Manchester’s BooHoo.com Booms

 

Image result for boohoo

Manchester-based online fashion retailer boohoo has raised its guidance for full year revenue again to be 80% ahead of expectations, as it posts a 106% increase in half year turnover to £263m.

It was only in June that the company said it expects full year revenue to February 2018 to be 60% ahead of expectations but today’s half year results show the incredible pace of growth, with six-month pre-tax profits up 41% to £20.3m to the end of August 2017.

In June the company raised £50m on the stock market so that it could build an automated super-site of over 600,000 sq ft, which will provide it with over £2bn of net sales capacity to keep up with demand.

The boohoo brand continues to account for the majority of revenue at £182m but the company’s Pretty Little Thing brand, which it acquired at the start of the year, is seeing incredible growth with its half year revenue of £73m up by almost 290% on last year. Nasty Gal – it’s latest addition – had a turnover of £8.4m from March, with sales growing month on month, the company said.

As well as the introduction of new brands, boohoo has also expanded its range and plus size, curve, petite and menswear have been the categories with the highest sales and strongest growth, whilst the more recently-introduced boohooKids, maternity, lingerie and tall ranges are also showing high rates of growth. The company said its growth was largely attributable to international markets as it continues to increase market share overseas.

Article by Joanne Birtwistle, The BusinessDesk.com, 27/09/17
Read full article online here

Top Business Women Join In CEO Sleepout

On 16th October 2017 Old Trafford Cricket Ground will host Manchester’s 2nd CEO Sleepout. More than 80 business leaders will give up one night of comfort, sleeping out under the stars, at the iconic home of Lancashire County Cricket Club in a bid to fight poverty and homelessness in Manchester. Jenna Bowyer (Business intelligence developer at Boohoo.com) and Julie Wilson (co-founder of Rule 5) are among the group of prominent business women taking part in the sleep out.

Statistics from national homeless charity Crisis show that while the vast majority of rough sleepers are male, life for women on the streets can be particularly bad, with one in four women sleeping rough having been sexually assaulted in the past year, three in 10 being the subject of sexual violence while homeless, and six in 10 being intimidated or threatened with violence.

Julie Wilson told Business Desk her reason for being involved:  “Homelessness is an issue close to my heart and I’m delighted to join an increasing number of women in this year’s CEO Sleepout, raising not only vital funds but awareness of local charities such as MASH, who provide invaluable support to women living on the streets of Manchester. It’s a fantastic event, uniting business leaders from all sectors to tackle what is a growing problem.”

Since its foundation in 2013 by businessman and philanthropist Andy Preston, CEO Sleepout has raised more than £1m thanks to support from thousands of executives participating in its sleepouts. In 2016, 87 Manchester business leaders raised £64,000 by sleeping rough with the scheme. Ministry 2 Business was part of a small team that helped establish the initiative in Manchester.

Preston commented: “We’re really pleased to have a number of prominent women from the city joining us for the sleepout, who will help to highlight the needs of women sleeping rough.  This year we have had a great response from Manchester’s business community and other leading figures from the city’s civic life. Our priority as a charity is to raising awareness of the homeless crisis being seen in cities across the country, and this can only be achieved through joint working, so we will continue to work with a range of partners that can affect change and tackling underlying causes of homelessness and prevent it before it occurs.”

You can find out more about CEO Sleepout on the website.

Article written by Nick Jackson, The Business Desk.com, 26/09/17
Read the original article here

New Chairman For Co-Op Insurance

Co-op Insurance appoints chairman

Peter Hubbard is Co-op Insurance’s new chairman.  The former chief executive of AXA and UKGeneral has also held non-executive roles at QMetric Group, Keoghs and Sure Thing Insurance.

Mr. Hubbard said he joins Co-op Insurance at an “exciting and important time in its transformation journey”.

“Co-op Insurance has a long and distinguished history, and we have the opportunity now to create and deliver a compelling Co-op Insurance for the future, one which meets the needs of millions of Co-op members and customers.”

Article by Storm Rannard, Assistant Digital Editor at Insider Media Limited.
Read original article here

Mobikes Arrive In Manchester

Image result for manchester mo bike1,000 Mobikes have been scattered around the city centre as a new bike sharing scheme for Manchester and Salford has been launched. Manchester is the first area outside Asia to adopt the service, initially for a six-month trial but with a view to expand.

Reporting for the Manchester Evening News, Charlotte Cox explains:

Mobike is the world’s first smart, dock-free bikeshare platform aimed at helping people make short trips across cities. The orange and silver aluminium machines have non-puncture airless tyres, a GPS tracker, built-in locks and a cashless smartphone app. The bikes are designed with chainless shaft transmission and durable disc-brake, they are hailed by their creators as ‘maintenance-free bikes’ with a four-year fix-free life span.

Bosses say they are ‘near impossible’ to vandalise and ‘pointless’ to steal. They have developed a credits system where users who defy the Mobike rules – park them in the wrong place for example – will be charged more to hire them. ‘Good users’, meanwhile, will be rewarded.

