Today’s news in brief-26/4/24

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has reported a significant rise in shoplifting offences in England and Wales, reaching over 430,000 cases for the year ending December 2023—an increase of more than a third compared to the previous year. This marks the highest level in two decades. The ONS suggests that the recorded figures may actually understate the true extent of shoplifting, according to retailers’ organisations. Additionally, the ONS crime survey indicates that personal theft cases have hit the highest number since 2004, reflecting broader concerns about rising crime rates in these regions.

GfK’s latest data reveals a slight improvement in consumer confidence in the UK, rising from -21 to -19 in April. This marks the first uptick in three months, with an index score better than the forecasted -20. Despite this improvement, there are lingering concerns, including a dip in the Major Purchase Index and decreased optimism about the wider economy over the past year. Challenges such as rising costs for fuel, council taxes, and utilities continue to impact consumer sentiment, prompting questions about the future trajectory of economic health, especially in light of the upcoming UK General Election.

Co-op has appointed Rachel Hargreaves as its new director of property, development, and estates, aiming to bolster its growth plans strategically. Hargreaves, formerly of Lidl GB, will focus on expanding Co-op’s presence in the convenience retail market by developing new retail spaces and maximising the potential of its existing portfolio. Her role involves engaging with landowners, developers, and agents to position Co-op as a prominent operator in this sector. Co-op emphasises community-focused growth aligned with its 180th anniversary, targeting increased value for its member-owners .

Burberry is at risk of a takeover following a 20% decline in its share value since the beginning of the year. A recent profit warning from luxury brand Kering triggered a further dip in Burberry’s shares, positioning the company as a potential target due to its current valuation. Abrdn, a major shareholder, views Burberry as an appealing acquisition prospect given its unique status as a significant independent British luxury brand. Burberry’s challenges include a slowdown in luxury demand, with revenue declining 7% to £706 million. Despite these setbacks, Burberry’s CEO remains confident in the brand’s strategic direction and revenue goals .


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