Grant named new managing partner at RSM

Audit, tax and consulting firm RSM has appointed a new managing partner of its Edinburgh office,

Grant named new managing partner at RSM was originally published on Daily Business

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Retailers call for action as shops axe more jobs

David Lonsdale

David Lonsdale: ‘profoundly challenging and volatile times’ (photo by Terry Murden)


Retailers are demanding action to reduce costs which are forcing companies out of business and putting shop staff out of work.

With a growing list of household names such as Maplin and Toys RUs putting up the shutters, retail trade bosses are calling for a further reform of business rates to ease growing pressures.

The British Retail Consortium today reports that the number of shop workers fell by 2.5% in the last quarter as shops closed or cut back.  Store numbers fell by 2.3%.

Retailers want policy makers to accept that a range of cost burdens such as the apprenticeship levy will put more staff out of work.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC, said: “Our latest employment figures show how the retail industry is going through a continued period of significant transition.

“The expected further rises in business rates and employment costs are contributing to the pressure on retailers to close stores and reduce job numbers further.

“Policy makers can play their part by reforming the current business rates system, which places a disproportionate burden on retailers, who pay 25% of the total rates bill despite making up a much smaller proportion of the economy.”

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David Lonsdale, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, added: “There has rarely been a better time to be a shopper in Scotland in terms of the choice, convenience and price of goods on shop shelves.

“However for many retailers these are profoundly challenging and volatile times, as evidenced by several casualties on our high streets of late. Scotland’s retailers are having to contend with significant changes in shopping habits, squeezed consumers and spiralling government-imposed costs.

“Responding positively to all of this requires substantial outlays on digital infrastructure, a higher skilled workforce and revamped logistics capability, hugely challenging at a time when retailers are forking out more for things like the apprenticeship levy and the large firms’ business rates surcharge.

More shops are closing (photo by Terry Murden)


“These figures ought to serve as a wake-up call to policy makers, beginning with a far greater focus being brought to bear on reducing the costs of doing business.”

Ms Dickinson said there were some positive trends in the industry.

“Retailers are investing in technology and innovation which are transforming the retail experience for customers, and the industry has a vision for better retail jobs in the future that will improve productivity and provide quality employment opportunities for people across the UK,” she said.

Retailers call for action as shops axe more jobs was originally published on Daily Business

Superheroes draw movie fans at midnight hour

Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson: plays Black Widow in the new movie


Edinburgh was awash with superhero fans last night as Avengers: Infinity War hit cinemas for a special midnight viewing.

They were in for a long night as the film is a two-and-a-half-hour blockbuster, though that has not deterred the more wide-eyed fans, some of whom also booked seats for today’s 10am showing.

The film has been partly shot in the city, prompting a lot of location-seekers to look out for familiar landmarks. It was shot around the Royal Mile, Cockburn Street and Waverley Station last summer.

Tourism and marketing officials are expecting to cash in on the back of the £400m movie whose makers, Marvel, are understood to have lined up a celebration on 4 May for the 400 crew members who worked on it for six weeks.

Co-director Joe Russo surprised fans when he attended a preview of the film at the city’s Cineworld in Fountain Park on 10 April.

Featuring an A-list cast including Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Benedict Cumberbatch and Scarlett Johansson, the film opened in Los Angeles at the weekend and initial reviews have been favourable.

One described it as a “wildly ambitious and entertaining ride..with multiple changes of locations and many overlapping plot lines.”

Children have been offered free travel on Lothian Buses this weekend if they dress up as their favourite superheroes and are accompanied by an adult.

A review of Avengers: Infinity War will appear in Daily Business Magazine.

See also:

Avengers puts Scottish film making in focus

 

 

Superheroes draw movie fans at midnight hour was originally published on Daily Business