Friday round-up: good news for chocoholics, bad news for Clinton Cards

So imagine this. Your core product is under severe competitive threat, driven by game-changing technological developments. You've increased prices faster than inflation for some years as volumes have dropped, in order to cover your relatively fixed cost base. But volumes continue to decline. What strategy might you follow now?

How about a 30% price increase?

That's the proposed response of the UK's Royal Mail, with the price of a first-class stamp going up from 46p to 60p. It's all in preparation for privatisation of course, and I sympathise to some extent as the organisation is in an incredibly difficult market situation. But surely price rises of this magnitude is just going to accelerate a sort of business death spiral? (No Christmas Cards from Spend Matters this year, that's for sure).

I guess they're analysed the price elasticity of demand and believe that this makes sense, but if you're a business customer of Royal Mail, this might be a good time to dust off your mail services category strategy.

On a happier note, the good news this week (with only the vaguest supply chain link, I confess) was the study, reported here by the BBC, showing that folk who eat chocolate regularly are slimmer than those who don't. I worked for Mars Confectionery for 9 years and it was interesting how few over-weight people we had in the firm.

But what might this do to cocoa futures? Will we see a boom in chocolate consumption and consequent commodity price increases?

I'm off to have a Plain Bounty now, the ultimate chcolate bar. But on an even more tenuous note, as it's Friday, here's a track from one of the great under-rated singles' bands of all time....

 

Voices (2)

  1. David Atkinson:

    Oops. That was for your other post. Will try again. 🙂

  2. David Atkinson:

    I regret to inform you that your application for (delete as appropriate) marketing/ops/finance/HR(!)/anywhere/ has been unsuccessful.

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