Biedronka Fined For Misleading Anti-Inflation Promotion

Biedronka, one of Poland’s biggest supermarket chains, could face a fine for an anti-inflation promotion that the consumer watchdog claims were misleading. UOKiK reported the amount could amount to as much as 10% of their annual revenue.

As part of the promotion, which ran from April to June, customers were encouraged to compare prices and receive a refund if any 150 products were cheaper elsewhere. However, UOKiK noted that the rules were complex, and customers couldn’t use their coupons immediately after receipt.

UOKiK fines Biedronka

Biedronka, owned by Jeronimo Martins Polska, is facing a fine from Poland’s competition protection authority for its anti-inflation promotion. The store is running a campaign guaranteeing certain items at their current prices until JUOKiK believes this needs to be revised and is investigating whether the campaign infringes upon consumer rights.

UOKiK’s president claims Biedronka’s offer was deceptive. The company failed to include the “service maintenance” fee in the prices of their offers, causing confusion when consumers sought out the most profitable option. Furthermore, the porno website needed to inform customers about its costs and features.

In response to these allegations, UOKiK president Vlado Smolinski imposes fines on businesses that fail to uphold their statutory obligations. These sanctions serve as punishment for breaking the law and deter others from repeating similar offenses in the future.

UOKiK has recently been actively engaged in consumer protection and e-commerce due to changes to legislation that aim to safeguard online consumers’ interests. E-commerce businesses must ensure that website promotional prices are presented efficiently and transparently without using clauses that could distort consumer choice.

They must also ensure that other users’ opinions on their websites are reliable. These actions are part of UOKiK’s evolving activity, which strives to provide that online stores present content truthfully and honestly.

At UOKiK’s investigations, the economics department provides a second set of eyes. They prepare analyses and research the state of markets that may be vulnerable to distortion due to competition.

Mr. Wojciech Szymczak, Ph.D., supervises this unit responsible for competition and consumer protection matters at UOKiK. It boasts a significant workforce with an annual budget of 101 million zlotys and 591 employees.

Biedronka says it will appeal

Tomasz Christy, president of the Polish antimonopoly office, has issued a fine to Jeronimo Martins Polska for failing to display prices accurately on some goods in Biedronka stores. Consumer complaints revealed that some goods did not match what was on display or didn’t indicate their respective costs compared to other supermarkets.

UOKiK also asserted that consumers were being charged more at the checkout for identical goods than those available on the shelf, which they claimed violated the law. UOKiK also discovered that their campaign, which ran from April to June, may have misled consumers. It noted that regulations made claiming a refund much more complex than what the ads might suggest.

“Biedronka is deeply disappointed,” the company stated in a statement. It plans to appeal the ruling and appeal the court’s decision. The company asserted the fine was discriminatory and excessive, indicating a lack of goodwill in UOKiK’s case handling.

Biedronka recently unveiled 50 Private Brand products and introduced a personalized app that enabled users to find the best offers and campaigns, view their purchase history, and check the prices of products on sale in-store.

It was part of an anti-inflation promotion, which offered customers who purchased certain essential goods a refund if they found them cheaper elsewhere. But, unfortunately, UOKiK discovered that customers couldn’t take advantage of this offer due to rules requiring them to buy both from Biedronka and another shop within one week of each other.

However, Biedronka has saved Polish families over PLN 17 billion since 2017, as the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection reported. This success can be attributed to advertising campaigns within their chain which guaranteed price protection on essential items until June 2020.

Biedronka says it has complied with the law

On April 12th, UOKiK launched a campaign to guarantee prices would increase on June 30th and offered refunds if consumers found cheaper products. Unfortunately, the rules made receiving a refund more challenging than what the company’s marketing might have led customers to believe, according to UOKiK.

Biedronka’s suppliers – particularly those of fruit and vegetables – only know the discount amount after deliveries have already been made. Therefore, these suppliers cannot estimate how much a customer might save, potentially missing out on potential sales opportunities.

A spokesperson for the chain told Datezone they were working on a solution to address regulator concerns. Furthermore, they mentioned they were in talks with suppliers to simplify the process.

