(nypost)Are you linked to Anna Chapman?
Being in Fashion, we decided to see if we had any sort of degree of separation to Anna Chapman aka Russian Spy, Anya Kuschenko (see today's cover of the NYPost) We did! turns out we are linked via the social networking site ASmallWorld. Or could you be connected via Linkedin? Who knows maybe it was Anna you chatted with at the Rag and Bone Party last season...
(telegraph)Price of luxury rises despite the recession
"In 2008 to 2009 the cost of high-end goods and services plummeted by nearly 4 per cent. An Affluent Luxury Living Index has reported that for the following financial year prices rose by 0.6 per cent on average. Some individual products have seen far greater price inflation. The cost of Beluga caviar and fine wines fell by about eight per cent in 2008 but the latest figures show that in the past year Beluga cavier has risen by 24.1 per cent while wine has inflated by up to 31.8 per cent. Meanwhile the cost of artworks, a box at the Royal Opera House and a 24-hour concierge service have increased by 15.2 per cent in the last year after falling by 20.5 per cent at the start of the recession. This is partly due to some record art auction results in the last year. "Investments of passion" such as, Aston Martins, Range Rovers, designer jewellery and watches, increased in cost by 5 per cent according to the new research. However, the cost of private jets, a chauffeur service and exclusive hotels in resorts such as St Tropez have only become 0.6 per cent more expensive in the 2009 to 2010. There was some good news for the super-rich however. The cost of a full-time housekeeper, Westminster School fees, Botox and rent for a family home in Kensington and Chelsea actually fell by 5.6 per cent in the last year. This is because fewer executives are being recruited to work in London while many have left leading to a decrease in demand. The Affluent Luxury Living Index was compiled by Stonehage which provides financial advice for ultra-wealthy families. It does not disclose the actual prices." read more
"Following four consecutive quarters of declines in domestic same-store sales, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Tuesday replaced the head of its U.S. operation, Eduardo Castro-Wright, with the unit’s chief operating officer, Bill Simon. Simon will assume Castro-Wright’s role as president and chief executive officer of Wal-Mart U.S. Castro-Wright will remain vice chairman of the corporation and take on the previously vacant role of president and ceo of Global.com and Global Sourcing, working out of Global.com’s California offices. Global.com was formed in January and had reported to Castro-Wright. A successor for Simon has yet to be named. Simon will report, and Castro-Wright will continue to report, to Wal-Mart president and ceo Mike Duke. “As we continue to become a truly global company and address the business challenges of a rapidly changing world, it is clear that Global.com and Global Sourcing are critical to our future growth and success,” Duke said, explaining Castro-Wright’s move to California will allow him to be with his family following his wife Fabiola’s recent heart transplant. Despite speculation the management shake-up had more to do with weakness in the Bentonville, Ark.-based firm’s U.S. business than Castro-Wright’s personal life, J.P. Morgan analyst Charles Grom said that after speaking with management he believed the change in roles was a decision “made by” Castro-Wright for family reasons. While Tuesday’s move surprised many, it did not send shock waves through the investment community. Saying her firm was “not surprised” by Castro-Wright’s new role and location, Citi broadlines analyst Deb Weinswig said, “We have been impressed with Bill Simon’s trajectory at Wal-Mart and the impact he has made on the U.S. business.…We also believe he is very in tune with the U.S. grocery landscape, and he will take Wal-Mart U.S. to the next level.” read more
"Cameras captured the sleek-looking crook prance into the high end shoe shop about 1 p.m., wearing the mask as she browsed among the heels for about a half hour before calmly marching up to the counter, where she handed a note to a cashier and kept her hand inside her purse, all the while, unsuspecting shoppers passed in and out of the store. In the video she can clearly be scene snatching the cash from the employees hand and stuffed it into her purse then grabbed the note before calmly strutting out the door, escaping with just $86, police said. The brazen theft prompted police to release a sketch of the suspect, donning a mask with cat like features, complete with whiskers, ears and a button nose. The same female bandit has been linked to two other robberies in Queens but this time wearing a more bizarre disguise. One Friday, a woman with her head wrapped in a back scarf and only here amber eyes exposed, walked into the Body Shop on Austin Street, just five blocks from the 112th Precinct stationhouse in Forrest Hills and slipped the same threatening note a cashier. She walked away with $500. She is also a suspect in the robbery of a 9 West shoe store on Austin Street on April 23, last year. She wore the same black scarf to conceal her identity and escaped with $500, police said. The suspect is believed to be a middle eastern woman, in her 20's about 5-foot-7 inches tall and she weighs about 120 pounds, said police." read more