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In the loop: Tesco launched the new brand Jack’s, HSBC unveiled its biggest ever SME fund and why your colleagues think you’re lazy

Written by Angus Shaw on Friday, 21 September 2018. Posted in Insight, Analysis

Friday couldn’t have come sooner. But reading such exciting news like Tesco opening a new discount chain, HSBC offering a multi-billion SME fund and how employers are getting concerned about the markets will make the weekend fly by

In the loop: Tesco launched the new brand Jack’s, HSBC unveiled its biggest ever SME fund and why your colleagues think you’re lazy

Tesco unveiled a brand new brand

A household name like Tesco has a finger in every pie. Indeed, in a bid to outmaneuver rivals Aldi and Lidl, it’s now launched a new brand offering super-discount pies, among other things.

Jack’s, named after Tesco founder Jack Cohen, set up its first two stores alongside existing Tesco shops in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire and Immingham, Lincolnshire on September 20, with ten to 15 more launching nationwide over the next six months.

The new brand boasts a simplified shopping experience compared to Tesco’s big stores, with the number of products on offer capped at 2,600 in contrast to Tesco’s 35,000 – 1,800 of which are own brand items – and, most importantly, cheap as chips prices.

But given some of Jack’s initial price tags are still beaten by rivals, the discount crown is all but taken.

HSBC unveils its biggest ever fund for SMEs

Since launching its annual SME Fund in 2014, HSBC has been offering a helping hand to SMEs for years. Now, the bank’s significantly upped this year’s investment for international companies.

Bringing the SME Fund to £46bn total, 2018 dedicates £12bn to SME growth in an increase of £2bn from last year. Crucially, 2018 sets aside £1bn for companies expanding abroad. This comes after HSBC found 72% of UK businesses foresee their international trade increasing in 2018.

The fund also sports a Personal Guarantee Fee of £10 for lending facilities above £10,000, 18 months of free banking for startups and a 12 month fixed-price monthly tariff following the free banking period.

Given this week’s EU-UK summit put more question marks around a post-Brexit trade deal, promoting overseas trade couldn’t have come at a better time.

Most colleagues find each other lazy

The UK’s productivity is famously low. In fact, it’s been a recurring theme of the government’s past few spring statements. Well, given the majority of workers think their co-workers are slacking, something is certainly needed.

Having recently surveyed 1,200 UK workers, CV-Library, the job site, discovered 56.4% of professionals believe their colleagues don’t work hard enough, with 76.7% admitting it changes how they feel about their own job. The stats are hardly surprising, given 55.5% have put up working with people they dislike and 34.4% find that creates a negative atmosphere in the workplace. The negativity is enough to make 45.5% want to resign, 18.5% experience poor team morale and 14.9% despise the idea of going to work.

It goes to show that if employers want to boost productivity they must create a better work culture. 

Employers’ faith in the economy at a six-month low

Following oh-so crucial Brexit talks this quarter, economists have been waiting with baited breath for how businesses will respond. And it appears employers have given it the thumbs down.

September saw the lowest number of employers optimistic about the economy since March, according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, the recruitment trade organisation. Surprisingly, considering the increasing skepticism, employers’ hiring prospects remained the same as in August, with half of those taking on full-time employees expressing worries over candidate shortages – specifically engineering and technical workers. And out of those looking to hire temporary staff 60% felt anxious about a lack of skilled agency workers, up from 36% last year.

Although, given employment levels and therefore competition between employers stand at a record high, politics may not be entirely to blame.

The fashion world teaches invaluable lessons for entrepreneurs

We divulged how this year’s London Fashion Week can teach business owners a lot more about entrepreneurialism than they think – as well as ditching stuffy suits for something out of this world.

Stop hack attacks in their tracks

While malware gets more and more sophisticated so do defences against it. But if you are breached you must still act quickly. So don’t forget these crucial steps on what to do after a cyber attack.

Lightfoot’s CEO slept in his office to save the company

Desperate times call for desperate measures and few know that as well as Mark Roberts, CEO of Lightfoot, who explained to us this week how he put his business ahead of himself with many restless nights sleeping on the office floor. And things got even creepier when someone broke in at the workplace.

The future of marketing is here

Who wouldn't want to play a VR video about your advertising campaign? It turns out to be one of the best content marketing strategies around, as Jessica Lang detailed.

There’s no such thing as a business beyond repair

No matter what comes your way, every business is salvageable. If you’re willing to put in the effort, these remedies can see a company rise from the ashes. 

About the Author

Angus Shaw

Angus Shaw

With a keen eye for politics as editorial assistant, Angus can often be found scanning the horizon for the next big waves crashing against business shores – which makes up the time when he's not setting sail at Radio Caroline, the former pirate station, on weekends. Follow him on Twitter @Angus_Shaw for his latest cognition

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