Mirror and Express publisher Reach to cut 550 jobs in an overhaul designed to cut costs by £35m

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Tue 7th July, 2020) London, Uk – –

The group said more readers are turning to digital but a downturn in advertising means revenues are not keeping pace.

Newspaper publisher Reach is to axe 550 jobs, or 12% of its workforce, in an overhaul designed to cut costs by £35m a year.

The group includes the Mirror, Express and Daily Star titles, as well as Scotland's Daily Record and regional dailies such as the Liverpool Echo and the Manchester Evening News.

Reach's announcement came as it reported a 27.5% plunge in quarterly revenue and said it was facing “structural change” in the sector accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Online readership has grown but reduced demand for advertising means this has not been matched by growth in revenues.

Reach said the shake-up would create a “more centralised structure bringing together national and regional teams across print and digital”.

It said the changes would “significantly increase efficiency and remove duplication while maintaining the strong editorial identity of our news brands”.

The cuts will also affect commercial and finance operations, which will see a switch to “fewer locations and a simpler management structure”.

Chief executive Jim Mullen said: “Structural change in the media sector has accelerated during the pandemic and this has resulted in increased adoption of our digital products.

“However, due to reduced advertising demand, we have not seen commensurate increases in digital revenue.

“To meet these challenges and to accelerate our customer value strategy, we have completed plans to transform the business and are ready to begin the process of implementation.

“Regrettably, these plans involve a reduction in our workforce and we will ensure all impacted colleagues are treated with fairness and respect throughout the forthcoming consultation process.”

Reach said revenue for the second quarter to 28 June was down 27.5% on the same period last year.

The group saw a 29.5% decline for print and a 14.8% fall for digital.

“Circulation remains significantly below pre-COVID-19 levels with local advertising continuing to be challenging,” it added.

Reach said there had been “modest but encouraging improvements in circulation and national digital revenue” in June as lockdown restrictions have eased.

It said its shake-up meant that temporary pay cuts imposed in the face of the pandemic would be ended though senior managers including the chief executive will still be subject to a 20% reduction, and annual bonuses remained suspended.

Shares fell 14% on the day.

The cuts are the latest to be announced across the economy as the pandemic bites.

Thousands of jobs have been affected as companies from Pret A Manger to Airbus see the pandemic take a heavy toll on business activity.

Michelle Stanistreet, general secretary of the National Union of Journalists, said: “Today's announcement is a shock and body-blow for our members in Reach who have, in the words of the chief executive today, shown ‘heroic' efforts to sustain the company through the massive problems arising from a pandemic lockdown over the last three months.

“It will be poor reward for hard-working journalists who have shown great flexibility and adaptability to uproot from their offices to switch to working from home, with all the stress and difficulties that have arisen, to then find there is no job for them in a redundancy process that they have now been pitched into.”

By John-Paul Ford Rojas

How Nintendo Switch became one of the most popular consoles on the market

Source: CNBC

Over the last 40 years, Nintendo has provided countless hours of video gaming entertainment. But with the rise of the Switch, the company took a huge step forward. And during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, finding one was harder than finding toilet paper. Here’s how the Nintendo Switch took the gaming world by surprise and became one of the most popular consoles on the market.

Waitrose fulfilment centre, in Greenford west London to create 800 jobs

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Mon, 29th June 2020) London, Uk – –

The supermarket chain moves to further bolster its own online operation as a delivery partnership with Ocado nears its end.

Waitrose says it is to open a third warehouse in London to cope with surging demand for grocery deliveries in the capital amid the continuing coronavirus pandemic.

The John Lewis Partnership said it expected the fulfilment centre, in the Greenford area of west London, would create 800 jobs once completed.

The COVID-19 lockdown since March has forced the supermarket sector to bolster online shopping capabilities to cope with a rising tide of orders.

Waitrose said it had seen online orders surge by more than 100% over the past few months and admitted it had been unable to meet demand within London.

The chain had announced in May that it was to open a second warehouse in Enfield by September.

Waitrose said the third centre, to be operated with logistics specialist Wincanton, would “significantly further increase the availability of delivery slots for customers in and around the capital”.

