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Weekly Roundup... 25 May 2021

By Donna Ahern
Weekly Roundup... 25 May 2021

Shopper numbers across Britain rose 1.1% in the week to 22 May compared with the previous week, helped by the reopening of indoor hospitality after months of COVID-19 lockdown, researcher Springboard said on Monday. It said shopper numbers, or footfall, increased 2.4% across UK high streets and by 1% in shopping centres, but fell 1.7% in retail parks. Springboard said there had been a significant 4% increase week-on-week in footfall on high streets after 5 pm in the afternoons. "The reopening of indoor dining on Monday of last week certainly supported footfall in UK retail destinations in the face of prolonged, and often severe, rain across virtually all of the UK for much of the week," said Diane Wehrle, Springboard's insights director. She also noted clear gravitation towards larger cities away from local high streets, as consumers sought a greater choice of dining options.

Compass Group Ireland has announced a commitment to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, in line with U.N. targets to limit global temperature rises to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. The group has launched a €1 million investment fund to support the development of carbon reduction and sustainable food production initiatives in the UK and Ireland. Compass Group Ireland has committed to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by publishing its 'Roadmap to Net Zero', outlining the strategy it will follow to create a sustainable food system delivering net-zero, covering milestones for the decade.

Swedish vegan milk maker Oatly Group AB, which counts celebrities Oprah Winfrey and Natalie Portman among its backersraised $1.4 billion in its U.S. initial public offering on Wednesday, the company said in a statement. The company, whose investors also include rapper Jay Z and former Starbucks Corp head Howard Schultz, said it priced 84.4 million American depositary shares in the initial public offering at $17 each, at the top of its indicated range. This implies a valuation for the company of $10 billion. Oatly's share sale comes in the middle of a crucial juncture for the U.S. IPO market, which is facing significant volatility due to inflation fears that have forced investors to abandon high-growth stocks, focusing on value stocks instead.

Chicago corn futures slid on Wednesday, giving up some of the gains made in the previous two sessions, although concerns over tightening world supplies provided a floor for the market. Wheat fell for a third consecutive day to hit a four-week low, while soybeans dropped to their lowest in nearly two weeks. "In our view, the USDA's (U.S. Department of Agriculture) supply and demand estimates are actually more bullish than we thought," said Ole Houe, director of advisory services at brokerage IKON Commodities in Sydney."We will now end up seeing tighter world supplies for corn and wheat next year than the year we are in, so prices should be finding a base and be more likely to go back up again."

News by Reuters edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. For more retail news click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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