HELLO and welcome to the AM Business Briefing, as official figures revealed a contraction in Britain’s economy in July followed by growth in August as the full lifting of coronavirus restrictions boosted events and hospitality.
The Office for National Statistics said gross domestic product rose 0.4% between July and August.
The data showed further signs of a slowdown in the UK’s recovery from the pandemic as global supply chain woes take their toll, with the August figure lower than expected, while the ONS also downwardly revised its estimate for July to a contraction of 0.1% from 0.1% expansion previously.
The economy would also need to soar by 2.1% in September to remain on track with the Bank of England’s forecast for overall growth of 2.1% in the third quarter.
Pub group Marston’s has rebounded above levels seen before the pandemic struck thanks to the full lifting of restrictions in the summer.
The firm said like-for-like sales in the quarter from July 25 to October 2 were 2% higher than those seen in 2019 across its estate of around 1,500 pubs.
Also today, a new Glasgow flooring store has turned out to be the most successful opening in the UK retailer’s history, North Sea oil firms are supporting plans to develop a pioneering hydrogen production plant in Orkney, and Menzies Distribution hails a major five-year deal with a crisps maker.
Retailer hails Glasgow success
A £200,000 investment in a new store in Glasgow by a national flooring retailer has brought record sales in the first month of opening.
Flooring Superstore opened a 7,256 square foot outlet on the city’s Baird Street Business Park in August, creating four new jobs.
During the first month of trading sales surpassed all expectations, by 130%.
It said it makes the Glasgow store one of the most successful in the fast-growing retailer’s history.
Glasgow was the 16th store launched by Flooring Superstore since April 2021. It follows the opening of the retailer’s only other Scottish store, in Edinburgh, in 2018.
Greig Anderson, Flooring Superstore megional manager, said: “We couldn’t be happier with the reaction to the new store and the fact our sales forecast was exceeded by an incredible 130% is evidence of this.
“It proves we were correct in waiting for the right location to come along, and its fantastic that shoppers have taken to our brand so quickly, and we would like to thank everyone who has supported us so far.”
Flooring Superstore now has over 40 stores across the UK and is on course to reach its target of 50 by the end of 2021.
He added: “We are in a unique position of being able to supply every type of flooring under one roof, and to be able offer this at online prices, reflecting our origins as an e-commerce retailer.
“Less than ten years ago you could only buy our products online but now people can now also do this at over 40 locations across the UK, from Glasgow in the north to Southampton in the south.
“We’re now focused on making our own contribution to Glasgow’s retail economy, which is particularly important given the difficulties of the last 18 months.”
As part of its corporate social responsibility programme, Flooring Superstore is now reaching out to local charities, voluntary organisations, or other good causes in Glasgow to see if they would benefit from donations of flooring for a particular project.
Plan for Orkney hydrogen plant to harness windfarm output
North Sea oil firms are supporting plans to develop a pioneering hydrogen production plant in Orkney.
TotalEnergies and Repsol Sinopec are backing a proposal to transform the Flotta oil terminal in Orkney into a green hydrogen production hub,which would be powered by renewable energy from a windfarm off the islands.
Menzies Distribution wins five-year contract with crisps maker
One of the UK’s major logistics providers, Menzies Distribution, has fought off competition to secure a five-year contract with Burts Snacks, a Devon-based producer of handmade potato crisps and premium snack products.
If you have been forwarded this article and would like to sign up, or view our new range of newsletters, click below: