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U.S. tourists flock to luxury shops in Europe

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American luxury shoppers traveling in Europe splurged at designer stores as the U.S. dollar and the euro hit parity on Wednesday

American luxury shoppers travelling in Europe feel as if they’ve hit the jackpot.

For the first time in twenty years, the euro and U.S. dollar are nearly equal in value.

The weak euro is tempting Americans like Shawna Wilson to splurge.

“Because the euro and the dollar are about the same, it definitely encourages us to spend. It’s like it’s on sale here, so we’re having no problem shopping.”

TOURIST FROM COLORADO AND MOM, SHAWNA WILSON, 49.

Wilson is among many American tourists flocking to Paris’s Avenue Montaigne this week, a strip of luxury stores which fronts designer brands such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Gucci.

“I am very excited that our American dollar is so strong, just when I am coming to Europe.”

TOURIST FROM NEW YORK CITY AND RETIRED TEACHER, SUSAN WEINBERG.

For Americans, purchasing a Chanel bag here could be cheaper by a thousand bucks, with savings from the exchange rate and tax refunds at the border on the way home.

But Erik Norland, senior economist at the CME Group in London, warns it’s not as simple as it seems.

“My own personal observation with luxury brands is that the prices of those goods tends not to vary from one country to another as much as you might expect. Another thing for Americans to consider, if they’re expecting bargains in Europe, is that in Europe in general there is much higher value added taxes there are in the U.S. Now that said, Americans who do shop over here can often get value added tax rebates when they leave. So that’s also something to look into as there might be a lot of calculations to make in terms of trying to find bargains. And it may not be as straightforward as people think.”

CME GROUP, SENIOR ECONOMIST, ERIK NORLAND.

On the flip side, European luxury shoppers like Sebastien Pozzi from Lyon, France, will feel a pinch at home – and while traveling to the U.S.

“Maybe we won’t buy anything. In France, it’s really expensive, that kind of brands, like Chanel, Dior. And here today… normally it could be cheaper in the U.S., but with the exchange rate, it’s not possible. It’s too expensive for us.”

TOURIST FROM LYON, FRANCE, SEBASTIEN POZZI.

Some analysts say the parity could last for at least a couple of weeks.

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Toyota announce Koji Sato as new CEO

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He’s the grandson of the founder, and a true titan of the industry.

 
But the question of who should replace Akio Toyoda at the top of Toyota had become a growing concern.

Now we have the answer.

The auto giant has announce its veteran boss would step down as chief executive, and become chairman.

Toyoda said he would be succeeded by chief branding officer Koji Sato from the start of April.

Sato says he loves making cars, and hopes to propel the company further down the Electric Vehicle path over the coming years. #Toyota

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Taylor Swift ticketing fiasco enters the U.S. Senate

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Live Nation is in the firing line over its inability to stop scalper bots from purchasing Taylor Swift tickets

U.S. Senators have grilled the boss of Live Nation over the lack of transparency relating to concert tickets for Taylor Swift’s upcoming tour.

The entertainment company, which owns Ticketmaster is under fire after bots purchased tickets for Swift’s ‘Era Tour’ last year, in an attempt to resell them for a higher price.

Joe Berchtold is the chief financial officer of Live Nation, who apologised to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

“We apologise to the fans, we apologise to Ms. Swift, we need to do better and we will do better.”

Senators criticised Live Nation’s fee structure and inability to deal with bots, which bulk buy tickets and resell them at inflated prices.

“There isn’t transparency when no one knows who sets the fees,” Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar said.

Meanwhile, Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn called Live Nation’s bot problem “unbelievable”.

Ticketmaster reportedly occupies more than 70 per cent market share of primary ticket services for major U.S. concert venues.

“You ought to be able to get some good advice from people and figure it out,” Ms Blackburn said.

Ticketmaster cancelled sales of Swift’s tour to the public because of the “high demand”.

The entertainment giant reportedly sold over 2 million tickets, which is enough to fill 900 stadiums.

Taylor Swift said the situation was difficult, and called for accountability for music promoters.

“It’s really difficult for me to trust an outside entity with these relationships and loyalties, and excruciating for me to just watch mistakes happen with no recourse.

“I’m not going to make excuses for anyone because we asked them, multiple times, if they could handle this kind of demand and we were assured they could,” she said.

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Amazon is taking on traditional pharmacies

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Amazon subscription service will give millions of Americans access to medications

 
How would you like to ditch going to the pharmacy?

Amazon has revealed a $5 monthly subscription plan for U.S. Prime members, allowing people to have generic drugs delivered right to their doors.

The program includes 50 medications which are used to treat 80 conditions.

Unfortunately individuals enrolled in Medicare or any other government healthcare programs will not be able to use the service.

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