Trouble in the Restaurant World?

Many would be surprised to read that 33% of the UK’s largest restaurant groups are losing money. About 35 of the biggest 100 restaurant chains are losing money this year, as compared to 20 last year according to UHY Hacker Young. Carluccio’s is the newest chain to cry for help, bringing in KPMG to help with restructuring options. This chain has about 100 restaurants in the UK and have had profits fall by more than 80% in the year to September 25, 2016.

Both Byron and Jamie’s Italian have Company Voluntary Arrangements and Prezzo is closing a third of its 300 stores.  UHY Hacker Young has pointed to many factors to account to the change. There is a saturation in the market and the rise in the National Minimum Wage has also taken its toll. As Peter Kubik of UHY Hacker Young said,

“Pressures on the restaurant sector have been building for years, and the last year has pushed a number of major groups to breaking point. With Brexit hanging over consumers like a dark cloud, restaurants can’t expect a bailout from a surge in discretionary spending. Consumers only have a finite amount of spending power when it comes to eating out, and the oversaturation of the market means that groups that fall foul of changing trends can very easily fail.


ASOS and Kenyan Fashion Bloggers Teaming Up

African fashion is a huge, untapped market that the British fashion world if finally starting to recognize. ASOS has recently decided to work with Kenyan fashion bloggers to create a Made in Kenya collection. One company called 2 Many Siblings is a brother and sister fashion combo that is bringing Kenyan fashion to people’s attention. They run Thrift Social Nairobi that celebrates art and wearable things.

The clothes for the capsule collection will be manufactured by Soko Kenya which is a clothing organization in Kenya which offers employment for local people while trying to make an environmental impact.


See more of the story and the tweets from people involved here.


Monthly Index Shows British Optimism

Accountant and business advisor BDO said that its monthly Optimism Index shows increased optimism in the UK business communities. Their index increased from 102.05 in November to 102.15 in December. BDO said that this rise in optimism for businesses is also reflected in the job market.


Learn more here.


Thomas Cook Facing Closures

Thomas Cook may be closing 50 of its shops across the UK as part of a restructuring plan they have underway. As many as 400 jobs could be at risk and they plan to implement these plans between now and March.

The closing stores are either close to other locations or have had a decline on traffic that has impacted their ability to profit. As Kathryn Darbandi, the Director of Retail and Customer Experience said, “We continually review our network of stores across the UK to make sure we’re offering customers the best of Thomas Cook. It is clear that to succeed we have to operate as a truly omni-channel business.”

Up until September 30, Thomas Cook had earnings of £52million for the UK division, which was down from £86million last year.




Many Reasons to Write Your Will

New research has shown that 60% of adults don’t have a will. Many people don’t make a will because they don’t want to wrestle with the difficult issues they need to face and the decisions that need to be made. However, without a will, those decisions will be made by others. The lack of a will can also create many disputes with loved ones after you die.

How do you start? You can find a lawyer through websites like or Another way is to look at an organization called Which? They will draft a will for you and have it checked by a specialist for only £119 for a single will or £189 for mirror wills.

Learn more about will writing and the many reasons to do so here. You’ll also see many locations where you can get started.



A New Look for Abercrombie & Fitch?

Abercrombie & Fitch is switching directions as it tries to attract customers that it has previously been unable to reach. The move is certainly an attempt to separate from the departed boss Michael Jeffries who actually said, “We hire good looking people in our stores… and we don’t market to anyone other than that.”

Fran Horowitz was appointed earlier this year as the chief executive in his place and said that the change is a “chance to move off some of the misnomers of the brand.”

The company is trying to move away from its All-American look to a more vintage style of clothing with flannel shirts and knits. We will see if it takes off and makes a difference.



Licking Their Way to Success

If you live in England and haven’t heard about Pan-n-Ice yet, you need to give it a lick! This is a forward-thinking, adorable ice cream company that is stirring up how ice cream is made and delivered. The story goes that the two owners were back packing in Thailand and saw ice cream being made in a unique way. They brought the concept back to England and the rest has been history now as they build their business. One of the owners, Rob, was recently featured in the Daily Mail for managing to get his degree while building his business. The company is certainly worth having an eye on and trying out!


Orlebar Brown Making Waves

It’s worth paying attention to the swimwear company Orlebar Brown. They already have stars like Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds among their fans. Now, they are hoping to create a buzz with a £50m sale. They have apparently hired Cavendish Corporate Finance to explore their funding options.

Orlebar Brown started in 2007 when photographer Adam Brown was interested in making a tailored range of Sixties-style beach shorts. He was inspired to do so when he noticed that women had much more stylish swimwear than did men. His swimwear is not cheap. Each bathing suit sells for up to £395, and even former prime minister David Cameron was seen wearing a pair last year.


Jigsaw Clothing Chain Gives out Stock Options

Isn’t this the dream that we all have? We work hard for a company and then find ourselves with stock options? The fashion chain Jigsaw is doing just this. They have given out £493,000 to their staff which includes 600 employees. Anyone who has been with the firm for over a year was given at least one share each under the plan. The program was put into place by Peter Ruis, a former fashion chief at John Lewis who joined the firm in 2013.

In total, Jigsaw ended up paying £1.6m of dividends with its six directors sharing £1.1m.