It hoped to have the Greenford site operational in time for Christmas saying that, when completed, it would have quadrupled the number of delivery slots available to customers in London in under a year.

Waitrose has a current delivery partnership with Ocado but it will be going it alone completely in the autumn as the pure online grocery retailer enters into a joint venture with M&S.

New Waitrose executive director, James Bailey, said: “While we've already pulled forward our online expansion plans by six months we know there are still lots of people who want to shop online with us and currently can't.

“This is especially the case in London, where we've seen a significant and prolonged surge in demand for our online offer. This new centre will help us better serve the London area with a much broader range of slots.”

By James Sillars

Why The New Media Loves Fortnite

Source: Alux

This Alux video we'll try to answer the following questions: What is Fortnite? How do you spell Fortnight? Why the new media loves fortnite? Why do guys like fortnite so much? Why is fortnite so bad? Why fortnite is good for your brain? Why is fortnite addicting? Is fortnite a sin? Does fortnite make you dumber? Is fortnite ok for 10 year olds? Should fortnite be banned? Is fortnite OK for 7 year old? Can fortnite damage your brain? Is fortnite OK for 9 year olds? Does fortnite make you smarter? Is fortnite OK for kids? Who is the best fortnite player? How long should you play fortnite a day? Why is fortnite bad for kids? What game is the most addictive? How do I quit fortnite? Is fortnite dying? Is fortnite game Dangerous? s Minecraft better than fortnite? What does fortnite stand for? Is fortnite suitable for 12 year olds? Is fortnite appropriate for 11 year olds? Why is fortnite so successful? Is Roblox bad for kids? Why is fortnite a 12? What is the concept of fortnite? What is the point of fortnite? Is fortnite OK for kids? What kind of game is fortnite? Should a 7 year old play fortnite? Is fortnite shutting down in 2020? Why is fortnite so addictive? Is fortnite dying? How do you get free V bucks? Is fortnite good for your brain? Why is fortnite shut down? What does whisper mean in fortnite? Is Roblox better than fortnite? Why is fortnite a 12? Is Roblox bad for kids? Is fortnite OK for 9 year olds? What is fortnite's birthday? How can you tell a fortnite bot? Is Ninja still good at fortnite? How much does Ninja make a year? How much is the Ninja skin on fortnite? What is Ninja's fortnite name? Who is best fortnite Player 2020? Does Fortnite pay ninja? Who is the richest gamer? Who is the highest paid gamer? How much is Ninja worth? Is Ninja still making money? How much did Microsoft pay for ninja? Who is the best fortnite player? Is fortnite losing popularity? Does Ninja play warzone? What team is Ninja on in fortnite? Why is fortnite banned in China? What country is fortnite banned in? Who has the most kills in fortnite?

‘The money’s gone’: Wirecard collapses owing $4 billion

(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.reuters.com — Thur, 25th June 2020) London, UK —

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Wirecard (WDIG.DE) collapsed on Thursday owing creditors almost $4 billion (£3.2 billion) after disclosing a gaping hole in its books that its auditor EY said was the result of a sophisticated global fraud.

The payments company filed for insolvency at a Munich court saying that, with 1.3 billion euros (£1.2 billion) of loans due within a week its survival as a going concern was “not assured”.

Wirecard’s implosion came just seven days after EY, its auditor for more than a decade, refused to sign off on the 2019 accounts, forcing out Chief Executive Markus Braun and leading it to admit that $2.1 billion of its cash probably didn’t exist.

“There are clear indications that this was an elaborate and sophisticated fraud involving multiple parties around the world,” EY said in a statement.

EY said while it was completing the 2019 audit, it was provided with false confirmations with regard to escrow accounts and reported them to the relevant authorities.

Wirecard declined to comment following EY’s statement.

The financial technology company is the first member of Germany’s prestigious DAX stock index to go bust, barely two years after winning a spot among the country’s top 30 listed companies with a market valuation of $28 billion.

“The Wirecard case damages corporate Germany. It should be a wake-up call for reforms,” said Volker Potthoff, chairman of corporate governance think-tank ArMID.

