M&S, Ladbrokes, TikTok: Everything that matters this morning
Good morning and welcome to Marketing Week’s round-up of the news that matters in the marketing world today.
M&S ramps up store closures in pursuit of omnichannel future
Marks & Spencer is to close 25% of its larger clothing and homeware stores, while opening more than 100 Simply Food outlets, as the retailer targets locations “fit for omnichannel” sales.
CEO Stuart Machin claims the business wants to accelerate the opening of “highly productive and high quality” outlets, rather than having a “sprawling, ageing and poorly located” store estate.
Between now and the end of 2028, M&S intends to drop from 247 full line clothing and home stores to 180, a decrease of 67. By contrast, the retailer plans to increase its Simply Food estate by 104 locations over the same period, taking the total to 420 stores nationwide by 2028.
In the process, M&S intends to cut clothing and home space from 9.9 million sq ft to 8.2 million sq ft, while growing food space from 6 million sq ft to 6.8 million sq ft.
Overall, the retailer wants to cut space devoted to clothing and home by 20%, as it expects online to eventually represent 50% of sales, while retail space given to food sales will increase by 10%-15%.
The business intends to open 30 new full line clothing and home stores by 2028 on shorter leases, meaning 20% of its full line stores will be less than 10 years old. While the current plan is to achieve these targets by 2028, the business is hoping to hit these milestones within three years.
Machin says the idea is to open “bigger, better and fresher” food stores, with the space being used to accommodate a click-and-collect service for clothing and home customers. According to M&S, stores touch 65% of online orders and consumers who shop across channels spend four times more than single channel customers.
M&S is keen to focus on digital interactions with customers, the goal being to turn its 16 million Sparks members into 10 million app users, with “every interaction personalised”.
The business is on a mission to remove £400m from its underlying cost base, while investing £200m in value across clothing, home and food, as part of its five-year plan. M&S is not, however, immune from the cost crisis. The retailer has seen wage inflation rise by 7%, with “further pressure” expected in 2023.
These employee costs are in addition to the £40m higher than planned energy costs, which the brand fears could reach more than £100m next year “without support”.
READ MORE: M&S to close one in four bigger stores selling clothing and homeware
Marketers urged to catalogue data and insights to drive ROI
Marketers should be prepared to catalogue data and insights in granular detail if they want to grow their brands over the short, medium and long term, according to new research from the IPA.
The ‘Quality Brand Growth in the Age of Disruption’ report, conducted by O9 Solutions, acknowledges often brands fail to understand the full scope of the data they possess. However, by making a “concerted effort” to map the insight within an organisation, marketers can see in greater detail the gaps in granularity and where people are chasing the same datasets.
The report argues that while such work is often “severely undervalued” by organisations, the effectiveness of all other measures “hinges” on the quality of such data.
The research also urges marketers to align cross-commercial KPIs. Suggesting these KPIs do not need to be identical across brands, products, customers and functions, the IPA argues they must be compatible at an organisational level. The report advocates for senior executives having “consistent scorecards” that tie KPIs together across functions.
Marketers are also being urged to invest in “flexible” tech to provide what the report describes as a “single source of truth” across multiple functions and areas. The research suggests the next frontier will be end-to-end cross-functional systems that incorporate artificial intelligence and machine learning to show, for example, a defined customer view across marketing, supply chain, sales and finance.
Lastly, the research advocates for collaboration between young talent in marketing, sales and tech, exposing them early to cross-functional teams. Rather than thinking in terms of rotations in functions, the IPA suggests cross-functional teams – especially across sales and marketing – should become permanent fixtures at all levels of seniority.
The report concludes that the brands which make investments in a cross-functional, digital decision-making ecosystem will “win disproportionately.”
Ladbrokes owner hails ‘customer focus’ as active players hit record levels
Entain, the parent company behind brands such as Ladbrokes, Coral and Gala Bingo, claims its “customer focus” has underpinned record growth in active players.
During the third quarter, the gambling group achieved a “record level” of active customers, up 6% year on year.
“I am delighted that we have welcomed even more customers to our brands across the world,” says Entain CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen. “This is a testament to our relentless focus on the customer, as well as the quality of our products, content and talented people.”
Group net gaming revenue rose 2% over the period from 1 July to 30 September, while online net gaming revenue rose 1%, demonstrating what Entain describes as “positive underlying momentum”.
