The former bosses of John Lewis and Waitrose are being given payoffs of almost £1m each, even as the retail group warns of more store closures and is furloughing 14,000 staff (The Times £). The former bosses of John Lewis and Waitrose have walked away with payouts of close to £1m despite the staff-owned firm preparing for sales to drop by up to a third (The Daily Mail).
The owner of John Lewis and Waitrose has sounded the alarm on profits, slashed costs by £100m and furloughed 14,000 workers in the face of a retail sales collapse - with bosses warning its prized staff bonus could even be axed. (The Telegraph)
John Lewis and Primark have together furloughed more than 80,000 staff. John Lewis said it feared department store sales could fall by one third. It is furloughing 14,000 staff and slashing hundreds of millions of pounds from its spending plans. (The Guardian)
Coca-Cola’s sales volumes have dropped by a quarter this month, showing how the coronavirus shutdown is affecting even those companies long regarded as less vulnerable to recessions (The Financial Times £). Sales at Coca-Cola have slumped by a quarter since the start of April as restaurants and bars remain closed the world over (The Times £).
The FT’s Lex column writes: “While many staid brand names that were under assault from disruptors or broader health trends have been reborn in the past month, Coke will not be one of them.” (The Financial Times £)
Coca-Cola and Pepsi are not doing enough to reduce their plastic waste footprint globally, according to a report. (The Guardian)
Primark, the UK fast-fashion retailer, has taken a £284m writedown against surplus stock and acknowledged that sales will be lower and costs higher even after coronavirus lockdowns are lifted (The Financial Times £). Primark’s parent firm says it has written down the value of the chain’s stock by £284m to reflect realistic pricing when stores re-open (Sky News).
Primark has seen sales slump from £650m a month to zero as it has no online business to fall back on while all its 376 stores remain closed due to the coronavirus lockdown (The Daily Mail). Clothing giant Primark has gone from making £650m in sales a month to nothing as the coronavirus has forced it to close in Europe and the US, it revealed on Tuesday (The BBC).
Primark is losing £100 million a month from the closure of its shops, but the coronavirus pandemic will not persuade the chain to start selling clothes online, its chief executive said yesterday. (The Times £).
Retail chains must be given advance warning before the lockdown is lifted so that they can make stores safe for customers and staff, the owner of Primark said as it took a £284m hit from unsold stock. (The Telegraph)
Primark was ABF’s jewel in the crown, now it has become its Achilles’ heel, writes The Telegraph’s Ben Marlow.
Falling clothing and fuel prices drove an easing in the rate of inflation as the UK geared up for the coronavirus lockdown, official figures have shown (Sky News). The UK’s inflation rate fell to 1.5% in March, largely driven by falls in the prices of clothing and fuel ahead of the coronavirus lockdown (The BBC).
Hospitality businesses face a “bloodbath” when their next rent is due without more taxpayer support, industry chiefs warned, as major restaurant chains called for a nine-month break from paying landlords (The Telegraph). The UK pub sector could be hit by a “bloodbath” if they are not given breaks in rent payments, an industry expert has claimed (The BBC).
Commercial property landlords are starting to tighten the screw on retailers including Boots and Matalan for failing to pay overdue rent, in some cases starting legal action to reclaim money they are owed. (The Guardian)
Banks and other lenders face between £8bn and £10bn of losses and write-offs from loans made against shops, retail parks and shopping centres, research has found. (The Times £)
Corner shops describe life under lockdown as they stay open for their community. Change in buying habits means many small shops are struggling to survive, while some are hit by shoplifters. (The Guardian)
US restaurant closings spur farmers to destroy food. Supply chains for commercial kitchens prove ill-equipped to serve grocery stores. (The Financial Times £)
In India, coronavirus cases are still mostly concentrated in big urban centres such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Indore. But the outbreak has triggered a collapse in demand for agricultural products and their farmgate prices, raising concerns about food availability and the economy. (The Financial Times £)
US prosecutors have fined Chipotle Mexican Grill $25m after hundreds of customers who ate at the burrito chain fell sick, some with norovirus. (The Financial Times £)