Fashion and gift retailer Oliver Bonas has become the first high street chain in Britain to promise its staff an independently calculated living wage.
Employees aged 18 and over will from Tuesday receive at least £7.85 an hour, or £9.15 in London – figures calculated based on the cost of living. This compares with the national minimum wage of £6.50 an hour for over-21s and £5.30 for workers between 18 and 21 (The Guardian). The FT writes: “The move could put pressure on the rest of the high street to raise wages above Mr Osborne’s proposed £7.20 hourly “national living wage” for over-25-year-olds and reignites the debate about the level of pay that best reflects the cost of living” (The Financial Times £). However, The Guardian notes former Sainsbury’s boss Justin King, a longstanding critic of the living wage campaign, told the BBC the plan for accelerated rises in the minimum wage for many workers was “not economically justified”.
Dunnhumby has agreed to set up a joint venture with one of China’s largest supermarket chains in an effort to improve growth prospects for the data analysis business ahead of its planned sale by Tesco. The partnership with China Resources Vanguard, which has 4,000 shops in Hong Kong and mainland China, will allow Dunnhumby to expand in the fast-growing market and seek to work with other retailers. (The Financial Times £)
Meanwhile, The Guardian looks at Tesco and asks if Dave Lewis’ first year at the retailer has been a success. It notes: “Senior Tesco insiders are insisting it is a five-year job to get the company back on track and the City now appears to have bought into this outlook… However, Lewis must gradually show more evidence to shareholders and Tesco staff that the pain of the last year was worth it and that one of Britain’s leading companies is slowly getting back on its feet.” (The Guardian)
Supermarket Morrisons is in danger of relegation from the FTSE 100 list of Britain’s biggest companies as the index comes up for renewal. The Daily Mail writes: “Morrisons has been languishing near the bottom of the list for several months, narrowly avoiding relegation in the last quarterly review.” (The Daily Mail)
The value of collectible bottles of Scotch whiskies jumped by 34% to £4.6m over the first half of the year as demand for rare single malts soared despite slumping sales by retailers. A record-breaking 20,638 bottles were sold on the open market between January and June, 35% more than last year, led by strong appetite for bottles of Brora, Dalmore and Port Ellen. (The Daily Telegraph)
As reported by The Grocer in July, Bear, the fruits snack business founded by a husband and wife team, is planning on selling a multi-million-pound stake in the company to help fund an international expansion. Former fitness instructor Hayley Gait-Golding and her husband Andrew have hired advisers at consumer corporate finance specialist McQueen to explore options. (The Daily Telegraph)
The Times has an interview with P&G’s European president Gary Coombe, who argues the manufacturer has not been given nearly enough credit for the speed at which it is adapting to a fast-changing consumer and retail environment. (The Times £)