Changing times: Apple sells more watches than Switzerland

Apple reportedly sold 2 million more units than Swiss manufacturers during the holiday season. The company shipped 8 million watches from October through December, bringing its total for the year to over 18 million units.

Apple Watch had its best quarter ever, according to Singapore-based market analyst firm Canalys. The unprecedented growth of sales was reportedly boosted by the release of the Series 3 model including optional LTE support.

“Apple has won the wearables game,” said Jason Low, senior analyst at Canalys. “Despite innovative designs, such as the rotating bezels and circular screens employed by other vendors, Apple has pulled far ahead as it continues to focus on its core iPhone user base. Its recent updates to the Series 3, such as GymKit and Apple Heart Study, are proving to offer compelling use cases, encouraging users to spend more on accessories.”

The chart above illustrates Apple’s path to victory over the world’s cradle of watchmaking that introduced such iconic brands as Rolex, Patek Philippe, Tag Heuer and Swatch. The latest numbers back the company’s claim that the Apple Watch became the number one timepiece in the world in 2017.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

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Genius Girl Scout Sells Cookies Outside Marijuana Dispensary and MAKES BANK


San Diego, CA — A young entrepreneur, with the foresight to target her audience, sold a record-breaking amount of cookies over the weekend in only six hours. Knowing that marijuana often carries the side-effect of making people hungry, a 9-year-old girl set up her cookie enterprise right outside of a marijuana dispensary.

The dispensary, likely seeing the potential for a mutually beneficial arrangement between the two businesses, then put out an Instagram post with the scout in an adorable picture, holding several boxes of cookies.

“Get some Girl Scout Cookies with your GSC today until 4 p.m.! Have a friend that wants to #tagalong? Bring them with – shopping is more fun with friends anyways,” the company wrote. “GSC” refers to a product flavored like Girl Scout Cookies.

According to the local news, the scout’s father said his daughter sold more than 300 boxes.

While the Girl Scouts’ rules state that booth sales cannot start for another week, the girls are allowed to sell from wagons as long as a parent is present. That is exactly what happened here.

“So if that’s what they say they were doing… then they were right within the rules,” said Alison Bushan, of Girl Scouts San Diego.

The idea of a girl scout selling cookies out in front of a pot shop is not without controversy, however.

As News 10 reports, Girl Scouts of America Colorado was prompted to issue a statement in 2014 after a scout reportedly sold more than 100 boxes of cookies in two hours outside a San Francisco dispensary.

“If you are wondering, we don’t allow our Girl Scouts to sell cookies in front of marijuana shops or liquor stores/bars,” the organization’s Colorado branch tweeted.

However, this move was contradicted later by Kelly Parisi, the chief communications officer from Girl Scouts of the USA, who told the LA Times that each region makes “all decisions on how the cookie program is run. As always, our primary concern is the safety and well-being of the girls we serve.”

“As Girl Scouts, we assume good intent,” Girl Scouts spokesperson Mary Doyle said in a statement to TODAY. “Should we learn that a girl is in violation of a cookie program standard or guideline, we almost always discover that the parent was unaware of that rule.”

Naturally, the front of a pot shop is magnitudes safer and far better of an image than the front of a liquor store. It is also important to note that many dispensaries provide not only recreational marijuana but also medicinal which makes them no different than a Rite Aid or Walgreens.

In fact, selling cookies in front of a pharmacy—as is common practice across the country—is arguably more detrimental to the image of the Girl Scouts than peddling cookies in front of a store that sells a plant that makes people happy. Why? Well, pharmacies have been caught illegally doling out dangerous opioids by the millions which are killing record numbers of Americans every year.

It is also important to point out the effects of legalizing marijuana and the reduction in harm and crime it causes. If this girl chose to sell cookies in front of places where weed is sold in illegal states, rest assured, it would not be a safe environment. However, because it is legal in California, all the negative traits associated with prohibition, like crime and the police state, subside—an important lesson to be learned.

Rest assured, however, that as more free market loving girl scouts try their fate at selling cookies to a target market in front of marijuana dispensaries that the regulators will likely move in to ruin it.

