• Date: 28 June 2017
  • Posted By: admin

Well, we’re almost at the end of June – half way through the year. What a month it’s been, with another barbaric terrorist attack in London, the tragedy of the inferno at Glenfell tower block, and an election that went awry and has left us in a worse political situation than before. We’ve thought about how to put together our monthly newsround in the face of all these dreadful events, and have decided, ‘let’s carry on as usual’. So, our picks of the month, just for you, are: Amazon’s try before you buy; Holland & Barrett and the Russians; Tesco strikes a pay deal; An amazingly well paid job for a nanny – but with a hitch; and A woman claiming to have cancer embezzled £thousands.

Amazon’s try before you buy: We’ve all bought clothes online. We pay upfront, and if we don’t like them, we have to go to the trouble of returning them – and sometimes it’s just not worth it. But Amazon is trialling a new system in the US, for its Prime customers, called ‘Prime Wardrobe’. When you open this link, there’s a video that explains how it will work, but briefly, you order online, don’t pay a penny, a box arrives, you try on (in what it calls ‘the best changing room, your room), if you don’t want anything you put it back in the box and put it outside for collection. Sounds like a great way forward to us. And it isn’t here in the UK yet. But, as ever, we’ll keep you updated.

Holland & Barrett and the Russians: H&B was originally set up in 1870 by Willian Holland and Alfred Barrett, in Hertfordshire. Starting as a grocery and clothing enterprise, it took many twists and turns before it specialised in health. And it’s certainly had many twists and turns of equity ownership. The latest one is a Russian group called L1, headed up by Mikhail Fridman, who’s board is a very eminent one – it includes John Walden, formerly CEO of Home Retail Group, Karl-Heinz Holland, former CEO of Lidl, and Clive Humby, a c0-founder of dunnhumby, who created Tesco’s Clubcard. L1 has bought the health store chain for £1.8b from its current American owner, with the sale set to complete in September.

Tesco strikes a pay deal: Last year we reported extensively on the difficulties retailers were having paying the increases to the national minimum wage – and that in finding that money, they were cutting back on other benefits, such as paying time and a half for Sunday working. Tesco has struck a deal that will see it paying an hourly rate of £8.42 by the end of 2018. As part of paying that higher rate, its renegotiated weekend and overtime rates and is also making one-off payments for people who would be disadvantaged in the medium term. It’s quite a complicated deal, but obviously the last thing Tesco needs as its on its turnaround trajectory is to have problems with its industrial relations. But we have to hand it to the union, Usdaw, as the deal its struck is a good one for staff, as it also includes improvements to other benefits such as its maternity provisions. So a good deal all round.

Tesco to increase hourly pay to £8.42 for store staff

An amazingly well paid job for a nanny – but with a hitch!: If you were hiring a live in nanny, you wouldn’t expect to pay £50,000 per annum. However, this job in the Scottish borders, has seen 5 nannies come and go in the last year. Why? Apparently, the house is haunted. The family itself hasn’t experienced any of these supernatural happenings – such as glasses being smashed, furniture moving – as they only occur when they’re out. So the nannies seem to be at the brunt of it. Would you be interested in a highly paid job if you had to put up with ghostly companions? We’re a bit divided on this one!


And finally…

A woman claiming to have cancer embezzled £thousands: Kelsey Whitehead was ordered by a court in Lincoln to repay £1 for the £15,000 she had embezzled from her employer, because she had no assets. Ms Whitehead had told everyone – including her partner who gave up her job to look after Ms Whitehead – that she had stage 4, terminal cancer. Her employer lent her £5,000 for treatment Ms Whitehead said the NHS couldn’t pay for, and paid her £10,000 in sick pay. Her colleagues raised £1400 for charity, in her name. But Ms Whitehead didn’t have cancer. It’s a very sad case, but apparently there have been other examples of similar cases. Thankfully, though, there are very few.

That’s a bit of a downbeat story to end with. However, we hope you’ve found all our stories of interest. Next week, we’ll be back with our Weekly News Snippets. So we’ll see you here on Wednesday 5th July, where you’ll find some more stories to pique your curiosity. Until then, have a great week, and we look forward to July being a better month than June.