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Pret to recruit homeless for apprenticeship drive Wednesday, 14th December 2011
Sandwich chain Pret A Manger will create 70 apprentice positions in the new year, recruiting from homeless, ex-offender and disadvantaged backgrounds. The company, which was recently criticised by Boris Johnson for its lack of ‘native’ staff will continue to work with nine charities and community projects to offer its apprenticeship scheme in 2012.
John Lewis ‘underlying picture’ remains strong as profits stumble Friday, 8th July 2011
The UK department store’s year-on-year weekly sales suffered a 3.4 percent blow to 2 July, although the change in the chain’s Clearance timing meant initial figures were harder to compare.
John Lewis reported revenues of £64.7 million for the period to 2 July, describing its performance as ‘solid’ when considering its Clearance began a week later the year before. Department store sales excluding VAT fell 5.6 percent, with fashion sales down 5.2 percent and homeware falling by 8.9 percent. One of the only categories to improve for the retailer was electrical and home techonology, by 7.6 percent.
None of John Lewis’ stores generated an increase in sales for the week but over ten days of Clearance 14 stores delivered revenue uplifts. "On the face of it, a tougher week following our flying start to Clearance. However, after accounting for the earlier start of Clearance this year the underlying picture is much stronger, with sales up a very healthy 9 percent year-on-year across the first 10 days of Clearance," John Lewis said of the department stores outcome.
Over at Waitrose sales jumped 9.2 percent for the week to £106.2 million. This was boosted by a mystery rise in biscuit sales to 26 percent, which Waitrose retail director Tony Solomons suggested was due to “last week’s episode of The Apprentice which featured candidates pitching their biscuit ideas to buyers at our cookery school in London.”