Indeed, if lemonade stands in California are any indication of what’s to come, we may see Girl Scouts fined and shut down for operating a business in front of a pot shop without the proper permit.

Luckily, however, humanity seems to be winning as even consumers of mainstream media appear to support the little girl’s entrepreneurial spirit as a whopping 90 percent of those polled by the Today Show thought it was okay, while the other 10 percent should probably go to a dispensary.


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UK grocer sells food past ‘best before’ date

Customers are happy to buy expired food if it costs next to nothing.

A British grocery store chain has become the first major retailer to sell food past its ‘best before’ date. In an effort to reduce food waste, the East of England Co-op, a grocer with 125 locations throughout East Anglia, has begun marking down certain foods to a mere 10 pence in order to encourage customers to buy them.

The reduced price applies only to non-perishable foods, such as pasta, chips, grains, dried foods, canned goods, and rice. The mark-down will last for one month, although a spokesperson for the Co-op has said the foods fly off the shelves within hours, sometimes more quickly.

The 10p reduction is part of the retailer’s broader anti-food waste campaign, cleverly titled, “The Co-op Guide to Dating,” with catchy lessons like, “Don’t be a binner, have it for dinner!” and “It’s not nice to get dumped.” The website puts the importance of this campaign into perspective:

“Thirty to 50 percent of food produced globally for human consumption is wasted every year. That’s 7.3 million tonnes per year in the UK, or 20,000 tonnes every day. The average UK family wastes almost £60 per month on uneaten food. For the average UK family with children that’s almost £720 per year spent on uneaten food.”

anti-dumping campaign© East of England Co-op

Roger Grosvenor, joint chief executive for the Co-op, said in a press release:

“The vast majority of our customers understand they are fine to eat and appreciate the opportunity to make a significant saving on some of their favourite products. This is not a money making exercise, but a sensible move to reduce food waste and keep edible food in the food chain. By selling perfectly edible food we can save 50,000 items every year which would otherwise have gone to waste.”

The Co-op estimates its efforts will divert two metric tonnes of food waste from landfill annually.

Foods with a ‘use by’ date cannot be reduced, since this label suggests that food is no longer safe to consume after a particular date. The Co-op has launched a ‘Reduced to Clear’ policy for these foods, in hopes of moving them faster as they approach their expiry date.

Learn more about food labels and what they all mean.

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Lara Intimates sells handmade lingerie from reclaimed fabrics

This new company, founded by two graduates from the London School of Fashion, is serious about sustainability.

Lara Intimates is a sustainable lingerie company based in Soho, London. It was founded in 2016 by Cindy Liberman and Faith Leeves during a work placement year at the London School of Fashion. While working for other fashion brands and visiting factories overseas, the two became frustrated at not being able to find lingerie brands that cared about both fantastic fit and sustainable production.

So they decided to do it themselves, naming their new company after an imaginary girl who is “the persona behind the brand — stylish, sophisticated, fun, creative and absolutely loves pink.” Production takes place in a modest studio located above a bar that’s divided into two-thirds factory, one-third office.

I saw the Lara factory in person while attending one of its popular bi-monthly bra-fitting parties. These are an essential way for Lara Intimates to reach out to customers and allow them to try on sample products; the rest of the time, the business is online.

Leeves & Liberman© K Martinko — Faith Leeves & Cindy Liberman, the founders of Lara Intimates, in their Soho studio

It’s clear that Leeves and Liberman prioritize sustainability in a very real and tangible way. This is refreshing to see in an industry that tends to greenwash its environmental commitments. All of their fabrics are reclaimed from factories and brands around the world. As Liberman explained, a big brand might request 100,000 meters of fabric, but then toss the leftover 2,000 meters in landfill. Lara Intimates works with a British supplier that sources this extra fabric and brings it back to England. If it comes in an odd color, such as neon green, the supplier will dye it black at a British dyehouse.

The same supplier sources hook-and-eye clasps and gold hardware from factory surplus, while the elastics and underbands come from a manufacturer in the UK.

