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Today’s news in brief-4/7/24

The European Commission is taking a decisive step to tackle a surge in unsafe and substandard products flooding EU markets from Chinese online retailers like Temu and Shein. Concerned by a 50% increase in dangerous product reports last year, exceeding 3,400 cases, the Commission plans to scrap the current €150 duty-free threshold for imports, targeting items bought directly by consumers online. This move aims to level the playing field for all retailers targeting EU consumers, regardless of their location. While the proposal is ambitious, gaining unanimous approval among member states remains uncertain due to concerns over increased workload for customs officials.

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, has announced plans to sell more than $4bn in company shares, marking his continued divestment since stepping down as CEO in 2021. Following previous sales this year, his total divestiture will approach £10.5bn. Despite reducing his stake, Bezos will retain approximately 8.8% of Amazon shares. The move comes amid Amazon’s strong financial performance, with first-quarter net sales rising to $143.3bn and operating income reaching $15.3bn.

Marks & Spencer (M&S) has made strategic appointments to strengthen its food team, welcoming Kara Greatorex as Chief Commercial Officer and Jon Downes as Supply Chain and Commercial Operations Director. Greatorex brings extensive experience from Aldi, where she held key roles in buying and store management. Downes, previously at Morrisons, joins to enhance M&S’s operational capabilities. These appointments underline M&S’s commitment to transforming its food offering and building stronger supplier relationships.

More than 20,000 Tesco employees are set to benefit from a £30m windfall due to the success of the Tesco Save as You Earn (SAYE) share scheme. The payout follows significant growth in Tesco’s share price, reaching £3.06, enabling scheme participants to profit from discounted share purchases. Employees who invested regularly stand to make substantial gains, reinforcing the scheme’s popularity among staff as a reliable savings option. Tesco highlights the scheme’s role in rewarding employees and fostering financial security.

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