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Weekly Round-Up… 9th October, 2018

Published on Oct 9 2018 10:30 AM

Weekly Round-Up… 9th October, 2018

Amazon.com Inc said on Tuesday it would raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour for U.S. employees from next month, seeking to head off criticism of working conditions at the world's second most valuable company. The online retailer said it would now lobby in Washington for an increase in the federal minimum wage and urged its competitors to follow its lead as the union-led "Fight for Fifteen" movement pushes for higher remuneration. The new minimum wage will benefit more than 250,000 Amazon employees in the United States, as well as over 100,000 seasonal employees who will be hired at sites across the country this holiday, the company said.

Aldi has considered stockpiling food as part of its preparations for Brexit, the discount grocer's UK boss said on Monday. But chief executive Giles Hurley added that Aldi's increased fresh food range would make this more difficult. “While I think storage of additional stock is worth considering, based on storage and shelf life that would be very challenging,” he said.

Tesco has become the latest supermarket in the UK to warn over stockpiling as grocers ramp up contingency plans for a no-deal Brexit. Chief executive Dave Lewis said ensuring uninterrupted transport of fresh food across borders was the “single biggest challenge” for supermarkets if the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal. He said the group was making contingency preparations for a no-deal scenario, but was still in “wait and see” mode until the outcome of negotiations becomes clearer.

Arla Foods and US-based dairy cooperative Foremost Farms USA are in advanced discussions about forming a strategic partnership, the companies said in a statement. The vision of a potential partnership is to increase the value of whey through innovation, by combining Foremost Farms’ whey with Arla Foods’ ingredient know-how and sales channels. A memorandum of understanding has been signed by the companies to formalise the possibility of the future partnership.

Subway has appointed Colin Hughes as country director for the UK and Ireland. Hughes brings a wealth of experience, having previously worked in several senior roles in the retail and food industries. At Wyevale Garden Centres, Hughes led 145 restaurants across four different concepts, both company-owned and franchised. He was also retail operations director at Pret A Manger and Eat, where he was responsible for the research, acquisition and opening of more than 150 new sites across the UK.

The founder of the Poundworld chain, Chris Edwards, has said that he plans to open up to 100 budget stores under a new discount banner, Onebelow. Edwards said that Onebelow will mark a return to the strict ‘round pound’ concept – a nod to rival Poundland’s recent decision to offer products at a range of price points. Following its sale to TPG Capital in 2015, Poundworld similarly adopted a multiple price strategy.

Growth in the Irish services sector accelerated in September on the back of a further sharp expansion in new business. This is according to the latest Services Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) from IHS Markit. The headline seasonally adjusted PMI was 58.7 in September, up from 58.0 in August, and signalling a substantial monthly increase in activity across the Irish service sector.

© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition. 

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