NUMBER ONE MUM’S!

Although dates vary around the world, this Sunday we celebrate “Mother’s Day” in Australia, USA, Singapore, Turkey, Philippines, Greece and Pakistan to name a few.

The modern holiday was first celebrated in the U.S. in 1907, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother. She then began a campaign to make “Mother’s Day” a recognized holiday in the US. Be careful what you wish for as although she was successful in 191, she was already disappointed with the days commercialization by the 1920s. She was so disenchanted that she actually became a major opponent of what the holiday had become and spent all her inheritance and the rest of her life fighting what she saw as an abuse of the celebration.

It is possible that the holiday would have withered over time without the support and continuous promotion of the florist industries and other commercial industries and is now expected to generate the second highest sales for a holiday weekend in the US.

The average Mother’s Day shopper is expected to spend as much as $152.52 on gifts, with 66 percent of shoppers buying flowers, 33 percent buying clothes and 54 percent dining out.

So to all the mum’s out there, enjoy your burnt toast and cup of tea in bed (if your children are allowed to make hot drinks).

And for everyone, remember to make your mum feel special on Sunday as you only get one.

WWW.SHOP

I consider myself an experienced online shopper, buying about 80% of all my clothes and shoes over the internet from stores across the world. And it seems I am not alone…

Global web retail sales are set to hit $1 trillion by 2013, growing at 19.4% a year. And Asia is the growth market – it will overtake Europe this year in online sales with growth of 27.5% to become the world’s leading online shopping region.

Amazon and eBay are still the most popular global shopping sites (282 and 224 million visitors a month), and China’s Alibaba is next, followed by Apple and Japan’s Rakuten.

No longer are you limited by shipping either, as “buy for you” and “ship for you” services make it possible to buy from anywhere. My favourite shopping sites:

www.shopbop.com
www.netaporter.com
www.theoutnet.com
www.mrporter.com (for the guys)
www.yoox.com
www.shopstyle.com (to source it all)

But if you aren’t an online shopper and prefer to put your money elsewhere consider online stocks. In 2010, the Online Retail Index performed at 36% while the S&P 500 was 12.8% and the Dow Jones Industrial 11%.

Sources: Forrester, Goldman Sachs

MONDAY BLUES


As you start your working week, and are already wishing it was Friday, consider switching to another country where every day may seem like a holiday!

More than a third of the time, Icelanders don’t show up for work. Perhaps that’s why they’re the world’s happiest nation.

Danish workers strike 150 times more than their German neighbours.

61.5% of Swedes work more than 40 hours per week, but just across the border in Norway only 15.8% of people work this long.

In 2010, the median weekly earnings of full-time working women was $669, compared to $824 for men

Canada, Germany and Australia have some of the biggest average pay gaps between men and women in the world (43% to 49%), and Hungary has the smallest gap (13%)

Asian women who were full-time wage and salary workers have the highest median weekly earnings than women of all other races/ethnicities in the USA.

Mozambique has the most active female workforce, and the largest over the age of 65.

The average Irish worker must work twice as long as the average Brit to buy a car.

Nauru, whose economy is derived almost entirely from phosphate in bird droppings, has the highest rate of unemployment in the world.

NAILED!

Getting your nails done is not a new thing. After all, artificial nails were worn during the Ming Dynasty in China. During the 19th century in Greece many upper-class women wore empty pistachio shells over their nails, spreading the artificial nail trend across Europe.

Women (and yes, men too) are very partial to a mani/pedi or opting for gel or acrylic nails. In the UK alone nail polish sales have doubled in the last 5 years which is a serious threat to everyone’s favourite cosmetic… lipstick.

Some information to dazzle your nail technician with on your next visit:

- Nails are actually the same as hair, both are made of the same protein, keratin.
- For a finger nail to regrow completely it takes 4 to 6 months, and a toe nail is 12 to 18 months.
- Men’s nails grow faster than women’s nails.
- Toe nails are about twice thicker than finger nails.
- The fastest growing nail is on the middle finger. The slowest, is the thumbnail.
- Nails grow faster in warm climates and during daytime, than in cold climates and at night.

Now… what colour to buy? The best-selling colours over the past 12 months were:

OPI Black Shatter Coat
Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in Quartz
Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips in Wild Child (stick ons)
Dior Vernis in Gris Montaigne
Essie Nail Polish in Ballet Slippers

PS I have to give a plug for the most talented nail technicians and my fav salon in the world… Bellissima in Singapore (www.bellissimanails.com)

DON’T FAKE IT

Decided you might treat yourself on your latest business trip and thought that Gucci bag was a bargain at $200… think again.

Counterfeit goods production has risen by over 10,000 percent during the past two decades, partially as a result of existing consumer demand. Fake product sales are now at USD$600 billion worldwide and make up 7 percent of all products traded around the world. The International Chamber of Commerce estimates that this figure will double by 2015.

Luxury goods, such as fake Louis Vuitton and Chanel handbags, footwear and clothing, represent only approximately 4% of the industry. The other 96 percent is made up of pharmaceuticals, auto parts, airplane parts, electrical cords, toys, software, hardware, CDs, DVDs, books, baby formula, alcohol, toothpaste and even eggs!

The World Health Organization, has estimated that 10 percent of all medications worldwide are fake, with sales amounting to approximately $320 billion. And many of these medications are now being made in the UK, not just India or Asia.

In the UK alone over 800 million pounds of fake DVD’s are sold each year
In the Ukraine 90% of all computer software used is fake

So if it’s too good to be true… then it’s usually fake!

LET ME ENTERTAIN YOU

Suggestions are that large corporate events are on the rebound, and bookings of entertainment for such events are on the up. If you are searching for a singer for your next where budget isn’t an issue, look no further!

The Rolling Stones are the most expensive act to hire charging a whopping $9.8 million to perform, ahead of Sir Elton John and Kylie Minogue who only demand $3.9 million to play. However, Elton donates all earnings from private concerts to his charity, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, rather than pocketing the huge sums. US songstress Christina Aguilera was named the fourth priciest performer at $3 million a show and US star Jennifer Lopez can each demand $2 million.

A good musical act can also turn it around and become a business too. The most well-known “corporate band” has to be the Black Eyed Peas. From Coors to Levi’s, Honda to Apple, Verizon to Pepsi, brands have padded the group’s video budgets, underwritten its tours and billboarded band members in prominent places.

And the award for the most expensive event ever…. Shanghai World Expo. Officially it was $4.2 billion to host the event, but the real figure is closer to more than $58 billion.