Liquidation business booms in South Korea as wave of small retailers close due to virus

first_imgYou Young-sik has tried his luck running businesses, but when his convenience store, a sausage factory and a second-hand furniture shop all failed, he realised he had found a niche, one that he understood well: helping people go out of business.You says he is now busier than ever, due to the resurgence in coronavirus, tearing down sign boards and cash registers at shuttered hair salons, BBQ buffets and other places whose business model is based around human contact.“This is my busiest year so far, having done this for 10 years. Inquiries are about four to five times higher,” said 54-year-old liquidation specialist, who added that his business started taking off about two years ago as a street-level economic downturn began. “Second-hand goods have been piling up and we have nowhere to sell them to, so the coronavirus has been really bad for us,” said Cho, pointing to used fridges, rice cookers and waffle makers all cleaned up and displayed in glass racks.Family retailers batteredInventory glut at recycled kitchenware stores and booming liquidation businesses point to battered family retailers in every corner of the country.While policymakers brag that retail sales returned to growth in June and per-day exports recorded the slowest decline in 7 months in August, small businesses are failing at a rate not seen since the global financial crisis, data from the Korea Statistics shows.The hardest hit sectors in Asia’s fourth largest economy include hospitality, retail and restaurants, which are traditionally small, family-run businesses.South Korea has one of the world’s highest proportion of self-employed people, about 25 percent of the job market, making it very vulnerable to downturns. A 2017 Bank of Korea study showed only 38 percent of the self-employed businesses survive three years.New retirees seeking to supplement pensions by opening fried chicken diners or coffee shops and unemployed youth starting their own cafes have driven demand for second-hand sales for liquidators like You.But unprecedented social distancing restrictions imposed on eateries in Seoul since late August, banning onsite dining after 9 p.m. and limiting coffee and bakery franchises to takeout and delivery, has made trading tough for new start-ups.The government has warned South Koreans for several years not to open more fried chicken shops or cafes as the small hospitality sector is saturated.Small business profit margins were thinning before COVID-19.On top of the coronavirus pandemic, that has also fuelled an acceleration of e-commerce, small businesses are fighting spiking rents, a shorter work week and higher minimum wages under the left-leaning President Moon Jae-in.Moon has raised the legal minimum wage by about a third in the past three years to 8,720 won (US$7.2) an hour for 2021 and capped weekly work hours to 52 hours, raising costs and making lay offs inevitable for small businesses.Statistics Korea data show the number of self-employed businesses were down by 128,000 in July from a year earlier to 5.55 million, logging the biggest drop since the comparable period of 2009.Kim Da-eun, 27, ran a private tuition school for the past three years in Anseong, south of Seoul, but is now shuttering it as the number of students has dropped below 10, down from 40 last year, as the coronavirus outbreak kept many at home.“I’m now looking for a job but I don’t see anyone hiring. So I will be sticking to my delivery part-time for a while,” Kim said, observing the demolition of her business.Topics : “I can’t do them all but I still take about twice the work I used to, which is why I need to head out at 4 or 5 in the morning,” said You in the city of Suwon, south of Seoul, as he answers telephone calls and tightens ropes around tables and chairs on his truck.Tough social distancing rules to curb a second wave of coronavirus have markedly slowed retail traffic and emptied cafes across Seoul since mid-August.The tables and chairs that You collects from closing businesses will end up in recycled kitchenware shops, such as Dajoobang in a run-down part of Seoul’s Hwanghakdong.“Our 600-pyeong (21,350 square feet) storage warehouse has been completely full for about two months,” said Cho Gye-su, a 53-year-old manager at Dajoobang.last_img read more

Brisbane builder’s Gold Coast holiday home hits the market

first_imgThe Mermaid Beach apartment at 5/121 Hedges Ave will go to auction next month.A BEACHFRONT apartment that was a Gold Coast escape for a high-profile Brisbane builder is up for grabs.The fifth floor apartment in Mermaid Beach’s Solano building was used as a holiday home by Fardoulys Constructions founder Peter Fardoulys until he died in 2017.Robin Fardoulys, who now heads up the family’s Coorparoo-based construction company, said the family had decided it was time to sell the property on Millionaires’ Row. It is a blank canvas waiting for new owners. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:50Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:50 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenTop tips for sellers in Spring00:50 MORE NEWS: Andrew Winter taking home to auction this spring It is right on the beach and close to popular cafes and restaurants.“The apartment has a modern kitchen, three good-sized bedrooms, including a master suitewith an ensuite, and a study nook, three balconies and secure parking in the basement,” Mr Henderson said.“The apartment is light and bright but the best thing is that the beach is just a few stepsaway.”It also has panoramic views that stretch from Coolangatta to Stradbroke Island. MORE NEWS: Popular pad more than an online phenomenon It will go under the hammer at John Henderson Professionals’ spring auction event on September 10.Agency partner and marketing agent Luke Henderson said a renovation had breathed new life into Solano, which was on the corner of Venice St and Hedges Ave.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa10 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag1 day ago“It’s a boutique building that has undergone a major refurbishment in recent years,’’ he said.“Because there are only six apartments in the building, they have been tightly held and thereis always strong demand from buyers when one of the apartments becomes available.”He said the Fardoulys’ apartment was a blank canvas waiting for its new owner to add their personal touch to it.last_img read more

