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UK Economy To Score A £1.33bn Boost During 2018 World Cup

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UK Economy To Score A £1.33bn Boost During 2018 World Cup
  • Total to rise to £2.72bn if England make it through to the final, according to research by the Centre of Retail Research and VoucherCodes
  • £193 million to be spent in pubs, restaurants, cafés and clubs – rising to £488 million if England make it to the final
  • If England make it to the final, people in UK to spend £1.12bn on food & drink to watch the match at home

The British economy is set to benefit from a £1.33bn boost if England make it through the second round (the round of 16) of the 2018 World Cup, rising to £2.72bn if the team make it through to the final, according to figures from VoucherCodes and the Centre for Retail Research (CRR).

Where Football Fans Will Be Watching

Pubs, restaurants, cafés and clubs are set to benefit most from the nation’s World Cup fever, with £193m expected to be spent by consumers watching the tournament, rising to a huge £488m if England make it to the final. This is supported by a separate study of 2,000 British adults by Opinium and VoucherCodes, which reveals a quarter of people in the UK will spend money on drinks throughout the tournament and watch England games at their local pub.

Whilst many people will head to pubs, clubs and bars to watch the games, the figures reveal the majority of British public (86%) are planning to watch the tournament from home. Those who stay at home are expected to splash £240m on food and £297m on alcohol if England makes it through the second round, rising to £1.12bn if they make it through to the final. They will also spend £37m getting their gardens ready and upgrading their BBQs to host friends and family, increasing to £62m – almost double the amount – if England get to the final.

Strategies to increase spend

The research revealed that retailers can look to increase this spend even more by providing pairing suggestions in their outlet, with alcohol, fizzy drink and food combinations and deals. Interestingly, over 1 in 4 (26%) 18 – 24-year olds would be encouraged to spend more at a retail store during the World Cup if they were offered advice on which food and drink combinations went well together.

However, this strategy does not appeal to older consumers, with only 2% of those over 55 open to pairing advice. Younger consumers are also more interested in vouchers and offers, with nearly 1 in 4 18–24-year olds (24%) saying they could be encouraged to spend more if there was a deal, and a third of those aged 25-34, versus only 16% of 45 to 54-year-olds, and 8% of those over 55. It is a similar story for publicans and restaurant owners, with 1 in 4 (25%) 18 – 24-year olds saying they would be attracted to spend more when offered pairing suggestions in outlets.

Total Spend During 2018 World Cup Across Each Sector (All £ in Millions)

Category Group Round 16 Subtotal Sales post-Grp 16 if England doesn’t progress Total sales if England leave after Grp 16 Total Sales if England are finalists
Food & drink £386 £151 £537 £282 £819 £1,122
    -food £177 £63 £240 £123 £363 £506
    -drink £209 £88 £297 £159 £456 £616
TV electrical £160 £67 £227 £75 £302 £431
Sportwear £196 £68 £264 £25 £289 £463
Souvenirs £52 £20 £72 £11 £83 £155
Gardens/BBQ £26 £11 £37 £7 £44 £62
All retail £820 £317 £1,137 £400 £1,537 £2,233
Pubs clubs café £128 £65 £193 £166 £359 £488
Totals £948 £382 £1,330 £566 £1,896 £2,721

World Cup Spending Spree

UK consumers are expected to spend heavily to celebrate the World Cup, spending £264m on sportswear to emulate their football heroes, rising to £463m if England make it through to the final, with almost one in 10 loyal supporters looking to purchase a new football shirt. Fans will also spend a lot on souvenirs to celebrate and remember the occasion, spending £72m during the second round and £155m if England goes the distance. Whilst those looking to upgrade their viewing at home will spend £277m on new TVs and electricals, rising to £431m if England make it through to the final. Surprisingly, just 16% of people in the UK claim their spending will slow if England are knocked out of the World Cup.

Regional Spending

In terms of regional differences, London looks likely to be most gripped by football fever, with 60% of its population planning to watch the World Cup. Consumers in London are also the most likely to purchase a new team shirt for the occasion, with 17% looking to hit the shops to buy one. Sheffield residents are the most likely to head to a pub, bar or club for England’s World Cup fixtures, with 43% planning to do so during the group stages. On the other hand, locals in Norwich are most likely to watch the matches at home with friends and family, even if England make it to the final, with 89% planning to do so.

Jimmy New, Director of Marketing at VoucherCodes, comments: “The 2018 World Cup looks set to be a huge event in the UK, not only for football fans but for British retailers too, with a huge £1.33bn estimated to be put through the tills over the next couple of months to celebrate the tournament.

“Retailers and publicans can maximise the opportunity by creating a sense of occasion in their outlets. Everything from point of sale to pairing suggestions and offers, can help  tap into the World Cup Fever and increase consumer spend.”

voucher codes infographic

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Australia says no further Facebook, Google amendments as final vote nears

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Australia says no further Facebook, Google amendments as final vote nears 1

By Colin Packham

CANBERRA (Reuters) – Australia will not alter legislation that would make Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s Google pay news outlets for content, a senior lawmaker said on Monday, as Canberra neared a final vote on whether to pass the bill into law.

Australia and the tech giants have been in a stand-off over the legislation widely seen as setting a global precedent.

Other countries including Canada and Britain have already expressed interest in taking some sort of similar action.

