Business headlines: Arcadia; Morrisons; Amazon; PwC; Redcentric; Virgin; Ted Baker; Ford

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It’s vital to be aware of the latest news in the industry you’re working in or applying to. Here are some headlines you might find interesting:

Philip Green secures rescue deal for Arcadia
Sir Philip Green’s retail group Arcadia has managed to reach a rescue deal with landlords. The group’s landlords agreed to rent cuts and the closure of 23 stores which will lead to 520 job losses, initially. Another 25 stores will close once the plan is in place, leading to another 500 jobs being lost. The store closures will affect Topshop, Miss Selfridge and Wallis stores. Troubles at Arcadia rose when the group reported a 9% drop in sales in its stores that had been open for over a year in 2018-2019. If Arcadia had not managed to pass the Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), it would have gone into administration.

Morrisons and Amazon to expand same-day delivery service
Supermarket chain Morrisons and online retailer Amazon have agreed to expand their same-day delivery service for groceries to Glasgow, Liverpool, Newcastle, Sheffield and Portsmouth. The two companies began their online grocery collaboration in 2016, with consumers in Leeds, Birmingham, Manchester and some parts of London being able to use the same-day service. Some shoppers can even receive their groceries within an hour of ordering them. The two companies have said they would expand the service even further in the future.

PwC fined £6.5m over Redcentric audit
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has been fined £6.5m over its audit of computing company Redcentric. The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) said that net assets in Redcentric’s 2016 financial statements were written down by £15.8m, while £5.3m in pre-tax profits were restated to a £4.2m loss. The regulator said that PwC had failed to exercise ‘professional scepticism’ which led to the misstatements going undetected. Two partners of PwC’s Leeds office were fined £200,000 but will pay £140,000 after co-operating. PwC’s fine was also reduced to £4.55m after it admitted its mistake.

Major UK supermarkets sign pledge to halve food waste by 2030
Some of the UK’s biggest supermarkets have signed up to a pledge to halve the UK’s annual £20bn food waste bill by 2030. Annually, around 10.2 million tonnes of food and drink that could have been eaten are being thrown away, costing an average household about £500 pounds per year. Over 100 businesses signed up to the pledge, while the government’s food surplus and waste champion, Ben Elliott, has said he plans to name and shame companies that haven’t signed up.

Virgin Trains planning to open rival Liverpool-London service
Virgin Trains is planning to launch a new, rival train service between Liverpool and London when it loses its current franchise that includes the route. Virgin was not allowed to bid for the new West Coast Mainline franchise, which is being taken over by a new operator in March 2020. In response to this, the firm has submitted a proposal to the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) to rival the new operator on the line from May 2021. Virgin said the service would be 10% cheaper than its competitor and customers would have to reserve a ticket to ensure everyone on the train gets a seat. The service will run between Liverpool Lime Street and London Euston, stopping at Liverpool South Parkway, Nuneaton, Tamworth and Lichfield.

Investors in fashion house Ted Baker have started selling off shares after the company issued a profit warning, wiping over £150m from the company’s value.

Carmaker Ford has said it is recalling 1.2 million Ford Explorers in the United States over suspension issues that could impact steering.

Source: HN Global