Waitrose delivery expansion in London to create 800 jobs

Waitrose says it is to open a third warehouse in London to cope with surging demand for grocery deliveries in the capital amid the continuing coronavirus pandemic.

The John Lewis Partnership said it expected the fulfilment centre, in the Greenford area of west London, would create 800 jobs once completed.

The COVID-19 lockdown since March has forced the supermarket sector to bolster online shopping capabilities to cope with a rising tide of orders.

Waitrose said it had seen online orders surge by more than 100% over the past few months and admitted it had been unable to meet demand within London.

The chain had announced in May that it was to open a second warehouse in Enfield, east London by September.

Waitrose said the third centre, to be operated with logistics specialist Wincanton, would “significantly further increase the availability of delivery slots for customers in and around the capital”.


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Only 6% of public want life to return to pre-pandemic times

Only 6% of the British public want things to go back to how they were before the coronavirus crisis, according to a new poll.

It comes as 300 leaders from the likes of charities, trade unions and community groups are calling for the country to “build back better” with a recovery plan that will create a “stronger, fairer and greener” economy after the pandemic.

This will include having higher-quality public services, good jobs, a reduction in inequality, and protection for the planet.

The call has been backed by the British public, with a YouGov poll showing that 31% of the public want to see big changes in how the economy is run coming out of the crisis.

A further 28% of participants said they wanted to see moderate changes and only 6% of people wanted no changes to be made at all.

The thirst for change is matched by the

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Half of UK businesses have stopped investing as they preserve cash

Almost half of all UK businesses have either stopped investing or cut back capital spending since coronavirus struck as they preserve cash, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Its latest weekly set of economic indicators showed that Britain is slowly getting back to normal, with more people returning to the workplace and advertised job vacancies increasing. New information on investment, however, provided more evidence of the economic toll of the outbreak.

Of the 5,100 responses to its business survey, 19.8 per cent said that capital expenditure had stopped and another 23.2 per cent said it was below normal. Business investment is considered key to future productivity.

Although some paused investment will be made up later, the capital stock of the country will be lower than it would have been, with some lasting hit to GDP, as the Bank of England has suggested.

The survey also found that 79 per

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BA tells longest-serving cabin crew to take 20% pay cut or lose jobs

British Airways has told its longest-serving cabin crew they will have to take a 20% basic pay cut and change working patterns if they are to be retained, as it prepares to lay off up to 30% of its workforce.

The proposal comes almost two months after BA notified unions of plans to lay off 12,000 staff after coronavirus grounded almost all passenger flights.

All cabin crew would have to apply for jobs in BA’s mixed fleet, a unit set up during a bitter strike a decade ago. Given that cabin crew salaries are largely made up of flight pay and allowances, many are likely to see their overall earnings reduced by much more than 20%.

Talks are continuing with the pilots’ trade union Balpa over a voluntary redundancy deal. No offer has yet been put to ground staff. BA says no unions other than Balpa have turned up to

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UK sales of bikes up 60% in April as Covid-19 changes lifestyles

Britons bought 60% more bikes in April as the nation turned to two-wheeled transport during the coronavirus lockdown.

Government advice to avoid public transport and to limit travel to essential journeys led to a complete turnaround in the cycle market. In the first three months of the year, the value of bike sales was down 4% and 8% fewer bikes were bought in the UK, according to the Bicycle Association.

However, in April, the value of sales surged by 57% as the number of bikes sold rose 60%. The biggest change was in more affordable bikes valued at £400 to £1,000, sales of which doubled in April. Sales of bikes costing more than £3,000 fell.

Almost 50% more electric bikes were sold in April, a big step up in the pace of growth from the 29% seen in the first quarter of the year. However, the Bicycle Association said the

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