tv Worklife BBC News November 13, 2019 8:30am-9:01am GMT
this is worklife from bbc news, with sally bundock and karin giannone. fighting for survival on the high street — as christmas approaches, we look at the global crisis in retail. live from london, that's our top story on wednesday 13 november. by the end of the year, amazon is expected to control a whopping 50% of the e—commerce market in the us — so how can the high street bricks and mortar stores fight back? also in the programme... global retailers face scrutiny over cotton sourced from a chinese region
plagued by human rights abuses. and... should you meddle with an iconic classic? the boss of fender tells us how feedback from musicians guided the redesign of the legendary stratocaster. workers from ethnic minorities here in the uk still face high levels of discrimination when it comes to getting top jobs. we'll be talking to one woman working to change that. and today we want to know your thoughts on the bricks and mortar retail crisis. as christmas is approaching, are you heading for the high street — or doing most of your shopping online? let us know — just use the hashtag #bbcworklife. hello and a warm welcome to worklife. if you haven't started christmas shopping yet, nor have i. it's going to be ok. we start
with a new report on the health of our high streets or downtown shopping areas. it says top destination retail streets can still thrive in select parts of new york and london. but the rest of the bricks and mortar retail sector is battling to survive in an increasingly digital marketplace. according to emarketer, amazon is expected to control almost 50% of the us e—commerce market by the end of the year. some 8,600 stores will have closed by the end of this year in the us while in the uk, more than 1,200 high street stores shut in the first half of this year. so shops are increasingly trying to lure in customers with experiences and freebies: everything from selfie stands to free drinks when you try on clothes. will that be enough to turn the tide? stacey widlitz is president of sw retail and somewhat of a guru on the issue.
how do bricks and mortar retailers stand a chance at the moment? it's really tough out there. in the uk, 20% of business is now online and it is much higher for apparel. 20% of business is now online and it is much higherfor apparel. so the bricks and mortar stores, you are seeing footfall down to the low single digits in the uk, mid singles in the states. but the way to fight backis in the states. but the way to fight back is to experience, as you are saying, and entertainment. it is not just about selling stuff and damming the store with merchandise. is that enough? does there come a point when no matter how many retail experiences you offer to people who are there in real life, it cannot stem the tide of the online appeal? that is true. 0ver stem the tide of the online appeal? that is true. over the past ten yea rs, that is true. over the past ten years , we that is true. over the past ten yea rs, we have that is true. over the past ten years, we have too many stores, whether in the us or the uk. and now you are seeing these stores start to close, particularly the massive flagships which are money—losing endeavours. in the uk, we are hearing that clinton kurds, a card retail on the high street, is
struggling. that may clinton cards. week in, week out, we have a new story of that nature. does more need to be done on the part of the government, for example to make taxes more amenable to high street stores or even rental prices? yes. you can't blame it all on the retailers, because experience is huge. but at the same time, rental rates have gone through the roof. an alternative to bankruptcy is to ask for a reduction in rent, but then eve ryo ne for a reduction in rent, but then everyone else wants cheaper rents, so everyone else wants cheaper rents, so it is a domino effect. there are many external factors as well as factors that retailers can control. if you are doing all that and it is still not working, is there a point when you say this property should be used for something else? say in a country like britain, where there is a massive shortage of housing? yes,
and that is what you are seeing globally. we are seeing huge stores closing down or shrinking and looking at alternative usage, whether that is health care or housing or education. i have even seen a university in the state. there are many alternative uses. —— i saw there are many alternative uses. —— isawa there are many alternative uses. —— i saw a mole turned into a university in the states. let's face it, online shopping is so convenient that it it, online shopping is so convenient thatitis it, online shopping is so convenient that it is not going to disappear anytime soon, it is just going to expand. an online, everybody is offering free shipping, free everything. so it is impossible to compete at a lower level when you are looking someone sitting at home going, i'm going to order ten pairs of shoes and return none of them and the retailer will pay for that. —— i will return nine of them. stacey from nsw retail, thank you. we look forward to your comments on this. let's take a look at some of the other
stories making the news women are still heavily under—represented in top businessjobs according to a uk government—backed study. the hampton—alexander review found that only 25 women are in chair roles, with even fewer chief executives in the uk's 350 biggest publicly traded companies. we'll be discussing the appointment of the ft‘s first female editor with our papers guest shortly. us president donald trump has warned that tariffs on china could be "raised significantly" if the two countries fail to strike a trade deal soon. speaking at the economic club of new york, mr trump said negotiators were close to striking an initial trade agreement, adding china was "dying to make a deal" to resolve their long—running dispute. tesla's chief executive, elon musk has announced that berlin will be the site of the electric carmaker‘s first european factory as its expansion plans power ahead. the move comes as the company — which has also invested heavily in a chinese factory — faces intensifying competition
