13th July 2021
Good morning "The pandemic is not over" said Boris Johnson but he's confirmed that most lockdown restrictions will lift next Monday in England on so-called ‘freedom day’. So there’ll be no more limits on event and gathering numbers. But wearing face masks will be recommended for crowded indoor spaces like public transport.
- Topshop returns to the shops
- London fintech Tide raises $100m
Yesterday's market moves
FTSE 100 +0.1% 7,125
FTSE 250 -0.1% 22,696
Trading in the UK markets was much lighter than usual yesterday (perhaps in the wake of the Euros…) so the FTSE 100 and 250 were little changed. The rapid spread of the Delta variant unsettled travel and leisure stocks but it supported “work from home names”, including food delivery companies.
Topshop returns to the shops
What’s going on?
British online fashion giant ASOS has struck a deal with the US department store Nordstrom that will see ASOS brands, including Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge, on sale in 350 physical stores across North America.
Why is this important?
Who could forget the scenes earlier this year of Topshop stores across the country closing for the final time after its parent company, Arcadia, collapsed into administration following years of poor sales made worse by the pandemic.
ASOS came to the rescue by acquiring Topshop, alongside some of Arcadia’s other main brands, for £330m moving them to sell online and many thought it would never return to a brick and mortar store.
The new agreement with Nordstrom is the first time ASOS has partnered with a physical retailer.
Nordstrom operates across the US and Canada, and attracts nearly 2bn annual visits to its website each year. Incidentally it does have a history with Topshop having sold its clothes in the US back in 2012.
The deal is beneficial to both sides as:
- Nordstrom can use the ASOS brands to lure back Millennial and Gen Z consumers who have shunned malls and shopping centres in recent years in favour of online shopping.
- ASOS can use Nordstrom’s US market expertise and extensive customer reach to expand further into its second biggest market.
ASOS is banking on Topshop’s return into North American shops being more successful than it was in the UK. The company is issuing a trading statement later this week and it’s expected to post a strong set of results as it benefits from the economy reopening.
London fintech Tide raises $100m
Tide, the London-based banking app for small businesses, has raised $100m valuing it at $650m.
Since launching four years ago it has raised $200m, the latest injection of funds will be used for international expansion. Earlier this year, it announced plans to launch in India in 2022.
Tide provides business current accounts and payment services to over 300,000 small business owners via its app. Customer numbers doubled in 2020 and it has around a 6% share of the UK business account market.
The UK digital payments sector is growing quickly with the likes of Monzo, Revolut and Wise also competing and raising millions in funding.
Stat of the day
Apple paid £9m in tax in the UK last year on sales of £1.4bn
Other stories to keep you in the loop
- UK wealth gap widens in pandemic as richest get £50,000 windfall
- Daily Mail could go private
- Goldman Sachs wrangles over whether to pay junior bankers higher salaries
- Four-day week? Not if it means a pay cut, say British workers
- June sees inner London rents rise for first time since April 2020
- Ryanair to hire 2,000 pilots
- Klarna acquires social shopping platform