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Blog

Are the brakes on for Quick Commerce?

Published on 20 June 2022. By Luke Stewart , Associate and Eleanor Harley , Associate

With consumers continuing to prioritise speed and convenience in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been significant consumer uptake in the use of ultra-fast grocery delivery apps such as Zapp, Gorillas and Getir since early 2020.

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Blog

Fake it till you make it? The Government says no more to fake reviews plus tightens up on subscription models

Published on 30 May 2022. By Stevie Vella , Associate

The UK Government has confirmed that new consumer rules will come into force to "shield the public from rip-offs and boost competition". Although not confirmed when these will be introduced, the top three issues on its hit list are fake reviews, "subscription traps" and prepayment schemes.

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Publication

What if the CEO asks me about…. a visit from an Environmental Health Officer

Published on 27 May 2022. By Ciara Cullen, Partner and Oliver Bray, Senior Partner and Sophie Tuson, Senior Associate

Whilst Environmental Health Officers ("EHO") are often thought to be solely responsible for inspecting food safety requirements, their responsibilities are far wider, including monitoring and enforcing health and safety legislation, and issues relating to public health (such as food hygiene and pest infestations). Their remit extends across a large range of industries, including restaurants, hotels and retail premises.

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Blog

Covid rent arrears: get negotiating and don't leave arbitration too late

Published on 10 May 2022. By Eleanor Harley , Associate and Mike Kilner, Consultant

It is "crucial" that retail tenants with outstanding Covid-19-related arrears, negotiate with landlords as soon as possible and apply for binding arbitration by 23 September 2022 if needed to resolve the dispute.

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Publication

What if the CEO asks me about…Corporate Criminal Liability and its potential reforms?

Published on 05 April 2022. By Sam Tate, Partner and Kate Langley, Senior Associate and Robert Semp, Associate

In the words of Spiderman's Uncle Ben (or Aunt May if you've seen the latest film...) with great power comes great responsibility. Corporations have all the power that comes with being a 'legal person' but equally are responsible for wielding this power within the confines of the law.

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Publication

Retail Compass Spring Edition 2022

Published on 05 April 2022. By Jeremy Drew, Partner and Karen Hendy, Partner

Welcome to the Spring edition of Retail Compass, where we guide you through the key legal and policy changes affecting retail and consumer brands and provide our thoughts on those crucial, need-to-know issues.

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Blog

CMA pushing for more powers on sustainability

Published on 17 March 2022. By Ciara Cullen, Partner and Sophie Tuson, Senior Associate

Following its public consultation, the CMA has published its advice to government on how competition and consumer laws can help meet the UK's environmental goals.

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Podcast

Can Retail Bridge The Diversity Gap?

10 February 2022

Kelly Thomson joins the British Retail Consortium's Retail Radio podcast, to discuss diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

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Publication

What if the CEO asks me about… avoiding greenwashing?

Published on 02 February 2022. By Ciara Cullen, Partner and Oliver Bray, Senior Partner and Sophie Tuson, Senior Associate

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With consumers increasingly demanding greener and more sustainable products, retailers and consumer brands are busy innovating in an effort to reduce the environmental impact of their business, products and services.

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Blog

Visa navigate the Amazon

Published on 27 January 2022. By Henry Priestley, Partner and Ellie Ward, Associate

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Amazon recently halted its decision to stop accepting Visa credit card payments for UK customers on January 19th. The decision to prohibit the use of Visa credit cards was initially enacted due to a dispute that arose over payment fees levied by card issuers.

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Blog

Buy Now Pay Later: What's coming down the line?

Published on 27 October 2021. By Whitney Simpson, Of Counsel and Nicole Clerk, Trainee Solicitor

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As part of a series of RPC events held during London Tech Week, Whitney Simpson, Senior Associate in the RPC Corporate team hosted a breakout discussion alongside Jourdain Tambo, Regulatory Director at the Compliance Company and Rolf Merchant, Head of Public Affairs at Innovate Finance to discuss the rise of Buy Now Pay Later and upcoming what is in store for that market.

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Blog

Welcome to the age of the virtual influencer

Published on 19 October 2021. By Ela Broderick-Basar, Associate

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Miquela de Sousa, aka Lil Miquela, is a 19-year old musician and model (having worked with the likes of Prada and Calvin Klein) and currently boasts an impressive 3 million Instagram followers. In 2018, The Times listed Lil Miquela as one of the 'Most Influential People on the Internet.' On the face of it, her profile reads like a dream for any brand looking to engage an influencer for marketing purposes. However, Lil Miquela is not actually real. Lil Miquela was one of the first of new online personalities that are completely controllable virtual influencers (complete with realistic characteristics features and personalities).