Creditors have scant hope of getting back the 3.5 billion euros they are owed, sources familiar with the matter said. Of that total, Wirecard has borrowed 1.75 billion from 15 banks and issued 500 million in bonds.

“The money’s gone,” said one banker. “We may recoup a few euros in a couple of years but will write off the loan now.”


The collapse of Wirecard, once one of the hottest fintech companies in Europe, dwarfs other German corporate failures. It has shaken the country’s financial establishment, with Felix Hufeld, the head of regulator BaFin, calling the scandal a “total disaster”.

Wirecard shares, which were suspended ahead of an earlier announcement that it would seek creditor protection, crashed 80% when trading resumed. They have lost 98% since auditor EY questioned its accounts last Thursday.

EY, one of the world’s “Big Four” accountancy and consulting firms, faces a wave of litigation in a debacle that has drawn comparisons with Arthur Andersen’s disastrous oversight of U.S. energy company Enron.

German law firm Schirp & Partner said that with Wirecard now effectively sidelined, it would file class actions against EY on behalf of shareholders and bondholders.

“It is frightening how long Wirecard AG was able to operate without being objected to by the auditors,” partner Wolfgang Schirp said.

Wirecard’s new management had been in crisis talks with creditors but pulled out on Thursday morning “due to impending insolvency and over-indebtedness”.

The insolvency filing did not include its Wirecard Bank subsidiary, which holds an estimated 1.4 billion euros in deposits and is already under emergency management by BaFin.


A second source close to talks with creditors said although the company had a healthy core, it had faked two-thirds of its sales. This meant there was no way it could repay all its debt, notwithstanding all the legal challenges it will face.

The ascent of Wirecard, which was founded in 1999 and is based in a Munich suburb, was dogged by allegations from whistleblowers, reporters and speculators that its revenue and profits had been pumped up through fake transactions.

Braun fended off the critics for years before finally calling in outside auditor KPMG late last year to run an independent investigation.

KPMG, which published its findings in April, was unable to verify 1 billion euros in cash balances, questioned Wirecard’s acquisition accounting and said it could not trace hundreds of millions in cash advances to merchants.

“Today is a complete vindication for those that exposed the fraud,” said Fraser Perring, who bet on a fall in Wirecard’s shares and co-authored a 2016 report that alleged fraud.

The Munich prosecutor’s office, which is investigating Braun on suspicion of misrepresenting Wirecard’s accounts and of market manipulation, said: “We will now look at all possible criminal offences.”

Braun was arrested on Monday and released on bail of 5 million euros a day later. Former chief operating officer Jan Marsalek is also under suspicion and believed to be in the Philippines, according to justice officials there.

By Arno Schuetze, John O'Donnell, Additional reporting by Joern Poltz, Hans Seidenstuecker and Edward Taylor

How Beats By Dre Leveraged The Strategies of Sneaker Culture And Became A Multi-Billion Dollar Brand

Source: CNBC

Few brands have risen to the top of American pop culture as quickly as Beats by Dre. Beats was founded on a novel idea: use the principles of hype culture to sell headphones. That strategy turned over-the-ear-headphones from a niche product to a cultural phenomenon. Here’s how Beats by Dre leveraged the strategies of sneaker culture to become one of the most recognizable brands in the world.

DPD and Kingfisher to hire 7,500 UK staff as online shopping soars

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Thur, 18th June 2020) London, Uk – –

Delivery firm and owner of B&Q expand to deal with boom in online buying in lockdown

The delivery firm DPD and the B&Q owner Kingfisher are hiring a total of more than 7,500 staff in the UK to cope with surging demand for home deliveries during the coronavirus pandemic.

DPD is to hire 6,000 workers, including HGV drivers, warehouse staff, managers and support staff such as mechanics as part of a £200m investment in expanding its next-day parcel-delivery service.

The logistics firm, which handles parcels for Marks & Spencer and Asos and has also been delivering food boxes for the supermarket chain Morrisons since the high street lockdown began in March, is spending £100m on new vehicles and setting up 15 new regional depots, 10 more than planned for this year.

Dwain McDonald, DPD’s chief executive, said: “We are experiencing the biggest boom in online retailing in the UK’s history.” He said that demand was increasing from existing retail customers and from new clients developing home delivery services so that they could continue trading during lockdown.

