All posts filed under “Commerce

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Closing Up Shop in the UK

Although it looks as if the worst of the financial crisis is over, more and more physical stores are closing in the United Kingdom, according to data by the Local Data Company (LDC) for PwC. Subsequently, fewer shops are opening up. On an average day in 2017, eleven shops would open in the UK, while sixteen would close. The biggest victims of this development were fashion and footwear stores. According to PwC, most of the decline can be attributed to the fact that wage growth failed to keep up with inflation, the volatility of the pound since the Brexit decision and the ongoing rise of online sales. Not all is lost for physical stores: there was a rise in the number of beauty shops in 2017, while cafes, coffee shops, ice-cream parlours and bookstores also increased in number.

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The World’s Largest Cruise Ship

Today, the MS Symphony of the Seas, the world’s largest passenger ship ever to be built, will embark on its first cruise. The ship is 362 m long and (up to) 66 m wide, and it has a gross tonnage of 228,081. Up to 6,680 passengers can be accommodated, on the 18 decks, 23 pools and waterslides, concert hall, 20 restaurants, and 6 bars, including one where robots mix the drinks. Other attractions include a zip wire, mini golf course, surf simulator and a full-size basketball court. The gif above shows part of a video of the ship in dry dock. You see the three ABB Azipod thrusters (20 MW, or 27.000 horse power, each) that can be rotated, making a rudder unnecessary, and that can generate a speed of 41 km/h (25 mph). (source)