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New study shows online shopping boom will cost UK retailers $11B

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Experts warn UK’s retail industry could shrink by $11 billion by 2025 as Covid accelerates the transition to online shopping

A recent study highlights that the retail industry in the UK faces huge challenges as a result of pandemic-related lockdowns. The study notes that stores selling apparel, homewares and electronics will experience a “permanent step-change” in customer behavior.

The report warns that European shoppers are anticipated to dedicate about 20% of their spending to online retailers, rather than traditional storefronts.

Online sales surged during the pandemic amid global lockdowns and restrictions. Online sales now account for almost 30% of total UK retail sales.

“Retailers face a make-or-break moment…there is no going back.”

Erin Brookes, head of Alvarez & Marsal’s European retail practice in London

Online shoppers are more likely to return purchases

It estimated that U.K. consumers aged between 18 and 24 return about 16% of products purchased online, compared with 7.5% for consumers aged 65 years and older.

Not all retailers face major upheaval, however. Furniture and jewelry stores will probably return to pre-pandemic conditions, given the preference for “touch and feel” browsing, according to the report.

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  • Keira is the front-page editor at Ticker NEWS. She's previously worked at Reuters in Jakarta, and ABC in Australia. She has a Bachelor of Journalism, specialising in international politics. Keira is particularly interested in writing about politics, technology and human rights.

Keira is the front-page editor at Ticker NEWS. She's previously worked at Reuters in Jakarta, and ABC in Australia. She has a Bachelor of Journalism, specialising in international politics. Keira is particularly interested in writing about politics, technology and human rights.

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Business

US says Jeff Bezos and Sir Richard Branson aren’t astronauts

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The US has tightened its definition of the word “astronaut”, and it doesn’t include billionaire space explorers

The US’ New Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has updated its rules to be an astronaut you must be part of a flight crew and make contributions to space flight safety.

This means that officially, billionaire space travellers like Jeff Bezos and Sir Richard Branson may not actually be astronauts despite their trips beyond earth.

The changes come as the first amendment to the FAA Wings programme since it began in 2004. The FAA announced the updates on Tuesday, the same day that Bezos went to the edge of space aboard a Blue Origin rocket.

How does a billionaire become an astronaut?

In order to qualify as a ‘commercial astronaut’, you must travel 80km above the Earth’s surface – a feat which Branson and Bezos both successfully accomplished.

However, the FAA also says that to be considered an astronaut, space-travellers must also have “demonstrated activities during flight that were essential to public safety, or contributed to human space flight safety”.

For the FAA to award a space-traveller their ‘commercial wings’ as an astronaut, they also need someone to nominate them for the position. Americans can also become an astronaut through the US military or NASA.

The FAA says that the changes better align the Wings Scheme with its role in protecting public safety during commercial space flights.

Author

  • Keira is the front-page editor at Ticker NEWS. She's previously worked at Reuters in Jakarta, and ABC in Australia. She has a Bachelor of Journalism, specialising in international politics. Keira is particularly interested in writing about politics, technology and human rights.

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Business

Snapchat is growing faster than it has in years

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Snapchat announces new climate plan

Snapchat’s parent company has continued to see record growth – and profit – of the platform

Just a couple of years ago, there were concerns that Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, wouldn’t survive as a standalone company, but the social media platform is growing faster than it has since 2017.

The camera-based messaging app stated it added 13 million daily users during the second quarter of this year – a 23 percent increase from the same time a year ago.

That means 293 million people use Snapchat every day around the world, up from 173 million this time four years ago.

Snapchat’s revenue has also soared 116 percent to $982 million – making it a faster growing business than Twitter or Facebook

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel has said he expects the app’s user base to actually grow faster as pandemic lockdowns end, since Snapchat is designed to be used out and about with friends.

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Business

Battle of the Crown: Star Entertainment ditches bid

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Australia’s Star Entertainment Group has ditched a bid to merge with Crown Resorts

In the latest showdown in the battle for the Aussie Casinos – Star proposed a merger bid back in May worth $12 billion.

Star Entertainment operates casinos in Sydney, Gold Coast, and Brisbane while Crown operates venues in Melbourne and Perth, while a built casino in Sydney hasn’t been granted permission to open.

The Star merger with Crown would have created an Australian gaming and hospitality giant with a total market value of $12 billion AUD.

Crown shares dive following Star’s announcement

Shares fell as much as 4.2% in early trading today, cleaving its market value to $6.7 billion.

Star, which is best known for its casino in Sydney, said it “remains open to exploring potential value-enhancing opportunities with Crown,” though engagement with Crown on the merger plan had been “limited.” It said it will closely monitor the outcome of the Melbourne investigation, as well as a concurrent probe into Crown’s Perth casino.

In a separate statement, Crown said it remains “willing to engage” with Star in relation to a potential merger. “The board is committed to maximizing value for all Crown shareholders and will carefully consider any proposal that is consistent with this objective,” it said.

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