Poker face

On Friday, June 30, 2017, Category: Ludovic Subran

​I was once told that there are only two options for a report with unpleasant messages. You have to spice it up with either sex or gambling. We went for the latter and named our newest study “High Stakes Game: Payment Behavior, Cash Piles and Major Insolvencies”. After all, an Economic Outlook report can still be considered PG-rated. 

The news are not great. 

The economic acceleration does come with disagreeable surprises. Turnovers are growing but so are input costs and the jaw effect on companies can be important. While credit is still cheap, the time has come to wean the private sector off abundant liquidity. And of course, when it comes to political risk, all bets are off.

From payment behavior to cash piles to major insolvencies, companies will have to gamble a little if they want to break the bank this year yet you should never roll the dice when it comes to payment risk.

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​Thinking Outside the Cube

On Monday, May 22, 2017, Category: Ludovic Subran

“One cannot escape from one's own epoch, however revolutionary one may be.” - Georges Braque 

Connected, segmented, cross-channeled, omni-channeled, seamless, automated and optimized. Whatever the adjective, whatever the angle, all of these seem to boil down to the one meta-buzzword of our epoch: Customer Experience (CX). 

It might be tempting to dismiss it as hype. But the quest for CX is reshaping the multi-billion industry that is retail​. It is also threatening millions of jobs, as employees of insolvent giant chains sadly learn almost on a daily basis. And it is one of the focuses of our latest in-depth study, ”Retail, Disrupted – Pressure and Potential in the Digital Age​”.

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The Merchant of Westminster

On Thursday, April 13, 2017, Category: Ludovic Subran

​As the UK strides – or rather hobbles – out of the EU (see infographic at the end of this post), it is worth taking a keen look at what Britishness might stand for. Ask anyone in the world, and at the top of their ranking, somewhere between Scary Spice and hangover-proof food that I, as a Frenchman, am barred from tasting, they might place William Shakespeare.
Granted, the British national treasure never set foot in Europe. But his worldview and writings were infused with continentalism.

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French elections: Why this time it is different

On Monday, March 13, 2017, Category: Ludovic Subran

​France is a stable two-tier semi-presidential regime, traditionally resting on a two-party system. However, in our new report, titled “excuse My French (elections)”, we claim the upcoming presidential election can signal new, significant developments. 

Top French politicians - François Hollande, Nicolas Sarkozy and Manuel Valls -  have been voted out or opted not to run again. Weak economic performance, political defiance and antiestablishment rhetoric - at home and abroad - have caused a blatant lack of forward visibility. 


The stigma of a “lost decade” could be at stake. 

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15 Unexpected Reasons to read Global Sector Reports on St Valentine’s Day

On Tuesday, February 14, 2017, Category: Ludovic Subran

​Flowers that bloom for 24 hours.  Chocolate hearts sold and consumed by the kilo. Love packaged and marketed en-masse.
Let us be honest. St Valentine’s Day is magic in a neatly wrapped box. It’s an industry and a massive one for that matter. For retailers and chauffeurs and rose growers worldwide, it is a day to celebrate revenues or bemoan declining margins.
As it happens it is also the day where we serve a fresh batch of our Global Sector Reports. Think of it as a bouquet of sorts.
Yes, it’s our way of courting you.
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