Meanwhile, Kingfisher, the owner of B&Q and Screwfix, said it would be taking on 3,000 to 4,000 workers, about half of whom would be in the UK, after online sales soared more than 200% in April and May.

Thierry Garnier, the chief executive of Kingfisher, said staff would be working in stores that are being used to process online orders. He said demand for DIY goods had surged while families had been stuck at home but admitted trade may slow as the economic downturn hits jobs. “These are temporary roles across the summer but we will continue to watch what happens,” he said.

Online sales in the UK, not including food, rose by a third in May, according to the digital retail body IMRG, after a rise of nearly a quarter in April.

The lockdown has prompted particularly strong sales of home, gardening and electrical goods. Garden sales rose 288% in April and more than 162% in May compared with last year, while electrical sales doubled and homewares rose 84%.

Online clothing and footwear sales dived, however, falling by nearly a quarter and a third respectively in March and April and continuing to drop in May.

Andy Mulcahy, strategy and insight director at IMRG, said retailers had been coping with a surge in demand similar to the peak trading periods of Christmas and Black Friday but with a skeleton staff – partly because of the need for physical distancing in warehouses. He said the drop in demand for clothing and footwear – usually a very significant part of the non-food market – had meant some resources could be diverted to manage demand from other sectors.Advertisement

Mulcahy said about two-thirds of the websites IMRG monitored were warning customers that there would be delays with deliveries. “They don’t have enough staff to deal with this,” he said.

By Sarah Butler

Coronavirus: UK abandoning existing contact-tracing app to move to Google-Apple model

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Thur, 18th June 2020) London, Uk – –

The move marks a huge U-turn from the government which has asserted for months that it would not be changing the app's model.

The UK is abandoning its existing contact-tracing app and switching to the technology provided by Google and Apple, Sky News has confirmed.

The news will be announced at a briefing later today.

The move marks a major U-turn, after the government insisted its own centralised model was more effective than the model being proposed by the technology companies.Contact tracing apps explained: The problems and potential

In particular the government believed that by holding the data on contacts in a centralised manner they would have been able to develop valuable epidemiological data about how the virus is spreading.

The centralised model would also have helped prevent against people causing mischief with the system by giving the authorities an edge in detecting false positives.

Google and Apple collaborated to allow mobile devices to use Bluetooth in the background and register when they come within close proximity of another mobile phone.

But the collaboration required health authorities' apps to utilise a decentralised model of data storage – keeping the list of contacts on each device, rather than uploading it to a central authority – which they said would protect users' privacy.

As the iOS and Android mobile operating systems are run on 99% of the world's smartphones, the companies' technical designs have a fundamental say in how contact-tracing apps work.

For months the government had asserted that its app, designed outside of the requirements set by Apple and Google, would be more effective than what could be achieved within those requirements.

Despite being initially promised for mid-May, a health minister has now said the app would not be ready before Winter.

Lord Bethell confirmed the government still planned to introduce a contact-tracing app, describing it as “a really important option for the future”.

The app has been the subject of a trial on the Isle of Wight, where the Department of Health says it has been downloaded by 54,000 people.

Lord Bethell said the trial had been a success, but admitted that one of its principal lessons had been that greater emphasis needed to be placed on manual contact tracing.

“It was a reminder that you can't take a totally technical answer to the problem,” he said.

Problems with manual contact tracing have been apparent in NHS statistics which today revealed that at least a quarter of people who test positive for COVID-19 in the UK are being missed.

Just Eat snaps up Grubhub for £5.8bn to create the world’s largest food delivery service outside China

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Thur, 11th June 2020) London, Uk – –

Planned takeover will create world’s largest food delivery service outside China

European food delivery service Just Eat Takeaway has agreed to buy the US-based app Grubhub for $7.3bn (£5.8bn) in a deal that would create the world’s largest food delivery service outside China.

Confirmation of the all-stock takeover deals a blow to Uber, which has its own food delivery business and was reportedly in discussions with Grubhub.

