Huawei, John Lewis bonus, Greggs: your commercial news round-up
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This week we launched the latest episode of The LawCareers.Net Podcast which covers all things commercial awareness. Give it a listen to find out more about the importance of being commercially aware, and to hear a case study in the airline industry that can be analysed in a commercial way. Meanwhile, here are this week’s most important and interesting business stories:
- If you’ve not been keeping up with the Huawei-China-US battle, listen to this episode of the Beyond Today podcast from BBC Radio 4 which summarises the latest events in what is being described as the “tech cold war”. This morning Huawei announced that it is suing the US over a government ban on its products, claiming that the restriction is unlawful, harms consumers and violates the US Constitution. With a senior Huawei executive currently in Vancouver facing extradition over charges of conspiring to violate US sanctions on Iran, tensions between China and the US continue to simmer.
- Partners at John Lewis and Waitrose have received their lowest bonus in 65 years as the retailer has announced it’s paying out only 3%, the lowest since 1954. Last year profits at the partnership plummeted by more than 45%, with the company describing the overall retail market as “challenging”.
- It looks like Piers Morgan throwing up on live TV has worked wonders for bakery chain Greggs, as they’ve reported a boost in annual sales – breaking through £1 billion. In case you missed vegan-sausage-roll-gate earlier this year, the meat substitute pastry snack was launched in January to coincide with Veganuary, causing social a media furore and queues across the chain’s 1,953 stores. Greggs’ clever and quirky PR campaign is also being praised as a factor.
- Restaurant chains Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner are to close 27 sites, putting hundreds of jobs at risk. Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG) said that sales had improved since the chains were acquired in 2016, but several sites are still unprofitable. Chief executive of BRG, Tom Crowley, said that the company voluntary agreement (CVA) was the only way to protect the company. "The combination of increasing costs and over-supply of restaurants in the sector and a softening of consumer demand have all contributed to the challenges both these brands face,” he commented.