Retail net gaming revenue rose by 10% compared to 2021 and is up 8% versus pre-Covid levels. During the third quarter Entain had an average 4,274 betting shops or outlets in its estate, down on the 4,513 open during the same period in 2021. The business has a retail presence in the UK, Italy, Belgium and Ireland, via brands including Ladbrokes and Coral.
Entain also claims to be growing its US sports betting offer, citing a “successful start” to the NFL season, as evidenced by net gaming revenue of more than $400m (£362m) – up around 90% year on year.
The betting group says it has “healthy momentum” carrying it into the year end, with online sales expected to grow year on year thanks to the World Cup kicking off in Qatar next month. Entain claims to be on track to deliver net gaming revenue for the 2022 full year of more than $1.3bn (£1.2bn), while group EBITDA is expected to hit £925m-£975m, up 5%-10% on 2021.
Nygaard-Andersen claims this momentum illustrates the “effectiveness” of the company’s growth strategy and the “underlying strength” of being a diversified global business.
“We have healthy momentum across the business and look forward to a strong finish to the year which includes the World Cup,” she adds. “Looking ahead, we remain vigilant of the economic backdrop. However, our diversified revenue base and robust business model enable us to remain confident in our ability to deliver on our growth and sustainability strategy.”
TikTok job posts signal wider foray into ecommerce
TikTok looks set to move further into the ecommerce space following a series of job postings looking for staff to work in company-owned US warehouses.
According to the Guardian, over the past two weeks the social media app has posted several job ads on LinkedIn searching for US recruits to develop its ‘Fulfilment by TikTok Shop’. The listings suggest TikTok intends to support sellers on its platform with warehousing, delivery services and returns, in the style of ecommerce giant Amazon.
Reports suggest in some listings TikTok is looking for candidates who can “manage a free return programme”, while other postings point to responsibility for “building a global warehousing network”.
The business is also, for example, currently hiring for a senior logistics solutions manager to work in a fulfilment centre in UK/Europe. The LinkedIn job ad describes ecommerce as a “hotly contested space amongst leading internet companies”, the future growth of which “cannot be underestimated”.
The job posting goes on to say: “With millions of loyal users globally, we believe TikTok is an ideal platform to deliver a brand new and better ecommerce experience to our users. We are looking for passionate and talented people to join our logistics solutions team, together we can build an ecommerce ecosystem that is innovative, secure and intuitive for our users.”
The role boasts responsibility for planning and solution design of fulfilment centres, both in the short and long term.
TikTok’s sister app Douyin already runs a well-established social commerce marketplace and market research company Insider Intelligence estimates close to 23.7 million US shoppers will make at least one purchase through the platform in 2022.
While unwilling to comment on plans for ecommerce in the US, a TikTok spokesperson told the Guardian the business is focused on “providing merchants with a range of product features and delivery options” where it operates ecommerce, such as in the UK.
Social commerce is proving a lucrative income stream for TikTok. Last August the platform announced a tie-up with Shopify to offer in-app shopping, allowing users with a business account to add a shopping tab to their TikTok profiles and sync their product catalogues to create a mini-storefront linking directly to their online store.
READ MORE: Job listings hint at TikTok’s US plans to venture into e-commerce
Superdrug commits to price freeze until end of 2022
Superdrug is freezing the price of 5,000 beauty items until the end of the year in a bid to help shoppers weather the cost of living crisis.
The price freeze includes cosmetics from brands such as Maybelline, Rimmel, Bourjois and Urban Decay. This is in addition to the more than 130 own brand products Superdrug has already put on price freeze.
Chief commercial officer Simon Comins explains the retailer has seen consumers finding ways to navigate the current economic climate, in search of “great value and recommendations on how to shop smarter”.
“By taking this next step with our price freeze we hope that our customers can purchase items that provide them with a little happiness and escapism, with the knowledge that our prices won’t change,” he adds.
Trading director Megan Potter explains the beauty retailer is conscious shoppers want to purchase cosmetics in the lead up to Halloween and Christmas, which is why Superdrug has taken the decision to freeze prices now.
Superdrug says it has made a commitment to help staff and customers “reduce everyday spending”. The retailer currently offers weekly discounts via its Feel Good Friday initiative and exclusive deals for Health & Beautycard members such as Treat Thursday, as well as additional weekly savings through its Star Buys programme.
Rival Boots began freezing the prices of more than 1,500 products back in June, covering beauty, health, wellness and baby, as well as everyday essentials. As part of its Boots Price Lock Promise, the prices will remain frozen until the end of the year, while the retailer claims to offer more than 11,000 own brand products starting at 40p.
