The commercial real estate market has been doing exceptionally well in the Eastern U.S. since the start of this year. Companies with a focus on the region, such as Northland Investment Corporation with CEO Steven P. Rosenthal, are being swept into a pace that, according to local brokers, hasn’t been matched in years. During the first two months of 2014, Erie County saw almost $120 million worth of commercial property deals despite the frigid weather. Robert Strell, a broker and owner of MBA Consulting and president of the Western New York Commercial Association of Realtors, said: “It’s almost staggering, I’ve got to tell you. We knew there was action and activity, but the total is a big number and there’s a lot more coming down the pike.” Experts have said that given the current rate, the market may surpass the half-billion-dollar mark and post more than $720 million in deals throughout the rest of the year. The activity recorded in January and February is high-priced, with deals exceeding $5 million in value and some reaching as high as $15 million. Amy Nagy of Hastings Cohn Real Estate confirmed this positive outlook, stating: “It’s highly busy in this first quarter. There’s a lot of momentum in the market that’s generating things moving along.”
Adventure vacation company Black Tomato is adding an office in New York after setting up shop in 2005 in its original location in London. Tom Marchant, one of three founders of the travel company, will be moving to the US to oversee the expansion.
Marchant, and his co-founders Matt Smith and James Merrett began Black Tomato to bring a bit of adventure and excitement to the vacation marketplace. The move to New York is part of a business plan to enlarge its client base plus forge deals with other companies to gain the status of a lifestyle brand.
Last year Black Tomato organized 2,965 dream vacations earning $16 million in revenue for their trouble. The 60-person employee base arranges such custom-made adventures as trips to Iceland’s tectonic plates, volcanoes in Costa Rica and the outback of Kenya. The growing appeal of such adventures seems to be on the rise; Black Tomato’s 2013 earnings were up by 30 percent over 2012.
Part of the secret of the firm’s success was actually setting a limit on the number of destination choices the company offered its clients, reducing the number of countries they sent customers to 40 last year, compared to 89 countries the year before.
“What we did at the start of last year, which I think had a big impact, was slim down the amount of product we were offering,” Marchant explained. “Sometimes when you offer people the world – literally, in this case – it can actually be hard to determine where they want to go.”
Marchant says he will make an exception if a client has a desperate desire to visit a country that is not on his list.
About five years ago Marchant started to see more clients from the USA. Now Americans comprise about 40 percent of his clients. Black Tomato has not marketed to a US audience; he says most of his US customers were referred to him by word of mouth.
“The opportunity to be the first to do things or to really get off the beaten track resonated with a lot of people over here both on the east coast and the west coast,” says Marchant.
Marchant is betting that now is the time to leverage his company’s growing popularity and pursue his business more aggressively in the US.
De acuerdo con la investigación conducida por Concur, un proveedor de soluciones de gestión de gastos y de viajes, Brisbane, Australia es la ciudad del mundo más cara para viajeros de negocios.
La publicación reciente de “Expense IQ Report,” que examina los hábitos de los viajantes de negocios, recolecta información de $50 billones de dólares en gastos reportados por compañías estadounidenses.
El reporte de Concur observó varios gastos principales realizados por viajeros de negocios: cenas, entrenamiento, transporte terrestre, y alojamiento.
Cuando es evaluada en su conjunto, Brisbane, una ciudad de la costa este de Australia, apreció en el principio de la lista, con un costo promedio de gastos de $547.53. Londres ocupó el puesto número 5 como la ciudad más cara, mientras que Dubái de Emiratos Árabes, estaba en la decima posición con un costo de $455.93.
Si ciudades nacionales hubieran sido incluidas en la evaluación, entonces Nueva York hubiera ocupado el noveno lugar con un promedio de gastos de $476.
In a joint statement delivered by New Jersey Republican Governmor Chris Christie and Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, the leaders stated their appreciation of the passage of a $50.5 billion Hurricane Sandy recovery aid package in the House of Representatives.
“The tradition of Congress of being there and providing support for Americans in times of crisis, no matter where they live across this great country, lives on in today’s vote in the House of Representatives.”
The legislation allocating the funds will now have to go to the Democratic- controlled Senate, where it is sure to pass through quickly.
Republicans in the House did not move to pass the aid package as quickly as they could, debating on the effects of such a large allotment of funds on US debt reduction, spending and taxes.
How McDonald’s is Selling to Kids
It’s one thing to play dirty marketing tricks on the average man in the street, but quite another to do so on kids. Well, apparently, that’s exactly what’s been happening with corporations such as McDonald’s which is using online games “to take away parental control.” The thing is, we keep seeing studies that show that if this kind of marketing was lessened, so would the bad health of our next generation.
Parents Fight Back
But finally there has been an outcry from angry parents. Adults from the New York and San Francisco areas are trying to “curb this marketing by setting nutritional requirements for kids’ meals with toy giveaways.” Of course, McDonald’s isn’t going to take this lying down. It is in a battle against these parents through legal channels as well as enacting “pre-emptive bans of similar legislation in other states.”
The bottom line is, it’s just too easy for large corporations such as McDonald’s to access kids. Indeed it has been said that there has never been a better time for this, since they are able to “bypass parents so successfully.” Further, “online games are just the tip of McDonald’s $3 billion global marketing iceberg.” The only way that we can ensure the way food is marketed for the future is geared by parental and nutritional experts is by “demanding that McDonald’s stop marketing to kids.” It needs to be serious nutritionists – not “fast-food executives” directing how these foods are sold.
Marketing Gone OTT
It could be said that marketing has just gone over the top in recent years. It’s no longer just TV commercials (that of course can be ignored quite easily) but the interactivity of marketing techniques that will grab the attention. One example is of a Kraft Web site that asks consumers to “send a custom video to your friends to show how much you love KD [Kraft Dinner].” If you have not received a video, you are anyway able to view the whole “gallery” of videos that others have submitted. Individuals are able to log on to a whole host of commercial web pages and create their own avatars, “play with virtual pets and interact with their favorite movie, comic book and TV characters.”
This all makes it increasingly tough to fight this new, successful marketing guru. But it seems evident from the research above that parents are not going to take this lying down anymore. The question is, who is going to win? McDonald’s is an extremely large, successful corporation that is definitely going the legal route with all of this, and it thus might not be so easy for parents to fight it.
Only time will tell. But in the meantime, McDonald’s is working fearlessly to ensure it still has the upper hand when it comes to its McNuggets and cheeseburgers.