AIRBNB TARGETS TO BECOME A TRAVEL COMPANY
Six years ago Airbnb was founded as a peer-to-peer property rental service, and now it’s making the most significant expansion since then. With launching a new programme called Trips, the company not only moved a step closer to become a travel company, but it brought its users the opportunity to create itineraries that afford a more authentic local experience. It’s a great supplement to a campaign the company launched earlier this year to encourage travellers to live like locals when abroad with skipping the big tourist sites and hotels. Furthermore, the travel service could help Airbnb move away from being strictly a home-rental business, and it also came in just the right time when company is facing regulatory crackdowns around the world. Some cities, including Amsterdam, Berlin and New York, are working to limit short-term rentals that disrupt housing stock in tight rental markets. “If you want to travel, you basically end up on a research project. We want to fix this,” said Brian Chesky, Airbnb’s chief executive. For now, the service is available in only twelve cities, four being from The US and eight from all around the world, but the next year it will be present in more than 50 other cities.
VOLKSWAGEN DEALING WITH CRISIS BY CUTTING JOBS
VW is still reeling from the emissions scandal that shook the company last year and had set aside billions of euros to deal with. The company admitted that 11m diesel cars had been fitted with software that allowed them to cheat tests. In the US, VW has agreed a settlement to pay up to $15 billion to authorities and owners of the affected vehicles. All of that led to VW’s first annual loss in more than 20 years. To help recover from the loss caused by the scandal, Volkswagen will axe 30,000 jobs as a part of restructuring. The cuts will take place in Germany, in the core VW business, also in Brazil, Argentina and North America. “This is the biggest reform package in the history of our core brand,” said Matthias Müller, the chief executive. Herbert Diess, the head of the VW brand, said the cuts would make the company “leaner and more efficient” since VW intends to invest into developing electric cars. “It’s a major step forward and undoubtedly one of the biggest in the history of the company. I am very sorry for those affected, but the situation of the brand at the moment gives us little room for manoeuvre. We are tackling the problems at the root, even if it’s painful. Many didn’t think we could do it. Today, we have shown that Volkswagen can and will change,” Diess said.
GAP AND ABERCROMBIE & FITCH FACING DIFFICULTIES
Two America’s largest clothing retailers are dealing with a disappointing third quarter sales as well as with pessimistic forecast for the upcoming holiday shopping season. Difficulties that occurred for Gap and Abercrombie & Fitch were followed by a plunge in shares last week. Due to less and fewer people visiting stores, Gap had suffered seven consecutive quarters of falling revenue which caused its shares slumping by 13.1 %. On the other hand, Abercrombie & Fitch’s stock fell 13.9% on poor sales which is the result of a “confusing” marketing campaign about the changes it had made to its fashion lines. Once known for its picture-perfect models and sales assistants, as well as Abercrombie & Fitch monogrammed garments, the retailer has turned “to a more inclusive and gentler approach with an emphasis on stylish, quality clothing”, said Neil Saunders, chief executive of Conlumino, the retail research company. Abercrombie & Fitch is expecting to have a challenging holiday season as well as the rest of the year. Furthermore, Gap announced last month that it was closing all its Banana Republic outlets in the UK to focus on its North American business, but sales at Gap Global and Banana Republic both fell by 8% for the third quarter. Gap also said that it would close 65 stores this year compared to earlier speculations of 50 closures. Both retailers attempting to revitalize their brands, but with limited success. The chief executive of Gap, Art Peck, said: “The retail environment and the apparel environment continues to be challenging. Traffic remains challenging and, as a planning assumption, we believe that will carry forward as well.”
APPLE’S IPHONE AND IPAD LOOSING AGAINST ANDROID DEVICES
According to a new study by mobile diagnostic firms Blancco Technology Group (BTG), iPhones are less reliable than Android devices. Failures, such as overheating, app crashes and connection difficulties, afflicted about 62% of iOS users in the third quarter of 2016 compared with 47% of Android users. The bigger failure rates of iPhone and iPad devices are driven by bugs in the iOS 10 update. Overheating is the most common problem which can have a ripple effect on other device’s performances. “For example, overheating could lead to the device no longer charging. It could also cause the display screen to dim or go black altogether. Other residual effects could be a weakened carrier signal or the camera flash being disabled temporarily,” BTG said in its report. The top crashing iOS apps are Instagram, Snapchat and Pokemon GO which is one of the most unstable iOS apps. The highest failure rate of 13% was ascribed to iPhone 6 while on the Android side, the highest rate of device failure had Samsung at 11%. Android users suffered from USB problems and battery drain which was again blamed on the Pokemon Go app, the study showed.