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Blog

The Ads that can't be skipped

Published on 11 October 2021. By Tom James, Trainee Solicitor

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Product placement is an increasingly popular form of advertising in which goods are deliberately featured in a tv show, film etc. Whilst it used to be primarily confined to use in films such as Back to the Future (Nike), and ET (where Reese's Pieces were ET's favourite snack). Use of product placement is on the rise, and this summer Love Island was dubbed "the most commercialised show ever".

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Publication

What if the CEO asks me... about ESG-linked financing facilities

Published on 28 September 2021. By Edward Colville, Partner and Sukh Ahark, Partner

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As focus moves from short term lockdown liquidity on to longer term financing needs, loan facilities linked to ESG and sustainability targets are back in the news.

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Blog

Hire Heels: why the rental clothing market matters

Published on 16 September 2021. By Simon Edwards, Partner and Poppy St John, Associate

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The old saying that "you can't wear the same outfit twice" doesn't fit well with younger consumers in particular, who are concerned about sustainability and the environmental hazards posed by fast fashion outlets.

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Blog

Buy-Now-Pay-Later under the regulatory microscope

Published on 07 September 2021. By Whitney Simpson, Of Counsel and Harvey Briggs, Trainee Solicitor

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Growth in the Buy-Now-Pay-Later (BNPL) sector is showing no signs of slowing. Square's recent $29 billion acquisition of BNPL behemoth Afterpay being the latest signal that the market is on an upward trajectory. In 2020 alone over 10 million Brits used BNPL to purchase goods online, accounting for nearly 4% of online retail sales. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) found that usage had very nearly quadrupled to account for £2.7 billion of spending in 2020. Such popularity, particularly among Gen-Z and Millennials, spans the globe with American consumers spending an estimated $20 billion to $25 billion in 2020 by way of deferred payments.

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Blog

A meaty debate: traditional vs lab-grown alternatives

Published on 13 August 2021. By Ben Mark, Partner and Noonie Holmes, Trainee Solicitor

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The number of vegans and vegetarians in the UK has skyrocketed in recent years and there are an increasing number of 'flexitarians' aiming to reduce their meat intake for health and environmental reasons. Barclays predicts the meat-alternatives market could be worth £140bn by 2029, which is equivalent to 10% of the global meat industry. This market includes both plant-based foods and newer lab-grown meats.

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Publication

What if the CEO asks me about… the people implications of our growing online presence

Published on 21 July 2021. By Simon Edwards, Partner

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The Covid-19 pandemic has led to numerous changes in the retail sector, with one of the key ones being the growth in online sales – according to the ONS as of January 2021 online sales represented 35.1% of total retail sales versus just 19.5% in January 2020 (though the latest figures from May 2021 show that this has dropped back to 28.5% as things have started to open back up).

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Blog

Marketing mishap costs Papa John's

Published on 14 July 2021. By Jon Bartley, Partner and Kiran Dhoot, Associate

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Last month, the Information Commissioner's Office ("ICO") has issued a £10,000 fine to Papa John's for sending over 165,000 marketing messages without properly meeting the requirements of the "soft opt-in" rule.

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Blog

Retailers to be consulted on new legislation for protection from terrorist attacks

Published on 22 June 2021. By Jonathan Drake, Senior Associate and Gavin Reese, Partner

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The Government is currently consulting with the public and retailers to seek their views on proposed legislation requiring the occupiers of "publicly accessible locations" to implement measures to protect employees and members of the public in the event of a terrorist attack.

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Blog

Re-commerce: the future of luxury fashion?

Published on 21 June 2021. By Paul Joukador, Partner and Harpreet Kaur, Associate

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With Gen Z successfully catapulting fashion resale platforms like Depop, StockX and Vinted into the limelight over the last decade, has the time come for the luxury market to enter the world of re-commerce?

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Blog

The Great British (Local) High Street

Published on 14 June 2021. By Dea Gagoshidze, Trainee Solicitor and Simon Edwards, Partner

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There is no doubt that the UK high street has been hit hard in recent years, not least by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. But alongside the headline grabbing news of shop closures, there were in fact over 7,500 new shop openings between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2020.

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Blog

Influencers and retailers remain under intense ASA scrutiny

Published on 01 June 2021. By Joe Lippitt, Senior Associate and Harvey Briggs, Trainee Solicitor

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Influencers, and the retailers whose products they are advertising, continue to be put under the Advertising Standards Authority's (ASA) microscope for failing to comply with ad rules. The ASA has put influencers and brands on notice after a monitoring sweep of influencer posts carried out last year revealed widespread failures to adequately disclose ad content. Following the monitoring sweep, the ASA has also released practical guidance to help educate influencers and ensure any ads they post are CAP Code compliant.

