28th May 2021
Good morning Here are four recommendations for the long weekend:
- Watch the Friends reunion – could this BE anymore hyped?
- Read the most explosive claims from that Dominic Cummings tell-all.
- Checkout The Offbeat View - weekly newsletter for non-technical professionals who want to learn about building great products and tools that do the heavy lifting.
- Enjoy the sunshine – good weather on a bank holiday weekend doesn’t come round often!
- Billion pound pets
- Savings app Chip lands Blackrock deal
Yesterday's market moves
FTSE 100 -0.2% 7,020
FTSE 250 +0.1% 22,659
The markets had all the hallmarks of a quiet Thursday before a bank holiday weekend and so not surprising that not much happened.
There was some positive news on the jobs front. Furlough is at a new low with just 8% of the UK workforce furloughed in the past two weeks. There was also an unexpectedly big fall in the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefit last week - 406,000 - the lowest since the pandemic began.
Billion pound pets
What’s going on
Petcare retailer Pets at Home reported £1.1 billion in sales in the 12 months to March 2021. An 8% increase on the year before and the highest in its 30 year history.
Why is this important
Many expected lockdown to lead to baby boom this hasn’t been the case. Instead all the time at home has meant more of us have become pet owners and increased our emotional attachment to animals.
As an essential retailer, Pets at Home has been able to keep its 451 branches open in recent lockdowns. The company said the pandemic had “structurally altered the dynamics of the UK pet care market” with people willing to spend more on their animals.
The results were so strong that the retailer announced that staff will share a £16 million bonus.
The retailer has ambitious expansion plans and believe there’s an opportunity for a further £600 million of customer revenues over the medium term. The company is investing £70 million this year that it will use to roll out 20 new sites within the M25 to cater to London’s new pet owners.
3 million households bought a pet during the pandemic bringing the total number of pet owning homes to 17 million, that’s over 60% of the country.
As life starts to return to normal it looks like pet owning may be one of the pandemic related trends that stay with animals becoming more like humans in their owners’ eyes. As they say a dog is for life…
Savings app Chip lands Blackrock deal
Fintech startup Chip has launched investment portfolios on its platform managed by asset management giant BlackRock.
Money invested in the portfolios will be put into a mixture of stocks and bonds.
Chip was founded in 2016 as an automatic savings app and has become popular among Millennials with over 300,000 users.
BlackRock is the biggest investment manager in the world, with over $8 trillion of assets under management.
The deal presents benefits for both sides:
- BlackRock has a new channel to offer its products to a much younger demographic than its usual client base.
- Chip broadens its services beyond savings and into investments. It also gets the backing of one of the most established names in the wealth management industry.
The partnership comes at a time when millions of households have saved billions during the pandemic. But faced with rock bottom interest rates many have turned to the stock market and cryptocurrencies to maximise their returns.
Chip hopes that by working with BlackRock it can provide investment options that are less volatile than the likes of Bitcoin.
Stat of the day
The social influencer market is forecast to be worth $13.8 billion in 2021
Other stories to keep you in the loop