Promising its “most affordable Christmas ever”, Boots has extended its Price Advantage campaign for Advantage Card members and plans to offer a “bigger Black Friday” event next month, as well as three for two promotions on more than 1,000 gifts.
Wednesday, 12 October
Quarter of brands to boost performance marketing spend in 2023
Just under a third (29%) of 43 multinational companies plan to invest more into advertising next year despite the economic downturn, according to a survey by the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) and Ebiquity.
The sample includes five of the world’s top 10 advertisers by spend, which collectively invest more than $44bn (£39.5bn) into advertising. Of those surveyed, 29% plan to decrease spend in 2023, while four in 10 say they will maintain their budgets at 2022 levels.
The findings come as three quarters of the sample either “agree strongly” or “agree” that 2023 budgets are under heavy scrutiny this year, with marketers required to justify investment more than before.
Possibly as a result of this, the research reveals an increased emphasis on short-term, performance marketing over brand building. Some 28% of respondents say they will look to boost performance spend next year, while 21% plan to increase spend on brand.
Digital media will win the most spend from the sample, with 42% planning to increase spend either slightly or significantly. Meanwhile, nearly half are planning to cut offline investment.
While the WFA’s CEO Stephan Loerke says it is “encouraging” to see the majority of advertisers surveyed “standing firm” by either maintaining or increasing their advertising spend as they head into a period of economic uncertainty, Ebiquity’s group CEO Nick Waters warns brands not to lose sight of the long-term view.
“Sustaining investment is one thing, but there is a risk to long-term brand health by over-investing at the bottom of the purchase funnel. It is a natural instinct to want to see immediate results from media investment but the longer-term trade off needs to be weighed carefully. It becomes more expensive to re-build brand credentials once they have slipped,” he explains.
Netflix to begin sharing viewing figures for first time
After years of secrecy, Netflix is to begin sharing the viewing figures of its shows for the first time next month, as it signs up to independent, industry-owned TV ratings firm Barb.
Until now, the streaming giant has only selectively released glimpses of its viewing figures for its most popular shows. Now, Barb will report Netflix’s audiences every day from 2 November at both a service and programme level, as it already does for more than 300 broadcasters and on-demand services in the UK.
The move, which will allow advertisers to see exactly how different Netflix shows perform, comes as the firm prepares to launch its new advertising-supported subscription tier.
“Back in 2019, at the RTS conference in Cambridge, I welcomed the idea of Netflix audiences being measured independently,” says Netflix’s co-CEO Reed Hastings.
“We’ve kept in touch with BARB since then and are pleased to make a commitment to its trusted measurement of how people watch television in the UK.”
Streaming services have been a part of BARB’s reporting since November 2021. While Netflix and other SVOD/AVOD services have accounted for around one-sixth of all viewing in 2022 so far, broadcasters’ linear channels and on-demand services still account for around two-thirds.
Bupa unifies services under one masterbrand platform
Private healthcare company Bupa is bringing all of its services under one umbrella for the first time with the launch of its new masterbrand platform, ‘This is health’.
Bupa’s services include pay as you go healthcare, dental, care services, insurance, and B2B. The new platform is being launched with a brand campaign by the same name, which aims to “redefine” health and wellness for “the modern age”.
Created by MullenLowe Group, a 60-second TV ad spotlights those health concerns that may seem less important than others, but are actually equally significant. It focuses on individual stories, from neurodiversity to joint conditions, mental health to menopause.
The campaign is supported by consumer research, which found 73% of adults agree that media and social media represent a “simplistic” view of health focused on physical fitness. Some 68% agree there is no one version of a healthy body.
Supporting activity will run across out of home, radio, social and PR.
“Our new campaign reflects on how Bupa can be there for you in the age we live in today, bringing to life the tailored support we are proud to provide to our customers across a range of different needs,” explains Bupa’s director of brand marketing, Angelique Waker.
“Be it tackling big concerns or sorting out those smaller ‘everyday’ niggles, our goal is to ensure that everyone gets the expert help they need for their holistic wellbeing, so they can enjoy their life in good health – whatever that looks like.”
Inflation to last longer in UK than most countries, IMF warns
The UK will face high prices for longer than any other country outside of the eurozone, bar Slovakia, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecast.
The IMF expects inflation to peak at 11.3% in the UK before the end of 2022, with price rises to average at approximately 9% in each of the next two years. This estimate is considerably above the 2% target set by the Bank of England.