The tie-up will give the Netherlands-based Just Eat Takeaway access to the lucrative food delivery market in the US, with the combined business able to serve customers in 25 countries. Along with the US, these include some of the world’s most profitable food delivery markets – the UK, Netherlands and Belgium.

Under the terms of the deal, which will need approval from both sets of shareholders, Grubhub’s shareholders would own 30% of the combined group.

There has been a surge in demand in the food delivery market during the pandemic, as government shutdowns prevented restaurants from serving diners at their premises.

The deal comes less than six months after Takeaway.com won a fierce £6.3bn bidding battle to buy Just Eat, fighting off its rival Prosus, the Amsterdam-listed offshoot of the South African technology group Naspers.

Jitse Groen, the chief executive and founder of Just Eat Takeway described himself and the Grubhub boss, Matt Maloney, as “the two remaining food delivery veterans in the sector”, adding that they started their businesses on different continents at the turn of the century.

“Both of us have a firm belief that only businesses with high-quality and profitable growth will sustain in our sector,” Groen said.

When Grubhub was founded, the online takeaway industry did not exist in the US, Maloney said. “Combining the companies that started it all will mean that two trailblazing start-ups have become a clear global leader. We share a focus on a hybrid model that places extra value on volume at independent restaurants, driving profitable growth,” he added.

Just Eat Takeaway and Grubhub together processed 593m orders in 2019 and have more than 70 million active customers globally.

The takeaway delivery market expanded by almost 20% in 2019 in the UK, excluding Northern Ireland, according to the analysis firm Kantar.

By Joanna Partridge

Uk competition regulator gets more time for final ruling on Amazon’s Deliveroo deal

(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.reuters.com — Wed, 10th June 2020) London, UK —

LONDON(Reuters) – Britain’s competition regulator has given itself two more months to make a final ruling on Amazon’s purchase of a minority stake in online delivery group Deliveroo so it can take full account of representations from all interested parties.

Amazon led a $575 million (£452 million) fundraising in Deliveroo in May last year making what the two parties called “a minority investment” and pitching it against Uber Eats and Just Eat Takeaway.com in the global race to dominate the market for meal deliveries.

Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched a detailed investigation in December, saying the deal could damage competition by discouraging Amazon from re-entering the online restaurant food market and further developing its presence within the online convenience grocery delivery market.

The CMA provisionally cleared the deal in April, saying it had become clear that the coronavirus crisis was damaging Deliveroo’s revenues, given the closure of a large number of the restaurants available through its platform during the lockdown. It said Deliveroo could go out of business without Amazon’s investment.

That provisional clearance was criticised in submissions by companies including Just Eat Takeaway and Dominos Pizza.

The regulator was due to make its final ruling by June 11 but has now extended the deadline to August 6.

“In taking this decision, the (CMA) had regard to the need to take full account of representations received from the parties and third parties in response to the provisional findings and to reflect the impact of Coronavirus…in its assessment,” it said on Wednesday.

Reporting by James Davey

How The Man Who Challenged Tesla Went Bankrupt

Source: BI

Faraday Future, a California-based electric-car startup and Tesla's once rival, generated buzz in 2015 as the company poached top talent from Tesla, BMW, Audi, Ford, and Ferrari. Called “Tesla killer,” Faraday’s meteoric rise in notoriety occurred on dubious underpinnings — the company did not promise a product, nor did it announce any concrete plans for its first few years of operation. The mystery surrounding Faraday was only matched by its enigmatic cofounder and CEO, Jia “YT” Yueting, the billionaire businessman who founded multiple telecom companies in China but left abruptly to become the CEO of Faraday. We took a look at YT and Faraday Future's promise, the financial woes that led them both to bankruptcy, and YT's relationship with the reanimated Faraday today.

10 Strategies People Use to be Successful on Social Media

Source: Alux

This Alux video well try to answer the following questions: What should be my social media strategy? How does one create a successful social media strategy? What makes a social media campaign successful? What companies have great social media strategies? Should one have a social media strategy? What social media strategy would give the best results? What are the most common mistakes businesses make with their social media strategies? What are the best strategies for social media marketing? What is the key to a Successful social media strategy? How do you define a social media strategy? How to win at social media? How to make a good post on social media? What is the best social media for business? How is social media used for business? Why social media is important for business? What are benefits of social media? What are the advantages and disadvantages of social media?

