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Levi Strauss & Co. has reported an 11% jump in sales in the US, continuing a year-long winning streak for the business.

And the denim king is crediting its willingness to take a stand on climate change and gun violence for the rosy results.
 
Sales rose to $1.39 billion for the third quarter, up from $1.27 billion in the same period a year ago. And net income soared 45% to $130 million, compared with $90 million the comparable period. By region, sales gained 9% in the Americas, 10% in Asia and 17% in Europe.
 
Sales for the Levi brand climbed 12% overall, buoyed by its commitment to building style buzz, including a limited-edition customisation studio in Los Angeles, the Made & Crafted collection with Lily Aldridge and the Levi’s X Air Jordan collaboration, which both sold out within minutes.
 
Women’s apparel sold especially well, jumping 26% in the quarter.
 
“We achieved all this while leading with our values,” Chip Bergh, president and CEO, writes in a blog post about the financial results, including the next steps it plans to take in addressing climate change.
 
Last month, Levi’s made a big splash with its commitment to ending gun violence and the company is also joining forces with Rock the Vote for a new “Voting Looks Good On Everyone” campaign (see video).
 
And this week, its Australian division is kicking off a partnership with Support Act, a music industry charity, for World Mental Health Day, publicizing a 24-hour mental-health helpline for artists and music workers, and offering video mindfulness tips from those in the industry.

Hargreaves Lansdown added 29,000 new clients in the three months to the end of September as it continued to spend money advertising its new cash marketplace service.
 
Active Savings, which allows clients easy-access cash investments alongside the Sipp, Isa, or general investment account wrappers, was first scheduled for release in 2016, but was finally rolled out to select customers 10 months ago.
 
In a trading update this morning, Hargreaves says after increasing marketing and promotional activity around the service, where customers can access 19 fixed-term savings accounts through seven bank partners, it now has more than £100m managed through the offering.
 
Total assets under management rose 3 per cent to £94bn – of which around £9bn sits in Hargreaves’ own funds – on the back of £1.3bn in net new business.
 
Net revenue for the three months came in at £120.8m, up 16 per cent.
 
Hargreaves chief executive officer Chris Hill “The past quarter has seen an uncertain market environment and weak investor sentiment resulting in an industry-wide slowdown in net retail flows. Despite this backdrop, we believe the strength of our business model positions us well for when sentiment improves.”
 
Hargreaves has backed Active Savings as a good solution for time-pressed investors. It also recently launched a single fund service for first-time investors.
Oakman Inns has reported an 8.5% leap in like-for-like sales in the first half of the 2018/19 financial year with performance exceeding its forecasts.
 
The 26-weeks to 30 September saw total sales of £18.6m, growth of 37.4%. Like-for-like growth of 8.5% builds on the 6.8% growth seen in the 2017/18 financial year.
 
CEO and company founder, Peter Borg-Neal, said: “We have had an excellent first half to the year with significant progress on many fronts. We were delighted with our 8.5% like-for-like growth, but it is perhaps even more pleasing that it has been achieved without resorting to delivery or discounting – neither of which I am attracted to.
 
“Our new sites are performing well in excess of their investment targets with the Cherry Tree in Olney and the Beech House in Amersham averaging approximately £40,000 net over H1. Our largest investment to date, the Royal Foresters in Ascot, has been the real star, smashing our targets by averaging £83,000 net per week over its first ten weeks.
 
“During the first half of the 2018/19 financial year, the eighteen fully developed pubs in Oakman Inns that were open on day one of the financial year averaged £34,085. This strong position reflects the increased like-for-like sales growth as well as the fact that the newer larger pubs are performing strongly. With the opening of The Royal Foresters, Ascot this average sales number will increase further.”
 
Oakman Inns is continuing to expand, with five sites in the pipeline in Farnham, Wokingham, Buckingham, Epsom, and Hatfield.
 