In Poland, Sunday trading is strictly forbidden by a national-conservative government led by Law and Justice (PiS). Unfortunately, some stores exploit loopholes in the law to open on Sundays and sell goods. This week Family Minister Magdalena Malag announced a roundtable to remind stores of their obligations to adhere to these restrictions.

This policy has led to workers’ protests across Poland as workers seek higher wages, benefits, and rights. The ruling party PiS has promised an increase in the minimum wage by 90% – up to 4,000 zlotys (EUR 930 or $1,050) per month.

A recent survey of employees from six of Poland’s major retail chains – Auchan, Carrefour, Makro Cash&Carry, Real, Tesco, and Biedronka – revealed weak employment relations. Nearly half of the employees interviewed believed there was no trust between them and their employers. At the same time, only 40% felt they had a stable relationship with them.

Biedronka says it is working on a solution

According to the regulator, Biedronka’s campaign was intended to recoup some costs associated with its prices rising faster than suppliers’. Furthermore, it violated laws against selling goods in stores not open to the public.

According to the regulator, Biedronka had to pay a fine of almost 30 billion zlotych (EUR12.3 million). These penalties stem from an investigation that began in July.

According to Pawe Niechcial, a representative for UOKiK, one primary reason for the fines was that Biedronka failed to inform its suppliers of how much money it was saving them. Doing this would have ensured that suppliers knew their discounts were being given for good value rather than simply because of an overly optimistic marketing approach.

However, Biedronka has come under fire from many critics. One prominent voice is Poland’s leading wine website Winicjatywa, which has consistently questioned the quality of some of Biedronka’s high-end items.

For instance, it has been claimed that some of the wines in this range taste virtually identical from bottle to bottle. Furthermore, the promotion was claimed to be an error since it must be thoroughly tested before going live.

In an interview with Reuters, Biedronka spokesperson Wiadomosci Handlowe indicated the company is actively searching for a solution. In the meantime, he said, they plan to move into The Warsaw HUB complex, which is being constructed in the Wola district of Warsaw.


How to be an entrepreneur amidst COVID-19

In times of crisis, people must stay connected. The business community has come together to serve its community like never before. Despite physical distancing measures, entrepreneurs are discovering solutions to the problems associated with the pandemic. And most of it happens right in front of our eyes.

Entrepreneurs are people who recognize opportunities to promote positive social change and act accordingly. Our current pandemic has opened up a new category of business and led to the creation of companies. Because of the pandemic, we have seen the birth of more life-changing organizations than ever before.

Matthew Wagstaff, the founder of Young Entrepreneur Marketplace in Rochester, New York, sees another aspect of this pandemic that has ignited a fire in children. He wonders if they will take it up and try to find their own solutions. I credit the pandemic with focusing and motivating it.

It is impossible to pinpoint how much growth can be attributed to children. The census does not track business applications by age, and platforms such as Kickstarter, GoFundMe and Instagram do not have the data or insights they can share. But experts say crises can boost entrepreneurship, and this particular crisis has a unique, child-friendly factor.

Adriel Lubarsky’s startup Riveter helps people apply for unemployment benefits, manage health insurance options, and offer educational resources and discounts on self-help, such as meditation apps and gym memberships. It also provides an intuitive approach for the unemployed, guiding people out of work to address their professional needs and their feel-good mentality. Companies were designed to help people survive the pandemic in various ways. Still, companies that help customers feel safe and happy in the new normal are especially relevant today.

Seeking opportunities

According to a survey of Junior Achievement USA alumni in 2020, 53% of program participants have started or own their own business, reports Merkel. Of those who set up their own companies, 83% are employers, compared with 20% of small businesses in the US, according to the US Census Bureau.

Entrepreneurs are a class of people who exploit the environment they find themselves in, and the pandemic is no different. Today’s outstanding entrepreneurs are constantly adapting to the world as they develop. You have to rotate, adjust and adjust to reflect what works and what doesn’t.

