British retail sales fall amid supply problems; inflation expectations rise – business live

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Speaking of retail….Next has struck a deal with Gap to run its business in the UK and Ireland, months after the US chain confirmed it was shutting all its high street stores in those countries.

Under the terms of the agreement, Next will operate Gap’s online shopping business, host branded Gap concessions in selected retail locations, and offer “extensive” click-and-collect options for online shoppers. Next has about 500 retail stores in the UK and Ireland.

The franchise deal will operate as a joint venture, with Next controlling a 51% stake, and shoppers will be able to buy Gap clothing via Next from the beginning of 2022.

The agreement allows the US retailer to maintain a presence on British high streets after it announced the closure of 81 stores in the UK and Ireland in June. The closure programme will ultimately result in the loss of about 1,000 jobs, with the last Gap stores shutting at the end of this month.

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Plus some reaction:

Kate Hardcastle MBE (@katehardcastle)

‘Next will operate Gap’s online shopping business, host branded Gap concessions in selected retail locations, and offer “extensive” click-and-collect options for online shoppers.’

September 17, 2021

Times Business (@TimesBusiness)

The shake-out of the British high street is continuing with Next striking a deal to buy a stake in Gap under which it will control its website in the UK and Ireland and give it concessions in its shops. @AArmstrong_says has more

September 17, 2021

Shares in travel and aviation businesses including the British Airways owner, IAG, Ryanair and the aero engine maker Rolls-Royce received a boost from news that the UK government is planning to simplify England’s rules for international travel.

Investors were buoyed up by the changes – which could include removing dozens of destinations from the 62-country “red list”, the highest alert for international travel requiring 11 nights’ hotel quarantine on return – which are expected to be officially announced by ministers on Friday.

Ministers are also considering removing the amber list category of countries entirely, meaning there would be a clearer distinction between “go” and “no-go” destinations….

Retail sales in Great Britain fell unexpectedly in August amid severe supply chain disruption and as consumers switched more of their spending from supermarkets to pubs and restaurants after the easing of pandemic restrictions.

The Office for National Statistics said retail sales dropped by 0.9% in August after a steeper decline of 2.8% in July. While spending remains above pre-pandemic levels, City economists had forecast a rise of 0.5%.

According to the latest snapshot, sales of food dipped by 1.2% on the month after the easing of hospitality restrictions had an impact, with people raising their spending on social activities such as eating and drinking in restaurants, pubs and bars.

However, sales fell across a broad range of other categories, including a sharp fall in sales at department stores as disruption to supply chains weighed on retailers.

Britain’s biggest retailers have warned that stock levels are at their lowest since the 1980s, with the economy coming under growing pressure from shortages of workers and goods because of the fallout from Covid-19 and Brexit…..

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