Later this year the company will also look to develop a high-street offering that can be rolled out in retail units, called the Beech House. Borg-Neal said the new concept would allow the business to enter new markets and pursue projects that can be developed more quickly and at a lower cost than its traditional sites.
Square Enix announced it has appointed John Heinecke as its new chief marketing officer. Heinecke will be in charge of the company's overall marketing across both Square Enix America and Square Enix Europe.
 
Heinecke joins Square Enix after twelve years at Blizzard Entertainment, where he recently served as VP of global publishing for Overwatch, leading the game's launch campaign. He also headed the launches for Hearthstone and Diablo 3, and participated in those for Overwatch League, StarCraft 2, and multiple expansions of World of Warcraft.
 
Before his time at Blizzard, Heinecke worked in marketing roles at both Activision and Ignited, an ad agency.
 
"Square Enix has some of the most storied franchises in gaming and I am very excited to join the team," said Heinecke. "I look forward to building cutting edge marketing campaigns that help to grow our global audience and to build passionate communities around our amazing games."

Warburtons has launched a ‘ghostly’ range of Halloween-themed packaging for this autumn.
 
The new design features ghoulishly delightful blue and white visuals across 3 SKUs: 6 pack Sliced White Rolls, 8 pack Sliced White Rolls, and 12 pack Sliced White Rolls.
 
This is the second festive product produced by Warburtons this year, following the launch of the brand’s football-inspired rolls in June, which were created to celebrate the summer of sport.
 
Darren Littler, Innovation and Product Marketing Director at Warburtons, said: “Halloween is a key seasonal event in the retail calendar, so we’re excited about revealing the new packaging for our spooktacular rolls. Our revamped design will help stores to capitalise on Halloween by catching consumers’ eyes and provide the perfect solution for any Halloween display.”
 
The rolls are available in supermarkets and convenience stores from the 11 October for 4 weeks.
London Luton Airport (LLA) experienced its busiest ever September this year.
 
More than 1.5 million passengers used the airport last month, marking an increase of 3.9 per cent compared to September 2017 and is the 20th consecutive month that the airport has welcomed more than one million passengers.
 
Amsterdam, Budapest, and Bucharest were amongst the most popular destinations, as passengers took advantage of the remaining days of the summer holiday season.
 
Nick Barton, CEO of LLA, said: “Passenger demand for air travel continues to grow, and our transformation will both help to meet this while making journeys easier, smoother and quicker.
 
“The opening of the terminal marks an important new chapter in our history, and the benefits will be felt by our passengers, staff and local community alike.”
 
The growth comes as LLA nears the end of its transformation, which has seen the airport undergo a £160m redevelopment to increase its annual capacity to 18 million passengers per year by 2020.
 
LLA has doubled its retail and dining space in order to offer passengers more variety and welcomed 30 new stores, including Chanel, Oliver Bonas and Hugo Boss.
 
The airport has also opened a new boarding pier to accommodate new routes from its airline partners, and added additional seating throughout the terminal.
 
The newly-upgraded terminal is expected to be fully open by the end of 2018.
Building products certification organisation, the British Board of Agrément has announced the promotion of Wendy Ajuwon to the position of Head of Marketing.
 
Wendy, a CIM Chartered Marketer, joined the BBA earlier this year, bringing with her more than 15 years of experience spanning all aspects of media production, public relations, advertising, customer experience and marketing gained around the globe working for – and with – a broad range of organisations including the BBC, Subaru Motors and Samsung. She holds a Masters degree in Media Production from the University of Central England and a BA (Hons) from the University of Wolverhampton
 
“Working at the BBA gives me the opportunity to help shape the marketing direction of a pedigreed organisation that provides expert service in Product Approval and Certification, Audit and Inspection and Testing to construction product manufacturers. It is a role I inhabit with pride,” said Wendy. “In addition to this, helping to promote the core values of courage, integrity, quality, loyalty, collaboration, passion and accountability that the BBA embodies and strives to provide to construction product manufacturers, trade associations, specifiers, contractors, the government and the public at large, gives me a sense of purpose and achievement. These lofty ideals and realistic execution displayed by staff and management as they continually push bounds to create excellence in the industry and for the public interest, has made this an ideal place for me,” she added.
 