10 Companies Moving to REMOTE Working FULL TIME

Source: Alux

This Alux video well try to answer the following questions: What are 10 Companies Moving to Remote working Full Time? What companies are switching to work from home? How do you transition to work from home? Why do companies are switching to remote working? Is working from home the future? What is the difference between work at home and work from home? Would you switch to flexible working from home if you could? What companies are hiring work from home? What type of work can I do from home? Why working from home is good for business? What are the best legit work from home jobs? Is working from home good? How do you plan your day working from home? Is working from home becoming more popular? How can I work effectively from home?

Facebook and Microsoft challenge Zoom as video conferencing becomes a staple of daily life

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Wed, 3rd June 2020) London, Uk – –

Google also aims to be part of rise in teleconferencing during coronavirus crisis

Zoom may be booming as the global coronavirus lockdown moves work and social life to cyberspace but deep-pocketed rivals including Microsoft, Google and Facebook are taking aim as video conferencing becomes a staple of daily life.

On Tuesday, Zoom, which has been catapulted from a relatively unknown video service to a household name during the pandemic, reported first-quarter results that were impressive on almost every measure.

Revenue surged by 169% to $328m (£261m) in the three months to the end of April, prompting the company to double revenue guidance for this year. The number of people attending meetings and gatherings on any one day peaked at 300 million in April. In December it was 10 million a day.

The company’s share price is up 152% over the past year and its market value has risen from $19bn to $58bn since the start of 2020.

Zoom’s founder, Eric Yuan, who owns 20% of the company, is estimated to be the world’s 146th richest person and worth $10.8bn, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

One analyst called Zoom’s results “one of, if not the greatest quarter in enterprise software history” and its share price enjoyed an initial bounce. However, Zoom’s stock dropped in after-hours trading on Tuesday as investors and analysts began to worry about its ability to cope with competitors aiming to muscle in on the video-conferencing boom.

In March, Microsoft, an aggressive competitor against Zoom for paying business customers with Microsoft Teams, announced it would launch a version of its video-conferencing service for consumers.

The following month, Facebook, the world’s biggest social-networking site, introduced a group video-calling feature called Messenger Rooms that prompted a dip in Zoom’s share price. In April, Google announced it was to make Meet, another Zoom competitor in the business video market, available for consumer use.

With the surge in remote networking services such as Zoom, Teams and Slack expected to continue post-pandemic as businesses adapt to a new more physically distanced “normal”, there is likely to be an increase in takeover activity. In April, the US telecoms giant Verizon paid $400m for BlueJeans, a smaller competitor in the video-conferencing market with about 15,000 customers.

Zoom was not prepared for its dramatic surge in popularity and is struggling to rebuild its reputation after coming in for criticism for a string of security and privacy failings. These have included sending user data to Facebook and allowing “Zoombombing”, when uninvited guests join video calls, usually with offensive results.

A number of companies have ordered workers not to use Zoom, including Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Standard Chartered bank. In the UK, the publisher of the Independent and the Evening Standard accused a journalist at a rival newspaper of snooping on a Zoom conference with staff.

In April, Yuan apologised for “falling short” on security, including the company’s approach to data and privacy. Zoom said it would spend the next three months finding and fixing problems.

By Mark Sweney


Source:Innovative Techs

Our life pace is accelerating. However, technologies manage to outpace it, coming up with multifunctional things that make our life very easier. Multifunctionality is the trend of our time, so inventors are trying their best to turn any item into several items at once. In this release, we will show unusual, although such necessary items …

Germany’s highest civil court rules Volkswagen must pay compensation to motorist over ‘dieselgate’ case

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Mon, 25th May 2020) London, Uk – –

Germany's highest civil court has ruled that Volkswagen must pay compensation to a motorist who had bought one of its diesel minivans fitted with emissions-cheating software.

The ruling sets a benchmark for about 60,000 other cases in Germany.

The plaintiff, Herbert Gilbert, will be partially reimbursed for his vehicle, with depreciation taken into account.

VW said it will now offer affected motorists a one-off payment, and the amount will depend on individual cases.

