Food sales rise for first time since early 2014

first_imgFood sales have made a healthy start to the year, rising by 0.2% – the best performance since February 2014. Information from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) revealed that food sales have started “promisingly”, but like-for-like sales were down 1.8%.David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG, said: “The grocery sector saw its first growth in three-month average total sales since the first half of last year – an encouraging sign from the battlefield. With consumers benefiting from lower fuel and petrol prices, retailers are fighting for their share of these savings.”Total food sales grew for the second consecutive month this January.Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive, IGD, said:“The year started promisingly for food and drink sales, with year-on-year growth in every week during January – the first time this has happened since February 2014.“The sector is at last seeing modest benefit from the recovering economy and confidence is growing. IGD’s ShopperVista research shows that over a fifth of shoppers expect to be better off in 2015, the highest since we began tracking this in September 2010.”Shopper confidence is being boosted by lower fuel and grocery prices. A record 23% expect food prices to fall further this year and interest in quality is building, with a quarter of people now prioritising this when shopping for food and drink.”last_img read more

Credit unions can lead the way

first_imgAfter the recent terrorist attack conducted on the people of Paris, France by the despicable ISIS forces, individuals are left wondering what the world has come to. The United States on September 11, 2001 experienced first-hand the trauma caused by a terrorist attack when four hijacked airplanes filled with passengers slammed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and an open field in Pennsylvania. Life, as Americans knew it, changed forever.The citizens of France have rallied and united together as did everyone in our country following the attacks on our Homeland. In the free world when one country is subjected to such cowardly acts, all others are quick to offer every type of help and support needed to show concern and solidarity. Hopefully, the combined efforts of all these countries, led by the United States, will destroy and eliminate ISIS.While the effort to stop ISIS is everyone’s concern, the ability to get it done lies with our elected officials and military leaders. While that is being accomplished, life must go on. People need to work, shop, go to church, and continue to enjoy their favorite places to eat breakfast, lunch or dinner. Students need to go to school. Children have to go out and play. We do these things because we need to and because we must show those that would try to harm and change our way of life that it’s not going to happen.The credit union industry is in a unique position. They not only have the ability to continue providing financial products to their members but also to be pro-active in showing our country’s solidarity and our individual concern for each other.Credit unions are known for outstanding member service as well as a genuine interest in the well-being of those who are a part of the credit union family. Because of that they are looked upon as a calming and reassuring influence on their members.As they have in other instances, credit unions are able to lead the way in what needs to be done to get people through a troubling time. Much like they did during the financial crisis that began in 2008.Credit unions can and must assume the leadership role in reassuring their members with exceptional service, attention and a friendly smile. They need to engage their members in conversation and if they show concern or apprehension, remind them of the leadership role and strength of our nation. Tell them that credit unions stand with their members and are there for them every way. It must be business and life as usual.It’s really all about the credit union philosophy. One for all and all for one. People helping people. It has made credit unions great just as it has made our country the greatest in the world. 28SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Michael Fryzel Michael Fryzel is the former Chairman of the National Credit Union Administration and is now a financial services consultant and government affairs attorney in Chicago. He can be reached at … Detailslast_img read more

Wisconsin eyes 6th Big Ten win

first_imgScott Tolzien and the Badgers could be playing for their first Big Ten title since 1999 vs. Northwestern.[/media-credit]By the time kickoff rolls around at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Northwestern, the Wisconsin football team will know whether they are playing for their sixth Big Ten win and a better bowl berth — or for a part of the Big Ten Championship.With the Michigan-Ohio State game starting at 11 a.m., the No. 17 Badgers’ potential fate will loom over them all game if Michigan manages to knock off Ohio State for the first time in six years.Coming off a 7-6 season just last year, the potential for a Big Ten Title was something junior quarterback Scott Tolzien hardly thought about.“I hope they win obviously,” Tolzien said of Michigan. “But we’ve got to take care of our business, and it will make it sweeter if we win this weekend and hope for the best that Michigan will win as well.”Regardless of whether the Wolverines or the Buckeyes are victorious, the Badgers will face a host of obstacles just trying to overcome Northwestern at Ryan Field.UW hasn’t won in Evanston since 1999 — also the last time they held the Big Ten crown.Counterintuitively, NU often enjoys a home field advantage from a smaller, and sometimes quiet, home crowd.“But in the last 10 years, we’ve only played down there twice — lost in ’03, before I was here, and then obviously in ’05 when I was the defensive coordinator in a shoot ’em out game,” Bielema said. “It’s a difficult environment, but give credit where credit is due: Northwestern plays very well down there, and it’s sometimes a different environment for our guys to walk into.”Posing another off the field issue, the Wildcats defense is run by coordinator Mike Hankwitz — someone UW head coach Bret Bielema fired after the 2007 season.Players and coaches on both sides are sticking to the clich? line saying it won’t be a problem, but the added element of revenge could be present with each blitz Northwestern dials up.Statistically, the Wildcats rank fifth in scoring defense at 22.6 points per game, fifth in total defense with 345.2 yards per game and they have forced 24 turnovers.“They are another good defense,” Tolzien said. “The one thing that sticks out is they really have multiple coverages. Stuff like that, they are kind of complex and sound with it.”Once again, the Badgers will rely on their Big Ten-leading rushing game to carry the brunt of the offense.Going up against an average run defense (No. 5 in the Big Ten), UW will hope to build on the already superb 208 yards per game average.Stopping workhorse running back John Clay will be the No. 1 goal for Northwestern if they have any hope of upsetting the Badgers.“This week, we are going to need [the running game],” UW offensive coordinator Paul Chyrst said simply.At Wisconsin, we really believe that we should be able to run the football,” Bielema added. “It’s one of the keys to our success. I think what I’ve always tried to point out to our guys is when we win a football game, I try to point out the ingredients that made that success happen. Just because you have those ingredients doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to work, but when they all work together, that’s what you hopefully get is a W.”If Clay is the best option for Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, Northwestern quarterback Mike Kafka is trailing closely behind.Ranked second in the conference in total offense, Kafka brings a threat in both the running game and passing attack.“Well, I think first off with Kafka, when you don’t play a team for two years, you kind of just get bit and pieces,” Bielema said. “I’ve been very impressed with what I’ve watched this year in some crossover games, but more importantly in the last 24 hours of watching what Northwestern does. He obviously missed a game with the injury, but he’s being very productive.”last_img read more