The bikes the brain child of Hu Weiwei, a Chinese entrepreneur.  She told the M.E.N at a cycling conference in Holland that she envisions Manchester becoming the ‘Shanghai of Europe’ – doing for bike-sharing on the Continent what Shanghai began in China. Welcomed by city leaders the hope is that they will help tackle congestion and pollution levels.

To use a Mobike subscribe to their app, pay the deposit, find your nearest bike & hop on! Visit the Mobike website

Read the full article here>>  Published By M.E.N Written by Charlotte Cox

N Brown To Pay Back Customers

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Manchester-based N Brown Group, the home shopping company behind brands including JD Williams, Simply Be and Jacamo, is to pay out up to £40m to customers after selling product insurance that did not ‘offer value’.

The company said it had ‘identified flaws’ in historical insurance products provided by a third party insurance underwriter and sold by the group to its customers between 2006 and 2014.

It follows a review of whether its general insurance products and add-ons offered value for customers, prompted by the FCA.

The customer redress will cost the group between £35m to £40m and will impact company cashflow from its 2019 financial year onwards, it said in a statement to the stock market.

It’s a tough time for the retailer – last month saw it retreat from the high street with the announcement that it would be closing five loss-making Simply Be and Jamaco dual fascia stores, blaming weak high-street footfall.

The closures will be completed by the end of August, with an anticipated exceptional cost of £10m to £14m.

N Brown’s insurance redress follows that of Findel – another listed North West firm – which first announcement in February that it was to refund £12.5m to around 300,000 of its Express Gifts customers who were sold insurance that offered little or no value. But that figure has since more than doubled to around £29m.

Article By: Joanne Birtwistle, The Business Desk.com View Article Online Here

Manchester: A City Grieving

The Bishop of Manchester, David Walker, has spoken of the terror attack in Manchester last night.

Today is a day to mourn the dead, to pray with their families and with the injured, and to reaffirm our determination that those who murder and maim will never defeat us.

Like other great cities, Manchester is an obvious target for terrorists to choose. What makes this latest atrocity particularly dreadful is the deliberate choice of a concert known to attract very young fans. Many lives will be lived out, impacted by this tragedy for long years to come. Others have had decades of life ripped away from them.

There is a proper anger and rage in the face of events like this. Our challenge will be to direct that rage and anger to be a force for good. We will rally around the victims and their families. We will unite across our diversity, drawing close especially to any that the terrorists would seek to separate us from. And we will rebuild and repair the damage to our city, as we have done before.

Today is a day to mourn, and I would ask churches throughout Greater Manchester and beyond to make space and time for people who wish to come into their buildings and pray. But today is also a day to begin our response. A response that will crush terrorism not by violence but by the power of love. A love which Christians celebrate especially now in Eastertide.

Original Source: Church of England Diocese of Manchester. Here

 

Manchester Is Europe’s 3rd City

The Colliers International Cities of Influence TLC index has named Manchester as one of Europe’s top influential cities. The combination of skilled and emerging talent, an accessible location, the affordable cost of living as well as the city’s work within the Northern Powerhouse has given Manchester a growing recognition and reputation on an international scale.

In his interview with MEN Business Andrew McFarlane, Director and head of the Manchester office of Colliers International, commented: “Manchester has worked hard to build its reputation as an international city. Over the past 20-plus years it has steadily grown and developed into the global player that it is today and that momentum is still building as Manchester cements its place at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse.

“What is encouraging about this report is that what has been clear to many in Manchester for several years is increasingly being recognised by a global audience. Manchester’s best days lie ahead.”

The top 20 influential European Cities identified by Colliers International are:
1. London
2. Paris
3. Manchester
4. Stockholm
5. Dublin
6. Munich
7. Amsterdam
8. Madrid
9. Vienna
10. Prague
11. Frankfurt
12. Berlin
13. Zurich
14. Hamburg
15. Warsaw
16. Barcelona
17. Lisbon
18. Brussels
19. Budapest
20. Milan

Source:
Abridged version of an original article by Shelina Begum, MEN Business online here
Image:
Manchester Victoria Station, original location here
© Copyright David Dixon and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The North’s Growth Depends On Transport Connectivity

The Independent International Connectivity Commission has published a report today that advocates better connected airports and ports in the North of England could release massive potential benefits for trade and business growth.

Improving international links from the North could see 75 million air passengers travelling to and from the region each year by 2050, nearly double the current number. However, road and rail links also need investment and development which could also see more freight being shipped directly into and out of the region, naturally boosting the economy and easing pressure on south coast ports.

The commission was brought together by John Cridland, Chair of Transport for the North and former Director General of CBI, and consisted of Chris Davis (chief operating officer at PZ Cussons), Mark Parsons (chief customer officer UK & Ireland, DHL Supply Chain), Andrew Sentance (senior economic adviser at PWC) and Sarah Stewart (chief executive, NewcastleGateshead Initiative).

