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Gloucestershire Business News

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: The latest news from across Gloucestershire on Friday, May 7

The ongoing coronavirus situation is changing by the hour with announcements being made about businesses and services that are being forced to adapt and change.

Punchline is committed to trying to keep you up to date with all the news that matters to you and your business.

Our team will update this story throughout the day, to ensure the latest important developments can be found in one - clickbait free - place.

If you or your business has any news, views or advice to share with the Gloucestershire business community, get in touch with Punchline team at news@moosemarketingandpr.co.uk.

Friday, May 7

Update #8665 - 12.35 Footfall won't return to pre-Covid levels soon

Retailers are unlikely to see a return to pre-Covid footfall in the near future, despite the opening of non-essential shops last month.

UK footfall for April was 40 per cent down on April 2019, according to BRC-Sensormatic IQ figures, as reported by Retail Gazette.

The British Retail Consortium said that while shops have worked hard to provide a safe and enjoyable shopping experience, social distancing is restricting their capacity.

The organisation said increasing footfall in the coming months will be essential for many retailers' survival, as costs increase with staff returning from furlough and full business rates relief ending in June.

Update #8664 - 12.25 Economy to grow at fastest rate in 70 years

The UK economy is set to grow at its fastest rate in more than 70 years in 2021 as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, according to the Bank of England.

Although the economy is set to expand by 7.25 per cent this year, this is against a backdrop of a 9.9 per cent contraction, the biggest in 300 years, in 2020, as reported by the BBC.

The extension of the furlough scheme until the end of September will help protect jobs while the recovery is underway.

While the growth is good news, it will simply return the UK economy back to its 2019 level.

Update #8663 - 12.05 Tui to subsidise Covid tests

Tui Group, the UK's biggest tour operator, will subsidise the cost of Covid testing for customers who book its package holidays.

The company is offering test packages for between £20 and £90, to make holidays abroad more affordable, as reported by the BBC.

Every holidaymaker will need to take at least one PCR test after returning to the UK, according the government's plans for reopening travel, with up to three tests required for countries considered a greater risk.

Tui also said it would allow free amendments to bookings up to 14 days before departure and would refund money the cost of extra tests if a country was moved from the green to amber list after booking.

Update #8662 - 08.30 Latest coronavirus figures for the UK and Gloucestershire

The latest data for coronavirus cases and deaths of patients with COVID-19 were released yesterday by the Government's department of health and social care and NHS England.

Updated UK figures show the total number of deaths within 28 days of positive test rose to 127,583 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

This is an increase of 13 on the previous day's figures.

Across the UK, 2,613 people have tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hour period and 4,428,553 since the outbreak began.

But on a more positive note, 34,934,171 people have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of May 5 and 16,291,719 have received their second dose.

Latest Public Health England figures show that the total number of cases within the county since the start of the pandemic sits at 22,545, as of Thursday afternoon.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test remains at 951.

New cases for the latest 24 hour period are split across the following regions:

Gloucester - 6,401 cases (increase of two)

Cheltenham - 3,763 cases (increase of one)

Stroud - 3,774 cases (increase of three)

Tewkesbury - 2,933 cases (increase of three)

Forest of Dean - 3,098 cases (no change)

Cotswold - 2,576 cases (increase of one)

Thursday, May 6

Update #8661 - 12.38 Superdry "on track" despite drop in revenue

Chief executive Julian Dunkerton said Superdry is seeing "light at the end of the tunnel" after the fashion brand reported a 21 per cent drop in annual revenue.

The Cheltenham-based company saw revenue drop from £704.4million to £556.6million in the 12 months to April 24 as shop closures during lockdown hit sales.

Store revenue fell by 50.9 per cent throughout the year to £140.9. but ecommerce revenue rose by a third to £202.9 million.

And while wholesale revenue also fell - down 19.9 per cent to £212.8million - the final quarter brought positive figures with group revenue up 0.8 per cent to £118.3million.

READ MORE 

Update #8660 - 10.26 Closing time confirmed for Debenhams

Debenhams has confirmed its Gloucester shop will close for the final time on May 12.

The retailer last week confirmed 52 shops will close by May 8 and it has confirmed the remaining 49 will shut for the final time by May 15.

Remaining stores are in the midst of closing down sales to get rid of remaining stock after the Debenhams brand and website was bought by online retailer Boohoo for £55million in January.

The future of the Debenhams building in Gloucester was confirmed last month with the announcement of its sale to the University of Gloucestershire.

It will be transformed into a campus for teaching, learning and community partnerships with the first phase open as early as September 2023.

Update #8659 - 08.30 Latest coronavirus figures for the UK and Gloucestershire

The latest data for coronavirus cases and deaths of patients with COVID-19 were released yesterday by the Government's department of health and social care and NHS England.

Updated UK figures show the total number of deaths within 28 days of positive test rose to 127,570 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

This is an increase of 27 on the previous day's figures.

Across the UK, 2,144 people have tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hour period and 4,425,940 since the outbreak began.

But on a more positive note, 34,795,074 people have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of May 4 and 15,887,493 have received their second dose.

Latest Public Health England figures show that the total number of cases within the county since the start of the pandemic sits at 22,535, as of Wednesday afternoon.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test remains at 952.

