Boots plans 700 ‘non-store’ job losses

Job losses are most tangible impact of the £9bn takeover by US drugstore chain Walgreens

Boots is axing 700 jobs in the UK as it implements a cost-cutting plan after its merger with the US drugstore chain Walgreens.

The retailer said 700 “non-store based roles” would go as part of a $1.5bn (£1bn) cost-cutting plan set out in April. Some workers will be made redundant, while other jobs will be shed by not replacing people who leave or retire.

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Christo Wiese: South Africa’s modest fashion billionaire comes to Britain

After snapping up New Look and Richard Branson’s Virgin Active gyms, the retailer is ready to launch 50 Pep & Co fashion outlets in a matter of months

The rows of glasses glint on impeccably laid tables, inviting guests to pair wines with chocolate or Turkish delight beneath the cloud-capped Hottentots Holland mountains. Established by the governor of the Cape in the 18th century, the sumptuous Lourensford Wine Estate spans 4,000 hectares and contains vineyards, apple, plum and pear trees and beehives, as well as an art gallery, coffee roastery and landscaped garden.

That the farm in South Africa’s celebrated wine country is owned by Christo Wiese, said to be the country’s fourth-richest man, will come as little surprise to those who have felt his spending power of late. The 73-year-old Afrikaner is moving into Britain in a big way. He has just snapped up two household names in short order: Sir Richard Branson’s gym chain Virgin Active for £682m and high-street fashion retailer New Look for £780m.

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Poundstretcher: Christo Wiese’s cut-price British adventure

The discount chain is now booming, but its success story only began after the South African billionaire sold his stake

Christo Wiese has made a splash with his buyout of New Look, but the South African retail tycoon has tried to muscle in on the UK’s high streets before – with Poundstretcher discount stores – and failed.

Founded in 1981, Poundstretcher was one of the UK’s first discounters. Today it has 407 stores, but a number of early strategy mis-steps constrained its growth compared with the likes of B&M, Poundland or Poundworld. Managing director Ian York, who is working with current owners Rashid and Aziz Tayub to revive the chain’s fortunes, says that when they took over the business “was in the dark”.

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Walmart’s food suppliers at odds with retail giant’s code of ethics – report

Food Chain Workers’ Alliance report highlights relationships with providers who employ slave labor and have had to pay fines over food health risks

Related: Are Walmart’s new pro-denim and anti-Bieber changes enough for its workers?

Walmart’s relationships with its suppliers of poultry, seafood, bread, bananas and other foodstuffs raise serious concerns over environmental and labour practices and how the retail giant enforces its code of ethics, according to a report released on Thursday.

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Bike boom powers Halfords to £1bn sales

The cycle and car-repair chain sold 1.3m bikes, with children’s bikes especially popular

The nation’s continuing love affair with cycling is paying off for Halfords after the retailer’s annual sales broke £1bn for the first time.

The cycle and car-repair chain sold 1.3m bikes, making cycling the best-performing category in the business as revenues climbed from £940m last year to just over £1bn.

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Sainsbury’s boss misses out on annual and long-term bonuses

Mike Coupe receives salary, benefits and pensions contributions of £1.05m, as well as £458,000 in deferred shares, after challenging year in supermarket sector

The chief executive of Sainsbury’s has missed out on annual and long-term bonuses last year after the business was hit by fierce competition, price deflation and a groceries price war.

Mike Coupe, who took over from Justin King in July last year, received salary, benefits and pension contributions of £1.05m, as well as £458,000 in deferred shares. He received no cash bonus for the year to March 2015, nor did he qualify for a three-year performance payout.

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Morrisons shareholders protest over £1m bonus for sacked former CEO

More than a third of votes are cast against remuneration report, but chairman Andy Higginson says directors’ bonues are deserved

Morrisons has suffered a shareholder revolt after awarding its sacked former chief executive Dalton Philips a £1m bonus, with more than one in three votes cast against its remuneration policy.

More than a third of shareholders (35.6%) voted against the supermarket’s remuneration report, an unusually high number, according to proxy voting results revealed at its annual meeting on Thursday. The final tally, including a poll taken at the meeting at Morrison’s headquarters in Bradford, will be confirmed to the stock market in an announcement on Thursday evening.

Related: Morrisons sacks supermarket boss Dalton Philips

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Marks and Spencer bosses get bonuses for first time in two years

Chief executive Marc Bolland receives extra £596,000 but biggest bonus goes to Steve Rowe, in charge of M&S’s food division

Marks & Spencer’s senior executives are getting bonuses for the first time in two years, after a pick-up in performance at the embattled retailer.

All bonuses were cancelled in 2014 after M&S reported its third straight year of falling profits. The decision affected all 80,000 staff, from chief executive Marc Bolland to workers manning the tills and changing rooms.

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