Waitrose’s shop staff are at risk of losing their jobs if they do not agree to work more flexible hours, as the supermarket chain seeks to boost productivity and keep costs down (Financial Times £). Waitrose staff have been warned that jobs are at risk as the retailer overhauls its business in an effort to boost productivity (Telegraph).
WH Smith enjoyed double-digit growth in the year to August amid a resurgence in its lucrative airport travel shops (The Times £). A solid recovery in summer holiday travel has led WH Smith to shrug off the impact of rail strikes as sales boomed at airports and it expanded in the US (Daily Mail).
A tasty set of half-year numbers wetted investors’ appetite for Bakkavor. The actions taken by the provider of fresh prepared food, whose customers include Tesco, Marks & Spencer and Morrisons, to drive operational improvements, with higher prices and a volume recovery in China, resulted in a 7.4% per cent rise in first half like-for-like revenues. (The Times £)
Administrators for Wilko have revealed the locations of the 52 stores that will close next week and warned of more job losses if last-ditch talks to save the remainder of the stricken retailer fall through (The Guardian). Wilko administrators have warned more shops will shut after naming the first 52 to close (Daily Mail). Administrators PwC said 24 shops would close next Tuesday, with a further 28 to shut on Thursday 14 September due to the “absence of viable offers” for the whole company (BBC).
The company has 12,000 employees and so thousands still remain in limbo. Some jobs and stores could still be saved, but deals put forward so far appear to have stalled. (BBC)
Ocado is cutting the price of kale, avocados and organic vegetables as it battles to win back middle-class shoppers. (Telegraph)
Wagamama owner The Restaurant Group has increased its full-year profit expectations in light of strong sales growth at its outlets, defying a gloomy picture for the UK casual-dining sector (Financial Times £). The Restaurant Group delivered a riposte to complaints by activist investors over its performance yesterday as it beat market expectations for the second time this year (The Times £). Frankie & Benny’s parent company has swung back to a first-half profit despite challenging conditions in the hospitality sector (Daily Mail).
Sainsbury’s is to open branded fashion “hubs”, which could increase pressure on the likes of John Lewis, Next and Marks & Spencer. (The Times £)
An advert featuring artisan cheeses has been banned by London’s transport network because they are deemed too “unhealthy”. (The Times £)