Daily business and finance update 7th August 2023
Wilko on the brink
Good morning. Today we're talking about Wilko on the edge of collapse, Apple’s sliding sales and a HSBC exec apologises.
Wilko on the brink
Homeware and discount retailer Wilko is on the edge of collapse putting 12,000 jobs at risk. The company filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators on Friday after failing to secure a takeover or enough funding to keep it afloat. Over the weekend the company announced that it already had plans to shut 14 of its 408 stores. Wilko has reportedly struggled in the economic climate and last year borrowed £40m of emergency funding, changed its leadership team and sold a distribution centre. It also faced problems of how it struggled to pay suppliers and this led to shoppers noticing gaps appearing on its shelves.
Apple’s sales slump
On Friday Apple reported its third straight quarter of falling sales, the longest sales slump since 2016. Performance was driven by declining demand for phones, computers and tablets, trends which Apple says will likely continue for the rest of the year. Revenue from iPhones, a primary driver of Apple’s profits, fell below expectations however the services unit, which includes App Store, Apple TV+, Apple Music, brought in an all-time high revenue of $21bn. In June Apple became the first company to reach a market value of $3tr but the latest results led to a $160bn drop in value.
HSBC exec apologises
HSBC’s head of public affairs has apologised after accusing the British government of being "weak" for complying with US demands to cut back business dealings with China. Sherard Cowper-Coles told attendants at a closed-door event in London that the UK would often bow to the demands of Washington and shouldn’t blindly follow the US but look after its own interests, according to several attendees. Cowper-Coles said in a statement that his “personal comments” don’t reflect the views of HSBC or the China-Britain Business Council lobby, which he chairs.
Card closures: Clintons, the greeting cards retailer, is set to shut around 20% of its shops in an effort to keep the company afloat.
Out of fashion: Welsh fashion house Julien Macdonald has gone into liquidation.
Job strength: US jobs held steady last month, bolstering hopes that the economy will avoid a painful downturn.
Box office success: The Barbie film has broken the $1bn mark since its debut more than two weeks ago.
The proportion of Japan's total population that consists of foreigners - by contrast, the proportion in France, the US and the UK is above 10%.
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