its potential in the consumer world.

4. Fiat Chrysler and Renault are keen to join forces

A proposed merger is on the cards with Fiat Chrysler tabling a proposal with Renault worth $33 billion. While there are a number of roadblocks to overcome and hoops to jump, a completed 50-50 split merger would make the world’s third-largest car company behind Toyota and Volkswagen.

But why? Well, the automotive industry isn’t the easiest sector to be in. With heavy environmental regulations on emissions, new concepts such as Tesla coming in and eating up the market share with its electric cars, as well as high manufacturing costs, it’s become a tough place to make a profit. The merger would allow both companies to not only improve their platform and architecture but more importantly their technology capability.

5. MacKenzie Bezos pledges at least half her wealth to charity

I don’t normally report on divorce settlements, but this time I’ll make an exception as MacKenzie Bezos, the former wife of the world’s richest man Jeff Bezos announced she would be donating more than half of her fortune to charity. Following MacKenzie and Jeff’s recent divorce, McKenzie was awarded 25% of Amazon shares, which equates to around £28.4 billion.

“In addition to whatever assets life has nurtured in me, I have a disproportionate amount of money to share,” said Bezos. “My approach to philanthropy will continue to be thoughtful. It will take time and effort and care. But I won’t wait. And I will keep at it until the safe is empty.”

A very generous offer from the world’s 22nd richest person.

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