Wenzel’s spends £1m to revamp and grow outlets

first_imgLondon craft bakery chain Wenzel’s is defying the tough economic climate with a £1m revamp of its 20 stores and plans to boost the chain to 30 outlets in the next year.The Pinner-based company expects the new-look stores to boost takings by at least 10%, with the introduction of new signage and photography, highlighting the company’s craft bakery skills. Wenzel’s packaging and website have also been redesigned and new ’pick-up’ areas will encourage more impulse purchases.The refresh, which has been undertaken with the help of design company Ech, began last month and is expected to be completed by the spring of 2012.At the same time, the company is planning to open a further 10 outlets over the next 12 months, starting with a new store in Edgware this month. Wenzel’s also hopes to open more branches in tube stations, including Victoria and Marylebone, which will join existing sites at Bakerloo and Harrow on the Hill.Sarah Wenzel, owner, said: “Because of the economic climate there are good deals out there on units. We own a lot of our properties freehold, so we are quite a cash-rich business. The expansion will be self-funded.”Sales across the chain have been buoyant since August, she added, thanks to several new initiatives, such as more meal deals, customer feedback schemes and a Facebook campaign. “We’re also more focused on upselling and have invested significantly in staff training,” she said. “We have monthly managers’ meetings where we talk about the products that we need to focus on and have introduced a new bonus scheme.”last_img read more

Companies Trump said would create thousands of jobs have failed to deliver

first_imgIn his first address to the US Congress, President Donald Trump hailed General Motors Co, Harley-Davidson Inc, Intel Corp and seven other companies as innovators and job creators, predicting they would be among those producing “tens of thousands of new American jobs” and investing “billions and billions of dollars.”Nearly three years later, with unemployment at the lowest in half a century, that first presidential portfolio has stumbled to fulfill that forecast. While Trump’s 10 companies have spent billions on new factories and upgrades, they failed to keep pace with new hires, according to a Reuters analysis of the group’s capital expenditures and headcount since 2017. Collective employment at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, Ford Motor Co, GM, Harley, Intel, Lockheed Martin Corp, Sprint Corp, Walmart Inc and small biotech Amicus Therapeutics has remained flat at about 2 million workers, the analysis shows. In the same period, total US employment has risen by 4.5 percent.Wall Street has not smiled extensively on Trump’s selected companies either. Most of the companies’ total shareholder return has trailed the S&P 500’s 47 percent advance and sector benchmarks since Trump’s February 2017 speech. Only four of the 10 have outperformed the broad benchmark while five have lagged the wider market by 35 points or more, as of Jan. 28. White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere declined to comment about the individual companies, but noted more Americans are coming off the sidelines and finding work, and US wages and consumer confidence are rising. “Despite headwinds from severe monetary tightening and a global recession, President Trump’s agenda of fair and reciprocal trade, lower taxes and deregulation has created the strongest economy we’ve ever seen,” he added. Still, struggles within the Trump portfolio underscore how the president’s economic and immigration policies have produced uneven results as he seeks another term in the White House. Since he took office, only Fiat Chrysler and defense contractor Lockheed Martin have added a meaningful number of net new workers. Lockheed’s US headcount is up about 15 percent. Fiat’s employment is up about 11 percent, with some gains coming from broader North American operations. The net gain of jobs at the two companies is about 22,800 since the end of 2016, according to company disclosures. “What a great brand Jeep is,” Trump said in a shoutout to Fiat Chrysler’s hot-selling vehicle, before signing a tariff agreement with China. By contrast, the combined overall US headcount at Ford and GM has declined by about 10,000, or 5 percent to 184,000, despite investing billions of dollars in their automotive plants.Topics :last_img read more