LONDON (Reuters) – British retailer Marks & Spencer

, seeking to avoid a repeat of last Christmas when its performance was ruined by excessive food waste, is rolling out a supply chain programme it says will crack the problem.

Reporting on festive trading in January, two months before the COVID-19 pandemic brought much of Britain to a standstill, Chief Executive Steve Rowe said that while M&S had enjoyed record food sales its profit margins were dented by high levels of waste.

M&S normally accounts for just over 3% of the UK grocery market but at Christmas it punches above its weight, selling, for example, one in four of all fresh turkeys consumed.

Nevertheless, the group has been dogged by food availability issues and waste levels that are amongst the highest in the industry.

For Rowe, attempting to boost M&S’s fortunes after a decade of failed reinventions, the antidote to waste is a supply chain initiative called Vangarde – named after the shopping park in the northern English city of York where the group frequently tests new ideas.

“It’s absolutely going to reset the foundations of our business and the platform to grow,” Ryan Lemon, M&S head of retail supply chain told Reuters.

The Vangarde programme aims to get all parts of M&S’s supply chain working better, from planning, to suppliers, to logistics and stores.

Its first phase included 92 M&S stores served by a regional distribution centre (RDC) in Barnsley, northern England. A second phase starts on Monday with a further 65 stores served by a RDC in Thatcham, southern England, with a full roll-out serving 595 stores by July 2021.

“We believe that we’re going to see an improvement in sales in these stores, a reduction in waste and an improvement in availability,” said Lemon.

He explained that Vangarde

By James Davey



a sign on the side of a building: A M&S store is pictured at Oxford Street in London


© Reuters/HENRY NICHOLLS
A M&S store is pictured at Oxford Street in London


LONDON (Reuters) – British retailer Marks & Spencer , seeking to avoid a repeat of last Christmas when its performance was ruined by excessive food waste, is rolling out a supply chain programme it says will crack the problem.

Reporting on festive trading in January, two months before the COVID-19 pandemic brought much of Britain to a standstill, Chief Executive Steve Rowe said that while M&S had enjoyed record food sales its profit margins were dented by high levels of waste.

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M&S normally accounts for just over 3% of the UK grocery market but at Christmas it punches above its weight, selling, for example, one in four of all fresh turkeys consumed.

Nevertheless, the group has been dogged by food availability issues and waste levels that are amongst the highest in the industry.

For Rowe, attempting to boost M&S’s fortunes after a decade of failed reinventions, the antidote to waste is a supply chain initiative called Vangarde – named after the shopping park in the northern English city of York where the group frequently tests new ideas.

“It’s absolutely going to reset the foundations of our business and the platform to grow,” Ryan Lemon, M&S head of retail supply chain told Reuters.

The Vangarde programme aims to get all parts of M&S’s supply chain working better, from planning, to suppliers, to logistics and stores.

Its first phase included 92 M&S stores served by a regional distribution centre (RDC) in Barnsley, northern England. A second phase starts on Monday with a further 65 stores served by a RDC in Thatcham, southern England, with a full roll-out serving 595 stores by July 2021.

WASTE REDUCTION

“We believe that we’re going to see an improvement

Adds details from statement, background

Oct 8 (Reuters)TalkTalk TALK.L said on Thursday it has received a preliminary offer from its third-largest investor, Toscafund Asset Management, to take the British broadband operator private for 97 pence per share, a 16.4% premium to its last closing price.

The company said while the board has decided to discuss the proposal with its advisers, Toscafund has to get the support of the second-biggest shareholder and TalkTalk Chairman Charles Dunstone to make any firm bid.

Dunstone owns a 29.86% stake in TalkTalk, while Toscafund holds 29.09%, according to Refinitiv Eikon data. The proposal values TalkTalk at 1.12 billion pounds ($1.45 billion), according to Reuters calculations.

Shares of TalkTalk jumped 17% to the top of London’s midcap index .FTMC in early deals to trade closer to the offer price, indicating the market’s approval.

Sky News had reported in July the British company had rejected a 135 pence per share offer from Toscafund last year.

Barclays Bank and Deutsche Bank are TalkTalk’s advisers.

($1 = 0.7721 pounds)

(Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

(([email protected]; Twitter: @pullthekart; within UK: +44 20 7542 1810, outside UK: +91 80 6182 2600; Mobile: +91 852 751 3793 ;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Source Article

By Lawrence White

LONDON (Reuters) – Does a cancelled gym membership spell financial disaster?

That is the type of question British banks are asking as they try to work out whether borrowers owing some 75 billion pounds ($96 billion) in home loans will be good for it when a payment holiday, introduced when the coronavirus crisis first hit, ends.

Lenders are scouring current account transactions, credit card spending and trends in Internet searches for clues about customer finances as part of a wider effort to understand the damage to their portfolios from the pandemic.

The once-in-a-lifetime mix of economic shutdowns, unprecedented government support and an uncertain path to recovery have upended old risk models, based on historical data, necessitating a more dynamic, forward-looking way of analysing lending risk. The searches involve pouring over anonymised data and are a way of surveying overall risk rather than individual customer habits.

The stakes are high: underestimate the risks and bank bosses and shareholders could be in for a nasty jump in losses, overestimate them and banks could rein in lending when it is needed most.

Executives at Britain’s top banks say calculating the hit to loans, from mortgages to corporate debt, is the biggest risk management challenge they have seen since the 2008 crisis.

“This time there is economic volatility beyond what we have ever seen, there is unprecedented government support, and to try and model it all with 100% accuracy is impossible,” said Matt Waymark, director of finance at NatWest Group <NWG.L>.

Some 300 billion pounds in payment breaks were granted on British mortgages, part of a series of measures aimed at propping up households hit by the virus, and around 70-80% of those have resumed payments, bankers and analysts told Reuters.

That leaves nearly $100 billion outstanding at a time when

KEY POINTS

  • The move is expected to create thousands of green jobs
  • Investments of over $35B were seen in offshore wind in the first half of 2020 
  • U.K. leads Germany, China, and Denmark in offshore wind power

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged Tuesday to tap United Kingdom’s offshore wind energy to power every home in the country by 2030, to be a part of the world’s shift away from fossil fuels.

“As Saudi Arabia is to oil, the U.K. is to wind—a place of almost limitless resource, but in case of wind without the carbon emissions and without the damage to the environment,” Johnson said in a statement.

Johnson’s government launched a new target to generate 40 Gigawatt of energy by 2030. This is 15 times more than what offshore wind currently delivers across the world and four times more than U.K.’s own offshore wind capacity, according to The Guardian.

Offshore wind energy, even though expensive, is a useful renewable resource, especially in coastal areas. It does not consume water and does not emit any environmental pollutants or greenhouse gases. The U.K. is the leader in the use of offshore wind, with almost 10 gigawatts of installed turbines, way ahead of Germany, China, and Denmark, as per Bloomberg data.

A total of $207 million will be set aside to upgrade present infrastructure in the U.K. for the same, even though research by an Oxford-based Aurora Energy Research, according to The Guardian, said expenditure required is close to 50 billion pounds, or $64.4 billion. It also suggested that a wind turbine would have to be installed every weekday for the whole of the next decade to deliver on this promise.

Johnson’s ambitious plan is central to the U.K.’s efforts to “build back greener” from the coronavirus pandemic the world is