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Blog

CMA draft guidance has greenwashing in its sights

Published on 27 May 2021. By Ciara Cullen, Partner and Sophie Tuson, Senior Associate

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After launching its investigation into environmental claims last November 2020, the CMA has now published draft guidance to help businesses understand and comply with their existing consumer law obligations when making environmental claims. The draft guidance is open for consultation until 16 July 2021 with the final guidance set to be published by the end of September 2021.

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Publication

What if the CEO asks me about... whether we are all set for an advertising blitz now lockdown is easing?

Published on 24 May 2021. By Simon Edwards, Partner and Paul Joukador, Partner

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As lockdown eases in the UK and businesses start to fully re-open, there has been a significant upturn in advertising. Many brands are urgently rushing to get their advertising out and are looking for the best placement of that advertising.

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Blog

Carrier bag charges to increase to 10 pence from 21 May 2021

Published on 07 May 2021. By Henry Priestley, Partner and Ellie Ward, Associate

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As trailed in the latest edition of Retail Compass, the Government has been planning to increase the minimum charge of single-use carrier bags.

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Publication

Disputes Yearbook 2021: Retail disputes

Published on 04 May 2021. By Jeremy Drew, Head of TMT

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As part of the acclaimed Disputes Yearbook, Legal Business interviewed members of our disputes team exploring the litigation landscape and what RPC brings to the table.

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Blog

Retail Credit rating downgrades - How to stop a downgrade becoming a default

Published on 15 April 2021. By Sukh Ahark, Partner and Edward Colville, Partner

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COVID-19 disruption and resulting lockdown measures have particularly impacted some retailers.

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Publication

What if the CEO asks me about... moving to a turnover rent model?

Published on 13 April 2021. By Elizabeth Alibhai, Partner and Simon Edwards, Partner

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On 10 March 2021 the Government announced that existing protections for tenants on non-payment of rent and against landlords' use of forfeiture and CRAR (the ability to sell a tenant's goods where rent is not paid) were to be extended until the end of June 2021.

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Blog

New measures to eliminate plastic waste

Published on 07 April 2021. By Henry Priestley, Partner and Brendan Collar, Associate

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The government is set to introduce measures to further reduce the circulation of single-use plastics and encourage the use of recycled plastic. The measures are expected to influence all aspects of the retail supply chain and have a particular impact on the food and drink sector.

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Blog

The Turnover Rent Condurum: Tips For Retailers

Published on 31 March 2021. By Jeremy Drew, Head of TMT and Karen Hendy, Head of Corporate

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Protections provided to commercial tenants under CIGA and the Coronavirus Act 2020 are due to end on 31 March 2021 and now, more than ever, landlords are having to explore the possibility of entering into non-standard leasing arrangements.

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Publication

Asia: How staying-at-home has driven retail F&D collaborations

Published on 25 March 2021. By Jeremy Drew, Head of TMT and Karen Hendy, Head of Corporate

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Recent social unrest and the COVID-19 pandemic have accelerated the emergence of a new “stay-at-home economy” for groceries and fresh produce in Hong Kong.

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Publication

Coming to America: United States market entry tips

Published on 18 March 2021. By Jeremy Drew, Head of TMT and Karen Hendy, Head of Corporate

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Most global retailers have contemplated entering the United States market – possibly just because of the sheer scale of the market. American retailers rang up almost $5.5 trillion (£4.1 trillion) in sales in 2019. Plus, for luxury sellers, the US market makes up a huge portion of overall global sales. Additionally, the impact that American consumers have on worldwide traditional and social media is tremendous, which amplifies the value of their purchases of your products.

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Blog

Sunak's new Super-Deduction – now is the time for retail investment?

Published on 15 March 2021. By Ben Roberts, Partner

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A significant measure with the potential to benefit the retail industry was announced by the Chancellor last week as part of the Spring Budget. This will take the form of a new 'super-deduction', available from April for a limited 2-year period.

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Publication

Time for action on abusive card charges

Published on 11 March 2021. By Jeremy Drew, Head of TMT and Karen Hendy, Head of Corporate

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Eyes will be on the British government in 2021 to start paving a new and substantially different pathway for the UK which holds enough merit to justify the upheaval, bitterness and loss caused by its advocacy and delivery of Brexit. One relatively uncontroversial area is the reform of regulation governing retail payments in the UK.

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Publication

New year, new strategy – what to expect in a post-pandemic retail landscape

Published on 04 March 2021. By Karen Hendy, Partner and Jeremy Drew, Partner

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Most importantly, retailers and brands must be ready to change and evolve to meet the rapidly shifting demands of consumers.

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Blog

What if the CEO asks me about…. whether employees need to be vaccinated before coming back to our premises

Published on 25 February 2021. By Patrick Brodie, Partner and Jon Bartley, Partner

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With Monday's announcement from Boris Johnson, and the vaccination programme gathering speed, you will, hopefully, soon be re-opening your stores and offices, bringing more of your colleagues back to work.

