McDonald's kale salad secret & Danier Leather's fiscal faux pas: BUSINESS WEEK WRAP
Oil was in the news again this week, as the price of crude seems to have found a range, seesawing above and below the $30 US per barrel level. While oil investors may be glad to see some stability, that doesn't mean the pain is all over.
Some of the biggest oil companies in the world reported earnings this week, and the results weren't pretty. British conglomerate BP posted its worst annual loss ever, and says it will cut another 7,000 jobs between now and the end of next year.
"Job losses are always difficult, they're probably the worst thing that you have to deal with," CEO Bob Dudley said. "But we are a business, we have to respond, we have to restructure."
Royal Dutch Shell fared little better, with its profit down 44 per cent. And it, too, plans to axe 10,000 jobs in the coming quarters. America's biggest oil company, Exxon Mobil, saw its profit cut in half.
All in all, it's tough times for oil companies trying to ride out the current low price environment.
Danier falls out of fashion
Another major story this week was the struggles of yet another Canadian retailer. After more than 40 years in business Danier Leather announced it is restructuring its operations, which could include asset sales or outright insolvency.
At least one retail consultant says the low value of the Canadian dollar likely isn't helping. "If they're buying any raw materials offshore or from U.S. companies, they might be paying in U.S. dollars for raw leather," Bruce Winder of the Retail Advisors Network said. "So eventually, it usually hits a company."
Although the chain may yet turn itself around, it won't be the first retail name to find itself in tough times. In recent years, Jacob, Le Chateau, Reitmans, Mexx, Smart Set, Laura, and Nine West have all faced major headwinds selling fashion in this country.
A 70-cent US loonie isn't helping importers like them, but the industry has bigger problems than just a weak buck.
Big Mac vs. kale
Another story that really resonated with our readers this week was this one from our very own Sophia Harris that looked at the nutritional information for two popular fast food items and found an unexpected conclusion: a fully-loaded kale salad from McDonald's might actually be worse for you than a Double Big Mac.
Kale, a leafy green vegetable chock-full of vitamins, has become a trendy superfood. But it turns out when you drown it in dressing and toss strips of breaded chicken on it, a salad ends up with more calories, fat and sodium than the chain's namesake burger.
"Health-wise, I think it's fat and sodium overload," Toronto registered dietitian, Shauna Lindzon told us.
Those were just a few of our most-read stories of the week. Be sure and check out our home page for more, and don't forget to follow us on Twitter here for more. In the meantime, here's a day-by-day list of our most read stories of the week.
- Cable companies mum on pick and pay options and prices with 1 month to deadline
- Green tech companies ready to step in when oil prices rise again
- Healthy fast food? McDonald's kale salad has 2X calories than a double Big Mac
- Lowe's remodels its pitch to build a home reno giant with $3.2 billion offer for Rona
- Hoarding cash? You may miss out when stocks bounce back, experts warn
- Loonie soars above 73 cents as wind finally runs out of U.S. dollar's sails