Meanwhile, although the UK economy is set to grow faster than the rest of the G7 group this year, including France, Italy, Germany, Japan, Canada and the USA, the IMF expects growth to slow to just 0.3% in 2023.
These figures do not take into account the measures laid out in the chancellor’s mini-budget last month. The IMF delivered some rare criticism in the wake of the Kwasi Kwarteng’s announcement, warning that the UK’s considerable tax cutting agenda would likely add to inflationary pressures and increase social and financial inequality.
Indeed, the Office for National Statistics has today reported that the UK economy contracted by 0.3% in August, after growing by 0.1% in July.
READ MORE: IMF warns rising prices will be worse in UK
Renewable power firms face revenue cap after government U-turn
The government has announced plans to introduce a revenue cap for renewable energy generators and nuclear power plants in England and Wales from 2023.
Wholesale electricity prices in the UK are currently set by the most expensive form of generation. Due to the Russian war with Ukraine, the cost of gas has skyrocketed, and therefore low-carbon electricity generators have been able to charge abnormally high prices. Consumers are therefore paying significantly more for renewable and nuclear energy than it costs to produce.
To put a stop to energy companies making runaway revenues, the government is introducing a temporary ‘cost-plus-revenue’ limit. This could impact the profits of energy companies such as Scottish Power and SSE.
The plan will be introduced in Parliament today as part of the Energy Prices Bill. Exactly how the limit will work will be subject to a consultation, due to be launched shortly.
The news marks the latest U-turn for Liz Truss’s government, which had previously rejected all calls to impose a windfall tax on power giants. Truss had previously said it would put companies off investing into the UK.
Business and energy secretary Jacob Rees Mogg says: “Businesses and consumers across the UK should pay a fair price for energy. With prices spiralling as a result of Putin’s abhorrent invasion of Ukraine, the government is taking swift and decisive action.
“That is why we have stepped in today with exceptional powers that will not only ensure vital support reaches households and businesses this winter but will transform the United Kingdom into a nation that offers secure, affordable and fairly-priced home-grown energy for all.”
Tuesday, 11 October
Netflix earned £1.4bn from UK subscribers last year
Netflix made £1.4bn from UK subscribers in 2021, the first time it has revealed its annual revenue for the market after changing its accounting practices.
This is up from the £79m recorded for its UK business in 2020, a 1,630% increase, after the US streaming giant stopped funnelling British income through its European headquarters in the Netherlands.
The move to transfer all revenues from its 13.8 million UK subscribers to its British-registered business, Netflix Services UK, has also resulted in the firm paying far more in corporation tax.
Netflix’s UK business increased its pre-tax profit from £10.6m in 2020 to £27.9m in 2021, according to The Guardian, with total profits across the three businesses it has registered in the country totalling £31.7m. It means Netflix paid nearly £7m in UK corporation tax in 2021 versus £4m the year prior, the most it has paid since launching in the UK in 2012.
Netflix has also been ramping up its UK business internally, with employee numbers increasing by 44% to 396 last year.
READ MORE: Netflix reports £1.4bn revenue last year from UK subscribers
Getir in talks to buy rival Gorillas as rapid delivery consolidation intensifies
Rapid delivery brand Getir is reportedly in advanced talks to buy Gorillas Technologies, one of its main competitors, according to Bloomberg News.
If it goes through, the deal would give Turkish firm Getir more scale across Europe, with the report suggesting it could help strengthen its position in the UK and Gorillas’ home country Germany.
Getir told Reuters it could “neither confirm or deny” the move, while Gorillas would not comment.
Earlier this year, Getir was valued at $12bn after closing a $768m funding round led by Abu Dhabi state investor Mubadala, including Abu Dhabi Growth Fund (ADG), Alpha Wave Global, Sequoia Capital and Tiger Global.
Meanwhile, Gorillas had been working with JPMorgan on its fundraising options, which reportedly included the potential sale of all or some of its business, according to Reuters.
There has already been a fair amount of consolidation within the rapid delivery market, with Getir acquiring UK rival Weezy in November and US brand Gopuff buying Fancy and Dija earlier last year.
READ MORE: Delivery startup Getir in advanced talks to buy Gorillas- Bloomberg News
Grocery inflation hits new record high
The average household is facing a £643 jump in their annual supermarket shopping bill – if they continue to buy the same products – as grocery price inflation hits a new peak of 13.9%.
This is the highest it has been since Kantar started tracking prices in this way during the 2008 financial crash.
