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August 28, 2001

Tradaq Signs On London's Halcyon Hotel
Hideaway For Jagger & De Niro Available On Trade

The Los Angeles Times calls the Halcyon Hotel, located in London's Holland Park, "London's best kept secret." Known for its stylish contemporary decor, it's become a hideaway for many celebrities when they are in London.

According to Halcyon's manager Will Oakley, by working with Tradaq they will be able to further improve their facilities, including a complete redecoration of the lobby.

Travel and Hospitality Industry Digest reports that UK hotels are operating at 70% occupancy. By working with Tradaq, Halcyon will be trading unused (unsold) hotel rooms for a range of goods and services from the Tradaq network.

Tradaq's headquarters are located in London, and the growing global trading network, www.tradaq.net, now has over 10,000 businesses as members/clients.


Interesting Parallel

The airlines are cutting commissions paid to travel agents for air tickets, because the percentage of online bookings continues to grow. (In other words, the consumer can do the work of securing the product.)

Cruise lines, on the other hand, are going in the opposite direction by not only granting lucrative commissions, but offering agents other incentives to familiarize them with ships and ports of call. Why? Because the consumer doesn't feel comfortable doing it themselves.

Apparently cruise lines need the agents to help consumers wade through a sea of information and possibilities, i.e. cabin types, land excursions, dining preferences, etc.

In a way, what's happening in this example is much the same as the current debate in the trade exchange industry. The online advocates believe that the consumer/client can handle their bartering efforts themselves, without any assistance, and pay a lower fee. On the other hand, trade exchanges offering the full brokerage services—much like a travel agent—offer their clients more individual assistance, and charge higher fees for the service rendered.



Here And There. . .

  • The International Reciprocal Trade Association's 22nd Annual Barter Congress will be held September 20-23 in Denver at the Westin Westminster Hotel. For more information call IRTA at (716) 424-2964, or check out www.irta.com "Events & Registration."

  • Entravision Communications of Santa Monica, quietly operates one of the largest groups of Spanish-language radio and TV stations north of the border. Entravision stations also dominate the airwaves of five Mexican border cities, with a combined audience of more than six million.

    The powerful network was started ten years ago by two guys who scraped together $5 million and then bought "stick stations" ( stations with a little more than a transmission tower). In 1995 they borrowed $120 million in expansion capital from Univision, the nation's largest Spanish-language network--effectively making bankers of their programming supplier!

    Entravision went public last year cutting a barter deal with Univision...when Univision agreed to trade the previous mentioned $120 million debt for a 25% stake in Entravision.

  • Follow up on last week's story, "Ad Slump Bodes Well For Barter Industry:" As retailers continue to announce cuts in their ad spending, the new vogue is spending for special events--wooing shoppers while they are actually in the stores--and better pay for salesclerks.

    In July, national magazine advertising by retailers was down 22%. Retailers collectively represent the single most important purchase of ad space and time in the last four months of the year.

  • Crown Media Holdings will expand its reach an additional 8 million subscribers through a barter arrangement with DirecTV...expanding Crown's Hallmark Channel by 21% to 40 million subscribers by the end of September. In exchange Crown Media provided DirecTV 5.4 million Class A shares, giving the television provider a 4.7% stake in Crown Media.

  • Schottenstein Stores out of Columbus (OH) has acquired Bugle Boy Industries, the jeans and cargo pants company, out of bankruptcy. Acquisition included the Bugle Boy trademark and 312 retail outlets. Within the barter industry, Schottenstein Stores is known for its purchasing of inventories from corporate barter companies.

  • There may be "green shoots of a recovery ahead" for the venture capital world, but there will be big changes ahead as well, according to a just released survey by Deloitte & Touche.

    For the first time since the survey's inception (this is its third quarterly edition), a 60% majority of VCs in Silicon Valley think the value of companies will hold steady or increase rather than drop when they get sold or go public.

    In the second quarter, 79% of VCs expected valuations to continue dropping. On the East Coast, where the survey was conducted for the first time this quarter, 65% of VCs believe the value of companies will hold steady or increase.

    However, on both coasts more than 60% of VCs expect another 10% to 33% of all venture-backed companies to fail. And nearly 80% of VCs in both surveys expect the number of venture firms to decline...again in the 10% to 33% range. (The surveys were conducted June 28 to July 13 and included 189 VCs from Silicon Valley and 175 from the East Coast.)

  • Amazon.com continues the direction of "morphing" into some new form of marketing conduit. The recent deal with Circuit City stores, for example, will see Amazon customers being able to acquire CC products on the web site, but they must pick up the products at one of the electronic retailer's 600 stores.

    So, the difficulty of selling electronics online was underscored by this new partnership. (Circuit City reportedly will pay Amazon a percentage on the sales that Amazon steers its way.)

  • The National Business Travel Association says that because so many companies have been cutting travel budgets, the hotel industry is finally crying "uncle" and now offering lower rates and cutting deals.

  • Having the ability to put a roof-top sign on the building they rent space in near the Los Angeles International Airport runways, was the determining factor for DirecTV's decision to take additional square footage in the Kilroy Airport Center...millions of travelers will see their sign as they fly into LAX.

 

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