John Cridland comments: “It’s clear that the North’s ports and airports are key economic assets for the region, with nearly 40 million passengers flying from the region each year and around a third of all UK freight using northern ports.

“Yet we know that the lack of access to and from our ports and airports is holding them back, with congestion on our roads and railways making it difficult for people and goods to reach international gateways. These inadequate ground transport links, coupled with not enough direct services to key international destinations, mean that passengers from the North often have to travel from Southern gateways. They also act as a disincentive from both business and leisure travellers to visit the region.   Unlike in the South, where ports and airports are heavily congested, the North’s international gateways have unused capacity.”

“We believe international connectivity starts on the ground; by properly utilising available resources we can both boost the economy of the North and ease pressure on overloaded ports and airports elsewhere. We need to start promoting the North as a destination of choice, both to do business and to visit.”

Credits:
Original article here by Nick Jackson, Deputy Editor North West, TheBusinessDesk.com
Image by Jannik Selz, Profile here at Unsplash.com

Crane Survey Identifies Construction Boom

The Deloitte Crane Survey is in it’s 16th year and shows unparalleled growth in residential development, office refurbishment, hotel construction and education developments.

A CGI of how Allied London’s St John’s neighbourhood could look

[View the MEN’s Business Week Crane Survey Map Here]

22 new residential schemes are under construction in Manchester contrasting with the last peak count of 14 in 2008. That means 6,963 residential units will be built this year compared with 2,982 in 2016.

In his interview with Manchester Evening News, Simon Bedford, partner and head of Deloitte Real Estate in the North West, said: “Deloitte’s construction pipeline monitors residential development through to 2020 and shows a number of exciting schemes set to evolve the city’s skyline.  Four towers over 25 storeys high have begun construction, marking a new, exciting era for housing in Manchester. One of which, Owen Street, is set to become the highest residential building in the UK.”

The growing trend for office refurbishment means 8 out of the 9 new starts this year are refurbishments. The  demand for office space in Manchester and Salford grows with the construction pipeline for 2017 set to provide 1.4 million sq ft of floorspace 12% of which is pre-let.

The Hotel sector is also meeting the growing demand of tourism with a further 1,040 rooms currently under construction in Manchester in addition to the 338 completed in 2016. This year expects to see the largest delivery of hotel rooms since data collection started in 2006.

Simon Bedford’s analysis of the overall forecast for construction in Manchester and Salford is one of opportunity and confidence: “Our latest crane survey results are a reflection of Manchester’s growth and resurgence.  The weakening of sterling and boost of international connectivity via Manchester Airport is also set to provide a fertile environment for potential investors, while the universities are likely to continue delivering further schemes in 2017 as part of strategic repositioning and expansion.”

“Construction activity has not just matched those of 2007, it has completely blown those figures out of the water, demonstrating unparalleled scale and volume of development. While we cannot be certain how these factors will continue to manifest themselves in the years ahead, there is real cause for optimism and Manchester competing as a global city.”

Original Story by Shelina Begum, GM Business Week 31/01/17
Full Article Online Here>>

 

Sir Howard Bernstein Retiring As CEO Of Manchester City Council

Sir Howard Bernstein who has been Chief Executive of Manchester sir-howardCity Council since 1998 has announced he will step down from his role in Spring 2017.  He joined the local authority as a junior clerk in 1971 and is credited with leading some of Manchester’s biggest regeneration projects including developments after the 1996 IRA bomb and in the lead-up to the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

During Sir Howard’s tenure the city has experienced phenomenal growth and investment including flagship developments such as Spinningfields, NOMA, First Street, Corridor Manchester and forthcoming investments in St John’s, Airport City, the Northern Gateway and HS2. He also oversaw the development of the Northern Powerhouse initiative and a series of historic devolution agreements – transferring significant powers and resources from central government to the city region. He received his knighthood for his services to the city in 2003.

Sir Howard commented: “It has been a privilege to serve the city during such a pivotal period, working with many excellent people both within the council and in public and private partner organisations. I’m incredibly proud of what the city has been able to achieve in this time and to have played a part in it.

“Manchester is firmly established as a confident and dynamic place, recognised as a premier league world city although of course there are still significant challenges to address to ensure everyone who live here has the opportunity to share in, and contribute to, its growing success.

“We have a clear, shared vision for the future direction of the city – set out in the Our Manchester Strategy which takes the city up to 2025– and a strong platform from which to move forwards. But by definition this is a long-term strategy.

“I will have been at the council 46 years next year and this feels like the right time to plan for my succession. There is still considerable work to do in the months ahead and my focus on it will not be diminished.”

Extract from North West Insider.
Read the original article by Richard Frost here >>

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News

Manchester’s BooHoo.com Booms

Boohoo.com posts a 106% increase in half year turnover to £263m.

Read more

Top Business Women Join In CEO Sleepout

Over 80 business leaders will take part in the 2nd CEO Sleepout at Lancashire County Cricket Club.

Read more

New Chairman For Co-Op Insurance

Former Chief Executive of AXA and UKGeneral is appointed chairman of Co-Op Insurance

Read more