Television executive to keynote Caribbean film showcase

first_imgEntertainmentNewsRegional Television executive to keynote Caribbean film showcase by: – June 6, 2011 Share Share Sharing is caring! Sharecenter_img Mr. Mark Walton. Photo credit: africaeconomicforum.comNEW YORK, USA — Veteran Caribbean-American television executive Mark Walton of The Africa Channel will keynote the luncheon session of the first CaribbeanTales New York Film Showcase.The film showcase is set for the Spike Lee Screening Room at Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus in New York at the weekend.The inaugural one-day event, which brings the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Caribbean Week in New York to a close on Saturday, June 11, will feature a keynote address by Walton on “Why A Strong African Diaspora Makes Sense.”“The UN has designated 2011 as the International Year for People of African Descent and this should be a time for all people who claim Africa as their ancestral homeland to take time to understand and appreciate the impact we have made on the global society,” asserted Walton. He contends the time has come “to celebrate our diversity as people of African descent.”The Filmmakers’ Brunch begins at noon and includes panel discussions, networking and the screening of top Caribbean-produced films.Walton, who is The Africa Channel’s executive vice president of sponsorship and corporate development, postulates the Caribbean region has huge potential to tell its own story to the world since the diversity of cultures in the region is not yet known on the world stage.“But when the voices of the Caribbean are heard, they will make a statement. The world hasn’t yet heard or seen the real stories of the Caribbean. The emergence of a film industry can transport the imagery beyond sun, sea and surf to people, culture and heritage,” declared Walton.Walton, a Yale graduate who traces his roots not only to Africa but also to Barbados, has more than 20 years of experience in advertising sales, television, film distribution, marketing and general management. He spent more than 10 years with CBS in New York, holding various management positions in sales, marketing and finance.By the time he left CBS, he was responsible for marketing network television news, daytime, late night and children’s programs to a roster of major advertisers and their ad agencies with billings in excess of $75 million.Frances-Anne Solomon, founder and CEO of CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution (CTWD), announced her organization was honored to welcome Walton to the showcase.The day’s activities, which run from noon to 10 pm, also include a gala “Rum and Fishcakes” reception and the screening of the riveting documentary “Fire in Babylon”, the inspiring story of how a West Indies cricket side, one of the most gifted teams in sporting history, triumphed over its colonial masters.Earlier in the day, guests will watch “Calypso Dreams,” arguably the best film ever made about calypso as it explores the roots of kaiso in Trinidad and Tobago.A few short films from up and coming Caribbean-American filmmakers’ will also be screened. They include “Dominion” (Barbados), “Jerk Chicken” (Jamaica), and “The Other Side of the Water” (Haiti).CTWD, a member of the BIM Ventures family of entrepreneurs, has hosted two film festivals in Barbados, another in Canada, produced training workshops for filmmakers, and now has more than 60 films in its catalog.The New York event is free to the public, however, patrons must RSVP to secure their spots.The organizers report the response for the inaugural event has been robust and urged patrons to avoid missing out by responding sooner rather than later.Caribbean News Now Tweet 33 Views   no discussionslast_img read more

