Sunday Retail News Roundup
Pay for chief executives of FTSE 100 companies has soared over the past 18 years, up from an average of £1m in 1998 to £4.3m in 2015, far outstripping growth in average pay. A green paper on corporate governance to be published this week will require companies to publish pay ratios showing the difference in pay between the chief executive and average employee, and to introduce binding annual shareholder votes on executive pay packages. Private company bosses will also get a new code of conduct on behaviour and transparency that would cover executives such as Sir Philip Green, the Arcadia boss criticised after the sell-off of BHS.
Mail on Sunday.
Black Friday sales hit a fresh record last week, but fell far short of predictions. The number of purchases made online on Friday rose by 6.7 per cent, and spending on the day is expected to have topped £2billion. But analysts had been expecting a 20 per cent rise in sales. The growth was also far below last year’s rise of 31 per cent. The more measured activity has been blamed on the ‘discount fatigue’ after the event was stretched over the whole week. Further bargains are promised for today and tomorrow, known as Cyber Monday.
Theresa May will this week step up her attack on ‘fat cat’ bosses by paving the way for workers to be given a direct say in levels of executive pay. The Prime Minister has been horrified by figures showing that the typical pay for the CEO of a FTSE 100 company has increased more than four-fold since 1998, rising from £1 million then to £4.3 million last year, and has grown at a rate more than five times that of the average pay packet.
Rolls-Royce has been voted the best company to work for by employees in the UK, with John Lewis coming third after American retailer Nike. British companies accounted for 13 out of the top 20 highest-rated firms, including pharma company GlaxoSmithKline, supermarket Waitrose, banks Barclays and Natwest, Pets at Home, Thomas Cook and British Airways. Department store John Lewis, in which all 91,500 employees are partners and ultimately own the company, instead of shareholders, was voted the third best company to work for in the UK.
A FTSE 250 pub boss has called time on the casual dining boom as fierce competition in city centres risks cannibalising sales for Britain’s pubs and restaurants. The stark warning from Marston’s chief executive Ralph Findlay comes after a year of rising sales for previously embattled pubs which are now catering to the recent appetite for higher-end pub dining by selling off their down-market watering holes in favour of investment in new high-quality pub-restaurants.
Poundland is planning to close up to 80 stores, just over two months after it was taken over by South African retail giant Steinhoff International. A list of the stores spread across the country has been circulated to property agents as Poundland, which leases the stores, aims to consolidate its portfolio.
The number of Britons that scoured the high street for the best Black Friday deals this year jumped, as shoppers moved away from online offers. Despite reports of an underwhelming start to Black Friday, footfall leapt by 2.8pc compared with last year. Forecasts suggested high street footfall would drop by 5pc after it tumbled by 4.5pc last year.
BrightHouse, the electricals hire-purchase chain, has won a stay of execution from its lenders after setting out a recovery plan, but bondholders remain on high alert amid claims there could be more bad news facing the controversial industry. The company’s new chief executive Hamish Paton sought to persuade investors he can steer through a regulatory crackdown that has attracted vulture funds, seeking to seize control in a potential restructuring.
The fast food chain, McDonald’s has sued the city of Florence after its application to open a branch in the historic Piazza del Duomo was turned down. Dario Nardella, the city’s centre left mayor, rejected he application in June, a decision which was upheld by the technical panel responsible for preserving Florence’s character. McDonald’s has lodged a claim with the administrative court.
When Christopher Seddon popped into a Waitrose store last May on behalf of his housebound 89-year-old mother, he was only planning to buy a few items to get her through the week. After paying, he was stunned when two policemen seized and handcuffed him in front of watching shoppers. He was then forced to spend six hours in a cell at the local police station before being charged with stealing £102-worth of meat. Over the next three months Seddon, a published author who lives in north London, says he spent £9,600 on legal fees and expert reports to prove that it was a case of mistaken identity to clear his name.
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