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Back in business: Pubs, hairdressers and shops reopen as lockdown eases

Back in business: Pubs, hairdressers and shops reopen as lockdown eases

Business
Businesses have wasted little time in welcoming back customers after lockdown measures eased across the UK at midnight.Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged the nation to "behave responsibly" as non-essential shops, hairdressers, salons, pubs, restaurants and gyms reopened in England. In Wales, people can now also visit non-essential shops and travel across the border to other areas of the UK from today.Meanwhile, people in Northern Ireland are now allowed to meet 10 others outside as the "stay at home" order has been scrapped.Live COVID updates from across the UK and around the world ...
Amazon criticised in paying lower rates than shops

Amazon criticised in paying lower rates than shops

Business
Getty ImagesAmazon has been criticised for paying less in business rates than British bricks and mortar retailers.The online retail giant's financial results revealed that UK sales for 2020 totalled $ 26.5bn (£19.3bn) - a 51% jump from $ 17.5bn in 2019.Amazon's overall business rates bill for 2020-2021 is estimated by researchers to be £71.5m - just 0.37% of its retail sales.They say this is far lower than what the retail sector typically pays.Amazon insists that it pays its tax and has created thousands of jobs in the UK.Sunak urges US to back digital services tax Amazon pays £290m in UK tax as sales surge to £14bnOnline shoppers warned about hidden price risesBusiness rates are calculated by looking at a property's rateable value and multiplying it by a tax rate set by the government. A ...
Coronavirus: H&M to close 250 shops as Covid drives sales online

Coronavirus: H&M to close 250 shops as Covid drives sales online

Business
The world's second biggest fashion retailer, Sweden's H&M, says it plans to cut 250 of its stores globally.The closures will come next year after the firm said the Covid-19 pandemic had moved more shoppers online.Although it said sales had continued to recover in September, they were still 5% lower than the same month in 2019.The firm has 5,000 stores worldwide, but it is not yet clear how many closures will be in the UK.H&M has the contractual right to renegotiate or end leases on about a quarter of its stores every year. The retailer said that it planned a "net decrease of around 250 stores" next year.While its pre-tax profits fell to 2.37bn Swedish krona (£210m) for the nine months to 31 August, this was better than an...
Primark says no ‘special discounts’ when shops reopen

Primark says no ‘special discounts’ when shops reopen

Business
Primark is planning to reopen all of its 153 stores in England on 15 June when lockdown restrictions are lifted, its owner AB Foods has said.During lockdown the clothing chain has built up almost £2bn-worth of stock to sell, double its normal stockholding.However, bargain-hunters will be left disappointed after the firm said there would be no "special discounting"."The stock will be sold in the normal course of business, albeit at a later date," it said.The company said it had £1.5bn of stock on hand plus a commitment to suppliers to buy another £400m-worth. It normally holds stock worth £900m.The excess stock mainly comprises non-fashion and non-seasonal ranges plus some excess spring-summer goods, it said. Which shops are reopening? Non-essential shops ...
Coronavirus: All non-essential shops to reopen from 15 June – PM

Coronavirus: All non-essential shops to reopen from 15 June – PM

Business
Media playback is unsupported on your device All non-essential retailers will be able to reopen in England from 15 June, Boris Johnson has announced, as part of plans to further ease the lockdown.However, the move is "contingent on progress in the fight against coronavirus", and retailers will have to adhere to new guidelines to protect shoppers and workers, the PM added.Outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to reopen from 1 June.It comes as the number of coronavirus deaths in the UK rose by 121 to 36,914.Mr Johnson said new guidance had been published for the retail sector "detailing the measures they should take to meet the necessary social distancing and hygiene standards"."Shops now have the time to implement this guidance before ...