Thomas Cook, BA strikes, Sainsbury’s shake-up: your commercial news round-up

updated on 26 September 2019

We’ll stick to the business side of things – take a look at our round-up for a summary of what’s been happening this week.

  • It’s been a household name in travel for over 170 years, but this week Thomas Cook collapsed after failing to reach a last-minute agreement with the government, leaving 150,000 tourists stranded across Europe and putting thousands of jobs at risk – across the world and in the UK. Factors such as an outdated business model, cheaper budget holiday rivals and customer uncertainty over Brexit have been blamed for the collapse which rocked the business world, while it was reported that as the forecast for the firm worsened over past years, bosses received millions of pounds in salaries and bonuses to keep them sweet. The collapse has caused the largest ever peacetime repatriation of British citizens as the UK Civil Aviation Authority flies holidaymakers home on chartered flights.
  • Recent strikes by British Airways pilots have cost over £120 million, says BA owner IAG, as 2,325 flights were cancelled earlier this month. The firm expects profits to be €215 million less than last year, which includes a hit from a decline in bookings. A further strike scheduled for tomorrow has been called off by pilots.
  • Sainsbury’s is aiming to save £500 million over the next five years by shutting 70 Argos stores and integrating 80 sites into its supermarkets. The company will also close 15 large supermarkets and 40 convenience stores, while opening 10 supermarkets and 110 convenience stores. It’s all part of a shake-up which the group hopes will increase the “improved growth momentum” it has seen over the past few months.
  • And finally, move over New York: London is now the number one city in the world for fintech firms. From January to August, the capital of the UK attracted 114 investments with a value of over £1.6 billion, overtaking San Francisco as the city with the most deals secured. For total investment, San Francisco tops the list, with New York in third place.

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