What holds many entrepreneurs back is their indecisiveness and not the end state of their business. As Tim says, it’s far more convenient to change the playbook and focus on building a solid financial foundation. Being an entrepreneur, most of your story is about building your business.

Christy Wyskiel, Senior Advisor to the President of Johns Hopkins University for Innovation and Entrepreneurship; also Managing Director of Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures, joins Samuel Volkin to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on innovation. Entrepreneurs face challenges in our new reality, including a global economic crisis. For Wyskaels, the essence of entrepreneurship is to identify unmet needs and move as quickly as possible to bring meaningful products to market.

Entrepreneurs should prepare for success by continuing to serve their existing customer base and focusing as quickly as possible on opportunities like those critical to the pandemic. It will be a bumpy road for a while. Still, entrepreneurs should not allow themselves to be paralyzed by unforeseen events. Only the strongest will survive in the long run, and it will be difficult for startups amid fundraising. Entrepreneurs should always have a goal in mind to be successful.

Skills that you need

The Soft Skills of Entrepreneurship and How to Develop Them | Becoming  Entrepreneur

If you are an entrepreneur, you are rare because you value humanity and are brave enough to define the future for the rest. Others dream about it, write about it, and many read about it. Businesses don’t go to work because of the brave creators initially, but because of them.

And not only that, there’s been several studies evidencing what skills and habilities entrepreneurs need and use in their everyday job.

To make a breakthrough and gain traction, if you want to become an entrepreneur, you need to be authentic in pursuing your idea. Through great storytelling, effectively convince people that they want to travel with you. Imagine being a milestone in the business and creating a significant financial product that needs to be made public to survive and prosper. The more innovative the resources you use to get the company going, the more you can build an efficient business over time.

Studies summarize the three fundamental points of intelligence, health, and attitude and explain that attitude as an X-factor, an innate trait of entrepreneurs, is paramount. In Anita Roddick’s 16 X-factors: The Inborn Characteristics of Entrepreneurs (Obsession), she explains that X-factors are not a dysfunction but rather the essence of entrepreneurship.

Successful entrepreneurs come in various forms, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. However, the majority of entrepreneurs have some common characteristics. Researchers at Harvard Business School identified three key traits when looking at entrepreneurs: their personality traits, risk attitudes, and goals. Understanding these three characteristics is an excellent way to see if entrepreneurship is right for you.

Being part of something

Although there is no precise answer to what makes a successful entrepreneur, specific characteristics emerge in some of the most influential people. Individuals such as Sir Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, Mark Zuckerburg, Jason Lemkin, Aaron Levie, Stuart Hearn, Sara Blakely and Arianna Huffington have similar traits.

Entrepreneurs must employ people who help them with critical decisions and put business and operational activities in the foreground. You have to be confident enough to realize how intelligent and experienced you are in a particular industry. Therefore, you need to hire someone as experienced as you are for this specific line.

As a result, they are more likely to seek help from outsiders when they encounter obstacles. Startups tend to find solutions by drawing ideas from people who know first-hand the nuances of the problems they face. This, in turn, encourages the feeling of being personally involved in the company and increases their passion for it. Suppose team members feel that they are the custodians of the crucial input on how to solve a problem. In that case, they are more likely to rise to the challenge of finding a solution.

Here's How Being an Entrepreneur Can Help You in Various Aspects of Life

Passion might get you there

Entrepreneurs set themselves goals and do everything they can to achieve them. They are determined to make their business a success and remove all obstacles that stand in their way. They tend to be very strategic in their game plan and have a clear idea of what they want to achieve and how they want to achieve it.

The last point on the list of characteristics of entrepreneurship is perseverance. Successful entrepreneurs never give up; they never give up. They understand that it is impossible to win every time. Still, they keep moving forward because that is the only way to ensure future victories. If they win, they carry on until they win again.

Entrepreneurs achieve success through sheer willpower. Failure helps broaden their knowledge and understanding of the business. Suppose a person can learn from situations of neglect. In that case, they have the necessary skills to become a successful entrepreneur. Successful entrepreneurs, by definition, build successful businesses, and skills like business strategy are the fifth most important skill an entrepreneur needs.

