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BLACK FRIDAY KICKS OFF £5.8 BILLION BLOW OUT OVER FOUR DAY SALES WEEKEND

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BLACK FRIDAY KICKS OFF
  • Retailers rejoice: Bargain hunters to spend a combined 15 per cent more on sales weekend than in 2015
  • High street boost: £2.97 billion to be spent offline from Black Friday through to Cyber Monday, with online sales reaching £2.79 billion
  • Cyber madness: 15 million to shop on Cyber Monday alone splashing £1.1 billion – up 11 per cent on 2015
  • Savvy savers: VoucherCodes.co.uk customers expected to make a huge £200,400 worth of savings on Cyber Monday

As the nation heads towards one of the busiest retail weekends of the year, new research from VoucherCodes.co.uk and the Centre for Retail Research reveals that Brits are set to splash an expected £5.8 billion over the four days – an increase of 15 per cent on last year. Kicking off with Black Friday (25th November) and finishing on Cyber Monday (28th November), the four days will see Brits hunting for deals in their millions across the UK – with 15 million searching for deals on Cyber Monday alone.

Online & Offline sales boom

Online retailers are set to bank a boon over the four days, with online spending expected to reach a huge £2.8 billion – up 20 per cent from £2.3 billion on 2015. Brits are also expected to outspend other key European markets by a huge 37 per cent over the course of the four days. Although online retailers are expected to enjoy the biggest jump when compared to 2015, the high street remains the preferred choice for many bargain hunters, with shoppers splurging a predicted £2.97 billion in shopping centres, department stores and high streets across the UK over the course of the four days – up 10.5 per cent on last year.

Cyber Monday madness

With Black Friday traditionally the biggest single day for offline spending, a large proportion of online spend will happen on Cyber Monday, when shoppers scouring the net are expected to splash £1.2 billion – an increase on the £1 billion spent in 2015. Although Cyber Monday is traditionally an online shopping day, Brits are still expected to hit the high street in their droves to bag a bargain, with spending set to reach £758 million – making the total expected spend for the discount day a huge £1.9 billion, up 11 per cent on last year. As retailers increasingly optimise their technology to cater for ‘mobile first’ consumers, over half of those shopping on Cyber Monday (53 per cent) will be searching for deals on goods including TVs, tablets, clothes and beauty products via their mobile devices.

  Expected offline/online spend for the 2016 Cyber Weekend (in millions)  
  Black Friday Sat/

Sun

Cyber Monday 2016

total

Weekend

increase from 2015

UK online £1,002 £634 £1,157 £2,793 20.7%
UK offline £961 £1,249 £758 £2,968 10.5%
Total £1,963 £1,883 £1,915 £5,761 15.2%

The Cyber Weekend, culminating in Cyber Monday, is also one of the biggest shopping events of the year for VoucherCodes.co.uk. In 2015, the site’s customers saved approximately £185,000 in total from deals made on the site on Cyber Monday, with this figure set to rise to around £200,400 this year. The site is expecting to see a surge in visitors after working hours as deal-hunters log on from the comfort of their sofas – last year, traffic peaked at 9pm as customers searched for deals on items including women’s fashion, health & beauty and gifts.

Manic Monday

Brits may be gearing up to shop in their millions this weekend, however retailers will continue to enjoy a festive spending boost into December. The first Monday of the month, dubbed ‘Manic Monday’ (5th December) is a key time for getting online orders in to ensure they’re delivered in time for Christmas, with the research revealing that online spending is set to reach £494 million on this day as a predicted 5 million shoppers log on to snap up festive goods.

Preparation is essential

A separate online survey by YouGov in conjunction with VoucherCodes.co.uk reveals that the weekend’s bargain-hunters are taking no chances; ensuring they are as prepared as possible for their shopping spree. Just over a third (34 per cent) of those planning a Cyber Monday spree say they will have a list of items they’re looking for in advance, 28 per cent will have money set aside to spend, while nearly one in five (17 per cent) will sign up to newsletters to ensure they know about the best deals before the day itself.

“Black Friday, Cyber Monday and other key discount shopping dates have seen a huge increase in popularity in the UK over recent years, with retailers bolstering the number of deals they have on offer to meet the consumer appetite for pre-Christmas discounts,” said Claire Davenport, Managing Director at VoucherCodes.co.uk. “This year is set to be one of the biggest yet, with Brits expected to spend a huge £5.7 billion over the course of the four-day weekend on items including personal technology, computer games and clothing.

“The ecommerce space is going from strength to strength, shown in the fact that online sales are set to be up by 20 per cent as more people opt to shop from the comfort of their couch. At VoucherCodes.co.uk, we’re preparing to meet demand by having a dedicated team working over the weekend – we’ll have 70 people scouring the web for all the best deals for our members. Last year, we added over 7,000 deals to the site and we expect this year will be even bigger.”

Business

Sunak to raise business tax to pay for COVID-19 support – The Sunday Times

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Sunak to raise business tax to pay for COVID-19 support - The Sunday Times 1

(Reuters) – British finance minister Rishi Sunak is set to increase a tax on business to pay for an extension to COVID-19 support schemes in the budget next month, The Sunday Times reported https://bit.ly/3ujaBcU.

