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Tue 17th Nov 2020 - Update: Tier system, Pret A Manger, Eagle Eye
England’s regional covid tier system may need to be “strengthened”: England’s regional covid tier system may need to be “strengthened” to get the country “through the winter”, a senior government adviser has said. Public Health England’s Dr Susan Hopkins said they needed to look at what “tiers there may be in the future” when the lockdown ends on 2 December. Speaking at the government’s evening coronavirus briefing, Dr Hopkins, who is also a member of the government’s scientific advisory group (Sage), said the tier system had shown a “different effect” in each region. She said that while the tier three rules had led to a decline in cases in the north west, tier two “seems to hold in some areas and not others”. She said: “We see very little effect from tier one. When we look at what tiers there will be in future, we will have to think about strengthening them to get us through the winter months until the vaccine is available for everyone.” Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he “hoped” the national lockdown would be replaced with a tiered system “similar to what we had before”. But he cautioned that it was too early to tell how effective the lockdown had been. More concrete information on what restrictions will replace the lockdown are expected to be set out next week, Boris Johnson’s spokesman said on Monday. He said: “We are committed to setting out next week what the replacement regime will be and that will be a return to the localised approach, and we’re actively working on those plans at the moment.” Johnson has been adamant that national restrictions will end on 2 December. The prime minister told Conservative MPs of the Northern Research Group last night that he planned to reopen “as much as possible on 2 December”. He dismissed fears there would be an extension.

Pret launches first marketing campaign with TikTok: Pret A Manger will today launch its first marketing campaign with TikTok aimed at “spreading joy at a less than joyful start to the festive season”. The company said it will mark the “first time a major UK high street food and coffee retailer has launched a Branded Hashtag Challenge on TikTok”. The group said: “With this Christmas being unlike any other, Pret is inviting the TikTok community to share their moments of joy to flood the platform with positivity as part of a bespoke #JoyWithPret Branded Hashtag Challenge, hoping to inspire people.” TikTok users will also today find a TopView Ad, taking inspiration from Pret’s Christmas menu to ‘Pret The Halls with Pigs in Blankets’, encouraging users to participate in the hashtag challenge. Becci Dive, UK head of marketing at Pret, said: “As our marketing shifts to follow the broader moves of the business to get Pret to the people, marketing investment into digital channels has naturally followed suit. We’ve been working hard at bolstering our performance activity to drive orders of Pret on delivery or sign ups to our new coffee subscription, so we’re excited to be making similar leaps for Pret in the brand space too, all with the support of the team at BrainLabs. We’re proud to be the first major UK high street food and coffee retailer to run a Hashtag Challenge with TikTok, and even prouder to bring a little joy to so many of their users during what has been a rather gloomy start to the festive season.” Hannah Bennett, brand partnerships, hospitality at TikTok said: “Pret is one of the iconic high street brands that our TikTok community absolutely loves, already creating content and stories about their love for the brand. Our platform is a place where creativity knows no bounds, and it’s great that Pret has chosen us to elevate their Christmas campaign to reach new and prospective customers. Now with its #JoyWithPret Branded Hashtag Challenge, we can’t wait to see how our community responds and gets in the festive spirit this week in inspiringly creative and inventive ways.”

Eagle Eye reports revenue growth: Eagle Eye, which offers personalised, real-time marketing through coupons, loyalty, apps, subscriptions and gift services, will report revenue growth this year at its AGM later today. The company stated: “Eagle Eye has had a positive start to the financial year, with highlights including the launch of the Pret a Manger coffee subscription service and winning the recently announced five-year contract with Woolworths Group, the largest retailer in Australia, underlining the enterprise capabilities of the AIR platform and underpinning the group’s continued growth. While covid-19 has continued to impact revenue growth, the group nonetheless delivered revenue growth for Q1 FY21 of 11% on the prior year. The ongoing strategic management of the cost base and investment in line with revenue has resulted in a substantial increase in adjusted Ebitda profit for Q1 FY21, comfortably in line with management expectations. The group continues to benefit from high levels of recurring revenue and extremely low levels of customer churn. Cash management continues to be strong, with the full headroom within the group’s £5 million banking facility with Barclays available at the end of Q1 FY21, ahead of management expectations and sufficient to support the group’s existing growth plans. Following the lifting of lockdown in the UK earlier this year, the group saw a partial recovery in food and beverage, non-grocery retail and brand revenues, which accounted for 10% of group revenue prior to covid-19. However, with new lockdown restrictions recently introduced the board anticipates this segment of the customer base and revenue will continue to be impacted for some time. Likewise, whilst the group has a growing number of opportunities domestically and internationally, the board anticipates that new customer discussions may continue to be protracted in the current environment. While covid-19 is likely to continue to impact on the group’s F&B and non-grocery customer segment (10% of group revenue prior to covid-19) and new business discussions in the short-term, the global pandemic has prompted the acceleration of digital transformation in the retail sector and never has digital engagement with consumers been of more relevance. The news of a potential vaccine is extremely encouraging, for all of us on many levels, however, the board will continue to ensure the business and Eagle Eye team are well protected until a more normalised environment returns. Through the growth of Eagle Eye’s international customer base, and the addition of Woolworths Group, the group has strengthened footholds in the US and Asia Pacific alongside its continued strong presence domestically in the UK. This provides an expanding opportunity and is expected to drive accelerated growth in the remainder of the year, in line with management expectations. The group will continue to invest in its people, product development, sales and marketing, and in new geographies in line with customer demand, whilst carefully managing the business and cost-base, to capitalise on this momentum.”

Shaftesbury raises £307m: West End landlord Shaftesbury has raised a total of £307m in a share placing. The company stated: “Shaftesbury is pleased to now announce the results of the Capital Raising. Based on valid applications and commitments received, the gross proceeds of the Capital Raising have been determined to be £307.0 million, which includes all of the additional £10.0 million raised via the Offer for Subscription.” 

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