RCM Weekly review - March 2019 - Week 12
This week: UK unemployment falls to 44-year low and Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner restaurant closures are approved by creditors
19 th March 2019
UK unemployment falls to 44-year low despite Brexit fears
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) have Employment figures for November 2018 to January 2019 - March 2019. The figures reveal that the employment rate is now at the highest since records began in 1971. The rate now stands at 76.1%, higher than for a year earlier (75.3%).
The UK unemployment rate was estimated at 3.9%; it has not been lower since November 1974 to January 1975.The UK economic inactivity rate was estimated at 20.7%, lower than for a year earlier (21.2%) and the lowest figure on record.
UK Unemployment rates 1971-2019
During the period, another 222,000 people to the UK workforce, taking the overall number in work to a fresh record high of 32.7 million.
Read the Full ONS report here: Employment in the UK: March 2019
14th March 2019
Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner restaurant closures are approved by creditors
UK restaurant chains Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner will enter a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) and close almost a third of their 87 restaurants. Their creditors have approved the proposals which include shutting 27 restaurants and it is expected that around 340 of 1,300 staff are to lose their jobs as a result.
The business is owned by Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG) which is headed by Ranjit Singh Boparan the founder of 2 Sisters Food Group, one of the largest food manufacturing companies in Europe, supplying Chicken to most UK supermarket groups and KFC.
In 2016, BRG acquired Giraffe from Tesco for an undisclosed sum and Ed’s Easy Diner through a pre-pack administration. BRG said sales had improved since the chains were acquired in 2016, but several sites still remained unprofitable. The approved deal will also give the chains rent reductions at 13 sites.
These restaurant closures follow that of brands such as Byron, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Prezzo, Jamie’s Italian and Carluccio’s which also closed branches last year due to rising costs and tougher competition.
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