The company has already settled a separate €830m (£743m) class action suit involving 235,000 German car owners.

It has paid out more than €30bn in fines, compensation and buyback schemes worldwide since the scandal first broke in 2015.

VW disclosed at the time that it had used illegal software to manipulate the results of diesel emissions tests.

The company said that about 11 million cars were fitted with the “defeat device”, which alerted diesel engines when they were being tested. The engine would then change its performance in order to improve the result of the test.

Volkswagen has faced a flurry of legal action worldwide, including the UK.

About 90,000 motorists in England and Wales have brought action against VW as well as Audi, Seat and Skoda, which are also owned by Volkswagen Group.

Last month, their case cleared its first hurdle in the High Court, when a judge ruled that the software installed in the cars was indeed a “defeat device” under EU rules.

The carmaker's current and former senior employees are facing criminal charges in Germany.

Shopify challenges Amazon for slice of lockdown trade

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Mon, 25th May, 2020) London, Uk – –

Firms becoming more inventive to survive, and increasing numbers turning to the e-commerce platform

When the lockdown forced the Pizza Pilgrims chain to close, the company came up with an unusual solution to stay in business.

The company, with restaurants in London and Oxford and run by brothers Thom and James Elliot – who started out selling Neapolitan pizza from the back of a converted Piaggio Ape van – hit on the novel idea of posting pizza kits to customers.

The first 50 of the £15 frying pan pizza kits, which promise to make a pair of “banging” margheritas, sold out in 20 seconds. The company is now packing up to 700 a day and considering opening up a second of its 13 restaurants to satisfy the demand.

Pizza Pilgrims pivoted online almost overnight via Shopify, the Canadian e-commerce platform that sells the digital kit that companies need to build and run a website.

The Ottawa-based firm is challenging Amazon’s dominance by offering brands of all sizes an alternative route online. For a monthly subscription, its software allows companies to manage their stock, payments and logistics under their own domain and brand.

Shopify now has 1m companies on its books, ranging from small UK outfits such as Pizza Pilgrims to celebrities including Kylie Jenner and Kanye West, who use its tech to sell their respective makeup and clothing lines. Shoppers spent nearly £50bn on the platform last year.

The world has tilted towards the internet during the pandemic and there is a growing sense that the shutdown may be permanently changing consumer behaviour. Working from home has been normalised for millions of people, while pensioners have become converts to online grocery shopping.

The closure of big parts of the retail and hospitality trade has forced companies to find new ways to make sales. In the six weeks to 24 April, there was a 70% increase in the number of UK companies opening websites compared with the preceding six weeks, says Shopify.

Pizza Pilgrims had never considered selling online before, Thom says, but was forced to become inventive as the economy collapsed. The “most surreal moment of his life” happened last week when he was invited to join a business brainstorming session with No 10, only to find himself on a Zoom call with Boris Johnson.

Investors are banking on the evolving business model being good news for Shopify, with its share price more than doubling since the start of April. The surge has made it Canada’s most valuable company, worth $86.2bn (£69.4bn) after nosing ahead of the Royal Bank of Canada.

Shopify’s rocketing value has turned the spotlight on its German-born boss, Tobias Lütke, 39, who describes himself on Twitter as “CEO by day, Dad in the evening, hacker at night”.

An avid video gamer, he openly takes days off work to indulge his passion, broadcasting his Fortnite and Starcraft campaigns on the Twitch streaming platform.

Lütke has blogged about his decision to quit school at 16 and become an apprentice computer programmer for Siemens in his home town of Koblenz.

“School was not for me,” he wrote. “To me, computers were so much more interesting. They diagnosed me with all sorts of learning disabilities and started to medicate me. I wanted to leave it all behind. My degree is not recognised in North America so I am technically a high school dropout.”

Lütke met his Canadian wife while snowboarding in Whistler and eventually moved to Canada to be with her, starting the Snowdevil website, selling high-end snowboards, with the entrepreneur Scott Lake. The pair soon realised the software Lütke was writing for the site was actually more valuable, and Shopify was born.

