Business

ECB ends eurozone QE stimulus programme

Image copyright Getty Images The European Central Bank has confirmed it is ending its huge net asset purchase programme to stimulate the eurozone economy this month. The ECB has stopped its bond-buying scheme, worth €30bn a month, despite a recent slowdown in the bloc’s recovery. The move, first announced in June, is a big step […]

Business

Luton Airport unveils £160m expansion

Image copyright LLA Image caption A new boarding pier has been built at London Luton Airport with eight additional boarding gates A three-year £160m transformation of London Luton Airport (LLA) is being officially opened. The airport said the upgrade was the “biggest” in its 80-year history and would increase capacity by 50% allowing it to […]

Business

Mike Ashley: Debenhams snubbed my £40m lifeline

Image copyright PA Sports Direct’s owner Mike Ashley has written a bluntly worded letter to the boss of Debenhams discussing his offer of a £40m investment in the struggling department store chain. The letter, addressed to Sergio Bucher, suggests without the money the company “has zero chance of survival”. Mr Ashley writes he is frustrated […]

Business

Virgin Galactic aims to reach space

Image copyright Virgin Galactic Image caption Virgin Galactic’s plane will be carried to a height of 12,000m before its rocket ignites Entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic says its latest test flight, due later on Thursday, could see it reach space for the first time. The company said the fourth flight of its SpaceShipTwo passenger […]

Business

Bonmarché shares halve after sales slump

Image copyright Getty Images Shares in fashion chain Bonmarché fell sharply after the group warned it could slip to a full-year loss of up to £4m. The budget retailer’s shares lost 50% before settling to a 40% loss. The decline follows “extremely poor” Black Friday sales and continuing subdued shopper demand amid Brexit uncertainty. Bonmarché […]

Business

House of Fraser revival 'challenging'

Image copyright Getty Images Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley has said his firm faces “significant challenges” in turning around the House of Fraser store chain, which it bought in August. Mr Ashley said he believed that its previous management team “traded the business whilst it was insolvent for a long time”. However, he repeated his […]

Business

Why are there so many pre Christmas sales?

Image copyright Getty Images Shoppers are seeing a boom in pre-Christmas sales as retailers try to lure them back to High Street shops. Squeezed by rising costs and online competition retailers are turning to sales and promotions to tempt back shoppers. Greg Harwood, director at analysts Sumon-Kucher said: “We’ve seen a spiral of promotions year […]

Business

Hamleys pulls slime toy amid safety fears

Image copyright Which? Image caption Hamleys has stopped selling Frootiputti slime Hamleys has stopped selling a children’s slime toy after the product failed a safety test for boron, a chemical that can impair fertility. Tests by consumer group Which? found that Frootiputti slime, made by Goobands and sold at Hamleys, had four times the EU […]