Facebook has protested the laws. Last week it blocked all news content and several state government and emergency department accounts, in a jolt to the global news industry, which has already seen its business model upended by the titans of the technological revolution.

Talks between Australia and Facebook over the weekend yielded no breakthrough.

As Australia’s senate began debating the legislation, the country’s most senior lawmaker in the upper house said there would be no further amendments.

“The bill as it stands … meets the right balance,” Simon Birmingham, Australia’s Minister for Finance, told Australian Broadcasting Corp Radio.

The bill in its present form ensures “Australian-generated news content by Australian-generated news organisations can and should be paid for and done so in a fair and legitimate way”.

The laws would give the government the right to appoint an arbitrator to set content licencing fees if private negotiations fail.

While both Google and Facebook have campaigned against the laws, Google last week inked deals with top Australian outlets, including a global deal with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

“There’s no reason Facebook can’t do and achieve what Google already has,” Birmingham added.

A Facebook representative declined to comment on Monday on the legislation, which passed the lower house last week and has majority support in the Senate.

A final vote after the so-called third reading of the bill is expected on Tuesday.

Lobby group DIGI, which represents Facebook, Google and other online platforms like Twitter Inc, meanwhile said on Monday that its members had agreed to adopt an industry-wide code of practice to reduce the spread of misinformation online.

Under the voluntary code, they commit to identifying and stopping unidentified accounts, or “bots”, disseminating content; informing users of the origins of content; and publishing an annual transparency report, among other measures.

(Reporting by Byron Kaye and Colin Packham; Editing by Sam Holmes and Hugh Lawson)

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GSK and Sanofi start with new COVID-19 vaccine study after setback

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GSK and Sanofi start with new COVID-19 vaccine study after setback 2

By Pushkala Aripaka and Matthias Blamont

(Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi on Monday said they had started a new clinical trial of their protein-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate, reviving their efforts against the pandemic after a setback in December delayed the shot’s launch.

The British and French drugmakers aim to reach final testing in the second quarter, and if the results are conclusive, hope to see the vaccine approved by the fourth quarter after having initially targeted the first half of this year.

In December, the two groups stunned investors when they said their vaccine would be delayed towards the end of 2021 after clinical trials showed an insufficient immune response in older people.

Disappointing results were probably caused by an inadequate concentration of the antigen used in the vaccine, Sanofi and GSK said, adding that Sanofi has also started work against new coronavirus variants to help plan their next steps.

Global coronavirus infections have exceeded 110 million as highly transmissible variants of the virus are prompting vaccine developers and governments to tweak their testing and immunisation strategies.

GSK and Sanofi’s vaccine candidate uses the same recombinant protein-based technology as one of Sanofi’s seasonal influenza vaccines. It will be coupled with an adjuvant, a substance that acts as a booster to the shot, made by GSK.

“Over the past few weeks, our teams have worked to refine the antigen formulation of our recombinant-protein vaccine,” Thomas Triomphe, executive vice president and head of Sanofi Pasteur, said in a statement.

The new mid-stage trial will evaluate the safety, tolerability and immune response of the vaccine in 720 healthy adults across the United States, Honduras and Panama and test two injections given 21 days apart.

Sanofi and GSK have secured deals to supply their vaccine to the European Union, Britain, Canada and the United States. It also plans to provide shots to the World Health Organization’s COVAX programme.

To appease critics after the delay, Sanofi said earlier this year it had agreed to fill and pack millions of doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine from July.

Sanofi is also working with Translate Bio on another COVID-19 vaccine candidate based on mRNA technology.

(Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru and Matthias Blamont in Paris; editing by Jason Neely and Barbara Lewis)

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Don’t ignore “lockdown fatigue”, UK watchdog tells finance bosses

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Don't ignore "lockdown fatigue", UK watchdog tells finance bosses 3

By Huw Jones

LONDON (Reuters) – Staff at financial firms in Britain are suffering from “lockdown fatigue” and their bosses are not always making sure all employees can speak up freely about their problems, the Financial Conduct Authority said on Monday.

Many staff at financial companies have been working from home since Britain went into its first lockdown in March last year to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

One year on, the challenges have evolved from adapting to working remotely to dealing with mental health issues, said David Blunt, the FCA’s head of conduct specialists.

“During this third lockdown, there has been a greater impact on mental well-being, with many people struggling with job security, caring responsibilities, home schooling, bereavements and lockdown fatigue.”

Bosses should continually revisit how they lead remote teams, he said.

“The impact of COVID-19 is creating a huge workload for those considered to be high performers, while the remote environment potentially makes it much more challenging for those who were previously considered low performers to change that perception,” Blunt told a City & Financial online event.

Companies should consider “psychological safety” or ensuring that all employees feel confident about speaking out and challenging opinions.

“We’ve heard varying reports of how successful this has been,” Blunt said.

Pressures in the financial sector were highlighted this month when accountants KPMG said its UK chairman Bill Michael had stepped aside during a probe into comments he made to staff.

The Financial Times said Michael, who later apologised for his comments, had told staff to “stop moaning” about the impact of the pandemic on their work lives.

Blunt was speaking as the FCA next month completes the full rollout of rules that force senior managers at financial firms to be personally accountable for their decisions to improve conduct standards.

There have only been a “modest” number of breaches reported to regulators so far as firms worry about being “tainted” but more cases will become public as sanctions are revealed, Blunt said.

“Regulators won’t be impressed by lowballing the figures.”

(Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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