There is no magic formula for success, but successful entrepreneurs tend to master the following skills: excellent and effective communication, the ability to sell their ideas and products, a strong focus and eagerness to learn, and a flexible and solid business plan. In addition to improving one’s own abilities, personal qualities (also called soft skills) also play a significant role.

What is success?

Successful entrepreneurs think outside the box to solve problems. Some people are like MacGyver in the business world. They may not have the same tools to accomplish this task, but they use creativity to achieve the desired results.

Armed with a generalist approach, a futuristic mindset, excellent human skills, a preference for action over words, and working in highly varied industry. Entrepreneurs are born leaders. At the core of entrepreneurial leadership are problem-solving and decision-making. If there is a problem, entrepreneurs solve it. When decisions need to be made, entrepreneurs make them.

Passion is the most essential characteristic of a successful entrepreneur. They love what they do and are willing to invest the extra hours to grow their business. They get a sense of satisfaction when they work hard and go out and make money.

But hard work will help you build anything

Characterized by perseverance, resilience, and the ability and desire to overcome obstacles. Characterized by problem-solving and problem-finding skills. Entrepreneurs distinguish by their ability to isolate unsolved or unidentified problems and generate solutions. Passion is the lifeblood of an entrepreneur and drives them to run.

Entrepreneurs recognize that the people around them help them the most and build relationships that benefit the company for its survival and growth.

Every time you encounter obstacles or think that your idea will not work, you will fail to learn from the experience.

6 Essential Entrepreneur Skills | Develop Growing Businesses | Entrepreneur  infographic, Entrepreneurship development, Infographic

Being creative

You don’t have to bet or stare in fear at everything you own to be a successful risk-taker. Successful entrepreneurs do not wait for the opportunity they are offered; they take it and make it happen. No one will set up your business for you, hand you the keys and watch the profits flow in.

Market trends change, financing falls through, business partners burst, and ideas fizzle out. Successful entrepreneurs are adaptable and agile, find creative solutions to their obstacles, embrace new ideas and industries, and start from scratch.


Self-Checkout Lines: Do the Costs Outweigh the Savings?

Bruce discusses the growing trend of the implementation of “self checkout” lines at retail stores, debates their merit from both a consumer and retailer perspective, and wonders whether they are really worth the cost savings they are designed to initiate. Plus, he discusses the “business” of lottery tickets, the trend of kids getting re-vaccinated for diseases that had been thought to be cured, and the problems that many athletes seem to have managing money.

Don’t get lost in the fog of brand…Essentially what happens is that they tend to hire people who know nothing about your product, nothing about your service, who come in and they give it an artsy look or they design something. That’s not the brand. Brand is the experience the customer has with your product and with the service that goes around that product. That’s brand…You do need ad agencies and you need these kinds of people but don’t delude yourself into thinking that they’re going to create your brand. They’re going to create cosmetics..but that’s not the brand.

— Regis McKenna, Founder, Regis McKenna Inc.


When It Comes To Taking a Stand, Do Consumer Boycotts Work?

From the boycotting of sponsors after Rush Limbaugh’s recent controversial comments to staying away from the Miami Marlins baseball games after manager Ozzie Guillen praised Fidel Castro, consumer boycotts have made headlines as of late, as folks are “voting with their feet” in order to make a point. But do they work? Bruce discusses the consumer boycott phenomenon among other topics, including the cruise ship experience, the conservative mindset, and the importance of breaking through your psychological and geographic comfort zone when it comes to selling your good or service.

When you think about a service business that is largely a personal interaction, it’s a much more difficult business. Fortunately what we have done is we’ve now created kind of a self service world with the internet where much of the infrastructure allows you to do your own search, to do your own sourcing, to do your own servicing on products. You go to help desks and so forth, so there’s this constant touching of databases. But Ed Levit said that, “A service is something you don’t know what you don’t get until you don’t get it.” When you order a computer you got something tangible in front of you and if it doesn’t work you know it doesn’t work, but you don’t know why it doesn’t work…So once you start questioning about, “Do I fix it? Does somebody else fix it? Who’s supposed to be responsible for seeing that this product has the right software on it? Or does the software itself heal itself?” All of those kinds of questions become intangible, so we haven’t really learned how to work in a service world. More and more of our, quite frankly, businesses are service related businesses because the components themselves are all readily available to put together, but it’s this ability to service, develop, interact and use software that connects everything and allows it to be adjusted to a specific circumstance, it’s really much more of a service world.

