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Today's business and finance round up 2nd September 2021

📦Amazon’s UK hiring spree

2nd September 2021

Good morning After a hectic few weeks of activity, yesterday saw the end of the football transfer window. To mark the deadline FIFA released a report of the last decade of club spending. More than ÂŁ38bn has been spent on transfer fees globally with Manchester City and Chelsea leading the table of biggest-spending sides - two of 12 Premier League clubs in the top 30.

Today's stories

  • Amazon’s UK hiring spree

  • Eco shoemaker plans public market debut

ECOMMERCEAmazon’s UK hiring spree

What’s going on?Amazon is on the hunt for 55,000 new recruits across the world with 2,500 in the UK. The world’s largest online retailer is looking for staff in corporate, robotics, research and engineering roles.

Why is this important?

Amazon was undoubtedly a huge winner from the Covid-19-related growth in online retail. During the pandemic it has posted record profits, signed up more than 200 million customers to its Prime service, and recruited more than 500,000 workers to keep up with surging demand.Amazon is already one of the world’s biggest employers with 1.3 million workers globally, 55,000 of which are in the UK. Its latest hiring spree comes as it announced its 2021 Career Day, an event designed to support job seekers both inside and outside the business to transition to a new role. The business will hire new staff for its offices in London and Manchester as well as its tech hubs in Cambridge and Edinburgh and it will also be looking for staff across its UK fulfilment centres.The latest recruitment drive comes amidst growing reports of worker shortages in the UK. Amazon has offered a signing-on bonus to fill some roles.The company is also facing pressure over its labour rights. A union push at an Amazon warehouse in the US failed earlier this year, but other unions and pressure groups still have the company in its sights.TakeawayThe behemoth that is Amazon continues to grow at a phenomenal pace. The current skilled worker shortages could mean the ecommerce giant faces stiff competition to fill all its roles.

RETAILEco shoemaker plans public market debut

Allbirds, the eco-friendly shoe brand worn by everyone from Barack Obama to the Silicon Valley tech crowd, has filed for an initial public offering (IPO) to list on the US Nasdaq exchange.Since launching in 2016 Allbirds has quickly grown in popularity with a loyal fan base. Sustainability is its USP, it makes no-nonsense, simple designs using natural materials like eucalyptus fibre, castor bean oil, wool, and even crab shells. The company has 27 retail locations worldwide, despite online sales accounting for 89% of total revenues.But unlike its big rivals Adidas and Nike, Allbirds still has some legwork to do on the profitability front, it lost $26m last year on revenues of $219m and doesn’t plan on turning a profit anytime soon.However that hasn’t stopped the firm being privately valued at $1.7bn, after it raised $100m in funding last year.The company is conducting what it calls a Sustainable Public Equity Offering, which means it’s holding itself accountable to hit certain environmental, social, and governance (ESG) targets – metrics that are becoming increasingly more important with investors.For ESG investors and brand supporters alike, Allbirds' public market debut will garner a fair amount of attention moving forward. It has all the makings to become a popular retail stock.

Stat of the day

Ireland’s population has passed 5 million for first time since the 19th Century famine

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