As a result, consumers are looking for ways to reduce costs with supermarket own-labels again seeing a rise in take up, growing 8.1% this month, while branded items declined by 0.7%. Supermarkets imperfect ranges, such as Morrisons Naturally Wonky and Tesco Perfectly Imperfect have also seen a boost, collectively up 38% this month.
Sales of cooking appliances that use less energy, such as slow cookers, air fryers and sandwich makers are also up by 53% as consumers look for cheaper ways to cook.
The latest figures from Kantar show grocery sales rose 4.8% in the 12 weeks to 2 October 2022.
Lidl and Aldi were again the fastest growing grocers, up 20.9% and 20.7%, respectively over the past 12 weeks. Lidl now has a 7.1% share of the market (up from 6.2% last year), while Aldi, which recently overtook Morrisons to take fourth spot, now has a 9.3% share (versus 8% in the year prior).
Asda increased sales by 4.5%, Sainsbury’s saw a 3% uplift, and Tesco grew by 2.5%, while Morrisons’ sales fell by 3.9%. Waitrose also saw its sales drop by 3.1%, with Iceland and Ocado both increasing sales by 5.3%, and Co-op’s sales up 3.3%.
Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, says: “Asda led the way among the biggest traditional supermarkets, boosting sales by 4.5%. It has done particularly well to attract new shoppers over the latest 12 weeks, bringing an additional 417,000 customers through its doors compared with last year. The retailer’s new Just Essentials range continues to help it drive growth with nearly two thirds of its 15.2 million shoppers picking up at least one item from the line.”
He adds: “Consumers are looking for ways to manage budgets and to avoid paying more for their shopping. We’re generally reluctant to change what we eat, so this is more about sticking to the food we know and love while hunting for cheaper alternatives like supermarkets’ own label goods. We aren’t seeing dramatic evidence of diets changing. For example, while frozen veg sales have gone up slightly, there hasn’t been a big switch away from fresh products, which are still worth ten times more.
A third of kids have an adult social media age
A third of children aged between eight and 17 who have a presence on social media have an age of 18-plus after signing up with a fake date of birth, according to new research. That’s despite all the major platforms having an age limit of 13.
The study by Ofcom, which covers Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and YouTube, suggests children are therefore at greater risk of being exposed to “age-inappropriate or harmful content”.
“When a child self-declares a false age to gain access to social media or online games, as they get older, so does their claimed user age. This means they could be placed at greater risk of encountering age-inappropriate or harmful content online,” Ofcom says.
It points out that once a user reaches the age 16 or 18, some platforms introduce certain features and functionalities not available to younger users, “such as direct messaging and the ability to see adult content”.
A recent study commissioned by Ofcom finds 77% of kids aged eight to 17 who use social media have their own account on at least one of the major platforms. More concerning still, 60% of children aged eight to 12 who use the platforms are also signed up with their own profile.
A broader study of the risk factors commissioned by Ofcom finds a range of potential risk factors that could lead to children coming to harm online.
These included a child’s pre-existing vulnerabilities, such as any special educational needs or disabilities, existing mental health conditions and social isolation; offline circumstances such as bullying or peer pressure, feelings such as low self-esteem or poor body image; design features of platforms that either encourage and enable children to build large networks of people – often that they didn’t know; or exposed them to content and connections they hadn’t proactively sought out; and exposure to personally relevant, targeted or peer-produced content that is appealing as it was perceived as a solution to a problem or insecurity.
The online safety bill, which looks to protect children from harmful content online and is being overseen and enforced by Ofcom, is expected to resume its progress through parliament before the end of the year.
Unemployment at lowest rate in 50 years
The UK unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since 1974 – nearly 50 years – in the three months to August, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The jobless rate dropped to 3.5% over this period, however pay remains constricted, with pay increases failing to keep up with the rising cost of living.
Regular pay excluding bonuses increased by 5.4% from June to August – the strongest growth seen outside of the pandemic – but pay rises are still well behind inflation, which currently stands at 9.9%. In real terms, ONS data shows wages actually decreased by 2.9% over the three-month period.
READ MORE: Unemployment at lowest rate in nearly 50 years
Monday, 10 October
Beauty retailer Sephora to launch in UK after Feel Unique acquisition
Beauty chain Sephora is set to launch in the UK on 17 October, a year after it bought Feel Unique for £132m.
The UK move will see Feel Unique’s website rebranded to Sephora, ahead of a London retail store opening in Spring 2023. The chain currently has more than 2,700 worldwide across 35 countries.
Sephora UK will come with a host of exclusive brands, such as Tarte Cosmetics, Makeup by Mario and GXVE by Gwen Stefani, alongside an “expansive assortment of premium beauty brands”.
