M&S, Ariana Grande lawsuit, PPI: your commercial news round-up

updated on 05 September 2019

Phew, it’s fair to say that it’s been another unprecedented week in British politics, and it looks like this unpredictability and chaos will continue until 31 October, and undoubtedly well beyond. So, stock up on canned goods, make a cup of tea, and sit down to check in with the commercial world with our weekly round-up:

  • Marks & Spencer received a fresh economic blow this week as it was announced that the company is to be relegated from the FTSE 100 index. One of the few companies still in the FTSE 35 years after its launch, M&S’ expulsion is indicative of the struggling high street store’s overarching financial woes. This news article explains why this comes as no surprise to the business world, and why it should not be seen as the end of M&S.
  • Ariana Grande has launched a legal suit against clothing retailer Forever 21 worth $10 million, accusing the store of using her name and a lookalike model to promote its products online without her consent. Grande claims that Forever 21 asked to work with her in 2018, which she declined. Her lawyer alleges that the brand later stole imagery from her 2019 single '7 Rings' for its advertising campaign on Instagram.
  • You might have grown tired of receiving irritating calls regarding PPI refunds, but with the deadline for claiming back the mis-sold insurance closing at the end of last month, it’s been reported that the scandal could cost banks up to £53 billion. RBS this week reported that its profits are likely to fall after it received up to £900 million worth of last-minute PPI claims.
  • The UK is likely to fall into a recession, warn industry managers, who caution that “the lack of any meaningful growth” in the dominant services industry – accounting for 80% of the UK economy – could spell trouble for the future, especially in light of Brexit concerns.
  • Bike and car maintenance retailer Halfords issued a profit warning this week, claiming that last year’s hot summer weather caused a decline in cycle sales this year. Total sales were down 3.9% with bike sales down 1.1%, although there was strong growth in electric bikes and children’s cycling equipment.


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