Today's business and finance round up 30th November 2021
🚢Asda charters private ship to save Christmas sales
30th November 2021
Good morning At midnight Barbados became the world’s newest republic after ditching the Queen as head of state. The Caribbean island has sworn in its first ever president coinciding with its 55th anniversary of independence from Britain.
- Asda charters private ship to save Christmas sales
- Twitter CEO logs out …again
Asda charters private ship to save Christmas sales
What’s going on?
Asda is pulling out all the stops to ensure that shelves are well stocked during the peak Christmas period. The UK’s third biggest supermarket has chartered its own cargo ship full of festive items like toys, decorations and clothing.
Why is this important?
Asda is taking drastic measures to avoid disappointing shoppers during the festive period as it, along with other retailers, battle global supply chain disruptions.
In its latest trading update it announced that it was chartering its first ever cargo ship carrying 350 containers of items from China.
It also reported that sales in the three months to October were down 0.7% compared to the year before at £4.9bn. The grocer blamed the fall on the easing of lockdown restrictions which weakened demand for supermarket shopping as people returned to eating out.
Other measures Asda is taking over the next few weeks include recruiting 15,000 temporary workers and increasing its stock of turkeys and other festive food compared to last year.
The UK is in the middle of lorry driver shortage which is disrupting the delivery of goods to supermarkets. On top of that production in Asia has been hit by Covid restrictions which has delayed the distribution of products.
Supply chain worries have become a regular feature of company trading updates in recent months. Retailers including John Lewis, Costco and Walmart in the US have all arranged their own ships to secure goods in time for Christmas. But smaller companies without the resources to take such measures could be left empty handed.
Twitter CEO logs out …again
Yesterday Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, announced that he would step down from his role and be replaced by chief technology officer Parag Agrawal.
It’s the second time Dorsey will leave the social media giant he founded 15 years ago, back in 2008 he was ousted by the board before returning in 2015.
Dorsey is also the boss of another multibillion-dollar company, digital payment platform Square which he co-founded in 2009 during his hiatus from Twitter.
According to Forbes, Dorsey’s shares in both companies have given him a personal fortune of over $12bn.
For years he faced criticism over his dual roles with investors calling for him to step back from one of them to focus on the other.
Dorsey's time at Twitter has been pretty tumultuous. Revenue growth in recent years have been steady, but shows signs of slowing, with the year-on-year increases falling from 25% in 2018 to 7% in 2020.
Along with other social media companies it’s also found itself at the centre of controversies related to hate speech and misinformation.
Dorsey’s departure has been a long time coming. Running two huge companies is a huge ask and investors have been concerned that he was spreading himself too thin. Given Square is valued at over $98bn compared to Twitter's $38bn, it’s perhaps no surprise which one he chose.
Stat of the day
2021 is set to be the busiest year for the UK property market since 2007, with one in 16 privately owned homes on course to change hands by the end of December
Other stories to keep you in the loop
- Collapse of UK energy firms could cost each household extra £120
- Stockbroker AJ Bell takes on fintech rivals with commission-free investing app
- Half of this year’s big IPOs are trading below listing price
- Amigo Loans crashes as shareholders face wipeout from rescue plan
- City workers given four weeks extra holiday in growing war for talent
- Nissan to invest £13bn on speeding switch to electric cars
Interesting links from around the web