The British Board of Agrément was formed in 1966 and offers installer approval and certification and test services to manufacturers of construction products and systems. It is also the UK’s leading authority on the assessment of insulation products and installation techniques. BBA Certification is universally recognised as a mark of quality, safety and reliability that a product is fit-for-purpose.
Ecommerce search engine Pricesearcher has hired former Amazon UK Head of Pricing Weldon W. Whitener as Chief Analytics Officer ahead of its UK launch.

Weldon brings a deep knowledge and understanding of large data sets from his time serving under data scientist Dr Richard Durban at the Sanger Institute at the University of Cambridge.
 
This experience was put to work in the retail sector after being headhunted from The Boston Consulting Group to work as Senior Product manager for Amazon, eventually becoming the Head of Pricing.
 
Whitener said: “My time in the corporate sphere has been enlightening and rewarding in equal measure. But I have always harboured an entrepreneurial streak. I wanted to wait for the right opportunity. It was clear that there was a unique chance within Pricesearcher to build something unlike anything elsewhere in the market. To actually change the game.
 
“My experience will add value for both retailers and customers that visit Pricesearcher. Sam and the team are taking their commitment to understanding how best we can serve both sides of the sector seriously.
 
“For the consumer, we have a shared belief in the accessibility of data, and the responsibility to use this data to remove the barriers of entry for a consumer. Retail is the last sector to use an efficient price aggregator. If you look everywhere else – aviation, insurance, food, banking – consumers have all benefited from the democratising power of big data. My job is now to derive actionable insight from this massive data set and enable retailers to make more informed pricing decisions.
 
“Applying a data science perspective to this mountain of pricing data has allowed us to understand better than anyone else exactly what the retailer ultimately wants, and how we can offer them a pricing strategy to achieve it."

HTEC, the EPOS, payment and loyalty solutions company has appointed Debbie Scott-Douglas as its new Marketing Manager to be based at its Southampton head office. Debbie joins following successfully launching the Spaghetti PA Services franchise for the Wimborne, New Forest and Salisbury area in early 2017. Prior to this, she held positions at Poole Bay Holdings Ltd as head of business development, head of marketing and Graphics at Poole Lighting and marketing manager at Ace Office Supplies Ltd.
 
HTEC sales and marketing director Dave Mackay said of the appointment: “We’re delighted Debbie will be joining us. She brings with her a wealth of marketing and management experience, proven track record in commercial growth and her new business development expertise are sure to have a positive impact on HTEC and the team.”
 
Debbie will take on responsibility for all aspects of the retail technology leaders marketing strategy and leadership of the CRM and digital avenues.
 
On joining the team based near Southampton Airport, Debbie said: “I’m delighted to have joined the HTEC team and am keen to get started! It was clear right from my first interview that HTEC have a fantastic team, a strong product offering and lots of exciting opportunities coming up. I am looking forward to utilising my expertise to support and develop the future growth plans of the business.”
Shares in Patisserie Holdings have been suspended amid a probe into financial irregularities at the company, which has revealed it has found a multimillion pound black hole in its accounts.
 
Chris Marsh, Patisserie Holdings' finance director, has been suspended during an investigation into events at the company.
 
Sources said directors had found "a series of apparent financial irregularities"‎, although there was no suggestion that Mr Marsh was being accused of any wrongdoing.
 
Further details of the investigation were unclear although there were suggestions that the hole in the accounts could be £20m or more.
 
In a separate announcement, the company said the board had just been made aware that a petition to wind up the group had been filed in court by HM Revenue & Customs against its main trading company.

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