German magazine ‘stands by’ story about Ronaldo rape allegation

first_imgThe German magazine that reported a rape allegation made against footballer Cristiano Ronaldo says it has “no reason” to doubt the authenticity of key documents used in its story.Ronaldo, 33, denies assaulting Kathryn Mayorga at a Las Vegas hotel in 2009.Lawyers representing the Juventus player said on Wednesday that documents had been “completely fabricated”.But Der Spiegel said: “We have hundreds of documents from different sources that substantiate our reporting.”It added in a statement: “We stand by our reporting. We have no reason to believe that those documents are not authentic.”Furthermore, as always and before publishing every single article in Der Spiegel, we have meticulously fact-checked our information and had it legally reviewed. “The statement that was issued by [Ronaldo’s lawyer] Peter Christiansen on behalf of Cristiano Ronaldo presents the usual path that Mr Ronaldo and his lawyers have taken in the past when unsuccessfully fighting our investigative work.”The magazine’s story centres on a questionnaire, which it says came from Ronaldo’s lawyers, in which the Portugal international admits Mayorga, 34, said “no” and “stop” during the alleged attack.In a statement released on Wednesday, Christiansen said the documents were “pure inventions” and the result of a 2015 cyber attack, during which “electronic data was stolen” from “dozens of entities (including law firms) in different parts of Europe”.He added: “This hacker tried to sell such information, and a media outlet irresponsibly ended up publishing some of the stolen documents, significant parts of which were altered and/or completely fabricated.”Der Spiegel responded by saying: “In our article, we quote two versions of a document with statements by Mr Ronaldo. “It’s a questionnaire that comes from his lawyers and describes the course of the night, in which the alleged rape occurred. The first version of this questionnaire, in which Ronaldo is quoted as saying that Ms Mayorga said ‘no’ and ‘stop’, is consistent with many details of Ms Mayorga’s description of the incident.”Both also state that he apologised to her afterwards. In a later version of this questionnaire, Mr Ronaldo denies the accusation of rape and denies apologising to Ms Mayorga.”Christiansen said his client’s position continues to be that “what happened in 2009 in Las Vegas was completely consensual”.He added: “So that there are no doubts: Cristiano Ronaldo vehemently denies all the accusations in this civil action, in consistency with what he has done in the last nine years.”Mayorga’s lawyers have now called for any documents to be handed over to “the appropriate law enforcement agencies” to help resolve any discrepancies. They added they wanted to review any evidence that showed documents had been altered or fabricated.’Admittance of payment’Der Spiegel also believes Ronaldo’s representatives have changed their narrative regarding the alleged payment that was made to Mayorga by Ronaldo’s lawyers in 2010.Mayorga, who the magazine says filed a report with Las Vegas police shortly after the alleged incident, reportedly reached an out-of-court settlement with Ronaldo involving a $375,000 (£288,000) payment for agreeing never to go public with the allegations.Christiansen says Ronaldo does not deny he entered into an agreement, but “the reasons that led him to do so are at least to be distorted”. He added: “This agreement is by no means a confession of guilt.”Der Spiegel said: “When we published an article about the settlement agreement between Ms Mayorga and Mr Ronaldo in 2017, his advisors called it ‘nothing but a piece of journalistic fiction’. “Now, Mr Ronaldo admits that he agreed to that settlement.”The magazine’s statement added: “Before publishing our story about the rape accusations, we gave Mr Ronaldo and his lawyers the opportunity to respond to the allegations.”They could have disputed the facts that we presented to them. They did not do that. In no way did they claim that parts of our information were ‘pure inventions’. One of his lawyers threatened to sue us for publishing because he said that we infringed Mr Ronaldo’s personal rights. So far, we have not received anything in this regard.”Only Kathryn Mayorga and Cristiano Ronaldo know the truth about the incident that occurred on June 13, 2009. It’s not our job to judge. What we do is to report. We tell both sides of the story.”The responsible authorities of Nevada will determine the following steps in this process. So far, of course the presumption of innocence applies to Mr Ronaldo.”last_img read more

HSU falls to San Bernardino’s aggressive defense, better shooting

first_imgThe Humboldt State men’s team suffered a tough loss to Cal State San Bernardino (7-9, 5-7) 90-79 at home Saturday night, falling to 6-12 (3-9) on the year. San Bernardino jumped out to a double-digit lead early on in the game forcing Humboldt to play catch-up for much of the night. San Bernardino led by as much as 26 in the first half. Humboldt closed the gap to 18 during the closing minutes of the first half, due in part to a buzzer-beating three-pointer from Humboldt’s Will Taylor just …last_img read more