Lara Intimates studio© K Martinko — Liberman helps a client with a personalized lingerie order.

Leeves works on production with two employees and cuts out numerous bras and pants simultaneously, so as to minimize fabric waste. What cannot be used is shredded and kept for stuffing a future garment, yet to be released.

Because Lara Intimates produces everything in-house, it has no factory minimums. The production staff (which currently consists of three women) makes exactly what it needs, offering a wide range of sizes from 28A to 36E, without having to keep everything in stock.

The product line consists of 5 bra styles, 4 briefs, and 1 bodysuit. All of the bras are supportive without underwires, padding, or hefty straps. I tried on a few styles and was impressed at how lightweight yet solid they felt.

Lara production© K Martinko — The production side of Lara’s studio

Last year, the two women won a social impact grant for their work, enabling them to hire two additional staff. Liberman told me that the university is excited about what they’re doing:

“It’s rare to find a business, especially when you’re really young, that’s interested in growing and scaling, but also has the technical maker ability and a lot of craftsmanship to it. I think that makes what we’re doing really interesting.”

seamstress at Lara© Lara Intimates

‘Interesting’ is an understatement; ‘hopeful’ is how I felt. The fashion industry is so notoriously bad, so plagued by over-consumption, waste, and human mistreatment, that a business like Lara Intimates shines like a beacon of hope. It shows that it is possible to do things differently; and that, if done well, people will support it. Even I, who’d had no intention of shopping, walked away from the bra fitting party with a new set in hand. I was happy to buy a supremely comfortable, high-quality product directly from the women who’d made it.

Rosie wearing the Coral Bra in 28E.

A post shared by Lara Intimates (@laraintimates) on Nov 2, 2017 at 1:48am PDT

If you’re interested in shopping but are not in London, check out the Lara Intimates website and its very accurate bra-fitting tool. International orders cost £10 for shipping. You won’t be disappointed!

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Arizona Man Sells His $6.5 Million Ranch Because of Repeated Alien Attacks

Arizona man puts property up for sale after being attacked by aliens.

An American man has put his $5 million ranch on the property market claiming that he and his wife want to up sticks and move far away from the place because they are sick of the regular visitations they receive from aggressive extra-terrestrial beings.

John Edmonds claims that ever since he and his wife Joyce moved into the 9.67-acre horse ranch in the Rainbow Valley of Arizona in 1995, they have been the victims of numerous attacks from extra-terrestrials with sinister intentions. He claims that during his time living in the house he has been forced into life-or-death battles with the alien creatures.

John Edmonds says a ‘portal’ opened to the rear of his Arizona property. Picture: John Edmonds

He says that one particularly bloody battle occurred after the aliens attempted to abduct his wife from her bed. “They actually levitated her out of the bed in the master chamber and carried her into the parking lot and tried to draw her up into the craft, ” he told journalists. He claims that this particular incident prompted a furious battle between himself and the aliens which resulted in him killing nineteen of them with a samurai sword.

John said this was the aftermath of the ‘grey’ he claims to have killed in an ‘attack’ outside his carport door.

On his Facebook page, Edmonds regularly updates his followers with stories of the bizarre alien activity centered on his ranch including images of the wounds he claims to have incurred when battling against the grey aliens. ”Wounds from recent attack here at Stardust Ranch upper right calf from battle with malevolent ET, “he wrote in the photo caption to a grisly image, adding “This is why I want to move!”

John Edmonds claims these wounds were a result of one of regular ‘ET’ attacks.

Picture: John Edmonds In another image, he displayed the samurai sword in a pool of what appears to be dried blood. He claimed that this blood belonged to one of the aliens that he killed when he and his wife were attacked at home. However, he said that even the samurai sword wasn’t a completely effective weapon against the marauding unwanted visitors. “Unless you cut the head off and disconnect the antennae they instantly ‘phone home.’ Even with a razor-sharp sword, it is nearly impossible to decapitate them with one swing, ” he explained.

The 9.67-acre horse ranch in Rainbow Valley, in Arizona is being placed on the market at $6.5m. Picture: John Edmonds


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