Shopify has made Lütke one of Canada’s wealthiest people, with a $7.1bn fortune, according to Forbes. However, the father-of-three reportedly shuns the workaholism that often comes with business success: “I’m home at 5.30pm every evening. I play video games alone, with my friends and increasingly with my kids. My job is incredible but it is also just a job,” he said on Twitter.Advertisement

He recently announced Shopify’s offices would not reopen until 2021 with remote working set to become a permanent arrangement for most of its 5,000 staff. “Office centricity is over,” he tweeted.

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By Zoe Wood

Rolls-Royce to cut 9,000 jobs amid virus crisis

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Wed, 20th May 2020) London, Uk – –

Rolls-Royce has said it will cut 9,000 jobs and warned it will take “several years” for the airline industry to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Derby-based firm, which makes plane engines, said the reduction of nearly a fifth of its workforce would mainly affect its civil aerospace division.

“This is not a crisis of our making. But it is the crisis that we face and must deal with,” boss Warren East said.

The bulk of the job cuts are expected to be in the UK at its site in Derby.

Rolls-Royce employs 52,000 people globally and Mr East told the BBC's Today programme that the company had not yet concluded on “exactly” where the job losses would be, due to having to consult with unions.

But he said: “It's fair to say that of our civil aerospace business approximately two-thirds of the total employees are in the UK at the moment and that's probably a good first proxy.”

Rolls-Royce's civil aerospace business has a number of sites in the UK, but the largest plant is in Derby.

The company said it will also carry out a review of its sites but declined to comment on which ones may close.

John, a worker in Rolls-Royce's civil aerospace division who spoke to the BBC on condition of anonymity, said that while he expected there would be job cuts, the eventual 9,000 figure was “a shock”.

“Since the Covid-19 outbreak we knew that business would shrink,” he said.

But he said the scale of the cuts as well as the potential closure of some sites was a surprise.

Unite the union said the decision was “shameful opportunism”.

“This company has accepted public money to furlough thousands of workers,” said Unite's assistant general secretary for manufacturing, Steve Turner.

“Unite and Britain's taxpayers deserve a more responsible approach to a national emergency. We call upon Rolls-Royce to step back from the brink and work with us on a better way through this crisis.”

Rolls-Royce initially furloughed 4,000 workers in the UK last month. Some 3,700 people remain on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme though which the government pays 80% of a worker's wage up to £2,500 a month.

But Mr East said: “No government can extend things like furlough schemes for years into the future. We have to look after ourselves and make sure we meet medium term demand.”

Analysis: Domonic O'Connell

Job cuts a heavy blow

This morning's job losses are hardly unexpected – airlines have cut their flying hours by 90% or more, and Airbus and Boeing have slashed their production numbers for the next few years – but they are still a heavy blow to one of the UK's few world-class manufacturing companies.

While the details of where the cuts will fall have not been finalised, it is likely that two-thirds will go in the UK.

The company has already used the government's furlough scheme to help pay the wages of about 4,000 staff, but Warren East, Rolls-Royce's chief executive, said companies could not expect the government to continue such a scheme for several years.

There was also a clear hint this morning that some factories may close – the company said it would review its future manufacturing footprint.

Some questions remain for Roll-Royce. Investors are scratching their head about when the company's revenues – much of which rely on aircraft to be flying for money to flow – will return.

The company has not yet tapped its shareholders for more money – some expect that may eventually come.

Air travel has ground to a virtual standstill since the coronavirus began spreading across the world and many airlines have announced steep job cuts.

Global air traffic is expected to decline by 45% this year, according to investment bank Baird. It also forecasts that airlines are expected to lose $310bn (£253bn) in revenue in 2020.

Rolls-Royce said the impact of the pandemic on the company and the whole of the aviation industry “is unprecedented”.

It added that it is “increasingly clear that activity in the commercial aerospace market will take several years to return to the levels seen just a few months ago”.

As well as the job losses, the company said it would cut costs in areas such as its plants and properties. It expects to make cost savings of £1.3bn.

Paul Everitt, chief executive of ADS, the aerospace industry association, said: “The crisis is having a major impact on aerospace companies who provide high value, long-term jobs in all regions and nations of the UK, putting thousands more jobs at risk now and in the months ahead.”