in the electric vehicle industry. global retailers are facing scrutiny over cotton supplies sourced from xinjiang, a chinese region plagued by allegations of human rights abuses. china is one of the world's top cotton producers and most of its crop is grown in xinjiang. well, let's hear more from monica miller, who is in singapore. tell us more about this and what global retailers are concerned about. japanese retailers muji and uniqlo are the latest retailer to attract attention after a report highlighted the use of cotton from the xinjiang region. un experts and human rights groups say china is holding more than 100 million uighurs and other ethnic minorities in vast detention camps. china says those people are attending vocational training centres which are helping them integrate into chinese society in the name of preventing terrorism. that has
raised concern over whether forced labour has been used in the production of cotton in the region. some brands like muji are very open about their sourcing of materials. they launched a new line of xinjiang cotton collection earlier this year. and uighurs has said it does not have any production in the region and that they are looking into the issue —— uniqlo has said they do not have any production in the region. let's ta ke have any production in the region. let's take a look at the markets. there are still protesters in hong kong's business district and there are concerns over what might happen. that is being felt on the financial markets. and look at those zeros. that is no accident. this hardly ever happens, but the dow ended exactly where it began on the trading session on tuesday, so enjoy that if you are a markets nerd. it is one of those quirky things. let's look at europe to see how things are going now. i don't think that is
right. we have zeros across the board! so let's just forget those numbers and hand you back. now to the us, where we should get more clues as to the health of the world's biggest economy from the head of america's central bank — fed chairjerome powell. vivienne nunis looks ahead: on tuesday, president trump was talking up the strength of the us economy, highlighting record low unemployment and a booming stock market to a crowd at the economic club of new york. today we will get a chance to compare his assessment with america's central bank. federal reserve chairjerome powell will testify before a congressional committee in washington. mr powell has in the past avoided commenting directly on mr trump's at times overly optimistic economic assessment. he may find it hard to avoid the question if it comes from lawmakers. the president yesterday took another swipe at the fed, accusing the bank of cutting rates
too slowly and putting america at a competitive disadvantage. markets will be watching closely in case any clues about the bank's future plans are revealed. time now for our daily look at some of the newspaper and website stories which have caught our eye. with us is kirsty bashforth, founder of quayfive and author of culture shift. we start with the guardian, but this is also in the financial times, the news that there is a new editor at the ft and for the first time, it is a woman. this is a great story. she has been appointed as editor and it is fantastic news for the audience as well, to appeal to a broader audience than before. she has been deputy editorfor audience than before. she has been deputy editor for three years now and has been credited with improving the range of fun reporting and diversity. absolutely. i am a recent
subscriber to the ft, and find it pretty useful. but there is a lot more to do in senior female roles. it is great timing as well. when that report is out, the government led report looking at the number of women in top positions at the uk's companies, and slowly, we are seeing a shift. it has been a significant shift since 2011, when the first report started focusing on women on boards on the ftse100. there has been progress, but there is still progress to go at the top. there are only six ftse female ceos and there are more than six people called david who are running ftse companies. it is always david, or jonathan. let's look at the sun. your area of expertise is about
culture and how you manage people. what do you make frank lampard's managerial decision making?” what do you make frank lampard's managerial decision making? i love this story. it is about how to start shifting culture. there has been a lea k shifting culture. there has been a leak about a notice he has put up in the changing rooms in the training centre in cobham, and it is lots of rules about fines for things you can and can't do, including £20,000 for being late to meetings. late to training. £500 if you are a minute late for a meeting. this is the chelsea football players we are talking about. though some would argue that they could afford that. but it's not about the money, it's about the symbolism of the small things that can make a difference over time. my eldest son is a chelsea football fan. i am a man utd fan, and he has been telling me there are good things going on at chelsea. so i applaud frank lampard. it is very traditional, like putting a note on a fridge in your house to
tell teenagers not to do things, except it is tens of thousands of pounds in fines. they will be designated directly to team activities and charitable causes, so they could be coining it in. even better. and what does it take to change a culture? it depends on the organisation, but this is about changing habits. we all know it ta kes a changing habits. we all know it takes a long time to shift habits. it can take 18 months to two years. never avoid the quick wins, but it can takea never avoid the quick wins, but it can take a while. going for the long haul is a challenge for a footballer these days. and even a prime minister. still to come... the fender stratocaster, the classic electric guitar played byjimi hendrix.
