Business headlines: Barclays; Carpetright; Amazon; Sky; Superdry; Openreach; Dixons Carphone


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:

Barclays allows customers to switch off certain types of spending
Barclays has launched a service allowing customers to switch off certain types of spending on their debit cards. The blocker lets customers switch off spending in certain categories including supermarkets, gambling, petrol stations and premium rate websites and phone lines. The service is intended to help vulnerable customers, especially gamblers and people in serious debt. It can be accessed via the Barclays app, or customers can set it up by phoning the bank or going into a branch. Barclays is the first major bank to introduce the scheme, while several online banks have already been offering similar services.

Carpetright reports further losses
Carpetright has reported that its half-year losses have increased from £0.6m last time to £11.7m. Carpetright embarked on a rescue plan earlier this year, putting 81 stores up for closure and closing 65 so far. Chief executive Wilf Walsh reported that the floor covering retailer’s restructuring plans remain on schedule. While same-store sales dropped by 12.7% in the last half year, the company said there was ‘marked sequential improvement’ between quarters. Meanwhile, net debt fell from £53m to £12.4m.

Amazon fires workers over sales data leaks
Online giant Amazon has fired staff across its global operations over alleged misuse of internal data. Workers from Amazon sites in India, China and the US are believed to have abused their access to an internal database. The Wall Street Journal reported that the terminations were part of a more general effort by Amazon to stop merchants trying to trick its systems. Some merchants use tricks to make their products appear more prominently on Amazon, including posting fake reviews and searching extensively for certain products to trick Amazon’s algorithms into thinking they are in high demand. According to the Wall Street Journal Amazon had also been investigating alleged attempts from merchants to bribe staff. The online retailer has now reduced the access to internal sales data and limited the number of searches someone can make.

Sky to end backing of Team Sky
Broadcaster Sky has announced it will withdraw its backing of Team Sky at the end of next year. The cycling team came into being in January 2010 and has since led to 322 victories, including Tour de France wins for Sir Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas. The team is now looking for a new backer to provide funding from the beginning of 2020 and will then continue to race under another name. Chairman of Team Sky, Graham McWilliam, said it was their decision to end the partnership with Sky and that it was ‘the right time’ to do it.

Superdry issues profit warning
Fashion retailer Superdry has issued a profit warning after lower than expected sales. The company previously expected annual profits to reach £84m but has now amended this to range between £55m and £70m. Superdry chief executive officer Euan Sutherland said warmer weather and an increasingly discount-driven consumer economy were behind the lower-than-expected profits. The retailer is now considering closing stores to cut costs and reach their goal of saving £50m by 2022. Shares in Superdry were down by 30% in light of the announcement.

Openreach has reached an agreement with BTSkyTalkTalkVirgin Media and Zen Internet that customers who experience broadband or landline loss that takes more than two days to fix will receive £8 per day in compensation.

Shares in electronics retailer Dixons Carphone fell by 14% after the firm wrote down the value of its mobile business Carphone Warehouse.

Source: HN Global