I don’t consider myself a Marxist: Datta Samant

first_imgDatta Samant: Balance sheets are manipulatedFor a man who can mobilise 15 lakh workers at the snap of his stubby fingers; who is the nemesis of India’s industrial barons and one of the most successful negotiators on the trade union front – Datta Samant hardly lives up to his larger-than-life,Datta Samant: Balance sheets are manipulatedFor a man who can mobilise 15 lakh workers at the snap of his stubby fingers; who is the nemesis of India’s industrial barons and one of the most successful negotiators on the trade union front – Datta Samant hardly lives up to his larger-than-life image. He displays neither the fire-breathing oratory of a George Fernandes nor the suave sophistication of a Sharad Joshi. He is, instead, strangely inarticulate. His answers to questions are contained in jerky, incomplete sentences delivered in an inaudible monotone. Constant interruptions in the form of telephone calls and a steady stream of visitors make it virtually impossible to conduct a normal conversation.A full working day for Samant begins at 7.30 a.m. and winds up late at night – a lifestyle that allows the maverick labour leader little time to spend with his wife Vanita and his five children, and ensures that he travels up to 150 km a day.To pin down the man and probe behind the affable facade he sports, India Today Correspondent Chander Uday Singh joined the Doctor in his gleaming white Premier Padmini gifted by workers, for an entire day. Between negotiations and in the course of the long day, Singh pieced together Samant’s halting responses to questions. To gain a more complete picture, India Today editors invited Samant and his close advisers to the magazine’s New Delhi office where he was grilled all through a two-hour session. Excerpts from both interviews:Q. Your militant methods often result in interminable strikes which hurt the workers involved very severely. Is this uncompromising attitude entirely necessary?A. You must understand that there are no economic changes which come through the Parliament or by talking alone. You have to organise and fight these injustices which exist. It is morchas and agitations which deliver the goods, not talk.advertisementWe are not taking the workers on indefinite strike to prove a point or for prestige: we do it because we want our legitimate share of productivity and profit. This is a mass agitation for pressing demands which no labour leader has been able to get the workers. We have to face these kinds of odds, you can’t expect everything to be sweet and rosy.Q. What about the middle class employees, the clerks, supervisory staff and executives who suffer during your strikes without getting any of the benefits?A. This is not really true. Today even the middle class employees have started joining my unions. In the case of these clerks and supervisory personnel, they are all educated people who know that they are being exploited. But because of their so-called standards of morality and decency they are too weak to resist it.These people actually want the benefits of an agitation without having to fight for them. And when they find that the managements are talking to me and giving my workers benefits, then they suddenly come around and join my unions. Today, in almost 80 per cent of my units, the technical and supervisory staff are my members.Q. An argument frequently used against you is that you disrupt productivity in every unit you enter, thus hurting both the employer and the labour force, who have to forgo their wages for long periods.A. This is not true. Firstly, strikes and violent agitations are not the norm. It is not in more than 1 per cent of my units that the matter escalates into a strike. Secondly, at factories where we have reached a settlement my workers give at least 5 to 10 per cent extra productivity. I tell them that now that you have got your money you have to do your share.In Mukand Iron, Viren Shah has given me Rs 450 to 525 rise in wages, but he will be the happiest person, because he will be getting so much more productivity. And the factory owners know this.Q. Many of the textile mills are in financial straits, and it is possible that your strike will drive them to sickness. Won’t this hurt the labour force in the long run?A. These mills were made sick by all types of malpractices and misappropriations by the owners. People like the Kilachands and Kapadias who mismanaged them deliberately drove them to sickness. It is irresponsible to say that the workers are making them sick by demanding their due; this is all the millowners’ propaganda. The Government should have stepped in and seen that these people did not bleed the mills dry. Why should the workers suffer for this man-made sickness?advertisementQ. Economists argue that due to your frequent wage demands you are infact contributing to inflation because the increased wages are passed on to the consumer.A. Not correct. That statement is absolutely untrue. There is no control whatsoever on the selling price of every item, and the manufacturers are indiscriminately hiking up prices. The price neutralisation given to workers comes only after prices have already risen, and that neutralisation is only a third of the price rise. So to say that the workers’ pay is responsible for inflation is a very bad proposition and I am not going to accept it.Q. You are accused of total non-application of mind to individual negotiations, which hurts the workers interests since you do not pay attention to economic facts or balance sheets. Is this true?A. I may be guilty of doing injustice to a few employers by not applying my mind, but in 90 per cent of the cases my attitude is correct. Balance sheets are all I manipulated by the employers, the laws are all outdated and can give no justice where balance sheets are fabricated. I have got a lot of experience in different industries, and today I can visualise the financial