surely it couldn't be improved, could it? we'll hearfrom fender's boss on the latest model. you're with worklife from bbc news. with christmas fast approaching, you might already be thinking about which presents your children might like. a list of the top 12 toys this christmas unveiled today could give you some good ideas. let's find out more from miles penhallow, spokesperson from the toy retailers association. what is flying off the shelves so far? yes, it has been an exciting year. we have had over 30 toy —related movies this year and perhaps the biggest is still to happen, foes and two, coming out later this month. we are expecting that to be —— frozen ii comes out later this month and we are expecting a high demand for the singing elsom model. expecting a high demand for the singing elsom modellj expecting a high demand for the singing elsom model. i would imagine pa rents singing elsom model. i would imagine parents can't wait to hear the singing elsa. so it sounds like
traditional toys are still the must havesin traditional toys are still the must haves in the stocking, the good old—fashioned things you see in the movies? i believe when times are difficult, and they are uncertain at the moment, people go back to those toys that they know and trust, the brands which will be passed down through generations. we have seen barbie 30% up, believe it or not. and thejet barbie 30% up, believe it or not. and the jet plane play set is the iconic piece for christmas. how important our film franchise toys and collectables to the industry? there is a lot of noise with the film properties, but they only represent 10% of sales of toys currently, although with frozen, that percentage will go up towards christmas. there is also a very late star wars movie, so children may change their minds at the last minutes. we have to leave it there.
fascinating to hear what will be flying off the shelves. do you have frozen flying off the shelves. do you have froze n fa ns flying off the shelves. do you have frozen fans in your house? there is one. you may be going out of it, but we will hold on to see the film. what is the name of the snowman? 0laf. just a quick look at what is going on on the business live page today. lots of stories there. alibaba had a huge week. it was singles day earlier this week. it would have made billions of dollars in salesjust on would have made billions of dollars in sales just on that day alone. so details of a hong kong listing of alibaba shares. you're watching worklife. a reminder of our top story: we've been putting the retail sector under the spotlight, as bricks and mortar stores struggle to survive in an increasingly digital marketplace. a
new report says amazon will control amost 50% of the us e—commerce market by the end of this year. now let's get the inside track on one move to tackle the many challenges ethnic minority entrepreneurs face when trying to make it to the top in business. a recent study found british citizens from ethnic minority backgrounds have to send, on average, 60% morejob applications to get a positive response from employers compared to their white counterparts. the black british business awards are trying to change this by recognising outstanding achievements of black people in businesses. their founder, melanie eusebejoins me now. i was going to ask why you started the black british business awards, but what we have been saying explains it perfectly. it does. it is all about addressing the stereotypes and putting in place amazing role models. that is what it
is about. it is inclusive, everyone is about. it is inclusive, everyone is on board and it has changed lives along the way. you started this in 2014. what difference has it made? in 2014 i used to be a management co nsulta nt in 2014 i used to be a management consultant and then they helped me set up the awards. so what you see is that the people coming after us, they are seeing role models such as doctors and dentists and entrepreneurs, chairs and chiefs and ceos and producers. and they are seeing not just the ceos and producers. and they are seeing notjust the typical talent we see with ethnic minority talent, particularly in regards to black people, where we see music or athleticism. now we are seeing that the people behind the scenes, the people making the power decisions behind the business, they are black people as well. this noble has gone
beyond me now. you mentioned role models. is that the key, having role models. is that the key, having role model so that people coming up the ra nks model so that people coming up the ranks can look up to them and say, i can do that? unfortunately, it is a multipronged solution and role models is just multipronged solution and role models isjust one multipronged solution and role models is just one of the prongs. multipronged solution and role models isjust one of the prongs. we also have to look at organisational culture, as your last guest was saying. 0nce culture, as your last guest was saying. once we employ people, how do we keep them in progress them? 0rganisations do we keep them in progress them? organisations and entrepreneurs are looking at multiple solutions to address the imbalance. but there is still a long way to go when you look at things like the pay gap between those working as black business leaders and white males. it is quite stark, isn't it? and also things like entrepreneurs who want to get venture capital or investment, there is still a long way to go. what can be done next? again, there are
multiple solutions that need to be applied. 0rganisational culture needs to change and societal structures also need to change. there are also many things we can do ourselves with the entrepreneurs and ethnic minority talent so that we can prepare them to accelerate their career. there are at least seven solutions off the top of my head that we can engage in to make an impact. you sound incredibly upbeat and positive. how challenging has it been along the way? it has been challenging. it hasn't been easy. but what has made it much easier is that i have had the support of amazing organisations and allies. so it is not a movement that is for us by ask, it is not black people celebrating black people. my white peers stand behind me and they are my co—founders. so i think that
knowing i have people who are beside me and! knowing i have people who are beside me and i don't stand alone, it is so much easier. what is your dream? my dream is that the awards no longer exist because there is no need for it. that is my dream for every service that i offer, that ultimately, you become independent and don't need me any more and i move on to greater things and you move on to greater things and you move on to greater things and you move on to greater things. melanie, thank you very much. founder of the black british business awards. in a moment, we'll run through some viewer responses to our twitter question. where are you with your shopping? why have you not even started? but first, how far should you go in updating an iconic product? it's a problem faced by many firms and none more so than the maker of the stratocaster electric guitar. here's the boss of fender on how they went about updating an instrument beloved by everyone from jimi hendrix to eric clapton.