Sunak, in his speech on March 3, will announce he is increasing corporation tax from 19 pence in the pound and will outline a pathway where it rises to 23 pence in the pound by the time of the next general election, the report said. The move will raise an expected 12 billion pounds ($16.8 billion) a year, the report added.

According to the report, at least 1 pence is set to be added to the bill for business from this autumn, at a cost to business of 3 billion pounds, with further rises in subsequent years.

Allies of Sunak clarified he would not increase corporation tax higher than 23%.

These measures will be helpful in paying for an extension to the furlough scheme, VAT cuts and business support loans until at least August.

Unlike the 2010 Conservative-led government, which pursued spending cuts to rebalance the economy after the global financial crisis, Sunak is expected to defer most of the toughest decisions about how to pay for that support in his budget speech.

“The corporation tax hike will be higher than expected and the extension of the support schemes will be longer than most people expect,” the newspaper quoted a source as saying.

Insiders indicated the stamp duty holiday on property purchases would also be extended in line with the other coronavirus support measures, the report said.

Britain’s economy had its biggest slump in 300 years in 2020, when it contracted by 10%, and will shrink by 4% in the first three months of 2021, the Bank of England predicts.

($1 = 0.7136 pounds)

 

(Reporting by Vishal Vivek in Bengaluru; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

 

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Foxconn chairman says expects “limited impact” from chip shortage on clients

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Foxconn chairman says expects "limited impact" from chip shortage on clients 2

TAIPEI (Reuters) – The chairman of Apple Inc supplier Foxconn said on Saturday he expects his company and its clients will face only “limited impact” from a chip shortage that has rattled the global automotive and semiconductor industries.

“Since most of the customers we serve are large customers, they all have proper precautionary planning,” said Liu Young-way, chairman of the manufacturing conglomerate formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd

“Therefore, the impact on these large customers is there, but limited,” he told reporters.

Liu said he expected the company to do well in the first half of 2021, “especially as the pandemic is easing and demand is still being sustained.”

The global spread of COVID-19 has increased demand for laptops, gaming consoles, and other electronics. This caused chip manufacturers to reallocate capacity away from the automotive sector, which was expecting a steep downturn.

Now, car manufacturers such as Volkswagen AG, General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co have cut output as chip capacity has shrunk.

Counterpoint Research says the shortage has extended to the smartphone sector, with application processors, display driver chips, and power management chips all facing a crunch.

However, the research firm predicts Apple will face a minimal impact, due to its large size and its suppliers’ tendency to prioritise it. Apple is Foxconn’s largest customer.

Foxconn is looking at other areas for growth, including in electric vehicles (EVs), and Liu said their EV development platform MIH now had 736 partner companies participating.

He expected it would have two or three models to show by the fourth quarter, though did not expect EVs to make an obvious contribution to company earnings until 2023.

Liu also said the company was still looking for semiconductor fab purchase opportunities in Southeast Asia after not winning a bid to take over a stake in Malaysia-based 8-inch foundry house Silterra.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Jeanny Kao; Writing by Josh Horwitz; Editing by William Mallard and Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

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EU seeks alliance with U.S. on climate change, tech rules

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EU seeks alliance with U.S. on climate change, tech rules 3

By Sabine Siebold and Kate Abnett

BERLIN (Reuters) – Europe and the United States should join forces in the fight against climate change and agree on a new framework for the digital market, limiting the power of big tech companies, European Union chief executive Ursula von der Leyen said.

“I am sure: A shared transatlantic commitment to a net-zero emissions pathway by 2050 would make climate neutrality a new global benchmark,” the president of the European Commission said in a speech at the virtual Munich Security Conference on Friday.

“Together, we could create a digital economy rulebook that is valid worldwide: a set of rules based on our values, human rights and pluralism, inclusion and the protection of privacy.”

The EU has pledged to cut its net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, while President Joe Biden has committed the United States to become a “net zero economy” by 2050.

Scientists say the world must reach net zero emissions by 2050 to limit global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial times and avert the most catastrophic impacts of climate change.

The hope is that a transatlantic alliance could help persuade large emitters who have yet to commit to this timeline – including China, which is aiming for carbon neutrality by 2060, and India.

“The United States is our natural partner for global leadership on climate change,” von der Leyen said.

She called the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol a turning point for the discussion on the impact social media has on democracies.

“Of course, imposing democratic limits on the uncontrolled power of big tech companies alone will not stop political violence,” von der Leyen said. “But it is an important step.”

She was referring to a draft set of rules unveiled in December which aims to rein in tech companies that control troves of data and online platforms relied on by thousands of companies and millions of Europeans for work and social interactions.

They show the European Commission’s frustration with its antitrust cases against the tech giants, notably Alphabet Inc’s Google, which critics say have not addressed the problem.

But they also risk inflaming tensions with Washington, already irked by Brussels’ attempts to tax U.S. tech firms more.

Von der Leyen said Facebook’s decision on a news blackout on Thursday in response to a forthcoming Australian law requiring it and Google to share revenue from news underscored the importance of a global approach to dealing with tech giants.

(Additional reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Robin Emmott and Nick Macfie; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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