From BHS and John Lewis to TSB and the Apple Watch: What got us talking this week?

Catherine Neilan
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Philip Green definitely got us talking (Source: Getty)
Jeremy Clarkson punched a man over a steak. Blurred Lines went from being the song with questionable gender politics to being a Marvin Gaye rip-off. And somewhere above our heads, a pilot got bored and drew rude pictures using GPS flight data.

Here is what got us talking at City A.M.

1. After 15 years of being part of Sir Philip Green's retail empire, BHS has been sold off, reportedly for £1. The news was widely expected, but that didn't stop it being one of the biggest stories of the week, not least because no one had ever heard of the new owners, Retail Acquisitions. We tried to find out and here is what we discovered.
2. John Lewis revealed that profits were down, largely as a result of Waitrose taking a hit to let it compete with the discounters in the supermarket sector. But the real news was that staff – or partners as they are called – will be getting an 11 per cent bonus. It was quite a drop on last year's figure, but still not to be sniffed at. Here are three charts showing just how generous it was.
3. Just over a year since it was spun off from Lloyds, TSB could be snapped up by Spanish Banco de Sabadell. The group has made what looks like a rather generous offer and both Lloyds – which still owns 50 per cent – and TSB's board have approved it.
4. Apple finally unveiled the details of its Watch and although it did little to move the share price, we were hooked straight away, particularly on the solid gold edition that comes in at a mere £13,500. If you're wavering over whether to shell out or not, you might like to read this article listing five other things you could buy instead – including five per cent of a three-bed semi in Brighton.
Before you part with your cash though, how about seeing if you can remember what the Apple logo looks like. Think you know it? Think again.
5. The General Election is lumbering towards us with all the grace of a heavily overweight cabinet minister, and the bad news for Ed Miliband is that nearly two-thirds of business leaders think he will be bad for the economy.

Leisurely Reads

We went to the property conference Mipim this week, and while Russians were on short supply, there were plenty of Ukrainians looking to woo developers. We caught up with Kiev mayor and “Dr Iron Fist” Vitaliy Klitschko about why the country needs western investment. It's a great read.

Source: Getty

If you're looking for a good restaurant to get your taste buds going, you could do worse than Jason Atherton's East End offering Typing Room. If this review doesn't get you salivating, your mouth must be made of stone.
And with the news this week that Prudential boss Tidjane Thiam was quitting to join Credit Suisse, we take a look back at the chief executive who defied the odds to become viewed as a loss to UK insurance.

From elsewhere

The Apple launch reminded us of this epic piece of work by 9to5Mac, which explores just how the tech giant masters the media. It's not a short read, but it is fascinating and incredibly thorough. Well worth a bit of your time this weekend.
With the furore around Jeremy Clarkson and what we're calling fracas-gate (because, well why not), this think piece from Broadcast magazine on whether it could be a scandal too far puts the whole thing into great context.
It was Retail Week's conference and awards this week and there were plenty of great stories discussed on the day itself (our favourite is this video of B&Q's Chriss Moss on accidentally sending out 70,000 bomb hoaxes) but this interview with Sir Ian Cheshire, who picked up the Outstanding Contribution award, is also interesting.

The Last Word

Source: Getty

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