With retail sales suffering due to the Coronavirus pandemic, clothing store Marks & Spencer has announced 7000 job losses in the coming months, as people wearing face masks pass a sign outside their shop in the city centre on 18th August 2020 in London, United Kingdom. M&S will cut the jobs over the next three months both in its stores and also management. (photo by Mike Kemp/In PIctures via Getty Images)
In August, M&S announced it would cut jobs over the next three months both in its stores and also management. Photo: Mike Kemp/In PIctures via Getty Images

Marks & Spencer (MKS.L) is preparing for Christmas early this year, aiming to avoid mistakes made last yuletide with its supply chains.

In an effort to tackle food waste, the high street stalwart is looking to its supply chain to crack the issue of waste reduction, according to reports by Reuters this morning.

In January, before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in the UK, M&S’s chief executive Steve Rowe said that while the company had enjoyed record food sales, profit margins were dented by high levels of waste that are among some of the highest in the industry.

At Christmas, M&S usually sells one in four of all fresh turkeys eaten in the UK, punching above its weight in proportion to the 3% share of the market it holds in grocery shopping.

Rowe hopes initiative, called Vangarde, will be the silver bullet, after years of failed reinventions.

Ryan Lemon, M&S head of retail supply chain told Reuters that it will “reset the foundations of our business and the platform to grow.”

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

The first phase of the programme included 92 M&S stores. On Monday, this will be rolled out to a further 65 stores. It will serve 595 stores by July 2021.

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Back in June, major UK supermarkets signed a pledge to look to halve the country’s annual food waste bill by 2030. It currently stands at 10.2 million tonnes of food and drink, totting up

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

Solar Panels Generate Electricity Savings with Renewable Power

ZGlobal Power Engineering and Energy Solutions (ZG) is pleased to announce the completion of the first phase of a solar installation at Imperial Valley Food Bank that will generate 585 kilowatt-hours (KWh) from rooftop photovoltaic panels. Once the second phase of the (200 KWh) project is completed in 2021, the Food Bank will save more than $500,000 in energy costs.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201005005190/en/

Imperial Valley Food Bank’s Green Building (Photo: Business Wire)

The cost savings come at a critical time for the Food Bank as it is serving more clients than ever before with layoffs and business closures continuing in Imperial Valley due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The rooftop solar plant installed on the Imperial Valley Food Bank’s new building was completed Sept. 1, 2020 and will help address the growing needs of the community. According to the California Employment Development Department, Imperial County’s 26.8% unemployment rate ranks as one of the highest unemployment regions in California, as of July 1, 2020[1].

To help fund the new building, ZG pledged more than $275,000 over a five-year period as part of the Food Bank’s Capital Campaign in addition to installing the rooftop solar project at cost. Additionally, and at cost, ZG is embarking on an innovative “microgrid” project at the facility that will create additional zero-carbon electricity, while allowing the Food Bank to operate off-the-grid during outages.

With an office in the region, ZG has contributed to the local economy for 15 years, providing engineering services to more than 1,250 megawatts of clean energy projects, including 20 megawatt-hours of energy storage as well as key transmission projects to further green the grid and enhance reliability.

“Our commitment to Imperial County speaks for itself,” said ZG

By Sam Nussey and Fanny Potkin

TOKYO/SINGAPORE, Oct 5 (Reuters)Line Corp’s 3938.T food delivery business in Thailand is gearing up for a prolonged battle with players ranging from SoftBank-backed Grab to banks after a merger with a listings heavyweight and an outside capital injection.

Expansion in food delivery by chat app operator Line in its second-largest market comes as the sector grows globally through the novel coronavirus pandemic but as questions linger over how companies will turn a profit.

Fast-growing delivery business Line Man hopes its edge will come from last month’s merger with Thailand’s leading restaurant listings site Wongnai, in addition to leveraging Line’s 47 million Thai users.

“We can reduce costs a lot and that is the path to profitability,” Line Man Wongnai Chief Executive Yod Chinsupakul said in his first interview with international media since taking up the post.

The company is targeting 20 cities by year-end, from 15 now, and is moving more delivery in-house, Chinsupakul said, having relied on Hong Kong-based logistics firm Lalamove to scale quickly.

Line Man Wongnai has raised $110 million to fund its expansion from investor BRV Capital Management – the first of Line’s overseas businesses to raise such capital.

“The average price per item tends to be very low, therefore focusing on conquering volumes is the strategy to win,” said Alfonso de los Reyes, an analyst at Singapore-based venture outfit Momentum Works.

The merger has left loss-making Line with a 46% stake in the delivery business. It also delivers food in Japan and Taiwan.

Line is being taken private by SoftBank’s domestic internet business Z Holdings 4689.T in a deal raising expectations that the chat app’s operations will serve as a gateway to overseas expansion.

SoftBank-backed Grab also delivers food in Thailand, along with leftfield challengers like