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Pants bosses fall off trouser mountain

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00:00 CEST+02:00
If you happen to notice a certain model of lightweight ladies trousers becoming surprisingly popular this summer, it won't be the advice of the fashionistas that will have them running off the shelves. Rather, it will be down to the clothing chain Lindex trying to offload the 'trouser mountain' that has resulted from a monumental cock-up in its ordering.

The error has cost the company 45 million crowns, and between five and ten hapless Lindex bosses have had to walk the plank. According to Tuesday's Aftonbladet, the company wouldn't say how many pairs of pants were involved, but the paper reckoned that with a value of 45 million crowns, there should be 'enough to clothe a small army'. So if the palace guards are spotted parading last season's ladies' lightweight summer slacks, we'll know why.

Popular Swedish Internet portal and phone book company Eniro was also the subject of controversy this week. Svenska Dagbladet reported that the company was being accused of overcharging, misleading its customers and abusing its dominant market position. The accusations came from the media purchasing company Ryce, which has reported Eniro to the Swedish Competition Authority.

"We've got plenty of concrete examples of Eniro's dodgy behaviour," Ryce boss Fredrik Berglund told Tuesday's Dagens Industri, adding: "It'll be hard for Eniro to talk its way out of this."

Berglund was clearly enjoying his chance to sink his teeth into the phone book giant, as he detailed the company's alleged wrongdoings. "Eniro charges customers more than the prices detailed on its price list; when customers ask to see their published prices, it sometimes takes months before Eniro gives them a price list."

One might perhaps expect slightly higher standards of a well-known company such as Eniro, but when it comes to companies running pyramid selling schemes, you might think that we've all been amply warned of their potentially dodgy nature.

However, this is not a message that has reached everyone in Sweden, to judge by the fallout from the recent collapse of one such scheme.

Gothenburg-based Sprinkle network has attracted people to spend 240,000 crowns to buy membership in its scheme. Members are then supposed to profit by selling on membership to others. The company claimed to sell branded products from its website, but according to Göteborgs Posten the whole site was a sham.

"The real idea wasn't to sell goods on the Internet, but to get as many members as possible."

The result, according to the paper, was that people at the bottom of the pyramid were left penniless, while the leaders of the company pocketed their money.

Despite all the money coming into the company from its members, staff went unpaid, while the board took holidays in the Bahamas on the company's money. Now staff are taking bankruptcy proceedings against the company. Stefan Byding, managing director of the company, was unavailable for comment. Funny, that.

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