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Marks & Spencer

Parliament

UK hung parliament ‘spells trouble for retail’

Analysts have warned that the retail sector could suffer as consumers pull back on spending in the aftermath of a hung parliament.

With inflation already on the increase post-Brexit, consumers are continuing to feel the pinch, while a falling Sterling and shares in Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer dropping are further causes for concern.

Britain faces a hung Parliament for just the sixth time in its political history, the most recent being in 2010.

However, luxury fashion retailers such as Burberry and Ted Baker saw a rise of two per cent as investors made the most of favourable exchange rates and invested in the international businesses.

Nicholas Hyett, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Housebuilders are down across the board, but they’re joined by restaurants, high street banks, fashion retailers and media outlets.

“The implication is clear, consumers’ disposable incomes are expected to be stretched, and big ticket items, like property upgrades, as well as little luxuries, like regular meals out, are expected to be among the first to go.”

“Sinking share prices at the likes of Next, Restaurant Group, easyJet and Dixons Carphone are all a reflection of the fact that lower Sterling and political uncertainty mean the pounds in Britons’ pockets seem set to be lighter going forwards.

“There’s good news for UK investors who are invested in more international businesses though. The combination of international earnings and a wealthier customer base is supporting retailers such as Burberry and Ted Baker.”

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Thousands of Christmas retail temp jobs still available on UK market…

Surprisingly, 21,000 Christmas jobs are still available in the UK, marking a 24 per cent increase in the number of festive roles since last year as employers are working to fill seasonal contracts for an anticipated festive rush.

With the largest proportion of this year’s vacancies falling in the retail, logistics and sales sectors, data from Adzuna has revealed that big-name online and high street retailers are stocking up on extra staff this winter, leading to thousands of temporary, part-time roles flooding the market.  Average pay for these roles is in decline and advertised pay for seasonal workers has fallen from £11.50 per hour in 2015 to just £9.32 this Christmas season.

Co-founder of Adzuna, Doug Monro said: “With a wealth of negative news hitting the job market in 2016, this boost in festive vacancies is sure to put a smile on the faces of British jobseekers. It’s not all good news, however, as average pay for festive workers looks set to drop significantly compared to last year, suggesting some top retail employers may be hiring more staff for entry level positions and cutting back on higher paid management roles.”

In addition, Royal Mail, Amazon, Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer have the most jobs available, with over 70,000 positions predicted between these four major players alone.

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M&S and the National Autistic Society partner for ‘Easy Dressing’ collection…

After receiving consumer feedback suggesting the creation of a school uniform range targeted to children with sensory sensitivity and motor skill concerns, Marks & Spencer – in partnership with the National Autistic Society – has created a collection of uniforms with the aim of catering to an estimated 70 per cent of autistic children in mainstream schools.

Through various consultation stages – such as working directly with autistic children at Helen Allison School, to conferring with other professionals who work with autistic children on a regular basis – the announcement has already gained substantial traction, with 3,000 Facebook likes and shares on the leading UK autism charity’s social media.

Available to purchase sometime this month, the ‘Easy Dressing’ collection includes Velcro hidden fastenings to replace small buttons, pull up trousers and easy-to-wash fabrics and it’s been reported that an estimated 6,000 consumers have already registered their interest in the range.

Consumers can register their interest here