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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to http://pennystockpaycheck.com for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

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Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

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Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

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Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

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UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

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BMW recalls 720,000 cars worldwide

Category : Business

German carmaker BMW recalls 720,000 cars, mostly in North America, over potential electrical problems that may cause unexpected stalling.

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Post Christmas clear-outs boosting secondhand goods market

Category : Business

In January charities benefit from Britons discarding 73,000 tonnes of clothes and 60,000 tonnes of electrical goods

After a possibly indulgent Christmas, a clear-out in January of old clothes, books and gadgets comes as a timely tidy-up – but people’s new year purges are also feeding a growing market in secondhand goods.

About 73,000 tonnes of clothing, worth about £70m, are ditched in the UK in the first month of the year. At this time textile processors experience a 20% to 30% rise in the volume of goods they collect following the December lull.

Age UK, a charity with 440 shops around Britain, last week received 66,000 bags of donated goods, nearly double the average amount donated per week in 2012.

The British Heart Foundation said it had had an influx of toiletries, pyjamas and socks (many still bearing a gift tag), as shoppers ditched unpopular Christmas presents.

Jack Chandler, manager of Oxfam’s book and music store in Marlborough, said that donations had risen by about 15% last week, compared with a typical week. He said there had been big donations of books, perhaps due to some readers clearing their shelves after receiving an e-reader for Christmas.

The biggest January clearout is of electrical goods. About 60,000 tonnes of TVs, washing machines, fridges and other home gadgets, worth about £20m, are dumped in January – a quantity that is about double that in a typical month.

Almost half of those items are suitable for resale by charity shops or on online sites such as eBay, while the remainder are broken up for recycling.

The electricals reuse market is thought to be growing by more than 40% a year as an increasing number of charity shops, local authorities, retailers and reprocessors work together to put unwanted goods back on the shelves.

Sean Feeney, chief executive of Environcom, an electrical recycling company, said that more charity shops were now prepared to sell refurbished electrical goods.

He said: “There is huge demand for these goods. The only thing holding us back is supply. We are encouraging people to hand unwanted but functioning electrical goods to charity shops in the same way they do clothing.”

Charity shops, meanwhile, can struggle to secure sufficient stock to supply the public demand.

Age UK said its strong start to January followed a dip in donations in the last quarter of 2012 compared with the year before. The number of bags donated slid 10% as shoppers made goods last longer and spent less on new items during the economic downturn. The charity said that sales at its stores remained steady as it had been able to command better prices for quality goods.

Helena King, from Age UK, said: “We always get a good response after Christmas, with an influx of people bringing in unwanted goods.

“But the long-term prognosis is that it is getting increasingly harder to find donations. When people have got less disposable income they don’t give as much. The flooding also prevented people from leaving out bags for collection.

“Bogus collectors, cash for clothes companies – all those things weren’t around five years ago, and now they are fighting in the same space.”

As people hold on to their possessions for longer to avoid having to buy anew, auction sites, businesses willing to pay for secondhand goods and doorstep collections by companies posing as charities are all competing for castoffs.

The Charity Retail Association warned that the sector was losing more than £50m a year to bogus collectors. And competition for clothing could step up as local authorities experiment with collecting textiles as part of doorstep recycling programmes.

Suffolk began a trial collecting clothing along with other recyclable goods last summer, and three more as yet unnamed councils are to take part in a similar scheme supported by the government-backed Waste Resources Action Programme this spring.

Councils say they are not competing with charity shops but trying to capture the estimated 350,000 tonnes of clothing that ends up in rubbish tips each year.

But charity shops are now looking at new ways to attract donations in the face of rising competition.

Traid, the international development charity, has partnered with the London borough of Kensington & Chelsea to organise doorstep collections and allows potential donors from anywhere in Britain to request a pick-up online.

Meanwhile, Marks & Spencer’s tie-up with Oxfam, which gives shopping vouchers in exchange for bags of clothing, has encouraged more than 10m donations so far.

King said Age UK was considering a similar partnership to help attract donations and shoppers, and also encouraging those handing in goods to register for Gift Aid. The government-backed scheme means the charity can earn an additional 25p a pound of goods sold.

One note of good news for clothing recyclers is that a slowdown in donations of British clothing this autumn helped keep prices high.

Ross Barry, manager of the LMB clothing recycling firm, said prices were holding up despite a slowdown in world market demand amid global economic troubles and a surge in donations in the UK at the end of the summer.

Where does it all go?

Much of Britain’s secondhand clothing goes abroad – an estimated 540,000 tonnes a year, or about 70%, according to the government-backed Waste Resources Action Programme (Wrap). Just 14% is reused in the UK.

Figures collated by HM Revenue & Customs indicate that the bulk of secondhand clothing exported from the UK goes to sub-Saharan Africa. Nearly £115m worth of old clothes were sent there in 2011, up from £70m in 2007. The biggest destination in Africa is Ghana, followed by Benin and Kenya. The second largest overall market is Ukraine, which accepted £30.9m of secondhand clothing from the UK last year, up from £18.7m in 2008. Total exports of secondhand clothing from the UK to countries outside the EU rose from £112.1m in 2007 to £179.7m in 2011.

Comet stores open for final day

Category : World News

Comet stores are to close their doors for the last time on Tuesday, bringing the failed UK electrical retailer’s 79-year history to an end.

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VIDEO: Taxpayers fund £50m Comet loses

Category : Business

The collapse of the electrical retailer Comet has left taxpayers possibly having to pick up loses of up to £50m – half of which would fund redundancy payments.

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Comet collapse to cost UK £49m

Category : Business, World News

The collapse of failed electrical chain Comet will cost the government £49.4m in redundancy payments and owed tax revenues, administrators Deloitte reveal.

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Comet collapse to cost UK £49m

Category : World News

The collapse of failed electrical chain Comet will cost the government £49.4m in redundancy payments and owed tax revenues, administrators Deloitte reveal.

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Comet collapse to cost UK £49m

Category : Business, World News

The collapse of failed electrical chain Comet will cost the government £49.4m in redundancy payments and owed tax revenues, administrators Deloitte reveal.

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Comet to cut hundreds more jobs

Category : World News

The insolvent electrical chain Comet confirms a further 735 redundancies at its head office, central functions and its home delivery network.

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Retailer Comet to close 30 stores

Category : Business

The insolvent electrical chain Comet is preparing to close about 30 stores out of 236 by the end of November, the BBC learns.

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Comet staff offered Dixons jobs

Category : World News

The electrical chain Dixons is offering Christmas jobs to hundreds of Comet staff who face redundancy because their firm is insolvent.

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