Business

House of Fraser to shut another four stores

Image copyright PA House of Fraser (HoF) is closing four more stores, all based in major shopping centres. The department store chain, bought out of administration in August by Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct, will shut its Lakeside, Metrocentre, Norwich and Nottingham outlets in the New Year. Mr Ashley said the landlord, Intu Properties, had been […]

Business

Addison Lee loses appeal on worker rights

Image copyright Addison Lee/ Twitter A claim that Addison Lee’s drivers are employees, not self-employed contractors, has been upheld in a major blow to the taxi company. The Employment Appeal Tribunal ruling confirms that drivers should be paid the minimum wage and holiday pay. The judgement could affect thousands of Addison Lee drivers and follows […]

Business

SSE admits 'some uncertainty' over merger with Npower

Image copyright PA Image caption Perth-based SSE has revealed it has been hit by widened losses for its household gas and electricity supplier Energy firm SSE has admitted there is “some uncertainty” that its merger with rival Npower will go ahead. The announcement comes after the companies delayed the tie-up due to the incoming energy […]

Business

UK inflation holds steady at 2.4% in October

The UK inflation rate remained steady at 2.4% in October, confounding analyst expectations of a rise to 2.5%. The Consumer Prices Index figure included falls in food and clothing costs, but rising utility bills and petrol prices. The inflation figure comes a day after data showed that wages were rising by 3.2% – the fastest […]

Business

German economy contracts in third quarter on weak trade

Image copyright Reuters Germany’s economy contracted in the third quarter of the year, dented by weaker exports, figures have shown. Europe’s largest economy shrank by 0.2% between July and September, as global trade disputes had a knock-on effect for Europe’s largest economy. It was the economy’s first quarter-on-quarter fall since 2015. Compared with the same […]

Business

IMF's Lagarde says central banks could issue digital money

Image copyright Getty Images International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde said central banks around the world should consider issuing digital currency. Speaking in Singapore, Ms Lagarde said this could make digital currency transactions safer. Non-cash payments have increased over the years, raising challenges for governments and central banks. Regulators have voiced concerns with digital currencies […]

Business

Japan GDP: Natural disasters hit economic growth

Image copyright Getty Images Japan’s economy shrank in the third quarter as natural disasters hit spending and disrupted exports. The economy contracted by an annualised 1.2% between July and September, preliminary figures showed. A devastating earthquake and typhoon were among the disasters to hit Japan this year, and prompted the bigger than expected contraction. The […]

Business

The wedding brides without a dress

Image copyright Vicky Morgan Image caption Vicky Morgan had paid £1,400 of the £2,000 price tag “Disgusted and desperately disappointed,” is how Vicky Morgan sums up her feelings about bridal chain Berketex Bride’s collapse. Its Leicester shop was the only wedding shop she’d been to after she fell in love with the first dress she […]

Business

University 'not for people like us'

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Is social mobility through education getting easier or more difficult for today’s young people? Going to university was not on the cards for “people like us”, says a US academic who next month will receive a major education prize. Growing up in a poor family in California, Professor Larry […]

Business

The people with more stuff than they have room for

Image copyright SSA UK The high cost of housing has helped to create a boom in self-storage with many people now renting self-storage units long term because their home is too small. “It’s a bit of a rip-off really,” laughs Angela Andrew, talking about the £120 she pays a month for a self-storage unit in […]

Business

Christmas ad spending 'to hit new high'

Image copyright Sainsbury’s Image caption The latest Sainsbury’s Christmas ad features children performing in a school production Spending by retailers on Christmas advertising in 2018 is set to hit a new high of £6.4bn, an industry body said. According to the Advertising Association, spending on Christmas ads has risen nearly 50% in eight years. It […]

Business

Italy budget: Rome rejects European Commission demands

Image copyright EPA Image caption Italy’s co-Deputy Prime Ministers Luigi Di Maio (left) and Matteo Salvini made defiant comments The Italian government has defied the European Commission (EC) by sticking to its big-spending budget plan. Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said a deficit target of 2.4% and a growth forecast of 1.5% were unchanged. The […]