• Date: 31 August 2017
  • Posted By: admin

It’s the last day of August, so we’re bringing you a round up of stories that caught our interest over the last month. These are: Consumer confidence up or down?; The Coop scoops Nisa; Asda loses equality appeal; Retail jobs under threat; and Karmarama ‘Krufts’.

Consumer confidence up or down? And the answer is…up! Well, slightly. From dismal July figures, the August ones are better. But, as this article points out, we’ve a long way to go before thay’re in the black again. And the news about sterling dropping further against the euro – virtually now £1 = €1, doesn’t exactly help with our confidence in the economy. The reasons quoted are around uncertainty because of the North Korean nuclear missile fired over Japan. We couldn’t work out why that would affect sterling, but what do we know?! But anyway, to get back to the August consumer confidence figures – as you’ll see from this article, apparently we’re feeling more optimistic about our future finances, including pay rises, so that’s why some of the indicators are now at a plus – but there are those other ones that are significantly negative, hence why the overall score remains at minus. Have a read and see how you match up against the indicators.

The Coop scoops Nisa: We reported recently that Sainsbury’s were in pole position to buy Nisa, the local grocery chain. Well, it would appear that it’s lost the race to the Co-op. That raised an eyebrow here at The Hub Retail Retail Recruitment given that the Co-op has had some serious problems over recent months, from the boardroom to sales. But when Sainsbury’s dropped out a couple of weeks ago, it left the Co-op ready and able to make the purchase – it’s not over the line yet, but looking very likely. You might be wondering why the big supermarkets are trying to buy up other companies, such as Booker (Tesco), and Argos (Sainsbury’s). Apparently, it’s about making operating costs as cheap as possible – because these can be shared on a much larger scale and therefore, cheaper – economies of scale it’s called.

Asda loses equality appeal: You might remember that some months ago we reported Asda had had an equal pay case bought against by some 7000 female supermarket staff who claimed they should be paid at the same rate as the depot staff, who were largely male. The Employment Tribunal agreed that the comparison for the purposes of the case was appropriate. But Asda wasn’t happy with that, and appealed the decision. Well, that appeal was rejected by an Employment Appeal Tribunal last week. So does that mean the women have won? Not yet. According to the lawyers representing the women, Leigh Day, Asda keep appealing every point it can to delay the case being heard and a decision being made, and is asking Asda to focus on what is important – that the supermarket staff should be paid at the same, higher, rate, than the depot staff. We’d agree with that – just get on with it!

Asda loses appeal in equal pay comparability case

Retail jobs under threat: According to this article, automation will do away with 80% of back-end retail jobs. So the future for non-customer facing jobs is looking bleak, with robots set to take over 8 out of 10 of the existing jobs. This report by Oxford University in conjunction with Citi, also says that 66% of sales jobs will be lost as businesses move to online rather than physical stores. It also says that across all sectors, the UK is likely to lose 10.4 million jobs in the future. That’s a very scary prospect.



80% of back-end retail jobs will be lost to automation

Karmarama Krufts: If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you’ll know that we’re advocates for dogs at work. Karmarama (if you haven’t heard of the ad agency, think James Cordon’s compare advert) is a dog friendly workplace. And last Friday morning – as it was its last half day Friday (a perk for all staff throughout August), held its own version of Krufts. The classes of course were of a more down to earth type, from the Dog Most Like Its Owner to the Best Trick, through to the Waggiest Tail. Apparently a great time was had by all, and provided a great opportunity to celebrate the benefits of dogs in the workplace. Well done Karmarama from The Hub Retail Recruitment.

Well, that’s it for another month. We’re on holiday for the next couple of weeks, so our next blog will be on 20th September. We hope you’ll miss us whilst we’re away, and therefore keen to catch up with us then. In the meantime, have a good start to September and we’ll see you back here on the 20th.