we serve working musicians, and it's really about listening to working musicians and serving their needs. the basic form is very difficult to improve upon because it was done so well, but we have really tried to modify every single nuance of the guitar. the make is a fundamentally different shape, one we have never done before. we have rounded the edges of the fretboard to make it quicker to go up and down the neck, make it more comfortable in players‘ hands. pretty much everything is the same, except how it feels, how it sounds and how it actually plays. when jimi played his stratocaster, he played it through distortion pedals. he got unbelievable feedback. it was a very noisy set—up on stage.
a lot of contemporary musicians don't want that. their demands, i think, are even more discerning than the musicians of old and they don't want buzz on stage. you have got to be perpetually listening to consumer feedback, and it's the same with fender. we have to listen intently to the feedback that we get from working musicians. every single product should be a really high calibre quality and embraced by working musicians at the highest level. at the top of the show, we asked you about your christmas shopping plans. will you be visiting the highstreet or making your purchases online? let's take a look at how some viewers have responded: linda walker:i hate crowds, so i shop online! dr dawson: it's frustrating that many retailers have from in their high street stores — and usually better offers too. i'd like to support high street stores but i also like a good
deal! mark hammond says, i like to talk to people in the shops. and finally, we normally end up discussing a different kind of fat cat in business news, but today we bring you a story of an actual fat cat. russian carrier aeroflot has stripped a passenger of his air miles for breaching its rules by sneaking his overweight cat aboard a flight. the passenger knew viktor the cat would be too heavy for the cabin, so swapped in a smaller cat during check—in to get around the weight restrictions. his purrrrfect crime was foiled after he posted about it on facebook.
but look at him, isn't he gorgeous? this particularly appeals to our director michel, who has six cats. in one of them is apparently rather large. it happens. that's it from worklife today. so many of your comments have come in on retail. the body is rethinking what the high street will look like in the future. sorry if we haven't read out your thoughts about whether you prefer to shop bricks and mortar 01’ you prefer to shop bricks and mortar or debit on your phone on the train 01’ or debit on your phone on the train or the bus. but i was in a shop recently with one of my daughters and it was so nice just to go around and it was so nice just to go around and look at things when we had time,
but time is such an important factor. and it depends on the edge of your children. thank you so much, have a lovely day. we will see you this time tomorrow. thanks for watching. staying fairly cool over the next few days, with temperatures below where we would expect them to be. while many of us will see giant bright weather, rain is already working to the south and west today. so for central and eastern england, a good deal ofjoy and bright weather, variable amounts of plan. if you showers for northern and western scotland. cloud and outbreaks of rain will feed into the south—west. at times, heavy and persistent. this evening and overnight, that rain is still with us overnight, that rain is still with us and it remains heavy and persistent for some. it will pivot,
moving into southern and eastern areas. there could be something wintry falling of a higher ground. tomorrow, that band of rain starts to edge further north. a little uncertainty as to how far north it will go, but it could affect areas like lincolnshire and south yorkshire, which have already seen disruption from flooding. to the north of that, sunny spells and a few showers. it will feel cold, particularly when you add in the brisk north—easterly breeze. we held onto the cold wind on friday. we still have the weather front with us, but it works the north. fair amount of cloud and outbreaks of rain moving into north—eastern england. later in the day, the next weather front pushes into the south—east, but for scotland and northern ireland, there will be good spells of sunshine and again feeling cool spells of sunshine and again feeling cool. as we move into the weekend, low pressure will still be sitting towards the south and we will see associated weather fronts. the wind will ease a little, but it is
looking like a cloudy day. there will be outbreaks of rain coming from the cloud. a little brightness towards the south and east, and brightness in parts of scotland and northern ireland. not a great deal of change as we move into sunday. we still have high pressured with the north—east and we will see further weather fronts. there will be further amounts of cloud around. in between, there will be something drier and brighter, but temperatures will not feel particularly warm.
you're watching bbc news at 9am with me, annita mcveigh. the headlines. labour is pledging to outspend the conservatives on the nhs in england. it means an extra 26 billion for the nhs or, in cash terms, because that's the way borisjohnson likes to present these things, an extra £40 billion for the nhs. coming up in the programme, we'll be looking at these numbers more closely with health think tank, nuffield trust. david gauke, the former conservative cabinet minster, warns a conservative victory could pave the way to a "very hard brexit". a conservative majority after the next general election will take us in the direction of a very hard brexit. david is a good friend but i think on this issue he's got it precisely wrong.