Sirius Bulletin - 4th July 2022
This bulletin provides a summary of topical news, announcements and policy developments affecting business across the UK.
Record staff shortages causing loss in trade
Staff shortages in the hospitality industry have caused 45% of operators to cut trading hours or capacity, costing the industry £21 billion in lost revenue. Front-of-house roles and chefs are vacancies that operators are struggling to fill.
Read more about the impact at: https://beerandpub.com/2022/06/23/record-staff-shortages-causing-hospitality-to-lose-21bn-in-trade/
Increase in sales of frozen and canned meats
According to NielsenIQ, over the last four weeks frozen poultry sales have risen by 12% as consumers look for cheaper alternatives to cut costs. Sales of rice and grains have also increased by 11% and canned beans and pasta rose by 10%.
Read more about the increases at: www.retailgazette.eo.uk/blog/2022/06/shoppers-turn-to-frozen-and-canned-meats-amid-cost-of-living-crisis
Shopify partners with Twitter
Shopify has partnered with Twitter to launch Twitter Shopping as a social commerce strategy. Shop Spotlight will allow merchants to showcase up to five products and Twitter Shops will be a separate shopping tab where merchants are able to showcase up to 50 products.
Read more about the partnership at: www.chargedretail.eo.uk/2022/06/22/shopify-partners-with-twitter-to-expand-social-commerce-offering
Retailers split over online tax
Asda has warned the Government that introducing an online sales tax will only harm retailers and shoppers already struggling to cope with high inflation. John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Currys have also argued against the introduction of the tax. However Tesco, Sainsbury’s, the Co-op, Morrisons and Kingfisher are in favour.
Read more about the tax at: www.retailgazette.eo.uk/blog/2022/06/asda-joins-asos-amazon-and-currys-in-rejecting-online-sales-tax/?
Review identifies industry challenges
The Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland have published an in-depth review of UK food standards. Two of the main challenges identified as part of the review are the fall in the number of food business inspections and the delay in establishing full UK import controls for high-risk food and feed from the EU.
Read more about the review at: www.food.gov.uk/news-alerts/news/inaugural-report-on-uk-food-standards-cautions-of-challenges-ahead
Increase in number of second homes
The number of properties being used as holiday lets in England has risen by 40% in three years. Estate agents have reported an increase in second-home ownership during the pandemic, with many buyers now offering these as holiday lets. Tourist areas such as Scarborough, the Isle of Wight, North Devon, the Cotswolds and Norfolk have seen the sharpest increases.
Read more about the increases at: www.bbc.eo.uk/news/uk-politics-61966359
Funding increases by just 7p a pupil
The Department for Education has increased funding for universal infant free school meals to £2.41 (up from £2.34) in response to the cost of living rise. Schools will receive the uplift to universal infant free school meals funding backdated to 1 April 2022. However, LACA, the body representing school food caterers, said the funding was inadequate and food standards were at risk.
Read more about the increase at: www.nurseryworid.co.uk/news/article/universaI-free-school-meaIs-funding-rises-by-just-7p-a-pupiI
Increase in finance volumes
Figures released by the Finance & Leasing Association show new business volumes in the consumer new car finance market were 5% higher in the first four months of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021. Business volumes in the used car finance market were 20% higher.
Read more about the figures at: www.aIphabet.com/en-gb/ auto-digest/consumer-car-finance-new-busi ness-volumes-felI-1-april-2022
Union organisation issues workers’ rights warning
The TUC has accused the Government of negotiating post-Brexit trade deals with countries that do not guarantee workers’ rights or systematically violate employee protections. The countries include Brazil, Burundi, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Read more about the concerns at: www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/jun/28/tuc-issues-workers-rights-warning-over-post-brexit-trade-deals?
DISCLAIMER While all reasonable efforts have been made, the publisher makes no warranties that this information is accurate and up-to-date.