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Friday newspaper round-up: Next, Cineworld, border chaos

(Sharecast News) – Next has pulled out of the race to acquire Topshop, the jewel in the crown of Sir Philip Green’s collapsed fashion empire Arcadia, after rival bidders trumped its offer. Arcadia, which employed 13,000 people across 500 outlets when it fell into administration last year, is being broken up. Interested parties had been asked to submit bids for the whole company or individual brands at the start of this week. – Guardian
Britain’s largest cinema chain is facing a shareholder backlash over a scheme that could result in senior bosses being allocated up to £208m in share awards while thousands of staff remain on furlough as all 127 of its UK sites remain closed. Cineworld’s shareholders are due to vote on a new pay policy and long-term incentive plan (LTIP) at a special meeting next week. The shareholder advisory groups Glass Lewis and ISS have recommended that investors vote against the plans. – Guardian

Nearly 6,000 licensed venues disappeared from high streets and city centres last year, almost triple the number in 2019, as the pandemic wreaked havoc on the hospitality sector. Government restrictions introduced to curb the spread of the coronavirus combined with a slump in consumer confidence contributed to a net decline of 5,975 sites during 2020, according to the latest Market Recovery Monitor from consultancies CGA and AlixPartners. – Telegraph

Shops will start to run out stock within weeks if chaos at the borders does not ease, according to supply chain experts. Six out of 10 supply chain managers said they are running into problems with new customs controls and Covid-19 checks that are delaying goods coming into the UK from Europe, research by the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) found. Delays ran for several days in about a third of cases. – Telegraph

The state body that runs premium bonds and other savings products has apologised to customers for its poor service after admitting that it took an average of 20 minutes simply to answer the phone in the autumn. National Savings & Investments accepted that it had been wrongfooted by the sheer volume of savings flooding into it over the summer and then wrongfooted a second time by the wave flooding out again in the autumn after it announced cuts in interest rates and prize money. – The Times

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