The retail industry has taken another battering with just under £1.4 billion wiped off the stock market value of the sector after Asos raised new fears about consumer spending in the run-up to Christmas by issuing a profit warning (The Times £). Shares in European retailers dropped across the board on Monday after online fashion shop Asos warned its trading “significantly” deteriorated during November (The Financial Times £). Plunging consumer confidence and economic uncertainty have engulfed the retail industry in the run-up to Christmas after one of its former darlings reported a shock profit warning (The Telegraph). Fresh fears are emerging that the British economy is beginning to wilt under Brexit uncertainty after the fashion retailer Asos issued a shock profit warning, causing a plunge in retail shares in the City (The Guardian).
The financial travails of traditional, physical shops appear to have spread to online retailers after Asos took the City by surprise yesterday by halving its profit forecast after a spell of poor trading last month (The Times £). Shares in Asos tumbled almost 40% on Monday after the UK online fashion retailer warned on profits, adding to fears for retailers over Christmas trading and triggering a sell-off in fashion retail stocks in London and across Europe (The Financial Times £).
Take a high street in the throes of structural upheaval. Add a large dollop of Brexit uncertainty, a pinch of unusually warm weather and what do you get? The sort of dish that will turn the stomach of even the toughest retailer (The Guardian). It’s beginning to look a lot like a really bad Christmas for Britain’s retailers, writes The Telegraph. Retailers are reporting that shoppers are staying at home instead of venturing out to the high street. And it is not just traditional shops that are suffering from the bitter financial weather. (The Telegraph)
According to the Telegraph’s store closure tracker, which tracks closures from major retailers, an estimated 1,267 shops have been closed or earmarked for closure since January - potentially putting 25,159 jobs at risk. (The Telegraph)
A US activist investor has attacked Just Eat, demanding it ditches £650m of “non-core” operations and changes “flawed metrics” on executive pay (The Telegraph). An American activist investor has launched a scathing attack on Just Eat and called for an overhaul after. Alex Captain, a founder of Cat Rock Capital, said the food delivery company was ‘the worst-performing public equity in online food delivery globally’ (The Daily Mail).
The FT’s Lex column said the US hedge fund is right to challenge the food group’s change of direction. “Just Eat risks sacrificing earnings in a scramble for sales. About three quarters of long-term incentive payments for the likes of new chief executive Peter Plumb now depend on sales performance. Shareholder returns matter less.” (The Financial Times £)
Landlords of Patisserie Valerie have said that they suffered lengthy delays for rent, including one who allegedly had to send bailiffs round each quarter to collect the money (The Times £). One of Patisserie Valerie’s suppliers turned up at the café chain’s offices with baseball bats because of late payments, it has been claimed (The Daily Mail).
Amazon was last night ordered to reveal its business rates bill amid fears it is killing the High Street. As a profit warning from Asos sent shares in UK retailers tumbling, the internet group was told by MPs to finally come clean about how much tax it pays in Britain. (The Daily Mail)
Manufacturers will pick up the burden of paying for recycling under new government plans which hope to cut down on waste going to landfill. Currently councils pay 90% of the bill for recycling, but if a new strategy gets the green light this will go to the product manufacturers, forcing them to think about sustainable packaging. (Sky News)
Plain tobacco packaging has led to an increase in prices rather than the decline predicted by manufacturers, a study has found. (The Times £)
Thai restaurant chain Giggling Squid is considering a float as it seeks to expand. (The Daily Mail)