New cases for the latest 24 hour period are split across the following regions:

Gloucester - 6,399 cases (increase of three)

Cheltenham - 3,762 cases (no change)

Stroud - 3,771 cases (increase of two)

Tewkesbury - 2,930 cases (increase of one)

Forest of Dean - 3,098 cases (increase of one)

Cotswold - 2,575 cases (no change)

Wednesday, May 5 

Update #8658 - 13.04 Record quarter for South West mergers and acquisitions

The South West mergers and acquisitions market recorded 181 deals in the first quarter of 2021, the highest number ever recorded by Experian's Market IQ.

Findings show a 22 per cent increase on the same period last year and continues the upturn seen since the disruption caused by Covid-19 at the start of Q2 2020.

Deal values also outperformed previous years, with the £21.1bn recorded in the first three months of 2021, representing a 306 per cent per cent growth on the same period last year.

Update #8657 - 11.54 Odeon announces reopening date

The UK's second largest cinema chain has announced the reopening date for the majority of its sites, with the introduction of new safety measures.

Following a similar announcement from Cineworld, Odeon has said it will open 120 of its cinemas on May 17.

It added that its 'Luxe' venues at London's Leicester Square, Manchester's Trafford Centre and Birmingham's Broadway Plaza will be among the first sites to reopen.

New Covid-19 safety measures will include limiting capacity, unoccupied seats between parties, face coverings for both staff and audiences, and staggering show times.

With cinemas in Cheltenham and Gloucester, although Cineworld has confirmed they will open in May they have not revealed a specific date. 

Update #8656 - 08.31 Latest coronavirus figures for the UK and Gloucestershire

The latest data for coronavirus cases and deaths of patients with COVID-19 were released yesterday by the Government's department of health and social care and NHS England.

Updated UK figures show the total number of deaths within 28 days of positive test rose to 127,543 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

This is an increase of four on the previous day's figures.

Across the UK, 1,946 people have tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hour period and 4,423,796 since the outbreak began.

But on a more positive note, 34,667,904 people have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of May 3 and 15,630,007 have received their second dose.

Latest Public Health England figures show that the total number of cases within the county since the start of the pandemic sits at 22,528, as of Tuesday afternoon.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test remains at 952.

New cases for the latest 24 hour period are split across the following regions:

Gloucester - 6,396 cases (increase of two)

Cheltenham - 3,762 cases (increase of one)

Stroud - 3,769 cases (no change)

Tewkesbury - 2,929 cases (increase of two)

Forest of Dean - 3,097 cases (increase of two)

Cotswold - 2,575 cases (increase of one)

Tuesday, May 4

Update #8655 - 12.35 HelloFresh sees meal kit demand surge

Meal kit maker HelloFresh has revealed a huge jump in new customers as it seeks the benefit of more people ordering food online during the coronavirus pandemic.

The business said it had 7.3 million users globally in the first three months of 2021, an increase of 74.2 per cent on the year before.

Revenues for the first quarter more than doubled too, reaching €1.44bn (£1.25bn).

HelloFresh's co-founder and chief executive, Dominik Richter said: "2021 has set off to a strong start. I am confident that we will benefit disproportionately from the shift to increased online grocery penetration."

Update #8654 - 12.19 WHSmith considers snapping up Dixons Carphone travel stores

WHSmith is thinking about taking over Dixons Carphone's airport stores, as part of the recovery of its own travel arm.

The electrical chain recently announced it would close all 35 of its travel shops, putting 400 jobs at risk, as reported by Retail Gazette.

Now WHSmith has the stores in its sights. The stationery and book retailer sees Dixons Carphone's departure from the travel sector as a chance to roll out its own InMotion brand, which it acquired in 2018.

READ MORE  

Update #8653 - 10.45 Confidence hits six-year high in private sector

Predictions for private sector growth over the next three months are the strongest for almost six years, according to a leading survey.

The CBI's monthly Growth Indicator put the predicted growth at 32 per cent - up from 24 per cent last month - which makes it the strongest growth forecast since June 2015.

Expectations among business and professional services firms hit 48 per cent, the strongest since April 2014, while the figure for manufacturers reached 36 per cent - the strongest for four years.

The research found private sector activity was almost flat for the previous three months - one per cent, up from minus 13 per cent - which marked the first time in almost two years activity has not fallen.

CBI lead economist Alpesh Paleja said: "Economic growth appears to be poised for lift-off over the summer, but this is a recovery that will be felt differently across sectors."

Update #8652 - 08.30 Latest coronavirus figures for the UK and Gloucestershire

The latest data for coronavirus cases and deaths of patients with COVID-19 were released yesterday by the Government's department of health and social care and NHS England.

Updated UK figures show the total number of deaths within 28 days of positive test rose to 127,539 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

This is an increase of one on the previous day's figures.

Across the UK, 1,649 people have tested positive for the virus over the last 24 hours and 4,421,850 since the outbreak began.

But on a more positive note, 34,588,600 people have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of May 2 and 15,500,949 have received their second dose.

Latest Public Health England figures show that the total number of cases within the county since the start of the pandemic sits at 22,520 as of Monday afternoon.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test sits at 952.

Cases are split across the following regions:

Gloucester - 6,394 cases

Cheltenham - 3,761 cases

Stroud - 3,769 cases

Tewkesbury - 2,927 cases

Forest of Dean - 3,095 cases

Cotswold - 2,574 cases 

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