1. Amazon’s UK expansion
Amazon is set to open a new office in Manchester and will hire more than 1,000 new staff members to work on research and development in the UK. The tech giant said it would hire additional staff in Manchester, Edinburgh and Cambridge as part of its boosted investment in the region. The UK is a major international market for Amazon, which made pretax profits of £72.4m in the country last year.
2. Unilever’s new scoop
Unilever, the company behind Ben & Jerry’s, announced its own “better for you” ice cream called Culture Republick, as consumers continue to seek out healthy-ish frozen desserts. The 400500 calorie tubs contain no artificial sweeteners and have 3-billion live active cultures. Flavours include milk and honey, turmeric chai and cinnamon, and pistachio and caramel.
3. Mr Price CEO to retire
Mr Price CEO Stuart Bird will be succeeded by CFO Mark Blair on January 1, the retailer said this week. Bird has had a 25-year career with the retail group and plans to retire. Chair Nigel Payne said in the statement that over the eight years of Bird’s leadership, earnings had grown at a compound rate of 18.8%. Blair has been Mr Price’s CFO since 2007.
4. Starbucks’ European shake-up
After years of slowing sales, Starbucks is restructuring its European operations. The Seattle-based coffee chain is selling 83 company-owned stores in France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg to its partner, Alsea. Starbucks also plans to close offices in Amsterdam and consolidate its European headquarters in London.