Food supply, WhatsApp, Deliveroo, Moonpig, Topshop, Nicki Minaj: your commercial news round-up

updated on 14 January 2021

The combination of Brexit and the pandemic might make keeping up with the news more hectic than normal. Read on for round-ups of several interesting stories from the past week.

  • Food supply chain costs are likely to increase due to Brexit regulations, according to the Food and Drink Federation. Consumers or retailers could take on the extra costs, with Northern Ireland supermarkets likely to experience shortages. Chief executive of the Food and Drink Federation Ian Wright said: "Unless the deal changes in some material way, we're going to see the re-engineering of almost all the EU-UK and GB-NI supply chains over the next six to nine months.”

He added: “In the short term there will be costs and time wasted for supply to reach the shelves, and in the long term will be costs and changes, and fairly significant changes, to the way in which manufacturers in the UK and in the EU interact when they are producing product.”

  • Following an update to WhatsApp’s terms and conditions, global downloads of messaging platforms Signal and Telegram surged. WhatsApp’s updated T&Cs asked users to allow it to share data with Facebook, the platform’s parent company, if they want to continue to use the app after 8 February. Although the notification was sent to all WhatsApp users, it does not apply to those in the UK and Europe. The week prior to WhatsApp’s updated T&Cs announcement saw Signal downloaded globally 246,000 times, with 8.8 million downloads recorded following the announcement, according to Sensor Tower’s data.
  • Four investment banks have been hired to help Deliveroo with its stock market flotation, which could be London’s biggest of 2021 at a value of more than £5 billion. The food delivery app appointed Bank of America Merrill Lync, Citi, Jefferies and Numis to work under Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, according to Sky News.

Meanwhile, online greeting card and gifts company Moonpig revealed plans for a flotation in London, following strong sales during the pandemic.

  • JD Sports Fashion and Authentic Brands Group, owner of US department store Barneys, could team up to acquire Topshop from the administrators to Arcadia Group. Additional offers from high street giants, including Next, are also expected.
  • This week 2020 retail sales were branded the “worst for 25 years”, after demand for fashion and homeware products plummeted as a result of the covid-19 pandemic, according to recent figures. Stats from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) show that food sales experienced a growth of 5.4% on 2019, while non-food sales fell about 5%, resulting in an overall fall of 0.3%. BRC Chief Executive Helen Dickinson said: "Physical non-food stores, including all of non-essential retail, saw sales drop by a quarter compared with 2019.” With retailers forced to shut over the festive season, businesses were “offered little respite”.
  • A copyright infringement dispute between Nicki Minaj and Tracy Chapman has been settled out of court with Minaj agreeing to pay Chapman $450,000. Samples of Chapman’s 1988 track Baby Can I hold You were used by Minaj in her collaboration with Nas called Sorry – a track that was not officially released, but was played on Hot 97, a New York radio station.
  • UK Supermarket Morrisons is leading the way by becoming the first to pay a minimum of £10 an hour from April 2021. The supermarket, along with giants Tesco, Asda and Waitrose, has also revealed its decisions to deny store entry to shoppers refusing to wear facemasks, unless they are exempt on medical grounds, as the UK navigates its third national lockdown.  

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