The number of people heading out to shops across Britain increased by 1.5% last week from the previous week – a fourth straight week of rises – indicating that Britons are increasingly tiring of lockdown, industry data showed on Monday. Market researcher Springboard noted that while footfall in high streets declined by 1.7% in the week to 13 February versus the previous week, there were rises of 3.9% in shopping centres and 6.1% in retail parks. “Despite Beast from the East 2 hitting virtually all of the UK at some point last week, footfall across retail destinations continued to rise from the week before,” said Springboard director Diane Wehrle, referring to bitterly cold and snowy weather.
Shoprite Holdings Ltd noted that its profits for the half-year ended 27 December will be higher, by 12.5% to 22.5%, compared with the same period a year ago. Adjusted basic headline earnings per share (HEPS) – the main measure of corporate profit in South Africa – will be between 400.1 cents ($0.2762) and 435.7 cents, the company noted, driven mainly by sales in its local market, reports Reuters. Home market sales, which account for over three quarters of the company’s total sales, grew by 5.6% for the half-year, noted Shoprite, the country’s largest retailer by market capitalisation.
South Africa’s drug regulator, SAHPRA, noted on Monday that it has approved an implementation study of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, clearing the way to start the country’s first inoculations among health workers. South Africa has yet to start its COVID-19 vaccination programme, and the government has decided to go with the J&J dose, after trial results this month showed that AstraZeneca’s two-shot vaccine was less effective against the new variant of the coronavirus dominating South African infections. ‘SAHPRA has approved the implementation study,’ the regulator noted in response to Reuters’ questions, but added that it was still reviewing its separate, full-market application.
Israeli start-up Redefine Meat is planning to launch its 3D-printed meat substitutes globally, after raising $29 million in a funding round led by venture capital firms Happiness Capital and Hanaco Ventures, it noted on Tuesday. Redefine Meat has developed technology to produce plant-based meat substitutes on 3D printers. The investment will let it set up a large-scale pilot line before rolling out industrial 3D meat substitute printers to distributors later this year, it announced in a statement.
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