Christmas comes earlier each year for Argos

This might just be approaching some sort of early Christmas record. Online and catalogue retailer Argos has been inviting journalists to its Christmas Show at a trendy London restaurant on … 15 July.

Newton Property staff enjoy the heat. Picture: SWNS

John Walden, the chief executive of parent company Home Retail Group, and his Argos executive team will be getting in that festive spirit, while presumably hoping last week’s London temperatures of 35C are a thing of the past.

Jingle bells, jingle bells and all that…

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Sunbathe on company time

With recent reports of an increase in “sickies” when the temperature rises, one Glasgow employer is doing his bit to keep employees cool.

Stephen O’Neill, managing director of Glasgow factoring company Newton Property, has added an extra 15 minutes to staff lunch breaks whenever the temperature in the city tops 18C (which would no doubt have those south of the Border reaching for their jumpers).

He said: ”Let’s be honest, Glasgow tends to get the fuzzy end of the lollipop when it comes to heatwaves, so we’ve decided the minute the sun is out and the temperature tops 18C our whole team of 25 people can add an extra 15 minutes to their lunch break to soak up some rays.”

Closer to Dorset’s delights

THERE was a cross-Border meeting of business chambers of commerce when a delegation from Dorset flew in to meet with their Glasgow counterparts.

The business exchange was organised to strengthen trade links following the launch of Flybe’s new direct flights between Scotland’s biggest city and the coastal resort of Bournemouth.

Members of the Dorset Chamber of Commerce & Industry took to the skies first thing in the morning and returned in the early evening on the 190-minute round trip that, for those with a masochistic streak, would take about 16 hours non-stop for the 714-mile trip by road, and a similar amount of time by rail, including changes.

A clearly delighted Glasgow chamber boss Stuart Patrick said: “Thanks to the business intelligence shared during the visit, plus the promotion of AFC Bournemouth to the Premiership League, and Flybe’s direct flights to the county, Glasgow will be certainly be hearing a lot more in the future about what opportunities in Dorset and further afield on the south coast offer to us in Scotland.”

We have not been told if the whistlestop tour of the city involved sampling some typical deep-fried lunchtime cuisine.

Charity begins at home

The Stelios Philanthropic Foundation, the charity created and run by EasyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, is on standby to increase help to the needy as many Athenians struggle to put food on the table amid the ongoing debt crisis.

The Foundation’s “Food from the Heart” programme was set up two years ago in Cyprus and one year ago in Greece to help those facing poverty as a result of the financial collapse there, and demand in the Greek capital has risen steadily to about 2,700 free lunchtime snacks a day.

Athens-born Stelios says: “It is sad but true that there are so many people in my birthplace that need just that – some food from the heart. I hope that one day we will open the shutters and there is no-one queuing outside. Then we can declare our job done and get out.”