Business Briefing

Charity shops enjoy bumper sales but donors warned to ‘think before giving’

EasyJet to ‘ramp up’ summer flights, 1,200 Asda bakery jobs at risk, and other breaking business news

1

Retail

Charity Retail Association asks generous public to ‘be thoughtful’

Monday’s reopening of non-essential outlets in England saw record sales at many charity shops. The British Heart Foundation recorded more than £1m in sales, with “furniture proving particularly popular”, The Guardian says. 

The Salvation Army made record sales on Monday, Oxfam reported a 77% rise compared with 2019 and Cancer Research UK took half a million pounds – “more than double what it was expecting”, the BBC reports. 

With customer numbers and item donations on the rise, the Charity Retail Association is asking donors to “think before giving”. 

“We have two asks of the generous public,” said chairman Robin Osterley. “Be thoughtful – is this stuff you’d be prepared to buy yourself? And the second is to contact the shop before you roll up with armfuls of goods.”

2

Cryptocurrencies 

Coinbase listing a ‘coming-of-age moment for cryptocurrency’

Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange, made its debut on the Nasdaq stock market yesterday. At the start of trading in New York it had a market value of nearly $100bn (£72.5bn), putting it ahead of “many well-known firms, such as oil giant BP and key stock exchanges”, the BBC reports. 

The FT described the Coinbase listing as a “coming-of-age moment for cryptocurrency”. Shares debuted at a price of $381 (£276.41), but later closed at $328.28 (£238.15), which put the company’s value at $85.8bn (£62.2bn) including options and other kinds of stock-based awards.

3

Retail 

1,200 jobs at risk as Asda plans to close in-store bakeries

Supermarket giant Asda is in consultation with up to 1,200 workers after plans were announced to overhaul its network of 341 in-store bakeries. Derek Lawlor, Asda’s chief merchandising officer, said the current in-store bakery model has “restricted our ability to respond to changing customer demands”.

The company said the changes would not lead to the closure of any bakeries, Sky News reports. But in future it is considering sending pre-baked goods to its supermarkets from a central location rather than baking them on-site from scratch.

4

Tourism 

EasyJet to ‘ramp up’ summer flights 

“We’re all going on a summer holiday”. That’s the message from “bullish” easyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren, who has “raised hopes of summer getaways for British holidaymakers”, The Times reports. 

The budget airline is set to “ramp up” flights for the summer schedule, Yahoo! Finance adds. Encouraged by the strong vaccination rollout in the UK, easyJet said in a statement that it “expects the European rollout to pick up pace in the coming weeks” and is “looking forward to taking customers on a long-awaited holiday this summer”. 

5

Economy 

37% of workers get less than a week’s notice of their shifts

A new study has found that over a third (37%) of UK workers in full or part-time employment are given less than a week’s notice of their shifts or work patterns. Conducted by the Living Wage Foundation, the research is based on two surveys of more than 2,000 UK adults in each case. 

Exposing the scale of such precarious work, figures suggest that the “chaotic employment practices are spreading into professional roles”, The Guardian says. 

Laura Gardiner, director of the Living Wage Foundation, said that “without clear notice of shift patterns provided in good time, millions of workers have had to make impossible choices on childcare, transport and other important aspects of family life”. 

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