position in different industries. Also, what one employer in an industry is able to pay, the other can certainly pay.You must understand that there are no economic changes which come through the Parliament or talking alone. You have to organise and fight these injustices which exist. It is morchas and agitations which deliver the goods, not talk. In many units the supervisory staff are also with us, so we make inquiries with them about the productivity and financial jugglery. We find out when they are altering their books or indulging in black transactions. Maybe we do an injustice to workers or employers in a few cases by asking for too much or too little, but in 90 per cent of the cases we are eventually proved right.Q. Who do you consider your main rivals in Bombay?A. I have no rivals. Where is the question of rivals. I’m not doing it for my own sake. On the contrary, I want somebody should work honestly with the workers as we are doing. Work should be shared.Q. Do you collaborate with other unions? A. How can I collaborate. The workers leave (other) unions to join me. But in any labour action, mass action, if the aim is the same, we can collaborate.Q. What is your ideology ?Should, for example, private companies be taken over by the Government?A. At present, to take over by the Government, that type of conciousness has not come in our workers. But the Government can immediately do certain things. At present, it is the main financier for industry, all the money given by the banks and financial institutions, land, everything. So they can know the cost price of anything and regulate the selling price. On a broad base it is possible. The Government can then decide how much wage can be given to the workers. The Government should have a broad wage policy, to protect the wages of the worker.advertisementQ. Is the problem then basically of wages?A. As a trade unionist. I’m concerned with wages. Prior to my coming on the scene, wage agreements were of 40 to 50 rupees. Now they are 200 to 300 rupees.Q. Are the demands of workers sometimes unreasonable ? Do you scale them down?A. Sometimes, ten to 15 per cent these things happen. Because of my mass thinking that balance sheets are bad, I may be doing injustice. But hardly 10 per cent.Q. Do you believe there should be a private sector?A. Yes, the private sector should be free, but on that there should be some restrictions on wages and prices.Q. Do you agree that companies must make profit?A. Yes.Q. Do you consider yourself a Marxist?A. No, I don’t consider myself a Marxist.Q. You’re not a Marxist, you believe in private enterprise, then in what way are you left of centre?A. This is the thing. You must see the workers interest. If private enterprise can be properly controlled seeing the interest of the customers and workers, that type of controlled economy the Government can run.Q. You mean socialist control?A. Yes, socialist control, that is a good word you have used.Q. Have you considered joining any political party?A. No, because I’m finding the present parties are not taking up workers’ causes.Q. Are politically controlled unions bad?A. These unions are more interested in politics than in workers’ economic gains.Q. At one time you were in the Congress(I)….?A. That is right, from 1972 to 1977 I was a Congress(I) MLA, but I was the only one who was arrested under MISA.Q. Given a chance, would you join the Congress(I) again?A. No, no, not at all. I have not approached them and they have not approached me. I will not bargain away the workers’ interest with any party.Q. How did you find Antulay as a chief minister. Was he sympathetic to the workers’ plight?A. He was a short-tempered man. We never went to him with our problems. We found that if we went to him, the problems became more complicated.Q. What do you think of Mrs Gandhi?A. As far as labour is concerned, she doesn’t have any policies.Q. Do you believe productivity and wages should be linked?A. Not necessarily.Q. In your negotiations, what pressures do you put on the managements?A. I don’t pressure. The employers realise that if they don’t give money (to the workers) this union will resist, go for strikes, that is why they give in. That may be the pressure.Q. Do you have any national plans in your trade union work?A. No!Q. Why not ? If your formula works in Bombay, Maharashtra…?A. I’m a small man. I can’t manage that. I have no ambition.Q. By doing all the negotiation yourself, aren’t you negating the concept of collective bargaining ? Shouldn’t the workers be learning to negotiate themselves, to gain confidence?A. You’ve raised a very important point. That is my desire for many years. that the worker should study this. It shouldn’t go on behind one individual, that is not correct also. But the whole practical difficulty is that many of my workers are not educated. Second thing is that the educated people in the factory never come forward to give their help because they are fifty-fifty-fifty (per cent) with the management and fifty with the workers. So that type of intellectual will never come forward.Third, my difficulty is that if I leave things to the workers, it is not properly put up. Sometimes they make any demand taking my name, and sometimes the management tackles some of them and starts negotiating from a lower level. And, subsequently I find things difficult to correct.Q. What kind of relationship do you usually have with the employers?A. Very good. In the majority they know they must pay a good share to workers. I tell them if they do, the workers must work well. It is only a handful where they don’t realise this.Q. You have called the Tatas traders? They are not traders. They have investment worth a thousand crore.A. Their mentality is that of traders. I don’t mean in the bania sense. The whole tendency of employers is to keep the wages at a minimum level.Q. What is your idea of a good employer?A. One who gives the worker good things.last_img read more