FMCG News: Pladis has relocated

Today, we look at how the COVID-19 outbreak has led to the hospitality industry losing huge amounts of money per day, how shop closures have hit new heights and how the head office of Pladis has moved to London. Enjoy!

Pladis has relocated to London

Pladis, the owner of brands such as McVitie’s and Jacob’s, has revealed that it is relocating its global head office of 21 years in Hayes, Middlesex, to Chiswick, London in the summer.

The new head office will support the group’s 16,000 employees and 25 manufacturing sites around the world. The site will also be home to the UK&I regional office.

Pladis have been looking for an office space which better reflects their needs and their ambition to be a defining snacking company of the 21st century.

The new office will be much more than just a place for the company to operate, it will be a space where they can truly showcase the portfolio and grow and inspire the ambitious team.

The pandemic denied the hospitality industry an extra £200 million a day

The latest edition of the UKHospitality and CGA Quarterly Tracker reveals a staggering 54% drop in sales in 2020 for an industry that, in normal times, employs over three million people and contributes many billions of pounds in tax to the Treasury. Sales collapsed from £133.5 billion in 2019 to £61.7 billion in 2020.

The stark figures highlight hospitality’s ongoing need for specific financial support from Government in order to survive the crisis and play its part in economic recovery. Recent CGA research indicates that around 6,000 licensed premises in Britain closed permanently in 2020, and with severe restrictions likely to remain in place for months, aid is urgently needed to prevent thousands more business failures.

Strict local and national restrictions on trading and socialising caused a particularly damaging drop in trade in the final quarter of the year, the Tracker shows. Sales from October to December 2020 were worth just £14.3 billion—down by £18.7 billion or 57% on the last quarter of 2019.

Shop closures hit record level

A record percentage of retail space is lying empty as the coronavirus crisis places intolerable pressure on businesses, according to industry data. The latest BRC-LDC vacancy monitor, which excludes stores forced to shut their doors because of COVID-19 restrictions found 13.7% of all shops were empty in the final quarter of 2020.

Store vacancies had stood at 13.2% in the previous three months to September – a time when the sector had hoped to be able to recover lost sales in the run-up to the so-called golden quarter of Christmas. But a renewed tightening of restrictions UK-wide to control the spread of the virus, including lockdowns, since has meant that many retail businesses missed out on the chance to fully cash in.

Retail parks fared best with no change at 10% though shopping centres saw a surge from 16.3% to 17.1% in its vacancy rate. High street vacancies increased to 13.7% from 13.3% in the previous three months.

The British Retail Consortium warned that continuing curbs, even with government financial support, would force more stores to pull down their shutters for good as rent bills mount up.