Tuesday 20 November 2018

The Punt: Tiger burning bright with two awards

Terminal 5C at London's Heathrow Airport
Terminal 5C at London's Heathrow Airport

The Punt

Tiger Stores Ireland has won Company of the Year and Best Small Company at the Retail Excellence Ireland awards. The retailer beat the likes of clothing alterations firm The Zip Yard and L'Occitane in the small company category (for firms with fewer than 100 employees), and defeated Ecco and Holland & Barrett to win company of the year.

The Danish brand has 12 stores in Ireland and is set to open a 13th in the Swan Centre in Dublin's Rathmines area.

It plans to open seven more stores in 2015.

The Punt isn't really sure how to describe what Tiger sells, except maybe to say that the retailers' catalogue is rather eclectic.

The 'Tiger Essentials' tab on the company's Irish website reveals a drop-down menu consisting of three options: batteries; party; and DIY, hardware and bicycle.

So if you ever need to cycle to a DIY party that involves lots of battery-operated tools, Tiger would appear to be the retailer for you.

Tiger calls itself "the go-to place for things you need and things you didn't know you needed".

"Think own-brand, simple, colourful lifestyle products including homewares, toys, stationery, toiletries and accessories with a Danish touch," it adds.

The company employs just under 100 staff in Ireland.

Operations manager Gillian Maxwell said she expects that number to rise significantly with seasonal staff for Christmas.

Before long Tiger might overtake Carlsberg, pastries, Lego, Hans Christian Andersen and Peter Schmeichel as the most famous of Danish exports.

Heathrow hits record numbers

There's been much debate in the UK about whether a third runway should be built at Heathrow. The boss of British Airways' owner IAG, Willie Walsh, is one of those who thinks a runway should be built, but doesn't think the political will is there to push it through.

And while the debate lumbers on, Heathrow Airport has just reported its busiest October ever. Just over 6.3 million passengers used the London airport last month.

It's also astounding that over 26pc of all British exports make their way through Heathrow, compared to just 2pc at Gatwick - one of the other mooted sites for a new runway.

The passenger increases come as Heathrow opened its new Terminal 2 facility this summer, which is used by Aer Lingus.

The old Terminal 1 that gave millions of Irish passengers some daily exercise over the years will be knocked down and a new terminal constructed.

Heathrow ceo John Holland-Kaye claimed this week that business is telling the UK Airports Commission that Heathrow is the best location for expansion. The Airports Commission - which is deciding where a new runway should be built - reckons that constructing a runway would cost £18.6bn (€23.7bn). That's £3bn more than the airport estimated, raising the prospect that passengers could face higher charges.

The bleeding obvious from the global experts

SO we were stupid to issue a blanket guarantee to the banks as we couldn't afford it, according to former US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. To paraphrase Homer Simpson, we've all had a collective "Doh!" moment.

It's not like Geithner told us something we didn't know already.

And it's rich coming from a man who, in his recent book reflecting on the global financial crisis, admitted heaping pressure on European leaders not to allow Ireland to burn bondholders.

The former US Treasury Secretary said that in November 2010, just before Ireland's bailout deal was revealed, EU leaders were "openly debating how deeply to haircut creditors".

"'You're going to accelerate the run', I said. 'Nobody's going to lend to a European government or bank that's showing weakness if they think you're going to impose haircuts as a condition for your rescues. You're undermining your defences and it's going to cost you a lot more money in the long run'."

He says he was concerned about the contagion effect across Europe.

His benefit-of-hindsight remarks echo similar comments from the IMF's Ajai Chopra last year, when he said it was unfair for taxpayers here to suffer the cost of bailing out the banks when senior bondholders got their money back. Tell us something we don't know lads.

Indo Business

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business