The former bosses and auditor of collapsed UK retail chain Wilko have been summoned to appear before MPs next week to explain why the 92-year-old company went bust (The Financial Times £). Wilko bosses face questions from MPs on the retailer’s collapse next week (The Daily Mail).
Shoppers are expected to snap up fewer items during the Black Friday sales, which reach their peak this weekend, as the cost of living crisis and strikes at some Amazon warehouses dent trading (The Guardian). UK retailers increase Black Friday discounts while customers cut spending. Shops are having to work harder to tempt customers, who are proving savvy about bargains. (The Financial Times £)
Amazon workers in the UK are to go on strike today to coincide with Black Friday - one of the company’s busiest shopping days of the year (Sky News). Hundreds of Amazon staff have gone on strike as Black Friday, one of the year’s busiest shopping days, starts (The BBC).
John Lewis is to offer shoppers health checks in its department stores as it attempts to draw people back to Britain’s high streets (The Telegraph £). John Lewis is to team up with Covid testing firm Randox Health to open clinics within its shops in the latest effort to draw in customers amid tough trading conditions (The Guardian).
Living wage rises vex bosses who bear the brunt, writes The Times. The government’s decision to increase the national living wage by 9.8% from next April — and rises of up to 21% for younger workers — provoked an angry response from the entrepreneur this week, especially when ministers claimed credit for giving two million workers a bumper pay rise for the second year in a row. (The Times £)
PZ Cussons says its trading outlook remains on track, despite the Carex maker’s bottom line taking a hit from the planned delisting of its Nigerian business. (The Daily Mail)
Changing weather heralds rosy future for English wine. British vineyards are taking on the world as export markets get a taste for their products. (The Times £)
Sales of an 80-year-old single malt coupled with growth in Asia have helped to lift profits at independent whisky firm Speymalt Whisky Distributors. (The Times £)
The Telegraph’s Questor column tips WH Smith shares: “A growing bottom line will allow WH Smith to increase capital expenditure by 15% to £140m in the current year. It also meant that finance costs were covered 3.4 times by operating profits in the 2023 financial year, a margin of safety that is likely to expand as trading conditions improve.” (The Telegraph £)
If you don’t have a relative who can knit you a traditional Christmas jumper – and you’re not quite ready to invest in your own – Santa has come early: Lidl has launched a Christmas jumper rental service. (The Guardian)