It’s finally here, December 13th! A very special day, not only do I step on board my flight this afternoon and head to Sweden, today is also the day when Swedes around the world celebrate Lucia, a tradition that might seem weird to most non-Swedish people but makes perfect sense to all Swedes. You can get a crash course on what it’s all about below. It’s also Friday today, don’t ask me why I chose to travel on this day. Lucky I’m not superstitious. See you on the other side folks. Sweden here I come!
Every Australian is well familiar with what a showbag is. For me it was something new and unfamiliar, until the other day when Simon and I went to the Royal Melbourne Show that is. Speaking of unfamiliar just to clarify things, an Australian show is the same thing as a fair or a carnival. Yes, they do like to be different these Aussies. The Royal Melbourne Show for those of you who don’t now it is an agricultural show held at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds every September. The show has been running since 1848 and it has around half a million visitors each year and offers a mix of animals, livestock, rides and food experiences.
But back to the showbags. A showbag is commercial plastic bag filled with treats and fun. There was a Showbag Pavillion at the Royal Show here in Melbourne filled with heaps and heaps of showbags (387 to be exact), something for every age, taste and budget. The showbags are basically sample bags and was originally given out for free to promote brand awareness. They are not free any more of course but you can find bags for as little as $2 and at the Show here in Melbourne about 65% of the bags cost under $20.
So happy the weekend is here after a rather shitty week. It started off on Monday morning with one of my team members handing in her resignation at work. I didn’t see that one coming and with only three weeks notice period it put me in a bit of a sticky position. I need a replacement person quickly and clearly there will be no time for her to train someone new before she’s gone.
Initially I was pretty upset since she was a person I decided to keep when we had the redundancy a few months back and I had to get rid off one person in my team. I kept her because I believed in her future in the company. I now have a bit more perspective on the situation and I’m trying to be positive about the change. Hopefully something good will come out of it in the end.
I’m having a crash course in management this year that’s for sure with my first redundancy and now my first recruitment process. A steep learning curve indeed.
It was announced last week that Swedish fashion giant H&M finally will open its first Australian store. Even better is that it won’t be in Sydney, it will be in Melbourne! After all we’re are the Australian fashion capital so it’s only fair. 5,000 sqm of Swedish goodness over three levels will open in the former post office building, GPO, on Bourke St, probably mid next year.
H&M, also known as Hennes & Mauritz is known as the second largest global retailer. Similar to Zara and Top Shop is known for its fast fashion clothing for men, women, teenagers and children. The first store opened in Västerås in Sweden back in 1947 but since then it has gone global and now has approx. 2,900 stores in 51 markets around the world.
Exciting times ahead!!
The Australian election is coming up next month and today the opposition leader Tony Abbott revealed a new controversial maternity scheme. The Coalition’s scheme will provide mothers earning up to $150,000 with 26 weeks (6 months) of paid parental leave, at their actual wage or the national minimum wage (whichever is greater), plus superannuation (to a maximum of $75,000). Fathers will be eligible for two weeks out of the 26 weeks with the same conditions. In contrast, Labor’s parental leave scheme is paid at 18 weeks minimum wage (a maximum of $11,200). The new scheme will apply for each baby born after July 1, 2015 under an Abbott government.