— Regis McKenna, Founder, Regis McKenna Inc.


Saying Goodbye: Revisiting the Shows That Marked the Milestones of Ron Morris

Of all the startups that Ron accumulated throughout his career, which was the most important to him? As he has said many times, it would be his family, his wife, Karen, his son Jaxon and his daughter, Lexi. Today, on the final broadcast of American Entrepreneur Radio, we revisit the first shows after the births of Jaxon and Lexi, where we can hear the real thoughts of a successful entrepreneur facing his biggest challenge yet: being a worthy father to his children. Finally, we end it where it all began, with a rebroadcast of his very first show, originally airing June 20, 1999. Plus, members of the American Entrepreneur Radio staff, as well as a surprise guest at the end of the show, share their thoughts about the end of American Entrepreneur Radio.


What Lies Ahead For Business and the Economy


American Entrepreneur Radio host Mark Laskow anchors the final live episode of the radio program, as he talks with three business leaders and good friends of the program, Bob Boyle of JA Sauer Heating and Cooling Company, Lou Stanasolovich of Legend Financial Advisors, and Ken Komoroski of Fulbright and Jaworski, about what lies ahead for business, the economy, and the economic development that is the Marcellus Shale.


A Celebration of the Life and Legacy of Ron Morris


American Entrepreneur staff members Brian McMahon, Andrew Rossi, Darryl Grandy and others join host Mike Kauffelt and show callers and listeners in celebrating the life and legacy of the late Ron Morris. They share stories and the lessons they learned from their experiences in working with, learning from, and listening to The American Entrepreneur and Ron Morris.


‘Best Of’ The American Entrepreneur Featuring Jim Rudolph, Robert Rosenberg and Varol Ablak


Ron Morris talks with Jim Rudolph, CEO of Rita’s Italian Ice, and former Franchise developer of the Wendy’s franchise within Western Pennsylvania.


Also, we talk with Robert Rosenberg, the longtime CEO of Dunkin Donuts, and the man who transformed the iconic brand from a family-run local dining establishment to the global powerhouse franchise it is today.

And finally, Ron talks with Varol Ablak, the CEO of Vocelli Pizza, about the remarkable family story of Vocelli Pizza, and the tactics that Varol employs to this day to expand the company’s footprint, and to ensure that the Vocelli name is on the forefront of the minds of the consumer who faces a glut of choices when it comes time to order out.


Ron’s Radio Debut, March 1999 – A Recording From The “Lost Archives”

In March of 1999, Chris Posti (Posti & Associates), a former host on 1360AM radio and a friend of Ron’s, interviewed him on the topic of being an entrepreneur. Immediately afterwards, Ron remarked to me “I want to do that. I’d like my own show.” Three months later, he had his own show on 1360AM.

The American Entrepreneur radio show remained on the air for 13 years and eventually became a 7-day-a-week show, crossing over simultaneously to FM radio in its last year – virtually unheard of in the local radio industry.

I had been looking for a recording of the original show for years, but with no success. Then, while cleaning out some boxes in our garage this past Fall, I came across a single cassette tape, sans a case, simply labeled “Ron’s Radio Debut.” And … there it was —- the Rosetta Stone!

Many thanks to Chris Posti for interviewing Ron some 16 years ago this month and for agreeing to share this 27-minute recording of her show (and a nod also goes out to “Ace” … Ron’s very first-ever caller). As a result of this one interview, Ron launched a program that would become a “port in the storm” (credit to Paul Crawley of The Net Return) for many entrepreneurs.

Enjoy the show,
Karen, Jaxon & Lexi