“At Sephora, we innovate every day to build the most loved beauty community. We are delighted to bring Sephora to the UK, responding to Britain’s strong demand for our unique prestige beauty experience,” says Sephora chairman and CEO Chris de Lapuente.
“UK customers will be encouraged to explore and discover the best versions of themselves as we support them in their beauty journey with a fantastic curation of time-tested classics and new indie brands.”
He adds Sephora will offer British consumers a “pioneering selection of beauty that is best in class for innovation, diversity and inclusion”.
River Island launches first TV ad ahead of party season
Fashion retailer River Island has launched its first TV ad campaign to capitalise on the upcoming party season. Titled ‘Don’t Let The Moment Go’, the film follows three women on a night out that veers off plan.
River Island says it’s inviting consumers into a world of “glitz, glamour and fun” with the campaign, which was created with creative agency St Lukes London and director Christine Yuan.
The campaign comes as the brand returned to profit earlier this year, with turnover increasing 23.2% year on year to £704m in the 52 weeks up to 25 December 2021.
“We have delivered a very encouraging performance this year, significantly outperforming pre-pandemic profits. This is testament to the progress the business has made over the past three years,” says CEO Will Kernan.
Post Office cash handling jumps up following bank closures and cost of living crisis
The Post Office handled £3.45bn in cash in August this year, the highest amount since the state-owned service started tracking this metric five years ago, with a similar amount (£3.35bn) recorded in September,.
The company says people traditionally spend less cash in August so the amount is somewhat surprising and indicative of the current economic climate. The transactions included personal deposits, withdrawals and business use.
“We expect cash transactions to continue to exceed expectations in October and for the rest of the year,” says the Post Office’s banking director, Martin Kearsley.
He adds how people across the UK rely on Post Office branches as “the only ones able to fulfil all the cash needs of their local communities and businesses”.
However, while cash handling is up at the Post Office, the long-term outlook from UK Finance, the bank industry representative body, predicts cash will account for just 6% of payments by 2023.
READ MORE: Post Office handles more cash as banks close and prices rise
Government energy public information campaign pulled because of costs
A public information campaign supporting to help people reduce energy bills has been pulled as it is too costly, according to cabinet minister Nadhim Zahawi.
The campaign, which was reportedly given the green light by business secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg, was blocked because it would have cost up to £15m, Zahawi said in an interview with the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg yesterday (9 October).
He said a government campaign would be unnecessary, given the influence of third-parties such as the National Grid and Ofgem, which are running their own campaigns.
Denying the campaign was blocked because of party divides, Zahawi said: “That is, I think, being prudent with taxpayers’ money. It isn’t a divide,” given the information is already available across government websites.
“I’m confident that the resilience is there, that people can enjoy their Christmas,” he added.
READ MORE: Energy use advice campaign pulled due to cost, Zahawi says
Amazon to invest £300m to up its electric vehicle numbers in UK
Amazon is set to invest more than £880m across Europe, including £300m in the UK, to up its electric vehicle capabilities. The retailer plans to have up to 700 electric HGVs by 2025, a marked increase from the five it has right now.
It also plans to triple its electric vans across the rest of Europe, to 10,000.
The retailer will also be installing hundreds of fast-charging points for the electric vehicles across its warehouses, and is looking to double the number of European cities with “micromobility hubs”, locations where deliveries can be fulfilled on bike or by foot.
Amazon’s chief executive Andy Jassy says: “Deploying thousands of electric vans, long-haul trucks, and bikes will help us shift further away from traditional fossil fuels.”
The UK’s transport secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan is in support of the investment, saying moves like this will “be vital to reducing emissions and meeting out net zero goals, while supporting growth at the same time”.
READ MORE: Amazon to up electric fleet by thousands across UK and continent
LadBible to layoff 10% of its staff amid tough conditions
Manchester-based media company LadBible is laying off 10% of its staff, following a knock to its share price.
The company reportedly put blame on the economy, impact of Covid-19 lockdowns and inflation, according to The Guardian.
Staff were told the redundancies will help the company put itself “in a better position when markets have settled and economic growth returns”, however, the layoffs also come off the back of a recent hiring spree.
LadBible’s share price has fallen by 65% since it initially floated at the end of last year. Last month, the company shared it had made a half-year, pre-tax loss of £1.9m, which it put down to the cost of hiring more staff.
READ MORE: LadBible to sack 10% of staff as it warns of tough trading conditions