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Publication

Retail Compass Spring edition 2021

12 February 2021

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Welcome to the Spring edition of Retail Compass. We present our guide to the key upcoming legal and policy changes affecting Retail and our thoughts on the need-to-know issues - as retailers look forward to a post-pandemic landscape.

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Blog

Dry January? No/lo drinks to start 2021

Published on 26 January 2021. By Ciara Cullen, Partner and Elizabeth Zang, Associate

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The popularity of no/lo drinks has skyrocketed with no/lo drinks toppling craft beer as the UK's top tipple in 2020 (the SIBA British Craft Beer Report 2020).

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Blog

What if the CEO asks me about... protecting our supply chain?

13 January 2021

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The interlinked and complex nature of modern global supply chains make them vulnerable to a range of risks, including multiple potential points of failure and slimmer margins of error to account for delays or disruptions. The COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with Brexit, have created a once-in-a-generation test of supply chain planning, agility and flexibility for retailers and their suppliers. While these circumstances may lead to a revisiting of supply chain strategy and optimisation in the long term, short-term actions will need to be taken to meet the immediate challenge.

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Blog

Buy Now Pay…after Christmas? The ASA's new guidance on BNPL advertising

22 December 2020

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The ASA has published detailed guidance to retailers when advertising delayed payment services (Guidance), often called Buy Now Pay Later products (BNPL).

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Publication

What if the CEO asks me about… the latest online customer solutions?

Published on 01 December 2020. By Simon Edwards, Partner and Paul Joukador, Partner

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Nine months of extreme disruption has accelerated retail brands' need to maximise their online shopping experience. With Covid-19 restrictions here to stay for the foreseeable future, and the future purpose of the physical store being re-examined, there is no doubt that online will continue to be a key consumer interface.

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Publication

Data and the trust barometer – the new frontline of retail

Published on 30 November 2020. By Oliver Bray, Senior Partner and Karen Hendy, Head of Corporate

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The inventor of the world wide web has a startup. Sir Tim Berners Lee's company Inrupt has launched Solid, a platform for giving consumers control over their data. Solid keeps user data in a secure locker, or pod, and access can be granted or revoked as needed.

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Blog

Tiers for [GDPR] fears

Published on 26 November 2020. By Jon Bartley, Partner and Harvey Briggs, Trainee Solicitor

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Beware collecting employee data amid lockdowns and changing working patterns

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Blog

Furlough, Act Now to Avoid the Knock

Published on 23 September 2020. By Kelly Thomson, Partner and Robert Waterson, Partner

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As we leave behind the curious summer of 2020, both HMRC and the SFO are readying themselves for the new term. First order of business: combatting corporate misuse of furlough and Covid-19 bail-out funds. According to official statistics released on 18 September, furloughing of staff in the wholesale and retail sector peaked on 24 April at 1.85 million employees - by 31 July, initial figures show 789,000 retail jobs furloughed– a decrease of more than a half since the peak for the sector. Some furloughed employees in the wholesale and retail sector have been returning to work as lockdown restrictions eased, others have, sadly, faced redundancy. As the furlough scheme winds down to a close next month, some employers may be faced with HMRC insisting that their furlough claims amounted to a misuse of – or even fraud against - the scheme.

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Blog

The big transition back to work: how to relieve your stress and anxiety with this simple strategy for self-care with Eric Ho, Bumblebee Wellbeing

02 September 2020

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Negative feelings can have powerful negative consequences on you and your team’s mental and physical health. I’ve observed first-hand how the individuals and teams I work with are coping with lockdown. As the restrictions on physical distancing relax, so their negative feelings of dislocation, uncertainty, and fear have increased. And they seem to be intensifying as many individuals are now factoring in a return to their offices or work premises.

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Blog

Consumer confidence: contact, controls and connections

28 August 2020

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We asked Laura Saunter from trend forecasting giant WGSN (by Ascential) to give her insights on what’s next for consumer behaviour in light of Covid-19. WGSN is the world’s leading consumer and design trend authority, serving the fashion and creative industries with market leading products.

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Blog

The clock is ticking very loudly

27 August 2020

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Brexit may have taken a backseat over the last few months whilst governments and businesses have responded to the impact of Covid-19, but as the final deadline to request an extension to the transition deadline has now passed, Brexit is back fighting for top spot on the agenda. We get an insight from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) on key issues for the retail sector.

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Blog

Roundup of ASA guidance on advertising responsibly in relation to COVID-19

31 July 2020

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Retailers seeking to reference the Covid-19 pandemic in their advertising should be aware of the Advertising Standards Authority’s (ASA) recent guidance and robust enforcement activity in this area.

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