THE NEWS WRAP: London retailers running a slow Olympics race

The Olympic Games have proved a “disaster” for London businesses, according to retailers, with an unexpected drop in tourism contributing to a fall in takings.

 

Research by Experian shows that the number of people going into stores in east London last week was 9.6% lower than a year ago, while footfall in west London fell by 4.5%.

 

Games organisers have played down retailers’ fears by insisting that they will benefit to the tune of 950 million pound ($1.4 billion) over the next five years due to a “long term” increase in tourism.

 

Airline in Facebook offer woe

 

Small businesses looking to utilise Facebook as a way to connect with customers have been given a warning about how it can backfire by US carrier Southwest Airlines.

 

The airline held a one-day “luv2like” Facebook promotion that offered 50% off certain flights, to celebrate it hitting three million Facebook fans.

 

However, a technical glitch saw customers’ credit and debit cards charged multiple times, in some cases 20 times for the same flight. The airline’s Facebook page was deluged by negative posts about the promotion.

 

Nick Sherry takes up chairman role

 

Nick Sherry, the former federal small business minister, has taken up his first private sector role since leaving Parliament.

 

Sherry, who was a Labor senator for Tasmania, has been appointed chairman to the Australian arm of British-based FNZ, a global wealth management technology company.

 

Markets

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 217.29 points, or 1.69%, to 13,096.17 on Friday. The Australian dollar was up to US105.66 cents.

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