Business Briefing

Homeowners face delays for improvements due to worker shortage

Shandy set for a revival, JP Morgan ‘clearly misjudged’ Super League backlash, and other breaking business news

1

Construction 

‘Unprecedented demand’ for new kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms

Brits who are planning to revamp their properties are facing long delays due to an industry-wide labour shortage. 

The pandemic lockdowns sparked an increase in home improvement projects but a combination of Brexit worker shortfall and demand has seen lead times for new kitchens, bathrooms or wardrobes “spiral” from a pre-Covid norm of four to eight weeks to 12-18 weeks, The Guardian reports. 

There has been an “unprecedented demand for kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms, and home improvement in general”, said Damian Walters, chief executive of the British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom Installation (BiKBBI). 

2

Technology 

Facebook and Google ‘fail to take down scam adverts’

Tech giants Facebook and Google are failing to take action against scam adverts – even if users are reporting them, according to a study by Which?. Research by the consumer group found that a third (34%) of scam advert victims who reported it to Google said it wasn’t removed while 26% of Facebook users said the same.

Both companies state that they remove fraudulent adverts and such content was not allowed on their platforms, the Press Association reports. However, Which? said the current reactive approach was not working and called on the Government to include online scams within the scope of its upcoming Online Safety Bill.

3

Food and drink 

70s favourite shandy is set for a revival 

The rising trend of no- or low-alcohol (nolo) beer is poised to spark a revival for shandy. Beer start-ups are “turning their hand to making good nolo beers” and even giving 70s favourite shandy “a fresh spin”, The Guardian says. 

Sales of nolo beer, wine and spirits in supermarkets have increased by 50% in the past year and next month Sainsbury’s will start selling craft brand Shandy Shack in 51 stores nationwide. Shandy Shack co-founder Ed Stapleton told the Guardian that he wants to see shandy reclaim its “rightful place as the country’s favourite low-alcohol drink”. 

4

Sports business 

JP Morgan ‘clearly misjudged’ fan backlash over Super League 

After fan backlash contributed to the collapse of the European Super League proposals, JP Morgan has admitted that it “clearly misjudged” how the breakaway competition would impact the football industry. 

The American investment bank had committed £2.8bn of start-up financing to the ill-fated scheme, although no money had changed hands, Sky News reports. In a statement, JP Morgan said: “We clearly misjudged how this deal would be viewed by the wider football community and how it might impact them in the future. We will learn from this.”

5

Economy 

Restrictions eased in Scotland and Wales 

Two weeks after England took its latest step in easing lockdown restrictions, Scotland and Wales are following suit today. 

Scotland’s move into level three lockdown will see the full reopening of retail services and partial reopening of the hospitality sector along with beauty salons, gyms and tourist accommodation, The Herald reports. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon expects all of Scotland will move to level two on Monday 17 May.

In Wales pubs and restaurants have been given the “green light” to serve customers outdoors, says WalesOnline. “A decision when to reopen pubs indoors will be confirmed in the coming weeks.”

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