Roberto Martinez to trust in Everton’s youth despite pressure on his job

first_img1 Roberto Martinez has decided the best way to ease the pressure on his job is by trusting Everton’s youth players for the remainder of the season.The Spaniard knows some fans are calling for his head, with protests planned during’s Saturday’s visit of Bournemouth, but, as of yet, there have been no moves by the board to get rid of him.The Toffees currently sit 11th place in the Premier League, and, although it may result in falling closer to the bottom three, Martinez is looking to incorporate youth players in the final weeks of the campaign. Tom Davies and Callum Connolly both made debuts from the bench against Southampton last month and with injured trio Phil Jagielka, Seamus Coleman and Gareth Barry joining the suspended Ramiro Funes Mori in the stands, there could be more chances.Matthew Pennington, recently recalled from a loan spell at Walsall, could feature at the heart of defence and a debut for 18-year-old playmaker Kieran Dowell – who scored a hat-trick against Leicester’s Under-21s in midweek – appears imminent.Martinez said: “Kieran has been outstanding in his performances, I don’t think you could find a better adjective than ‘outstanding’ to describe the consistency he’s had with the Under-21s and the quality he brings.“He was involved with the first-team (squad) earlier in the season but picked up an injury and I feel he’s ready now to be given an opportunity in the first team.“Every young player at Everton has a specific programme and path to get into the first team. We’ve already seen Tom and Callum make their debuts and they were very impressive in the manner they did.”John Stones and Ross Barkley are two recent examples of inexperienced players rising to prominence – and full England honours – through the Everton ranks.They proved themselves to Martinez whenever handed the chance in the first-team, and the head coach has urged any upcoming debutants to show a similar drive to impress.“Whoever is on the pitch needs to reach a level of intensity or responsibility or drive or quality,” he said.“It’s no good going through the motions or expecting you’re going to have the opportunity to represent Everton for the rest of your career.“Whoever is on the pitch for different reasons – and there are certain players who deserve opportunities or need to show what they can do – needs to show that sort of level every single minute between now and the end of the season.“Every position in the table matters and every point matters.” Everton manager Roberto Martinez last_img read more

5 million damage at former Hayden Island hotel

first_imgSee the bottom of this story for a video of fire crews mopping up the scene of Sunday morning’s huge fire.UPDATE: At 9 a.m. Monday, crews still are on the scene putting out spot fires. Fire investigators will arrive about 11:00 a.m.. to began the tedious task of milling through the rubble to determine the cause of the fire. The blaze caused an estimated $5 million in damage, said an official with the Portland Fire & Rescue. Crews will continue mopping up Monday and Tuesday at the vacant Thunderbird on the River hotel on Hayden Island, destroyed early Sunday morning by fire that sent spectacular flames into the night sky.It is considered the biggest local fire in more than a decade and its cause probably will not be known for days. “We haven’t had a five-alarm structure fire since 1999,” said Ron Rouse, fire inspector for Portland Fire & Rescue. The blaze broke out at 2:53 a.m. As night fell Sunday, crews were still pouring water on hot spots and the area was still smoky. No injuries were reported.The 352-room hotel at 1401 N. Hayden Island Drive has been vacant since 2005. It is just west of the Interstate 5 Bridge and directly across from the Red Lion Hotel at the Quay in Vancouver. It was once owned by Vancouver’s Tod McClaskey and Ridgefield’s Ed Pietz, who sold their 54-hotel empire in 1984. The site once was mentioned for a Walmart store, but plans fell through.“The bulk of the fire is out,” Rouse said about 12:30 Sunday afternoon. He said it had been under control at 7 a.m., but added firefighters were hitting “hot spots.”last_img read more