Clintons, French strikes, Huawei: your commercial news round-up

updated on 05 December 2019

It’s a week until the general election and the party leaders are rallying their troops for the final battle. Could we see a new prime minister in Number 10 by the end of next week? Will Brexit be postponed again or abandoned? Will Boris Johnson agree to an interview with Andrew Neil or, more probably, This Morning? While we wait for the answers to these much-anticipated questions, read our commercial news round-up for the latest business stories:

  • In something akin to a festive miracle, cards shop Clintons has been saved for Christmas as the retailer agreed a deal that means that it is being sold back to its original owners, saving 2,500 jobs across 334 stores. The chain, which was formed in 1968, says it is confident the deal “will kickstart a new chapter for our business”.
  • Strikes across France have disrupted schools and transport systems as workers protest Emmanuel Macron’s pension reforms. The French president intends to introduce a points-based system that will cause many people to retire later or face lower pension pay-outs. It’s the largest nationwide strike in years with potentially millions of people joining the protests across the country.
  • After the US declared Huawei a security threat, the Chinese telecoms firm has retaliated by launching a legal challenge against the US, saying that evidence for the claims “does not exist”. The legal action comes after the US Federal Communications Commission made it more difficult for rural mobile providers to use Huawei equipment. Trump’s administration has been notoriously hard on the Chinese giant, with this being the second legal challenge this year between Huawei and the US.
  • As South Western Railway is set to strike for 27 days next month, it was announced today that rail fares are set to increase by an average of 2.7% next year. For many commuters, this will mean paying over £100 extra year, although train companies say that average train fares in the UK have been kept below the benchmark inflation rate for the past three years.


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